The Village: Culture as a Verb
This is an invitation, a story in the making. A co-creative cultural experiment birthed out of the longing for and fascination with what village life could be, and how to bring that into a festival context.
Within the collaborative process of exploring this inquiry, through our study of indigenous wisdom traditions, we acknowledge that at the core of village life are earth-based practices of creating offerings of beauty with our hands and with our voices.
The Village is an opportunity to experience and participate in many aspects of this way of being such as song sharing, ritual theater, sunrise and sunset ceremonies, collective prayer, storytelling, and much more.
We will be providing varied forms of ancestral arts classes such as carving, archery, fire making, weaving, as well as councils and presentations of traditional stories and prophecies with Indigenous Elders.
The unique gifts of everyone present will be nurtured and cultivated, creating an environment where, like a traditional Village, every single person has an integral and valued role to play.
When we begin shifting our core life question from the over-commodified manifestation jargon of “What do I truly want?” into the generative, humbly empowered inquiry of “What do I truly have to offer?” then, as a whole community, we enter the field of real abundance. The Village intends not only to begin shifting our collective consciousness in that direction, but also to offer tangible guidance for how to recognize, refine and radiate those offerings into the world.
May this journey from seed to fruit be inspiring, nourishing, nurturing and truly celebratory. It is our hope that what we cultivate here, every step along the way, encourages us in our daily lives to feel the blessing of what it is to be alive at this time and what it is to be human in right relationship with the natural world.
The Medicine Wheel is a large circle, forty-feet wide, formed with stones and directional staffs, representing the elemental energies of the four directions and casting a dynamic container for invoking the Universal forces of nature. It supports the vision and purpose of providing a sacred space for a personal connection with the divine. It has long been utilized by Native American wisdom traditions for ritual, teaching, and healing purposes. Throughout the weekend visitors will have the opportunity to tie tobacco prayer bundles onto the Wheel that will then be collectively offered to the Sacred Fire within the Wheel at the closing ceremony on Monday morning.
The Sacred Fire is a fire alter that will be lit from Sunset to Sunrise each night and be the center-point for Sunset, Midnight, and Sunrise ceremonies led each day by elders fromHopi, Mexica, and Native American lineages. The alter will invoke the energies of the four directions and their elemental representation as practiced in Native American wisdom traditions. It will offer visitors a sacred space to channel their own personal visions, prayers, and intentions throughout the weekend. Each night the fire will host rituals and singing, and be an intentional gathering space for sharing. While not lit during the day, the alter will still be available as a sacred space for visitors to enjoy.
“Indigenous peoples’ stewardship of the land carries important lessons for us in the modern world…We desperately need to foster a new vision of human-nature relationships and the place of humans in the natural world” –M. Kat Anderson
As we approach another year of cultural and climactic shifts, it seems proper to consider another paradigm shift: a return to the old ways. Culturally, the preservation of our tied ancestral history is what helps us thrive. These are gifts of wisdom, experience and skills. A tie to the land comes through not just observation, but interaction. We can clearly see the negative impacts from misunderstanding and underestimating centuries-old traditions and techniques. More and more, people are searching out this relationship once again. The term ‘Ancestral skills’ encompasses a whole lifetime of education, that never ceases, that you take everywhere: ethnobotany, biology, geology, zoology, astronomy, construction, watershed management, forest ecology, the list goes on. What compounds this are the layers of ritual, myth, storytelling, oral tradition, music and dance. Interweaving Ancestral Skills with Lightening in a Bottle is a way of reuniting all these layers, of a more integrated approach, while reaching out and sharing. We thank-you for the opportunity and invite you to join us by the sacred fire.
This year at Lightening in a Bottle we would like to bridge the gap between the realms of music, dance and art, restorative ecology and permaculture, with the knowledge and skills of our early ancestors.
Gathering together in ceremony is at the heart of any village life. In our VIllage, we will be gathering each day around the sacred fire and altars to honor Sunrise and Sunset, to make offerings of all kinds, and to weave the traditions of our myriad lineages into a unique fabric of prayer and celebration. In these ways, we are honored to be guided by our Village Elders as well as those among us who have dedicated their lives to these practices. It is our sincere hope that coming together in these ways will inspire each of us to continue making offerings of beauty a part of our daily lives.
Ritual Theater Offering
Historically, Ritual Theater has been a practice of individual and community embodiment of archetypes and myth for the purpose of healing, initiation, rites of passage, and celebration. The practitioners of this art form cultivated the ability to become vessels for the celestial and earthly forces of Spirit to directly address, inform and guide the community. These ceremonial performances created a way for humans to communicate with the elements, harmonize with astronomical events, renew their agreements with Spirit and keep ancestral wisdom alive and accessible.
For LIB 2013, Ashes and Seeds is creating a Ritual Theater Offering, carrying these traditions forward into a modern festival context. Integrating the diverse memes of ‘lightning in a bottle’ with the oracular teachings of our indigenous wisdom keepers and the immediacy of this historical moment, our intention is to create living tradition out of a re-mix culture.
Our hope is to make an offering of real cultural, spiritual and artistic worth, grounded in the power of collective cathartic experience. May this offering unify the potency of our festival experience, allowing us to refine and direct the massive creative energy generated there into an inspired life of service to a story larger than our own.
Essential to Village life is the wisdom and gidance of our elders, helping to mentor and reflect to us all the expanded consciousness of their vast experience and initiations. The Village is honored to be hosting 4 highly esteemed Indigenous elders this year: Marza Miller (Yavapai) , Leroy Lewis (Hopi) , Kuauhtli Vasquez (Mexica) and Mazatzin (Kikapu/Chichimekatl). Each of them hold crucial keys to the prophecies and traditions of their people. They have generously come forward to educate and create bridges with our community who so deeply long to feel connected and in service to lineages of authentic ceremonial and practical ways. Our sincere hope is to begin reweaving an integrated, intergenerational tapestry of how life can be, with the great blessings of these esteemed teachers.
Kids Planetary Council
Come join us for an opportunity to enjoy the wisdom of our young ones, referred to many as the “crystal children” of the next generation! The Village is hosting a panel of our little sages where they will share with us their thoughts about our planet, how to help the environment, what love means, why we grow up, what they would like for adults to know about life, and other crucial advice!