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.

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Casting a Local Circle

We stood in the labyrinth to cast our circle. It’s an intimate space, about six metres across with the paths made of brick and the curves between the paths mosaic. The mosaic is in rainbow bands of colour, the outermost circuit red, then orange, yellow, greens blues and purples with the centre piece mainly white, an ‘om’ symbol picked out in a small glittering pattern of colour. Set into the grass in the community gardens it’s where we do our public rituals and – on this occasion – where we were for our monthly meeting. We walked the labyrinth in, passing and passing each other as our circuits lapped and turned and threaded through the journeys of others; separate but companionable. It was cooling down; the day had been warm and the bricks and tiles retained that warmth, fed it back to us when we arrived in the centre and sat down, welcoming, sheltering us.


When we stood up to cast our circle the garden sat close around us. We opened our eyes, looked at what was there, immediately, holding the edges of the circle.

                South – it was the entrance to the labyrinth, the place where we step from grass to brick, from open space onto a path; the entrance to the mysteries. For surely at the heart, each labyrinth connects up with all other labyrinths; they’re an entry point into the spirit realm. So; South, entrance to the mysteries.

                South-East – we turned and looked at a confusion of fruit trees, bushes, small paths; nothing was distinct until we raised our eyes and saw two tall pines, like guardians, massively taller than everything else, a distance away. Like sentries, or guardians, not invited in but overlooking, keeping the perimeter. South-East; the two pines.

                East. Immediately east, a few metres away, though up one level in the gardens, were two young trees, silver birches, leaves whispering. Close enough to each other to be like sisters, like brothers, close enough to our circle to hear, to stir in the breeze as we called to them; consenting, delighting maybe. East, silver birches.

                North-East, and as we swiveled to look the doorway loomed out. A doorway out of fairy tale, of myth, two upright weathered beams of wood with an upright across the top of them. Leading from one piece of grass to another piece of grass; leading nowhere, you could say. Inviting the imagination, inviting magic. On leaving the labyrinth in this direction you may end up anywhere; another land, another story, find a different self. North-East, the gateway.

                North. This was into the stretch of the gardens, planted vegetable beds behind a screen of lowish trees. North and the stretch of it, the invitation of space, north of lush and growing summer. If south is the entry, north is – where you travel to? Or travel towards, never really arriving, because it always stretches further? North is what draws the eye, the arrow on the compass, stepping into the labyrinth; from the south, everything else is north. North – into the distance.

                North-West – the North-West is obvious. There’s a small stream – very small – that runs along the west edge of the community gardens and, directly north-west of the labyrinth, there’s a tiny wooden bridge that crosses it. More ornamental than structural, you could probably leap across that water. But it’s lovely, and perfectly placed. White cockatoos screech and flock, sweep low over our circle. North-West – a bridge over water.

                West. It’s the direction I’m standing in, I’ve been holding for a month and when we turn and face that way I can see immediately what’s there. Two woody bushes, several metres high, and unremarkable in their leaves but I was here a few months ago and I saw them in flower. White warratahs; I’d never seen them growing before, only the commoner red ones. Warratahs are quite spectacular and the white ones, only a few on each bush showcased in green leaves looked other-worldly; bringing elements of moonlight into the early summer; midsummer dreams. West – white warratahs.

                South-West – we turn and are looking directly at the tree closest to the labyrinth, so close we nearly brush its leaves walking that outer edge. It’s a fruit tree, low and spreading, we can’t tell if it’s apple or plum but the trees here are cared for and bear heavily each year. It’s an emblem of this place, both grounded and offering sustenance, touching the labyrinth but more of the earth. Very south-west. South-West, the fruit tree.

                South and we are facing the entry again. The end is the beginning, the entry to where we stand now, our small circle of human bodies in a circle cast around us by these points, these places, by our words but words that merely brought attention to what was there, human eyes that picked a pattern, like we do when we walk the labyrinth, turning and turning on the brick paths while the mosaic curves guard the ways. Entry, two pines, birch trees, gateway, stretching distance, bridge, white warratahs, fruit tree. Entry –

                The circle is cast.

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Jane Meredith is an Australian author and ritualist. Her books include 'Journey to the Dark Goddess', 'Aspecting the Goddess', 'Rituals of Celebration' and 'Circle of Eight: Creating Magic for Your Place on Earth', about Local Magic. Jane's latest book, co-edited with Gede Parma is 'Elements of Magic: Reclaiming Earth, Air, Water, Fire & Spirit'. Jane offers workshops and distance courses and also teaches in the Reclaiming tradition. She is passionate about magic, myth and co-created ritual, as well as rivers, trees and dark chocolate.


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