Monday, August 30, 2004

WitchStock 2004

(c) Andy Ternay
  • This photo is from April 2004. I went camping in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma with some friends. On our way down from Elk mountian we saw this big boulder that I did not remember. Then the boulder stood up. It wasn't a boulder, it was a buffalo.

  • I’m one of those people who often does not get what I want, not because others turn me down, but because I assume they will say no, and therefore I never ask. People who knew me during my college drinking days probably will not recognize the person that I am writing about. Back then the liquid courage worked for the most part.

    Somewhere, about 2/3 of the way through law school, alcohol changed on me and instead of inspiring courage, brought more fear. From that point on my territory to roam shrank from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to a small apartment in Aurora, Colorado. I trapped myself with my drinking. I had gone from roaming several hundred square miles to less than a thousand square feet. It stayed that way for almost ten years.

    The fear did not go away when I quit drinking. It stayed with me. At its peak I could not go into a grocery store by myself. I am not kidding. I could not do it. My doctor put me on busbar, an anti-anxiety drug. I am in the process of weaning myself off of that medication. The fear is gone today, banished by prayer, medication, counseling and the AA program.

    But I am still frightened sometimes. I don’t like to exceed my comfort zone.

    Therefore I was very surprised to find myself going to WitchStock this year. WitchStock is a three day retreat? gathering? to celebrate the fall equinox, the Sabbat known as Mabon. It is sponsored by Celtic Groves, Dragonlair. So, I am going to get to go camping for the first time since cub scouts (I did camp earlier this year, but that was for one night and hardly counts). I am frightened, but I will not let that stand in the way of my going.

    I am even purchasing a tent on the grounds that I might just go do this again sometime, maybe with Laura. I am trying to convince one of my covenmates to go shopping with me at REI and teach me what things I will need to purchase. I am very excited! This is going to be quite a new adventure for me.

    Celtic Groves likes to do things skyclad, so there will be ritual nudity. Not as exciting as it sounds, these are going to be ordinary humans naked, not Playboy’s Witches in the Woods (if they did a feature on Witches). I will be dressed in something—a kilt probably. I’d make and wear a Witches for Kerry shirt, but somehow, I just don’t think the campaign would thank me for it.

    Three days of drumming, dancing, ritual and worship all within nature. It will either be very cool or this city boy will get bitten by a rattlesnake. We’ll have to see which.

    It also means, unless I find an airport chip for free and wireless connection in BFE Texas, that I will not be able to post daily updates for three days (I think the 19th through 21st of September?). I will bring the laptop and blog what I see and take lots of digital photos. I am looking forward to this.

    Thank You, Goddess Brigit, healer, smith and poetess, for this gift of writing. I am Andy, I am alcoholic and Your grace alone keeps me sober. Thank you for this great gift which gives me my family, friends and life back. Thank You. Blessed Be.