Our modern lives, however apparently ‘rational’ and free of superstition, contain much magical thinking. We curse our politicians, half hoping the curse will strike them down. We pray for delivery when we are frightened, we engage in a thousand minor protective rituals through our day. Just observe yourself and you will see how many magical acts there are, particularly when you are afraid or out of control. The world of witchcraft and magic is never far away.
One reason Harry Potter, the hobbits, even Alice in Wonderland strike so many resonances is that because even as adults we are reluctant to relinquish magic. There are those who argue that the greatest art derives its power from enchantment, or magical beliefs. Certainly many great artists seem like magicians.
We may think that we now live in a ‘disenchanted’ world, that we have banished the witches, vampires, goblins. Yet five minutes in the ‘real world’, in a bookshop, watching television or in a school playground will show us how wrong such a presumption is. Magic is alive and well. Its capital is Disneyland.