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The Living World

by Tejas Web Witchcampers

As a community of Witches in the Reclaiming Tradition, we have been working hard to envision another world. We have been training, experimenting, learning, and loving. We have created a new world in images that affirm life in all its forms, images of sustainable cultures, images of beauty, balance, and delight. We have been healing ourselves, coming into our power and building communities. Deep in our souls we understand that our world is changing, and that on some profound level we now stand in that Other World we have dreamed. We are at the crossroads and a choice is being demanded of us: do we stand waiting — confused or frightened — or do we step forward to turn our vision into action?

Do we dare to claim our power as co-creators of our world? Do we dare to take responsibility to begin the work of shaping our world now? Will we trust ourselves and recognize that we have all the resources we need? Will we choose to act with love, compassion, and joy? Will we embrace the connection between ourselves and our world, our individuality, and our community?

We start in different places, and for each of us the path is unique. We are all needed in every aspect from the sacred to the mundane. Every step requires courage. At the Tejas Web Witch Camp over Samhain we began to envision a framework for turning our vision into action. To use the tools we know so well to bring our communities together. We offer this as a beginning, the bones to support the flesh and blood of our vision. We call it the Living World.

The Living Earth — This is the ground we stand on, the grounding of our energies, the rooting of our lives, the care and healing of our bodies, the nourishing of our souls, the voice of the land. We envision each of us deepening our connection to Earth, and when we are called, changing our lives.

Ideas for action: Labyrinths being built in public parks with us there to teach people how to use them. Visit Planting pentacles and infinity signs with flower bulbs on public lawns to spring up quietly, mysteriously. Starting community gardens.

The Living Air — This is our connection to the sacred with each breath we take. The word is important, sacred, powerful, and one of our most sacred tools. A Witch's word invokes the Goddesses who invented language. It is our connection to each other within Reclaiming and also within the communities in which we live and work. Clarity of thought is needed. Clearer communication is vital.

Ideas for Action: Pay attention, s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n, breathe deeply. Cultivate compassion for ourselves and each other. Do we need to clean up the RWTO list serve so that we may have a forum to communicate our ideas and strategies? The flow of information is endless, and the sheer bulk of it can go well beyond our capacity to effectively take it in. The ideas of our authentic selves — especially as we share them — are precious and tentative and they need space and time to be heard. How can we encourage sharing of our ideas and strategies across our communities without overloading our capacity to really hear? Can we learn to make personal replies off list? Perhaps the information/articles/news reports could be forwarded to separate lists to be read when we choose, keeping some lists for our work? Also, as we continue to grow our movement, how can we communicate more effectively with the news media, so that our messages reach those who might join us, and those in power who need to hear our ideas?

The Living Water — This is our life blood — cleansing, healing, quieting. The simple act of drinking and sharing a drink becomes an immediate vehicle for prayer and blessing, thanksgiving, and commitment. The Living Water is also the form that the Pagan Cluster has taken in the streets during direct actions. Water is a simple and easy way to understand the global threat to our daily lives. The waters of the world are calling to us. Can we stop the privatization and commodification of our water? Can we build awareness of our waters and how they are used and abused?

Ideas for action: Work with the in-drinking spells started in Seattle. Imagine stickers going up in public restrooms or water fountains, speaking truth to waste and asking for wiser use. Imagine our voice at every hearing, imagine our waters of the world spreading our connection as they flow back into bodies of water we want to protect and heal. Imagine little signs springing up next to sprinkler heads in public places, perhaps like the old Burma Shave ads.

The Living Fire — This is our passion and compassion, our courage, our action. Words are not enough. Reaching out to another being in friendship, in shared community is a powerful, world-changing action. Taking direct action publicly may also be necessary. Preparation is vital. We are called to take risks sometimes and we need to support each other. Everyone has a role and each of us has the power to choose whether it will be from our home, our community, or in the streets.

Ideas for action: Developing expanded trainings that will help to empower participants to take the action they are called to. Imagine local gatherings dedicated to skill building, experiential learning, and action. Imagine "Witches Salons" everywhere to stir the cauldron of ideas for magical action to take together. Imagine affinity groups from each of our communities, representing us in the Living Rivers that flow through the streets focusing the energies, reframing the questions. Imagine actions in our own communities. Imagine the Reclaiming community initiating actions that bring beauty, balance, healing, and delight. Imagine transforming our fear and grief to inspiration and joy.

The Living Center — This is our meeting place, our clan or council house. It is in another world and we can enter in an extended trance or with a single step. It is where we can expect to meet our allies, to sustain ourselves, to gather the resources we need. We envisioned it in a tree, with roots settled deeply into Earth and branches mingling with the Stars. We all know the way. You know the symbol on the door, which opens it for you. Inside are the shelves and cabinets that hold all of our tools; there is a big table with food, a meeting circle of chairs, a cauldron, books. There are three windows — reflecting sunlight, moonlight, and starlight. It is warm and safe and all who travel this road are welcome. In the garden is a labyrinth, where we can walk the sacred patterns. You can be there in an instant when you are tired, alone, or scared. You can be there when you need support, advice, or just want to connect. It is within all of us. We are, each of us, the living center.

This sketch of the Living World is just a beginning. We invite you to think, to dream, to envision, and to create. We do not do this work in isolation. Share your ideas, your imaginings, your specific messages and actions. Each of these living elements offers us a way to frame our work. Bring it to your community, drop down and open, do your own trance, learn a new way and then share it.

Blessings from Tejas Web Samhain Witchcamp.