Come Dance with Us At
|The Gathering of Circles was born out of an idea. An idea shared by two men, Patrick McNulty and Bobby Ashworth, having coffee one day. “Wouldn’t it be nice if people from all the various circles got together for a camp out and we all could just celebrate knowing each other. “Yeah, and we could share our talents and our knowledge and could practice our workshop presentations on each other and wouldn’t that be a great gift.” So that is how the GOC began,. We just did it!|
Instead of the normal stuff you usually have in a brochure I just want to describe what happened in previous years and I think by the time you get to the end you will have a pretty good idea of what the GOC is all about. The first year about 30 to 40 people pre-registered with us so we were expecting about that many. However, when we gathered for the first circle on Thursday night, I counted 60! Another 30 straggled in later that night and on Friday. Saturday night it took one and a half hours just to enter the dance circle. We changed our procedure last year to enter from four directions simultaneously and it took only 20 minutes. The point is that we are learning from our experiences and changing our modality to fit the situation, just like in real life!
On the Thursday night circle we have introductions and an opening pipe ceremony and a all are smudged to initiate sacred space for the weekend. We ask the spirits from the four cardinal directions to come and be with us, teach us, and to keep us safe over the weekend. Friday morning everyone meets for a welcoming general circle and after additional introductions and announcements are made, Bobby Ashworth and Dan Leonard, both from El Paso, lead all 90+ of us in a workshop to get us acquainted. It is a hoot! They are excellent facilitators. Afterward, we debrief in groups discussing both the “get acquainted” and the “trusting” exercises.
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning there are various workshops. This year we will have Group Massage by Tina Colsen from Odessa. Bring your own bed sheet! A Dreams workshop by Gary Rogers, (now from Flagstaff, Arizona) was very popular last year and will return. Cliff Buchanan from Odessa will facilitate a Shamanic Journey, in which you will travel to the lower world to seek your power animal. Tom Casey and Walter Steely of El Paso will lead a 12-step meeting. Keith Lee Camp from Odessa will teach us some new relaxation techniques.
|Early in the morning on Saturday and Sunday Carol Dawn and Susan Murray will conduct a workshop called “Yoga in the Morning.”About 35 attended both the Friday and Saturday session last year. This workshop got rave reviews.|
Michael Hamilton from Santé Fe, New Mexico will do a workshop on“The questions men and women want to ask each other, but don’t.” There is still misunderstanding between the sexes. Let us attempt to see both sides without blame or rancor. Without the view from the opposite we are incomplete. Other workshops will be announced at the circle on Friday morning.
|One of the most exciting things about this gathering is that it is family oriented. It is for children as well as adults. Wilma DeLao from Odessa did a great job last year with “Crafts for Kids”. They made medicine pouches, walking sticks, jewelry and all sorts of other stuff. This year Wilma promises even more for kids. A kid’s campfire, special kids give-a-way, nature hike, and lots more are in the making.|
Mark Whitehead and Gail Lavender from Las Cruses, New Mexico will lead a workshop called “Inner Space, a search for the Grail.” They will use writing techniques and allusions to mythological reference points.
Saturday afternoon will be a time for preparation for the “Dance.” The dance circle will be prepared and plans will be finalized for the entrance. Bobby Ashworth holds drum auditions for the coming event. About two hours before the dance is to begin Clay and Melany Kennedy from Grady, New Mexico will begin to do free face painting for adults as well as kids. (Clay did the original artwork for the cover of this brochure and is doing the design for this year’s T-shirts.)
Saturday night is “Sweet Medicine Dance.”
This is a magic time, a time to put away all your ties to the past and become your spiritual self. Now is the time to dance your dance, yes, your dance. This is the moment you have been preparing to experience. Just DO IT and do it full out! It is your dance of life so do it your way. The drum will drum far into the night and this is your chance to dance, rest, and dance some more. Dance until you feel you have BECOME YOURSELF. If you have never danced around a fire to a powerful drum through the night with friends and family, you are missing an exhilarating experience! Some of us have even found it to be life changing.
Bring a gift wrapped in a paper bag for the “give-a-way.” This should be something of significance (meaningful) to you, which you now want to relinquish your attachment to, and let pass on to a new keeper. The size or monetary value of this item is irrelevant but the more significant to you the better. It may be symbolic of something of yourself, which you have or wish to turn loose of so that your “hands” are freed up for your present pursuits. Listen to your heart in deciding what to “give-a-way” at this time.
|Sunday morning will be our final circle. Emphases will focus on the talking stick, the Give-A-Way, and the community feast for lunch.|
|Honor and respect the land and natural life on it as part of our family. Treat it as you would like to be treated. Do not bring any alcohol or drugs. You are responsible for your own meals, camping gear (this is a wilderness area so bring tent, sleeping bag, etc.). You will need rain gear and rain fly. Bring a dish to contribute to the “Feast” on Sunday. Bring noisemakers (drums, rattles, etc.). REPORT: I was at Cloudcroft for the Men’s Weekend on June 6-8. The pine trees were two toned! Each dark green branch was rimed with light chartreuse edges consisting of new growth. Almost all evidence of our existence last year was gone. It is more beautiful than ever.Rules: Radios will not be allowed this year except with earphones. Dogs must be on a leash.|
|Directions: Go to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.|
|Cost: Love offering. Generally, 0 to 50 dollars. This is not about money. The Council for the gathering of Circles approves all expenses paid. Expenses include postage, brochure, planning meeting notices, permits, and toilets. Any monies collected and not spent will go toward the next gathering. All workshop presenters give their services without compensation. Love offering will be collected at the site. However, please pre-register with: Cliff Buchanan, 1404 Castle Road, Odessa Texas 79762|