Actual photo from my front porch. Midday on September 8th.

I am sure you heard about the Fires that raged through the Pacific North West last month. Well, I live in the PNW and the fires were charging directly at my home. It was the most terrifying and paralyzing thing I have ever experienced. What if you only had 40 min to grab your belongings, animals, and leave not knowing if you would come back to a home or a pile of ash? I thought I knew exactly what I would do until it happened and I couldn’t think.

That morning I woke up and while I was drinking my morning coffee I flicked through Instagram. I saw that my friend who lived about 45 min south had posted a video of the sky being orange and a message he was being evacuated. I scratched my head and went outside. The sky was orange, I don’t think I have ever hated a bright color so much. Yes, pumpkin everything had hit the stores, but a pumpkin orange sky is not the harvest I wanted at all.

I went back in, grabbed a map, and looked at where the fires were. I began to read the local chat boards and do math in my head. Not long after a small town between us was evacuated. I did more math, the time it took for the evacuation to get from my friends how to the small town, I doubled that (it is twice as far) and came up with a nice number of about 6 hours before they start telling us that we might have to evacuate. Ok! I thought! My partner is USMC retired, and the 8 years I was with him through his service we moved 14x, so I am a moving CHAMP! I could do this.

So I grabbed the suitcases. My kiddo started stacking gaming consoles, and we began to pile important things in the suitcases… just in case. I was watching the color of the sky turn a darker orange and begin to bleed into red, smoke began to cover the sky. As we were packing we saw a fire truck go by, then another, and then forest trucks. I ran back into the house to tell everyone what I had just seen. As we went back outside to see what we could see, sheriff after sheriff races by eventually one comes slowly up the road. This time with a loudspeaker, screaming the fire was just above us and we had to evacuate immediately. The 6 hours I thought I had were less than 60 min. This was go time, I dumped laundry baskets and started grabbing things.

I grabbed the stupidest stuff, all my costume jewelry, but no one of my expensive heirloom pieces. I grabbed stuff sitting on the table, but not my imported dance costumes. I grabbed a few fossils, a few handmade ritual items, and then went back to grab family things. Both cars were filled to the brim, cats were caught and dogs were loaded. The last thing I had to do was open the coop. The fire was on the hill just above us, my neighbors friend came running down to tell us what they could see from their hill on the other side. It was moving directly towards my home. I had no choice, but to open the coop and allow the birds to try to save themselves. I pulled out of my driveway like a stunned zombie and drove to Vancouver.

I sat in a hotel for a week watching satellite images of the fires and trying to track where it was. It turns out that the huge fire raging towards my home still was, the fire we were evacuated for was one that had started that day and took out over 40 acres. I would later find out from a friend who lives a few hills over that they were watching our property from an app and from their hill and it came 150 feet to my property line. You can take a short walk to the charred location of our little canyon hills.

Magic is real and Witchcraft saved my home. For over a decade I have quietly tended our Tradition, Triskele Rose. I have taught numerous witches who have become powerful and amazing magicians in their own right. I began to furiously text the satellite maps to my magical friends, my coven sisters, and my teachers. Screenshots were furiously sent out, and I collapsed onto the hotel bed a blob of emotions.

I didn’t do one tiny bit of magic. I didn’t light one candle, not one stick of incense, no sacred circles. I just called in every otherworldly favor I was ever owed and my home was protected. I had the power of multiple covens and traditions working for me. I am so proud to be part of two traditions that have such fierce protection magic as part of their strengths. One of my teachers has a knack for taking storms on and I know that was part of it as well. I also know that my coven, my own students, once witchlings, now have so much to teach me were also working furiously. I am so proud of them, of us, of what we created and how strong it is. I do have to say that I also know I had the protection of three local water spirits. I had never met them before, but who came to me in a dream that night protecting my home. They are local and seem to have faded back into the realms they came from, not quite ready for human contact, but still ready to help one that hold such reverence for the water. It was as if a protective ring was around my home. If you look at the fire map it, shows two horseshoes surrounding my home, yes it looked like a bit of a circle with the fires circling around but then stopping. I am convinced if it weren’t for magic I would have lost everything.

When we returned home, I was so grateful to have everything still intact. There was ash everywhere and the deck has a small burn. However, the best news was that every single bird was there when I returned. They were confused, but Mr. Featherbottom the Peacock was safe as were his lady birds and the huge flock of chickens I have. I am so grateful I didn’t lose anything. The biggest casualty was my tomatoes, so much hot ash dropped on them, they burst open. Some were saved though. I have visited my sacred river spot 3 times since the fires and it is blocked off with security posted. Even last week it was still closed. The rain may be here but it is still dangerous down at the river. I eagerly await its opening so I can see my precious water and how much damage the fires did. Finally, thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, spell work, rituals, and every little and big thing you did to help quell the fires. When I couldn’t think, when I couldn’t witch, I saw your words and they gave me peace of mind because I know my witches, really do the work when they say “Our thoughts, prayers and spells are with you” They were, they worked, and I am forever grateful.


About Annwyn Avalon
Annwyn Avalon is a Water Witch, Water Priestess, and the founder of Triskele Rose Witchcraft, an Avalonian witchcraft tradition. She has devoted her life to the study of art, witchcraft, and magic. She is an initiated Witch and Priestess, Reiki Master Teacher, award-winning Dancer, published author and has a BFA in sculpture, BA in Anthropology with emphasis on plant and human interactions and has received an apprentice certificate in Herbalism. She writes for the Magical Times Magazine in the UK and has contributed to other published works such as The New Aradia a Witches handbook for resistance. She is the author of Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition and forthcoming Weiser book The Way of the Water Priestess January 2021. You can read more about the author here.

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