Tag Archives: CloudCatcher 2017

CloudCatcher 2017 Community Path Day 3

It’s day 3 of Path and I am feeling a lot lighter. Last night I spoke to Gwydion about some of my concerns and I gained a great deal of ease through his response. I think what I really learned is key to this Pentacle of Community. I suspect that in the past I may have sat with my misgivings and allowed them to bubble and even ruin my experience. Everything I have learned about group work has taught me to speak up and to bring myself forward. That the teachings of this pentacle support and encourage this through well thought out techniques and models has been demonstrated in how Gwydion responded to my concerns. I feel safer and more held within the container having had my concerns expressed and responded to.

The pentacle point of Common Good was one of the primary teachings for today and we unpacked and played with 3 major techniques that we use in Reclaiming to support the good of all of us. The first of these is Consensus Decision Making. As we looked at this tool a lot of memories flooded back to me because In the 80s I was involved in a housing co-op for about 5 years, working from its inception to planning, lobbying, gaining funding and so on. We used the Consensus model and all trained in it to use it as best practice. I clearly remembered big long meetings on sticky points of difference facilitated by experienced practitioners. The feeling of nursing a community through big differences of opinion and out the other side to consensus was deepening for us as a community. It was beautiful to have this memory provoked and I am planning to look for classes on Consensus Decision Making as it was once a real passion for me.

We also explored the Principles of Unity and I really get how for Reclaiming witches this is a sacred text. The PoU is a remarkable document and one that I have on my altar to constantly remind me of the deep thought gone into this tradition.

In order to examine another aspect of the point of Common Good we played with some small group exercises using core concepts of Non Violent Communication. The practice allowed us to move from a story we currently had going on in our lives to seeing into what our need actually was. So, as I told a story about how my partner’s move to Alice Springs is affecting me, group members listened and then selected what needs they thought I might have. They chose security, trust and consideration and these all resonated with me. Getting down to these needs allowed me to feel much more deeply what is going on for me and to feel truly seen and heard.

We began the transition into the point of Power today with a role playing game called Werewolves. It is kind of like ‘Murder in the Dark’ but with a few more twists. It is amazing just how ruthless we can get to stay ‘in the game’! My fellow werewolf sold me out to the villagers to stay alive and there was nothing I could say to stop from being lynched. It was an incredible reflection of how easily voices are taken away when blame is laid or untruths are told, not dissimilar to how our society works at all.

CloudCatcher 2017 Community Path Day 1

Since attending EarthSong Witch Camp in Victoria late last year I have been on a total Reclaiming junket. I booked this camp, CloudCatcher, on the drive away from EarthSong because I wanted more. In the 6 months between, I have redone the core class, Elements of Magic, and completed two classes of the Iron Pentacle. With a free airline ticket up my sleeve, I also managed to take in Rites of Passage down in Melbourne. Add to my list, the Axis Mundi online Reclaiming training and lots of community events in Brisbane and my last 6 months has been Reclaiming, Reclaiming, Reclaiming!

So, when I saw the paths for CloudCatcher, you can imagine my delight when I realised that the fabled 5th core class was being taught, the Pentacle of Community. I immediately decided on doing this when I first read the announcement of the paths and have held to it. That was until it came time to decide what path to take at camp this morning. There are such rich offerings and outstanding teachers that I could actually take any of the 4 paths and be really excited. Plus, I started to get a bit reflective about my mad keen push to get every core class done. Was this really the best approach and what was motivating me?

One of the core learnings for me in each of the core classes I have taken is the unpacking of Reclaiming culture. I love being woven in deeper and deeper as my journey unfolds and today’s Pentacle of Community class is no different. (Yes, I did stick to my original decision!) This pentacle is all about how we as a community relate to one another. A great metaphor that was used by the teachers, Gwydion Logan and Kate Ash, is that this pentacle is like the mycelium that connects all life underground. Trees in a forest that seem quite separate to one another are actually in communication and symbiosis with each other through the mycelial network as is all other life around them. This is the type of revolutionary network that the community building practices of Reclaiming are aiming to instil in our ways of connecting with one another.

We connected today to the 5 points of the pentacle: Collaboration, Honour, Common Good, Power and Service. This all feels exciting as I have a real passion for group and community work. Some years ago, I was taking a group of people through a 2 year Shamanic path and in the last months the group dynamics got really messy and I just didn’t have the skills to manage it. As a result, I set out to learn about how groups work. This has led to a 6 year journey with training in Psychodrama (a group and action focused psychotherapy) and so I am really curious to see just what parallels and learning there may be in this Pentacle of Community.

Until tomorrow, when we dive deep into the first points.

Poem of CloudCatcher

The Poem of CloudCatcher (themes of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

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.

Here is Animal. Here is Land.
We are Family of Blood, Bone and Spirit, dancing our Surrender into Love.
Our Hearts Blaze –

Reclaiming our wild blood, we return with fierce love.
The crossroads open and stars rain down into the dark heart of the land.
This tribe rises –

Falling, sinking, rising, dancing. We are caught by the cracks.
Bewildered, we listen to our land.
Re-wilded, we serve with joy.

Wild love becomes a fierce blessing.
Through the fiery dance of poison and nectar,
we trust the darkness,
and re-join the chorus that colours the dawn.

Cradled within the arms of our mountain, we turn deep within.
Vital forces rise.
Labouring with our familiar shadows; fierce feelings and gritty parts, we flow into a song of synthesis.
Reforged, our tempered dark hearts become our armor of love.