Friday, November 4, 2011

Chapter 1: The Athame Queen enters with a flourish. (The athame queen the wooden spoon and the bard)

My off white creatively dented mazda (redefines the word COMPACT car) whines into a gathering in the bush setting along a beautiful nature corridor outside Canberra ( australia's national capital)... The setting is a sparse bush setting..on flat ground.. for camping or caravaning etc.. I start setting up my tent.. ( a huge dome tent.. sleeps about 10 if you wanna party.. ).. As I was unofficially the camp greeter and meeter..I kept an eyeout for new arrivals (this gathering was in its 4thyear.. and I had been to 3 of them..grin gathering junkie..grin)..I noticed a camper van going past and then stopping.. There was some time period where i casually watched the van shake as someone moved around within.. (there was delightful music by a wiccan group piping out MERRY MEET and merry meet again.. and various esoteric songs referring to casting circles and the love of the goddess etc etc)...The music crescendoed with a tune about a wiccan high priestess blessing her coven.. ( by this time there were quite a lot of us sort of setting up and sort of watching in curious fascination).. A set of double doors opened by themselves.. just as the tune crescendoed.. and out of the van stepped a vision of splendour... She was dressed in a shimmering black robe..on the right breast was a broomstick crossed with a stylish athame all done in purple and gold.. surrounding this was a woven motiff.. The whole robe was exquisitely embroidered and painted with weaving vines and esoteric symbols. My eyes travelled up and noticed a face done stark white with designs scribed on the cheeks and vivid green eyes. Dark black hair.. cascaded Down artfully to her waist.. At her waist was an ornately twined cord..ending in a serpents mouth which was swallowing a tail.. I counted about 3 to 4 athames of differing sizes.. and about 4 to five beautifully made leather pouches... In her hand was one of the most beautifully carved snake staffs I have ever seen.. Near the top of the staff were bracketed two wands.. with crystals in the end. The sound of drumming and voice rose higher and louder.. and I ( and Im sure others) watched with enrapture as her arms rose and the sleeves dropped back as she seemed to reverently look at the sky .. and swept her staff a circle. calling in an incredibly musical and beautiful voice. BLESSINGS from the GODDESS. Then all of a sudden with her head held back in a extremely dramatic pose.. the loud music STOPPED... and there was silence.. I looked around to see a lot of people manifestly doing NOTHING and trying NOT to look where she was.. For a moment it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.. and it seemed as if the normal sounds of the bush had stopped.. Then her eyes came down and swept the clearing with benevolence and it was if a weight was lifted. and everyone went back to what they were doing.. I will refer to her as the athame queen or AQ for short:) . ( a note.. in these gatherings people tended to congregate in tribal groups.. usually by common interest or spiritual path.. or just by friends) Around this imposing edifice of a temple..(she had awnings come out from the van which had the same symbols as on her robe...) gathered a group of people that had several things in common.. One.. NEVER were they not attired in impecable robes ..with the appropriate matching paraphenalia.. ( and i noticed they checked each other to make sure everything was JUST so).. They cast a circle around their campsite each morning.. high noon and evening.. that was a sight to see.. a multitude of chanting and singing people.. the casting of the directions was impeccable .. read from ornate scrolls... The music was all from beautiful cds and tapes. They got together and practiced for a ritual they were all going to present.. A banner outside the main area of their camp proclaimed this was the wiccan circle grove. To enter the grove you had to wait for a gatekeeper who asked you your business... you had to state your spiritual path and if it was not a tradition they recognized you were politely told to go away... This grove had EVERYTHING.. a regal set up altar.. a marked out circle of ritual.. with carved ornate bowls holding each of the elements.. Candelabra EVERYWHERE.. they ran all sorts of workshops.. Some of them ..were. appropriate circle casting.. how to call the quarters... How to cast with an athame.. The vertues of wands versus staffs...How to conduct the penultimate ritual... Dressing for a ritual... The AG.. in the seven days of the gathering I NEVER saw wear the same robe TWICE.. and there were quite often 4 rituals a nite.. I went to some of their workshops and rituals and they were incredibly beautifully crafted .. yet they all seemed like monologues.. and everything was done just SO. and each workshop and ritual was practiced practiced practiced.. The virtues of casting with a particular athame were debated .. what symbols to wear on a robe.. which directions to turn... what elements to mention... I gotta say.. they were BEAUTIFUL productions.. we will come back to AQ.. meanwhile lets meet another person in this saga.grin. 

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