What a great camp it was this year, thanks to the hard work and efforts of the Combined Covens Social Club!
Combined Covens is a politics-free social opportunity to attend public pagan gatherings in Perth. It is the only organisation of it’s type in WA and offers a valuable resource to the WA pagan community. Every year they hold a spring camp where pagans from all over celebrate together in a beautiful setting in the Perth Hills.
This year our circle facilitated a few workshops and we also prepared the feast. On Friday after arriving early to stock the fridges, we then set to making masks during a workshop run by the amazing, wonderful Tree who also happens to be the forerunner of the Combined Covens committee. That night there was a meet and greet followed by a quiz night. The nerds in our group tried not to be bitter that our correct answers were not enough to win a quiz whose winners were determined by bribery and collusion! The square witchlets tried not to flounce (too much!) and lots of fun was had by all.
Early Saturday morning it was time for Tarot Talk with Ethony. Ethony discussed the court cards and intuitive reading methods. I never tire of tarot workshops and readings with Ethony- which is a good thing considering she is my High Priestess and a smidgen obsessed with tarot!
After a brief break which consisted for me of mostly chopping vegetables with Amanda, who was busy in the kitchen readying the curry for the night’s feasting, it was time for my own workshop on Deity in Popular Culture. I have given more informal workshops at Spring Camp before, but this time was special as it consisted of a PowerPoint which I had somehow managed to weave Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson and Madonna into rather comprehensively. I got a lot of positive feedback on my lecture which was great- but after working on the thing for 6 months I was mighty relieved when it was over!
Then it was back to the kitchen for me to continue to help with feast preparations, while other camp-goers enjoyed the other workshops on offer. Amanda held a workshop in the afternoon which shared her methods of weaving intention and elemental awareness into ritual food preparation- a technique which she has perfected with her experience with raw food and preparing food for a coven (and coven-friends) who have special dietary requirements including veganism, gluten intolerance and nut allergies. In addition to this there were garlic and strawberry allergies amongst camp attendees making the task of preparing a satisfying, healthy and Beltane-inspired feast somewhat challenging! The feast menu included hearty curries, mixed salads and incredible desserts bursting with berries, chocolate sauce and love.
Before we could chow down though, it was time to get ready for the night’s ritual, a highlight of camp. Coven Fintan ran this year’s ritual which included weaving a web and focusing our energies on fertilising positive intentions for the times ahead. Then it was time for the feast and merry-making for all as we were treated to a musician playing many favourite tunes and a belly dancing display where we could all get up and have a turn at shimmying our stuff into the night.
Sunday is fete day where the camp grounds are open to the general public. From what I could tell the stalls were better than ever this year, with an increase of handmade goods showing off the talents of many pagan creatives. Teneal ran an informative talk on the similarities between Yoga and Witchcraft, largely informed by her own personal practice. It was an insightful workshop which everyone walked out from feeling more enlightened and armed with tools for more effective meditation and communion with spirit.
I feel this was one of my favourite Spring Camps to date, I haven’t mentioned many of the other great workshops and happenings- it’s always so jam-packed. Even though SCOTIF was so tired from running around like headless chickens over the many things we we had volunteered for over the weekend, we were so pleased to share our way of making food and ideas associated with our individual practices with those who attended our workshops. Now it is my intent to collude Teneal, Ethony and Amanda to make a blog post on the topics in their workshops… until then, we hope to see you at next year’s camp!