12 november 2023


When I was about 3 or 4 years old I became aware of a tree that didn’t like me. I was sure it walked at night and was malevolent towards myself and my family and friends.

An element of conflict had taken up residence in my world. Each night I would ritually use words to put spells or rings of protection around my loved ones. It was a tedious process. One night I had the insight that I only needed to contain the tree itself and casting one spell was quicker than 7 or 8. I didn’t know it at the time but I was practising the kind of magic grown up witches and magicians did, furthermore it seemed to work.

Language and words power to contain and control had advantages as well as disadvantages.

“You taught me language and my profit on’t is I know how to curse” - Caliban from The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

Text by Rachael Tyrell
Photograph by Rachel Tyrell


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