I’m pacing the hall in my home, I’m packing for my seventh CloudCatcher. Since its birth in 2012, I haven’t missed one. I relish every moment at WitchCamp : my tears, my joy, my inevitable roller coaster ride of emotions
As an older person, experiencing the full range of my emotions has become rarer: WitchCamp gives me an opportunity to be freely emotional. It is also a time for me to reflect on my present, past and future life, and connect with spirit.
I love the other campers: their realness and acceptance of me, as an imperfect person is my found treasure. I look forward to their nourishment, and this year, “It’s honey!” Bzzzz …
In the months before CloudCatcher, participants work with the myth. At the turning of the moon, for four months since December, 2017, I have worked with: Hermes and Apollo; the Mountain; the Bees and most recently, the Oracles.
As I pack, I hear inside my head: ‘Confusion reigns supreme!’ My mother’s words echo down six and a half decades. A memory which hasn’t visited in over twenty years. The Ancestors begin to make their presence felt.
Whenever things went terribly wrong in my childhood home (and they often did), my mother would raise her face to the heavens and pray these words. The house would still, breathe, and a solution would be found.
For months now, my Bees have been buzzing. Confusion, though not supreme, has been prominent: my health challenged, my family relationships bumpy, and a new relationship requires boundaries. Over the months, the theme of this camp became increasingly relevant. When I registered for camp, the theme didn’t seem relevant to my needs. So, why did I register?
Before 2012, I looked for a spiritual camp: a time for reflection. I am not a Christian or Buddhist, (I’m more up the atheist end of the spectrum), and although both offer retreats, I didn’t feel comfortable attending a retreat where my beliefs and theirs were so disparate.
I have a personal spirituality and believe strongly that humans need ritual and connection. In a seemingly random way (witches understand that nothing is random), I came across a poster for the very first CloudCatcher and I decided to go.
After my first WitchCamp, I knew I had found my much needed regular time for spiritual and personal growth, so here I was registering for CloudCatcher 2018. No matter how seemingly irrelevant the Myth, they always bring me meaning.
What did I do in the pre-camp workings?
Month 1: Hermes (December, 2017
I know little of the Greek myths, so I read about Hermes:he is a trickster and, I like tricksters! … one of my shadow selves is a trickster, which, of necessity, was suppressed long ago. Interesting …
Hermes is also about ‘boundaries’ … I need to learn how to set boundaries in new relationships … ooo, … more interesting … he is the patron of travellers, and I’m a grey nomad. Plus, check out the picture of Hermes’ statue on Wikipedia. Whumph! Woohoo! Hermes! I’m hooked!
Month 2: the Mountain (January, 2018)
I travel up to Tweed Heads (Far North Coast of NSW) to meet some totally ‘new’ people: a big challenge for this introvert. The meeting is at a pub, and, unlike camp, it’s definitely not alcohol free, As I leave the pub, I hear someone say: ‘Where are you headed tonight?’ And, as usual, I have no answer.
I drive away. I am drawn towards Murwillumbah, NSW. ‘Why???’ my rational mind screams. It is raining, and this way north is a poor back road. I know it is narrow, winding, curvy, pot holed’ easily flooded AND the weather is closing in. Grey clouds cover the sky. It is bucketing down over the ancient cauldron! Wait … now, I know ‘Why’…
The physical site for CloudCatcher WitchCamp is Springbrook, Queensland. It sits on the rim of an extinct volcano: in fact, it is this very caldera I’m driving through. I spend the afternoon driving 100 kilometres in hazardous conditions: I love every minute. I arrive safely at Beaudesert, Queensland. The back road trip reinvigorates my flagged self-confidence.
Month 3: The Bees (February, 2018)
To help me with my working for this month, I purchase a lovely sterling silver pendant by Madrone Jack. The honey coloured opal in the centre of the flower, and the dangling bee reminds me to work with the myth every time I touch it. In the months leading up to camp, I like to wear something that reminds me of the myth working. It can be something as simple as a ribbon tied around my wrist but it helps me focus.
I learn about Australian native bees: they are stingless. I never knew this!
I understand the buzzing in my personal life. There haven’t been any real stings, just zz, bzz, buzz. I continue to read about bees … I draw, I meditate, I take notice of flowers on grass verges, in reception at my dentist’s surgery: my sense of flowers on planet earth is heightened. I start conversations about flowers with perfect strangers. Flowers form the focal point for starting many conversations.
Month 4: The Oracles (March, 2018)
I am staying at my heart-daughter’s house in Sydney. We are talking about WitchCamp. I spy her tarot cards (mine are buried deep in my tiny camper van). I ask her permission to use them. Drawing three cards: present, past and future, I read them intuitively. I have little experience in formal tarot reading. My breath is taken away by the draw. Suffice it to say they have a lot of meaning for me. It is too personal, dear reader, to write about – nudity was easier (refer to CloudCatcher 2017 blog: The Naked Path).
Present: Princess of Swords: Air, Communication: ‘Too much information, Who do you think you are following?’ A strong woman with boundaries.
Past: Ten of Pentacles: Earth, Realisation or Manifestation. Ten – towards completion of something.
Future: VI The Lovers