We dance the elemental serpent paths over the edges of the ordinary into the cauldron of CloudCatcher.
Birthed from the fiery core into the starry heavens, this living earth is formed.
We come to learn from you.
What does that mean? This is an intention dreamed up by the organisers – Glenn Keir, Amica Sanday, Gede Parma, John Dolman and myself. Every single word in there is as deliberate as if it were a poem, or a spell. When the teachers gather together, a few days before Camp, to put together the amazing evening rituals that WitchCamps are famous for, we’ll use those words as a leaping off place, a guide and instructional manual. They – along with our story – will shape the Arc of the Week – the unfolding magical work that develops over the length of the Camp, and that we are left to take home with us. If you’re at Camp, you’ll probably hear those words several times, and hopefully come to form your own relationship with them.
This is some of what it means to me:
We dance – we come celebrating, we come in motion, we come in collective, energetic spirit; the elemental serpent paths – we are following the paths of the elements, fire of volcano and living earth, rock and tree of mountain, water of mists and waterfalls, air of cloud and thought and dream and breath; as serpents move on the land, snaking their paths into the land so our approach is weaving in and out, is coiled, is serpentine… and we remember and acknowledge the great Rainbow Serpent who laid down all these paths on the land… over the edges of the ordinary – we leave behind our ordinary lives, who we are in the world – all those restrictions and limitations and knowings – and offer ourselves into magic, into change and becoming; we step between the veils (of magic, spirit and mist) to see who we will become; into the cauldron of CloudCatcher – we spill onto this land from all directions, arriving on sacred ground, the cauldron of the caldera, we acknowledge this sacred ancient volcano, which has carved out this rich and fertile land and we also offer ourselves into the cauldron, to be cooked, transformed, remade – both individually and as community; we also offer this international format known as WitchCamp to our local cauldron of CloudCatcher, to discover what will become of it.
Birthed from the fiery core – remembering this was a volcano, thinking of how change occurs within our lives, we come forth new from the furnaces of the earth, of energy, of essential elemental magic, into the starry heavens – following the trajectory of rocks and fire fountained up from the heart of the mountain into the sky, connecting our earth-bodies with our sky-spirits, reaching for the stars; this living earth is formed – earth is alive, earth is sacred, this volcano process is part of the ancient creation of this earth, this particular piece of earth which we bring our magic to, this is the process of creation.
We come to learn from you – we come to learn from CloudCatcher, from the land, from each other, from WitchCamp itself; our offering is that everyone – organisers, teachers, campers – comes to learn from each other and the land, it is an open hand reaching out.