Ritual intention, Day 1: Promised by life to death we confront the risks and behold our initiations.
After a whirlwind of travel from San Francisco to Brisbane to the mountain, we have finally arrived at CloudCatcher Witchcamp. We are standing in the ritual space, surrounded by beautiful altars to Hera, Dionysus, the Maenads and Cybele. As we behold this room is witches from all over the world, we feel the excitement as the energy starts to build, the anticipation the beginning of camp and the journey we are about to embark on.
We are based in San Francisco, CA and call California Witchcamp our “home camp” but Thibaut has also attended Winter Witchcamp in Northern Minnesota. We are both struck by the ways these camps weave a similar magic, but the special unique qualities that make CloudCatcher different: the deeply wild mountain, the strong enthusiastic sense of shared leadership held by the organizers and campers, the especially friendly and welcoming community, and of course the kookaburras.
The welcome is given, the original people of this land are honored with gratitude and next we are grounded and the circle was cast beautifully by the organizing team, drawing the thread from Spanish Witchcamp while we weave the connection from this camp to the international Reclaiming community. We experienced beautiful invocations of the Elements, the Land, Ancestors and Descendants, the Fey, Time, Hera, the Maenads, Dionysus and Cybele the Earth Mother. Dropping into the magic, we felt enchanted, enticed, and excited.
One of the most powerful parts of the night was the silent spiral dance, the weaving of the spell of initiation. In all the rituals we have been to the spiral dance is always an ecstatic moment, a chance to raise energy not always in celebration but always upward and outward. This spiral was about bearing witness to our initiations, whether one was in starting place or deep into it. There was a tremendous amount of power in this witnessing, in holding the silence and looking at each other eyes, truly seeing and supporting one another. We both experienced a dynamic tension as we moved from deeply seeing others to allowing ourselves to be seen. Without the music, the deep witnessing in this moment was especially potent.
Tonight, the journey ended as the spiral came to a stop, in silence, respect and power. Sacred space was left up since it had been casted for the entire camp.