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CloudCatcher 2017 Ritual Day 5

This ritual signifies the end of witch camp, the end of this particular magical working, and time to release each other from this space with the hope of disseminating this magic to the places we call home. I can feel the impulse of tears starting in my temples. Yesterday I felt complete with camp and now I do not. Each day stretched on and somehow the collective days flew by. 

We are in circle in our last ritual. All of those who held parts of this camp are acknowledged. My left hand receives the right hand of the person next to me. I take the left hand of the person to my right, with my right hand. Everyone does the same, linking us together, the energy flowing palm to palm to palm. We chant the same words we did in our opening ritual four days ago, “This heart is a mountain, dream with me . . .this fire inside us feeds the land that dreams of us.” I am being lead around the circle to the right. Two hands, the beginning and end of the spiral, unclasp. I feel the spiral starting. I know the spiral dance, I have done it many times, yet this is the first time I have ever really understood the magic this dance holds. Maybe the reason this particular spiral dance feels so natural is the song. Maybe the reason is the spiral leader, or the pace, or our connection as a whole, or maybe I am finally in the kind of heart space that allows my whole body to listen. 

Everything is in sync. I am effortlessly locking eyes with every person as they pass in front of me. We are moving as one giant snaking spiral. I feel joy and presence as I alternate between singing my heart out and taking in this moment. Even the soft ground feels welcoming as we touch our bare feet to her.

We coil in tighter, circle within circle within circle. I feel certain that this will be the best cone of power yet. The chant builds. The energy builds. The tones come in from in front of and behind me. The energy dips, raises, and grows. I can almost see the cone of power rotating a few meters above our heads. We send threads of energy from this cone off to the next two Reclaiming witch camps. Those threads will be picked-up and used by the next camps to continue the life shaping work that we, as Reclaiming witches, dedicate ourselves to. 

I feel complete in my work in this time in this place. I thought I would feel sad as we said our goodbyes, but I already feel myself returning, this or something better.


CloudCatcher 2017 Ritual Day 4

Yesterday I met a spirit of this land. Tonight in ritual, as a group, we are to aspect (embody) those spirit beings. These are the directions given in ritual conspiracy and I plan on following them. The only problem is that something happened today carving out a seemingly divergent direction for me. 

Earlier today there was an optional offering in which Kali revealed herself to me as the loving mother instead of fierce destroyer. This Kali had body shaped like mine, had hair like mine, and was fully black, a matte black, the color of shadow. The bodies of Kali and myself moved in sync. Our weight-shifts matched. Our looseness of limbs matched. We swayed together, the self I know in physical reality, and Kali, the loving shadow. “Dance with me,” she said. And so I did. 

Tonight, instead of the lizard creature I met in yesterday’s ritual, I begin as something else, something that wants to lay on the ground, something that has an extra kind of gravity. I want to be still among other still beings. I imagine others in the group as plants and trees firmly rooted to this land. A handful of ritual participants are fluttering about the circle, jumping, running, flowing, squeaking, and chirping. I lay on the ground under a large stretchy shawl, moving limbs without exerting much energy. A chant is started and I feel pulled to my knees, hands on the floor before me, fingers spread, weight shifting side to side. Kali is here again. She is my mirror. Kali and I stay on our knees moving to the rhythm of the drum that gives shape to our magical container. Kali, a Hindu goddess, does not care that in tonight’s ritual, we are meant to be working with the spirit beings of this land, here in Mount Wolumbin, Australia. 

“Dance with me,” she says as we rise to our feet together. 

I open my eyes. There is more movement now than there was before gravity floored me.  Spirit beings are churning up the energy of our circle. I lock eyes with another aspected spirit being. She is fierce. She replaces Kali as my mirror. With my eyes, I say to her, “Dance with me.” And she does.

CloudCatcher 2017 Ritual Day 3

Water is life. Revive. Renourish. Reconnect.

I am triggered. I feel scattered. I am positive that there is no amount of uphill climbing that will be enough. As we ascend the path uphill from the Ritual Hall, I want to run. I want to scream. I am not feeling considerate. Fire is running through me. We reach a rotted wooden platform – it feels unsafe to work ritual here. We turn around and head back down the path. There are uphill openings between the trees on my left as we descend the trail. I want to walk through them but we are doing group activity. I am fully aware of the selfishness I feel right now.

We are here to create a ritual together, the four of us, to end in a place where we feel revived, renourished, and reconnected. I already know the only chance I have to get closer to that sort of heart space is to lead a trance. Trance workings always seem to sort me out and bring me fully present to the magic. We divy up roles among us. The circle is cast. We call in leeches, cockroaches, dark mermaids, crocodiles, and the like. I feel better already as these are my long time accomplices in magic. 

This is the first ritual we’ve done outside all week. My breath feels bigger. My toes dig into the cold wet earth, scrunching leaves and mud. I feel grounded, connected, and in my power. I begin the trance. I am taking our group to a sacred place, down an ancient path, where we are to meet a spirit being, a being of this land. 

I pause for ten breaths as we meet our being, allowing everyone, including myself the time we need here, the time to meet our being and the time to ask questions. 

With my eyes closed, a natural pool of blue water appears in front of me, banked by white sand on all sides. A lizard man stands hip deep in the cool water, staring back at me. His head titls side to side as he inspects me. He is curious about me. I ask him if he has any message for me. He clicks at me, smacking lizard lips, coming to to a stop open-mouthed. I understand nothing and am alright with at least having met a spirit of the land. It is time to say goodbye. I thank him and  feel two ideas push their way into my awareness: courage and curiosity. There is my message. I walk the path home from this trance journey feeling revived, renourished, and reconnected. 

How will I carry curiosity and courage forward?