The Perseids are expected to peak tonight, providing up to 100 shooting stars every hour. That’s a lot of wishes, if you want to sit out and watch them. I probably will miss the show, since it’s rainy here today, but perhaps we’ll get lucky and the skies will clear. Maybe I can take my aunt and uncle over to Michigan’s dark sky park and watch the show for a bit, make a few wishes of my own.
Do you wish upon shooting stars? What do you wish for?
As a child, the idea of wishing upon a shooting star is both ephemeral and present. We don’t know yet what those shooting stars are. We don’t know about asteroids and comets, space rocks and atmospheric friction. Stars are little twinkling pieces of possibility. Even when we know they are other suns, that possibility still hangs there of another place, another world, somewhere to go, somewhere to be. Shooting stars are like little pieces of possibility on the move, coming down to earth. No wonder we wish on them.
When we grow up, we learn that shooting stars are rocks in space left behind by comets, asteroid collisions, or just debris from the formation of the solar system. The Earth runs into them all the time, and the friction of entering our atmosphere causes them to burn up, usually completely disintegrating them before they can reach the ground.
Does that sound magickal to you? It depends on your perspective. Even if those tiny balls of fire never reach the ground, their constituent elements still scatter in the atmosphere, joining the billions and billions of bits and pieces that make up our planet. They bring down a little more stardust, a little more stuff from that vast realm of possibility up there that I think most scientists agree just gets more magickal and amazing the more we learn about it. They are a connection between us and space, sometimes even surviving as things we can touch and feel.
They make it possible to touch the stars. And through them, the impossible suddenly becomes possible.
That is the true power of wishes, whether made upon a star or whispered to a bubbling brook or brewed into a spell. Making the wish and placing our belief into it makes things become possible. When something is completely impossible and out of our reach, there is no reason to even try for it. Why bother, if it can’t be done? But when you bring a goal or desire into the realm of possible, now you have something to strive for, a reason to push and achieve. And that works on our minds in amazing and subtle ways. If you believe that you will someday achieve your desire, you start living for it, planning for it, and sometimes without even realizing it you will make your dreams a reality.
That is the magick.