Organizers’ Interaction Agreements

We, the organizers of the 2011 Free Cascadia Witch Camp, hold this document to be our first attempt to map our collective boundaries in an effort to respond to the context and circumstances of our group dynamics. This document supports inquiry and conversation, not condemnation or silencing.  It is a living document. I commit to using this document to guide my individual interactions with others in this group.

Personal Agreements:

I commit to being present to, and supportive of, the magical work of our organizing by practicing mindful awareness of the following:

  • How I am holding and using my power in the group.
  • How I am using or not using my skills, experience and knowledge in service of the group.
  • How I communicate my availability or lack of availability for participation.
  • How I name and enact my intentions in the group.
  • How I am occupying or not occupying time and space in the group.

I commit to being honest, even in moments of discomfort or conflict, and I commit to trusting that what is being expressed to me by others is also an expression of honesty.

I commit to taking care of myself, including asking for what I need and understanding that the answer offered may be a yes, a maybe or a no.
I commit to being respectful in every form of my communication: verbal, non verbal, energetic, written, etc…

I commit to giving and to receiving the gift of feedback: timely and clear, specific to what can be changed, with permission as to when it is offered, intended to enrich the work and from the first person.

I commit to being held accountable to my commitments, and to commit to maintaining collective accountability through grounded, direct communication with other members of the group.

I commit to participate in the agreed upon conflict engagement and exploration protocol. (below)

Process Agreements:

I commit to coming to the magical work as grounded as possible and to acting from that place on phone calls, emails and in person.

I commit to honoring the consented upon telephone and email consensus process protocols.

I commit to understanding and utilizing our overall consensus process, and specifically, to be mindful about the use of blocks.

I commit to preparing my thoughts before I speak and to expressing my needs/intents for communicating the following: requests, emotional sharing, seeking clarity, etc…and with respect to whom I am communicating.

I commit to acknowledging questions that are asked of me, and to restating or reflecting those questions if I have a need for greater understanding.

I commit to creating and supporting a camp culture of anti-oppression, consent and allyship.

I commit to acknowledging where any given process is upon entering into it, and if I am entering into a process that is already underway, to be responsible for its ability to continue without unnecessary interruption.

I commit to both offering a time line for expected responses to proposals, processes or discussions that I bring, and to communicate my intent to respond in a timely way to proposals, processes and discussions that others will bring.

Conflict Engagement and Exploration Protocol:

If you are having difficulty with someone:

1.) Check in with yourself first. Is this an issue that needs to be addressed for your own or the community’s well-being, or is it just a moment’s irritation? Do you need the voice of the person you’re having difficulty with to resolve it, or can you look within yourself to understand and defuse the situation?

2.) Check in with the other person next. If your conflict involves another person, or people, have you addressed it directly with them? Their voice would often be the first you seek for resolution. Are you ready to talk to them in a way that permits both of you to be heard, or are you still in the throes of emotion about the conflict? Take time, take a breath, take a walk if you need to.

3.) Check in with your immediate circle next. Is there a friend with whom you can discuss the conflict to give you some additional perspective? (Remember the difference between venting – perfectly fine – and receiving another viewpoint: be ready in the second case to hear that you might have contributed to the situation in some way. Ask for the space you need from someone you love.) Is there a person for whom both parties trust to ground the interaction, who can help both people to hear each other calmly (another member of the working group or organizing cell)? That person can be there to simply watch emotional vibes, or to structure the conversation more closely, or whatever you can imagine. Is there a format for collective engagement that you would prefer for conflict exploration? Which voices would best be involved?
…These steps are adopted from The Nomenus Wolf Creek Sanctuary’s Conflict Flow

So,
Check in with  yourself.  Then try one of the following:
Initiate direct communication with the person(s) with whom you feel conflictual energy. Initiate group support and invoke magical or spiritual allies.

Other options include:
Mediation, Initiating a Heart Circle, or an Elder’s Council.
The Wellness working group is in currently developing a restorative justice circle adapted to the specific needs of our community in the next year.  This will be added to the options above.

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