The Wand chooses the Wizard, or some thoughts on magical artifacts

Posted on October 4, 2009
Filed Under Magic, Taylor Ellwood | Leave a Comment

I just finished re-reading the Harry Potter series, and one of the phrases that stands out in my mind is “The wand chooses the wizard”. Yes, I know it’s a fantasy series, but you can always find some truth in such writings and HP is no exception to that rule.

I have, over the years, created a number of magical artifacts, and had a few gifted to me as well. Some of my necklaces are magical artifacts, as is the elephant bracelet I was given. All of my paintings are magical artifacts, and the memory box, and several others tools I have are other artifacts I created. Yet all of them also have what I would consider to be a distinctive identity and feel. I wouldn’t go so far as to say personality, so much as I’d say the magic marks the artifacts in its own way. Certainly, I can tell quite a difference between the tesseract board I have and the memory box. The tesseract board, being the concept of another magician is something I can use, but it doesn’t feel quite as responsive as the memory box is, which is one reason the memory box has become my preferred tool for space/time magic.

Magical artifacts, and even the concepts behind them hold at least some of the distinctive signature of the magician(s) who created them. And some of it is the distinctive purpose the tools are used for. A wand is a wand or is it? I wouldn’t know, because I’ve never used a wand, but I do know that the various artifacts I have all have a distinctive feel and I work with some better than I work with others.I’ve also noticed that when I’ve been gifted an artifact, it tends to respond more favorably, than if I’ve just co-opted one, as I did when I created my own version of the tesseract board.

Now we could argue this is all in my head, and maybe it even is, but I also know I’ve created specific features in my own artifacts to limit who can use them, so it certainly seems plausible that other artificers could do the same with their own inventions and even copies of those inventions made by others.

Magical artifacts aren’t discussed too much, but I think there’s a whole level of subtle magic that often can go ignored because of that lack of discussion. Certainly, I treat even books as artifacts, under the right circumstances, and have noted, as have others, that some of the books seem to have a more distinctive feel to them, than others. Did their authors create or leave something in them? Certainly seems plausible.

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