Tag Archives: music path

CloudCatcher 2017 – Muse Craft – post WitchCamp reflections

Since I have arrived home from CloudCatcher WitchCamp all I have wanted to do is sing and make music! I have dusted off and shined up my beloved flute that has been with me since I was 13. I danced around the house to the amusement of my cats, playing my flute for the first time in a few years. My flute and 2 tin whistles now sit out on my kitchen bench so whenever I feel like it I can pick one up and have a play. I have been working out the tunes of the chants that I have learned on my piano and to my surprise, writing the music down for a few of them.

I have been researching chants for the Spiral Dance ritual to be held in Mullumbimby on Friday 21 April 2017. I am listening to many chants on Reclaiming CDs. They are a great resource for anyone creating a ritual or wanting to experience a sliver of Reclaiming magic.

The intention of the Spiral Dance ritual is

We gather as community to honour our ancestors and cycles of life and death

The Spiral Dance ritual was a great night! The magic and community of CloudCatcher continued on the southern side of the caldera in Mullumbimby. Many new and old friends brought the magic of CloudCatcher WitchCamp with them. We honoured our Beloved Dead at the altar and by reading out their names during the ritual. We journeyed to the Otherworld /Underworld /Land of Youth. We sang a beautiful chant and danced the Spiral Dance. Afterwards, we feasted on chai and cake. There was a strong atmosphere of peace, calm and deep connection after the ritual. The chant was created by Ravyn Stanfield.

We are the kiss between Earth and heaven

We are the song between sky and ground

Sing for your life and for the world we’re making

Nothing is lost that can’t be found

I am doing fitness training for a long distance walk that I’m doing over winter solstice. I’m outside every day walking in the bush or around the village where I live. Every cell in my body is zinging with the music,  songs and chants from WitchCamp. One of my favourites to sing as I walk within the Caldera is this powerful song from one of the CloudCatcher rituals of the Mountain. I think it was created by the CloudCatcher teaching team including Alphonsus. When I sing this song whilst walking on the Land, She hears me. The energy from CloudCatcher WitchCamp ripples down the mountainsides and through the valleys of the Caldera. The Land is energised and activated when we acknowledge Her, pay respect to Her, honour Her and sing to Her.

This heart is a mountain

Dream with me, dream with me

This mountain is a heart,

Dream with me, dream with me,

This fire inside, Feeds this land that dreams of us

CloudCatcher 2017 – Muse Craft – Day 4

My heart is cracked open! My being is saturated with music. Music is flowing freely, joyfully, effortlessly. My Muse is here alive and strong! Today is another morning of exquisite connection whilst we improvise and create music together. We are creating a community of music! Alphonsus is a culture weaver. He refers to himself as a culture worker rather than a musician. I’d say he is a talented trickster! Jenneth once again manages to keep us grounded with the beating of her drum whilst lifting us to the heavens with her soaring voice. Jenneth’s discipline as a singer lends strength and passion to her voice. I even pick up a tin whistle and join in. It has been a few years since I played a wind instrument. Making music is creating community. Bittersweet feelings dissolve into joy! I feel deep gratitude to Alphonsus and Jenneth for weaving and holding a beautiful safe space for us to re-discover our voices and the creativity of making music as a community.

We share our experiences of providing the music for the moving evening Camp ritual. Feedback that we received is that the music that we created enhanced people’s experience of the ritual. We did this by helping to create the energetic container for the ritual and weaving the musical magic carpet that lifts us all to a higher plane. It is an interesting dance between surrendering to the ritual and continuing to hold the thread of the music. I find the beginning of the ritual discordant and it took me a while to move from being a player to dropping into the ritual as a participant. It was a challenging journey for some of us and ecstatic for others. By the time I had entered the spiral dance I was fully immersed in the tide,  which peaked as the cone of power was raised.

We bring the magic and music of the Muse Craft path into the final WitchCamp lunch by singing a song that Alphonsus wrote about the bittersweet nature of the end of WitchCamp.

When you’re gone, you’re gone forever

When you return, you’ve never left

When you’re gone, you’re gone forever

When you return, you’ve never left

Go far, stay close!

Go far, stay close!

Musc & lyrics by Alphonsus

CloudCatcher 2017- Muse Craft – Day 3

The tricksters playfully draw out the beats and song within me and soon we’re all making music together. This flows into a group discussion. I have no recollection of what we discussed because what follows takes me into another realm!

Alphonsus and Jenneth lead us through a breathwork exercise. Once again the teachers skillfully create a safe space for all of us in the group and enable me to connect with my heart and the wisdom of my body.  Alphonsus gives us the basic technique and explains that there are a number of ways to do breathwork and that we will know what is right for us. I feel empowered to trust in my intuitive magical self as I ride the waves of breath. Following on from the trance in Friday night’s ritual, I use my breath to step into non-linear time to return to the Source.

I journey into the Land of Springbrook, deep inside the Mountain. It reminds me of stories of priestesses making initiatory journeys into the heart of Glastonbury Tor. I curl up in the warm embrace of Mother Earth. I find a piece of myself that split off during a traumatic event that had occurred nearby in Springbrook 25 years ago. I am touched very deeply when I realise that the Land has held that traumatised part of me and kept her safe until I returned to reclaim her 25 years later. I feel so blessed. The Land asked me to do a few tasks in return for my gift. They are: to acknowledge the Land; to share the concept that the Land holds and nurtures the broken and traumatised parts of ourselves which is one of the many reasons why we need to pay respect to the Land; to do the Warrie circuit bush walk and something more personal to do with some land further down the valley. I feel so honoured. I am more than happy, ecstatic really, to do these things and give back to the Mother. <3

After the breathwork, we gather outside on the grass in glorious sunshine to connect, hold space for each other and make music. Finally, we go around in a circle and say our names 🙂 I love the fact that we didn’t introduce ourselves until the third day! It was another skilful trick of the teachers to encourage us to connect from our hearts rather than over think or get stuck in old beliefs about performing music, Alphonsus taught us a beautiful chant of his.

LET THE BEAUTY WE LOVE

Let the beauty we love, be what we do

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground

— words by Rumi, arranged by Jeffrey Alphonsus Mooney

Blessed be the Muse

PS I finally remember what we did at the beginning of day 3 Muse Craft! We practice our role of weaving the magical music for the evening ritual tonight. An eclectic mixture of percussion and tonal instruments help to lead everyone through the three stages of the ritual.