Inanna has made her descent.
Photographs by FleetFoot Photography
Inanna has made her descent.
Photographs by FleetFoot Photography
Following a passionate discussion on the wisdom of fire and its significance to humans as a society and spiritually, my path family and I now stood around an open campfire singing, drumming and raising energy towards the open flames. Fire it turns out is a very reflective element, there is no hiding from it and it taught me quite a formidable lesson about myself.
Over the past few days in Elements of Magic, we had we been sculpting a lump of clay into a chalice. This chalice was to be created using all four elements and made with a magical intention. The chalice had been moulded from earth, cured by air and was now ready to be kilned in fire, but not before a little spell work of course.
As we stood in a circle, chanting and dancing in the early afternoon sun sending our energy into the chalices warming in the fire, a friend I’d made at camp, Julie was playing a drum beat that kept us all dancing and the energy rising. We’d reached a peek in our ritual. I was lost to the beat and the energy swirling within me when Julie caught my eye and yelled across the circle, “Come here and drum! Keep it going!” without hesitation, I ran to the drum, excited to throw myself into this new experience. My only drumming experience was one lesson Julie gave me at the start of camp – but that was all I needed. With Julie’s beat still carrying in my mind, I told my hands to start.
“Right, left – right … no, that’s not it, start again.
Right, right-left – right, shit!
Ok…wasn’t it just, like, no, DAMN IT!
You’re taking too long & now everyone’s out of sync. Why did you even attempt this? You can’t drum…you’re shit at music – just get off and give it back to someone who knows what they’re doing.”
Without a further thought, I jumped off, handed it back to Julie and went back to my place in the circle. I looked around, and everyone was still singing and clapping to the beat even though the drum beat had faltered. No one seemed to notice. But I kicked myself for even thinking I could do it in the first place. I stepped up and fell…think before you act Charlie. I tried to forget it, and I put my mind back into the ritual. Luckily I was able to get my headspace back where it needed to be, and I was happy with how the ritual turned out.
Still embarrassed about what happened I unfairly cast blame on Julie. She knew I wasn’t a drummer, why did she even ask!?
CloudCatcher Rule 1 – Think well of each other, the parts we dislike in others are the parts we dislike in ourselves.
Julie apologised for putting me on the spot like that. It wasn’t her fault. Based on one 5-minute lesson Julie thought I could do it, that’s a compliment! I was the issue.
While sitting in Julie’s room later that day I inspected each one of her incredible jewellery pieces she had for sale. Julie is a Druid from the Blue Mountains. She has a beautiful and nurturing, creative soul. I have always admired highly creative people. We spoke further about what happened, and I started to open up. “I don’t know what happened. I was so confident that I could nail it and I just flopped. That’s classic me though. Whenever I’m in that kind of situation, I choke, and then my mind disconnects from my body, which disconnects from my energy flow…then I end up so angry at myself.” Julie put a comforting hand on my shoulder looked at me in the eyes and said, “Stop putting your fire out, let it burn”.
I don’t know what it was about those words specifically that resonated on such a deep level. Seven words that struck the core of what was in my heart – self-doubt is my worst enemy. I had learned this lesson before, in the past once I conquered my self-doubt and believed in my power my life progressed in the most incredible ways. Here was the same lesson – slapping me in the face and wrapped in fire.
Beautiful finishing note
I know we are meant to be writing these blogs in chronological order, but hey, at CloudCatcher we found out that time can be bent.
When Julie put her chalices in the fire, she put in a beautiful red stone, a Carnelian. Carnelian has strong alignments with the fire element. We all speculated what would happen to the stone in the intense heat. After our chalices had been in the kiln all night, we unwrapped them the next day like excited children. The chalices turned from earthy-white to a scorched black colour, and we all stared in wonder. Julie showed us that the Carnelian had lightened in colour slightly and it had cracked, like a beautiful stone mosaic. This firestone had been shaped anew by the element itself and had been adorned with love, community and creation. Julie handed the stone to me “Let your fire burn”.
My experience of the second night’s ritual was certainly unique, as I had been asked to act as Deep Witness for the ritual. Being a deep witness basically means to drop your awareness down, deep into yourself, tapping into what they call the fetch or primal soul, really grounding yourself in that space, quieting your mind and observing the energy of the ritual; noting any messages, experiences or energy which occur throughout the ritual. The deep witness is not spoken to or addressed during the ritual, and for this ritual I sat on a chair in the corner and covered my head with a veil to help me sink my consciousness down into the earth, casting my awareness out like a web underneath the ritual and observing, quietly, quietly. From my perspective, with no sight of the evening’s ritual, these were my experiences…
I sat in my chair, allowing my consciousness to sink, deep into the ground. A friend rattled nearby to help me ground and tap into the wordless, deep part of my energetic self, the fetch soul. From a place of deep stillness I felt out under the ritual space, and sent energetic feelers out into the caldera, to the limits of where we had cast our opening circle the day before. This night the circle was cast with a blessing from person to person, ‘from my heart to your heart, I give you…’ From my vantage point, beside and below, I could see the circle beginning to form, chain links of a soft, blue light moving around to form a circle of energy.
Once cast, the circle began to turn into a sphere, a deep, black sphere, which began to rotate and sink, deeper and deeper. The concept of a magickal circle as a time out of time and a place out of place seemed increasingly apt as the magickal container seemed to disappear from the room.
Eve was invoked, paradise was evoked, and a wild, raw soundscape filled the space. I saw shapes of people, tapping into their primal origins and setting their inner animals free. The intensity was at first unsettling, but all at once I felt and saw in my mind’s eye a radiant figure, cloaked in golden light, striding through the chaos, and she was incredible. Eve strode through her garden proudly, an incandescent brilliance radiated deep from her core, and her magick flowed out and bathed the animals, who soon found their balance. For me, as one who was not physically seeing the ritual, this was a wonderful affirmation of my energetic sensitivity, and in itself a profound moment to witness.
And it would be remiss of me to not mention the serpent(s) and the intensity that their energy gave to the ritual. The energy of the serpent had been aspected into 4 witches of our community, and as they entered I had the perception of them as one serpent quartered, yet each was adorned with myriad small serpents; mini-medusas sliding around the circle, enticing, challenging, offering, teasing, enlightening. They carried the energy of the guileful serpent, its knowledge, its challenge, its invitation… And once they had revelled outside, as did the rest of the circle and Eve, they came back to offer the apple, the truth, and their energy shifted. Energetic smoky tendrils teased and beckoned, winding through and around, taunting with freedom from bonds and truth through risk, at once daunting and attractive. Potent magick and deep ancestral memory unlocked through the aspecting of the serpent in this way
The deep witnessing showed me symbols, motifs, sigils and energy patterns and movements, and from these I gleaned some ideas and knowledge:
– the land and space on which you work magically must be honoured and advised of your work
– shedding one’s skin is an important step in re-entering paradise/the garden
– when you walk barefoot on the earth she can read you and know you, when you wear shoes you are somewhat invisible (shown to me when the community went out to frolic and revel in nature)
The other spectacular moment energetically was when everyone was given an apple to meditate with, to consider the choices, the bite, the knowledge, the fall, and the group toned over the apples to Diana. The cone of power raised glowed with a brilliance and intensity of blue-white light, charged, ready and building, ready to be cast out into the world. In that moment it appeared to me as though everyone had floated up to the ceiling!
The ritual came to an end and I could see through my spiritual sight of the circle each element disappearing and the circle unwinding, returning to the carpeted hall once more. This experience showed me another layer of magick and energy, and helped me see that the work we do exists far beyond the ritual itself, with powerful energies swirling within it, and I carry the privilege of witnessing that deep in my heart.