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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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.