We began Saturday, June 6 with another Morning Circle, a time to share what was in our hearts and minds so far about what we were experiencing on the retreat. Again, we pulled random cards to gain wisdom for the day ahead. My own symbol, Unconscious (#6) from the Oracle of Initiation, suggested: whatever is happening is a mirror of my own unconscious; bring myself back to awareness when attention fades; allow what needs to emerge from the Deep Place Within to do so; find courage to embrace unknown aspects of myself; allowing connections between dreams, blue waters and skies, rich brown earth, and green growing beings to unfold.
Then I guided the group through two processes from the Work That Reconnects, a body of life-affirming, Earth-honouring activities and ideas by eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and associates. The first one, The Seventh Generation (aka the Double Circle), was a ritual dialogue between people here in 2015 and those 200 years or so in the future. Through this imaginative meeting, people got in touch with the atrocities happening in our time, their feelings about them, first steps they could take to change them, and sources of strength and courage to keep them going. The Seventh Generation ritual helped us remember how to be good ancestors.
After a pause, we did the Callings and Resources exercise (aka Gifts and Resources). First, we reflected on all that had emerged for us from the dreams, the tarot readings, the nature walks, and the Seventh Generation ritual. Then, in pairs, participants connected with a vision of how to be of service to life on Earth, a specific project to carry out over the next year, resources to call upon and to attain, potential blocks and how to overcome them, and actions to take over the course of the week following the EarthDreaming retreat. As one spoke, the other scribed. The scribe got a nurturing hand massage at the end as a “thank you” from the speaking partner.
Saturday afternoon was Free Time. Some people stayed and worked on making Ojos de Diosa in Marsh House, others went to a nearby beach, some went for a walk or napped. I did a private tarot consultation for one of the participants then made my way up the hill to the Whidbey Institute to walk the labyrinth, do the Dance of Life in the gorgeous wooden Sanctuary, and savour the land and its foliage.
That evening, Lee LaMar led us all in a Drumming Circle at Marsh House. He taught three basic rhythmic patterns then got the group doing all three of them. Magic happened as people began to improvise with drums, rattles, and other percussion instruments. Many of us vocalised chants we knew spontaneously, adding harmony as we felt called to do so. Some folks got up to dance and move their bodies to the mind-altering beauty of the instruments. Gradually, we wound it down to soft chanting as the sun set and our central candle was the sole light. Good basic communal ceremony at its best!
Before bed, time for a sauna, visiting with new and old friends, sacred art play, and just unwinding after a rich day.