Decades of Dances: The Story of One Reclaiming Witch and the Magick of Spiral Dance

Decades of Dances: The Story of One Reclaiming Witch and the Magick of Spiral Dance October 11, 2019

As the Reclaiming Spiral Dance approaches and the 40th anniversary arrives, I reached out to some witches about their experiences.

Their magick.

Their memories.

I spoke with Georgie Craig, a long time member of Reclaiming, Spiral Dance wrangler of witches, ritualist, Witchcamp organizer, and teacher, a teacher in community (she and I taught Elements together in 2013?), and a friend.

Irisanya: When was your first Spiral Dance, Georgie?

Georgie: It was 20 years ago? How could 20 years have passed like a blink of the eye, or a day wandering around Witch Camp? That’s what I asked myself when I found these photos from the 1999 Spiral Dance ritual. There I am, my younger self, holding a mask dedicated to Inanna, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. There I am wearing the Inanna mask and costume, standing in front of the North Altar before the ritual began. It seems only yesterday I chanted “Let It Begin. Let It Begin, Now!”  I was so excited that I was part of the promenade with my sister Witches, all of whom were wearing masks of the Goddesses they loved. During the Deity Invocation, I and many others danced in a long line wearing these beautiful aspects of the Divine. I counted myself lucky back then to have discovered and to be part of this rich and evolving tradition.

Photo: Georgie Craig

Irisanya: How had you come to Reclaiming?

Georgie: I had stumbled upon Reclaiming four years earlier, after reading Starhawk’s “The Spiral Dance.” When I first read it, I had no idea where it would lead. When I finished the book I followed the breadcrumbs to discover real Witches teaching transformative magic. Participating in these rituals, taking classes, delving deep into myself, and dancing with my shadow, has changed me profoundly. I’d discovered people who believed as I did that the Earth is alive and sacred. I’d finally felt seen and accepted. 

Irisanya: How has your life changed in this time?

Georgie: Now, it’s 20 years later. My journey with Reclaiming, though not without its interesting detours, has enriched my life. I’ve made lifelong friends. I’ve learned how to love myself more, while deepening my connection to Deity and the Mysterious Ones. You know who you are! 

Photo: Georgie Craig

Georgie: And though I’m not the dancer I used to be, I still consider myself deeply blessed to be part of the tapestry of the Reclaiming Tradition. I know this year, the 40th, will be filled with magic and beauty. And I hope that 20 years from now, I’ll still be dancing with my mysterious and beautiful Witches.

Details about this year’s Reclaiming Spiral Dance ritual:

DATE: October 26, 2019
LOCATION: Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA
TIME: Doors open at 6pm; ritual begins at 7pm
COST: $0 – $130, no one turned away

WEBSITE: www.reclaimingspiraldance.org
TICKETS: https://spiraldance2019.bpt.me
SUBMIT NAMES OF BELOVED DEAD: https://www.reclaimingspiraldance.org/the-beloved-dead
HISTORY: https://www.reclaimingspiraldance.org/history
MUSIC: https://www.reclaimingspiraldance.org/the-music

About Irisanya Moon
I’m a Witch. I’m a writer. I’m a priestess, teacher, drummer, feminist, and initiate in the Reclaiming tradition. I serve the gods, my community, and the Earth. I’ve called myself a Witch for nearly 20 years, and my life has been infused with magick. I am interested in shifting stories – the ones we tell ourselves and the ones that are told about us. I’m continuously inspired to engage as the storyteller and the story, the words and the spaces between. I am a devotee of Aphrodite, Hecate, the Norns, and Iris. I seek to find love and to inspire love by reminding us we are not alone, while also meeting myself at the crossroads, holding the threads of life, and bringing down messages from the gods. I am a Witch. You can read more about the author here.
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  • Macha NightMare

    Stunning masks by Lauren Raine. I wore the mask if the Morrígan in that goddess invocation. It was due to the beauty of those masks and the brevity of that invocation, compared to the much longer god invocation, that I was inspired to create a performance ritual using 13 of them for the late Abby Willowroot’s Goddess 2000 Project. It was first performed at PantheaCon in February of that year, then a more refined iteration at New College of California (RIP), and finally, and most spectacularly, at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. All were collaborative efforts, with the last two having small choruses. Thirteen mask-wearers, three speakers, a larger chorus, several graces, and a dedicated technician, from all around the U.S. and beyond. I’m ever so grateful for having had the performance accepted by the PWR and for all the talented Pagans who came together to make it happen.