U is for Urban Magic: Pagan Blog Project 2013

I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of getting back to basics with my witchiness.

On the Fall Equinox I decided it was time to do a structured ritual by myself at my girlfriend’s house (which is now my house!).

I was a little nervous. For years I lived on an acre in the country. I had a little area behind the house with a rock-edged fire pit where the neighbors would have to work really hard to see what I was doing. I was surrounded by trees and weeds and flowers and herbs. It was easy to feel in touch with nature magic.

This house has a very nice, but very small, back yard. It’s surrounded on three sides by other people’s yards, and the fences aren’t that high. I can see a lot of other houses. It has a very city neighborhood feeling, which isn’t bad, but which I worried might make it harder to really get into my ceremony.

But dammit, fall is my favorite season. It was the equinox, and I had a lot to be grateful for and a strong desire to build a steady spiritual practice. So I went out to the little garden–which I have not spent enough time in this year–and made sure I had enough clear space to work.

Since the wind kept gusting enthusiastically, I decided it would be an exercise in futility to try to light a bunch of candles. Since most of my belongings were still at my apartment, I decided I would keep the tools to a minimum. And since I had an absurdly busy weekend, I decided to use a pre-written ritual with almost no variation. I chose the Fall Equinox ceremony in Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft.

As I cast the circle, I had to giggle at the intensity of the wind. I hadn’t memorized my ceremony, so the pages of my book tended to blow around. But at the same time, there was no denying that the element of air was present in a big way. Working outside also means that earth’s presence is very obvious: I was standing on dirt, after all, with little twigs and dried leaves all around me. You don’t get much more earthy than that.

At one point during my ritual, a squirrel scurried past with a big acorn in its mouth: hello fall. The electric charge of autumn’s beginning was all around me, and you know what? It was awesome.

In the end, urban magic isn’t so different from rural magic. The elements are still there; they’re just arranged differently.

And in some ways nature magic is easier to access in the city–maybe because city nature is used to working with humans? Sometimes rural nature is uninterested in people, or even a little bit unwelcoming. But urban nature coexists with people continually. The interaction is easy and familiar.

Looks like being a city witch is going to work out just fine.

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