Program for WS 2015
I Shall Go Into a Hare: The Fylgja, the Fetch and the Animal Within
Stang – The Animal Within
Herb – Mugwort
Date – May 29- 31 2015
Events will be announced a few minutes before they begin by the ringing of a bell to
gather the folk. Start times are subject to the whimsy of the staff and attendees. As such,
start times are subject to change.
* 3PM: Registration opens (Lead by Angela)
If someone isn’t in the registration hut, you’ll find at least one staff member in the
standing stone grove. If you need help setting up your campsite, or finding anything,
please do not be afraid to approach a staff member either at the registration hut or at the
* 7 PM: Opening Ritual. (Lead by Angela, with Mel & Juniper assisting)
Gather in the standing stone grove to begin. We will process to various natural and
sacred sites around the Knoll. Where we will approach different animal spirits, to greet
them and gift them. If we are lucky and act with respect and honour, we may be given a
gift in return. Then we will open the outdoor temple before the standing stone, followed
by blessing the keystone fire pit. This is also a chance to meet the staff and learn a little
about Raven’s Knoll. It is suggested that you bring an offering that can be given at a
number of sites; such as a bottle of beer for pouring, or a handful of beads/coins/etc.
Footwear suitable for walking wooded trails is recommended, we will accommodate
mobility impaired guests to the best or our abilities.
** 8 – 9 PM: Break for dinner and time for people to finish setting up camp.
* 9 PM to bedtime: Bardic Circle (Lead by Gypsy, Juniper & Firekeeper Nic)
Gather around the keyhole fire pit to get to know each other better. Witchcraft is an oral
tradition, as such; we will tell stories (personal or fiction), share poems, sing songs and
get to know each other. This is a bardic circle, not a competition. Feel free to share
regardless of your level of bardic skills, reading from paper or electronic device is fine.
During this time we will also introduce this year’s herb: mugwort. Giving people the
opportunity to taste, smell and get a feel for the herb.
Non-WS participating partners and children will be welcome to attend.
* 10:30 AM: Preparing the stone soup (Ryan & Mel)
Please bring your contribution. There will be a soup coordinator to track which ingredients
go into which pot. Please let them know of any food allergies and confirm with them
before adding to the pot. Ingredients will be listed on the whiteboard. We will have at
least one vegetarian and one meat soup. Folks are encouraged to help cut vegitables and
prepare the food. Other food items are welcome to be shared, there will be space set up
as a snack table.
Non-WS participating partners and children will be welcome to attend the making and
eating of the soup.
** 11 – 6 PM: Workshops and discussion circles, with casual breaks between. As well as
the eating of the stone soup and other goodies.
The first two workshops listed will run at the same time, so choose wisely.
* Ecstatic rituals preparations and appropriate after-care (Juniper)
Any ritual or working that utilizes trance and ecstatic working can take a lot out of you,
and also require a certain amount of planning beforehand. Here we will discuss the
particulars that come before and after such rites.
* Making a leather ritual mask (Linda)
Linda will guide us through the process of creating personalized leather ritual masks in
the form of animals. The masks you create will be yours to keep and yes, they will be
ready to use in time for main ritual. Because of the cost of materials, there will be an
extra $30 fee to attend this optional seminar, and attendees are strongly encouraged to
pre-pay specifically for this section during the regular pre-reg period (April 1 to May 15).
* Preparing the skull for the ritual stang (Juniper)
Part workshop and part ritual, here will we continue the journey of Bob the Skull, the stag
skull that we cleaned last year. Making the skull an appropriate vessel for our working
during main ritual.
* The animal -self discussion circle (Juniper & Angela)
A discussion on the different concepts of the animal and primal self within different
cultures and traditions. Your wonderful staff will come armed with notes and will be ready
to talk your ears off, but you are also encouraged to share your own knowledge and
* Mugwort for our purposes (Angela & Juniper)
Here we will talk about the herb for this year: Mugwort.
* On Shape-shifting (Sarah)
An in-depth introduction to shape-shifting covering the different methods including:
guising, mimicry, possession, and soul-flight. The talk will cover folklore and stories of
shape-shifting, how to shape-shift, the practical realities of why one would need or want
to, and also the potential dangers of shape-shifting and how to do it safely.
Recommended resources and books will also be available for those who would like to
learn more about the practice.
* Pre-main ritual briefing (Juniper & Angela)
As we get ready to processes to the spiral and the witchring within, we will cover some
basics of spontaneous ritual and what we can expect to experience during the night.
** 6 – 8 PM: Free time to socialize, have dinner and do as you please.
* 8 PM: Construction of the stang and ritual preparations (Juniper & Angela)
Together we will assemble the stang and bless it, then choose our stang/skull bearer. Here
will will also don our masks, body paint and warm our drum skins.
Gypsy and Nic will be gathering food and items for the main ritual, so if there is
something you do not wish to carry during the processional, they will collect it at this time
and take it to the witchring.
* 9 PM: Main Ritual (Lead by Juniper, Angela & Mel assisting)
Here we will dance and drum. Our feet pounding the sands of transformation. Our necks
bowed or bared to the spirits within the stang. Here we will shed our human skin and find
the animal within. We will feast. We will howl, roar, caw and call out into the night. Expect
this ritual to run long, come prepared.
Bring your drum or any instrument. If you so desire, you may wear any ritual clothing or costuming that is appropriate for the animal within (but keep in mind that you may get
sweaty, and that body paint and flying ointment smears). Offerings of any kind are
welcome, suggestions: liquids that can be poured into the sand around the stang, or
items that can be tied onto the stang.
* 11 AM: Animism & Animal Familiars (Sarah)
Identifying, acquiring, and building a relationship with animal familiars within the context of animistic belief and the witch’s animal familiar lore of the Early Modern Period in
* 1 PM: Working respectfully with animal spirits (Juniper)
Or, “I have a familiar, now what?”. A sharing of experiences and stories on what it is like
to care for a menagerie of different animal spirits. Feel free to bring your own tales of
delight and woe.
* 2PM: Closing ritual (Angela, with Juniper & Mel assisting)
Visiting again the sites where we first met the animal spirits during opening ritual and
saying our farewells. Closing the outdoor temple. It is suggested that you bring an
offering that can be given at a number of sites; such as a bottle of beer for pouring, or a
handful of beads/coins/etc. Footwear suitable for walking wooded trails is recommended,
we will accommodate mobility impaired guests to the best or our abilities.
* 3 PM:
Discussion and planning circle.
Here we discuss what worked, what can be improved as well as choose our theme and
herb for next year. It is totally optional to attend this discussion, we understand some
people have far to travel home and need to leave earlier. You can always share your ideas and suggestions on the Facebook group later.