The theme for the 2014 Edge of the Wild gathering was ‘Outside Language’. What do these 2 words, side by side, evoke for you? Where do you find this place in your own life? And in whose company are you in?
Some thoughts: animal and plant communication, silence, speaking with the other-than-human, language of the dispossessed, beyond words, earthly bodies, imagination & intuition, non-duality, bearing witness, speaking truth to power, ritual and ceremony, death and birth.
Guest speakers : Phillip Carr-Gomm + Gillian Kavanagh
We were very pleased that Philip Carr-Gomm and Gillian Kavanagh chose to join us and share their practice. Philip led a workshop on Friday 18th morning and Gill provided a follow-up session in one of the open space slots on Saturday or Sunday. Philip is chosen chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids and a trained psychotherapist.
Gill is an a member of OBOD and runs Druid Shaman retreats. Philip is also the author of ‘The Druid Mysteries’ and ‘The Druid Way’, co-author of ‘The Druid Animal’ and ‘Plant Oracles’ and editor of ‘The Rebirth of Druidry’ and ‘The Book of Druidry’.
Druidry is a modern spiritual path with its roots in the practices of the ancient Druids, who were the guardians of a magical and religious tradition that existed before the arrival of Christianity. According to Caesar, the Druids originated in Britain even though their influence can be traced from the western shores of Ireland to the west of France – and beyond.
The Druid revival started in the early eighteenth century, by scholars in Britain, France and Germany who were inspired by the folklore and mythology of this pre-Christian tradition and continues today with a small but rapidly growing number of people around the world who are inspired by the tradition, rituals and teachings. Druidry appeals to those people who have become disenchanted with much of conventional religious practise and who wish a send of spiritual connection with their land, and with their ancestors.
Guest Speaker – Arran Stibbe
Dr Arran Stibbe also engaged us with a lively, interactive workshop on Sat 19th June. Arran, a reader in ecological linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire, gave a whirlwind tour of the emerging field of ecolinguistics and consider its relationship to ecopsychology. Along the way there were metaphors, frames, discourses, appraisal patterns and other linguistic structures that form the stories we live by. Some of these stories are clearly not working in the present conditions of the world – stories of progress, economic growth, the selfish consumer, ‘success’ and stories which entrench inequality and separate us from nature.
The task then is to reveal these stories, and discover how they ‘work’ so they can be effectively questioned and challenged. This leads to the search for new stories to live by, ones which can help us reconnect with each other and the natural world. Ecolinguistics, Arran argued, can help us in both exposing ecologically destructive stories and searching for new ones that reconnect us with the natural world. Arran is also the author of ‘Animals Erased: discourse, ecology and reconnection with the natural world’ (2002).
We were delighted to offer 12 interactive workshops that explored the 2014 theme of Outside Language in intriguing, creative and diverse ways. Practical and experiential, involving both mind and body, the workshops related to specificity of the place in which we are gathering and the other-than-human beings that live there.
A brief summary is provided below. View the full details of each workshop.
Friday 19th June:
11.30 – 1pm
- Rachel Morrell – Strength, connection and communication
- Julia Wright – Ecopsychology and agriculture: when discussion doesn’t work
- Sarah Hinds – Weaving your experience
- Matthew Henson – Beyond human dialogue
- Alistair Duncan – The wisdom of trees
- Gemma Burford – Four directions design: using the language of the elements to design holistic projects
3 – 5pm
- Sally Davies & Vanessa Jones – Naked voice in nature
- Frankie Sikes – Liminality and change
- Alexandra Pope – Exploring menstruality: the female initiatory path (A workshop for women and men)
- Rhonda and Michael – Reconnection to the animal body
- Harris – Coming to our senses: encountering the ecological self and nature
- Sarah Deco – Inside-outside tales
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