Guest post by M. Macha NightMare for our Season of the Witch series, recounting the stories of Witches.
My late friend Bone Blossom had a huge loom in her living room upon which she wove all manner of wonderful cloth. For the direct action at Lawrence Livermore Labs, at which there was a large contingent of Reclaiming Witches and other Earth-loving Pagans — I recall this as being at Brigit of 1982 — she created an open weaving for demonstrators to interweave flowers and feathers, photographs and other small objects.
We gathered in the early morning hours to meet on a road outside the lab where a cyclone fence enclosing the grounds of the lab ran along one side. Bone unrolled her big weaving. We began to chant “We are the flow, we are the ebb, we are the weavers, we are the web,” by the late Shekinah Mountainwater, over and over again, as we attached our many tokens of love, beauty, and harmony with Nature, with our magical intent.
Our singing and dancing and joyous solidarity attracted a group of motorcycle cops, who came roaring towards us up the country road to where we were assembled.
By the time they arrived, we had stretched our beautiful creation like a web across the road surrounding the lab. Although they were full of bravado, the policemen seemed bewildered. Their first approach was to use direct force to try to destroy our web by driving through it. Well, you know how strong webs are. Instead of rending the web, the cops became entangled in it. Our late friend Sequoia approached the officers and, with profuse apologies, tried to disentangle the cops, and their guns, from the weaving. Now, initiating physical contact with law enforcement officers in the line of duty in a charged situation when you are doing civil disobedience is not the most prudent thing to do. But with some delicacy, atypical for Sequoia, and a deft hand, she managed to remove all the threads and ribbons caught on pistols, holsters, badges, and other accoutrements.
Eventually we managed to toss the weaving over the fence separating lab property from the rest of Livermore, where it was charged to do its work.
For a Midsummer action at Livermore later that same year, Bone and I came to the park where the direct activists were camping. We both had young children at home so we weren’t planning to be arrested. We came to share in the magic making outside lab property and to support those who risked arrest.
That night we burned a glorious wicker man. I especially remember Sequoia and me stripped to the waist, sweating, chanting Starhawk’s “Rise with the Fire” for all we were worth, and dancing up the fire that was baking the sacred loaf. When the structure began to crumble, we removed the aluminum foil-wrapped bread and passed the steaming loaf around so that everyone might share in the nourishment it provided.
 It was at that point that Sequoia finally recognized me as a Witch and not just a legal secretary, so she told me.
The wicker man contained bread, wrapped in aluminum foil, inside his body, where it rose and baked.
M. Macha NightMare, P&W, is an internationally published author, ritualist and all-round Pagan webweaver. A member of the American Academy of Religion, the Marin Interfaith Council, the Nature Religion Scholars Network, the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), and the Advisory Councils of PEARL (Pagan Eldercare and Resource League) and Sacred Dying Foundation, Macha speaks on behalf of Paganism to news media and academic researchers, and presents at colleges, universities and seminaries, and teaches on the broomstick circuit. Also known by her mundane name, Aline O’Brien, Macha currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary, the first and only seminary serving the Neopagan community. www.machanightmare.com Blog at www.besom.blogspot.com
She is the author, Witchcraft and the Web, and Pagan Pride: Honoring the Craft and Culture of Earth and Goddess, and, with Starhawk, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying (with Starhawk), voted #1 advanced Pagan book by reviewers of PanGaia Magazine.