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.
Nine Days Around the Circle of Eight
After walking the labyrinth on New Year’s Day my magic group was inspired to continue the ritual the next day. Oh, and the day after that and the day after that… actually for another eight days. We went to every direction in our Circle of Eight, one after the other, in order. At the end of that we couldn’t quite bear to end, so we committed to another round of visits, this time weekly so we could fit it in to our busy lives. One of the most amazing things was the amount of time we spent sitting around outside having breakfast or dinner picnics or late-afternoon homemade strawberry cocktails. It was Blue-Mountains-in-the-summer weather. It rained on many of these excursions, usually a light passing rain or heavy cloud arising or descending. It didn’t stop our picnic, trance or conversation.
Some of our Circle came on every excursion, the whole nine days in a row. Others came to several, or one but either way we spent a lot more time together than we usually do and that was wonderful. It felt like a spell for 2017 – if we begin this year with nine days of ritual (ten really, as we had done a ritual together on New Year’s Eve) – what a potent and deepening way to enter into the year. Surely our whole year will be filled with ritual? – and with each other? – and at the moment, we can’t think of anything better.
On January 2nd, a Monday, we met at Sublime Point, our South point of our Circle of Eight before work. Four of us sat on top of a rock and after a breakfast of pikelets, strawberries and yogurt we lay down and tranced together, journeying around the Circle we would physically travel over the next week. On Tuesday we went to our South-East point, with a dinner picnic and occasional rain. We were discussing cultural appropriation and the endless debate of how to belong to a land that has been invaded and colonised when an Aboriginal man, from a different locality, walked by and engaged us in conversation about sacred land. When I write that it seems like a fairytale, that he would be there, want to talk to us, and choose that very topic. We were a little shaken but rose to the occasion… that was the magic of the South-East.
The next morning, early, we met for the trek down into the tiny valley that holds our East point. It was cold and lightly raining from time to time but at the bottom, as each one of us was persuaded by watching the previous person, we took our clothes off and went into the – quite cold – pool of water with the waterfall pouring in. It was a blessing and I felt touched by this place, that to me always seems left over from the time of the dinosaurs. We had a small snack of chocolate and oranges and headed up the hill for our separate days. The following day was a bit of a stretch but we fitted it in; a drive out along Mount Hay Road to the Pinnacles, another dinner picnic and sitting together watching the mists gather in the valley and gradually move in to swallow us, the land performing its own ceremony. By now we felt we were becoming part of the landscape, melting and merging within it, leaving pieces of ourselves or at least echoes of our journeying as we travelled from place to place.
The next day was the date of our usual meeting and we went to the North, linked with the time of the year, the Summer Solstice. We sat on the tiniest, most precipitous part of the lookout, surrounded by a wire mesh fence and below that – about a hundred metres below that – the valley floor. We did a ritual along the North-South line of our Circle, stretching from the earth to the stars and finding, each one of us, a way to encompass both. On the day of the North-West we had set aside the afternoon for exploring, it was the geographic place most in doubt. We went into the valley of the treeferns and had an uneasy time, so different from all our other places, submerged in the landscape, reminiscent of the North-West itself and perhaps its nature is to be always a little unresolved.
On the day of the West we met for an early dinner picnic, four adults and four children. I made strawberry mock daiquiris and we walked down to a place that emerges out of the bush, while still being deep in the bush. The only time I’d been there before it was raining heavily, so I was pleased to meet it in the dry. Our final excursion was another breakfast meeting, on a surprisingly hot day. We drove out to what I call Suicide Point, although that’s not its name. We were quiet there, filled with magic and journeys from previous days, marveling again at this place, not just Suicide Point, which is very dramatic, but the drama of the Blue Mountains. Mists and rain and blazing heat, cold secret pools and the black cockatoos we had seen and heard at nearly every point, it’s their time of year. I felt we had travelled as far as them, around our Circle.
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