2016 will be remembered as the year that education took root and exploded in flower. Last year, we saw the advent of 3 day permaculture intensives leading into the festivals, climaxing with a community project in the local area the day before gates opened for the main festival. The concept came on quickly and spread like wildfire..
It started with a few of the spring events, in early 2015 and before high summer it was the new normal. Fests across the continent leaped to offer a permaculture program of their own. The courses were a booming success, selling out to enthusiastic students. Then, just as quickly, as our community absorbed the principles of permaculture, the principles were integrated into the very fabric of every aspect within the festival village.
Food and waste were natural applications and have been for a long time; but I saw “emotional permaculture” workshops appearing and later a topic of discussion. I heard permaculture leaned on in team structuring, in site layout, in the design of the flow of activities. Conversations about every aspect of planning and co-creating often included reference to permaculture principles and queries into integrating them. Not that we hadn’t all been exposed to permaculture ideas, but I could see, hear and feel the impact of the permaculture education we were all receiving, in just one short season.
Now, in 2016, once again, we’re seeing exponential growth.
Lucidity opened this spring with a stellar Courseweek, featuring 5 tracks for three full days of deep immersion before the main event. Offering yoga, reiki, art & creativity, lucid dreaming and leadership – wrapped in sacred circles and deep bonding – the fair grounds were seeped in a rich, nourishing energy that permeated everyone attending through the weekend. The University area stayed open into the festival, offering hourly workshops of all sorts and the learning flame was kept burning brightly through closing on Sunday night.
I am not fully updated yet on the breadth of who is offering pre-event courses this year, but Lightning In A Bottle just wrapped their Village Symposium – held a few weeks ahead of the main event….a new model that we’ll get feedback on soon. Their full weekend event included a focus on ritual and ceremony, sacred sexuality and dance, as well as other topics….”exploring the place where science and mysticism meet and how humans can reinstate ourselves back into a harmonious and symbiotic relationship with the web of life”. With fewer workshops and a lot more ceremony, then moving onto the dance floor in the evenings, I’m excited to hear how their weekend of study impacts the upcoming festival at the end of this month.
Symbiosis too is jumping into leadership on this new wave. Their courseweek is called Elemental Alchemy, and it’s an ambitious 5 days long! They too will offer 5 tracks: visionary art, yoga, permaculture, and the exciting new additions of “ancestral arts” and “ritual & performance”. All of their tracks focus on the integrated person, becoming closer to the earth, to source, to one another….alongside skill building in your chosen area of interest.
A further side effect of these intensives is the community building and personal bonding that comes from the shared experiences….something that will permeate the events that follow and will continue to impact the community as a whole for the long run. We are being enriched and nourished in so many ways through these programs.
I encourage you to check into your fave fests early and see what they’re offering. These pre-event learning games are fun, but also richly rewarding and deeply life changing. They are accelerating the quality of the life we are building together, and will be something that touches all of us who attend the main fests afterward.
Please send me news of other pre-event courses being offered and any other new breakthroughs that are emerging in our community.
PS I just heard that Sonic Bloom has something planned…..stay tuned, I’ll let you know!