I am sitting by the lake at British Columbia witch camp watching spotted dragonflies do an aerial tango over the water. Their wings are black-and-white and they move better than dancers, predatory and free and beautiful. This is the second day at camp. It's hot this year, so everyone is in the cold deep waters of the lake. I am under an alder on a grassy bank, alone. I have been with people for what feels like 36 consecutive hours and I've become full.
I get full. And it's also true that one of the things that I love about witch camp is the many ways that I get full - of love, of laughing, of magic and spell craft-and the many ways that I see my empty spaces, which out there in my regular life can be clouded by Netflix and red wine and a different kind of time.
On the first night of camp- which was both two nights ago and also at least two years ago- one of the teachers said that when we come to the table of spiritual sharing, we need to come with a full plate, not be so hungry that we are feed blindly from cultures that are not ours Three years ago another friend said that one of the things that is so painful for white people is that we have been severed from our spiritual roots, from the spiritual traditions that arose out of our ancestors' relationships to the land... before the Saxon or Roman or British or any one of the rest of the fucking empires which used war to replace local spirituality with the political tool that is "organized religion."
I remember sitting in the hall when he said that, and feeling that reverberate through me to the core. That severed feeling, and the grief of it.
I'm feeling that now.
The dragonflies have been joined by damselflies which are small and periwinkle blue. I'm feeling that now because this week's camp intention is to work with the ancestors to.. wait, let me look it up. It's wordy but beautiful:
"In slow time and deep earth, we dance with ancestors near and far as we learn to decolonize and reweave cultures of compassion and justice."
We don't know how to do this though.
A fish just leaped out of the blue-sky-reflecting water. It's the middle of the day. I am out of time's grip. Nothing is urgent and everything is precious.
We don't know how to do this, so we are calling on our ancestors, and I realize that I know very little about mine.