Join us tonight at 8pm EST on Tinychat for our once-a-month pagan meeting-of-minds! Tonight’s discussion will be lead by Boneweaver, and will focus on how to serve your community even when you don’t feel particularly connected to the magic of the moment.
Visit our Alchemeet Page for details on how to join if you need a reminder!
Days With Dee: Can it be one year already???
One year completed………….
I just came back from another wonderful week at camp with all my SpiralHeart friends. Some familiar faces and many new ones for me. As always, the energy was incredible the minute my tires hit the dirt road leading up to Four Quarters. Now I know this because the radio and iPod turned themselves back on after they were turned off to navigate those small roads leading up to the land. Welcome to Camp!!
I was so excited to be back to where it all began for me. It is amazing how fast time can just fly by. It had felt like I hadn’t left. Spent that first day helping out with setting up tents, which I had NEVER done before, and setting up lights. One thing that I made sure that I did was find my candle and go see my stone. I placed my hand on her and could feel the welcoming energy coming from her.
This camp was definitely such a different energy from last year. It was very calming and healing. As it was intended to be. I chose the Cornerstones of Community for my path. It was definitely the best choice for me. As last year, it was emotional and tears were shed, but this time it was such a cleansing feeling. Like shedding old skin that really needed to go……NOW! My love and admiration goes out to the two lovely ladies who were the path facilitators. Both led us with a gentleness and kindness down some rather rough roads. I know that some of the cornerstones were easy for me, but a couple I have some work to do. I appreciate the safe place that was created by us all in which to do our work. All the lovely ladies in our path have a place in my heart. <3
Rituals were fantastic as always. The healing ritual on the one night I went not knowing what I really needed healing with. The only thing that I knew I would do was to write down three names for people I knew who needed physical healing. I wound up going into the healing circle with a woman who is so special to me. My love and gratitude goes out to her. She is an amazing woman and makes you feel so safe to let out all the feelings that need to come out. I have to say that I didn’t see all those tears coming. Some were sad and some were happy tears. I am getting used to the unusual emotional happenings to this very cerebral Libra. The most powerful was the over whelming urge to help heal one of our camp members who is suffering from a blood disease. I stood outside the circle and pushed my energy towards her. When I had my time with Kwan Yin, I told her that I didn’t need anything for me. She needed the healing. Kwan Yin held my hands and told me to go give her my love. Which is exactly what I did. It felt so good to help another person. I think I found more of a direction for my path. I do think that healing is where I need to focus my energy on.
At the last ritual, we had the bonfire. The pieces of paper where we had written down names of the people who needed healing were poured into the fire. I found out later that week after being home that one of the people I had written down had basically lost her shit at a party at around the same time the names were put into the fire. She cried like a baby and got rid of a lot of things that were weighing her down spiritually. Now I had focused on her physical problems, but healing is healing. She was very grateful. Also another person had said he felt better with his back. Thank you to all who put their energy into that ritual. With all our combined energies I am hoping that all the names in that cauldron received the healing that they needed.
On the last day at Four Quarters, it seemed a general feeling of most people that we were going to miss everyone, but ready to go home. Last year, all I wanted to do was stay. Never leave. Interesting the differences. I am looking forward to keeping the lines of communications open throughout the year and preparing for next year’s camp.
I am excited to learn about runes prior to next years camp. Thank you for thinking of the Facebook page where we can all learn together and such a great way to keep in touch. I am looking forward to what the story for camp will be. Also looking through my clothes and making sure I pack snow pants for this Norse story. lol
Lammas is here. Unfortunately being so under the weather right now, I wasn’t able to attend the Silver Broom ritual. Didn’t want to get the entire coven sick with whatever I have. But looking forward to more rituals that the deds-to-be and dedicants are going to be doing ourselves. Writing a ritual all on our own. Never did that and excited to see where we can take this with the help of our mentors.
I will also be starting Witchcraft II classes at the Silver Broom. In this series of classes we will be learning how to write spells. Very intrigued and will be a much needed guidance on how to start. I’m not much of a writer and any help will be appreciated. I love learning from people who have been on this path for years. I am a sponge with anyone who can offer me help in learning. At camp I was talking to another camper and told how I had a hard time grounding to the earth. He gave me the suggestion instead of grounding with earth that I should use water. I worked beautifully!
I hope that everyone had a safe re-entry into the mundane world. I miss all of you and love the connections that I re-established and the new ones I made this camp. I hope to bring my sister next camp and possibly my son as well. I hope that we can continue to grow and spend many more camps together. I know I plan to be there every year until my bones are dust.
"SERVING YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGH A DISCONNECT"
You’ve paid your monies and with an open heart you have joined your community for a week of intense connections at Spiralheart Witchcamp only to find the myth being worked stood on your every nerve. You had read the story beforehand. You knew in times past the connection to the myth happened after arrival. This time it did not. Can you still engage, connect, and serve your community when this happens? Join me for the next installment of Spiralheart’s Alchemeet discussion forum where I’ll explain how such an experience unfolded for me and then we’ll open the discussion for everyone’s thoughts. Group discussion and laughter abounds at Spiralheart Alchemeets! Come see for yourself on Thursday August 14th at 8 p.m!
Join us for our once-a-month Pagan meeting-of-minds! It should run about an hour, give or take, and is available to anyone who would like to join. Read more about Alchemeet. And remember, we’ve updated our policy regarding the tinychat password— so check out the Alchemeet Page if you need a reminder!
Spake in Rhyme: And There I Went (Aspecting Death)
And There I Went (Aspecting Death)
And there I went,
Nimue’s spark in the juices;
There I ran,
pink bright trust
flowing from upturned wrists;
There I sat,
rushing red rivers
of Death and Life
thrusting through my core;
There I spoke,
brilliant Blue Fire
ringing in ears not my own;
There I returned,
coursing down my aching back.
©Boneweaver/Pamela V Jones July 2014
~originally posted at Lean in to Joy
10 MINUTES AND COUNTING!!
Spiralheart’s 8th Alchemeet starts tonight (7/28) at 8pm EST. Tonight’s topic is Intersecting Faiths in the Neo-Pagan Tradition and will be led by Jibrael. There’s still time to join, so head on over to www.tinychat.com/spiralheart and grab a spot!
See Ya soon!
"INTERSECTING FAITHS IN THE NEO-PAGAN TRADITION"
While many of are proud to call themselves “Pagan,” for others naming our religious identity is a bit more complicated. Some may hold a deep relationship with Jesus, or follow Buddhist practices, or incorporate various folk traditions from our family heritage. How can I be authentically who I am if my sense of the Divine doesn’t fit into a single religious label? Is there a place in Neo-Paganism for those with multiple faith commitments?
Join us for our once-a-month Pagan meeting-of-minds! It should run about an hour, give or take, and is available to anyone who would like to join. Read more about Alchemeet. And remember, we’ve updated our policy regarding the tiny chat password— so check out the Alchemeet Page if you need a reminder!
Campfire Stories: A Week at Camp — Debrief
This year I attended the SpiralHeart WitchCamp at Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in Artemas PA. This was my third WitchCamp; as always, I had an absolutely amazing time. I want to summarize a little bit about what it was like, what happens at a camp and why it is that I’m drawn to them so strongly.
WitchCamps are a product of the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft. They are a several-day long intensive in the arts and practices of our lifestyle, including empowerment, community building, magic, activism, eco-feminism and ritual. Of course, there’s so much more involved!
I think probably one of the most stark contrasts to mainstream culture is in the answer to the question at camp: Who’s in charge here? The answer: We all are.
Our tradition is non-hierarchical and the setup and functioning of the camps reflects that structure. Committees and focus groups are chosen to represent the needs and wants of the collective. For example, the RATs (the Ritual Arc Team) spend a year with the story that themes the camp and carefully blend the story arc with the evening rituals which serve the campers. The OPS team ensures accessibility and facility needs. The consensus process is often used to iron out the rough spots, to ensure all voices are heard, and to make sure that decisions match the intentions and values of the group.
As I mentioned, there is a story that overarches the entire camp. This year it was a story about Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion. It was a tough story, however I believe the Ritual Arc Team did an excellent job of translating it into Reclaiming-style ritual. Several points throughout the story were selected and each of these milestones became focuses for the rituals for each successive night of gatherings.
To highlight a few points of ritual work, there was ritual drama and a spiral dance; some community building; a healing ritual with aspected Kuan Yin in attendance and healers in the center; a bardic circle (a sharing of the arts), excellent music, dancing, a camp-fire — all in-between-the-worlds.
Each morning was dedicated to path-work. This year’s path offerings were: the Pentacle of Elements, Music as Ritual, Cornerstones of Community, and Aspecting the Modern Myth. Each of the paths contributed their path-working in major ways to the evening ritual arc.
For beginners, the Elements path is the recommended starting point. it orients the basics of Reclaiming ritual structure, and the foundation concepts of our spiritual technologies. I will be working towards arranging an offering of Elements of Magic for our local community later on this year.
This year I took the path “Aspecting the Modern Myth”, having taken the Elements path in one form or another the previous two years. I chose it because of my interest in modern myth, and also because of some of the technologies it touched on (aspecting, anchoring, deep witnessing) were areas I had not previously explored (See here for information on what these are). It was well worth it and I have some really grounded inspirations for how this learning can contribute to our local community, specifically the technologies and the power of modern myth.
I should also mention the grounds and the staff at Four Quarters: What an amazing and caring group. The meals were perfect for my high-maintenance dietary needs. The dining hall was even better than last year. And the stone circle.… WHOOSH! I spent some time down at the Fairy Cairn and even got to play with the Fae! Hooray!
Last but certainly not least, the people. I am confident that we each have the ability to enact “the art of changing consciousness at will” and this week enforced that confidence in me. I can recall little and large miracles, the synchronicity effect, the subtle and not-so subtle changes that occurred within me as I learned, walked towards, around, and through some of my rougher edges and witnessed others doing the same — all powerful things. I leave camp a different person, a better person, than when i arrived.
These things, in truth, are complimentary to the means itself. The community’s ability to draw itself together, to share compassion, to turn none away, and to creating the space for these things to happen: in empowerment and strong solidarity, making a space for this to happen in the first place. This is the true magic. And that is why I come back, every year.
Campfire Stories: “Who was that Old Man?”
I often consider myself one to follow a very different path than most. Maybe because I see things differently. Maybe because I simply think differently. By this I mean more differently than the average differences between people. It is a difference I’ve learned to embrace because of the wonderful things I get to see and experience by following this different path. As someone I consider to be wise once observed to me, “you follow the beat of a different drummer, and you are that drummer.”
I have been a ritual arc team member several times, this year marks my third year in a row. And yes, I do hope to be selected to be on the team for next year. As such a person, spending months marinating in the theme and story for so long allows me time to learn from the story and entities involved before I even reach camp. This means I expect to follow work in camp that may not even relate to the story at all. This year however, I had a deeper experience with the story than I’ve ever had. Probably because I was the author of the specific version of the story we used for camp and then followed through by being on the ritual arc team.
It was fascinating to see what the team members pulled out of the story. Often they were things that I never would have guessed someone would see. I don’t claim to be any sort of accomplished writer, but it was very interesting to me to watch these things drawn out of something I wrote. I am also happy that I was able to accept these things people found without feeling a need to say “that’s not what I intended at all.”
Those who attended camp were introduced to an old man. He appeared three times during the week. He had originally only planned to appear twice. However, his presence was requested for a third time as the magic of camp evolved. He was kind enough to answer that request and speak what needed to be spoken.
He was presented as a character in ritual drama. I wish to make clear that he is more than a character I made up. He is an entity who appeared to me, and decided to remain with me during the lead up to camp and throughout camp. He simply watched things unfold for the most part. He did wish to have his presence be made known but not so much so that he interfered.
For each ritual he did not appear in, he asked me to leave something associated with him somewhere in the ritual space. Each day, I did not know what he wanted to leave until the afternoon of that ritual. That is when it would be communicated to me with just enough time for me to place the object.
The first ritual, he was there to greet everyone.
The second ritual, he left his lanterns on the benches in the middle of the space.
The third ritual, he appeared again at the request of the ritual arc team.
The fourth ritual, he left his hat in a chair with the king’s purple cloak.
The fifth ritual, he left his staff in the stage area behind all the performances.
The sixth ritual, the old man’s guides with their lantern staffs led the procession.
The seventh ritual, he appeared once again to speak, and then to reveal his identity.
No, I did not know his identity prior to the morning of that seventh ritual.
In case anyone is feeling left out, the old man was Quan Yin’s dragon companion in a human guise.
My experience was that this particular dragon wanted to help. However, it was heard that we did not wish to have dragons present for this camp. This dragon took the form of the old man to honor that wish. He also did not wish to be dishonest and chose to reveal himself at the end.
Thank you for allowing the space for that magic to happen. And thank you for allowing me to take that journey with the “Old Man”.