California Witchcamp 2017
Sunday June 25th through Sunday July 2nd 2017
Northern California, Mendocino Woodlands
2017 Witchcamp PathsElements of Magic, Entering the Labyrinth Into the Labyrinth: Working Magick with Myth and History; Story and Science. Magic Spells: Poetry in Action: Healing in the Temple ~ The wounds reveal the cures Diving Into the Mazes and Labyrinths of Our Ancestral Legacies
This class is for all newcomers to camp and for anyone who has not taken elements of magic.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit; these are the strands of power that make up Ariadne’s magical thread. These forces are the building blocks of life, these forces are nature Hirself, and these threads are what make us whole human-beings.
In this path we will boldly pick up Her thread and enter the Labyrinth, the Maze, the Mystery. We will ask the hard questions: how do we breathe in the present moment? How do we light our own way? How does our blood sing? How do we manifest our deepest values? What will we find at the center of both the Labyrinth and our Selves? Together we will do the hard work of remembering that we are not just living on this earth, we *are* this earth. We are holy beings of flesh and sex and senses. We are living forces, reclaiming and reawakening ourselves in order to rewrite the contracts we have with our animal bodies.
We will work this magic through movement, spellwork, trance, song, and exploration. We will play with the Elements, dance with the wind, sing with the stars, open our hearts to mystery and step into our power, remembering that we are the kiss between earth and heaven.
This path is suitable for all levels of magical experience. We invite and encourage those who have never taken Elements, and those who have taken it a hundred times before, to step into the labyrinth of our magical foundation. Path participants are invited to bring a journal and divination tools. This is a Reclaiming Core Class and is required for first time campers.
Into the Labyrinth: Working Magick with Myth and History; Story and Science. With John Brazaitis and Thibaut Hourteillan.
"I have reached the end of those periods in which theories can be tested by arugment or where history can find a solid foundation in fact. I....say of those remoter ages, "All that lies beyond are prodigies and fables, the province of poets and romancers, where nothing is certain or credible' ".
Plutarch, The Life of Theseus
Spend a week in path as we go deeper into the dusty and little travel corners of the Labyrinth of Adriane, the Minotaur, and Theseus. Who were these characters who have given us the thread of story that marks our way thru the twists and turns of the ages? How did the various cultures who have told this story view the characters and change them....and how do we, as a present day culture, interact with the story, changing it as we use it for our own purposes as well? What does science tell us about its relationship with reality, the death of Minoan civilization, and the origins of heroes like Theseus, and monsters like the Minotaur? How does the story, and myth in general, inform Science, which stands ready to create its own Minotaurs, and holds the power to create paradise or destroy the planet? Using Magick, trance, dreamwork, and visual decipherment we will envision what the worlds of Crete, Mycenae, and Greece looked like and how those cultures functioned in the first and second Millenia BCE. We will ask voices that have been silenced by time and circumstances to speak to us and thru us, using the clues that have been left behind and survived by chance and fate to guide us. This path is designed for those who want to deepen their understanding and insight into the various traditions that have given us this story. Together we will develop tools to assist in acquiring skills for working with this story and myth in general, as well as enhance the work of each evening's ritual. This path is open to all who have completed Elements.
“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”
- MLK Jr.
“There's always a story. It's all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything's got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.”
- Terry Pratchett
What is the poem-spell that everything sings to everything? In these times of dramatic, systemic change, how can we spell a vision of hope that sustains our selves, the Earth and each other? What enduring phrase will spark the conflagration? With inspiration from the ancients and with Ariadne’s thread, we explore weaving poetry that endures through the ages and inspires revolutionary action in all who hear it. We will write ourselves out of the labyrinth. We become the modern bards of our neo-epic poetry.
This week we learn to free our inner artist/activists and build a new tribe of revolutionary poets. We invite plant and animal spirits, ancestors and descendants to speak with us, rededicating to ancient alliances or beginning new conversations. We sharpen our ears to hear the subtle rhythm of spells and stories woven through words. We face the monsters who are waiting in the center of the labyrinth. Our workings will inspire deep and sudden change -- between the worlds and in all the worlds.
Through intentional aspecting magic, we shape ourselves as conduit for the divine. We trance to seek wisdom from the voices of our muses for direction and inspiration. We will drum, sing and dance with the land and sea in ecstatic passion, our human trademark. Inspired by the ancient poets of Greece, Lucille Clifton, Mary Oliver, Eduardo Galeano, Augusto Boal and other revolutionary artists, we create practical poem-spells for healing our bodies and our planet and remind ourselves that we are never alone in this work.
Knowing our wounds and the wounds of the Earth are steps toward healing, for these wounds directly reveal the medicines needed. In ancient Minoan Crete, the bees and the snakes partnered with people in the healing temples offering shamanic medicine to those seeking cures. In this path we will re-member our alliance with these magical beings and reawaken our connection to their healing and oracular powers.
We buzz; we join together in the hive, each one necessary, and each one knowing their place in the magic. We entrain with each other through rhythm, sound and voice, as Bee medicine reminds us we can be pollinators of health, fertility and wisdom. We slither through time, shifting in and out of the darkness, sloughing off our old skin stories and feeling the deepest desires of the world as Snake medicine helps us mediate the tension between our animal and human selves.
We will travel between the worlds through trance and music, attuning with our allies, the bees and the snakes, to seek healing for the wounds we carry, the wounds of the Earth, the fracturing of ourselves, and the traumas that we inherited from our ancestors. We ask the question “What are the wounds of these times telling us about the possible cures for ourselves, our communities and the Earth?” We seek to alchemize the toxins around us into remedies. We become the medicine.
Our journey will include song and sound healing, trance, rhythm, oracular magic, deep listening, shape shifting and a more profound understanding of our unique elixirs for personal and collective change. As we listen, dream and divine we find the sounds that awaken our inner knowing, activating the remedies we embody. We open our hearts and our throats, calling ourselves home.
Diving Into the Mazes and Labyrinths of Our Ancestral Legacies: With Lizann Bassham and Paul Eaves
As witches, activists, and human beings, how do we work with the bequests of our own ancestral threads in these troubled times? As we follow the threads of our own DNA back into the labyrinth of our own ancestry, what Minotaurs do we find there? How can we work with those who may have been heroes or allies or monsters to bring wisdom and insight and healing both to the past and into the magic we create in the world now? How do we draw upon the strength of our ancestors: both those who were wise and healthy in life, and those who in life wrought havoc and pain, but may in death be wiser and ready to heal the burdens of their own pain and unjust acts?
Knowing we can't change the past but we can change our relationships with the past, how do we bring this wisdom into the present? Today, as we are often called to hold the paradox of despair and possibility, how do we stay connected to our heart's desire, hear our soul's voice? Are we living the lives we feel called to live before we become ancestors? What magical survival and thriving skills in the 21st century can we find to help us create land/ancestral/spirit/human relationships that support our personal and planetary transformation work in these days? What are the gifts we offer for those who come next, our descendants?
In this path we will create labyrinths large and small, physically external and internal. Then, through movement, sound, listening to the land, tarot, and trance we will follow those threads in, and bring back the great gifts found deep in the labyrinths of our own DNA and ancestral legacies. We will share those gifts and insights with one another and support each other in our lives and activism.
To take this path, it is essential to have taken elements. We shall strive to make necessary accommodations for all who are called to this path. Brings a journal, a chair, and a willingness to journey into the realms of mystery.