Activists: come to Free Witch Camp next week!
this event is designed to provide skills in deep magic: the art of changing consciousness at will. our purpose in creating a free camp is to make these skills available to activists, those interested in a direct connection with the wild through spirit and the goddess, and magical skills useful in direct action.
consider this a personal invitation to free witch camp, august 14
through august 21, at twin lakes (the gloriously beautiful site of the
'98 ef! rrr).
this event is designed to provide skills in deep magic: the art of
changing consciousness at will. our purpose in creating a free camp is
to make these skills available to activists, those interested in a
direct connection with the wild through spirit and the goddess, and
magical skills useful in direct action.
unfortunately, a variety of miscommunications lead to registration
filling very quickly, before many activists even heard about it. but
our commitment is primarily to building links with activists, and we
will not turn anyone away who is committed to the work.
i personally assure you of this.
because the ritual work is designed for a coherent journey throughout
the week, and because of the disruption caused by constant flux in
participation, we are asking that you make it for the whole camp, if at
please spread the word through activist circles.
ps: the following letter went out to those registered. please read it,
and if you're committed to coming, let us know. thanks!
....: F R E E W I T C H C A M P 2005 :....
you are called to the wild
You heard a rumor of something wild in the woods of Oregon. You caught
a whiff of magic in the air. You have a deep appreciation for the
Earth, for our ecology; you want to learn how to listen and speak, work
and weave with the wind and the trees, the rain and the deer and the
And unlike many, you registered. Thank-you, and get ready. This is
** FIRST, ARE YOU SURE THIS IS A GOOD IDEA? **
More people have registered than we bargained for. Dozens of others
have said they're going to show up. We really don't want to turn people
away, especially because of some previous experience with free
gatherings in which eager latecomers are refused but the registered
"Oh, it's free: it doesn't really matter if I show up or not, or how
invested I am. I'll just dabble."
This gathering is free, as in the spirit and the sky, but is also a
grand responsibility. Some of Reclaiming's more experienced organizers
and teachers and allies are putting a great deal of time and energy into
creating this witch camp, not for fun but because many activists and
organizers in our movements have expressed the need for these resources,
and feel that traditional Witch Camps are financially or otherwise
We ask you to come for the week and stay for the full week. If many people
are coming and going, we simply cannot create a strong container for the
work. In a magical intensive, there are often rough spots, challenging
moments, painful times as well as times of ecstasy and deep healing. We ask
you to hang in there through the rough places, or if something comes up that
feels too much for you, to talk it over with one of the teachers or
Are you willing to invest the work and courage, not just during this
week in the wild but for the rest of your life, to become actively and
magically part of the deep transformation in the world?
And we aren't kidding when we say "wild". We are doing our best to make
the site accessible to those of various physical abilities and to
children, and we will be providing food and may be filtering water; but
in a deep sense, this is not a domesticated environment. You are
responsible for yourself and your health and safety. You will shit in
the woods (in buckets or trenches). You will sleep outside surrounded
by wild animals. You will hike up a steep hill, with your gear (unless
a few of your companer@s help you out). You will drink water from a
lake filled with algae. You will hear the voice of the Goddess in the
rocks and streams, and you will know the aching glory of the world free
and wild; you may never go back.
For some of you, these remonstrances make you pant in anticipation.
Good. Please respond to this email filling out the form at the end
confirming your registration and letting us know what you're going to
For others of you, this reminder brings up doubt, worry, or awkwardness.
That does not necessarily mean you should back out. It may be that this
is just the challenge that you need right now. But please, ask
yourself: am I committed enough to this work, and to investing in it, to
feel comfortable that my presence may mean that someone else cannot
** OK, I LIKE IT; HOW'S IT GONNA WORK? **
This gathering, like other witch camps, will be organized around Paths.
Each Path, lead by one or more teachers, will explore a separate focus
of magic or spirit in action. Teachers have been visioning and planning
for these Paths, but they are not finally set yet: stay tuned. You will
formally choose your Path (or it will choose you) once we arrive, and
you will stay with it throughout (this is why we ask you to come on time
and stay the entire period).
We are also creating a child-friendly place. Our current plan is for
older children (teens) to visit each of the Paths in turn, one day, and
for the younger children to have a magical environment suited to their
needs and experiences. We will be depending heavily on participation
from all of you to help this work: not simply by avoiding smoking or
intoxication in public areas, but by taking turns with the kids and
keeping an eye on them when you're around.
Also, unlike other Witch Camps this gathering will require that (in true
permaculture fashion) we take full responsibility for creating and
maintaining a living space together. Everyone will be expected to
participate fully in the cooking and shitter-maintenance, the carrying
and cleaning, the building up and breaking down of a temporary
temple-place. Welcome to possible!
One of the agreements we ask people to keep at this camp is to not use
recreational drugs or alcohol before rituals or classes, or in any way that
compromises our ability to be sensitive to the needs of others. Medical and
prescription drugs (including medical marijuana) are fine, of course.
Why do we do this? After all, most of us are anarchists, we don't like
rules. And most of us like a beer or a joint to relax as much as the next
person. But we do find that this agreement works for us, for a number of
Although we're sure this camp will be hella fun, that's not its main
purpose. It's a program in teaching magic, "the art of changing
consciousness at will." To learn to shift and change our state of awareness
at will takes focus and concentration, and it needs a clear state of
consciousness as a starting point. And blending our awarenesses and raising
energy together in ritual is really, really hard when some people?s
consciousness are pre-altered by chemicals or alcohol.
In ritual and magic, we like to go deep and take risks. We're confident of
our abilities to get you out of any altered state we get you into--but not if
drugs or alcohol are part of the alteration.
Drugs and alcohol can be ways of dealing with stress, trauma and the pain of
defeat. But part of the purpose of this week is to create a safe space
where we can feel and release some of that pain, and learn other tools for
dealing with it.
Many people in our community have struggled with issues around addiction,
and we want to create a safe space for them.
If you've been to a Reclaiming Witch Camp before, please note that our
policy on drugs and alcohol is a bit more relaxed at this one. We are trying
hard to bridge some different political cultures, and to make magic and
healing available to those who most need them. We will still assure that
our rituals and public gathering spaces are safe for those who are
struggling with issues of addiction. We will have areas of the camp and
social spaces that are designated clean and sober. We leave time open for
people to do their personal spiritual practicess--and encourage those who want
to schedule 12-step meetings or other support groups to use that time.
Finally, we want to emphasize not only our responsibility to each other,
but to the Earth -- not as an abstraction, but as the real living plants
and animals and mountains of Twin Lakes. We will mark off sensitive
areas and camping zones and provide a list of suggestions. Please take
care to avoid making new trails or unnecessarily damaging ground cover,
or simply acting without awareness. Please help your fellow witch
campers pay attention as well. We're in this together.
** HOW DO I GET READY? **
Think of this as a good long camping trip in the woods. Then think of
it as a deep, playful, edgy experimental ritual lasting a full week.
Then think of it as an international conference of officials and
lobbyists -- and laugh a feral howl!
As mentioned, we will be providing two meals a day and possibly filtered
water. Medics and healers will also be around. However, it is very
important that you be as self-sufficient as possible, for many reasons.
Suggested items to bring for yourself:
* water bottle, water filter, and maybe a special store of water
* tent (something water and bug proof)
* warm sleeping bag
* ground pad
* multiple layers of clothing - weather can range from freezing to hot
-- cold rain possible
* practical hiking footwear
* personal biodegradable toiletries
* towel (there is swimming, but no bathing in the lakes)
* tarp, for sun or rain
* plate, bowl, cup, eating utensils
* flashlight and extra batteries
* bag to carry stuff with you all day
* insect repellent
* toilet paper, if you need it (some leaves and lichens work better)
* chair or camp stool (the ground will be available)
* foods - for your snacking and special needs
* basic first aid kit
* writing pad, journal, pen
* musical instruments
* magical and altar items
* gifts for the Really Really Really Free Market (if no one takes them,
you are responsible for taking them back with you)
This is a co-created gathering. We are fundraising to provide some
basic infrastructure, but most of what we use will be brought by each
other. We will send another list of needs later, but this is a start:
* Containers: large buckets, barrels, jugs with lids
* Tools: axes, saws, shovels, pickaxes, rope, etc.
* Food: bulk grains, fresh vegetables, oil, etc.
* Space-making materials: fabrics, chimes, etc.
* Tarps, cargo webbing, etc.
* Whatever you want to share
** REGISTRATION CONFIRMATION FORM **
(Please note: the free witch camp has cost us money and will cost us
more. we are open even to those without a penny, but we do ask that you
contribute if at all possible. we are suggesting $50 to $300 per
I am sending: $___ right away, and will bring $____ more to Camp.
** DRIVING DIRECTIONS **
>From either direction on I-5 in Roseburg take Diamond Lake exit/Hwy
138/North Umpqua Hwy.
Follow the signs for Hwy 138 toward Diamond Lake and Crater Lake. That
is, go east on Harvard then left on Stephens (99) and right on Diamond
Lake Blvd (138).
After you pass mile marker 50 turn there is a sign for Twin Lakes /
North Umpqua trail heads. Take a right here over the bridge and follow
it up around ten miles to the Twin Lakes trailhead. Look for our signs!
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