We are at Evans Lake BC Witch camp, I chose ..the 8 of Cups. Well I looked at it and immediately went “I want that one”. To me it is a card of taking retreat and taking time away from regular life. I like to regularly go on meditation retreats, like three times a year.
Astrologically I’m a triple Leo, so you’d never know that I’d pick that card. To me there’s some secret sides to being a Leo that sometimes people don’t see: when it’s really hot in the summer, there are plants that go into hibernation; the grasses that die back, they’re still alive, but in hibernation so to speak, in a quiet phase; right after a forest fire has gone through, where everything is still in the forest, before it will all get born again. To me there is a sense of retreat amid the busyness of the summer. That’s why I resonate with that card.
Every day I need a little bit of time to be quiet, whether it is in formal meditation or just going down to the water or at camp here there are so many people – just taking self-care and quiet time. Just taking that bit in the day – it’s important. In the year, in the seasons, it’s important, too, for me to regularly take a bit of time.
The other thing about this card that I resonate with is – I don’t know if this is traditional – to me it has a sense of adventure: they’re going off into the mountains. It can be about retreat, but it can also be about traveling somewhere new and experiencing new cultures, and being touched by different experiences outside of your normal.
This is my tarp that I’ve had since 1997, more than 20 years, and I think it’s going to be retired now. I am living a deluxe life: I have two thermorests, and a bivouac sack that covers your sleeping bag, and keeps the moisture out and [keeps] you nice and dry. You get to experience the fresh air going through, and really feel and hear all the sounds. You’re really out in nature. In the morning, you can move your head a few inches and look right up into the trees. It’s a really lovely way to sleep.
I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to be an introvert. For example, today we were doing something as a group and I just decided “I’m going to take a little bit of time to myself and not do this piece of that activity”. Usually you would make yourself do what everybody else is doing. To give yourself permission to choose to do things that take care of yourself, especially if you’re spending a lot of time with other people, I would tell my younger self that is ok. I think a queer tarot deck is important because it’s fun. In some decks it can be quite heteronormative, especially with cards such as the lovers’ cards. It’s fun to celebrate different bodies, different beings, different genders. Mainly because it is fun.
**Transcription from Audio Interview
Meeting this wonderful human when I was at BC Witch camp has been the beginning of a wonderful friendship. Making tarot cards together, going on hikes on the Island and long discussions about tarot and ways we learn and grow with it. I came to camp not knowing anyone, on my own kind of journey and spiritual quest through witchcraft and found community, love and close friends. All the things I didn’t know I was looking for or wanting.
Witch camp is a group of about 80-100 people generally who meet at a camp in nature in places all over the world. I found it to be both overwhelming social and emotional stimulation as well as growing and learning surrounded and supported by the most open hearted beautiful people I’ve ever met. They are absolutely that kind of person. I was sleeping in my van, my place of retreat. Many at camp chose to sleep in tents scattered through the forest that surrounded the camp cabins. It was an honour to capture this peaceful moment of meditation, broken only by small crackles of dried leaves and a resounding “Caw” of a raven in the tree tops above us somewhere.