Witchcamp 2004 – The Mysteries of Lilith, Take I

I keep trying to start this entry, but I’m so overwhelmed by everything I want to say, that I keep stopping. There were three main streams for me at this camp — self & sex, community and activism. These streams wove into each other to form a river of change that’s still flowing through me. The change at this camp was watery, whereas my first camp was more fiery and my second, earthy. I think I’ll try to write about one stream a day. Maybe that will keep it from seeming so daunting, both to read, and to write.

So where should I start?

How about the camp description, for those of you who didn’t go or who know nothing about this drug we call witchcamp? Here’s what I signed on for:

The Mysteries of Lilith

Lilith rides the night on great and powerful wings, leading us into seductive darkness. She is outcast, shadow, the animal soul of the world. She is the demon queen. Her story is unknown, primordial.

the leaves are stirring….
….the wind is blowing…
magic is afoot

Lilith leads us into the untamed wild.
Dare to follow . . .

hear the voices of the Ancestors, walk the path of the ShapeShifter, embrace Sex in the Wild, learn Earth Wisdom, make magic with the Cosmos

And the path I chose?

Sex In the Wild
Lilith and Ravyn

What if we were the voice of the wild? What if we truly embraced the power available to us through sex? What if we were pansexual beings interacting with every living thing and brought that ability to our human relationships? What if we created a space to express our own beauty, our voices, our work and offered them to the wild as gifts? What if we were both responsible and radically free? What if we were truly able to witness each other’s profound beauty and power while holding our own? What if we made love with the gods themselves?

In this path, we explore our connection to the Green World, caressing it with our bodies, hands and voices. We will take the wild as our lover and re-ignite a passionate affair with our life-giving Source. . We’ll tap into our own sensual life force, opening to the mysteries of the natural world of which we are a part. We’ll examine the ways in which we are shut down by our own fear. Together, we’ll seek the wild in ourselves using the tools of song, trance, art, prayer, divination, aspecting, deep listening, silence, spellwork and movement. We’ll create space for building relationships with spirit allies to further develop our stewardship. We’ll envelop ourselves in the juicy, dark embrace of our home and infuse our work and magic with this ecstatic Earthsong. Join us as we step more fully into our power as lovers of this planet and discover the true gifts we bring to the healing of all of the realms.

Let me grab my journal… that will help me show you the streams.

Self & Sex

I had most of these epiphanies during path or my affinity group, though the Wednesday healing ritual was profound too. My first day of path, we journeyed from our physical home environment to our sexual landscape. I was surprised to not only find myself in the desert for my home environment, but comfortable there. Dare I say it — it felt like home. It was a pleasant surprise. What wasn’t so great was my sexual landscape, which looked something like a Crowley cups card of the unhealthy variety — all grey, dreary and mucky. Kind of like a swamp with no trees or growth of any kind. In the few places where the sun was shining, things were tended, almost too much so. It wasn’t until I was listening to someone else talk about their connection to land that I realized that my physical environment and my sexual landscape are opposites. I felt like that was significant somehow, like there was some healing in finding the balance between the two, or that my outer world could have a healing influence on my inner world.

The relationship between the outer world and my inner world became a recurring question for me to ponder. Writing exercises revealed that there is a mirror in each place. Suddenly both the rape of the earth AND the mess in my house felt untolerable, unacceptable. So my work now is to find ways to clean both places up, to make them reflect the beauty I came to find inside.

The further along the week progressed, the more I wished Obsidian (Jeff) was there with me. We had a day of having sex with the wild — experiencing the wild world with all senses, finding the erotic in nature. From my journal:

the acorn offered by the oak
the small mossy opening into the earth
the burnt and littered refuse stain
exchanging energy with the oaks through breath
the blue dragonfly who followed me
the dance of the tiny yellow butterflies
the delicious piney, cypressy, herby scent of lifeforce
the brush of the grass against my skin
the song of birds and insects
the rush of the wind in my hair
the warmth of the sun on my belly
the scratch of the bark against my back

I found myself wishing the erotic I was finding all around me was reflected in my partner, with me and available to me. I wrote in my journal that I was “wishing Jeff was here to embody these things, as I would for him, to share this with me and with the earth.”

My affinity group was all about the sex stuff. They challenged me in several ways to think about things differently, to open my mind and heart, and to honor my boundaries. I think it was the best affinity group experience I’ve had — they were wonderful.

Boundaries… that came up for me pretty quickly in path and then was reinforced throughout the week. I found out I have them and that I have to hold them or everything goes haywire. I can’t put my safety or power on the altar of kindness or acceptance. I’m still struggling with it — I suppose it’s a self-worth thing. What is hardest, I think, is when my partner has boundaries that are different and we have to negotiate the space between.

I had so many ideas about my own spirituality and how I want to pursue it — and a few experiences with deep trance work and aspecting. The trance work happened mid-week at a ritual, when I went from a very annoyed, in my head space during a ritual building of Lilith’s temple, to a very deep in my body and part of the earth experience that is hard to describe. I was not fully in my self and yet I was. I don’t remember everything I did, but I ended up with earth rubbed all over my body and a spiral “altar” that I built with the help of Willow, a new friend. It was deep and when I was done, I was in tune with everything around me. As I left that ritual space, a tiny black snake crossed the path in front of me. I know it is a Lilith symbol, but I really felt Ariadne in that snake as well.

The aspecting experience was harder — I was aspecting the ancestors for a very emotionally charged discusson of the personal and the political. My prior experience with aspecting was pretty minimal and limited to a very small group — my coven back in Illinois. This was much bigger and harder to process. For one thing, I did not have the down in my body experience. My consciousness stayed pretty near the top of my head. The things I did receive were very primal, one-word-ish and image-heavy. I had a hard time translating and really felt like I failed in some way. Talking to people about it afterwards helped, as did the experience with Lilith’s temple, which actually came after the ancestor aspecting. For the remainder of the day post-Ancestor aspecting, I was living in fear that I would NEVER be able to get out of my head.

The last day of path, we had another trance where I again went to that deep place — it was much easier and left me feeling charged and ready… for what, I’m not yet sure, but whatever it is, I’m ready.

Gods, this entry is so long. I’ll try to finish it up with this. I am ready to head more deeply back into priestessing and my own pathwork. I am going to pursue Reclaiming initiation because I am looking for a challenge and a transformative experience, as well as some skills mentoring. I’m also looking at Feri training, and maybe eventually initiation, but for now, one thing at a time.

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the community stuff.

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