1. What is a WitchCamp?
WitchCamp is four days of Reclaiming-style, earth-based spirituality and magic. Come and study magic and ritual in an intensive format. WitchCamp is offered to participants at all levels of experience. Newcomers can learn the basic skills of magic and ritual, working with the elements, movement, sound and the mythological and historical framework of the Reclaiming Tradition. Advanced classes offer the chance to apply the tools of ritual to magic, activism or personal growth, and on taking the Craft out to the wider community through the creation of public ritual, forming ongoing groups and healing issues surrounding leadership and power.
This event is a deeply moving, life changing experience.
2. What is an ‘Intensive’?
An intensive is a four day (previously five or six-day) event of ritual and magic designed for people who are dedicated to powerful spiritual learning experiences and personal growth. This intensive is not a festival. It is created to help you expand your conscious awareness, push your boundaries and is likely to change your life. Please also note that due to the nature of the magical work we will being doing together, children are unable to attend this event.
3. What does the word ‘witch’ mean?
Witch symbolises someone who is outside the norms of society, those who believe in magic and believe growth and change are their responsibility. In this case, it is not gendered, many men in the Reclaiming tradition consider themselves witches. Some people at WitchCamp call themselves witches; others call themselves shamans, meditators, activists, magicians, pagans, priestesses, elders, wise-women, queers, feminists and radicals.
4. What if I’m a complete beginner?
We welcome complete beginners! A lot of people attending EarthSong have never been to a WitchCamp before. Of those, many have little or no magical or ritual experience. There is a special Elements Path at Camp which teaches the basics of Reclaiming Magic. In this Path, many aspects of magic, the evening rituals and of personal practice are discussed.
We also have Affinity Groups. You’ll be randomly assigned to a small group, which provides support and is a great way of finding out more about everything at Camp
5. What if I have my own magical/spiritual practice?
We welcome people with different experiences, understandings and practices. Reclaiming draws together and openly welcomes a very diverse group of earth-based Pagans, activists, and people who practise or originate from many other faiths. You may wish to offer an Optional Offering one afternoon to share or discuss your beliefs with others. At a WitchCamp, we ask everyone to uphold the Principles of Unity and to ensure the event remains drug and alcohol free.
6. What is the link with Reclaiming magic and Starhawk?
Reclaiming is a world wide organisation which Starhawk, author of The Spiral Dance, played a large part in beginning. WitchCamps are an integral part of the structure of Reclaiming, and they happen through North America, in Canada, Europe and England – and now Australia. Reclaiming’s international site is reclaiming.org and it has many links and resources. Australian Reclaiming Community’s main website is: australiareclaiming.org.au and there are two WitchCamps in Australia; EarthSong in Victoria and CloudCatcher in SE Queensland.
7. When is WitchCamp?
EarthSong WitchCamp runs in September/October each year. Check the front page for actual dates.
8. Where is the WitchCamp held?
The venue is relaxing, functional and private, in regional Victoria. It is less than 2 hours’ drive from Melbourne, and a similar travel time on public transport. To encourage privacy and safety, the exact location of the WitchCamp venue will not be posted publicly. This information will be available in your registration pack.
9. How do I get to WitchCamp?
Witchcamp is held at a venue approx 2 hours travel time from Melbourne. Public transport is available via train from Melbourne.
A carpooling link will be provided to arrange transport from the train station to the venue, and if you are unable to find a carpool, please contact us. If you wish to drive there are sufficient parking spaces available. We encourage you to carpool. Carpool and detailed location information will be sent after registration.
We recommend interstate campers flying in and out of Tullamarine airport book a flight arriving by 12pm and a return flight from 7pm onwards to allow for travel time.
There is a direct bus link from the airport to the local train station.
10. What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation for campers is provided in dormitories. There is very limited accommodation that may support people who require single accommodation for specific reasons, for example if you need to sleep with a machine operating which would keep several people awake in a dormitory. There is also space for vehicle and tent camping. All accommodation is included in the registration price and is the same price.
11. How much does it cost?
Prices for WitchCamp can be found by under the “Registration and Price” Menu item. We understand WitchCamp is a financial commitment and try to keep costs low where we can, whilst still providing high quality food, accommodation, and teaching. Payment plans are welcome, and we have several scholarships to help get witches to camp.
12. How do I register?
We have an online registration system. It takes only a few moments to fill in.
When the money is in the bank account, we send out a receipt, and in July we send out a Registration Pack to everyone who has registered, going into more detail about the practical aspects of Camp, including instructions on what to bring and how to get there.
13. What are the Crew Roles?
Crew help with the running of camp. Crew roles include: fire witches, water witches – responsible for tea/coffee areas, setup altar spaces, bathroom witches, photographer, funk trunk witches, art space witches, ritual space monitors and cleanup.
14. Is there any provision for a campfire?
Due to fire regulations, a campfire may only be lit in the designated campfire area. Permission from the WitchCamp organisers is required to light a fire. Under no circumstances are standing trees or bushes to be used for firewood, or in any way interfered with. Fire restrictions apply.
15. What meals will be provided?
Catering services will be provided by our hired caterer who specialises in food allergies, special diet needs and vegan/vegetarian options. Food is high quality and served in the dining hall. This will also include a range of meat protein options (ethically sourced), including eggs for breakfast. Please ensure when you register to disclose any food allergies/intolerances so the chef can accommodate you.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are all provided. We will also have snacks and refreshments, including after-ritual dessert.
Vegan, gluten-free and most other dietary requirements are provided for.
Please supply detailed information about your requirements in the relevant section of your registration form. We are happy to try and accommodate you if you have special dietary needs. The kitchen is unable to cook separate meals unless providing for the above listed dietary requirements. If your needs are highly individual you may want to consider bringing your own snacks etc.
There is no need to bring your own cutlery or crockery as the dining hall has plenty.
16. What bathroom facilities are available?
Bathrooms are gender neutral unless other specified.
17. What do I need to bring to WitchCamp?
Check this page for a recommended list of things to bring. A complete list of recommended items to bring to WitchCamp will be sent out in your Registration Pack.
18. Is there anything I should not bring to WitchCamp?
Please be aware that some of our campers may be very allergic to products and scents so we ask that you consider bringing roll-on deodorants and insect repellents instead of sprays.
No camper is permitted to bring pets or other animals onto the property, or to disturb the natural environment in any way. Trail bikes are also not permitted on the property. WitchCamp is a strictly drug and alcohol-free event. Please do not bring either as they are inappropriate for this spiritual intensive. Please leave athames at home.
19. Is the WitchCamp venue accessible to those with disabilities?
Yes it is accessible to people who mobilise with assistive technology. Please communicate with us if you have specific needs due to a disability or for any other reason.
20. What kind of behaviour is expected at the WitchCamp?
The WitchCamp is created for people from all walks of life with the unified intention of spiritual, magical and personal growth. We hope that all attendees will take this intention seriously and infuse it with joy, humour and grace. We strongly encourage a “live and let live” attitude.
That said, there are a small number of requests which must be adhered to. Food and drink may only be consumed in the dining room or outdoors. All buildings in the camp are smoke-free zones. There will be a designated area for smokers. Mobile phones are to be used in the designated area only. We ask that everyone be considerate of our environment. This includes no littering, not using standing trees or bushes for firewood or interfering with them in any way, recycling where possible and always showing respect for the earth. EarthSong WitchCamp is a strictly drug and alcohol-free event.
We ask that all participants honour these expectations.
21. Is there anything else I need to know?
Please make sure you read all information on this website. Detailed information about the finer aspects of WitchCamp will also be provided in your registration pack. Please contact us with any question you may have through the contact form on the website.