The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Sep 17, 2009 9:09 am

After days of deliberating in my spare time about a topic to post on this forum, asking for a mod’s input, and more days and nights of deliberating (yes, even losing a little sleep, but not nearly as much as when I used the same process for papers ;) ), I have finally come up with a topic and post to introduce that topic I am ready to post. And yes, I do tend to be an overachiever :ymblushing: .

In the LWW, there is a Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic from before the beginning of Time. Some people and scholars have related the Stone Table to pagan altars and pagan structures, such as Stonehenge. (information from own experiences, the Wikipedia entry on LWW, and A Family Guide to Biblical Truths in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia). The word “magic” sometimes has negative connotations in Christian circles. Lewis wrote in a letter that the Stone Table is meant to remind readers of the stone tablet God gave to Moses. (I found this information about the letter in the book A Family Guide to Biblical Truths in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia). Aslan’s death is clearly related to Jesus’ death on the cross. The Stone Table, the Deep Magic, and the Deeper Magic are important parts of Aslan’s death. Here are some questions to get the discussion going. (I’m going to wait to post my opinion until some others have had a chance to post)

Should the Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic be considered from a Christian perspective?
If yes, what does that mean? (i.e. What Christian / Biblical meanings can we find in them?)
If no, why not?

Feel free also to discuss each element separately and deviate from the questions if that is easier for you but focus on the Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic.

(For reference:
The Stone Table is described as “a great grim slab of grey stone supported on four upright stones. It looked very old; and it was cut all over with strange lines and figures that might be the letters of an unknown language. They gave you a curious feeling when you looked at them.”
This is a link for the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion,_the_Witch_and_the_Wardrobe the part about the Stone Table is under the Allusions section. There is a footnote that is clickable and gives a place to find more information.)
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 17, 2009 3:50 pm

I intend to post my response tomorrow, after I've done some Bible research. ;) For now, I'll just say that I agree with Lewis
that the Stone Table is meant to remind readers of the stone tablet God gave to Moses.


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LOL! So are many others on NW! :ymapplause: :ymhug:
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby narnian1 » Sep 17, 2009 6:27 pm

I think the even should be looked at from a christian perspective, I've never seen a clear meaning with each object itself, though I like the reminder of the stone tablets- but it's not one I thought of myself.

I do think the event needs to be looked on as Christ on the cross,
even though in Narnia Aslan only dies for Edmund versus Jesus dying for all men (these are supposals, not allegories, so not everything will translate perfectly).

the two magics:

I guess the first translates to the resurrection itself of Jesus Christ.
the deeper magic since beginning of time-
From the very beginning God knew what would happen, and even before the earth was created, Jesus was going to die for humanity-

This wasn't an idea that came about as time went,
God knew all already, he just carried it out in his time.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 18, 2009 1:45 pm

narnian1 wrote:I guess the first translates to the resurrection itself of Jesus Christ. The deeper magic since beginning of time--from the very beginning God knew what would happen, and even before the earth was created, Jesus was going to die for humanity. This wasn't an idea that came about as time went. God knew all already. He just carried it out in his time.
Excellent! :ymapplause: Jesus Christ, "the Lamb," was "slain from the foundation of the world" [Revelation 13:8]. And Peter tells us He was "foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" [1 Peter 1:20]. I think this is the "deeper magic." The White Witch [aka Satan to me] doesn't know this, just like God in Genesis 3:15 has to tell the serpent [aka Satan] that Eve's seed will "bruise [his] head." He wouldn't know otherwise. The devil thinks he's won when Jesus dies on the cross. But this is his defeat and Jesus' [and our] victory. :ymapplause:

I think the "manifest" part in 1 Peter 1:20 has something to do with "deeper magic" as well. It's the great mystery of the ages: "that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself" [2 Corinthians 5:19]. Part of this mystery is the use of "world" = the Gentiles, not just Israel. And this mystery "was kept secret since the world began" [Romans 16:25]. But now, Paul says, it "is made manifest and . . . made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" [16:26]. See also Matthew 13:35, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:3-5, 9, Colossians 1:26. :)

I think the Stone Table clearly represents Old Testament law, specifically the 10 Commandments, which were written on "tables of stone" [Exodus 24:12, 31:18, 32:15-16; Deuteronomy 4:13, 5:22]. Interesting language, isn't it? ;) And Moses says, "the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables" [Exodus 32:16]. Doesn't this resemble "it was cut all over with strange lines and figures that might be the letters of an unknown language"? Would most people in Jesus' day have known ancient Hebrew? Probably not. They spoke Greek and Aramaic. I think the "deep magic" is the reference to the law. Everyone must obey the law. It cannot be broken. :)

What is the significance of the Stone Table being broken in half? This bothered me for a bit. Because Jesus came to fulfill the law, not destroy or break it [Matthew 5:17-18, Luke 16:17]. And He perfectly obeyed the law throughout His life on earth, all the way to Calvary. :) I decided this means that through Christ's death the power of the law is broken.
2 Corinthians 3:3-8 wrote:Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
Of course, there's also Matthew 27:51. When Jesus died, "the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom"! :ymapplause:

***KJV used throughout***
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby TheGeneral » Oct 05, 2009 9:17 am

I always thought the deep magic relates to what they did in the old testament, sacrificing animals to God. And then the deeper magic relates to Jesus being sacrificed and putting an end to those offerings.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 26, 2009 3:00 pm

Well, how does the Witch describe the Deep Magic? The Deep Magic is tied to the Stone Table, when a treacherous act is committed, the traitor must be sacrificed upon it to appease the Deep Magic. This I think relates to the Fall. Adam and Eve committed a treacherous act by eating what was forbidden. They betrayed God. And now the sin(and all the ones that came after) must be atoned for with blood.
How does Aslan describe the Deeper Magic from before the Dawn of Time? (I like saying the whole thing) The Deeper Magic cancels the Deep Magic. A willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor's stead. And then the Stone Table cracks and death is denied. Death is caused by sin. Sacrifice removes the sin, so death can have no hold on a victim who has committed no treachery.
So, I think the Deep Magic is sin, it condemns us. We must die on the Stone Table to pay for our treachery. The Deeper Magic is Christ's Resurrection. He conquered death and cracked the Stone Table to show that no more sacrifices need to be made. The sins are atoned for.

I've been meaning to post here for weeks but have only just managed to fully collect my thoughts at a time when I could have free reign of the computer without having to watch the clock. Sorry about the delay!
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Nov 02, 2009 4:22 pm

daughter of the King wrote:I've been meaning to post here for weeks but have only just managed to fully collect my thoughts at a time when I could have free reign of the computer without having to watch the clock. Sorry about the delay!
No problem. I only meant to wait a week or so before posting my opinions and it has been *checks calendar* over 6 weeks. :ymblushing:

Everyone has had great ideas! :ymapplause: (I’ve only highlighted a few of them below, but that doesn’t mean the others aren’t valid)

Here’s my opinions: I like that the stone table is meant to remind us of the stone tablet God gave to Moses. For me this connection makes the Stone Table and the Deep Magic much more meaningful. I see the Stone Table and the Deep Magic as being like the law in the Old Testament. Under the law we are condemned, but Jesus came and died for us so we would not be condemned. The old covenant related to the law and the ten commandments was replaced by the new covenant. While the Deep Magic has its place and importance, the Deeper Magic (like the new covenant) is more important. The breaking of the Stone Table is a great visual for me of this change from the old covenant to the new covenant. The Stone Table is no longer needed like sacrifices are no longer need for our sins. (I hope this is making sense). I had in mine a great text to support my ideas, but I can’t remember what it was and got tired of trying to find it.
220chrisTian wrote:
narnian1 wrote:I guess the first translates to the resurrection itself of Jesus Christ. The deeper magic since beginning of time--from the very beginning God knew what would happen, and even before the earth was created, Jesus was going to die for humanity. This wasn't an idea that came about as time went. God knew all already. He just carried it out in his time.
Excellent! :ymapplause: Jesus Christ, "the Lamb," was "slain from the foundation of the world" [Revelation 13:8]. And Peter tells us He was "foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" [1 Peter 1:20]. I think this is the "deeper magic." The White Witch [aka Satan to me] doesn't know this, just like God in Genesis 3:15 has to tell the serpent [aka Satan] that Eve's seed will "bruise [his] head." He wouldn't know otherwise. The devil thinks he's won when Jesus dies on the cross. But this is his defeat and Jesus' [and our] victory. :ymapplause:
I agree with this, although I never considered the White Witch as being Satan. The principle is the same though. The devil also would not have knowledge of what God was planning with Jesus.

220chrisTian wrote:What is the significance of the Stone Table being broken in half? This bothered me for a bit. Because Jesus came to fulfill the law, not destroy or break it [Matthew 5:17-18, Luke 16:17]. And He perfectly obeyed the law throughout His life on earth, all the way to Calvary. :) I decided this means that through Christ's death the power of the law is broken.
2 Corinthians 3:3-8 wrote:Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
Of course, there's also Matthew 27:51. When Jesus died, "the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom"! :ymapplause:
I think this quote from Corinthians might have been some of what I was thinking about using to back up my point. The Deep Magic could be the law itself because the law is still the law whether it is written down or not. The Stone Table is merely one of the places the law is written (there are at least two others). The law itself is not broken, but the people’s dependence on the law is. The Deep Magic still exists, but its visible sign in no longer needed. (The breaking of the Stone Table could also remind us of Moses’ breaking of the stone tablets. Moses broke the tablets but he did not break the law. God gave him new tablets and could continue to do so forever without the law changing).
In summary, I think:
The Deep Magic is the law
The Stone Table is similar to the stone tablets given to Moses. If I remember right, the tablets were used to show the [old] covenant between God and his people.
Exodus 34:10-11 AMP 10And the Lord said, Behold, I lay down [afresh the terms of the mutual agreement between Israel and Me] a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels (wonders, miracles) such as have not been wrought or created in all the earth or in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord; for it is a terrible thing [fearful and full of awe] that I will do with you. 11Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I drive out before you the Amorite, Canaanite, Hittite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite.
When Jesus died, the old covenant was no longer needed / binding. Likewise, when Aslan died, the stone table was no longer need.
The Deeper Magic is like the new covenant and also the means by which the Deep Magic is fulfilled to its completeness.

narnian1 wrote:I do think the event needs to be looked on as Christ on the cross, even though in Narnia Aslan only dies for Edmund versus Jesus dying for all men (these are supposals, not allegories, so not everything will translate perfectly).
I always thought that although Aslan did die for Edmund he also died for all of Narnia. Narnia’s fate was closely tied to Edmund’s. They needed the four children for the four thrones, but they couldn’t deny the White Witch either or all of Narnia would be destroyed. Since the stone table cracked they wouldn’t be required to die for their treacheries. I can see where you are coming from however.

I have been working on this post for hours so I’m a little tired and perhaps a little muddled. 8-} I tried to proofread it for clarity but I’m not sure if it is clear. Please ask questions if it is unclear.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Watziznehm » Nov 03, 2009 3:02 pm

Okay, when I think about magic and deeper magic I think about how in the bible their are common truths that are obvious to spot and don't take god to help you to figure out, like "don't steal". No duh, that is really easy to pick up on. That is magic. Deeper magic is the truths that can only be spotted if God points them out to you. Truths that are their but are hidden. Revelation is the only medium of seeing them. That is deeper magic!
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby TheGeneral » Nov 10, 2009 2:50 pm

Pattertwigs Pal, totally agree with you. To me, that is the most logical parallel.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 10, 2009 5:47 pm

Thanks, Pattertwig! I think you covered it all! :) And thank you for opening this thread. We need more like this in the N&C board. ;)

Watz [okay if I call you this?], I like this too:
Deeper magic is the truths that can only be spotted if God points them out to you. Truths that are there but are hidden. Revelation is the only medium of seeing them. That is deeper magic!
In a way, I think it reinforces 2 Corinthians 3:13-16:
unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Those who don't accept Christ [Jews are just one group] are spiritually blind to the deeper meaning of the Old Testament, because He is the key to understanding the entire Bible, Old and New. In Christ alone "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" [Colossians 2:3]. :)
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Fire Fairy » Nov 10, 2009 8:35 pm

Wow, Pattertwig! :ymapplause: I was going to reply to your first post, but your last post was exactly what I was going to say! I think you are right. In a more "modern" sense, though, so to speak, I think the Stone Table represents scripture, because it is scripture that tells us the Law, just as the Stone Table had the runes that told of the Deep Magic. I also think that your point on The Deeper Magic being the covenant is a very reasonable point. However, I think I would like to add to that. I think the deeper magic is what my church calls "the Atonement" (I'm not sure if other churches use that term or not). This consists of both Christ's suffering in the garden for His people and the resurrection. In my religion class at my school, we were recently talking about the "ends of the law" which are happiness and punishment. According to Justice, the ends of the law must be met. If the law is broken, the offender must be punished ("If I don't have blood, as the law demands, all of Narnia will perish in fire and water..." --the White Witch). The only way to obtain happiness is to be perfectly obedient, according to Justice. To add Mercy in to the mix would mean robbing Justice. The only way to satisfy both Mercy and Justice would be to have a mediator, or a third party, one who is perfect (which would give them happiness), yet suffers the punishment ("...when an willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards." --Aslan, LWW). An example of this is when a man pays his friend's debt, getting him out of prison (mercy), while still paying the price (justice), telling his friend that he could pay him back the best he could (the Atonement). Thus, through the Atonement, both ends of the law are satisfied. The Deeper Magic does not do away with the Deep Magic; instead, it fulfills it more fully.

Also, I would like to put in my thoughts about whether magic should be considered in christianity at all. I think it should; in fact, very much so. The problem with the term "magic" is that while it once was a way of explaining the unexplicable, its meaning has now evolved into things associated with sorcery and witchcraft. I, however, think that Christ used "magic" to perform miracles; not in the witchcraft sense, but in the sense that it could not be explained using science or other worldly means. In fact, I think the parallel to C.S. Lewis's "magic" in Narnia could very easily be the power of God. God does not perform witchcraft and sorcery; he does, however, perform acts that our mortal and finite minds cannot comprehend.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Watziznehm » Nov 13, 2009 9:56 pm

@ 220. You can call me Watz all you like. :)

FireFairy, Yeah, I would have to agree with you about "magic". This whole thread is illustrating your point about magic not necessarily meaning witchcraft. We have all given our thoughts on what we think the "deeper magic" means and none of us came up with witchcraft but came up with parallels to God and his word. Interesting eh? In the real world however I think that it would be wise to limit the word and how we use it. For, in the real world magic does mean witchcraft so using it in the context of our own world to illustrate God is not what I would consider acceptable.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 14, 2009 12:53 pm

@Fire Fairy: I agree with Watz. In Narnia, deep/deeper magic doesn't refer to witchcraft, certainly not on Aslan's part, even though that's what WW practices. In our world, however, magic does refer to witchcraft so we have to be careful with our terms. One of these days, I'm gonna look up "magic" in the OED and see how and when the meaning of the word changed. :P

@Fire Fairy: I loved your description of the Atonement! Romans 5:11, KJV: "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [reconciliation]." Atonement = Christ's death and resurrection! :)

@Watz: thanks for your permission. :)
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Lucy P. » Nov 14, 2009 3:08 pm

Here is my first reaction:

Deep magic refers to justice and the laws of our world.
If the witch lets Edmund go, she is entitled to another victim. If Aslan dies, he must remain dead.
To save the human race, God must sacrifice His only Son.

Deeper magic refers to mercy and the laws of heaven.
Aslan dies but rises again to conquer evil and save his beloved ones.
Jesus is crucified but rises again on the third day to give us a chance at heaven we don't deserve.
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby DestrierDragon » Dec 24, 2009 7:42 am

One thing i've always hought was interesting about the deep magic was the part where we find out the WHite Which Did not know the deep magic, that was something ONLY aslan knew, becasue Narnia was HIS. I really liked what Watziznehm said here...
Watziznehm wrote: Deeper magic is the truths that can only be spotted if God points them out to you. Truths that are their but are hidden. Revelation is the only medium of seeing them. That is deeper magic!

This is very true for Narnia as well, I've often thought, as i'm sure we all have, what the carvings on teh stone table mean! but perhaphs this is the deeper magic, it is written, it is established, but only Aslan can understand it, only Aslan can fill it's demands. Which reminds me of the quote, "EVery year you grow, you will fnid me bigger..." Aslan in a way similar to how we grow closer to God shows himself and the deep magic to Narnia.
On the significance of the table being broken, i agree with everybody, representing Moses's tablets and the old covenant. Just one more angle is that the wrtiing on that tablet demanded blood, Aslan filled that demand and this the tables power was broken, i like to think that the white witch was connected to the table. GOing back to the Magician's Nephew, Aslan kind of forshadows what will happen with the traitor and the witch (i'm not sure where :-$ ) The WHite witch was just itching to get to have the part in the magic, she knew full well her power was connnected to everything evil. When ASlan sacrificed himself in place of Edmund's punishment, the white witch killed something innocent, she didn't know the Deeper Magic, that she was destroying her own power. The stone table as we all know, then CRACKED! :ymapplause: :ymapplause: :ymapplause: :D
THis might be a bit confusing and i think i'm just adding on to every one elses posts already!
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Re: The Stone Table, Deep Magic, and Deeper Magic

Postby Atarah » Dec 27, 2009 11:07 pm

The way I see it, Narnian magic is nothing like the magic often found in fantasy. Very few characters in Narnia have the authority to use magic, and those who try to manipulate it are the villains of the story. Magic in Narnia cannot be manipulated anymore than gravity can be. The Deep and Deeper Magic are spiritual laws which make up the fabric of the Narnian universe. They may resemble in written form human laws, but their application is very similar to the physical laws that dictate the movements of all matter and energy on our plane of existence. Just as engineers and astrophysicists can use these laws of physics to accomplish truly amazing feats, so also can those with knowledge of the laws of the spirit do things that to us are truly miraculous. Just as knowledge of physics and the natural order give people power that can be used for good or evil, so also can knowledge of the spiritual realm and "magic" be used for good or evil. The key to using these laws properly is allowing God to grant the authority to use spiritual power, which He does at His discretion. After all, He wrote all spiritual and physical laws, and He possesses all power and authority.

In the first chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus is described as the Word of God. It is by this Word that the universe was created. Colossians 1:17 says that in God all things are held together (proof of this is in the mystery of the atom's nucleus, which, according to the known laws of physics, should fly apart as the protons repel one another). God's Word is what holds the fabric of the universe together. If He were to break a single one of His promises, the universe itself would literally break as well. "All of Narnia will perish in fire and water." Spiritual law simply cannot be broken, anymore than physical laws can be broken. Chaos would ensue if the laws were ignored.

Gravity is a powerful force. All things that have mass also have gravity. The laws of physics dictate that things of smaller mass must yield to the gravity of things with greater mass. Masses of comparable size bend to one another's gravity when brought into close proximity (i.e. the earth and the moon). The closer two masses are, the more the force of gravity acts on those bodies. Gravity is a formidable obstacle to those who want to fly. But this force can be overcome by utilizing other physical laws--laws that are equal to or greater than the law of gravity; laws that have been in place since the dawn of time, just as gravity has been.

The same is true of spiritual laws. The Deep Magic has always been around and must be followed. But it is dictated by the Deeper Magic. Cause and effect for instance is both a physical and a spiritual law. Cause and effect is a component of Deep Magic. Grace is a spiritual law. Grace is a component of Deeper Magic. The law of cause and effect is of no use without the law of grace.

Previous posters used verses from Corinthians and Galatians to explain the Deep and Deeper Magic. Another really good passage is Hebrews 9 and 10, which explains the purpose of the Old Testament law. I couldn't pick out just one portion of those chapters; they're just too full of great stuff! Studying those chapters for the first time reminded me of the Deep and Deeper Magic, and that contributed to making Hebrews one of my favorite books in the Bible. There's so much meat in Hebrews! Lewis must have thought so too. I can't help but see the similarities between the spiritual structure of Narnia and what's explained in Hebrews. I have to wonder if that's one of those elements that "worked its way in of its own accord."
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