Wizards' Keep / Welfare

The Wizards' Keep provides welfare at Schloss Schönburn. It is a stationary go-to-place which - with your help - will be staffed throughout the burn and is inspired by Borderland's “Sanctuary” and Nowhere's “Welfare Enough”. Everyone struggling or having a hard time - whatever the reason - is welcome as our guest.

Our Mission

We aim to offer a safe and welcoming space and lend our open ears and hearts to our fellow burners in case they need it.

This may include (list not exhaustive):

  • You may have experienced unwanted touch or harrassment and need someone to talk to about it.
  • You feel confused/ disoriented/ overwhelmed/ afraid/ exhausted/ alone/ lost.
  • You feel unwell after the consumption of mind-altering substances.
  • Something just came up (breakup, struggles, trauma…) and you need a sympathetic and descreet ear.
  • You feel like something is wrong but don't know what it is.
  • You need a place to hide and be left alone.
  • You just would like a hug.

What we provide

  • We will use a hexagonal tent (4,5m sides, 9m in diameter) which is rain proof and will possibly be heated.
  • The tent will be split into seperate areas featuring carpets, blankets, cushions and two inflatable beds. There will be a private and quiet safehaven to get some rest as well as an more open safe zone.
  • There will be information material available regarding mind-altering substances.
  • We'll offer tea and some biscuits.

Where to find us

Looking at the map, we are situated near the camping showers/ toilets at the east end of the castle.

The Wizards’ Way

While tending to their fellow burners, wizards draw on ancient wisdom as well as on recent research and will adhere to some general guidelines to the best of their abilities:

  • Reality is a powerful drug. All shifts are sober shifts. In order to take care of others you must know your own bearings and be in control of yourself. To ensure a safe and clear-headed space our guests are kindly asked not to consume alcohol or other substances during their stay at the keep.
  • There is honour in punctuality. To allow for smooth shift changes, please be there 10 minutes before your wizard shift starts.
  • Wizards will do their best to make you feel welcome and safe. A wizard will ask before the act (even before giving a hug) and will not engage in any behaviour that violates the guest's consent. Personal information is kept in confidence and will not be shared outside the Keep.
  • The guest’s soul is their best guide. As a wizard you offer a calm presence of acceptance, compassion and caring. Simply being with a person when their experiences unfold already is powerful support. Don't try to “fix” their experience.
  • Difficult is not the same as bad. Challenging experiences can wind up being our most valuable, and may lead to learning and growth. A wizard will suggest to approach fear and difficult aspects of an experience with curiosity.
  • Always listen with compassion. Be open to the needs of any guest without fussing or losing your calm. Just let them know that you care.
  • This is not about you. As a wizard you are there to listen, not to talk about yourself and your experiences. Be respectful and grateful for the trust being placed in you and thank your guests for their sharings.
  • Give space if needed. One wizard caring for a guest can often be enough. Multiple people tending to one person at once might be well intended but can make the guest feel being pressured or put in the spotlight. If a guest just needs some quiet time for themselves we respect that as well.
  • There is wisdom in knowing one's limitations. Even wizards can and should ask for assistance if they feel unequipped to handle a certain situation. There will always be an archwizard on call.
  • A cluttered space can make for a cluttered mind. Wizards keep their tent clean and tidy. They are not beneath doing the dishes, making fresh tea or taking out the trash.

Joining the Guild

The Roles

There are two separate character classes upholding the Keep:

  • Archwizards: They are the welfare leads who take responsibility for creating and maintaining this space. Archwizards will drop by once in a while (i.e. at shift changes to see if they are needed) and be on call the rest of their shifts.
  • Wizards: They are the ones continuously staffing the Keep and welcoming guests and visitors. Wizards might take turns in or around the tent, sit with people, listen to them, care for them, maybe cook some tea for them. If a situation is “too much” (for whatever reason), they can always call on an Archwizard.

The Shifts

We plan to have archwizards on call from Wednesday 18th, 6pm to Sunday 22nd, 9am.
Wizards will staff the Keep starting on Thursday 19th, 12am (noon) up until Sunday 22nd, 6am.

Since all shifts are 3h long this makes for a lot of but very short shifts, so we invite you to sign up for 2-3 shifts, if you are interested in joining. As an archwizard, please, take as many shifts as you can.

All shifts between Friday night and Sunday morning are crucial, especially the nighttime-shifts. If possible, prioritize them.

Becoming a Wizard

Please sign up for shifts here and enter your name and phone number, so we can contact you on site: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tPnZJhvWl8HZGvw0AbgbasqBAkqKjoKdkOMPICFIrIE/edit#gid=214222832

If you feel up to the task, you can even become an archwizard! We would be very grateful to have you join our ranks. :-) Please read the Wizards' Rules and guidelines carefully and kindly drop us a message in the welfare channel on slack before signing up for an archwizard shift.

Team meeting and trainings

We will have a short kickoff team meeting on thursday 19th, 12:00 am (noon). Please try to be there to get to know each other, receive the most recent information and join a short introduction session.

We also plan to offer a second training session on friday and will soon put out further information.

Additional help

If you'd like to help more, please also consider signing up for build & tear down or have a look at which supplies we still need to find. Thank you for supporting our quest! :-)

Preparations & Protocols for Wizards

Radio Use

If necessary Wizards can use the radio that stays in the tent for calling up Archwizards, Ranger- or Site-Leads. Archwizards will be available on the radio throughout their shifts.

Make sure the radio is charged so it works when you need it. And remember that anyone with a radio could be listening. So don't mention: names, camp areas, other private or illicit information. If necessary describe your guest as “disoriented” or “unresponsive”.

There will be further instructions on radio use on site. Also see Radio protocol

Some Thoughts about Holding Space

  • Practice loving kindness, meaning that no matter what the person has done or who the person is, the listener holds them with deep respect, compassion, and unconditional positive regard.
  • Use Deep Listening. Listen to understand, not to reply. Don't assume right away to know what the other person is experiencing.
  • Sit with what is. Do not try to change anything, and resist the urge to do anything. You are only creating a safe space for the other person to express and feel their feelings. Sit with them in the hard stuff.
  • Allow the other person to feel whatever they are feeling. Don't invalidate their feelings or their experience. Hold them if they need you to when they cry.
  • Remember to breathe. Checking in with your breath is an effective way to make sure you remain grounded.
  • Don't usurp their pain. Holding space for someone in deep pain can bring up your own pain. Holding space for another requires that you have a clear intention that although you’re in the trenches with them, you are only holding their hand - you are not stealing their hardship and making it your own.
  • Practice non-judgement. This goes for yourself and the one for whom you’re holding the safe container: Do not judge.
  • Don't try to fix it. Often, when someone is in pain, we try to fix it for them. While that might make us feel better, the other person may feel even more isolated in their pain. So above all, be there for and with the other person. Do not try to fix them or their feelings. They do not need fixing. The only way over their pain is through it.
  • Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom. Don’t take their power away. Make them feel safe enough to fail.
  • Allow them to make different decisions and to have different experiences than you would. Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness. Keep your own ego out of it.