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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Committing to Place - Finding a Circle

I have a postcard on the window frame above my computer. It's an artwork of a small iconic mountain in Northern New South Wales and the road that leads into the town. This is the view you see as you drive into town. The postcard has the words coming home written down the side of it. The sunset sky behind the mountain, the greens leading up to it and at its base, the black road with the white dividing line - they tug at my heart. I have it there to remind me, to let that mountain and that view of home call to me.

But that's not where I live. I haven't lived there for years. I live a thousand kilometers to the south, in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Even though I adore Local Magic - both the concept and the living engagement with it - I've hesitated to make a commitment here, to this land. I spent three years living on the edge of the city, next to the ocean and felt a wild belonging to the sea and the air that didn't seem to feel the need to be tied down. But since I've been living on this vast plateau, in the last year, the land has called to me.


I've admired it. I've walked on it. I've talked to my favourites, the while cockatoos as they swooped around and fed in flocks on the sides of the road and screeched overhead. I've visited the waterfall at the end of my road many times, but I've done all that lightly, not knowing how long I'd be here and not feeling certain if I wanted to start a deep magic with a land I'd probably leave. At the same time I've been yearning for depth, connection and a sense of magic wider than myself; a group, a circle, something.

I went to California WitchCamp and taught Local Magic and then I got it. If I can go somewhere for only a week and create belonging; feel the magic coming out of the land to meet and dance with me, then I can do it here, where I live. I don't have to know how long I'll be here. My commitment is to magic and the land, and while I'm living on this land, I'll seek a deep relationship with it. 

So I bought a map, a proper map with the lines of the land and I imagined setting my Circle of Eight on it. The Circle of Eight is a magical construct based on the major compass points and the Celtic Wheel of the Year. Its made up of eight locations that are set in a rough circle and the idea is to create relationships with each of these locations and to link them into a magical geographical circle. Because the Blue Mountains are a plateau - not really mountains at all - with steep valleys on either side all the accessible parts of it are in a line along the ridge. It means my Circle of Eight here will be smaller than the first one I made, up in Northern New South Wales. The points will be closer together; it will be more intimate, even more local.

Then I took a day off and went exploring. I went to the South, and then the South-East and found two places of beauty and power, places that sang to me, each a different song but also each a song I felt could be joined to a Circle of Eight. At the South I sat on a rock at the edge of a precipice, gazing south and watching the shadows of clouds cross the valley below me. In the South-East I found a tableland of eroded sandstone; it's recognised as an Aboriginal site although of course all this land was Aboriginal land. Walking across it I felt an excitement rising in me; the tremblings of a Circle coming into being, the stories of the land itself alive and, I felt, available for new magics. 

I''m already committed. All week I've felt those places tugging at me, calling me to come back, get to know them and a response inside myself as well, not hesitant any longer but impatient - it doesn't matter to me anymore that I'm probably here temporarily, I'm ready to fall in love with this place and be swept into its magic. Perhaps we're allowed to have many homes; perhaps I've found home in a new place.

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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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