A fire burns at the center of our large, ritual circle, its saffron flames and feral sparks spiraling into the night sky. One of the teaching priestesses at Reclaiming witchcamp stands in the center, speaking of our ancestor witches, the powerful ones who practiced the Craft in the distant past. She tells us that their magical words and practices were lost from us; our lineages were destroyed through centuries of repression, persecution and the atrocities of the Burning Times. But the world has changed, and we are awakening and once more practicing the Craft of our ancestors, renewing what was lost and creating new traditions that can be passed on to future generations.
Then she spoke the words we use to cast our circle, “By the Earth that is Her body. By the Air that is Her sweet breath. By the Fire of Her bright spirit. By the Waters of Her living womb. By all that is Above, and All that is Below, our circle is cast. We are between the worlds. What changes our world, changes all worlds.”
Her words cut through me, with a mixture of pain and pride, for what has been lost and what we were collective rebirthing. We were now the voices of the ancestors, renewing the Craft and reweaving its mysteries for these times. I felt the power of our casting in the rippling outwards of the resonant power of the spoken words. There was a reverence in the air, as if the Universe itself, and all those that had practiced witchcraft before us, were sacred witnesses to our stepping into the empty space left behind by the ancient ones.
We are the waking witches. The magic of the ancients still sleeps in our cells and in our souls. Mother Earth is hungry for those who know how to dance Her mysteries. Our ancestor witches cannot go to their rest until we, their descendents, return to our sacred heritage. We are saplings once more reaching for the sunlit world, stretching our limbs, anchoring our roots and flexing our powers.
May we trust ourselves to renew and rebirth the Craft for the dire needs of the precarious edge our humanity and Earth home rides. May we hone our mastery in service of our souls and the world soul. May we serve the powers of life with presence, grace and humility. And may we grow strong and cast our circles wide and deep so what was lost can flourish once more in waking world.
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Artist: Melanie Delon (www.melaniedelon.com)