Local Magic: Creating Magic in Your Locality
What type of earth magic exists where you are? What is the local nature of air, fire and water? How do you make magic with the living forces all around you – not as they appear in books, but as you see and experience them when you step outside your front door? Every locality has its own flavours, energies and secrets… and when we work our magic and ritual in alignment with our locality we enter deep into the earth’s living magic.
New Year's Day in the Labyrinth
On New Year’s Day we walked our local labyrinth. It was raining. We took our clothes off in the carpark, to keep them dry and walked, wrapped in a sarong, a towel across the small footbridge and along the avenue of apples, in full leaf by now and with discarded baby green apples, half eaten by the birds crunching under our feet over the bark mulch covering the path. The rain was light, gentle, not warm exactly but not fiercely cold either, it’s high summer here though most of the time you wouldn’t know it. When we arrive the labyrinth looks washed clean, its coloured mosaic tiles gleaming and small puddles across the surface of it.
There’s no-one here of course, we knew that. Each one of us steps into the labyrinth intently – that first step seeming to be the first step of this year. I walk straight into the centre and sit on the wet ground waiting while the others journey inwards. I walked my way in at midnight, last night, New Year’s Eve and am waiting to emerge. It feels like holding space as I watch two naked bodies and one clothed child circling and circling about me, winding in closer and then further away. It looks so beautiful, skin and bodies in the elements – we would never have done this naked if it wasn’t raining and I’m grateful, though driving here I felt irritable; it hadn’t rained all day and I was thinking if only we’d arranged to walk it an hour earlier – or four hours or six hours earlier – it would have been dry. Now I feel this immense satisfaction – this revelation of the sacred – that we are only having because it’s raining. I am smiling all through with it.
The others arrive in the centre and we stand together, singing and meeting each other’s eyes. I feel the flow of so many choices, to be with these people, to be in this place on this day, to work ritual together and we’re at the beginning of a nine-day ritual, journeying through our Circle of Eight; to walk the labyrinth even though it’s raining, to take our clothes off and be with each other. It feels like the labyrinth itself, each step measured, deliberate and perfect, taking us closer to the centre; there aren’t any choices really in a labyrinth or maybe in this, in sacred ritual, holding space with each other; once we’re on the path it’s just each careful step, round and round in the pattern laid out under our feet, weaving between lines of blue and yellow, violet, red and orange, feeling the air and rain on our skins, the earth under our feet and of our bodies, the fire of the sun behind the clouds, the waves of warmth of each one of us, now beginning to pass each other on the paths.
I’m on the outermost path when I lift my arms in the air, singing, palm upwards really in praise of this moment but then I feel the drops of rain falling on the palms of my hands, like blessings each drop kissing my skin and I think of being kissed by the elements, of my body praising them and being praised by them simultaneously. The whispers of air on the skin of my arms, the warm water and brick under my feet, the song that I’m singing and three naked bodies weaving around and around, close and distant, walking towards each other and then passing, walking parallel for a while, maybe with a path between us or one of us reaching a turn and turning; you are walking away from me, turn and you are walking towards me. Together we are like a dance composed, the grace in the path under our feet, in our walking of it, our awareness of the others and yet holding our own. I stroke my fingertips down my arms, I cradle my upper body, I feel the warmth of my hands on my skin and I sing to myself of joy and love, there is no barrier between myself and the world.
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