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Please now look over the orientation for event participants. This is applicable for full day or multi day events especially.
Here is the page! And Welcome!
"Thanks for doing whatever you do that has kept you going to this point."
The world needs people bringing their gifts as best they can, often under trying circumstances.
WHY WOULD WE GATHER IN SACRED SPACE?
We gather to "consult" with our "whole" community. That includes people, nature and a third, mysterious part. The third part of community goes by a lot of different names in different places. It could be called the "Other World," the "Spirit World," or "Soul" or "The Ancestors" or "Dreamtime." The idea acknowledges that unseen forces affect us. History is one unseen force that affects people—both personal and global. That is a beginning of understanding the idea of "Ancestors." Humans are also influenced by archetypal forces in the psyche, what mythology refers to as "the gods."
The consultation with the larger indigenous sense of community is a little unusual these days. It is not surprising that some description, welcoming, and encouragement is needed to get started on the process. But once started, everyone finds that it is quite natural—even, one could say a "native" process to human beings.
HOW IS A WEEKEND STRUCTURED?
Weaving a ritual together is a complex process with a lot of different variables. It is not a cookie-cutter mass production affair—it is very customized, but here is an outline.
Friday evening begins with opening circle . . . some sharing, some poems, some song and some description. In order for real concerns of those present to be spoken, we have to get to know each other a little bit. It is very natural for human beings to build trust like this—but it is much more likely to happen in what is called "sacred space." Usually Friday night includes a favorite of many—the first part of a story. That helps create access to what can be called the "Dreamtime"—the world of images and imaginative understanding. The images we access from sharing, from the story, from poetry, make the foundation of what we will do together.
Saturday is a full day of exploration and deepening. A second part of the story gets told. There is more sharing, and sometimes unexpected developments in the flow of the day. The goal is to construct a meaningful ritual by the end of the day. Saturday evening, it is time for the magic and wonder of community ritual with the elements. Don't worry about whether you are qualified or not—you are! Everything gets explained, questions are welcome, and you never have to do anything you don't agree to. But the nature of ritual is that you might find yourself being a little larger than your "regular self." That's good—it could be what growth or healing looks like.
Sunday morning, the hard work will feel worthwhile. We will consolidate our progress by sharing, appreciation, and looking into what has been learned, gained, set down and pointed at. The story will be completed. After lunch is a time for cleaning up, and any other business that needs to be taken care of and our closing circle.
Carving out time for soul work is challenging in the busy world today. Great effort goes into organizing a weekend program, and attending one—so it is designed as a fully engaging, enthusiastic process. If you've been moored too long, you might find that the sails are up! And if you've been out in the storm too long, you might find that it feels like you have some ground back under your feet!
The process of a ritual gathering usually begins when a person commits to attending. There are three stages to the process—leading up to the gathering, during the event, and integration afterwards. There are many ways to approach the preparation time. For some people, a call just feels like it must be answered . . . something in the title, or imagery, or write up has felt right at this time. For others, a specific need is really recognized, and because the program addresses it and they have a clear focus of intention.
Either way, it is good to have two things together—intention and openness. The intention works with one side of the mind, and the openness works with the other, more fluid side. Remember, the ritual gathering is essentially conversation. The outcome is not predictable. It is a step toward deepening relationship with the inner world, with the spirit world, and with nature.
TIME BEFORE THE RITUAL
Everyone has their own way of approaching experiences. Some keep it "out of sight, out of mind," as a way of arriving with a fresh and open perspective. For others, the psychic and Other-worldly energies of the ritual can affect them leading up to the ritual. It is completely normal for this to happen to those who are sensitive in this way, and it can also be a little unsettling. The moment of committing prepares the psyche to be open for the ritual to affect us and effect change. Ritual is like a birthing or blossoming of inner energy into the world.
IF THE SOUL IS STIRRED UP
Indigenous wisdom means opening ourselves to the mythic and imaginal realms. If you are one of the people who approaches with anticipation or nervousness, remember that it is a natural process, more commonly called "excitement." Occassionally, opening the doorway to the mythic causes a healing process to begin in the form of "getting sick." The indigenous understanding is that this is perfectly acceptable. It is probably part of a process of detoxification. You are welcome to attend just as you are, and be taken care of during an event or weekend. Being present in the way that you can be, and actually are feeling, is sometimes healing in itself. It is an honor for a community to help out. Beware of the modern idea that you should show up looking like everything is going fine if it is not. That inclination to stay home can sometimes be an internalized vampire that wants to keep us in the dark away from what is meaningful. It can appear as an argument to subvert your original intention.
INDIGENOUS TRIBE AND VILLAGE WISDOM
The intensity of ritual encourages us to remember that naturally we are different, and have things to offer each other. It sometimes seems as if indigenous wisdom is so different than what is accepted in the modern world. From an indigenous perspective, the weakest person is sometimes seen as the "canary in the coal mine," pointing the way to what really needs attention. And the answer to that thing that needs attention can come from anywhere in "the village," because everyone is showing up with both wounds and with gifts to bring. If you need any support before an event, please ask, it is not a problem.
DIVERSITY POLICY Just Be Yourself—You're Done!
COMMUNICATE Registered?—You're Done!
- Your phone numbers and email
- Any allergies
- Vegetarian or non-vegetarian
- Medical conditions organizers should know about
- Emergency contact person's name and number
- Your intentions and needs regarding the gathering
FOOD Food & Accommodation Included?—You're Done!
- food is often supplied including vegetarian options
- bring any special unique food that you need
- sometimes a potluck contribution is required
- check if there are any special details of the event
comfortable clothing for movement,
warm clothing for the outdoor activities
- blanket, pillow, backjack if desired
- water bottle and notebook
- tent and sleeping bag if required—usually not
WHAT TO BRING – THE SACRED Make it special!
- any ritual clothing that you wish to dress in
- musical instruments
- medicine tools if you have any
items for shrine (to be returned)
Examples: small carvings, sacred items, pictures of ancestors
colored cloth for decorating
- drink lots of water
- communicate with others who were at the event
- send me a note to let me know how you are doing via the facebook page
- consciously work with integrating what happened into your life
INDIGENOUS THINKING IS A SKILL
We who are longing to bridge spirituality with the practical, build community sustainability, aspiring to a deep communication with emotion, intuition, and body, who need to take creative action, want a closer relationship with nature, and desire to bring our gift into the world are cultural leaders. Lots of forces around in the world today are not friendly to a renaissance of the quirky and independent minded indigenous soul.
The modernist outlook will try to take people "out of the action" by giving messsages that your experiences and challenges are your own, and not a part of "village concerns." The modern world will initially not be supportive of true wild genius. Your task is to go toward the difficult task of creating relationships with other like-minded folks who want something better. It is a skill to learn how to share and listen to grief with the knowledge that it is a thing with dignity because it is showing a side of the grief-praise coin. It is a skill to re-wild the inner knowledge that is innate to us. It is a skill to work with nature and the Other World as partners.
Don't be alone—reach out and say hello to someone!