Not quite realising ‘It’s Time to Witch Up,’ I start the day with no idea how urgent it is. The conference is almost done, but not quite. The lobby fills with folk who are packing up and heading home. There are more workshops and we have been blessed with an extra night at the Doubletree fancy-ass hotel. Consequently, we will be here right up until the closing ceremony.
Co-Creating an Intentional Future.
Orion Foxwood’s Monday morning workshop is a popular choice, we arrive early and stand in line. While we wait, Faelan the bellydancer comes over. Excited, she introduces us to the people stood behind us. Whilst we were having breakfast there was a talk about Albion in which the White Spring was mentioned, Faelan told some people that we were at the conference. Subsequently the couple wanted to meet us. And now here they are, right behind us. We share stories and contact details and then, right on time, the doors are opened for the workshop.
A Freaking Magical Powerhouse.
Orion Foxwood is a fabulous witch, faery seer and root worker. He presents with all the glitz and glamour of a conjurer of the American South and his practice is founded in truth and wisdom. Besides that, his deep connection to the Realm of Faery and otherworlds is indisputable. A fascinating and powerful being, he embodies and teaches the essence of magical transformation with grace, integrity and humour. Check out his work and teachings here.
After a warm welcome to over two hundred people seated in the vesica piscis assembly, he introduces us as founders of The White Spring Water Sanctuary. Like an enthusiatic preacher, he talks of our work in Glastonbury and, in addition, proclaims that we are a freaking magical powerhouse! Finally the charismatic conjurer invites everyone to stand up and join him as he draws the Cloak of the Angels over us.
Cloak of the Angels.
The sensations that enfold us are magnificent. In previous years, myself and Max have done a lot of transformational and magical work. Our focus is mainly concerned with Divine Conciousness and Magical Transformation. VortexHealing practice has aligned us with various powerful techniques, as has our work in the Realm of Faery at the gateway to the otherworld beneath Glastonbury Tor, Avalon of the Heart. Therefore we have had some pretty Divine moments.
Now, in a conference room of the Doubletree hotel in San Jose, with a roomful of people calling down the cloak of the angels to guard, guide and protect us in our future work, we are blown away. It’s probably from the amount of people all intentionally pulling down this blessing all together. I don’t hear the words of the meditation, these are irrelevant. I just soak it all up in graceful acceptance. Speechless and humbled, we sit down, cloaked by angels to revel in this tangible Divine Energy whilst Orion gets on with his presentation. If you want to draw down your own cloak, there are simple instructions here.
What incredible hands stir the bones of our ancestry.
After this wonderful blessing, Orion produces ‘Yes and No Bones’. He goes on to tell their story whilst he stirs them with delight and mastery. Consulting with the spirits he throws the bones down with a question about the work we are about to engage in. Is this to be a powerful working? The answer is undefined. ‘Maybe. Let’s see.’ Amusing and entertaining, he has the crowd enthralled.
It’s Time to Witch Up.
Over the next hour or so, such a flood of wisdom rides through on the faery conjurer’s words. My notebook fills with bullet points of inspiration …
- Humanity divides, Divinity unites.
- We are not God or Goddess, not ‘this or that’ which separates, we are streams of conciousness.
- Humans are wedded to death, yet a person does not die anymore than a wave dies.
- A wave goes back to the ocean and returns in another form.
- No wisdom leaves the world.
Even more, especially for all the magically inclined folk, which comprises much of the audience.
- As magic users we do not fear the news, nor do we have permission for self-indulgence.
- We have survived huge disaster, burning, hanging and worse. Not so we can be scared, we have survived because we are essential.
- Born by inspiration, we willed ourselves here.
- Where there is magic, there is hope.
- It’s time to ‘witch up’.
The magic inside me sits up, silently cheering inside. Yes! This! This powerful message is so necessary. More importantly, it is needed right now. Listen up all you Witches, Wizards, Druids, Bards, Ceremonialists, Occultists, Earth Workers, Priests, Conjurers, Sorcerors, Healers. Magic Users of all kinds, indeed this is for all of us, listen up!
This is not a time to be shrinking back in fear or sinking into the depths of depression. Instead, it is a time to rise up in joyful awareness. Secure your place in the universe. More than this, use your power to secure the planet for future generations.
Cleaning the River.
We continue to follow Orion’s instructions and breathe together, the Star Breath, the Ocean Breath … Ahhh, Hmmm, Shhhh. Tuning into the spirit of place, gathering power, connecting to the Well of Becoming.
After this he draws us in to meditative breath, explaining that we are streams of conciousness downstream from the Ancestors. If they polluted the river in the past, we can clean it now. It is time to get our butts down to the water. When we decide to clean where we are, we clean the whole river. Ancestors are ready to do their part. Descendants in the future are already doing it. Seems like I have done a fair amount of river clearing, still there is work to be done.
This takes me deeper in to the realisation of where my focus is right now. To work with future generations. To be a well and elevated ancestor.
I Call My Power Back to Me.
Orion continues to talk about grace and forgiveness.
Explaining it is possible to pull yourself out of a memory and release everyone for it. When you hold on to a memory that hurts, it’s like keeping it in a cage in your heart. Forgiveness gives you back to yourself, reclaiming the power you had before the event.
Moreover, grace is the key to unlock the cage and release the power caught up in it. Pure love returns, no expectations, no dependancy on another’s actions. This is between you and your spirit. You can reach along your soul’s line and pull all of those parts back to you. He explains it like a time-travelling body/reality conversion instrument. Of course, with a little imagination and will, that is exactly what it is.
Hundreds of voices rise up and chant …
In the name of the Holy Mystery, I call my Power back to me!
In the name of the Holy Mystery, I call my Soul back to me!
In the name of the Holy Mystery, I call my Spirit back to me!
In the name of the Holy Mystery, I claim my Crown of Sovereignty!
In the name, in the name, in the name, in the name,
In the name of the Holy Mystery!
– Orion Foxwood –
Euphoric, tribal, primal healing, old wounds burst out from their cages and we reclaim our collective power. We are no longer caught up in the symptoms of events when we have set them free. In this moment, I feel connected to something ancient and much bigger than all of us. Together we continue to build our power and, most noteworthy, we begin to envision the future we want to see. The future we need. Then we reach out and power up the future. Lastly, we are skillfully guided back from the meditation.
Summoned by the Conjurer.
Oh my word, this is going to take some grounding. We stay in the room for a bit, chatting to people about the White Spring. After a while a woman comes back in and tells us that Orion is waiting for us outside. He warmly greets us and we thank him for the workshop and blessings. Still feeling in a most surreal state, I tell him he inspired a poem the last time we met. He asked me to read it to him, so I sat down and quietly recited, United States of Amazing Grace.
Finally, he gives us both a purple ribbon with ‘It’s Time to Witch Up.’ on it. Then, with an enthusiatic blessing and an invitation to meet up later this evening, we go on our way. Max turns to me and says, ‘I am totally crackling with energy.’ Both of us laugh agreeing we are so full of power. In fact, we feel like we could shoot rays out of our fingers.
Grounded by Psychopomps.
Tiffany Lazic presents ‘A Hand in the Dark, Psychopomps in an Age of Anxiety’.
This talk is certainly more grounding. Defined in ancient Greek as ‘guides of the souls’, psychopomps serve to bridge the physical and non-physical worlds. Psychology comes from a similar root and can be defined as’ study of the soul’. Rather than a lesson in psychotherapy, this is a journey in ‘psychopompery’.
First of all, we hear stories of such characters as Anubis, Hermes, Hekate, Charon, Valkyries, Manannan MacLir, Gwyn Ap Nudd, Epona, Rhiannon and The Grim Reaper, as Tiffany introduces us to some of the psychopomps. They all have fabulous stories, pick one and have a look at what stories you can find.
In an Age of Anxiety.
We live in an age of anxiety. In her work as a psychotherapist, Tiffany hears a lot about anxiety, depression, panic, grief etc. and she hits us with some devestating statistics. Certainly, the sad truth is that anxiety disorders are at an all time high. Statistics show that 54% of women and 46% of men in the US have anxiety disorders.
Shame is at the root of much anxiety. Shame is the misinformed belief that there is something inherently flawed about us that must be hidden from others. Consequently this keeps us from self-esteem, empowerment and a sense of our own ability.
However, psychopomps can help transform anxiety and bring that which dwells in the shadows back to light. Furthermore they can aid your healing process in various ways.
- help validate your feelings.
- recognise the difference between what you do and who you are.
- give you permission to make a mistake rather than thinking you are a mistake.
- help you to reach out to others.
- knowing when things need to die and be left in the dark.
Mananan tells us ‘That which surges must in time subside,’ and working with this psychopomp can be a gentle and humerous process. Charon tells us to ‘take responsibility’ and is a guide to steer true in treacherous waters. Anubis says ‘you are human and will make mistakes’. The Valkeries bring discernement and can change static energy into productive energy. Rhiannon teaches that circumstances do not change who you are, she can help with emotional retrieval. Gwyn encourages us to peer into the inner corners to retrieve what has been lost.
Living mythology teaches us that stories, encounters and archetypes inform our perception of reality. Subsequently, we can look into these stories and psychopomps to change the narrative. This is a powerful healing process. Finally, Tiffany’s summary reminds us.
There will always be the dark, yet the dark holds gifts to be brought to the light. There are tools to do this. Pay attention. Who are your psychopomps or totem animals? Explore their medicine. Let us explore the dark when we are strong rather than when we are in crisis.
Wow, what a morning it has been. After eating we go to the biggest room for the closing ritual. This is the big finale and as a consequence the room is packed. Hundreds of pagans have arrived early to claim their seats, we all manage to cram in with several people sitting on the floor. The kids sitting in front of us playing games on their i-pads are an annoying distraction. I cut it out of my reality and pull my focus to the gathering.
It’s a beautiful heartfelt ritual, much like the opening, as again, people are called from the circle to speak in turn. Max, because he lives furthest to the east, speaks for the East and the sun rising over the stones on the land of our ancestors. Each person steps forward,East, South, West, North, Above, Below, Within, Gods, Goddesses, Fae Realm, Children, Animals, Ancestors, Future Generations, and more besides. Lastly, I speak for future generations, inviting the crowd to reach out into the future and feel the descendants reaching back to us, looking for the wisdom of the ancestors.We pledge to be well and elevated ancestors.
Finally, the conference ends with songs, hugs and fond farewells.
This is the End.
We are now preparing to leave, yet still soaking up the last bits of goodness and looking forward to presenting at Pantheacon 2020.