Author Archives: Kangaroo

Cloudcatcher Witchcamp – Wild Mystics Path – Day 4

This animal body is buzzing and jumping. This animal body is ready to begin.

I am so excited for path today. I’ve been predicting a day of wildness where we go out on the land and get covered in mud and make animal noises. But as we sit on the concrete outside the ritual hall in the centre of camp, Julie and Jarrah explain that this is where we are having path today. Instead of running away to pristine nature, we are going to be working in this place, seeing it as sacred. It feels challenging and part of me is disappointed, but I can also see the rightness of doing this.

We place our rocks and sweetness down on the bricks, then begin a trance to connect into some of the less ‘natural’ objects and plants in the space. As we walk around, Jarrah talks about the clever apes who figured out how to shape and cook clay bricks. The clever apes who enjoyed beauty and brought trees like jacarandas to new parts of the world. Who made windows out of glass, who figured out how to grow wheat to grind into flour to make the pancakes we ate for breakfast that are giving us fuel. It feels edgy, but is done so gently that I feel a softening within me, opening to a new way of thinking.

The idea is offered that everything is part of nature, including human-made objects- because their components all come from nature originally, but also because humans are part of nature. We are nature creating itself.

We are invited to connect with a human-made object, a human-made being, and to try to see this being as sacred. The first thing I see is a large, bright orange plastic traffic cone. I feel very resistant to it and have to force myself to walk over to it. As I kneel in front of it, touching it gently, I begin crying. It feels painful and wrong. I don’t feel able to connect with this traffic cone being, but I get the sense that it is enough for now just to be trying.

We gather together to talk about our experiences. Everyone else has apparently had beautiful mystical encounters with their human-made beings. I can see that I have a long way to go to truly see everything as sacred.

Each day we have been asking the earth ‘how can I look after you today?’, a beautiful practise offered by Julie. Today the answer I receive is crystal clear- sing to the human-made objects in this place. I use a chant I often sing out in nature, though it is much easier to sing to tree ferns and mushrooms than cement and rubbish bins. Again this feels edgy, and my heart is not in it, but it is still important. This reverence and willingness feels like something the earth needs from us, no matter how challenging or unglamorous.

We have time to say goodbye to the land, and make bee motels to take this magic out into the world. Our path ends with humour and joy. It is raining, and the drain pipe above us begins overflowing, creating a waterfall right above where we placed our rocks and sweet offerings. As we each pick up our rock, we have to step under this. Some of us dash in quickly, others linger under the torrent of water. For me, it felt like I was finally connecting to the magic of this human-constructed environment. The water falling on my head reminded me of being in the waterfall yesterday, yet I was standing on cement, surrounded by buildings, but still deeply in a magical state.

Although this day was challenging, I am glad of it. My cup had been filled to overflowing the previous day, and it was time to be of service to this place. I leave path with curiosity about how I will take this work out into the world. It is one thing to feel magic and connection in a waterfall, but can I do it in my shower? It is easy to beam out luminous love light in a forest, but can I do it in a city?

This animal body is re-membering. This animal body is re-wilding. This animal body is saying yes.

Cloudcatcher Witchcamp – Wild Mystics Path – Day 3

This animal body is on edge. This animal body wants to flee. Heart-exhausted. Tearful. Stuck.

My mood and energy are very low as we begin path today. During our check-in I talk about how disconnected and lonely I have been feeling at camp, how I don’t want to be here. We place our rocks down on the grass and then walk back to the track we were on yesterday. I feel unsure about being back out in public after my challenging day yesterday. It is Easter Sunday and the track is already busy with people.

We begin walking along the track and take turns choosing how to move. We start with slow, slow walking, like a glacier moving along the landscape. It’s playful and silly, and starts to feel really fun. Random members of the public are walking past us. Some are staring and some are looking determinedly away. We hear whispers about ‘magic mushrooms’. A young girl walks past me, then turns back to watch. I look right into her eye as I continue taking a big, slow step, and we smile at each other. She gets it.

We continue along the path crawling as tiny being, moving like vines, spreading out our wings. Then we re-group near a stream and begin a new exercise, of walking down to the valley with a question in mind. Opening to the wisdom of the land, using what we see as an oracle. I ask about my shadow and what I need to do next. I look for answers from plants. But the message starts to come from my animal body. From how joyful I am becoming, how freely I am moving. Our group is spread out and I can only see strangers around me, but it isn’t bothering me anymore.

Halfway down we gather on the side of the path and begin singing together “We are opening up in sweet surrender to the luminous love light of the world” (author unknown).  It’s ridiculous and amazing. My talking self is amused but my animal body is elated, my heart glowing. I can sense this luminous love light all around me. I beam love to the people walking past.

As we continue descending, I begin dancing along the path. Feeling my magical child self emerging. We reach the bottom of the valley and suddenly we are standing before the most exquisite double waterfall. We gather for a quick snack then begin taking off layers of clothing. I dive into the pool of water and as I emerge, I start shrieking with laughter. It feels so glorious, such an unexpected miracle to be in this place. I swim to the bottom of the waterfall and stand under the streaming water. It falls with such force. I can’t stop laughing. I step behind the veil of water and stand with my hands to the sky. In worship and celebration. Feeling waves of pleasure.

I want to swim forever, but everyone else has gotten out and I know that we are already late for lunch. Emerging, I feel euphoric. My legs are shaking, not with cold but with a post-orgasmic sensation. We walk back up from the valley, asking for a message from the land for this group. Julie offers the beautiful idea that “We are the earth singing, we are the stars dancing”.

I am overflowing with joy and connection. It is amazing to feel so safe around strangers, to feel completely free and comfortable in my body. I am buzzing for the rest of the day.

This animal body is in rapturous bliss.

After the evening ritual, we have another short path session, an opportunity to experience this land at night. It is raining again. Jarrah reads us the myth of this land that was written for last year’s camp. Around us, frogs are calling out wop wop wop. It is a peaceful, gentle session.

This animal body is sleepy. Curled up on the land. Feeling solidarity with the wild-eyed beings around me.

Cloudcatcher Witchcamp – Wild Mystics Path – Day 2

This animal body is walking through misty darkness. This animal body is soft and slow and silent. This animal body is listening.

We begin path at 5:30 am today, just before the dawn. We gather in silence and will not use words for the duration of path. I can see the sky beginning to lighten as we walk away from camp, but other senses dominate. I am aware of the crunch of gravel underfoot. Branches shaking in the wind. Birdsong. I feel enchanted by this time and place.

We leave through the front gate of the venue and begin walking along a road. It is my first time ever leaving the site while camp is on, and it feels strange. We come to a walking track and begin moving along it. I can hear a waterfall and then suddenly I see it. We stop at a lookout point to the side of it and form a circle. We silently place our rocks and offerings on the earth. As I kneel over these, the smell of honey is divine. Then we turn out from our circle to look at the view. Forested hills and valleys stretch out to the horizon, with mist hanging low. The sky is lit up, shining white gold through layers of clouds.

We begin to make music to the land, with the land, as the land. I dance slowly, undulating my animal body. Feeling the earth moving through me. Then I see a stranger approaching. They walk past quietly and half our group doesn’t notice them, but I feel the spell over me begin to break.

We walk further along the track. I am gazing intently to my right, at the endless forest and the magnificent sky. I turn to look on my left, and through the trees I can see a line of houses. Another moment of discord, bringing me back to the human world.

We stop at another lookout point and I am being communicated to with hand gestures. I don’t understand what it means and it makes me feel panicky. Yesterday Jarrah said that our biggest teacher on this path will be the land, followed by our shadow, and only maybe will he and Julie teach us something. My shadow is becoming more present.

As we walk along the road back to camp, I feel dazed. Disoriented by the houses and the few strangers we pass. It is hard to inhabit my animal body in this place. My thinking self takes over. I begin judging my experience, feeling annoyed at myself for slipping out of the spell.

This animal body is unsettled.