Theme and Story

Each year the continuity committee or a group representing camp comes together and facilitates a process to select a theme or story to shape the magic of camp, and to surround with thematic paths.  Some years there is a story, some a theme, and some years both.  To see past years’  themes and stories take a look at the past camps page in camp culture.

The team also facilitates the call and selection of teachers.  You can see the current process and some notes from shaping the process in the story-theme and teacher selection process page.

For 2018 a story was chosen, the Descent of Inanna and Inanna is called to the camp hearth by Freya and Odr.  Winter’s kiss draws us down deep.

We gather in the cold and dormant time

To share the warm flames of community

And the daring edge of shaping a new way in the world.

Another world is possible!

**********

2018 Camp Story – The Descent of Inanna

Freya and Odr Invite Inanna
To Their Great Hall of the North Woods 

Trusting the bittersweet songs of the waxing Full Snow Moon,
We spiral northwest to the North Woods, Hearth-Home of Birds.
Dakota, the Red-tailed Hawk, calls us with her fragile wing.
Odin, the Boreal Owl, regards us with his one seeing eye.
Potter, the Raven, senses us with their darkest understandings.

The Air here is cold and clean. The Fire beckons us inside.
But the Water, oh, the Ice, how it feels like home!
This Land, it is unforgiving yet inviting all the same.
The Cold-Heart of Compassion lives here!

Our Great Hall becomes greater!
We change. We grow. The compost awaits.
We have more room to learn, to dance, to dream.

In this fertile darkness, in our glowing Great Hall,
We nestle with beloved friends and feres.
My love and I, we kiss, a winter’s kiss to draw us down deep.
There is heaven and earth right here – Heaven and Earth right here.

Standing here, we recall our dearest of friends:
She who chose to travel to the Underworld and back,
She who blessed the blossoming of our hearth-hold’s grove,
She who watched our daughters in a time of great tumult,
She who was among the honored guests at the renewal of our vows.

We are in the deepest of joyful obligation, one to each other.

We open our mouths wide,
To loudly sing a galdr (1) to a Gidden (2) of Sumer!
We sing a welcoming song to the one called, Inanna!

“We welcome you to our hearth-home!
We welcome you to this blessed land!
We welcome you to our feast table laid out in your honor!

We welcome Inanna, Inanna, Inanna!
We welcome Inanna, Inanna, Inanna!
We welcome Inanna, Inanna, Inanna!”

Let us celebrate Inanna’s courage.
Let us honor her wisdom and determination.
Let us revere her devotion to justice.

Let us listen to Inanna’s tales of her visit to her grandmother,
And of her return to the living realms,
Becoming even more fully awake, aware, and alive
Than she had ever dreamed possible,
Before she had entered the realms of death.

Welcome Inanna,
A Queen of Heaven and Earth and Almost Everything Else,
She who has so very much to share.

We welcome Inanna, Inanna, Inanna!
We welcome Inanna, Inanna, Inanna!
We welcome Inanna, Inanna, Inanna!

 

The Descent of Inanna
Our source material for “The Descent of Inanna” is from the book, “Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth,” copyright © 1983 by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer. “The Descent of Inanna” includes three stories, “From the Great Above to the Great Below,” “The Dream of Dumuzi,” and “The Return.” To honor the copyright of the authors, we recommend several actions if you would like to read this specific source:

  1. Check with your local library (https://www.worldcat.org/libraries) to see if they have a copy of the book.
  2. Ask a member of your local community if they have a copy to borrow. It’s well-regarded among witches!
  3. Purchase the book online. Used copies in good condition are typically available for under $10 (US) including shipping.
  4. Engage in our Community Share! We have a dozen copies of the book to share among community. We ask if you request a copy be sent to you that you be willing to send it forward to another interested reader once you read, “The Descent of Inanna,” or be willing to return it. Contact Danny Snowpants at dvhaag@gmail.com for more information.

Of course, there are countless websites and numerous other books detailing Inanna’s descent to the underworld that can serve as your introduction to this year’s story!
Other resources we used for reference or inspiration include:

  1. “The Biography of Goddess Inanna; Indomitable Queen of Heaven, Earth and Almost Everything: Her Story Is Women’s Story,” Sandra Bart Heimann
  2. “The Sumerians,” Samuel Noah Kramer, available to download at https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/sumerians.pdf
  3. “Anointed: A Devotional Anthology for the Deities of the Near and Middle East,” Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  4. “Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women,” Sylvia Brinton Perera

 


  1. galdr (pl. galdrar) [Norse] – A chanted/sung repetitive spell/incantation often in a falsetto voice and/or using throat singing.
  1. gidden– goddess, a divine female: if the Old English term for a divine female (gyden) had survived, it would today have possibly grown into a word very close to gidden.

 

“Freya and Odr Invite Inanna to Their Great Hall of the North Woods,” was written by Donald Engstrom-Reese and Danny Snowpants.

Idea and basic themes for the story were consented upon by those who gathered at the open WWC 2018 Story Selection meeting on March 21, 2017.

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