Fourteen years ago today [March 18, 2008] about 30 of us gathered under a
live oak tree on an early spring Texas morning. It was a
balmy morning. The very first buds of bluebonnets were
beginning to break open and show their blue. We barely
knew each other and we surely didn't know what the next
week would hold. It was the first Texas Witch Camp. It was
the first Reclaiming Witch Camp to be offered outside of
the three home sites in California, Michigan, or British
Starhawk, Carol McAnnally, and a woman from the Northwest
named Rosemary had come to guide us through a 6-day
intensive. We worked the story of Persephone. Not the one
of my children's story book, where she is carried against
her will into the underworld. In our story Persephone
chose to step into the dark, into the mystery, into the
unknown. For better or worse, each of us also chose to
walk a stone-lined path into the deep. The rock beneath
our feet was limestone, riddled with caves and mysterious
channels of flow. The sky overhead was a waxing moon over
the deep heart of Texas.
The ritual that night didn't end. We were left in the
underworld for a day, one day in hell. I think that for
years later our Tejas camps resonated with the pattern of
that ritual; a day when it felt like everything was
difficult, hellish. In the good camps, for the lucky ones,
we emerge and celebrate our return to the world of life.
When the week was done we danced the spring. The paths of
Stonehaven were thick with bluebonnets so that we stepped
carefully not to crush them. And the first Tejas Web had
been woven into the larger Reclaiming world of magic.
Today I am in Washington DC for actions against the war.
And as we walk the streets and contemplate the cold floors
of jail, I will never loose my way to the well of memory.