Category Archives: CloudCatcher 2015

Earth Wisdoms from Affinity Group Ritual, 2015

Earth Wisdoms – From Affinity Group Ritual on Day 3, CloudCatcher WitchCamp 2015

-Take time to sit and be with me because I need you too.

-Small is the only place to start growing from.

-If you would truly know me, look closer, and look closer still for there are worlds to be revealed the deeper you look.

-Come to truly know me before you try to save me. Know the magic of your own backyard before you try to change the world.

-Rooted in Earth and Sky, we live in harmony with the Earth, the green and the red, each taking only what is needed and giving back just (twice) as much, if not more. Will you too?

-Wear the skin you’re in.

-The Earth is eternal.

-You can unpick the kinks of time and undo destruction.

-Do not fear for us, fear for your loss.

-Seeds are strong. Shoots are vital.

-Listen to the heart beat of the Earth. Differences exist for the mind to ponder one wholeness.

-It will unfold. There’s secrets here you cannot know until you knock.

-Poetry saves worlds.

-Stinky beautiful nothing. Shit of life. Inside and outside balance on a knife. Separation is illusion. A seed will split stone. Community is wildness in our shit, we are not alone.

-The lessons we need are there. We need only look and listen. The Earth teaches through cycles. Everything is connected, the Earth has no concern of singularity of existence. Learn from and grow with each other.

-Local spirits, hidden folk, we honour all that you invoke, our karmic debt we now repay, through us have your words relayed.

-Some of the most beautiful and bountiful places are on the edges, between two places. Something that has holes; is imperfect, is actually stronger than something that is solid. Death feeds life. Nothing dies forever. Donut. Strength in gentleness. Silence has power, there is power in silence. Build the structure and the nature of community will follow.

-Listen with your feet…milk and honey is as mud and blood and shit. Nothing is wasted, unholy, or lost. Listen with your paws…if you meet me with conditions, you are not truly meeting me. Part of the answer lies across cultures. Listen with your lungs…the wind says I kissed the surface of this world before you cam, and when you are dust, I will still kiss the surface of this Earth. Listen with your skin…I am old, ancient, bones of the mountains, blood, ask, and dirt. Listen…you are embedded in me.

-You are promised to death, but I will fashion new life from your bodies. Whatever you leave me – if poisoned water, if devastated land; if choking air, if acid rain. I will create new life – it may not be pretty to you; it may take thousands of years; hundreds of thousands of years, but I will do it – for I AM infinite creativity.

-Pennies on the path, feathers on the ground, symbols of our love from below so above.

-Everything cycles between the sky and the ground.

-We are ancient and we are very small, we grow from death. We are part of your community and we are forever.

-We must remember our kindred spirited animals.

-Life is fed, even in death.

-The moss, ferns, and lichen teach interdependence symbiosis and synergy. Such is community.

-The caldera nurtures plants, as people may we allow the plants and us to survive.

-Community is with us in the silent spaces.

Thank you to Phoenix, who transcribed these notes, which were gathered from the ritual and woven into our spells.

2015 Paths: Path of the Edge-Walker – When the dust settles, post camp contemplation.

For the past few days it has been torrential stormy weather, memories of Cloucatcher and the path of the Edge-Walker. The only difference is I am bundles up inside, feeling warm and cosy with a rug draped around me accompanied by a glass of red wine and Wardruna playing in the background the low earthy drum beat of the music mixed with modern fusions of Saami yoiks mixed with Tuvan throat singing. This band has always been a favourite, but since emerging (lending to the popular language of witchcamp) or in my opinion; skin changing to suit the world I am walking in. Wadruna have become my theme band, my thing at the moment. Echoing a more animistic worldview, a primal world that is obtainable even here on the cities outskirts in the sensible burbs.

Following camp, I had the week off work. Choosing to work on this blog and slowly unravel my experiences and intergrating them into my daily life. I discovered a mindset and way I once held onto has been nipping at my heels again, before a friend had introduced me to Scott Cunningham and the W word, way back in my 20’s, I even found I was trying to track down, with much success, the same incense I once burnt to honour my animal totems and land spirits. Perhaps I am teetering on a mid life crisis now in my early 40’s – well this beats a flashy red convertible and a twinkie toy boy any day.

When leaving camp you are given a set of guidelines almost rules reminiscent of the movie ‘Gremlins’, don’t feed then past midnight, don’t get them wet, etc. Witchcamp has similar rules – don’t quit you job, move house do any major changing within the first month. Just to be safe. Well, I am never one to follow convention or rules. I quite a correspondence course, I had dedicated lots of time money and effort into, I had also prearranged a tarot reading – that too went under the cancel heading. I know this does not sound like major life changing moves, on reflection it was a move towards a freer me.

Both course and reading had implications of further involvement, I was not prepared to continue with. I wanted to run free unhindered with my totems once again.

In review I have spent time in the wilds of the lower north shore, it doesn’t need to be a pristine untouched piece of wilderness. Our allies and totems are all around us. I have also tended my precious compost heap; lovingly turning it, there is much wisdom and insight in composting. I have started exploring another method of composting, designed by the Japanese called Bokashi – a method of where you pickle and ferment all food waste, then when you finally return it to the soil it beaks down very quickly to produced nutrient dense food for the soil.

I can’t wait for my next witch camp or more succinct statement would be, the post witchcamp adventure I will be on. It does take some unravelling, but every strand is like a fine-spun gold thread, ready to be turned into a cloak that will weather whatever life throws at you.

May Wyrd guide you.

Bucca Gwidden

Ritual #4: reclaiming liberation

Ritual #4: Rewilded, we serve liberation

Having found and re-experienced our wildness the time has now come bring our liberation and newfound knowledge back into the world. In this ritual, we were asked to bring forward our own liberation stories, to cut our bonds, to call forth the wild within us. It was a special night because it was the only ritual where we were outside for the entire night as an entire camp.

Heidi

One aspect of the ritual I enjoyed most was the invocations from the Elements of Magic path. Reclaiming has a strong tradition of supporting new priestesses and creating space for new and experienced witches to step into that role. While some in the Elements path were very experienced, others were new to ritual. It was powerful to see the entire path work together to develop invocations and support each other.

During the ritual, there was a Greek Choir that moved through the ritual. Their role in the ritual was also especially interesting for me, and one that I have sat with during the days after camp. After having attended many witchcamps and rituals, I have seen a lot of different ways to enter and move through sacred space. There was a trickster element about this evening ritual that surprised me.  For example, during the ritual there was a space where people called out the ways they would cut the bonds that hold them back from liberation. While watching the ritual, I had trouble connecting to the role of the Greek Choir in this moment but then later speaking with Thibaut about his experience as a lens, their role was critical in solidifying the magic of this part of the ritual. He will write about that below.

In addition to the Greek Choir, there were many other moving parts of the ritual. I experienced the flow as being deeply reflective of the work of the week — wild, chaotic, deep, initiatory, and help with great care by the organizers and participants.

Thibaut

My experience of the ritual was slightly different as I took the role of a lens. For those not familiar with the concept, the idea of lensing is to have a few people (3 in the case of this ritual) enter a state of trance and heightened awareness and, from that state, observe and focus the energy of the ritual. This is not about raising or creating energy but about focusing the energy raised during the ritual to strengthen and direct it toward the intention.

From that state my experience of the ritual was intensified. I could touch the connection with the other 2 lenses, ever present with each of us leaning on and supporting each others as needed. I could see the Maenads running and screeching in the circle after being invoked.

When people were calling out the bounds they were cutting, white puffs of energy would explode as the Greek Chorus echoed them. That different perspective really helped show the potency of the things we do in ritual. The Greek Chorus, which looked confusing to Heidi at first, was really supporting and amplifying the energy.

The cone of power was one of the most powerful i have experienced. As the energy was raised not only  from the group but also the earth and stars, the 3 lenses focused the energy into a point, right into the grapes of Dyonisos. That point expanded to an intense ball of blue and purple fire, charging the grapes before shooting back into the heavens, carrying our intentions.

This was an amazing experience and it is a great reminders of the thing i really love about reclaiming and this community. Our ability to do magic together and raise energy, our willingness to innovate, experiment and push edges. I am really grateful for the Clodcatcher community for welcoming me and having shared this magic.