Category Archives: CloudCatcher 2012 Preparation

Organisers of CloudCatcher WitchCamp 2012

We have 5 on the organising committee (I call it an organising pentacle, and it’s also sometimes called an organising cell).
We modelled our organisation structure on British Columbia’s WitchCamp, which I attended as a Student Teacher in 2010 and was very impressed by. Each person has an area of responsibility, with support from the others when needed, and we meet (by Skype) every two weeks or so.

From Queensland – Gede Parma has the role of Outreach, connecting with EarthSong (the other Australian Camp), International Reclaiming and Australian Pagan groups. He’s also a teacher at CloudCatcher, and is so into Reclaiming WitchCamps he’s planning to attend a total of 3 this year (two of them as a Camper).

From Northern NSW – Amica Sanday has the role of Registration, keeping track of who’s coming (and who’s paid); running complex Excell sheets and doing a whole lot of detailed organising. Also Glenn Keir – with the role of Venue Liaison – a residential Camp in the Gold Coast hinterland. Both Glenn and Amica had never been to a WitchCamp before Healesville last year, and were so impressed that they wanted to be part of bringing a WitchCamp to this area, Northern NSW/SE QLD.
Currently in Sydney (but still very attached to Northern NSW) – John Dolman, in the role of Budget – a vital role of juggling expenses with income, as well as doing a hundred other necessary jobs; and myself in the role of Teacher Link, providing a (living) link between the Organisers and the Teaching Team. John had been to both the Healesville Camp and the British Columbia Camp and found the WitchCamp model to be edgy, exciting, luminous magic. I’ve now been to Healesville, California Camp (twice), British Columbia and Lorely, in Europe and am still in love with WitchCamps as the most dynamic, deep and powerful expression of magic-woven-with-myth-seeded-with-empowerment that I’ve experienced anywhere.
As well as organising CloudCatcher, we work magic! We spent the first 6 months of our time working the Iron Pentacle – a Reclaiming magical tool for deep self-awareness – and we are now three months into working the Pearl Pentacle (sister to the Iron Pentacle). The Pentacles have 5 points – so since there are 5 of us, we each take one and thus hold the whole Pentacle between us. Every full moon we shift through to the next position, so over a period of 5 months we each move through the entire Pentacle. The points of the Iron Pentacle are: Sex, Pride, Self, Power and Passion; and of the Pearl Pentacle: Love, Law, Knowledge, Liberty and Wisdom. (There’s more about these on my blog, if you’re interested: – and on the web generally if you do a Google search.)
    We work these points in our own lives, as well as energetically as a group when we meet; and they are the basis for our magical offering which is CloudCatcher WitchCamp. I’m just about to depart from Liberty into Wisdom – I have absolutely loved being in Liberty, which was a bit of a revelation. I had previously held Knowledge (which I found a little hard and dry) and Law (which I found divine and beautiful) – to my surprise I found that Liberty was an extension within these two things, Law and Knowledge – not freedom from them, but freedom granted precisely because, and within them. Liberty is a little like an individual WitchCamp – we receive the fundamental structure, principles and history from all the other Camps that have existed – and then within that, CloudCatcher’s uniqueness blossoms, in the form of our Paths, our mythical Story and our relationships to the land and with each other.

Intention for CloudCatcher 2012

I want to let you know more about the magic that goes into creating a WitchCamp. Every Camp has a theme, or intention; each year the Camp would have a different one although they may be related, year to year. This is ours:
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.
If you’d like to read a little bit about the process we used to come up with this theme, there’s a post on my blog about it:

The Serpent Path

with Jane Meredith & Karin Wolfsister – at CloudCatcher WitchCamp 2012

  scenting the air
         stripping away old skins
             shape shifting
         spiralling into our selves…

The Serpent Path will explore embodied magic. 

Working with breath, ecstatic song and dance, the landscape and our own dreamings we will follow the serpent paths; peering into the shadows and shedding our outer layers to reveal our innermost selves. 
         Inspired by Egyptian serpent magic, kundalini energy, the great Rainbow Serpent and the Tree of Knowledge we will listen to the heartbeat of the the Earth and follow our own inner knowing; taking surprising twists and turns into transformation. As seekers of Magic we dare to take what we know out of our heads and let it coil downwards, into our bodies… and as this essence swirls and sinks into our inner core we are inspired to rewrite the landscape around us.

The Serpent Path is an advanced path. We recommend that aspiring serpents have previously taken Elements of Magic, and/or have strong familiarity with self-responsibility, trance states and grounded magical experience.