Each year a team of teachers is selected to facilitate the co-creation of the magical container for the year and call campers into deeper relationship with the story and/or theme of camp. Rituals and paths support this work. Paths are currently 3 mornings of approximately 3 hours each, facilitated by a pair of teachers. They may include ritual, spell work, trance, movement, study, discussion, and other tools to create engagement with the theme of the path. Paths are tailored for access by all campers.
To see 2018 Teaching Team Bios go Here
Preparing the Ancestor Plate: Engaging Our Ancestral Lineages to Strengthen the Bridge of Connection
with Preston Coyote Vargas and Alex Iantaffi
They speak, “You cannot pretend we don’t exist. You are because we were. We are the ancestors. Your ancestors. We are your Beloved Dead and Mighty Dead. And we are the human ancestors who you find challenging to embrace. We are other-than-human; the long chain of animals, plants, fungi and stones from which you arise. How long has it been since you have visited with us to share your lives, to celebrate? When few of you visit with us, the bridge remains weak and less tenable. But as you more of you journey, the bridge widens. The connection strengthens. Will you remember the bridge of connection? It is time to learn to cross the bridge to the lands of the dead, if you have forgotten. It is time to visit our many altars and listen with all your senses. Some of us dance in celebration, while some of us plead for healing. We long to share what we know. We ancestors listen to your call to accountability for our choices. We long for you to remember that choices were made and paths trodden. We live in your bloodstream and DNA, in your dreams and nervous systems, in your sorrows and hopes, in your rites and healing wisdom. We watch you weave your lives, sometimes unaware of the threads we left behind. We have dreamed of you. We long to connect with you, our living descendants. We have so much to share with you. We can offer our collective wisdom so you can choose paths of well-being and justice. Each inhalation you make can pull an inheritance of our gifts into your present. And every exhalation can send our might to clear a way into potentiality for those who may come after you.”
What is our relationship with ancestors? What are our ancestral practices?
In this path, we will explore our relationships with ancestors of blood and bone, of queerness and craft, of spirit and activism. What are the obstacles to nurturing those relationships? What becomes possible when we visit with the ancestors and develop regular ancestral practices? What do the ancestors have to share about Inanna’s descent into the Underworld and its significance for us today?
We will explore practices to connect, learn, celebrate and heal with our dead. We’ll move through the sacred flames to retrieve the gifts of our witch ancestors. And we will participate in the restoration and remediation process with the ancestral spirits of the land.This path is directed towards developing a useable skill set for working with ancestors during and after camp. We invite you to focus on knowing who you are by learning where you come from. Developing a relationship with bio-cultural lineages can be an important part of social justice witchery. It allows a witch to come to the table with something to offer. This offering can make the difference between cultural sharing and cultural appropriation. So, we invite you to join us as we visit with the ancestors and explore what may unfold so that life, healing and justice may thrive in our tradition.
All bodies of all abilities are welcome to take this path. We will move with the awareness that breathing is also movement, and that each one of us can decide what movement feels comfortable for their body in the moment. We will invite people to be as present as possible in their bodies, and to pay attention to their needs. We will meet mainly indoors throughout path. Please bring whatever helps you feel comfortable when sitting for some periods of time. People are encouraged to intentionally take care of themselves on this path. We will provide a couple of handouts. If you would like to have this in advance as an electronic document or audio file, please contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are thinking of taking this path, please bring ancestral altars items, communal altar items, unscented candles for altars, journal and/or recording materials (e.g., tablets, unscented art materials, etc…), and a willingness to breathe, to be present with one another’s ancestors and to be in relationship with your ancestors.
“As you travel with Inanna to the Underworld, will you remember us, will you listen, will you celebrate with us?”
Who Will Bang the Drum for Us?: Capacity & Resilience in the Deep
With Irisanya Moon & Jessica Dreamer
Walking in the space of above and below,
walking in the space of what has happened and what will come,
we turn our ear to what is happening now
we encounter, we dream, we emerge…
Can we feel and acknowledge the heartache of the world? Can we leave the stories of overwhelm at the gates of our emergence? Can we come together in all of our strengths and complexities? Can we listen for and hear the world bang the drum for us?
Can we answer the call?
Let us walk together, let us tune into the wisdom of our bodies and into the wisdom of each other, where we can find the courage, the strength, and the tools for radical resilience for current and future times.
We are healers and artists, organizers and dreamers – witches – and we are called by this wild world into beautiful resistance. This is a path of diverse activisms focused on deepening capacity — where we will find ourselves as we are, we will open to what might reveal itself as possible, and we will walk forward with tools for supporting ourselves in all that arrives in the world
We don’t do this work alone. And neither did Inanna.
In this path, we envision embodied practices where we drop into the wisdom of our physical selves, trance where we explore the realms of possibility and expansion, opportunities to be witnessed and to be a witness, and a safe space to remember, recognize and revitalize the symbiotic nature of our relationships and our work. And we follow the magick of our group mind, wherever it may take us. We will listen for the drum beat that calls us home.
This work is supportive of and adaptable to all bodies, all beings, and all spiritual authorities. You need only bring a curious heart. (And maybe a journal to collect information to become allies for each other.)
The Underworld Path
with Yule Danu and Jane Meredith
In winter and the Underworld we turn inwards. We accept the darkness. We welcome mystery.
When Inanna descended to the Underworld she spent three days and nights hanging on a hook, dead. We know how she got there. We know the ending of the story, how she rose again. We even know what happened above ground, while she was dead. What we do not know – what has never been revealed – is what happened during those three days, in the Underworld…
We take up the challenge of the three days, entering Ereshkigal’s Underworld and allowing ourselves to hang on the hook of our unknowing, our undoing. Here we listen. Here we wait. Here we rot – and fall away – dissolve into the void. What secrets await us? What can Ereshkigal teach us? What is it like, to await rebirth of the soul, amongst the other souls? We will drop deep with trance, embodiment, devotion. We will lie at the bottom of the world of ourselves, seeking to know our bones. We will explore – with breath, with inner reflection, with creativity, with ritual – and discover what happens. We will do the work of rebirthing, the hard work, the labour of it, pushing ourselves through.
Will you spend three days in the unknown? Will you submit to the darkness, to depths, to the mystery?
We plan to be an inside Path with some movement, which can be done to your own comfort level. This Path includes nudity, strong trance and other altered states.
The pre-requisite for this Path is Elements of Magic.
The Art of Silence
with Dawn Isidora and Rae Eden
Between the actions, there is stillness. Between the lines, there is space. Between harvest and planting the land lays dormant.
Throughout the stories and hymns from Sumer there are many examples of stillness:
- Receiving the Mes, Inanna declares: “…He gave me the perceptive ear. He gave me the power of attention…”
- “From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below. From the Great Above the goddess opened her ear to the Great Below. From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below.”
- Inanna’s corpse hung on a meathook in the Underworld for three days and three nights.
- Ninshubur, whose name translates to Goddess of the East, awaited Inanna’s return from the Underworld for three days and three nights.
In the forward of Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth the authors explain Sumerians used the same word for ear and wisdom and that what was meant was mind. In this path, we too accept the gift of the perceptive ear and the power of attention, turn our senses to the Great Below. In this path, we too spend three days with silence and stillness, practice holding space and listening. We will engage with silence and chanting, guided imagery and journaling, sitting and gentle movement. With breath as our guide we will return and return again.
This is a meditation path. Meditation is an ancient practice which connects us with the vast inner and outer realms, increasing resiliency, improving empathy and deepening connection. Studies now demonstrate a correlation between meditation and emotional regulation, improved attention and strengthened immune systems – as well as decreases stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia and social anxiety.
The world around us has been shrill. It can feel as if there is so much to do and so little time in which to do it. Even witchcamp can be a whirling hub of activity. We rejoice in the heart of Winter and take refuge in Her silence. We unfold into the wisdom of the unknown. We rest in the still eye of the storm. A quiet mind invites peace and vitality. If your soul yearns to slow, to quieten, to listen to deeper mysteries, please join us.
All bodies and abilities are welcome; no prior experience with meditation is needed beyond a willingness to sit with your own boredom and/or discomfort with silence. We expect path will be a mixture of indoors and outdoors (with indoor alternatives available). Please bring a journal and, if you have a special meditation pillow or other items of comfort for sitting, please bring them.