Magical weapons are real things. I’m talking Harry Potter’s wand. Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. And Excalibur didn’t exactly have magic powers but it still counts as an archetypal magic weapon. They give you the power to shape your world and effect real change in your life, and in the lives of others.
So I was sitting around speculating on how I could get my hands on an archetypal magic weapon (in theory to help others, but in reality to boost my ego and make myself feel superior) when lightning cracked, thunder rolled, and the god of thunder himself appeared in my bedroom!
“Holy hell!” I cried.
“Guess again,” quothe Thor.
Thor was decked out in armor that glinted like lightning on the surface of a lake, and his long blond hair kept blowing around even though there was no wind. It must be a Norse god thing. The mighty hammer Mjolnir crackled with energy in his hand.
What followed was a crash course in the nature of magical weapons, why everyone needs one today, and how we can all get one.
THOR: Before you are to find a magical weapon, we must first clarify your understanding of what constitutes such a weapon. Your understanding is deeply flawed. You know nothing—
ME: —Jon Snow.
THOR: . . . I do not understand, why are you calling me Jon Snow?
ME: No worries. Go on about how I know nothing?
THOR: No, I do not need to elaborate on that statement. Now, I will tell you about my own magic weapon. Mjolnir is my hammer. I am the only one who can weild it. When I throw it, it returns to my hand like a boomerang. It gives me the power to fly and summon thunder. Nobody else can even pick up Mjolnir. Why do you think this is so?
ME: Because it’s heavy? And because nobody else is worthy of it?
THOR: No. It’s not about weight or being worthy of it.
ME: It’s not? But that’s what Odin said in the movie, when he threw Mjolnir to Earth and said “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
THOR: Ah yes. I liked that movie. But it overlooked a few things. On one hand, yes—one must be worthy of weilding Mjolnir. On the other hand—it’s impossible for anyone to be worthy of Mjolnir save for myself.
ME: What? Not even Superman? Not even Luke Skywalker using the Force?
THOR: Not even anyone.
ME: . . . Well, that seems like a rigged competition.
THOR: It is.
ME: Okay, so why is this a game that only you can win? Why wouldn’t I have the chance of lifting Mjolnir?
THOR: Because a magical weapon is individualized to the one who weilds it.
ME: Say again?
THOR: A magical weapon is individualized to the one who weilds it. Mjolnir is not merely a supernaturally powerful hammer that responds to the worthy. Mjolnir represents all the best, brightest, most noble aspects of my personality. It is a symbol of the strength of my character, the depth of my wisdom. It is a symbol of my unique talents. So you see? Nobody else can weild Mjolnir, because nobody else is ME. For someone other than me to use Mjolnir would be like identity theft.
ME: Ahh, I get it.
THOR: Good. Magical weapons are always deeply personal sacred objects. Only by mastering myself can I use Mjolnir. Only by using Mjolnir can I protect, serve, and shape the Nine Realms. I can do my best good in the world with it in my hand. The same is true for Arthur with his Excalibur. The same is true for Harry Potter with his wand. And for you.
ME: Me? But I don’t even know what my magical weapon is! I was just trying to figure out how find one.
THOR: You say you are seeking your own magical weapon, but I think you have already found it.
ME: Uh, no. I think I’d remember that.
THOR: Your magical weapon will be something that brings you bliss. Using it will mean you are following your passion. Do you have nothing like this?
THOR: You do not have anything in your life which both challenges you to fulfill your potential and enables you to do so? Something with which you express your unique talents?
ME: Well. I think that would be my pen.
THOR: Yes, you are a writer. Your magical weapon is your pen. With your pen, you shape your world. You have built a career with it, no?
THOR: And now this brings me to another aspect of magical weapons. They are symbols of the mind. Your pen represents your talents, but also your mind. So do swords—
ME: Oh yeah. I knew that. The Hindu goddess Kali’s got a sword that symbolizes the mind.
THOR: Yes, she gets very enthusiastic about that thing.
ME: Yeah, okay. So swords and weapons symbolize the mind. But why?
THOR: For the same reason they symbolize your skills. It’s the way you express yourself in the world. And it has the power to cut through problems. You use the phrase “sharpen the mind” when you want to be quicker and cleverer. (You would never say “sharpen your heart.” That would be counter to the heart’s goal, which is love.)
ME: Yeah . . . I’m not sure I have a particularly “sharp pen.” I mean, I write. But I don’t know if I’ve honed my talents and skills to such a level that my pen is my magical weapon.
THOR: You think yourself unskilled? Unworthy of your magic weapon?
ME: A little bit. Yeah.
ME: Well, think about all the people who have held pens! Who else but Shakespeare, Melville, Twain, Hugo, Fitzgerald, Atwood, King and Rice?! Those are some big players. And I’m just me.
THOR: Ah. Yes, magical weapons have rich histories. They are intimidating. They give you something to aspire to. But there are very many people in the world who live in sadness because they do not believe themselves worthy of their weapons. They simply have not trained enough to build up their confidence. To hone their minds. To shape their own worlds. I think you’re doing just fine.
ME: Hm. Maybe you’re right. I mean, my pen does shape my world. Without my pen, I wouldn’t have a career. Without my pen, I wouldn’t be able to journal and know what I think. I wouldn’t be able to sort out my feelings . . . Hey! You said magical weapons were mental!
THOR: . . . Yes?
ME: But I use my pen and my mind, to sort through my feelings! Those aren’t intellectual. I mean, they come from my heart, not my mind. Right?
ME: But I use my magical weapon to express them.
ME: So what gives?
THOR: Do you not understand that the truest warriors fight with feeling? For love? The mind must work in service to the heart. This is why your magical weapon must not be used to dominate, but to glorify, your feelings. Otherwise, you will live a life bereft of meaning. This is why I was only worthy of Mjolnir once I learned to love. This is why Harry Potter was worthy of his magical weapon—he understood love. This is why a knight of King Arthur embraces chivalry and love. The intellect should always serve the heart.
Not every intellect will do this. This makes a person unworthy of claiming their weapon. And yet, you will not be able to stay away from your weapon, because you will always want to serve your heart, use your talents, and shape your world. Your magic weapon will always call to you. And when you are worthy of it, and you use it in service of your heart—then you will find your greatest bliss, and your greatest gifts to the world.
So now you know, gentle reader. Everyone needs a magical weapon, because it’s not only how you defend yourself against trolls and protect those you love. Your magical weapon allows you to express your talents and your thoughts. It allows you to express the greatest version of who you are in the world. What is that magical thing, for you? And are you worthy of it? Can you sharpen your mind enough to use it? Can you put it in service of your heart?
(Hint: You are. You can. You will.)
L. Marrick is an author, ghostwriter, and suitcase entrepreneur—which is a hipster way of saying she travels and works from her laptop. Her blog, LMarrick.com, is where she writes about history and myth. Her memoir, “Working Girl: 132 Somewhat Moral Values I Learned from a Sex Worker,” tells about when she answered a shady classified ad and wound up working as a sex worker’s personal assistant.
© L. Marrick 2015. The content of this article, except for quoted or linked source materials, is protected by copyright. Please contact the author at the above links to request usage.