art by Bev Severn

“Path” is your course of study at Witchcamp.

Path takes place every morning between breakfast and lunch. Under the guidance of two skilled teachers, campers dive deep into explorations of the path theme, learning through listening, experiencing and doing. Each path session is a magical working that offers education in magical techniques while also creating personal and group healing and transformation.

Campers are asked to have taken Elements of Magic as a pre-requisite for other paths, either at camp or elsewhere. You don’t need to choose your path till the first full day of camp, but you will be asked to tell us your preliminary preference when you register, as this helps us plan.

As well as path teachers, this year Camp will also have a Community Resource Teacher who weaves their offerings throughout camp, enhancing the magic, fun and learning all week long. The theme this year is raising energy with drum, movement and sound. Further info is below.

 

P a t h   D e s c r i p t i o n s

BCWC elementsElements of Magic with Advanced
Magical Arts       
Gwydion and Kristen

With the art of magic, we deepen our vision and focus our will, empowering ourselves to act in the world. In this class we begin the practice of Magic, Witchcraft, and Goddess spirituality by working with the Elements of Magic: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.

You will learn to develop confidence and skill in visualization, sensing and projecting energy, breathing, chanting, trance, creating sacred/magical space, spellcraft, and structuring rituals.

Each class is structured as a ritual, and includes practical ritual and magical skills. In this path we will embrace our full witchdom and embody ‘Putting the craft back in The Craft!’ in each class.

 

Being the Hourglass: Sifting the Stories of our Ancestors
Seraphina and Ember

What can the dead teach us about how to live the change that we and the world need? What is the mystery that wants to enter the world now? What are the stories that our ancestors couldn’t tell?

In this path, we will work with the wisdom of our beloved dead, from human to greenblood to celestial, using the transformative power of storytelling. We will cross the threshold into the realm of the dead, wander in the discomfort of uncertainty, see each other as allies in this ordeal, and return to tell the story of the wisdom and purpose that we have received.

If you are called to this path, we ask that you prepare by researching your own ancestors: the individuals and or cultures of your people. All participants must have already taken Elements of Magic.

 

The Feral Witch: Animism & Belonging           Moss and Preston Coyote

The Feral Witch. They roam deep in the forest. Listening to the ancient creaking trees. Laughing with bubbling streams. They fly on silent wings to their sacred places. They hunt and defend with fangs and claws. Their magick is the magick of becoming. The Feral Witch rediscovers their role in the larger story of life.

Through dreams, deep listening, and casting lots they reveal the unheard stories of the land. With their bodies, they craft art as magick to heal the spirits in dis-ease. They embody Eros & ecstasy. Yet still they value the human sense of discernment. They dance as predator and prey. In power, they reclaim the wild self they thought they had lost.

So many of us want to feel a sense of belonging in the wild. It’s like a road home that we’ve forgotten—or a path that is waiting to be found again. Let’s try to find that path again together, with a spirit of playfulness, experimentation, and fierce, feral courage. We will use art, oracular work, ecstatic states, shapeshifting, and spirit flight to explore wild realms.

As Feral Witches, we can look at oppressive forces (like white supremacy, colonization, and patriarchy) in the face while fighting for our wildness. We can heal the painful rifts of alienation in our families, communities and societies with fierce commitment and tender love. Belonging is the soft home place, the arousing call, the passionate embrace that we seek together. We find what we seek in each other, and in the animal, plant, earth, and water bodies around us.

Once we find our wild self, how do we integrate this exquisite being into the world we live in? In our Feral Witch path, we will learn to wield our power with love and fierceness—finding our Shadow Warrior nature.

Required prerequisite: Elements of Magic (or equivalent with consent of teachers). Iron Pentacle is not a prerequisite however would be a beneficial foundation to this work.

 

Embodying the Magic of Ritual: Mapping the Invisible through the Art of Theatre    Ravenna and Willow

We send our call to those of you drawn to the path, practice or study of ritual priestessing as we explore the sacred nature of theatre in the role of the priestess.

This path invites the remembrance of rituals as the first form of theatre and performance, where it was believed that collective vibration held the spheres of the cosmos in place, and the speaking of the unspeakable in public healed the community.

We invite you to explore that the unspeakable may be where your power lies, that you have inherent worth, and that your personal story is one that makes you a powerful leader.

We’ll explore how to translate the potency of your own experiences and vulnerability into a universal language that cycles back to meet the intentions of your communities. This approach to priestessing means we will honor the importance of attending to the inner work of shadow stalking, ego and awareness of impact; creating a foundation for relentless support for one another, and a culture of healthy feedback.

We will use the arts of shape-shifting, aspecting, and trance as we follow the ritual arc, embodying the earth and animals as they dance and tell their stories. We will listen with our whole selves.

In this experiential path, we invite priestesses with solid grounding, processing and witnessing skills who are willing to take risks. Join us in a holistic experience of ritual, involving body, mind and spirit.

 

Teacher Biographies

G w y d i o n

I am a queer man, priestess, witch, teacher, and urban homesteader. I have lived my whole life on Ohlone territory in the San Francisco Bay Area within the Coast Redwood bioregion. My first introduction into the Craft was through the Anderson Feri Tradition and eventually found my home in the Reclaiming community a few years later. I have taught in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally for 28 years.

As a child, I grew up on a small family farm, crafting magical tools in my grandfather’s workshop and blending magical potions in my garden laboratory (aka my grandmother’s lath house). It was during that time that I learned how to plant, grow, harvest and prepare food, developing my first relationships with the spirits of the plants, the animals wild and tame, as well as the Shining Ones who played games with me and taught me to believe in magic.

Today I can be found in our garden continuing those traditions while tending a multitude of native plants, including California Poppy, Pink Flowering Currant, and California Mugwort.

I live in the Reclaiming Gulch area of San Francisco’s Mission District with my husband and our fey hound. I am a devoted science geek, a molecular biologist by trade, fascinated by protein structures and cell surface receptors while equally interested in botany, herbal medicine, and ecological interdependency. I thrive when standing at the intersection of science, magic, and mystery—weaving spells into the cauldron of molecular sequences and genomic memory. Though my beard turns increasingly gray, I can still be found brewing potions and crafting magical tools.

I am absolutely overjoyed to be returning to BCWC after having been away for 22 years!

 

K r i s t e n   R a w s o n

I’ve been a witch all of my life and after many years of learning and wandering, I found a home in Reclaiming. I’m a transgender activist, teacher, relationship coach, and artist. I read Tarot and talk to dead people. I’m an edgewalker, shining light into the dark places and celebrating the shadows.

I live south of Portland Oregon very near the Willamette Falls. I was not born here, but this is the place I call home.

In this place, the band of Clackamas Chinook called Clowwewalla once lived on the banks of the Willamette River downstream from the falls, known then as Hyas Tyee Tumwater (Great Chief Waterfall). Several other tribes fished salmon and lamprey just below the falls, including the Kalapuya and Molalla; it was a place of gathering and trading and sometimes fighting.

From my window I can see the crest of the falls through a stand of White Oak. On the banks of the river, I walk with Oregon Grape and Camas. This is my second year teaching at BC Witchcamp and I’m deeply grateful that I get to continue this amazing work with you.

 

S e r a p h i n a   C a p r a n o s

I was born on the lands belonging to the Mohawk and Iroquois “tkaronto” meaning “trees standing in the water”, presently known as Toronto. I’m the first generation to be born in Canada on my mother’s line.

After some time living in the desert of Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, I relocated in 2002 to the Coast Salish island xʷənen̕əč, presently known as Salt Spring Island, belonging to the SENĆOŦEN (Coast Salish) peoples where I currently reside, the home of the Western RedCedar, Arbutus, and Sword Fern.

I’m a hereditary healer and a 3rd generation herbalist-witch passionate about plant medicine, wild animals, island living, and earth magic. I’m committed to witching our world awake through ancestral healing, practices of ecstatic joy & sacred sexuality.

Spending ten years in an intensive Toltec shamanism apprenticeship radically shifted the way I see reality, and helped facilitate a pathway towards a more humble, authentic way of living.

I’m deeply inspired by this year’s intention and look forward to being of service to the land, our ancestors, and our community. I’ve been teaching in the Reclaiming Tradition of magic since 2003 and teaching at witchcamps since 2009. This is will be my 6th opportunity teaching at BCWC. www.seraphinacapranos.com

 

E m b e r

I live on land that is the home of the Dkhʷ’Duw’Absh people, the Duwamish, “the People of the Inside.” I live on a peninsula of land that was carved by the river carrying their name. It once wandered freely across the estuary that is now Seattle’s harbor and industrial zone.

My altar is a boulder in a restored urban creek, which is a tributary of the river, which carved this land, which is anchored by cedar and sword fern and alder and snowberry and cottonwood. I look into the tops of the cedars for sleeping owls.

Owl is my ally. Last year at BCWC, I opened the door and my ancestors swept in on her wings. Now, I listen to the words of Lucina Cemina Warren, the queen of swords, who whispered to me at Samhain, “Write every day.”

I listen to my ancestor, Alexander William Ruthven, the Wheel of Fortune reversed, who said “You must tell the truth, in spite of the living.” I listen to Patrick Ruthven, the Emperor, who compelled me to look at the deal that I have made with the patriarchy and stand on my own ground.

As a storyteller, I am working all of this magic through myth. This year, that myth is Bluebeard. As a devotee of my ancestors, I am blogging about that myth every day. As witch of the wild, I call my animal ally, I invoke the elements and know the power of cycles: the osoberry is now budding by the creek, soon the red currant will flower and then fruit and then we will be by the lake, listening to the earth and the animals and our ancestors as they tell us how to write the story of now again. http://bonfirestoryworks.squarespace.com/

 

M o s s   D a n c e

I’ve been involved with BCWC for almost 10 years—last year I had an incredible experience as a first year teacher. I can’t wait to deepen the magic of listening to the land, the animals, the green ones, and to each other this year. In my day to day, all life is sacred and all things are alive. In my experience, many of those non-human people around us are interested in relationship with us.

I live in the territories of the Hul’qumi’num and SENĆOŦEN speaking peoples—unceded Coast Salish Territory. The colonial name for the place I live is Salt Spring Island. I was born in overlapping territories of the Hodenosaunee, Wendat & Mississauga.

My auntie and mother taught me that our ancestors came from Ireland, England, Scotland, France & Holland. Some of them were British Loyalists who originally landed in the U.S., and then migrated to Canada towards the promise of “free” (stolen) land, and low taxes.

My position of privilege in the world today is based on that original theft of land, and I offer my energy, heart, and hands in service of healing the wrongs in my ancestral lines. I aim to do this in day to day life, and in our magic in Whole Time.

I’ve been a witch since I was a child, and my heart and mind have been following the healing arts since I was very young. My spiritual allies are the green bloods and the wild things. I feel a particular affinity to Brigid as well.

Also in my day to day: I have been working as a farmer, and in the ecological farming community for 15 years. This summer I am planning on growing some food and medicinal herbs. My daily work focuses on resourcing, supporting and growing new farmers with the Young Agrarians network. I am also passionate about cultivating gatherings of people, and weaving in threads of decolonization in as many practical ways as possible.

 

P r e s t o n   C o y o t e

I live in the ancestral lands of the people known to us today as Coast Miwok and Suisun, where Big Sagebrush and Madrone trees freely grow. This land is the northeastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. Yet my place of birth, southeastern Massachusetts, is the lands of my grandmother’s ancestral people, the Wampanoag, “People of the First Light”. It is a place where freed black slaves found embrace in the remnants of the local indigenous communities. It is also the land where my mother’s Cape Verdean immigrant ancestors first arrived. So, though I live on the coast of the Pacific, the land spirits of Massachusetts and the water spirits of Cape Cod periodically draw me back.

My bio-cultural heritage combines African American, Cape Verdean, Wampanoag, Irish, West Indian, and much more. Yet my identity is something else.

I am Coyote. Preston Vargas. I am a Reclaiming witch and priest-ess. I am an Aborisha in my Orisha community and Ile. I am a mesa carrier and shamanic healer. I am a black man. A queer man. I am an anti-oppression scholar and activist. I am an artist of the spirits.

I have been practicing magic and facilitating group rituals for 20 years. My ancestors are ever present in my journey. My ritual practice is a blend of witchcraft, shamanic inspiration, ancestral medicine training, Orisha guidance, hoodoo, sorcery, and Fey magic. It is interwoven with the knowledge I developed in my postgraduate degrees in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness as well as Transformative Studies.

The gifts I offer from my training in indigenous ancestral healing traditions are tempered with healing justice, my awareness of privileged power dynamics and my commitments to anti-oppression. I am imperfect and ever-growing. Overall, I believe that the actions we make can stretch backward in time to heal the wounds of all our relations and stretch forward in time to manifest the best possible future.  www.Tituba.com

 

W i l l o w   F i r e f l y   K e l l y

I can often be found with a cosmic headlamp beaming over my third eye pointed inward as I hunt for shadow treasures. Pluto in my first house clapped the lens of initiation over my life and relentlessly holds me to the underworldly art of transformation.

I dance with despair, I entice hope, I enchant my world with music, rhythm and daring authenticity. I help to build containers in which transformation can unfold despite the messiness that is often part of the process. I embrace imperfection while striving to be a better accomplice to this gorgeous planet and all who share it.

I live in the Shenandoah Valley whose older names are hidden to me. I come from this land of horsetail, wild bleeding hearts, the hoary bat; the biodiversity of this land is extraordinary.

I am humbly grateful to live in this fertile beauty and yet it is also the land where British colonies took root. Once the land of the Algonquian, Siouan and Iroquoian Nations, the pre-colonization history of this place has been fragmented, forgotten and lost, the genocide and slavery whitewashed.

While we grieve the wisdom lost, the land remembers. The land always remembers. “As earth and animals dance their stories, we listen and we grow.” Let’s listen…          www.willowkelly.com

 

R a v e n n a   S ó l e y

I am an artist, creative alchemist, witch, priestess, and performer. I believe that art and ritual is the bridge through which the stars fall to the earth and reform destiny. I work to be a sovereign conduit through which our ancestors, descendants, and beloved allies may come and dance with us to reshape and reclaim all of our divine wild parts for ourselves and Mother Earth.

I began my journey as a performer, and it was a myriad of experiences ranging from classical study at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, to discovering my artistic spiritual anarchist in Marina Abramovic performances, to the power of numerology in the structural verses of Shakespeare, that lead me to wonder about the roots of performance, longing to understand the intrinsic relationship I saw between art and healing.

This journey led me to study sorcery, herbalism, alchemy, sacred leadership, lamentation, and the Reclaiming Tradition of magic, where I found a home community, where I priestess and teach.

I am also a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, holding a BFA in Acting, and I am the founder of award winning international artist collective Source Material, and am a teacher in training at Shakespeare & Company.

As proudly as I claim the identity Artist, I claim Witch as a way to stand with the lineage of changers whom were marginalised for doing the powerful healing work this world so desperately needs and craves.

 

Community Resource Offering

Raising Energy with Rhythm, Movement and Sound: Interactive Community Priestessing

We BC Witchcampers have worked hard to grow our drumming and energy skills as a community. It is a joy to continue this process. At this year’s camp we will have:

Teachings on energy-raising priestessing

Regular “everyone welcome” drum, dance and sound opportunities outside of ritual

Facilitated play dates with energy and rhythm during optional offerings

Ritual rhythm and soundscape experiments

Continued deepening of drum work within ritual

All are invited to bring instruments and drums, dancing feet and singing voices to join in the ecstatic flow. No experience required! Please jump in and let the magic lead you.

C o m m u n i t y   R e s o u r c e   T e a c h e r   L i n d a   B e e t

I am delighted to be continuing our community work of building energy-raising practices and interactive drum culture and skills at BCWC. When I received my magical name of Beet many years ago I had no idea how important drumming would become to my path. I think the Godds were being a little silly with that one.

My musical and magical work centres the ecstatic, mystical, healing and intuitive. I have been attending witchcamps for 17 years, teaching at camps and in community for 10 years. BCWC is my spiritual home base. I am pleased to be joining the teaching team and the campers this year to bring a fresh focus on energy raising skills to our gathering.