Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dragon in the Garden

Finding Magic 

When I was a child, I practiced magic effortlessly. I lived near Sydney Harbour and reached into rock pools to pull out shells, starfish (and once an octopus), to make the anemones close their sticky fronds around my finger; in the creek I found tadpoles and watched them turn into frogs; I caught lizards and quickly dropped the squirming dismembered tails; I shook cicadas in my hand and they sang for me; once I pointed at a bird and it fell out of the sky – perhaps my stubby finger coincided with it’s dive for food, but I felt my power. If I wanted to be a Queen, I WAS a Queen, or a King, or a Warrior. I was a Magician every day. I did not have to enter altered consciousness and laboriously pull the archetype into my being, the way I did much later as an adult. I did not have to remind myself to be grateful; I just loved it all passionately every day. 

There were special places. I sat in the safe curve of a massive Port Jackson fig and watched the patterns of leaves against the sky. An overhang in the Sydney sandstone that borders the harbour was a pirate’s cave. The creek, with its tiny waterfall, was the Amazon. 

The whole world was magic. Time stretched to suit my needs. The school holidays lasted for at least three quarters of the year. Term time was compressed into the rest. Even today, many of my strongest memories come from the barefoot, grubby freedom of those days. 

In thinking about how I, a suburban, Western woman can convey to others the essence of shamanic practices, I’ve reached deeply into those early times. They are the foundation from which, in later life I began to have experiences that mystified and intrigued me and eventually led me to study shamanism and shamanic healing.

This connection hasn't changed. Just the other day we found Dragon in our back garden. He's resting right now, gathering his strength to lead me back into this year's magic.