Tag Archives: Transformational Events

A Spring in the Wood: Sustainable Tourism Event at Heartland

Burning holes in Yurt Wheel

This will be a month long event, tying together some amazing wood work projects, wild outdoor living (in yurts), and fire side cooking. We will explore the creation of some products to help Glamping in Central Italy take off: making yurts, a Shepherds’ hut, a cruck frame marquee. We well know how beautiful and versatile yurts are as a living space, and are introducing the others, the Cruck Frame Marquee being more suited to a kitchen/dining room/workshop/event space. We will be living as a little tribe around the camp fire, and alongside all there will be the the Beltane celebration, conscious cooking, a sweat lodge, and some energy work exchange, maybe even a small participatory performance.

One of the structures we plan to make is a Shepherd’s Hut, a wagon which was, since the 15th century and into the 20th Century, used by shepherds during sheep raising and lambing, primarily in the United Kingdom and France. It has become a popular accommodation on UK glamping sites. We intend to construct an oak chassis and frame with prefabricated iron wheels. 

Shepherds Hut

Shepherds Hut Chassis

Another structure is a Cruck Frame Marquees a traditional timber framed marquee, based on a 13th century Gothic design. 

Cruck Frame Marquee

This mini festival is laying the foundation for the Heartland spring festival, where we come to celebrate the sacred marriage and the start of the season. This year’s theme is Sustainable Tourism, but with a twist – we will explore the role sustainable tourism has in helping to create economy in marginal rural areas and the role well-being practitioners and organic farming plays in this.

But mainly we will be having fun, living togther in a tribal setting like we always do, exploring nature and our inner connection, eating good food and working outside.

Sweat Lodge

Admission is free, the event is run by the Heartland Association which is a small non profit, but we suggest a donation of about 12 euros a day towards food so we can keep it flowing with honey from the hive of the queen bee herself.

We will be hosting from around 16th of April up to 10th of May.

See Facebook page for more information.

Group Work

Wow, long two weeks of events and having people in Central Italy, we started by building a masonry mass heater stove, a week of hard work with a master stove brick man called Martins Brikmans, between laying bricks in sand and call mortar we got to work on some inner realm, mainly dreams, it was interesting to see how people move in connection to our energy and place, also learning to work within our own group much more, the stove took place bit by bit layer by layer, it is constructed of an inner shell of fire bricks, covered by normal clay bricks, the heat is diverted to a masonry bench, it than crosses the wall, and passes to another masonry bench, and only than it goes up the chimney.

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Masonry stove work

masonry stove

The bench at the other side of the wall

The high energy and work week meant there were moments it was hard to keep up with all that was happening, working with power off-grid, running the camp, building and keeping a level of energetic clarity through it all, we felt like we lost the space one night, than a quick turn around and we started our next event of yurt making, a small group this time and so it was easier to get going.

It took a few hiccups until we got the momentum going again, it was nice again to be making yurts and teaching to people that actually plan to live in one later on.

We had more time to practice holding the campsite for a group, and oiling the dynamics we have within ourselves, learning how our own group work tends to spill over into the event if we aren’t on top of it but seeing how its important to keep things in the open rather than create a false front.

drilling the yurt wheel

Drilling with the brace

Beduin bread

Making bedouin bread

Beduin bread

Beduin bread comes out of embers

burning the yurt wheel

Burning the yurt wheel

pizza

Pizza night

 

 

 

The Fire of Dreaming

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At the end of May from the 24th to 30th we will be hosting a special man, for  a workshop/event in which we will be building a masonry rocket mass heater.

His name is Martins Brikmans, a specialist masonry stove maker from Denmark, and he will be teaching us through building, one of his wonderful stoves, inside La Difesa, our old Italian house at Heartland.

You will go away with the knowledge and experience to build one of these in your own home. These stoves are an amazing way to heat a house with 90% efficiency. The usual method of heating which our Italian neighbours use is to cut a green oak tree from their land, and make a big fire, placing massive trunk pieces in the fire place as feeders, with a few small bits in the middle to keep it going. This does work, and does heat up the place nicely, but the amounts of mature oak trees that need to die each year for the fire is incredible. This is a much more efficient way to keep warm.

Alongside this outer focus, we will be intending to become more aware in our sleep with the aim to go into lucid dreaming. Although it may be easier for some than others to ‘break through’ and wake up in dreams, with enough effort and intent, anyone can access this space. So at night we can travel beyond, grounded by the Brik work by day!

This will be a week of work and laughter: we are looking for a group of 5-8 people who can work hard, are open to learning and dreaming, people that are comfortable with living in wild open nature off grid in yurts, washing in heat fired tubs, and eating the best organic vegetarian food cooked on the fire.

If you can come for the whole duration the cost will be 180 euros or 35 euros per day.

There will be a yurt making event directly following the stove making.

Contact us on spiritsintent@yahoo.co.uk with any questions and to book. This event will only be open for 5-8 people so speak early to secure your place.

Phone numbers
UK mobile: 0044 7895 019028
Italian mobile: 0039 338 8622686

For travel info contact Angelika on aquilamelek@gmail.com

Here is the Facebook link too.

The Dance of Collective Alchemy

 

Sitting by the fire

Spirits Intent’s next event at Heartland, our campsite in Abruzzo, Central Italy, will be The Dance of Collective Alchemy – a telepathic, cleansing journey into the roots of the inner being. This event will be centred around the Spring Equinox, leading up to the Full Moon in Libra: 19th – 23rd March.

This is the first event we are hosting in collaboration with Anahata Healing Centre, from the nearby town of Lancing. Anahata is focused on the research and teaching of awareness through the healing arts and Angela Schmel, the facilitator, is a pioneer the movement of holistic events in Italy. This event will be bilingual (Italian and English), so is a good chance for any of you who want to improve one or the other languages.

Morning exercises

Alchemy, in its exoteric form, is an ancient art which laid the groundwork for modern chemistry and medicine and is popularly known as the process of turning “base metals” (nonprecious metals such as copper and iron) into gold, using a substance called “The Philosophers’ Stone’. Alchemy was thus seen as a science but also as a magical spiritual tradition, as, in a parallel process to purifying base metals, alchemists might gain the ability to purify the human soul. We are thus borrowing this term to represent a process of purifying the essence in us, to use our channels for something more than feeling, seeing and hearing.

The idea of Collective  Alchemy is the fusing of separate parts into one collective whole, a process where the separate individual is replaced by a greater entity: The Group Body. Our events all have this process as an underlying theme where the participants walk gently through the barriers of The Self. We aim to allow people to see that what we call the self is just a receptacle that holds many aspects.

heartland

each yurt has a sign

This particular event, has two parts – the first part of the event will be focused on working on our abilities to extend the senses into other realms – using the technique of gazing to silence the mind so we can start hearing thoughts and working with them, with the goal that perhaps we can realise that telepathy is simply being connected to others through the group mind phenomena, and isn’t so hard to perform.

This part will involve a celebration of the Spring Equinox, the meeting of the Dark and Light, when Persephone returns from the Underworld and the Earth is reborn – culminating in an Equinox celebration, with celebratory dances and songs around a big fire.

The second half we will be taking those abilities hopefully a step further to be able to affect the outside reality, a sort of magic if you want. The idea we aim to arrive at, is that even the outside world isn’t separate and we can affect it with our inner sense of being.

bill whitefeather

(Photo from friend, Bill Whitefeather).

In this part of the event, the outer focus will be centred around the building of a sweat lodge and the journey of purification it brings. This is a ritual of entering the Earth’s womb and being reborn and the women will prepare for it by going through the 13 Munay-Ki Rite of the Womb and the men will learn to build a structure both externally and on an inner level.

The sweat lodge is a traditional ceremony to cleanse the body and soul, and is built as a simple hut-like structure of saplings and covered with blankets. A fire pit is built in front of it, in which stones are heated. The ceremony involves the group entering the lodge, after being cleansed with the smoke of sacred herbs and into the darkness. The stones are brought in one by one by the Fire keeper. The door is closed, and a designated person, the Pourer, pours water onto the stones, and thus creates the cleansing steam. Prayers and Intent are called, and  songs of several different traditions are sung (which we will have learnt the night before).

It is done in 4 rounds, one for each of the directions, and in each round, more stores are brought in. After the ceremony we jump into the cold river, or pour cold buckets of water over ourselves and then have a simple meal, with a purified Body and Mind.

This event of group formation is obviously an organic process and will tell its own story as it evolves and we can’t plan for things like the weather – may be sunny, wet or windy…

We will be living as a tribe on the Earth – sleeping in our nomadic structures: yurts, tipis and baker tents (although you are welcome to bring your own tents), cooking on the fire and bathing in the rivers. There is also a hot fired bath, and of course the sweat lodge is the deepest cleansing for our bodies, but also our spirit. At nights we will gather around the fire for songs, stories and celebration. There are also local guest houses if you need more comfort, although much of this experience is the wild living.

Dates: 19th – 23rd March 2016

Cost: 280 Euros (concessions available).

If you are a Facebooker check here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1672401523037087/

Come to Heartland and be in The Dance Of Collective Alchemy

Contact Us for more information.

dance

On the Other Side of The Yurt Makers’ Heart: The Libra Yurt is born.

The Libra Yurt is Born: the next yurt of The Zodiac Tent.

Having been clearing and flattening the site all summer long, a lot of the ground was bare and the new grass has not caught yet, so we were worried that an increase in rain will turn the site into a mud bath. We spent a few weeks getting the place up and together with the help of some friends and relations: we first made a large workshop area near the Zodiac Tent site.

Workshop space

Next thing we rigged up the tents again: the Scorpio yurt was up all summer long, but we had taken the Sibley tent down (its a type of hanging tipi) so that had to go up again.

Luckily we had some friends to visit just in time, and it was lots of fun putting it all up, and it  felt like the event was already on.

The Sibley tent is a tent we made earlier this year, it is traditionally pitched with a tripod, under which one has an open fire, but we just hang it from a friendly oak.

sibley and yurt

Sibley Tent and Yurt pitched for the event

sibley

Sibley Tent

The last tent to go up was the latest addition to the Baker Tent Family, the ‘Kitchen Tent’, which is a double sized Baker Tent.

kitchen tent

The Kitchen Tent

So, the group  arrived,  a few of the participants had already made a yurt before, and one friend was a professional yurt maker.

Breakfast in front of the Majella

Breakfast in front of the Majella

Everybody where keen to get into it, we started the week by going into the forest and cutting poles.

tammy cutting poles

Tammy cutting ash poles

We than started the peeling and steaming process, every body getting into peeling and shaping rafters, tying trellis poles, and glueing the wheel.

busy bees

Busy Bees

All through we were introducing group work and inner focus, but with little emphasis so not to make it too emotional for the group. However it seemed, at times, that there was so much people were going through because of the ‘open psychic space’ around, and working together out in nature. at one point an Israeli participant even commented, “wow where is all this emotionality coming from I thought we came here to make a yurt”! (He was just joking, trying to keep things light).

The community making process, was taking place and it was interesting to see the group going through the motions, how the first high of coming together was replaced by disillusion and how harder feelings started coming up, it was amazing to witness some of the things people went through. The weather mirrored this process with more rain than we’d had all the summer in a couple of days. The collective mud-bath did bring the group together.

Campsite in rain

Campground in rain

At one point it seemed the whole gathering was falling apart, but that too was part of the community making process, than out of that harder space something amazing started to bloom, a real sense of togetherness. Seeing people pitch in, working until the evening making the yurt parts, sharing the fire-heated bath water, and more than all some real life change was starting to take place in all it was the perfect balance. We were afraid the rain would be too much, or the winds, or that being so far out in nature without comforts, mobile phones or chocolate would prove hard, but it wasn’t. (The food came out more than amazing,  with 3 meals a day cooked on the fire!)

It proved that group process work could be maintained simply by intent, and our job was simply to hold the process and the place together.

in the wheel

Happy Yurt makers, after steaming the yurt wheel

There is simply too much to say and the inner processes that took place are too private to share here, but it was a deep experience seeing a little tribe form and go through it together facing the elements together, at moments even crying together.

Face in the element

Face in the (watery) element

In a way some of the best things to come out were the resolutions people came up with at the end. We got some amazing thank you’s, and were told by one woman that it was a life changing experience and she has decided to up it and go into a new life within the year, that coming back home after all the nature was trying.

At one point in the middle of this gathering we were sitting by the fire, and Lucy said we need to look for an omen to find out which sign this yurt will represent. With the Scorpio Yurt, we had a clear sign when a Scorpion crawled out of one of the door posts whilst it was being made.) Her feeling was that this yurt was the Libra yurt as this gathering started as the Sun moved into Libra on the Autumn Equinox, going until the Super Harvest Moon Eclipse the night before the yurt went up. As she said it, we were all outside looking at the sky for Libra and there was a collective gasp as a shooting star shot through the sky. We knew this one was the Libra yurt.

Libra Yurt next to Scorpio Yurt

Libra Yurt next to Scorpio Yurt

yurt makers

Yurt Makers (with T-shirts)

Here is an article by Dayana Piccoli, who participated in the event,  in ‘Chi si dicie’, the magazine of Torricella Peligna, our local town. Amidst the pages of town history and rural life,  Dayana’s article (page 17) shines through, and says much of what I was gonna share here, and a little more! Better polish your Italian.

Contact us if you are interested in participating in a similar event. We are also starting to look for people that want to get involved on a more regular basis, help with the work while living in nature for longer periods, or even help us run events.

And here is a little Video that shows some nice moments from the gathering.

Evento Soffia and the Gate Of Magic

The "sacred mountain" view

In view of the “sacred mountain”

We have finally come to find that piece of land: a magical hill between two rivers, in front of one of Italy’s most amazing mountains..

The vision is to start running events from the onset, working with people in group process and bringing them into the reality of the group mind.

We aim to create a centre for transformational events allowing people to connect with that tribal heart, that notion of belonging to the mythical being, our magical self.

The first event will be held from 16th-22nd of March for the Equinox and the New Moon. As the Zodiac Tent is still being built, that event will be held as a ground level event, in collaboration with Wild Canvas.

The Gate Of Magic

The Gate Of Magic

The idea is to take a small group of people into that clean psychic space in the wilds, and using that quietness, help them into the reality of the inner self.

The first step is to use ancient secret techniques to quieten the internal noise, and help the practitioners to observe their quieter feelings. We will use special nature walks to help each person learn that their feelings are extensions, through which nature communicates with us when we manage to become totally immersed in it, so yes we can learn to “talk” to the trees and plants. We aim to help each person find a way to clean his own “root” system: that network each has to the people around, of feelings and thought forms we carry as luggage, just like trees in the forest. We are connected to many others through those roots.

But this is only the starting point, we aim to work people into the reality of the group mind. Like a tribal trance, letting people not only come together but experience a miracle, a secret only tribal people know, that we can connect on such a level we become a greater body, a bigger self, one able to perform feats of awareness we can hardly dream of.

We hope to bring the event into closure with a sweat lodge to cleanse ourselves and our spirit.

We will be living on the land, in amazing open fire tents, and we are going to leave the normal behind to enter into the realm of the magical self, sitting by big open fires, living with the wild boars, the wolves and the foxes. Deer roam freely on our land. We will wash in a mountain river.

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Transformational cooking

Food will be cooked on the fire, but not only we aim to find a way to connect to eating naturally, we want to help people to learn how to cook consciously, how to make food which is aware. Yes we can make live food, by that same process of tuning to our inner selves and listening, not “pushing” our feelings out into the food we make, but using them for the alchemy of nourishment.

To book please go to the event page on Wild Canvas website. This will be the first in a series of events, called Evento Soffia (Italian for ‘The Wind Blows’).

We hope to see your through the gate of magic.

A Nomad’s Garden

A few years ago I attended a workshop with a group of creative people, at the height of which we were discussing the use of the zodiac tent. One of the guys attending was telling us his vision, the girl next to me started holding her womb in her hands, I guess it was so male orientated, she made me laugh with her comments……

At one point the guy said something that registered quite strong for me (although I have no womb if I did I would be grabbing it too at that point). He said “you are either a gardener or a nomad”. I could not believe it, I wanted to hurl my neighbour’s womb at him.

The use of the word ‘nomads’ get quite a lot of abuse. These days the pastoral way of living, which is suited to some places, is fading out of view, the tribal heart is gone. In its place there is a displacement  and we, the white people of the West, constantly feel we aren’t in the right place. Some tribal societies call it ‘the sickness of the white race’….Out of which another type of nomad has grown.

Growing nomads

Growing nomads.

That nomad is the one that longs to find a tribal heart, a connectivity with the greater whole we seem to miss, that sense of belonging to a group of people, to an earth, to a greater purpose.

For the last 18 years I never seemed to be live longer than a year in one place, and at long stretches, I seem to be living in trucks, seemingly looking for a home. At a certain point I realised that, not only I’m looking for a home, I’m looking to create a heart of sorts, a centre for that group mind. A place where we can grow nomads beyond that separation that makes us wanderlust, wandering lost.

 

Overland trucks

Nomadic Trans-formation

It’s another type of gardening I guess, although I still feel Julliete de Bairacli Levy was right when she said that if you move a lot, make sure to plant your lettuces on arrival. Chances are you will be around long enough to pick them, and I do confess that was always true for me, although in my garden I will grow nomads along with the lettuce. Nomads can be gardeners, and this one will grow nomads.

What I’ve been looking for all those years is not just a clear psychic landscape, but a means to bring those people into that experience, that together. We have been lucky enough to find it inside and outside as our daily reality – we live in a group formation, it takes a lot to uphold for sure, but it is gratifying.

Its always been hard to describe this inner outer reality of together, the telepathy, the move out of that individuality that so oppresses our collective unconscious, the world of me, me and me. Instead we live in a small group, where the boundaries of separation aren’t so clear, there is no me, it’s not clear what thoughts are mine and where the others start and I stop. My place in the group has always been the heart, so when it comes to feelings, it seems I live in a network of others. At times I’m not sure there is even a me left in there, maybe it all is their feelings.

It feels strong to have finally found a place on earth, to plant these nomadic seeds into living deeds, working on the first of a series of transformational events that are designed to take the individual beyond the self into the magic of the group body, in the wildest of wilds around the fire, doing the deepest magic, coming back to the tribal heart, through the sorcery of the other self.

We are creating the campsite that takes you away from you, and brings you into another world, where the collective trance of reconnecting as a whole gives birth to an unknown experience, the cure for that sickness of the white race – is the group body, and it belongs to our real selves. Hoping to see some of  you as the garden-nomads too, to work with you into the tribal godhead. To share altered states of awareness as our daily bread.

Some things are maybe beyond our comprehension possibly, but they still do happen. It’s like that story of the Russian prince who one day got a visit from a nomadic sorceress, who said to him “surrender all your lands to me now or face the consequences”. He laughed of course. The next day the Mongolian horde overtook him, killing all his people.