Through the Looking Glass
Tejas WitchCamp 2015
Based on the Group Trance of the TW Camp Cell on January 25, 2015
Alice stood before the shattered mirror in wonder. While she had previously stepped through the looking glass, she had never before had the courage to actually break it. There was a rustling nearby, and her ally, the White Rabbit, joined her as they gazed through the broken mirror. “Are you ready for another adventure?” Alice thought about all of the illusions and distractions in her life. She was spending much of her time in virtual connections with email, Facebook, games, Netflix, and even work. Most of that was illusion as well. As usual, her cell phone battery was almost out of juice. It was glorious outside, and the natural world beckoned from the other side of the looking glass. She had to admit that she did have plenty of time for a new adventure. She could see a magical sunrise on the other side of the shattered glass as she and the rabbit stepped right through.
In the brilliant colors of the dawning light, Alice knew that she was in a place that she had never been before. Here in the East, the air was fresh and clean, cool and refreshing with dew. She heard birdsong in the trees around her and saw a very large hawk circling above her. The trees welcomed her gently and made a space for her to enter the grove. There she found Owl watching and waiting for her. As she listened, she heard Owl say, “ Who, who, who . . . are you? Why, why, why have you come?” She answered thoughtfully, “I have been doing magic to transform the world, and we finally shattered the mirror of illusion”. Owl gazed deeply into her eyes, and said, “And what are you going to do about Justice”? Alice was not sure, but she knew that was part of why she had stepped through the mirror. Raven flew down, landing on her shoulder and said, “How are you willing to change?”
The breeze moved through the branches, whispering to her. She was glad for her tree allies and their strength and solidness. Cedar, Live Oak, Ash, and Elm began to sing. Their harmonies were soon joined by other unseen voices. Specks of dust reflected the light, and she became aware of the Fae of the Air, the Sylphs and Spirits of the East, lit with all of the colors of the rainbow. They beckoned to her to go deeper. She laughed as Squirrel chased its tail, and she did go deeper. She heard the voices of the Wind, the Birds, the Fae. They asked her to remember the songs. Hawk circled above and challenged her to look with the sharp hawk-eye and see what others would not see. She breathed into the colors of the rainbow and remembered the songs.
When Alice awoke, she found herself again near the broken mirror. Groggy and unsure of how long she had been there, she gazed through the shattered glass, discovering a new landscape. With no White Rabbit nearby, she found her courage, and stepped through to the South.
She froze as she heard the ominous tail of Rattlesnake right near her feet. The snake said, “Why are you really afraid? Where do you find courage?” And it slithered away to nap under a rock. She could feel the energy of transformation and change that was still emanating from the shattered mirror. But as she looked around, this place felt cold and dark. In the distance, she could see the glow of Fire, and she began the trek to it.
The Trees around her seemed to rise up, grow taller. With these great spirits as her allies, she dared to look deeper. They were holding spears. Her tree allies were holding spears like they were ready for battle. She found this both terrifying and exhilarating, and she strengthened her resolve for transformation and change. As she neared the blazing flames of passion and desire, she could see the sparks rising and swirling, and the giant Red Dragon rose above her. In a deep voice that shook her to the bone, he said, “What is your intention?” Do you dare to hear the call to action? When will you be ready to step into the flames of transformation“?
Alice did not move. She could feel a heartbeat– throbbing, drumming, pulsing. As it grew louder, she saw a procession weaving through the woods toward her. The Red Queen approached with her army of flimsy cards and barely regarded her. The Red Queen marched up to the flames and stared with purpose into the glowing embers of the Fire. With blazing eyes, she turned to Alice and challenged her. “Why do you delay”? she said. “The time is now. The fire burns now. You must take action–for truth and desire.” She blasted the fire with powerful energy, and the flames blazed higher. The playing cards danced around the fire chanting “Off with their heads!” Alice knew that this was the easy answer, but she wanted to be a part of non-violent solutions.
She stepped forward to scry into the fire. The embers flickered with life force and courageous Salamander and the Fire Fae danced in the flames. She saw Ancestors whom she had never met, waiting and watching. She felt the Fire Spirits fueling her passion for change as infinite possibilities rose within her. As the flames licked up into the sky, the Phoenix rose up out of the ashes of destruction. Phoenix challenged her, “What will you give to the flames?”
And Alice took a deep breath and stepped into the magic of the fire.
When she awoke, Alice was flooded with tears of joy and suffering. She was floating in a sea of water lilies and lotus blossoms. The air was full of sweet scent. She dove down deep, washing away pain and accepting healing. Fish and Frog and Fae of the Water, the Undines, swam with her. She flowed through caverns of water beneath the earth, looking at the world from the viewpoint of water—cleansing herself by running her body through the aquifer. Traveling in the deep and the dark, running with the Ancient Spirits that dwell in the waters within the earth, Alice felt that she might get lost in this peacefulness and never return. She listened to the voices of the Water Spirits. Water wants to quench the thirst, heal, cleanse. She felt the pain of the damage being done to Water beneath the earth with toxins, mining, fracking, and pipelines. Water owns itself. Like Air and Fire, it belongs to no one and is reverenced by all.
Alice came to the place where the water flowed up through the rock as a spring and felt the cool, clean water there. The Earth and the Water working together have the power to filter, to shift and cleanse.
She felt the pull of the Moon, and the spring turned into a stream, and a stream into a river. Frogs sang into the night as the Undines swam with her, touching her skin with effervescent magic, teaching her the power of flow in the river. As the river ran to the ocean, she felt the depth of her potential, the Moon’s pull on the ebb and flow of the tides. She felt her primal connection to the water from which all life evolved. She bathed in revolution and felt the waters of her own birth. She found joy in her Black Heart of Innocence. Alice shared the songs of Fish, Whale, Dolphin, and all of the mysterious creatures of the sea. She felt her passion for them and knew that she must help keep them alive. Their death would be her death too. “Pour it out for me, pour it out for me. Everything you send me I will drink”.
Then the Queen of Cups was standing in the depths of her compassion right in the middle of the Pentacle of Pearl. She holds love for all of the beings of the earth, rage for the damage to Water, Air, and Earth, gentleness and power for healing, and perseverance. “Swim, swim, swim. Save the waters”.
And it began to gently rain.
Alice stretched out under a tree, the leaves dripping slightly on her from the previous night’s rain. She felt and smelled the solid earth and rock beneath her. Grandfather Deer stood nearby and greeted her. The trees began to rustle in the breeze. The roots–slipping, slithery roots—rippled and pulsed, and the trees began to dance. Alice looked around and saw that this was a wild place, untouched by industrial society. She heard the howl of Wolf. She felt the spirits of the Ancestors of the place, the first people who had walked and worked this land–before it was taken from them. The ancient rock holds the messages that have not been read in millennia. Stone and Bone. Fox and Hare beckoned her to follow, but they wanted her to chase them in two different directions—further into the Wild. Alice was drawn, but she also felt small and vulnerable with Mountain Lion lurking on the edges of shadowy Mystery. As she remembered her own fragility in Nature, she felt that primal desire for shelter rise up within her.
And then they were there. The Dwarves and the Fae under the Mound–beings living in, on, and under the Earth– on the edges of our human gaze. They sheltered Alice, and she was not alone. The Dwarves’ anvil rang in the distance, as they forged magical weapons for the future. Their time is coming.
Alice wanted to know the Earth, and so she learned to journey deep into the core and feel the fire at the center. She became the body of the Earth and found herself spinning with the energy of the Earth’s axis as the planet whirled through the cosmos. And Time was infinite.
One day, while she was walking on the land, eating berries and singing the songs of the Trees, Alice felt someone watching her. She looked up and saw a giant smile. The Cheshire Cat was in the tree again, waiting for her. And again he was friendly . . . and terrifying. He challenged Alice with the hard questions. “How do we co-exist with all of the realms of Earth? How can we tap into the way that our root systems are all interconnected? From our tiny patch of Earth, how do we work together globally? How do we balance privilege with desire to shift the paradigms? How can creativity and science join to solve problems? What no longer feeds life? What will be composted? What do the Ancestors of this Land, my Ancestors, and the Animal and Plant Ancestors want to say to one another?”
While she certainly did not know all of the answers, Alice wanted to learn. Around her, the trees and plants shape-shifted into other beings. And Alice shape-shifted into other forms. She learned a deeper way of knowing– a shifting reality where things are not what they seem to be. She saw a future of thriving culture and health for the Descendants.
Red God and Green God walked hand in hand. The Fae danced. And Blue God wrapped his arms around her.
Alice was surrounded by Starry Heaven. She was spinning with the spindle of the Earth, reaching from the center to all the worlds. She felt the massive expanse of the universe, and she saw the body of the Star Goddess—a cosmic dance of light and shadow, the dark mirror, the black hole. She saw familiar star formations like Orion, the Big Dipper, and the Pleiades—but from this new vantage point, she also saw Stars that she had never seen before.
The Vortex swirled, and a bolt of light stirred the cauldron, rippling from the center. And Alice was brewing a great cosmic stew, adding different flavors, parts of herself, moments in Time. In the firmament of the beloved sky, her allies and challengers drew around the powerful center that was being created by this vital brew.
Alice felt the power of the relationships that she had nurtured and the potential of the ones to come. Rabbit, Owl, Raven, Tree, Sylph, Wind, Snake, Red Dragon, Salamander, The Red Queen, Phoenix, Undine, Frog, Whale, Dolphin, Pearl, Queen of Cups, Wolf, Rock, Dwarf, Cat, Blue God, and Star. The Ancestors and the Descendants. Each adds their special ingredient and the song swells—a call to service where the magic feeds all. We do the work for the Descendants with a beacon for the future. We are children of Earth and Starry Heaven.
And Alice felt the Star Goddess expanding within her and in every direction.