Communication Minutes Feb March

These are the conversations and may drafts of the outreach letter we crafted for this years Gaia theme.
as our conversations were all over the web, they are here on this page as one, and also sorted into days on separate pages to follow it a little easier…
To read the outreach letter as we sent it, click here

feb. 20/09-gabriel
feb. 22/09-glimmer
feb 25/09-amara
feb 26/09-glimmer
march 1/09-glimmer
march 1/09- gabriel
march 2/09- amara, glimmer
march 3/09-amara, glimmer
march4/09-amara,glimmer,captain,seneca, mel, riyanna
march 6/09- gabriel, glimmer


feb 20/09

Here is a spiel I wrote for theme and story. It's a little wordy and kind of brainy… I think it could use more poetry. BUT…. it's a start. Please give me feedback and feel free to try rewriting it any way you please.

{peace}

Gabriel

GAIA

In the days of ancient Greece, all the Gods swore their binding oath to Gaia, the Universal Mother, the Deep Breasted One. She is Earth, the Mother Goddess worshiped in all cultures, by all people. She is Rhea, Gayatri, Terra, Papatuanuku, Tiamat, Pachamama, but she is also the first Mother from whom all other deities have been birthed.

For most of Human existence we have recognized the Earth as our Great Mother, from who all life is given and to whom all life returns. In every culture, among all people, we honored and respected Her as one whole living spiritual being.

Yet only a few centuries ago, our view of this living, spiritual, organic universe was replaced with that of Nature as a Machine. Ever since there has been a struggle between those who see Earth as a living being with whom we are deeply interconnected and dependent upon, and those who believe she is an inert mass of resources to be plundered.

We are running out of time for this debate. We live in an age of War, Capitalism, Over-population, Mass Extinction, and Environmental Devastation. Our species, and the planet as a whole, is at grave risk.

We must return to the old ways of honoring, and loving our Mother. We must begin to see how we are connected, through Her, with all living things on this planet, and the very matter that is this planet. We must see the microcosm of our selves, our relationships, and our communities expanding to include the macrocosm of Earth. Together we must walk a path back home.

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we will weave the story of Mother Earth with our own, exploring our connection to her and to each other. Come home with us.


feb 22

Thanks Gabriel, this looks good. I will look at it more tomorrow and see if I have ideas to make it more poetic. Amara, I'd love to hear your ideas also …

fyi, it has been a long weekend for me and I moving a bit slower than usual. We have two babies in my household now and somebody is always crying, somebody always needs to be picked up, somebody always is needing to be fed. I sit and hold the 3-week old little one and wonder about her future on this planet and the future of any children that she might have one day…

I like what you wrote. It made me remember the Orphic Hym to Gaia poem by Virgina Stewart: "Oh Goddess, Source of Gods and Mortals, All-fertile, All-Destroying Gaia, Mother of All…."

I also looked up the authors of the Gaia hypothesis that Riyanna mentioned: Brian Swimmer and James Lovelock:
Dr. Brian Swimme (born 1950) is a mathematical cosmologist and the director of the Center for the Story of the Universe at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author of four books on cosmology, evolution and religion. Swimme is the producer of a twelve-part dvd series Canticle to the Cosmos which has been distributed worldwide.
I was struck by Lovelock's idea of the way things are going… here is a bit cut and pasted of his thinking:

Given these conditions, Lovelock expects human civilization will be hard pressed to survive. He expects the change to be similar to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum when atmospheric concentration of CO2 was 450 ppm. At that point the Arctic Ocean was 23 degrees Celsius and had crocodiles in it, with the rest of the world mostly scrub and desert. He says of sustainable development and renewable energy that it came "200 years too late" and that more effort should go into adaptation, including more use of fission. He likens the Kyoto Protocol to the Munich conferences that failed to prevent World War II, including the likelihood that the disaster will cause people to come together in common cause. "We have been through no less than seven of these events as humans…comparable in extent to the change" likely to be wrought by global warming.

He claims that Gaia's self-regulation will likely prevent any extraordinary runaway effects that wipe out life itself, but that humans will survive and be "culled and, I hope, refined."

According to James Lovelock, by 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine. The people of Southern Europe, as well as South-East Asia, will be fighting their way into countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain. He says that "By 2040, parts of the Sahara desert will have moved into middle Europe. We are talking about Paris - as far north as Berlin. In Britain we will escape because of our oceanic position." Lovelock believes it is too late to repair the damage. "If you take the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predictions, then by 2040 every summer in Europe will be as hot as it was in 2003 - between 110F and 120F. It is not the death of people that is the main problem, it is the fact that the plants can't grow - there will be almost no food grown in Europe. We are about to take an evolutionary step and my hope is that the species will emerge stronger. It would be hubris to think humans as they now are God's chosen race."[29]

Glimmer

—-

feb 25/09

hey there
after lots of spinning and reflecting, and bouncing back and forth with rebecca and seneca, this came out.
(i sent a copy of this to seneca who will pass it on to theme and story).
let me know what you think.
i was trying to be conscious of invitational and invoking language, that could resonate with different people's stories… and that brought in your thoughts, and what i got from seneca after getting a better feel of the cauldron where the theme and story came from.

Free Activist Witch Camp 2009— Gaia Creation Story

Our Bodies
pulsing, bleeding, breathing, birthing, dying, cycling, harmonizing
Our Community
warriors, healers, predators, prey, white blood cells, bacterial culture, mycelium
Earth's story
turning,floods, fires, eruption, extinction, evolution, uprising, sacred balance
Our Path
networks, veins, roots, trails, tributaries
To Home
hearts, community kitchens, forests, villages, the multiverse

Mass extinctions are a part of Earth's story. We could say "globablly we are on the verge of collapse." Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

We begin to remember our ways of honoring, and loving our Mother. We return to our connectedness, through Her, with all living things on this planet, and the very matter that is this planet. The microcosm of our selves, our relationships, and our communities expands to include the macrocosm of Earth. Together we walk a path back home.

May we find our place as we recognize ourselves as cells working in harmony, whatever our unique calling may be, to restore balance.

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we weave the story of Mother
Earth with our own, embracing our connection to her and to each other.
Come home with us.

i'm all excited to dance right now,
blessed be
a

—-
feb 26

Yes. I'm feeling like dancing too now and am excited reading this call to bring my breathing, pulsing, erupting self to camp, to home, to be Gaia and to be with Gaia. I like it. It really seems alive now.

I'm been off email for a couple of days now (babies and office work stress had me crying yesterday!) so glad you guys have been stiring the pot and cooking up our spell of words to call us back to camp. Thank you Gabriel for getting us started.

The only part of it that I'm not sure about is the phrase, "globablly we are on the verge of collapse."
I don't feel strongly about it if it really fits what theme and story folks are envisioning, but right now I personally don't like thinking that we are globally on verge of collapse and if I hadn't been to camp before I might think that camp was filled with a bunch of pessimists. I only say this from my perspective of spending so many hours a day in an office where everyone walks around feeling like we are on the verge of collapse and I'm sick of feeling that way. Yes, I hope that a lot of shit is on it's way out and we all know that an awful lot of crap needs to collapse, but I'd rather think that we are on the verge of rebirth and a new era of human evolution, which is maybe the same thing as saying we are on the verge of collapse — I'm not sure I guess….

In any case I think we now have a call out message to a) put on web page and b) send along with camp logistical information to all of the FAWC contacts that we have, and c) a message that we can link up to an image that we can use for both our web page and posters that could be downloaded, etc. We can share it with others on the next organizer's call before we send it out.

Sending you and your family blessings of the deep peace of the rolling waves to that new little neice or nephew who is floating in a sea of readiness about to do the scariest and biggest thing we all do in this world — leave that sweet warm lovely womb and take the leap of action needed to act and live in this world. I don't think it's the moms who control the birth process. I think it's the new life being born.

Love you,

Glimmer


march 1

Gabriel, how are you? Do you like Amara's pulsating language? What do you think, I am eager to hear your voice.

I am fine. Picture me listening to the winnie-the-pooh song over and over again this morning…..in-between the horn honking of my grandson's mini battery opperated ride-along truck. We went to a Magic Mama show-event yesterday. Magic Mama is a witch with a mission to educate about Gaia and making music for kids. I wish she could come to FAWC but I think she lives on a farm in Wisc and she has several kids so probably not possible. She reminded me a lot of Gabriel's lovely wife, Asa.

Okay, down to business….How about changing the message sentence slightly as in:

Mass extinctions are a part of Earth's story. Many of us feel that "globally we are on the verge of collapse." Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

Also, what do you think of changing this sentence to something like:
Others have more and donate amounts between 0 and $500 (consider how much it costs to provide food and everything needed to make Free Activist Witch Camp happen. The average cost of a week long witch camp is $500). Our web site is also set up to accept donations. Consider making a weekly donation of a few dollars at a time if this is a way of supporting Free Camp that works for you.

For the teacher call out part, I already sent the call for Priestessing teachers (which included a part about us also calling for community path teachers) to the Witch Camp Council, FAWC community, WinterWitchCamp weavers and Reclaiming Spider group. We can check in with the teacher selection work group before deciding if we want to re-send out this call out for these teachers.

I would attach the community path teacher call out to the end of our theme and story update email. I know that makes the email long but we send our broad messages from moc.liamg|cwaf#moc.liamg|cwaf to over 500 contacts and I think that one email is most effective. I want to respect people's email in-boxes and so I would put all in one message.

I also think we need to update the web site with our theme and story message at the same time that we send out our email (hopefully Song has time to do this in the upcoming week). All we still need for the web site is updated images and visuals to go with Gaia theme.

Talk to you later, I have a really bad head, neck, shoulder, arm, wrist, back ache today and wish I lived with an energy healer. Actually, I guess I do cause I live with myself! (smile). I'm going to now log off the computer and go outside to work on healing for myself. Picture me now with my arms outstretched in the sunny snowy backyard!

Hugs……

Glimmer


march 1

Hello all,

Thank you for your patience.

I love Amara's version. It is the "poetry" that I was hoping for. It is very different than mine, in many ways, but it succeeds at a lot of things that my letter doesn't. Your language lives.

There are a few things that I would like to still see in our letter - things that are articulated in my version, but are not clear in Amara's.

One thing is… Who is Gaia?
We shouldn't assume everyone knows she is the earth. Many people may have heard her name, but they may have associations with science, feminism, or literature that color how they read our call. I would like to introduce her, as a courtesy.

Another thing that I think is essential is acknowledging the conflict that exists between two consciousnesses - one which sees humans as A PART of Gaia, and one which sees humans as SEPARATE from Gaia. This gathering is not just to celebrate people who identify with the former, but to develop tools for transforming the latter.

Lastly, while I think that Environmental / Ecological concerns are a huge part of why people come to camp, I know that there are other issues that are crucial. Issues like War, Capitalism, Mental Health, Gender/Sexuality, Poverty and Oppression are all part of the big picture that draws people to become Magickal Activists. Though Ecology seems to be the main concern of any conversation about Gaia, it's crucial to recognise how capitalism, war, sexism, racism, and so many other things are what's behind the destruction of this beautiful planet. I would like to find a way to include these things in our call.

Comparing our two letters side by side, they are different, but they work the same way… They speak of the past, the present, and the future.

I would love to get feedback from others… or at least some thoughts on what I've said.

Thank you so much for all your work on this…

Here is another version, still, perhaps not complete, but a step closer. Tell me what you think!

Free Activist Witch Camp: August 1-7, 2009
The Gaia Creation Story

Our Bodies
pulsing, bleeding, breathing, birthing, dying, cycling, harmonizing
Our Community
warriors, healers, predators, prey, white blood cells, bacterial culture, mycelium
Earth's story
turning, floods, fires, eruption, extinction, evolution, uprising, sacred balance
Our Path
networks, veins, roots, trails, tributaries
To Home
hearts, community kitchens, forests, villages, the multiverse

In the days of ancient Greece, the poets spoke of Gaia, the Universal Mother, the Deep Breasted One. She is Earth, the Mother Goddess at one time worshipped in all cultures, by all people. It is from her that all life is birthed and to whom all life returns when it dies.

Once humanity lived in blance and harmony with Her, conscious of our deep interconnectedness with all living things.
Now humanity lives as though there can be no limit to our consumption or desecration of her gifts.

War, poverty and oppression haunts the lands. Mass extinctions which were always a part of Earth's story, threaten to come again. Many of us believe that "globally we are on the verge of collapse." Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we come together with Gaia, and begin to remember our ways of honoring, and loving our Mother. We return to our connectedness, through Her, with all living things on this planet, and the very matter that is this planet. The microcosm of our selves, our relationships, and our communities expands to include the macrocosm of Earth. Together we walk a path back home.

May we find our place as we recognize ourselves as cells working in harmony, whatever our unique calling may be, to restore balance.

Together weave the story of Mother Earth with our own, embracing our connection to her and to each other.
Come home with us.


march 2

when's a good time to talk on the phone? email has so much lag time, and i really want to get this out soon.
i'm also having lots of fun playing around with writing this.

gabriel
i appreciate the awareness that you've brought to all the issues we're engaging with.
i was checking out the other camps pages to see what they've written.
it seems as though they mostly have their story, and/or a description of who exactly they are as a community.
i think a lot of the things you mentioned— war/gender/opression etc are most certainly things that we as a camp culture are engaged with… i wonder if there's a piece for us to speak more directly about that stuff, on the website or otherwise, separate from the poetic enticing part of our call, but of course, still engaging it in the call, so that we all come with the awareness of doing the work.

i think the gender/sexuality is a big one for me, that i want to subtly address in the call, by using gender neutral language in more places. i feel that using 'she' is empowering for some, opressive for others… hmmm. i kept she/her in some places, but kept it out of the whole thing. gosh this is a tricky, and wonderful challenge.

i cut out the ancient greece part again. i see it's place, as acknowledging the roots of where the word 'gaia' came from, but as the story and the mother earth is present in so many cultures i feel reluctant to give them cred.

the call was feeling kind of long, i pruned it a little. i hope it still holds everything that you brought.

Free Activist Witch Camp: August 1-7, 2009
The Gaia Creation Story

Our Bodies
pulsing, bleeding, breathing, birthing, dying, cycling, harmonizing
Our Community
warriors, healers, predators, prey, white blood cells, bacterial culture, mycelium
Earth's story
turning, floods, fires, eruption, extinction, evolution, uprising, sacred balance
Our Path
networks, veins, roots, trails, tributaries
To Home
hearts, community kitchens, forests, villages, the multiverse

In times and places outside of empirical culture, humanity lived in balance and harmony with Earth, conscious of our deep interconnectedness with all living things.

Symptoms of imbalance, war, disconnection, and oppression haunt these lands. Mass extinctions have always been a part of Earth's story. Many of us believe that globally we are on the verge of collapse, the next extinction. Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we come together with Gaia, the Universal Mother. She is Earth, at one time worshiped in all cultures, by all people. It is from her that all life is birthed and to whom all life returns when it dies.

We come together to remember our ways of honoring, and loving Earth. We return to our connectedness, through Gaia, with all living things on this planet, and the very matter that is this planet. The microcosm of our selves, our relationships, and our communities expands to include the macrocosm of Earth. Together we walk a path back home.

May we find our place as we recognize ourselves as Earth's cells working in harmony, whatever our unique calling may be, to restore balance.

Together weave the story of Mother Earth with our own roots, embracing our connection to her and to each other.
Come home with us.

amara

—-
Hello again sweeties. Thanks for continuing this co-created message. fyi, I don't get home until 8:30 p.m tomorrow so may be late to organizer's call. On Wed night I could talk anytime after 7 p.m. CST.

I'm thinking that maybe the email message we send (hopefully this week) will contain the call out language we are working on with a link at the bottom of the message to our web page. With that in mind, I wonder if we should try to work the timing so that the web page is updated a day before we send out the call to camp email. I will contact Song tomorrow and make sure that she is going to have time to make updates to our web page. I'm thinking that the call for community led Paths and other longer language describing our culture could be on web page along with new imagery that invokes the concept of Gaia (hopefully you guys are working on the image parts as I am not artistically inclined in that way)

About the email message, I would put the ancient Greek part back in even though I think Amara makes a good point about leaving it out. However I think if we are working with Gaia as Deity and not just as metaphor or concept then we need to acknowledge Her roots and the fact that while She is Mother Earth, called by many names in many cultures worldwide, when we call Her as Gaia, She is Goddess who comes to us from ancient Greece. This doesn't mean that at camp we can't call Her by other names and make this a part of ritual…

I also want to be sensitive about gender language but emotionally it sometimes feels for me that we lose power in some situations when we leave out gender. "It" or the Earth does not inspire in me the awe that the words: Great Mother, She, Her, Mother Goddess or Gaia does. But, maybe that's just the way I'm wired… Amara, if you feel really strongly about this I would bow to your judgement as you are probably closer to genderblurring issues than I am. I just think of how a child calls his or her Mother, and that is how I think of the Earth. As my momma, as She.

So, what do you think of this last revision (below) also, what do you think about ending the message with "we come together with Gaia?" ;)

Free Activist Witch Camp: August 1-7, 2009
The Gaia Creation Story

Our Bodies
pulsing, bleeding, breathing, birthing, dying, cycling, harmonizing
Our Community
warriors, healers, predators, prey, white blood cells, bacterial culture, mycelium
Earth's story
turning, floods, fires, eruption, extinction, evolution, uprising, sacred balance
Our Path
networks, veins, roots, trails, tributaries
To Home
hearts, community kitchens, forests, villages, the multiverse

In the days of ancient Greece, the poets spoke of Gaia, the Universal Mother. She is Earth, the Mother Goddess at one time worshiped in all cultures, by all people. It is from her that all life is birthed and to whom all life returns when it dies.

Once humanity lived in balance and harmony with Her; conscious of our deep interconnectedness with all living things. Now humanity lives as though there can be no limit to our consumption or desecration of her gifts.

Symptoms of imbalance, war, disconnection, and oppression haunt the land. Many believe that globally we are on the verge of collapse, the next extinction. Mass extinctions have always been a part of Earth's story. Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

We come together to remember our ways of honoring and loving Earth. We return to our connectedness, through Gaia, with all living things on this planet, and the very matter that is this planet. The microcosm of ourselves, our relationships, and our communities expands to include the macrocosm of Earth. Together we walk a path back home.

May we find our place as we recognize ourselves as Earth's cells working in harmony, whatever our unique calling may be, to restore balance.

Together we weave the story of Mother Earth with our own roots, embracing our connection to Earth and to each other.

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we come together with Gaia.

Come home with us.

Glimmer

—-
march 2

hey again,
I'm loving all the dimensions we bring to this together. it would all be so flat with just one person working on this.

Glimmer, in response to your suggestion about the donations sentence…
i think it would be great to include all of those things, and i think it would be great to ask for donations that aren't money based, (supplies, food. i like that you referenced how much it takes to put camp on, and the idea of donating little bits here and there…
i imagine in another couple months we'll send the call out again with more specific requests of what to bring (camping suggestions for individuals and specific all camp supply needs like first aid, extra camp and kitchen gear, special diet stuff etc)

below i added that seeds of peace is supplying foods, and the call for teachers.

love
amara

This year, to strengthen the integrity of our container, we
are experimenting with a new gatekeeping process— The
specific location of camp, a beautiful wilderness area in
the central Cascades of Oregon, will be shared upon
registration.

Seeds of Peace are returning, providing two hearty meals a day, breakfast and supper. Donations of food are greatly appreciated, and make our meals much merrier and more abundant!

We are currently inviting members of our community to propose paths that they would like to teach at FAWC 2009. That means you! Have an interesting path idea you would like to teach/ co-teach?

We are the Free Activist Witchcamp, open to everyone, no
matter what their economic status. But we can all
participate. It takes energy to create camp,
FAWC is very much a participatory community, We grow
together as we work together, sharing skills and resources.
Many people have no money, and so they donate no money.
Others have more and donate amounts between 0 and $500
(consider how much it costs to provide food and everything
needed to make Free Activist Witch Camp happen. The
average cost of a week long witch camp is $500).

Our web site is also set up to accept donations. Consider making a

weekly donation of a few dollars at a time if this is a way
of supporting FAWC that works for you. Donations of all kinds are very much welcome!We encourage you, to contribute and offer what you can.
For more information, and to register
visit www.Freewitchcamp.org
To check out other witch camps - www.witchcamp.org
For info about Reclaiming- www.reclaiming.org

Blessed be,

Glimmer, Gabriel and Amara
FAWC Outreach/Communications cell
—-
march 3
hey deers

I can talk wednesday after 7 central time also… provided my sister's not in labour, of course. (i think that's 8 eastern time, and 5 pst) could we try for a call at 730 your time/ 830 for me and 530 for gabriel?
we could do the conference call, or three way.
in response to working with 'gaia as a deity,' and using the grecian reference my understanding is that we are working with the "gaia creation story" as described by the callout letter for path teachers (some of whom are on theme and story) "a la brian swimme and james lovelock."
i understand that we are working with the creation theory of earth as a being, a self-regulating organism, with organs and parts that are now under a lot of stress (from human impact). this organism/ "she" has been named "gaia" by the greeks and many other names. rather than gaia as a deity specifically. yes, it's about gaia, as earth. and the name "gaia" came from the greeks, but i don't believe the concept of earth as an organism came from them. nor do i believe it came originally from james lovelock or brian swimme, i think it is an ancient understanding known by many cultures, and recently remembered by ours.
I'm open to referencing that the name "gaia" came from the greeks, but i think the placement of it in what we've written has too much emphasis on the greece roots.
of course, this is only my understanding, and i might be really finicky about all this.
check out crosscurrents.org/gaia.htm it has some good descriptions of what the creation story is.
I appreciate very much about what the language of gaia/earth mother means to you. i love the juicyness and personality it evokes using words like that… and once we describe what gaia is at the beginning, it makes more sense to use gaia more than 'earth' so i shifted to use Gaia in there more… but still left earth in, just not as much. like i said, i wanted to cut out using she, but i think it's difficult to do that, i agree 'it' isn't that nice. i wish there were more pronouns to choose from.
i would be satisfied if we had something on the wiki/website somewhere that showed our sensitivity and awareness to this issue, and use she here.

what do you think about this:

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we weave the creation story of Gaia, one of many names given to the Earth Mother. Gaia is Earth, a whole and intricate living organism, at one time worshiped in all cultures, by all people. It is from Her that all life is birthed and to whom all life returns when it dies.

In times and places outside of the dominant culture, humanity lived in balance and harmony with Gaia, conscious of our deep interconnectedness with all living things.

Symptoms of imbalance, war, disconnection, and oppression haunt the land. Many believe that globally we are on the verge of collapse, the next extinction. Mass extinctions have always been a part of Earth's story. Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

We come together to remember our ways of honoring and loving the Earth Mother. We return to our connectedness, through Earth, with all living things on this planet, and the very matter that is this planet. The microcosm of ourselves, our relationships, and our communities expands to include the macrocosm of Gaia. Together we walk a path back home.

May we find our place as we recognize ourselves as Gaia's cells working in harmony, whatever our unique calling may be, to restore balance.

Together at Free Activist Witch Camp, we weave the story of Gaia, embracing our connections with the Earth Mother and each other.

Come home with us.
—-
march 3

Tpying from phone…….I can follow Amara's train of thot and think that we may be in agreement as I dont want to give Greek ancient culture credit for recognizing earth as a real living being, cause like amara says this is deep truth and knowledge that has surfaced in many cultures and the ancient greeks formed their stories and understanding from even more anciet times. However i think that it is imporant to tell whole story of gaia as you may get campers who are gaia devotees or greek and i wouldnt want to offend and use the name without explaining the peoplesfrom which it came. Sorry to make this conversation longer. I am fine with yr latest version. I just came from winter witch camp where we sensed that the goddess freya may not have been hospitable 2Bridget who was invited 2 camp this yr and lots of people sensed that Loki was lurking round the edges of our space so you hv to realize that whether we decide to work with a certain deity or not, once a Being has been given shape by human collective energy - She exists and we need to make sure we are respectfull
glimmer

—-

march 4

hey all
i write this as the sun goes down golden, and the half moon begins to brighten in the eve…
as you can see i've sent this to Seneca as well, who will forward it onto the theme and story. I've been communicating with Seneca, and she with the t+s working group to get some clarity on what we're communicating about. I sent some of their emails along. They ask that we link references to the authors on the website. I also changed some more of the wording, including something mel wrote which is really beautiful. I feel like i'm pushing this, but Sen also agreed with my thoughts about the greek reference, and didn't like it's place in there. I really hope we can talk soon, it's a lot easier to connect that way…

much love
amara

Free Activist Witch Camp: August 1-7, 2009

The Gaia Creation Story

Our Bodies
pulsing, bleeding, breathing, birthing, dying, cycling, harmonizing
Our Community
warriors, healers, predators, prey, white blood cells, bacterial culture, mycelium
Earth's story
turning,floods, fires, eruption, extinction, evolution, uprising, sacred balance
Our Path
networks, veins, roots, trails, tributaries
To Home
hearts, community kitchens, forests, villages, the multiverse

From Stardust, to all we know, the long journey through time has drawn us to here and now. Here in Gaia's arms as we continue the evolving journey.

This year at Free Activist Witch Camp, we weave the creation story of Gaia,
one of many names given to the Earth Mother. Gaia is Earth, a whole and intricate living organism, at one time worshiped in all cultures, by all people. It is from Her that all life is birthed and to whom all life returns when it dies.

In times and places outside of the dominant culture, humanity lived in balance and harmony with Gaia, conscious of our deep interconnectedness with all living things.

Symptoms of imbalance, war, disconnection, and oppression haunt the land. Many believe that globablly we are on the verge of collapse. There have been five recorded mass extinctions in Earth's story, we may be on the brink of the next. Culturally, systemically, communally, bodily what does this mean to us?

We come together with Gaia to celebrate and share the remembering of the ways we honor and love Mother Earth. Through Her, we return to our connectedness, with all life that is this planet. The microcosm of ourselves, our relationships, and our communities expands to include the macrocosm of Gaia. Together we walk a path back home.

May we find our place as we recognize ourselves as Gaia's cells working in
harmony, whatever our unique calling may be, to restore balance.

Together at Free Activist Witch Camp, we weave ourselves into the Gaia Story, embracing our connections with the Earth Mother and each other.

Come home with us.

We are all very excited to invite all the many communities that come to Free Activist Witch Camp this year, a young and vibrant camp constantly changing as we evolve.
Camp is a little different this year, specifically around the way which Paths are created…

We are currently inviting members of our community to propose paths that they would like to facilitate at FAWC 2009. That means you! Have an interesting path idea you would like to teach/ co-teach? Please submit your proposal no later than april 1st!

This year, to strengthen the integrity of our container, we are experimenting with a new gatekeeping process— The specific location of camp, a beautiful wilderness area in the central Cascades of Oregon, will be shared upon registration.

Seeds of Peace are returning, providing two hearty meals a day, breakfast and supper. Donations of food are greatly appreciated, and make our meals much merrier and more abundant!

We are the Free Activist Witchcamp, open to everyone, no matter what their economic status. But we can all participate. It takes energy to create camp, FAWC is very much a participatory community, We grow together as we work together, sharing skills and resources.

Many people have no money, and so they donate no money. Others have more and donate amounts between 0 and $500 (consider how much it costs to provide food and everything needed to make Free Activist Witch Camp happen. The average cost of a week long witch camp is $500).

Our web site is also set up to accept donations. Consider making a weekly donation of a few dollars at a time if this is a way of supporting FAWC that works for you. Donations of all kinds are very much welcome!We encourage you, to contribute and offer what you can.

For more information, and to register visit www.Freewitchcamp.org
To check out other witch camps - www.witchcamp.org
For info about Reclaiming- www.reclaiming.org

Blessed be,

Glimmer, Gabriel and Amara
FAWC Outreach/Communications cell


Amara, I really appreciate you being able to take the time to connect the dots and to pull this all together today. I just got home from long day at the office and need to run to the store so will try to make this email brief. I love the stardust sentence. I love the whole message and am not feeling at all weird if we leave out the reference to Gaia as a greek goddess — my whole point was only that we don't do any cultural appropriation and ignore the possibility that for some people Gaia as a greek goddess is as real as Freya as a norse goddess or Bridget as a celtic deity. I think Riyanna's suggestion of putting in something about where we get the Gaia Creation Story is good and could go on the web site..Basically I think inserting a reference to greece would at this point ruin the flow of a very beautifully worded invitation so I wouldn't change a thing. Gabriel, I hope you agree!

Love,

Glimmer
—-
march 4

thanks, i feel happy that you understand… i think putting on the site more reference to who gaia is as a greek goddess is a good idea. Gabriel… i really want to hear from you soon!

love
amara


march 4

hello lovelies!!!
ah, it's been too long since our last group communication! i realize i feel a little disconnected to the organizing of
Fawc; i have not been able to make any of the recent organizing cell

conference calls, which doesn't help. anyhow, i'm happy to say that a recent face-to-face conversation with amara has stimulated me to pro-actively reconnect. the communications cell is in the process of creating a write up for all our 'advertising' for camp (posters, flyers, website, etc.) when i read over both Gabriel's & Amara's writings left me feeling like an important essence of the theme and story was not being represented in their words… we don't have much time - they want to get something out in the next few days - but if you have any strong words or ideas that

could enrich the write-up, PLEASE SEND THEM ASAP to amara at moc.oohay|sdeeshtnarama#moc.oohay|sdeeshtnarama
out of respect for the communication work groups process, i have communicated to amara that i support whatever they put out. it may be too late for any of us to further influence what is written, but i thought i'd throw out a line and see what happens! when i write to amara i will cc you so you see my words. sorry about the lengthy email. i hope it finds you all well and warm with love and laughter!
seneca
—-
march 4

Greetings all!!

Thanks to those who did the hard work to communicating this so beautifully!

One of the things that I have to say, which is part of my work in the world is that I believe that every time we say "warrior" we actively participate in a culture of war. Many of you have heard my opinions about this, as a poet i am invested in language. I see that the use of the word is important to others in our communities in doing radical work….I do not expect any changes in the call out…I just have to keep saying my piece.
many ways to kneel and kiss the ground kinda stuff…

I also don't believe we can "go back" to anything..but that is a another discussion.
I would love to have some time.

Thanks again for everyone's hard work. Can someone send me an invite to the FAWC 2009 group I can't get on by just searching in yahoo groups

love queerly
captain
—-

march 4

So good to hear from you.

»
» As I have not read the writings you refer to, I am
not
» exactly sure what it
» is that is missing. However, are any of the
following
» phrases any use? Can
» you mix and match? Are the sentences long wnough?
Or is
» this not what you
» are wanting? If you let me know, I will endevour
to find
» what you want.
»
»
» *From Stardust, to all we know, the long journey
through
» time has drawn us
» to here and now. Here in Gaia¹s arms as we
continue the
» evolving journey.*
»
» *
******
»
» *Once, long ago, from the cosmic dust, Gaia grew
and
» evolved. Join us as we
» celebrate her journey.*
»
» *
*********
»
» *Creation, Gaia¹s story, forever unfolding into
the
» realms of the future..*

mel

—-
march 4

I love this first one:

*From Stardust, to all we know, the long journey through
» time has drawn us
» to here and now. Here in Gaia¹s arms as we
continue the
» evolving journey.*
I think its important, somewhere, to say very specifically
that the STORY we
are using this year for our theme at camp is "the Gaia
Story." It means
something specific, and people who are familiar with it
will know
immediately what it is and resonate with it.
I also think it's important, somwehere, to cite some of the
following
authors that have been instrumental in the creation of the
Gaia Story;
Brian Swimme
Thomas Berry
James Lovelock
The woman who wrote "Earth dance" (temporarily forgot her
name)
Much love,
Riyana

march 6

Hello all,

Sorry to be out of touch for a few days, but I am excited to see that so much great work has come out of this.
Firstly, I think this version is great. I would be happy to see it go out as our call. It makes sense to me that more details, such as various aspects of the Earth Goddess, and a discussion of the Gaia theory, could all be explored with much more nuance on the Theme and Story webpage. I think that's a worthwhile project, and that the Call can justifiably be more vague.

I have two things that I want to address directly, but neither should stop us from sending out this CALL… so…

1)
I may have missed something among these emails, but I don't think anyone has mentioned Lynn Margulis, who's work with Lovelock was critical to the development of his theories. I think T&S wg HAS to include her in this discussion.

2)
Regarding GAIA and the greeks… I totally agree with Glimmer that we need to recognize Her as a Greek Goddess. Maybe not in the Call, if it seems too dificult to fit it in eloquently, but it has to be integrated into our consciousness. The Greeks were Pagans. They had their own set of Deities that reflected those of many other peoples, but were true to their context.
Before the Abrahamic religions, all people were ruled by their own Deities and they were tied to the land that the people lived with. Those deities were recognized by other people who had Deities of their own as being real and powerful. When one culture would overtake another often those deities became in some ways interchangeable. (Even when Christianity began creating a hegemony over Europe, often Saints, Angels, and even Mary became stand-ins for the Deities that had existed in these cultures and within their sacred places for thousands of years.)
Whether we recognize her as being one aspect of a universal mother goddess (that can even include Mary) or as Gaia, the greek goddess, when we invoke her by that name we invoke THAT goddess. Maybe that is my biased understanding that is specific to my magickal practice, but most ceremonial magicians warn against invoking a Deity that we have a superficial understanding of. "Earth" is as universal as we can get, but Gaia is specific - it's greek.
As to appropriation… it's worth considering that there are between 40,000 and 100,000 acknowledged Hellenismos in Greece alone - that's people who worship the Greek Pantheon in "traditional" way. When I was in Athens I was told that 1/4 of all Greeks still believe in the old Gods and Goddesses.
Finally, I would just like to remind us that though Western Dominant Culture claims its roots to be in Ancient Greece, we should avoid condemning the Parent for the actions of the Child. I don't have a problem giving the greeks "credit".

Have to run… let's keep talking..

Gabriel
—-
march 6
Thanks Gabriel.

I think that while I will work on sending out the email Call to Camp this weekend, we still will need people to wordsmith more information about Gaia and our theme/story for camp that we can use go on the web. This would be along with an image and artwork invoking our theme for camp. Ideally it would be nice to have that material up there first, but our web witch hasn't returned my calls all week so she might be "off the grid" for the moment and I can't say for certainity when she will be able to do updates. So, getting the Call sent out to our email contacts (about 500) can be done this weekend coming from moc.liamg|pmachctiwtsivitcaeerf#moc.liamg|pmachctiwtsivitcaeerf —- I'll work on it in the morning (got to dash out to event tonight!).

kisses and hugs,

Glimmer

—-

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