Gargoyle Clan

Gargoyle Clan

by Rose Sinclair

Not long ago I had the good fortune to gather and celebrate with like-minded people and as we caught up, one said to me, “I am glad to see you well.”

I thanked him and explained what was happening in my waking world to which he replied, “I am also glad that life circumstances are peaceful for you, but that is external, I mean you are well on the Inside.”

I paused and considered the difference. What Sight was necessary for him to perceive them separately without being invasive? The idea for the Gargoyle Clan was born. External circumstance doesn’t imply the Stuff originates with me; how do I sort that out? How could I make informed choices about what I was feeling/perceiving/responding to, and see clearly what the implications of those choices might be?

How often do we find ourselves in situations where we are stuck wondering what to feel, say, think, do, or even perceive? Sometimes we get whelmed by sensory overload, regardless of what sense(s) we mean. Sometimes we are convinced we feel something; it wasn’t a spider crawling on us after all, but our own hair moving gently in a breeze (I laugh even now considering spinning around trying to find what was tickling me only to find it was me!). How can we refine what we perceive, how can we separate psychic (and even physical) “noise” from that which is potent and important for Us to know, to sense, to allow, and perhaps to act upon?

There is more to the idea of grounding/centering/shielding than may seem evident. It isn’t enough to say “ground yourself” — that can sometimes feel like we are a fish being told a climb a tree. These processes involve some nature of flow — whether from the self to the physical earth, or in the mind using visualization to affect reality, or light touching our optic nerve; all requires flow. At Twilight Covening this year the Gargoyle Clan will work deeply with this flow concept. What flows over me, around me, past me, through me? Can I change the flow? Can I turn it off and on? What about your flow and how it affects me? In these days of information/idea whelm, Gargoyle Clan will learn practices for discernment, filtering, assessing sensory input, and how to allow the flow of ourselves and our perceptive world back into the stream of life.

Twilight Covening: A Poem

by Emily Cavin
written the Tuesday before Twilight Covening 2019

It is Autumn
It is a chilly, cloudy, day
But when the Sun breaks through the Clouds
Colors shimmer in the Lake
Reflecting the leaves, flying from the Trees
Rooted in the Mountain, under the Sky,
Lit by the Moon and Stars,
And the glow of the Season.
I am with myself
I am with Spirit
And with many other Pilgrims,
Sisters and Brothers All
Honoring the Sacred Earth.
This will be my seventeenth Visioning Ritual.
It will be the seventeenth time I have gathered in a Circle
As a member of a Clan.
I have been held in natural harmony by the Cranes
Transformed as a Luna Moth
Sailed the Sky with Swifts
Traveled far on the Labyrinth
Shifted shape as a Salamander
Run the river as an Otter
I was a weaver among Spiders
Called out the cry of the Screech Owl
Kept silence with the Swans
Knew the forest as a Deer 
Dreamed the dreams dreamt by Bears
And flocked with the very first murder
Of cauldron-keeping Crows – 
After being reborn with wings, from within a Chrysalis.

Sometimes it is a struggle to be here – 
I have to work hard at it.
More often, I am encircled and guided by Beauty and Mystery,
And also joy.
When all the stars and powers align,
I am riding, with ease,
An otherworldly wave that seems to know 
My Spirit’s very heart’s desire.
Whatever my journey here,
It informs in true and potent ways
the journeys I make everywhere else.

I declare!
There is only one place
In the whole wide web of existence
I could be 
And speak of all of this as Truth.
Twilight Covening!
All Beings of the Earth
Teach me
Carry me
I am here once more
I am opening – 
My Soul 
Is on Fire

Why Twilight Covening?

by Lanna Lee Maheux Quinn

For those of us who find strength in earth-based spirituality, Twilight Covening is a unique offering, a weekend-long ritual, that allows us to plug in before the winter, learn some skills and connect with the greater community in a meaningful way.

The way it works is that you pick a focus for the weekend. You do this by choosing your clan, and your clan leader or leaders will guide you and your fellow clan members through the weekend. You spend time together with your clan, and then spend time with the larger gathering. You focus in with the smaller group, and focus out with the larger group; Deirdre Arthen likens it to breathing, which is a very apt description.


White Raven clan table (photo by the author)

Choosing a clan is a magical process. You sign up for 4 different clans, in order of preference. You don’t always get your first preference. You might get your second or third or even your fourth choice instead. I firmly believe you will end out in the clan you were meant to be in; I’ve found this to be the case for myself, even if it took me a few months to realize it! So choose wisely, and trust that you will end out where you need to be.

And now it’s time for a shameless plug, because this year, for the third year in a row, I am offering the White Raven Clan with Giariel Foxwood. (I’m one of those clan leaders I mentioned earlier!) We will be building relationships with our ancestors, human or other, by using Faery Seership Practices. Those who take our clan will walk away with a daily practice that will help them build co-creative partnerships with their ancestors.

Whether you decide to sign up for White Raven Clan or one of the other fantastic offerings we have this year, I hope you join us. It’s a restorative and invigorating weekend that gets you set for your contemplations over the long winter.

Twilight Covening will be held in the Berkshires from October 6-9, 2017.  Online registration is open through September 23.

Being Nature: Deer Clan at Twilight Covening

This entry is by Miriam Klamkin, who is a Glainn Sidhr Witch, professional astrologer, teacher, and spiritual coach.  She has been teaching at EarthSpirit events since 1993.

There is an intimate reciprocity to the senses; as we touch the bark of a tree, we feel the tree touching us; as we lend our ears to the local sounds and ally our nose to the seasonal scents, the terrain gradually tunes us in turn. The senses, that is, are the primary way that the earth has of informing our thoughts and of guiding our actions. Huge centralized programs, global initiatives, and other ‘top down” solutions will never suffice to restore and protect the health of the animate earth. For it is only at the scale of our direct, sensorial interactions with the land around us that we can appropriately notice and respond to the immediate needs of the living world.
– David Abram, Becoming Animal

After the rattling dies down and all is quiet…I float in a semi-trance state, half awake, half asleep, recalling the sound of the chainsaw earlier in the day, clearing our new sacred grove. The saw takes down a nearby sapling, then comes after one of my limbs… WAIT! THAT’S MY ARM!! Abruptly, I wake to full human-consciousness and the stillness of the circle around me.

Another time, in a different grove at gloaming-time…I watch quietly as misty gray beings detach themselves from the tree trunks and come out to play, walking the land, meeting and separating, dancing with dignified grace.

And yet another time, on a hilltop… I am treated to an indescribably glorious song and dance of the winds and the trees. I feelPhoto by Sarah Twichell I am this close to deciphering the meaning of the “words” of this song, but I don’t need a dictionary to interpret its overall intention.

And another, up at the stone circle… a new stone has been placed. Gently, respectfully, I place my hand on this massive, stationary being, and it is shaking internally. I withdraw and check in with myself: am I projecting my own nervous alarm onto the rock? Nope, it’s not me. I’m fine. I use some of the grounding techniques I’ve learned over the years – giving back to stonekind, usually so solidly there for us when we need to ground – and gradually the vibrations abate.

Experiences such as these are not all that hard to achieve; it’s a simple matter of clearing your mind of the expectations of a lifetime and paying attention in a particular way.

Okay, it’s hard. That’s why I developed Deer Clan.

Our culture has trained us to hold ourselves separate from the natural world, ignoring the fact that we are part and parcel of it and participate in “nature” with every breath we take. We inevitably interact with the nonhuman beings who live all around us, but we’ve learned to ignore our intuitive perceptions. Our fellow beings observe us as we observe them, and sometimes they choose to talk to us.  It’s just like the fairy tales, only it isn’t all about us: they have their own lives and their own agendas. And they don’t speak to us in plain English: they communicate through sound and movement, through
our own senses and emotions, through subtle energetic states for which we have no words. It is only by approaching our fellow beings with respect, sharpening those senses, observing those emotions, and noticing those energetic states that we even begin to understand our true place in the world.

The understanding begins not in an intellectual process of cataloging, comparing, or deciphering, but through using the empathic senses to feel what’s going on. Even if I never learn the words to that windsong, maybe the experience of wonder and connection it evoked is enough.

The word “deer” evolved from Old English “deor”, which referred not only to deer but to any wild animal. According to Ted Andrews, author of Animal-Speak, “There are many stories and myths of deer luring hunters or even kings deep into the woods until they are lost and begin to encounter new adventures.” In Deer Clan, we become “lost” to the civilized selves we know and invoke the wild being within us in order to become one with our world. In that state, we have access to the senses that touch that world and are touched by it.

Twilight Covening is a three-day institute of Earth spirituality held within a continual three-day ritual. It is a time for exploring ways to deepen Earth-centered spiritual practice and a time to develop our collective wisdom in a shared sacred space as we move into the dark time of the year.  Get more information or register now.