Hiking to Hexennacht

In medieval Europe, the eve of May heralded the beginning of summer and was a common cause for celebration among its various peoples. According to German folklore, the “witches” (Christianity’s umbrella term for pagan spiritualists) of the woods in central Germany gathered on “Witches Night” to observe ancient rituals with feasting and fire.

Although recently a “Witches Walk” was staged here in Kamloops to commemorate the changing seasons, there is no official public acknowledgement of the Hexennacht tradition – but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. As an avid hiker there is nothing I enjoy more than exploring the breathtaking desert landscapes that surround this city, particularly at Cinnamon Ridge, which I have extensively scouted and photographed every season for the last year. I can’t imagine a better place to welcome the desert summer than here, nor a better means of greeting than to recreate the nature-revering spiritual traditions of the past.

Huge thanks to my model and creative collaborator, Tracy, for her dedication to and enthusiasm for this project!

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