A kangaroo stares into the distance behind the words "Witchcraft in Australia; part 1: introduction, flora, & fauna".

Witchcraft in Australia, Part 1

How we practice witchcraft in Australia can be a topic of much stress and confusion, particularly for new practitioners. Most of the traditions we follow have their origins in a completely different part of the world (generally Europe). The vast majority of books and resources on witchcraft and other magical practices and traditions are written by authors who live and practice in the Northern Hemisphere (Europe and North America).

The vast majority of these authors will take traditions and information based on their location for granted, and most don't even acknowledge or mention that anything they discuss might not align with practitioners in other places in the world. On the odd occasion they do, they might mention that they’re aware we experience summer and winter at opposite times of the year, and so the Sabbats might be celebrated on different dates. As far as most seem to be aware, this is the only real difference practising on the opposite side of the equator, and all that’s required to line up our experiences is a little shift in dates.

However, as many Australian practitioners (as well as others elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere) may be aware, there’s far more differences between the experience of these authors and our own. This can make it difficult and confusing to try to create a practice that compliments the flow of energy and nature around us. We can feel that it’s off, but we might not be able to pinpoint exactly why, or if we can, it can still be challenging to figure out how these differences impact on our practice, and how we approach them.

Having participated in numerous discussions with other Australian and Southern Hemisphere practitioners, I've seen a huge variety in the ways that folks approach these challenges. I can definitely say that there is no objectively right or wrong way to approach these things, but I feel like it’s important for us to be able to understand what these differences are, so that we can make our own decisions on how we feel it’s best to approach them.

It is also worth noting and examining the impact that colonialism and cultural imperialism have of the way we view these topics, and the level of unconscious bias we may have towards the “correct” European/American concepts as a result. 

Australian Flora and Fauna in Witchcraft

Ok, so admittedly the rest of the world is also pretty aware we have different animals and plants - they don’t have a pet koala or ride a kangaroo to school! - but it’s really not something that comes up in resources about witchcraft so much. Sure, maybe they’ll mention eucalyptus, or tea-tree if essential oils come up, or occasionally make some passing comment to something attached to some mythologies or traditions of “aborigines” (i.e. Australian Aboriginal peoples), but mostly it’s just assumed that oak trees, holly, wolves, and rabbits are universal symbols in a natural world in balance.

I honestly can’t say I’ve ever seen an oak tree (although I know there are some around that early ‘settlers’ planted), I’ve only seen real holly in-person when I lived in England, the closest we have to wolves are dingoes, and rabbits are one of the largest environmental pests in the country (and thus elicit some slightly different feelings to where they’re native).

This can feel pretty alienating if you’re new to witchcraft (or paganism) and plants and animals you’ve never even seen are apparently core to this practice you’re really interested in. If you’ve been around a while longer, it’s probably something you’re used to being frustrated by. Hell, I was frustrated enough to create a research project about it, and to learn to code in order to organise that information.

Australian Native Plants

This is one of my current special interests, and the aspect of my grimoire that I’ve worked the hardest on. I have mostly focused on species that I have the strongest personal connections to, and thus mostly these are concentrated in the South-West region. 

Most of my native plant profiles can be found in my Australian Witchcraft Printables section. 

Native Animals

Admittedly, while I have a lot of personal experience with native animals (yes, I grew up in the country, and I’m one of those Aussies who’s had multiple pet kangaroos), they’ve really not overlapped with my practice thusfar.

But if you are interested, you might find this post on native animal lore, this list of animal correspondences, and the few native animals linked in this list helpful places to start in collating and developing your own information on them. 

pink kangaroo paw flowers in the Australian bush

Find the full info on my grimoire 

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