Dancing With the Stars is on TV as background music for dinner tonight, but it’s nothing like the dancing with the stars I’ve been doing. I spent the weekend (Thursday through Sunday) at Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin with The Earth Conclave. Since the theme for the weekend was astrology, I’ve been much more poetically dancing with the stars.
The Earth Conclave is a non-profit that devotes itself to an exploration of harmony in diversity with the natural world as it’s model. We work to deepen our relationships with each other and with the natural world around us. Often this expression takes an artistic and spiritual bent. The Conclave puts on two weekend events a year, one in the spring and one in the fall, around a theme. As a community we follow the event team and support the work of maintaining our community and deepening our understanding.
It sounds very deep and intense, and I suppose it is. More importantly though it’s fun. This is the most incredible group of loving and accepting and welcoming people I know. Though many of them are very scholarly, they are also very artistic and patient and committed to that idea that diversity makes us stronger. Everyone who comes has something to offer and there are plenty of opportunities to share those skills.
I’ve been involved with Earth Conclave since the turn of the century. (There’s a fun phrase!) Because of the work and travel I’ve been doing with writing and because of my physical limitations I’ve taken the last few years off. I can’t convey how nice it was to be back. Everything’s not the same (there’s a new stove in the kitchen) but it felt very much like coming home. This is a crowd that’s watched me react to cinnamon (I’m anaphylactic) and so when I show up they make some serious accommodations. Gayla, who was in charge of the kitchen, said “As much as I like cooking with cinnamon, it’s still nicer to have you here.”
The four astrologers who took on the challenge of presenting the content for this Conclave did an incredible job. They opted not to teach astrology, but to go with the heart of Conclave and help us develop relationships with the signs and planets. We walked through the world as each of the inner planets, feeling in our bodies the qualities those planets symbolize in astrology. We spent time in a room with the solar system at its center and the signs of the zodiac around the outside of our circle. It was easier to see the aspects and relationships when they were so much a part of everything we did. When we all went to stand under our sun sign it was nice to see there was someone present to represent every sign of the zodiac.
One of the funnest parts of the weekend was the Saturday night feast. We were all encouraged to dress as planets, or signs or objects of the heavens, and we did. We dressed up the dinning room with lights and glitter and had an enormous feast of greek food. It was beautiful, and outrageous, and a lot of fun.
I’m not new to astrology, but I would never call myself an astrologer. We all helped each other through the material, reading our charts, identifying our sun and moon signs. Everyone learned something, even the professionals, because they each have their own point of view. Sometimes it was just an off-handed comment that made all the difference in understanding or that opened up a new way to look at things. We were not limited to a list of traits and associations, but got to notice how the moon might be different from one person, or one element to the next.
I was more worn out by the end of the weekend than I expected. That’s part of why the blog is late. I also am still so full and processing the things that I learned that I can’t speak clearly about it. I can always say that Conclave is a wonder-filled experience with incredibly kind and talented people and always worth the effort to go. I’m so glad I went back.