wyldwood, wyld witch, rachel patterson

I was going to start this article with the phrase ‘as the Wheel turns’ but I don’t really work with the Wheel of the Year these days.  I have struggled with Sabbat dates on the calendar not corresponding to the seasons.  I am absolutely convinced Mother Nature is menopausal for a start…

More often than not I just walk out of my back door first thing in the morning and breath in…feeling the air, the sun, the wind or the rain. And getting a feel for what the energy of the day, the season or the time of the year is.

Today the skies are blue grey, it rained first thing so the air is fresh but we are still in August (just), so the weather is warm.  But early this morning there was that wonderful crispness to the air, a promise that autumn is on the way.

In the UK we have suffered a drought, something we aren’t used to, nor prepared for.  We had weeks and weeks over the last few months of no rain and blazing sunshine.  It was unpleasant for this witch!  The earth seems to have given a huge sigh of relief with the recent rain.

For me, it is about connecting to the land around you.   I don’t live in a tumble-down cottage in the middle of the woods (seriously none of the takeaways deliver…), I do in fact live on the edge of a city.  But the land around me and beneath my feet is ancient.  It has a house on now (obviously) and had dwellings on it before, going back for a very long time.  And the land holds those memories.  There is not only the element of earth beneath our feet but also the history of our ancestors.

Taking time to connect with your own area is incredibly interesting and beneficial to your magical workings but also your soul.   Even if you live in a high rise flat in the middle of a concrete jungle, the buildings have energy and memories and if you can connect with them you may also find a direct line to the land beneath them.  Hedgerows in the cities might be stuffed full of old sweet wrappers and beer bottles but there is still a living, breathing plant that can be connected with (and tidied up if needed).  Cities often have a few trees dotted around, give them some love…talk to them, water them and get to know them – they have interesting stories.

You can tap into the energy from any place and each area or location will have its own unique energy.  Forests, ponds, parks, streets, seashores and city centres will all have that magical energy it is just a case of plugging yourself into the source.

Whenever I am outside preparing to lead or take part in a ritual one of the first things I do is connect with the land, wherever we are.  Just a polite ‘hello, it’s just us pagans prancing about, hope that’s OK with you’ so that the ancestors of the land we are working on know what we are about and hopefully are happy to allow us to continue without causing chaos during the ritual…coz we can mess it up quite happily on our own!

I guess it is also about manners, particularly if you are working magic or holding a ritual.  You wouldn’t walk into a stranger’s house and just sit yourself down would you?  (Perhaps you would, I don’t know!).  Introduce yourself to the land, ask permission to be there and then do what you came to do.  A little thank you and perhaps an offering afterwards wouldn’t go amiss.

Get to know your local area, take regular walks around your locality.  Discover all the plants and trees that grow where you live.   If you are close to a forest, a park or the sea you are very blessed.  If you live in the city you may have to look a bit harder but you will find Mother Nature there too, have a look in local parks and recreation areas along with your local cemetery and church yards.  Take a note book with you when you go out and write down what you see or take photos of the plants and trees so that you can identify them.

It doesn’t matter what the time of year is or whether you live in the city, in the country, on the side of a mountain or in a high rise block of flats – magic is all around you.

 Article by Rachel Patterson