Daily Archives: August 16, 2004


We’re back from our spiritual retreat down in Pennsylvania. Apart from arriving in a pounding rainstorm thanks to Hurricane Charley dancing along the eastern coast of the US and being damp all weekend as a result, we had a phenomenal time. We assisted in a high-powered ritual in which we elevated two people to third degree, one of whom is a very dear friend, we networked, we attended our first private official meeting as clan teachers, and we received some deeply touching compliments. The new folk in our coven who travelled with us seemed to have a wonderful time as well, which was both a delight and a relief.

The only drawbacks were arriving in that rainstorm and dealing with the subsequent mud, the hour of is-the-hurricane-coming-inland-do-we-cancel-the-camping-weekend on Saturday (heck no — we had over a hundred fifty witches on-site. That hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm and moved out to sea instead), and the unexpectedly lengthy post-camping meeting for the teachers. We stayed as long as we could, and finally left at seven PM. HRH and I rolled into Montreal as the sun was rising and fell into bed at six AM.

On the way home we stopped at the Friendly’s restaurant in West Hazelton, PA, and let me tell you, there’s a reason we always stop at that particular location of the chain. The staff are cheerful, the restaurant is tidy, and the food is always good (unlike other locations of the chain, we have discovered to our dismay). HRH and I had heavenly peanut butter-fudge-vanilla ice cream. I had mine with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream as well, and oh gods, it was pure sin and very, very tempting to pack our cooler with pints of the stuff. It’s a limited time thing; we just might have to cross the border again before the fall to indulge one last time. (Yes, it’s good enough to merit a border crossing all on its own.)

We touched base with people whom we love, whom we only see once a year if we’re lucky. We met new friends. We were reminded of why we chose to work with this particular tradition: no bullshit, fierce loyalty if merited, a kick-ass sense of humour, and the ability to sever ties completely if warranted to avoid drama and drawn-out politics. This camping trip reminds me that there are people out there who’ve got my back if I need support, magically or personally.

I am a high priestess within the Black Forest Clan. I honour my teachers, and my fellow facilitators. I love my brothers and sisters of the clan. And every year at this time, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of this organization, contributing and receiving knowledge and passion.

The only unfortunate part is that I come home all fired up to start or re-start thousands of projects, at least nine hundred and ninety seven of which will have to wait while the rest of my life demands my attention on a daily basis.