Setting Roots

Jacki the Pint-Sized Pirate had a little bit to say recently on wanderlust and being rootless.

Wanderlust is deep in my bones and soul.  Traveling is a compulsion, much like writing, not only am I incapable of ignoring it, I don’t want to.  It’s every bit as addictive as my tattoos and piercings.


I dream of seeing so many places and things, and I’m still longing to be back in England, so I thought I’d share with you a list of places I’m dying to visit, because there is magick in travelling.

There is magic in traveling. Going to new places. Meeting new people. Seeing new lands. Adjusting to the energy and feel of those places.

I work with an obscure magical system that emphasizes journeying, to the point where it calls its magician “travelers.” According to this system, you draw spiritual energy from your surroundings, and must travel regularly to new places, meeting new people and seeing new things, in order to restore your spirit. The harshest curse in this tradition is one that anchors the spirit in place, causing it to stagnate and eventually starve to death.

So I love to travel, and view all travel as a spiritual exercise.

I’ve been to Chicago twice, and it has a fun and energetic vibe to it. I’ve been to New York a few times, and although the city is vitally alive and constantly moving, it feels much less harsh to me than Chicago. Colorado is mesmerizing, its mountains tense and fresh. Las Vegas feels like a giant playground, brimming with indulgence, and I love it.

The energies if all of those places are different, and each one is a little more conducive for a different type of energy or magic — especially of you’re a visitor who hasn’t adapted to that vibe the way the natives have.

And therein lies the magic. Making the optimal use of the unique flavors of a different city, and of adapting yourself to that energy. And taking some of that energy and understanding of it with you, and growing from it.

But I’m a Scorpio with a Cancer Moon and a Cancer Ascendant. I need a lair. I require a stable and secure base of operations from which to work out of. I have to have a safe p[lace to rest and process and relax my defenses.

I need to establish roots.

Rooting in a place is a long process for me, and it’s difficult for me to operate at full capacity until I’m settled. The basic process is the same I described above for adapting to new places — traveling to locations, adapting to the energy and cycles, meeting the people, and adapting to the vibe. The real difference is that while setting roots, I am integrating myself into a place fully, whereas when I travel I integrate enough to function and bring the lessons learned and energy absorbed back home to digest later.

Perhaps “root” isn’t the right metaphor — I’ve always preferred “web.”

My lair is the center of the web. I make strong connections to the places I inhabit the most, where I need to know what is going on and who is going to be there. Places I visit less often have looser connections, but are still integrated in. But the caution against stagnation applies: events closer to home become more routine, and those father from home more memorable and profound.

In essence, the web allows me to bring that energy and insight from other places in to my safe place, where I can make sense of it with less risk.

And this is also magical. It is related to the magic of traveling, but is on a different level.

Some people don’t need that base to operate from. For such people, being in one place too long can be highly detrimental. But I need to lay roots.

My roots run deep, but they grow far, and bring in nourishment from distant places.


One response to “Setting Roots

  1. Pingback: Setting Roots | Practical Pagans

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