Magick In The Southern Hemisphere


In magick, time and direction have an important place and it is necessary to understand that there may
be differences according to which hemisphere of the globe you are working in. In the northern
hemisphere, magical circles are cast clockwise, or ‘deosil’, which means ‘in the direction of the Sun’.
In the southern hemisphere, however, practitioners casting their circles deosil should normally cast
them anti-clockwise, because that is the direction of the Sun in that hemisphere.
For this reason, I have used the term ‘deosil’ (and its opposite, ‘widdershins’) throughout this book
when referring to the direction of circles. These terms are clearer than clockwise and anticlockwise,
because as long as you think in terms of the direction of the Sun, the terms can be applied wherever
you are standing on the globe.
Practitioners in the southern hemisphere will also need to alter the dates I have given. For them, for
example, the mid-winter solstice is celebrated on or around 21 June and the summer solstice, when the
Sun is at it most powerful, is around 21 December.
In the same way, the two annual equinoxes, when there is equal day and equal night, move round so
that the spring equinox falls around 21 September and the autumn equinox around 21 March. It is
perhaps better to think in terms of the Wheel of the Year, rather than our modern-day calendar, for
what matters is not the date but what is happening with the cycle of growth and fruition. So the
autumn equinox is the time of harvest, whenever that may be in your part of the globe.
Things are a little more complicated, however, when it comes to the use of the quadrants of your
magical circle and the directions, North, South, etc. I explained on page 41 that North is the direction
of Earth and winter. However, in the southern hemisphere since the equator, the area of maximum
heat, is to the North, this direction will more naturally be regarded as Fire. To face the colder direction
of winter, you must turn away from the equator, towards the Antarctic – the South.
This means that when following the instructions in this book practitioners in the southern hemisphere
should substitute the opposite for each direction. So, for example, where I have said you should set up
your altar in the North, and enter your circles from the East, you would set up your altar in the South,
and enter from the West.
If you find this too complicated, don’t worry. Some practitioners in the southern hemisphere follow
the northern traditions, especially if they have ancestors from colder climes. It really is a matter of
preference and all this diversity actually has a very positive effect, because it means that you can
weave the natural forces into your personal creation of magick. The only important thing is that you
are consistent in your attitude.

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In magick, there are four elements - Earth, Air, Fire…
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