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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 provide 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 feel unwell after or unsure about the consumption of mind-altering substances.
  • 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.
  • 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 half of a hexagonal tent (4,5m sides, 9m in diameter) which is rain proof and maybe will even be heated.
  • The tent will be split into two seperate “rooms” featuring carpets, blankets, cushions and two inflatable beds. One room will be a more private and quiet safehaven, the other one will be more open and public.
  • There will be information material available regarding harm-reducing use of mind-altering substance.
  • We'll offer tea and some other basic supplies like earplugs and condoms.

Where to find us

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

What we are not

  • We are not doctors. We may have some basic first aid supplies available, but we are not responsible for providing first aid and most of us will not be medically trained. We can however direct you towards the nearest medical facilites (due to the burn's size there'll be no red cross ward directly on site) or call an ambulance if needed.
  • We are not therapists. We'll do our best to care for our guests in a compassionate and ethical way. Still our skills and knowledge in dealing with acute trauma might be too limited in certain situations where we will then offer our help and company in finding professional help.
  • We are not mediators. We will handle every matter confidentially. Should you confide a participants transgression to us and don't want us (or anyone else) to step in, we will honor that request (and just make an internal note on the type of the incident for the ranger- and site-leads, leaving out all personal details). If however you would like to have a conflict addressed, we will help you find your way to a ranger, who's job and responsibility is exactly that.

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:

  • 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. Our guests are asked not to consume alcohol or other substances during their stay at the keep.
  • There is honour in punctuality. A wizard arrives on time for it's shift.
  • 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.
  • Everyone shall feel welcome and comfortable in the Keep. This applies to the space but also to the wizard's appearence. We expect wizards to do their shifts fully clothed and dressed in a manner that does not risk overwhelming or disturbing intoxicated guests i.e. by wearing crazy headmasks or blinking lights. Just let your inner light shine.
  • You are always safe with a wizard. 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.
  • Your own soul is your 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 loosing 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 intented 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.

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 continiously 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:

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 and receive the most recent information.

We also plan to offer a little psycare-training session 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 which describes the reverent present-moment cultivation of compassion and love for another living being.
  • Use Deep Listening. Listen to unterstand, not to reply. Don't assume right away to know what the other person is experiencing.
  • Have unconditional positive regard. This practice rests on the knowledge that no matter what the person has done or who the person is, the listener holds them with deep respect, compassion, and positive regard.
  • 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.