In late June I attended an event called the Fairy and Human Relations Congress, a small family gathering devoted to peaceful communication with nature spirits and the harmonious interactions of our inner child. The festival took place on a 160 acre site known as the Skalitude Retreat Center located on the eastern side of the Cascades near the Methow Valley area close to Twisp.
Throughout the week, we lived close to the land as a community, camping within a large open meadow at the bottom of an enormous valley, surrounded by forests of Ponderosa Pine. Together we played and worked on expanding our awareness and opening our hearts through singing, dancing, cooking together, sharing our stories and our skills. There were many daily workshops to choose from dedicated to opening up our senses to communicate with the energies around us. Many of the workshops included activities that help to open up our telepathic senses and our receptive channels to enhance our communication skills that allow us to directly communicate with the life around us; the trees, the plants, the animals, the rocks, the elements etc… Mary J. Getten, a workshop facilitator, who shared what she knew about telepathy, feels that it is our birthright to experience direct communication with all life. We greatly participated in the ancient practice of group singing, which anthropologists and paleo-psychologists suggest may even predate and have been the origin of speech. We arose forming a circle, greeting the day with songs from different traditions and cultures, we dined giving thanks with songs of love and gratitude, and we communed in the evening with even more songs from all around the world and in different languages, expressing our deep joy and humble thanks for each day’s experiences and teachings. It was truly a heart opening week.We experimented with creating tools of power and ritual with various natural crafts harvested from the land. We explored aspects of spiritual protection from harmful energies, connecting with Shamanic healing through intuitive toning and chanting as well as drumming. Up in the hills with David Lertzman, we had the chance to experience kinship with the life around us through various activities dedicated to cultivating our sensual perception while barefoot and blind folded, grounding our awareness when stepping into an ecosystem. This developed in me a powerful sense of self as a part of this Earth community of plants and animals.
We learned to embrace ourselves and each other in this present moment through powerful heart opening activities surrounding the practice of Tantra. By getting into our bodies and our breath, we are able to connect to our soul and move through life in a way that is heart centered with love and compassion for life and all the beings we encounter. The two wonderful Tantra educators and facilitators had this to share: “The dominant paradigm emphasizes independence, materialism, and mind as identity. This has led to alienation from our Soul, our bodies and from each other. We gather at festivals to empower our healing and conscious evolution. It is through deep presence, embodiment, and opening our hearts that we are creating a new paradigm and healing the world. That is what this puja is about. You will learn and practice tools that will allow you to flow through your day and your relationships fully present, centered, powerful, and connected to the One.”It was quite inspiring to see the different paths people are taking to heal each other and this world. It seems there are so many spokes to this perpetually increasing etheric wheel that we are co-creating. I am particularly touched by the level of consciousness in the intentions of the Pacific Northwest festival culture. We are growing like a mycelial web, spreading our love, gratitude and healing presence all over the Cascades. We are one big family feeding each other, supporting each other.