Day three on the Primal Path and I’m in deep. Between the camp offerings of breathwork and ritual, bountiful meals and even more rain, everything that Cloud Catcher has offered on this pathway invites me to a grounded place within. Today as we enter the ritual hall to begin our Path the drums are in the centre of the room. I am not an experienced drummer though have wished to learn my whole life and gingerly go into the centre and choose a small djembe. One of the things I am noticing at camp and across the reclaiming as a whole is that all is welcome. I’m invited to lean into my edges, or not… As I step in to drum, I am met with encouraging smiles filling me to the brim with confidence. Keeping my eyes on Sue and the beat she’s leading, I join into co-creating the rhythm for the day. We drum for what seems like forever and I close my eyes as my beat matches the collective. It’s time to begin.
We start the day sharing about our hearts, discussing how grief and pain are portals for connection and growth. This aligns so beautifully to the rituals, offerings and threads of the rest of camp and I find myself once again feeling held by the organisers, those who have woven the camp theme for many months before.
I remember the subtleties of the plant world and how, when I use the grounding exercises (i.e. “do” the practice), to include the green breath and consciously engage with nature, my connection deepens. A part of me casts back to my own farm and I can’t wait to walk in the woods and re-meet the green bloods at home.
As Riyana begins to talk about today’s path experience and shares her recipes for open heartedness, the words that come to mind are ‘existential botany’. A learning beyond the root, stem, leaf and fruit of the plant. The Primal witch, as they do with all aspects of self, practices a heart centered energetic exchange accessing the plant medicine on many levels.
I learn about the heart as an organ of perception and how to experience intimacy via the plant world using my newly remembered skills. Greeting the herb Hawthorne for the first time and meeting Rose again is layered on top of yesterday’s dance with restorative mushrooms and I feel I am building resilience, building capacity to live in service and expanding my heart space and capacity for love. One of my favourite tunes appears in my mind, a song from Rising Appalachia – Resilient.
We’re layering our practices for living an embodied life just like I do compost or when building soil in my herb garden. Layer upon layer. Each layer has a different use and rhythm. Each layer has an offering different to the one before yet they’re so intimately linked.
WitchCamp has offered me the opportunity to see the layers and remember. Totally blessed.