Sacred Cells: Embodying the Feminine Divine
Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the Feminine Divine in beings of all genders.
Witchcamp 2014: All Comes from Love, all returns back to Love
It is dark and the waxing crescent moon is hidden in the night sky by the tops of the redwoods. But I walk the path confidently, my bare feet know the way though I have only been to this place once. I move in the dark toward the sound of drumming. I am again at Reclaiming’s California Witchcamp with witches of all genders from many parts of the world.
Last year, my first year at Witchcamp, we worked a Babylonian myth which introduced me to the Goddess Erishkigal, Queen of the Underworld. It was a powerful and comfortable experience for me. It was an opportunity to thank the Goddess for my own time in her realm dealing with a long bout of depression and complex health issues in my forties. It was a time to thank her for allowing me to hang in the dark long enough to finally understand the dark is no scarier than the light, once my eyes adjusted to the dimness.
So now, in the dark, I walk to our fire circle for the first evening’s ritual. I reflect on this decade of my life. I am now solidly in my fifties, fifty-four, solidly in a new phase of my personal moon, solidly in a new phase of healing, work, and relationships. I come into the clearing and walk through the circle of folk sitting on the edge where the night’s dark meets the fire’s bright, and join those already dancing.
This year we are working with a myth from the Feri Tradition. In this creation myth, all comes from love and all returns back to love. In this creation myth, all begins with The Star Goddess, a beautiful, gender fluid, pansexual being who is the origin of all things. As She floats in the outer darkness, She experiences Her own reflection in the curved mirror of space. “She saw by her own light her radiant reflection, and fell in love with it. She drew it forth by the power that was in Her and made love to Herself, and called Her ‘Miria, the Wonderful’.”* She makes love to Herself, creating the universe in the big bang of that first glorious orgasm. As an artist and activist, I understand how much we need that cosmic and passionate energy that still swirls and dances in our world from that first act of Divine self love.
As our week at Witchcamp progresses, we look at the ways the mirror of our culture has been distorted to reflect cruelty, not love, greed, not gratitude, fear, not ecstasy. Each morning our camp divides into “paths,” mine is called “Rituals That Matter.” We are a group working consciously to change that distortion, to break that mirror in various ways. One is a champion for queer rights, another helps organize farmers to save their land, another counsels at risk adolescents, and another works with folk who are incarcerated. Around the circle we are all organizers, counselors, and champions. We talk about how to bring intention and energy into difficult situations in our communities and around the world. We talk about the ethical use of power and magic. We practice using trance work, dance, music, and movement to heal trauma and stand in witness and solidarity.
Continuing to work the Feri creation myth, at the second night’s ritual, as a whole camp, we acknowledge that distorted mirror and focus our collective attention on shattering it into pieces too small to hold power over our world anymore.
The Feri creation myth continues to unfold with our rituals night by night, as a different energy emerges from that first Divine Orgasm and shifts into matter. Miria the Wonderful is swept away from the Star Goddess in the rush of creation and becomes the Blue God, who is electric and androgynous, playful and sexual energy. This night’s ritual is full of dancing and laughing and blue fingerpaint smeared across my face and neck by the joyous presence of the Blue God, his whole being radiant with delight.
In the myth, the Blue God morphs into the Green God, the energy of all growing plants: their roots and branches, vines and brambles, trunks and stalks.
Coincidentally there is selective logging happening on a property next to camp. Through our days we hear the sounds of chainsaws, the blast of horns warning of the imminent fall of a tree, and the crashing sound of a giant of the forest falling through its companions to the ground.
The reaction in our camp of a hundred and some witches ranges from sad acceptance to wild pain and anger. As we gather for the traditional Thursday afternoon healing ritual, the sounds of the logging and the reaction of camp, move one of our teachers to speak. He speaks about being part of the forest, not separate from it. He speaks about being a carpenter, working with wood, loving it as he works. He speaks of living in a wood house, of writing on paper and reading books made of paper, of wiping his ass with paper. He reflects on the way nature used to balance growth in the forests with fire, but the human part of the forest, through suppression of fire, has disrupted that balance, and so there are times when selective logging may be helpful to the forest. As he speaks I feel the presence of my dead father, the logger, and my dead grandfather, the carpenter. Both my dad and grandpa loved and worked with wood, both built things from wood, both planted and tended gardens, both felt most alive as part of the green world.
I feel their presence strongly and clearly. I also feel the presence of the Green God and the spirits of the green bloods surrounding us in that place. We all stand in our healing circle listening to this carpenter, this lover of wood, this part of the forest, speak from his heart.
The last piece of the Feri creation myth tells of how the Green God morphs into the Red God, the god of all the red bloods, the god of the beings who have choice and movement. He is the god of those of us who can decide to strike or walk away, those of us who have freedom of will and the responsibility that comes with freedom. At our ritual that last night, we go out from the fire into the woods, into the dark. As I walk through the trees the first quarter moon suddenly appears through the branches and I stop in my tracks delighted to see Her, my dear friend. I laugh with joy, a loud and long wild witch’s cackle at the pleasure of the dark, the forest, the Moon, the sounds of other red bloods moving through the trees around me. We gather back at the fire and speak our individual vows and commitments as witches to the continued dance of creation. We speak our individual vows and commitments to celebrate the ecstasy of the Star Goddess, to dance in delight with the Blue God, to protect and heal with the Green God, to work for justice with the Red God. In the end, we return to love, and continue the dance of creation.
Blessed Be and may all the powers of the many faced Divine give us the strength in every sacred cell of our bodies to honor our vows and commitments. All comes from love, all returns back to love.
*From Starhawks “The Spiral Dance.” To read a number of versions of the Feri Creation Myth go to http://www.feritradition.org/grimoire/deities/star_goddess.html
To learn more about Reclaiming Witch Camps all over the world go to http://witchcamp.org/
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