Where I live on the Gold Coast water has such a special, almost spiritual significance. I know it sounds funny to say, but a lot of Gold Coaster’s lives revolve around the ocean. Summer days with family and friends playing in the ocean, meditative walks along the shoreline, and the surfers who are out there every morning riding the waves. Water is the element of emotion, change and psychic power.
On the last day of CloudCatcher emotions were running high, I had just been through some of the most transformational experiences of my life, and I didn’t want it to end. After so much intense group work I had found that everyone in the Elements of Magic path had all begun to connect on such a beautiful level. There had to be some empathic connection between us because everyone seemed to be emotional that day. My upbringing was in the cliché macho world so flowing with emotion is something of a struggle for me. I’ve never been the type to express myself, especially when it comes to emotions – but CloudCatcher had changed all that. After our ritual a few nights ago in which we made contact with our ancestors and used the powers of fire and water to reshape ourselves, I don’t think I have ever cried so hard. I don’t know why I cried, I don’t know what triggered me but after that experience, I just had to let it out, and that was ok. CloudCatcher was the kind of place where I could let my emotions go and feel safe and supported. I tapped into something that night, a repressed emotion I had never dealt with and had to be let go. It was refreshing, to say the least.
I felt so empowered to own my emotions and let them guide me. In the past, I’ve read research on similar topics, but Jack explained how water is programmable with intentions. It carries energy and so can be a powerful conduit in magic. Our bodies are more than 75% water, so I’ve begun to understand how our emotional state affects our physical state.
In my last blog, I mentioned the chalices we had been crafting. Well, day 4 was the day they were completed, and we the beautiful burned looking cups were now ready for magic. We went off on a small hike up the mountain to fill our chalices with rainwater, walking single file through the forest I let my consciousness sink to the right frame of the work we were about to do. We filled our chalices and walked back down the mountain to a clearing to perform our blessing. Our blessing was our own – I blessed my water to hold the power of flow within me, I wanted to keep this newfound empowerment long after CloudCatcher finished – my emotions are holy and should be treated as such.
I will never forget my time at CloudCatcher, and I imagine this won’t be my last. I learned about parts of myself I never knew were there and learned new skills I couldn’t wait to take into the world with me. At CloudCatcher I reconnected with the earth, learned the power of my creative mind, was inspired and empowered and I felt more in flow with my emotions than ever.
This is our last day of the Pentacle of Community path and as a group we are settling in with one another as we absorb quite a chunk of concepts, information and techniques. All of these are woven into the Reclaiming fabric so that we can be conscious of how we relate to each other. That at least is the biggest message for me so far.
A lot has been written about power within Reclaiming and we concluded with the pentacle point of Power today. It is impossible at this CloudCatcher camp to separate discussions of power here in the path to the unfolding theme and magic of the camp. Decolonisation has emerged as a strong theme and whilst I think it is going to take me a long time to fully appreciate and unpack this concept, it is present here in discussion in this path. For me, I do have a sense of my privilege. I am 6’5”, white, male bodied, had a middle-class upbringing, have been to University and so on. There are also many aspects of my being that undercut some of this privilege and while I can identify moments when these have actively prejudiced me, the privilege of my being is undeniable. A big teaching in today’s path was to keep acknowledging power and privilege and to always find ways to make this work available to all and to give every voice a place to speak.
Service is the last point on the Pentacle of Community and I think I can best sum this up by sharing some of how we explored it today. Each of the pentacle points has a shadow side and service is no exception. The shadow here is burn out and it was suggested to us that 3 core things lead to this. These are not being seen for the service we give, not being thanked and not managing our physical, emotional and spiritual energy when giving service. Service is of course many things to different people. And so we were asked to sit with some questions about areas of life in which we are potentially giving service and to then identify what these acts were. One by one, we stepped into the pentacle and were thanked, seen and acknowledged. I found this exercise to be very touching and that the intention behind it is all too true within the greater world. For example, how many of us are truly acknowledged for the service we give in the workplace.
All in all, this has been a rich experience. Like every core Reclaiming class, this does not feel like a check off for the list of trainings done. I feel like this is a lifetime’s work and even then, the bottom would not be reached. This work will just keep unpacking and unfolding as my journey with this community does. I think the best path forward for me is to start with one thing from here or even one thing from each pentacle point. Happily, I don’t have a sense of what next. Rather, I have some clear steps to take.