Merlin’s Secret Sauce

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Blog, Merlin

Let’s celebrate Merlin. The original wizard is one of the most beloved characters of all time, someone who has inspired tales for centuries around the globe. Taken together, those tales weave a glorious tapestry of myth and magic. But there is a gaping hole in that tapestry — the story of Merlin’s origins. Who was he before he became an all-powerful wizard? What struggles and dreams, triumphs and tragedies, made that possible?

Those questions got me started on this journey that has spanned (so far) almost 30 years and 13 books — plus dozens of articles and speeches, a movie script, podcasts, poems, and songs. The books of The Merlin Saga reveal the exciting, mysterious, and surprising story of the wizard’s origins. Writing them answered my initial questions. But in the process, I grew intrigued by some entirely new ones:

Why has Merlin endured in the hearts of so many people over such a long time? And why is he more cherished now, in the 21st century, than ever before?

The answer comes from 3 of Merlin’s deepest qualities: Universality, Dark and Light, and Nature. Combined, they offer us a glimpse of his soul. They are the secret sauce of Merlin’s appeal — and why today he’s more beloved, more popular, and more inspiring than ever.


Throughout the legends, Merlin builds bridges between people of different cultures, classes, religions, places, and times. He can relate to anyone — the beggar on the street, the king upon the throne, or even the old gray wolf in the forest. He connects people with each other, helps them find common ground, and creates trust and friendship. Most of all, he reminds us that every child, everywhere, has something inside that’s truly magical.

Dark and Light

Merlin, like all of us, is not perfect. He has plenty of flaws and vulnerabilities (as well as a quirky sense of humor). At the same time, he also has depth and grace, hope and devotion, courage and high ideals. His wisdom comes from embracing all those sides of himself, the dark as well as the light. That makes him feel great love — and enduring compassion — for humanity.


Today, people around the world are yearning to live in greater harmony with nature — and they know Merlin stands strongly for that ideal. For nature is his greatest teacher, healer, and inspiration. When he listens to the music of windblown trees, the voices of a rushing river, or the songs of birds soaring on high, he connects with all life. He feels more centered, more present, more alive. And he knows that nature is, truly, the ultimate source of magic.

You can experience the full enchantment of Merlin and discover both the secrets of his timeless wisdom and his profound impact on humanity in an article I wrote for Book Links. Check out “The Remarkable Metaphor of Merlin” for more on Merlin’s Secret Sauce.