Hello my lovelies,
Although I went to this beautiful event a few weeks ago now I have been saving writing it so that I can really enjoy the process, as I have so much to share on the amazing experiences, conversations and connections I made. I feel like I’ve really shifted and made some amazing changes in being more of who I want to be, being able to play and explore in these amazing vibrant conscious festivals.
The festival before I really got a lot from the workshops and started to break down my barriers and feel safe connecting with people but still felt that I was really craving a close knit supportive community. This time around on the same gorgeous woodland site I felt ready and confident to be going again by myself to be more open and free to have fun and chat letting go of worrying what people think of me but being happier in my own skin. Before it started I began thinking about what I wanted to create for myself during this weekend, what I wanted to embody within myself and explore. I decided that fun community, friendship, deep conversation and heartfelt connections were what I wanted to embrace and I would do this by feeling safe to let down my defences and be open, warm and welcoming to all that I met. This was just a light-hearted wish I put out there and then tried to go in open minded without expectations, but weeks on I am amazed at how many deep beautiful gifts of community and connection were manifested from this :)
So starting from Friday I arrived early as I was helping out at the event as a first aider for the friday. I picked up my walkie talkie so that I could be contacted if needed. It was a bit nerve wracking being on call and not knowing if anything would happen, but I felt confident that I have the practical skills and ability to calm people down if they need it, so knew I would be there for someone fully if they needed me. I decided to meditate and set some intentions that everyone would be safe, everyone would be happy and everyone would have a perfect flowing fun time. I also wondered around the woods picking up any trip hazards from paths just in case lol. Always good to think ahead ;)
I took a walk in the woods that I felt so at home in last time to centre myself for the weekend ahead. It was still beautiful but realising that the bluebells were starting to wilt I did feel a little disappointed at first, until I had the realisation that everything in life is transitory and I was able to enjoy the forest in its full beauty, but everything is in cycles of opening, closing, breaking down and rebirth so I was lucky to experience it in all its beauty and can still enjoy the forest in its other stages. I found this interesting that my higher self was telling me that I don’t need to replicate joyful experiences or control what’s better than another experience, I just need to stay in the present and accept the new gifts that come my way openly.
I headed back to the camp and asked around if anyone needed any help. At the main fire I chatted with the lady running the opening and closing ceremonies for the weekend and asked her if she’d like me to walk around and let people know when the opening ceremony begins with her Himalayan singing bowl to play with, as I loved its sound. I found it fun being in an “official” role of giving people information, but not really lol as it just gave me a great opportunity to say hello to people, be nosey as to who’s here and see the variety of people from different backgrounds. It was nice getting to know the ladies camped me who came to some of the workshops with me later in the day. The opening ceremony used poetry, ceremony, the elements and song to welcome in Beltane. We passed round a small globe and imagined seeing our real earth from this perspective in all its beauty and perfection. I enjoyed at the end where we all weaved past each other in the circle and greeted all the new faces of the community.
I then headed to the shamans village for a Despacho fire ceremony. Isn’t despacho a type of soup? I didn’t really know what to expect from this, but knew it originated in Peru shamanic tradition so thought I’d give it a go. The facilitators had a load of pots next to them with lots of random bits and bobs. It sprung to mind what Carl Pilkington said when he met the shamans in Peru, that they had a load of random stuff that looked like the inside of your crap bowl or drawer that you put all the random pennies, cotton buds, bits of fluff etc. into that you don’t know what to do with, so that was quite a funny image in my head as I went through the ceremony. I really liked how all the objects represented different things to be grateful for. The facilitator was a really positive sweet man that I found endearing and chatted with about my Peru adventures after. Together we created a mandala of leaves, lentils, flowers, rice etc. that all represented to us different things we were grateful for in the abundance of food, beauty of nature and our bodies and water. We sealed our gratitude into the objects with our breath and put them all in the middle. We then wrapped it all into a neat parcel, covered in purple velvet. We then used the energy of the parcel and all the gratitude and high vibrations to pass along each other’s bodies to let go of any negative vibrations in our energy field. This was quite relaxing receiving and giving the body cleanse. We then all took it to the fire to give it as offering to Mama Pachamama (Mother Earth) and then walked away not watching it burn as he said it’s not polite to watch mother earth eat hehe. We walked in separate directions contemplating what the ceremony meant for us. It was definitely a different type of ceremony to what I’m used to but I enjoyed it :)
After this I went back to my tent for a little lie down and was considering sleeping but then when I heard on the microphone that dancing was starting I forced myself up knowing that I’d feel more invigorated by dancing than sleeping. I was ready for a little boogie to shake off the cobwebs and let go and it was fun moving my body. We started dancing individually and then the facilitator brought us more into connection by dancing in a circle together celebrating each other’s movement and freedom. I particularly liked near the end we danced to a really funny farmer accent old song that everyone just started really silly dancing to. Everyone was laughing hysterically towards the end.
After this was a perfect time to meditate in the woods to Himalayan singing bowls to relax my body and mind, enjoying the peace of the forest and the trees. Was lovely meditating in nature laying down looking at the beautiful green branches above me and seeing how they are all connected together. Got a little mozzie bitten but was worth it.
After this again felt sleepy so went back and had a little nap and dinner. There was the most beautiful acoustic singer called Danny Emerson who I was also mesmerised by at the last event and missed his set, so was trying to finish my dinner to get there in time, but again just missed it lol. Oh well sounded gorgeous from my tent and I’m sure I’ll make it to a gig when the times right :) The woodland fire wasn’t lit that night, so I headed to the main fire and chatted to a couple who had recently travelled to India and some of my other friends I chatted to more throughout the weekend and listened to music.
After a warm, snug nights sleep I was ready to start the day with a nice banana smoothie and then headed to do some yoga. Was quite a difficult class, but had lots of relaxation time at the end so felt really good afterwards for moving and stretching my body for the day :) I was really excited that Peter Owen Jones was giving a talk as I used to love his TV series “Around the world in 80 faiths” so was looking forward to hearing him chat about his experiences. Was great hearing about some of the heartfelt experiences he had when the camera were turned off. People who had nothing physically in terms of home and food, who were so positive and grateful, willing to share all their food with him and teaching him some valuable lessons of connecting with everyone equally and appreciating all that we have, but remembering what’s important underneath it all. I was a little star struck but managed to get a cheeky photo with him, such a nerd lol.
I was going to do some 5 rhythms in the woods, but as they ran out of headsets I thought ok I wanted to go on a nice longer walk so now I have the opportunity to go and explore so enjoyed a little me time. I walked through the peaceful forest and down a path at the end as a friend at the last event told me he found a castle up there. I followed the path getting accosted by loud jack russels backing away saying “I come in peace” lol. I followed the country road and enjoyed the views of the huge lake and across the countryside. Really beautiful. It’s nice walking by yourself and just being with the peace and quiet. I got to the point where I got to a main road and thought hmmm I don’t see a castle, so decided to head back the way I came and did a bit of foraging along the way :) As I headed back the path I came I saw a man and asked him if he knew where the castle is, he then pointed right next to me lol and said that this was actually the castle. I started laughing and was like “Oh I thought it would be a big one with a moat and everything” hehe. Was nice just getting out and seeing the horses relaxing in the fields and get a bit of clarity.
I then headed back to do a bit more dancing and was enjoying it and really getting into it until about half way through where my energy was flagging a bit and finally decided that my bed was too tempting so snuck out for another nap (this was a running theme for the weekend lol). Put my headphones in and did some meditation until I dropped off in my little tent nest i’d created to snuggle in :)
That evening they lit all the candles in the field which looked so beautiful, like a fairy land. I headed down to the woodland campfire and was excited to see that it had been lit. Sat down there for hours chatting with a cool guy that lives in an eco-village about all kinds of things: health, philosophy, psychology, quantum physics, love me a good intellectual chat, its so nice chatting with intelligent people about science and spirituality :) Was interested that I had found out about the eco village a few days earlier and was drawn to it and then he came along to tell me more and invite me to a free festival there in a few weeks time. Definitely some synchronicity going on :) We headed back to hear some music and again just as I arrived the music finished hehe so went back to the main campfire and chatted with some of the guys there and listened to the music some more. I got chatting to a guy about death after saying that I was interested in palliative care and facilitating dying peacefully and happily, saying that I met a man the other day who was 100 and died with a big smile on his face which was really beautiful to witness. He told me about a personal experience he had witnessed recently and that the man had died in a yogic crossed leg position and discussed whether he knew it was coming and got himself into a spiritual position for the crossing or if it was his usual practice at night. Was interesting to think deeply into it and not be afraid to talk about death or see it as a scary morbid thing to discuss, especially with strangers hehe, lets break the ice by talking about our own mortality lol.
In the morning I chatted with some of the ladies camped next to me who were all very welcoming, fun and a little rowdy in the best way hehe. I headed over to the yoga tent for some hatha yoga finishing with a gong bath. Was a little achy from the day before, but enjoyed feeling that my energies flowing better by starting the morning in this way. The gong bath was relaxing but a little intense at times as the sound can be pretty intense, even slightly scary at times (hehe what a wuss) but definitely clears out some lower energies I think and felt much lighter to go off for some more exploring and fun.
I then went to hear Leo Rutherford give another shamanic talk as enjoyed the last one I went to, as hes a really grounded peaceful man to be around but very vibrant and humorous at the same time. He talked a lot about death and living and dying with consciousness and presence. I commented that I had coincidentally had exactly that conversation with someone that night and that it was something I was passionate about.
I went to a Kirtan singing group as I really enjoyed the last one I went to with spontaneous easy chanting around a campfire in a beautiful tipi, so felt that maybe it was time to feel safer to open up my voice. The facilitators were really lovely and the singing was beautiful and talking about what the songs meant for them. However I started getting a headache, was struggling to sing the complicated Sanskrit songs and felt my throat closing as I felt that I wasn’t able to really able to get into it. I eventually found an opportunity to leave and get some fresh air. I felt a bit guilty but decided it was important to trust my body and what its telling me, so didn’t want to force myself to sing when I need to reconnect with my joy of expressing myself. Sometimes you need to nurture yourself by saying no and walking away from things that don’t feel right for you at the time. I know an opportunity will come to let go of my insecurities around singing and embrace that creativity with joy again so am hopeful for that time to come.
I headed back to my trusty friend the fire to be comforted and chatted with some of my good friends there while I waited for the Beltane ceremony and hand fasting that afternoon. I met a gorgeous little girl there who was so intelligent and vibrant for her age and was so captivated by her that me and another guy pretty much adopted her for that afternoon hehe. (little weird maybe lol but was great connecting with all kinds of different people of all ages, styles and backgrounds, feeling the common bond of just being present in this amazing place). We went for a walk in the woods and went out there after the ceremony and lay on the wooden benches around the fire and read each other’s astrology profiles and laughed at how accurate they were, captured us a little too accurately hehe. I commented that the fire kept melting my makeup off and then it came up that vanity is a part of my profile, so couldn’t really argue with that :P
At the ceremony we all held hands and sung, heard poetry and ritual before splitting into 4 groups where we would find our own way to embody fire, water, air and earth. This was really funny and getting the fire element we obviously got a bit rowdy and carried away ;) We came back together to share our gift of craziness with the world hehe and then they started the hand fasting (wedding) ceremony for 4 brave couples. We danced in a circle singing as male and female circles, making eye contact with the other group and forming a community together. We were supposed to connect foreheads with the other group at a certain point in the song, but that led to a few too many head butts lol. I found it really lovely and touching how in depth the ceremony was in terms of loving each other in all ways at their best and worst, supporting each other to be together and be independent, connected but willing to let each other go if it’s in the interest of their future journey. I really like this definition of a perfect relationship, connected in devotion, but allowing that person to remain the individual they are on their own life journey. At the end they ran through arches we made as our elements and then jumped over the fire together.
After our little adopted daughter went home me and a friend went on a little adventure in the dark of the woods with just a flashlight. Was funny how lost I got without the light to guide me, but we eventually made it to the large ancient tree and sat next to it feeling its energy. We talked about events we wanted to go to and was nice just relaxing for a little while in the peace of the forest after all the group events of the day.
That evening at the central fire it had really picked up and there were loads of people with drums, singing and other gorgeous instruments I’d never seen before. It was funny at times to watch it become a bit of a competition of which song introduced would pick up speed and everyone start singing it, or 2 other songs trying to get in there and entice the group hehe. After lots of singing everyone started dancing to the drums around the fire. Was really lovely watching everyone be so free and vibrant in themselves. I wanted to dance but was comfy and warm, so happy just to watch and be a part of the whole thing. Later that evening as the craziness died down a few of us got our blankets and all snuggled up together next to the fire in what is now called the “cuddle puddle”…sounds a little dirty actually lol, it’s not what it sounds like ;) We had really deep open conversations about our vulnerabilities, relationships and what had got us to this point and brought us here. Was really nice connecting in such an open way with people I had only just met but felt safe around and could trust. Was quite intense but lovely and had some heated discussions lol and let go of some issues we no longer needed. Now home we have chatted to each other every day on our “fireside friends forever group” (so sweet) so definitely created some special bonds that night :) Went to bed around 2 looking forward to my snug nest again and going to sleep feeling grateful for my boyfriend and looking forward to coming home to him :) Such a sappy moo hehe.
That morning there were a number of workshops I fancied about synchronicity, foraging and dancing, but I also felt that I just wanted to relax and hang out by the fire and chat with people some more, as this was my favourite part of the whole weekend :) I was getting pizza for breakfast as you do hehe when a man came to chat with me saying that he heard what I said about dying peacefully in the shamanic workshop and would like to chat more about it. Was really nice discussing our personal experiences of this and he talked about some soul rescue groups he had participated in where they guide lost souls into peace. I found this really interesting as I watch stuff like this on Ghost Whisperer as entertainment and think it’s cool, but wasn’t aware of anyone who works with that in real life. As we sat there more people came up to chat, a lovely lady and a few other guys from the eco village so had loads of awesome lovely chats about all kinds of things. Was lovely just being open and part of a community that just come and say hi and discuss anything and everything openly together. The guy also said that he lives in Devon in his own private woodland overlooking the sea with streams running throughout and that he had manifested this. I’ve become really interested in the tiny house movement and how we could live more in tune with nature, so was great seeing people putting it into action and living that dream.
I went for one last walk in the gorgeous woodlands and looked over the beautiful view of the countryside and just felt so full of gratitude and love for everyone I had met that weekend and really felt overwhelmed with emotion (had a little gratitude blub) hehe. You know you’re in the flow when you have a cry hehe.
We finished the weekend with the closing ceremony and I looked around and was amazed that so many people in that circle had become like close friends to me just in a few days and that I had embodied being more open, welcoming and grounded, inviting in this lovely community. I felt really touched and present connecting with these people as we sang, danced together and thanked everyone who had co-created such an amazing place to share. We all shared heartfelt hugs and swapped names and numbers. I drove away in the car feeling so full and hopeful for the future crying (again) with gratitude as I left that magical place :)
Thank you everyone who made it so special. I haven’t even mentioned some people or talked about these beautiful people but feel so captivated by their amazing qualities and following their dreams fearlessly so thank you for inspiring me. Lots of love xyx