When an experience changes you so irrevocably on the inside, how do you re-enter the world? How does this “new you” realign itself in society?
Welcome to Reclaiming Witchcamp.
This is a genuine thing – it is a 5 day event where witches from all over Australia come together to celebrate magick, connection and collaboration. Coming under the banner of Reclaiming Witchcraft – a modern, feminist tradition that aims to combine the Goddess movement with political activism.
The camps are about expressing yourself, and exploring your edges through magick and ritual. I always say that attending 2 camps every year gives me a chance to recharge and remember what authenticity feels like. These camps offer me the opportunity to re-centre and realign myself. Every time.
There are 2 camps every year – EarthSong in Victoria around Spring long weekend, and CloudCatcher on the Easter long weekend. Imagine witches from many traditions standing under the same moon, chanting together, raising cones of power together, crying, laughing, being joyous and being real.
I’ve already registered for next year’s CloudCatcher camp. Why?
Imagine you’re singing a song that was written by a fellow witch to embody their heartfelt wish for change to happen in their lives. Imagine those words ringing out up to the night sky; harmonies weaving between high and low voices; bodies swaying to the rhythm of the chant.
Changing, shaping anew
We’re healing, we’re singing our song
Out to the mountain
This ecstatic way of being in ritual – coming together through song, movement, smiles and drumming – is why I keep coming back, camp after camp. The feel of it opens me open, letting emotions, vulnerabilities and hopes pour to the surface, so I can see them and work with them.
Imagine a camp where you genuinely want to wake up early in the morning and say hello to everyone. Where no one is on their phone 24/7. Where every workshop, meal and gathering of people is a chance to deepen your commitment to your magick, and support others while they do the same.
Imagine a camp where the magickal mechanics that you read in a book are now laid bare in front of you – the how, the why – and all day you have this unique chance to really do the work. Whether you are creating sacred space, raising energy, dancing with the Elements, or weaving sound magick, you are actually doing it.
This no-hands-barred, laying-it-all-on-the-table, what-are-you-gonna-do-next amazingness that is Witchcamp has well an truly captured my heart. It’s been two years since since I first attended EarthSong in Victoria, and I can see how the river of my life changed because of it. I lean into my magick now, feeling it within me all the time, instead of experiencing it like a switch I have to continuously turn on.
My highlight’s for this years camp were singing beautiful chants.
For those of you who are getting to know me, singing is my thang. My joy. My deepest link to my magick. When I sing a tightness within me eases up, and I let that resonant sound spill from my heart and mouth.
Imagine singing a devotional ancient Egyptian chant that honours Isis for an hour, feeling everyone’s focus around you narrowing and narrowing over that time, until the words are beating straight from your heart into the group energy. Feel, with eyes closed, that we are all swaying together.
Then another priestess is at your shoulder inviting you to start the next chant with her – to weave new words of English over the Egyptian, new melody entwining with the old. And as you sing with her, your voices strong, you can actually sense everyone else’s energy shift to meet you as they continue to sing Isis’ praises.
Maybe you can almost see the ribbon of your melody, vibrant and shining with exultant words, pulling the other participants along with you.
After 10 minutes, another singer joins us, and then gradually the old chant falls away, and we are all calling out to the gods to bless us, to show us a way to become stronger, brighter, hopeful. And now you are one of many who, even after over an hour of singing, are finding their second wind and richer singing tones, sending your voices up to the sky is joy.
Always at Witchcamp, there is the reverence and heart-centredness of ritual. The possibility of the sacred being around you and within you. The expression of that divinity.
And this is really just one moment amongst the special dozen that are like polaroids of the camp for me: the pyjama party where we were all involved in the retelling of a children’s story, Room on the Broom; the singing of Disney songs as we cleaned up on the last day; holding space for a friend as they shared a vulnerability that for so long they had kept hidden.
EarthSong renewed me, broke me wide open, and gave me the opportunity to review thoughts and beliefs that were no longer serving me. It was joyous, enriching, comforting, challenging, and has changed me.
And I genuinely look forward to doing it again in 6 months time at CloudCatcher in Queensland.