Terms and Definitions

            Camp Freyja Mask

About the Runes:

Donald Engstrom-Reese’s website page on the Elder Futhark:  


Sunny’s Rune Page (contains many other links and a wealth of information): http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/

Rune Secrets by Tyriel: http://runesecrets.com/

The Rune Site – Elder Futhark Meanings: http://www.therunesite.com/elder-futhark-rune-meanings/

Book recommendations by several Winter Witchcampers: “Nordic Runes” by Paul Rhys Mountfort, “Taking up the Runes” by Diana Paxson, “Runes: a Human Journey” by Kari Tauring, “The Runes Workbook” by Leon D. Wild.

Norse Mythology:

Basic Norse Mythology site: http://www.viking-mythology.com/

Donald Engstrom-Reese’s website page of Biographies of the Mysterious Ones, including many Norse Mysterious Ones:  http://wearewalkinginbeauty.org/Walking_in_Beauty/Biographies_and_Stories_of_the_Mysterious_Ones.html

Other links to Norse lore:

Additional Resources – some of the terms and definitions below have become a part of our Winter Witchcamp culture:

Reclaiming Tradition Glossary: http://www.reclaiming.org/about/witchfaq/glossary.html

Donald Engstrom-Reese’s website page of Definitions: http://wearewalkinginbeauty.org/Walking_in_Beauty/A_Few_Working_Definitions.html

Glossary for Communal Stories Path — by Alex Iantaffi and Teri Parsley Starnes for their Red Dragon path at Winter Witchcamp 2014

Activist – any being who dares to accept they are co-creators of the Multiverse and intentionally embraces that responsibility. In a belief system that includes the idea of co-creation, we are all shapers with. Those of us who accept this belief intentionally become activists, that is intentional shapers with. Activism can be defined as intentionally co-creating ourselves, each other and the worlds. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways: cooking, writing, parenting, demonstrating, teaching, being an ally and resisting, to name but a few.

Ally – a being who chooses to act in solidarity with a marginalized being and/or community, even though they do not claim a particular identity or do not belong to said community. An ally recognizes unearned privileges in their lives and how those are connected to societal injustices. Allies do not set definitions or agendas for marginalized communities but rather they educate themselves on what those might be and choose to intentionally act in solidarity with them. An article explaining in more depth what it means to be an ally can be found at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daughtersofeve/2013/03/being-an-ally-versus-being-a-nice-person/  Another great resource is: http://www.becominganally.ca/Becoming_an_Ally/Home.html

Authentic movement – an expressive form of movement that invites people to deeply listen to the inner impulse towards movement within themselves and then follow it. Movement also includes stillness and simply breathing. This discipline was started by Mary Stark Whitehouse in the US in the 1950s and is rooted in modern dance and a part of the larger dance and movement therapy movement. In this form, there are movers who listen and act on their inner impulse towards movement in the present moment, and witnesses who sit and observe with curiosity and non-judgement their own reactions to what they are seeing. More information can be found at: http://authenticmovementcommunity.org/

Co-creation – The act of shaping the worlds together with all beings, including minerals, green and red bloods. For a fuller definition and description of this concept, please see Donald Engstrom-Reese’s handout at http://wearewalkinginbeauty.org/Walking_in_Beauty/Co-creation.html

Community as hero – a paradigm shift from colonial, modernist heroic individualism back to communal heroism. In this work, we tell the mythic stories of community. We build a shared and communal sense of reality and experience. We identify the essential realities of community. We acknowledge that all beings, not just human, are in community and are responsible together for the realities we co-create. This concept is part of many indigenous cultures across the world. An example of principles for building a more sustainable and harmonious world within a community as hero construct can be found in Donald Engstrom-Reeses’ work at: http://wearewalkinginbeauty.org/Walking_in_Beauty/Indigenous_Guiding_Principles.html

Embodiment – Being fully present in ourselves. Embodiment does not happen in isolation as our presence is also relational and defined through language, culture and social contexts. For example, we experience our own and other people’s bodies through the lenses of gender, race and (dis)ability, among others, whether we do this consciously or not. Embodied practices invite us to increase our potentiality to be fully present with ourselves and others. More definitions can be found at: http://www.embodiment.org.uk/definition.htm

Four levels of reality* – a model for exploring consciousness. This model is a tool for self-knowledge, interpersonal relationship, and intentional co-creation.

The levels are:

  • Physical – what is seen and felt in the physical world.
  • Mythic – the stories we tell based on our perceptions of reality. These stories often answer the question, “Why is this happening?”
  • Emotional – a complex, instinctual response that can be a mixture of physical, psychological, and social responses to all the levels of reality. This is the “charge” we feel about our stories and our perceptions of physical reality.
  • Essential – what we believe about our perceptions of reality. Belief shapes reality. We can change what we believe, thereby creating new realities. The clearer we are about the physical, mythic and emotional realities, the better we are able to consciously co-create essential reality.

Each level of reality provides a tool for shaping our realities and creating mindful and intentional lives.

Some tools of the four levels are:

  • Physical – meditation, naming what is there, invoking the internal witness, and mindful non-judgmental awareness.
  • Mythic – telling our stories, noticing our patterns, evoking heart’s desires, and recognizing our gifts and our challenges.
  • Emotional – trance, memory journeys, and elemental embodiment of feelings.
  • Essential – identifying the beliefs that create our realities, choosing the beliefs that create the world we envision, intentional work, and magic and spellwork.

Mindfulness – being fully grounded and present in the now, with curiosity and a non-judgmental attitude. Mindfulness practices invite us to develop the capacity to observe internal and external states, to be connected with our bodies and able to track our physical and emotional reactions. These practices can help us develop an inner observer, capable of noticing ourselves noticing. There are several ways to cultivate mindfulness in our lives, including meditation, yoga, intentional breathing and movement practices. Some more information about mindfulness can be found at: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

Power – our capacity to influence and impact the world around us, to be shapers and co-creators. We have access to our own embodied power and to communal power, whether we are aware of this or not.

Privilege – an unearned advantage, right or benefit given only to a specific group of people. Within social justice discourse, privilege is further defined as rights and benefits that non-marginalized groups within society are given over marginalized groups. Privilege is not a personal choice but rather it is part of a complex system of injustice. One person can have privilege in one area and be marginalized in another. For example, someone might not have gender privilege as a trans person, but might have white and/or education privilege. Audre Lorde still has one of the most compelling speeches about power and privilege, which can be found here: http://newritings.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/the-masters-tools-will-never-dismantle-the-masters-house/   An article on checking our privileges can be found at: http://blog.shrub.com/archives/tekanji/2006-03-08_146

Yes/And collaborative process – inspired by theatrical improvisation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improvisational_theatre), the invitation is to build on what others are giving you “in the scene” rather than to deny or reject it. The challenge is to be radically inclusive; the gift is discovering unforeseen possibilities. Saying “Yes, and…” we begin to tell our communal stories.

* Teri wants to thank and acknowledge Cynthea Jones and Patricia Storm of Diana’s Grove Mystery School, who introduced her to the 4 levels of reality and pretty much changed her life forever.