Author Archives: Caduceus

CloudCatcher 2018 – Day 4 – Evening Ritual

Tonight the Caldera is buzzing with energy – the rains and fast moving clouds are just some of the things affected, and the celebrants gathered for the ritual feel it too. While sacred space is created all around the hall and on the mountain, two priestesses are working on a potion – a potion made from local honey, local mint, and local water, and the energy of circle and the priestesses tending the potion. This gift of the bee maidens potion will augment the energy already in the Caldera and the energies we’ve called into the circle and will help us to unweave the wyrd and to step outside of time.

After drinking the potion we are called into three groups and guided by priestess. Some of us remain in the hall to commune with the Mighty Ones of the Craft; some of us are led to a fire circle somewhere on the land to breathe with the ancestors; and some of us are lead far afield to dance with the descendants who are yet to come. I am in the group who is visiting with the descendents. Our walk is long and only a small lantern guides our way in the light drizzle. We come to a field and form honeycombs in which to do our work. The descendants are invited to stand with us, encircled by our peers from the time of the current, and the descendants at our shoulders whispering the way forward in our ears. They move in our bodies to tell us how to get on to that good road, that road that leads us to the shining future where our generational problems from the now have been solved, and they tell us how those that came between us got there. It is this magic that we carry with us in our bodies back to the larger group; it is this path forward that we carry with us – and carry it we do.

Soon all of us are summoned by the steady beat of the drums to return and share what sacred wisdom we have learned. Each of us carrying the deep knowledge in our bodies about what we were, where we want to go, and the mighty magic which will take us there. At first the dancing in the hall feels separate and somber, but the descendants’ magic works its spell, healing the apartness of our ancestors, and soon we are all dancing and singing, co-creating the same song, the song that sings us from our past to that shining future, and the spell is released to the land. The ritual complete, when we emerge from the hall, the moon is beaming down on us through a mountain-sized hole in the clouds, and we know we are smiled upon for the work we have done.

CloudCatcher 2018 – Day 3 – Rituals – Affinity Group and Bardic

Affinity Group Ritual
Today’s ritual is different – today we will create a ritual in the afternoon with our affinity groups, for tonight is the Bardic Ritual. Affinity groups are small groups created at the beginning of camp to not only help people get to know one another better, but also to help them work through anything that might be coming up for them at camp, especially in their path workings. Since we’ve been meeting every day for discussions and have been doing a few chores together as a team, we’ve already grown close – something easy to do in the container created by camp and the first evening’s ritual. Today we’ll be growing closer still as we work our own magic with each other, and with the energies most often associated with Hermes.

As with other rituals, the entire camp has an intention that we’ll be working with, although the exact words of the intention escape me, the magic having run its course. As an affinity group, we begin by agreeing what we want to do for our ritual – how we want to connect, what we want to offer the land, and what energies we want to work with in the process. While we’re planning, we all agree the trickster energy of Hermes has already started working with us, and we agree to continue working with that energy to offer our laughter to the land.

When the ritual begins and we call on the energies we’ll be working with, and the laughter comes in full force almost immediately. Writing about the belly-laughs and and snorts can’t do justice to the offering we gave, but at one point in the ritual I got to pause and reflect on how magical it is to be able to celebrate the holiness of laughter, how sweet it is to be able to connect with others who also know that laughter too can be sacred. It is for this sweet connection that I come to WitchCamp regularly, and our affinity group ritual was no exception.

Bardic Ritual
The Bardic Ritual is and is not a ritual, per se. It is not a ritual in that many of us are seated; it is not a ritual in that there is a stage and lights; it is not a ritual in that there are no specific energies called into the space. And yet, it is a ritual in that it happens every year at camp; it is a ritual in that people gather and raise energy together; it is a ritual in that lives are transformed together. During the Bardic Ritual all of the amazingly talented people at camp share their gifts, skills, and crafts with others. The entertainment is full tilt with emcees introducing each of the amazing acts. There are poetry recitations – one to the planet(oid) Pluto, for wreaking havoc on the solar system, and one an ode to air, for all the ways it kisses us. There’s a monologue of a camper explaining his experiences to his mother on the other side of the planet (misunderstandings can be hilarious!), and there’s a luscious dance, with the audience of witches providing the wholly improvised music. And there are songs and tunes, too. One piece is played on the ukulele immediately transports me to ancient Greece, and another brings me to tears, as a trio sing their offering to their gods. At the end of the evening I find myself marveling at the amazing group of people assembled here and the beautiful art they create and I do a little spell that the rest of the world may experience the same joy as I have.

CloudCatcher 2018 – Day 2 – Evening Ritual

This evening’s ritual has a different feel – our intention tonight is to listen to the land, and even as people are still speaking, it’s in more hushed tones, and I can already hear the faint pulse of the land. Even the energetic container is created with fewer words – our circle having been cast by someone embodying a snake, some elements welcomed with tightly woven, impactful words, and others welcomed with nothing but the sounds speaking to our hearts. And then the energies of the Bee Maidens, the Melissae, are brought into the space. Although they’re invoked with words, and a spoonful of honey, the beings themselves are sweetly silent – communicating only with graceful motion and warm expressions.

They begin to dance with a delightful droning – the Melissae, the Celebrants, the Elements – all of us our dancing together. We are dancing our ears open; as we sing our hall sacred, and move our bodies, we are preparing our ears to listen to the land. When everyone’s senses are ready, when everyone is attuned to the land, like a bee foraging for flowers, they fly out of the cave to explore the freshly rain-washed land that is holding us as home. A very small number stay in the cave with the Melissae – we are there to hold space, nay, to prepare the space. We are there to support or create the perfect container, ther pefect honeycomb, for the honey-spell that we are community-weaving tonight.

The land has said what needs to be said this night, and the drums begin to play, like the quiet hum of a hive, calling the bees to return with their lessons. And return with deep lessons they did. They returned in swarms, and soon the hall was abuzz with with a soft sound, a subtle sound of all the lessons of the land. To this sound the bees and the Bee Maidens danced. We danced and we sang and we wove our wing-fanned honey spell, that all the world may taste the sweet sounds of all the lands.