It’s the first of the month so its time for the Animist Blog Carnival to return. This month the theme is “Place Magic” and is hosted at Adventures in Animism. Please check out that blog for more posts on place magic from around the world.
If magic is the art or science of making changes in our consciousness and psyche so that we can change who we are as a person, and by extension our circumstances and the way we perceive life, then surely the magic of place is the ability of that place the bring about changes within us. Perhaps its deliberately spending time in a place because we know it will lead to these changes. Taoism talks of “internal alchemy” and for me that is very much what “magic” is about.
Places have a sense about them, a spirit, they are alive. They are patterns of existence that experience and perceive. They change and grow. They suffer and die. They affect the world around them and those who enter or spend time within them. And we can change them too. The boundaries between self and place are very much a fluid thing – trees and plants breathe out oxygen, we breathe it in and breathe out carbon dioxide, they breathe that in and the cycle continues. The place enters us and becomes part of us. It changes us. We are not an isolated individual but a mesh of dynamic relationships. There is no duality in Animism – no separation between spirit and matter, natural or magic. Our consciousness is forever influenced and comes under the spell of the magic of the places we live, the places we walk, the places we grow. The more time we spend in a place, the more we come under its influence, the more we open to its magic, the more we change, the more we learn and the more we grow in awe of the world around us.
Recently I have been doing the ADF Druidry course and as part of that I have to spend an hour a week in nature. I can honestly say that I have learned more about nature, the changes in the season and the way the world works in four weeks than I have in the past 10 years. Going back to the same place again and again over a period of time builds relationship with it and lets us see the magic of Mother Nature herself – in the changes and cycles of the seasons. What could be more magical that watching the birth of a new life? What could be more magical than seeing a tiny seed become a giant flowering plant? What could be more magical than watching the sunrise and seeing the darkness of night change to the brilliant light of day? This is the true magic of place.