Looking at a Facebook group I host called Ritual and Ceremonial gatherings, I suddenly realised just how many people were running different workshops ranging from crafting, healing, meditations, shamanic journeying, drumming circles, walking groups as well has moots.
Through conversations with the hosts of these workshops it became quite apparent that the these people loved what they were doing. It was their calling to bring these workshops to as many people as possible.
So I suddenly thought how wonderful it would be to bring all these people together in one place for a whole weekend to showcase themselves and to invite people along to attend. The idea being that people would see how passionate, talented and what great teachers these people are.
I posted on Facebook, “anyone fancy helping me organise a gathering here in Derbyshire?” Two weeks later I had gathered a group of people and we held our first meeting. Oak Spirit was born.
After a year in the planning the First Oak Spirit Gathering (Working With the Energies of Mother Earth) was about to get under way. We had three full days of great workshops and ceremonies lined up and – just as importantly – people had booked to join us. We the organisers had to get this right, nerves and excitement mixed together and formed into a heady brew. We had secured the whole of Unstone Grange for the gathering (Unstone has very quickly become the spiritual home of Oak Spirit).
The first guests started to arrive and the sun shone down. It came to me very clearly that we were doing the right thing.
The theme of the first gathering was community and how important community is, if we as a species are going to survive and thrive. We used the Oak Tree as an example. How the tree’s roots connect with the earth, spreading far and wide, connecting with the roots of other trees, forming a community. How the Oak hosts many different insects and birdlife and how the Oaks branches grow strong and tall, connecting it with the sky.
We urged people to take that sense of community away with them and to use it to form their own communities.
With a range of workshops working with earth energies, the whole weekend was a success. I remember saying at the closing ceremony. “Shall we do it again next year?”. A resounding “yes!” came back from everyone so, immediately after the first gathering, we started planning again.
Here we were again awaiting our guests to arrive, again the sun was shining and the gardens of Unstone were full of flowers and bees. I felt relaxed, at home.
The theme of this years event was the element of Air and Communication, ‘Call of the Four Winds’. We talked about how important communication was if communities were to grow strong: By talking and listening we gain understanding of people and their cultures, and through understanding comes respect.
The workshops again were varied; connecting with corvids, dance, listening to the land, crafting, pipe ceremony, Kundalini yoga, and chanting. It was really great to see people returning for a second year, people who had become friends and part of the Oak Spirit community.
The second gathering came to an end and for me it’s the beauty of everyone talking, hugging and saying farewells. Again I asked whether we should do it the next year – again a positive response.
Who knows what will happen next year. We will be working with the element of Fire in ‘Awaken Your Fire’. So expect: passion, creativity, sensuality and who knows what else.
Oak Spirit has only just started its’ journey, and each year we learn from the previous one. Our mistakes are our greatest teachers.
We aim to keep the gatherings small and intimate. We believe that by doing so we build trust between all who attend, allowing people to become relaxed and discover more about themselves.
We look forward to seeing returning faces and meeting new ones in 2019. Until then, keep updated with all things Oak Spirit through our awesome new website and our Facebook page.
Tread gently and go well