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.
Wattle Magic for the Solstice
What is the seasonal magic in your location?
In the Blue Mountains, where I live, seasons are very pronounced by the colours around us. We have an interesting mix of native and imported trees and the blend between the two creates bright palates in among the steady grey-greens of eucalypts, tree ferns and native grasses. Earlier, in spring the tea-tree blossoms were so prominent in places it was a sea of white with their pinky-red centres and when they began to give way the gum trees put out sudden new growth; all their tips that danced in the breezes looking red in the sunlight; it felt like I was watching the shift from spring into early summer in that colour change.
When I look out my window now there's bright yellow wattle blossoming, even though winter is only just beginning. The trees across the street that were bright red six weeks ago are now bare twigs. Often the mists blanket all of this, so yesterday I just saw muted yellow globes of the wattle through the softened white cloud that the house stayed wrapped in all day. We've moved from the red and orange of European trees in autumn to this yellow-and-white of Australian wattle and mist.
The sulphur crested white cockatoos are getting more personal, a few days ago when I was sitting on the veranda one screeched overhead but then wheeled around and flew by so low and clear it was practically in the veranda with me, offering another screech as it flew by. White and yellow again, perhaps they are the colours of winter, here.
We’re close to the winter solstice and misty white with splashes of yellow seems perfect. There’s a story I tell about white cockatoos; that it was their screeches that ripped the sky open to let the light in, back at the beginning of time. The coming of light; the winter solstice. An explosion of light with gold at its centre, like the birth of the sun. And the wattle blossoms are like tiny suns, glowing and fuzzy and unrepentant in their timing. There’s a narrowness in that colour spectrum that intrigues me as I get ready to go travelling again and as I consider my return.
What might wattle magic be? Traditionally wattle shows spring is coming. Perhaps it’s early this year with the unseasonably warm patch of weather we’ve just had and doesn’t realise we haven’t had winter yet. I’m packing up, getting ready to go to the other side of the world and another summer but part of my heart stays here, sinking into cold and winter, contemplating what’s important to me, when I’ve already let go of most things.
What I miss in my life is a magical group; I keep setting them up and then moving. When I’m part of a group that’s working magic together it forms a structure for me. It’s a creative and personal focus, a way to dive deep both into magic itself and also my journeys within. A magical group of the committed, ongoing type would be like yellow wattle blossoms for me; a bright focus amongst the mists of the everyday and unremarkable. And I can’t achieve it without being seen – putting myself out there as noticeable and drawing attention, just like the wattle.
It requires commitment and that’s where I’ve been hesitating. It’s beautiful where I live – the birds, the trees, the mists and mountains and valleys – but I feel that I’ve landed here almost by accident. There are other places I have fiercer loyalties to and I’ve wavered, content to live on the edges of this place and uncertain that I want to create yet another belonging, to another place that I’ll also leave. But perhaps that’s the way of it. The seasons turn and we’re carried along by them; I’ve been here from Beltaine through to Samhain and now it’s nearly winter. I made sure I’d be here for the Winter Solstice, though I’m getting on a plane two days later. Somehow it was important to me to be here for that turn, that moment.
At the winter solstice light begins to increase and we interpret that as a new year beginning. I’m going to be here for the new year, for the wattle moment of sun bursting through the greyness. If I work wattle magic, if I respond to the local magic I’m immersed in simply by living here; by walking these paths, living with these birds and trees, breathing this air and watching these patterns of moonlight and sunlight in my sky I’ll be concentrating on what is born after everything’s fallen away; whether it’s fallen away through autumn and winter or through me moving and letting go and arriving somewhere new, that I’m not committed to yet.
So I’m going to go outside and pick a piece of that wattle and bring it in. I’ll put it on the altar and see what happens.
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