Workshops

At Fertile Ground Gathering, we host a wide variety of workshops that are sure to inspire.  From beginner to advanced offerings, there is something for everyone!  Look for details in each listing to help you choose the workshops that are right for you.  With few exceptions, pre-registration is not required for our workshops, so you'll be welcome decide each day which ones you'd like to attend.  

Below is the list of workshops offered at the 2019 Gathering.  We've updated the event schedule, and added the days and times for each workshop.  You can find that information below as well as on the individual day's schedules.

* Please note that most of these details are only visible on the full desktop version of our website.  

 

Weaving with Your Inner Fire

When I was younger, I had a recurring dream that there was a volcano in the basement of my parents' house. I could see it through cracks in the linoleum floor, but I was never afraid. Over time, I realized that the volcano was my "inner fire"--my creative spirit, the wellspring from which my inspiration and motivation to create flows. Each of us has this "inner fire" which drives us to do our creative best and to take creative risks. The inner fire challenges us by directing its flow into uncharted territory, but it doesn't guarantee that the new direction won't lead to a dead end. And sometimes, for various reasons, the inner fire goes dormant, but be assured that it is always there. We will start out discussing our relationships with our "inner fire". Through meditation and chanting, we will access the "inner fire" and, as a group, we will each give it form from which we will weave into a single piece of art and fire and spirit.

 

Pagan Songs and Chants

Looking for some new tunes for the fire circle? Trying to find a good chant for a ritual? Irene's been picking up chants from the Pagan community for around 20 years, and has a nice collection to share with you. Come sing, drum and raise some energy with sacred, celebratory sound. With Irene and other members of Kindred Crow. Please bring hand percussion if you would like to drum.

Power. Freedom. Boundaries. Consent

with Rath

These are values most pagan folk hold near and dear to their hearts. This conversation will help us all come to a deeper understanding of how they overlap, as well how these values get expressed in our ritual work, and our group dynamics.

 
 

Early Religion in Scandinavia

From the earliest finds, it was clear that the thunder god was primary in the pantheon. Frey/Freyja, Heimdall, and Tyr were also major deities; Odin, Frigg, and the Valkyries only came north much later. We will explore the earliest versions of the gods, and what was

known of their worship.

Odin in an Icelandic illuminated manuscript (18th century)

Smithcraft Lore

The smith tamed the fire and ruled the iron. He was not only a metal pounder; he was also a healer and mage. The smithy was his temple, and it was he who made the New Fire, forged magical items such as spear and arrow heads, and more. Thor was his patron, and
torevatn (thor-water; rain gathered on a Thor's day from a thunderstorm) was used for quenching iron, making medicines, and even for cosmetics. We will also explore the role of dwarven smithcraft.

 
 

Introduction to Shamanism

with Jacob Hackney

This class is intended to give curious minds a glimpse of the possibilities that dwell within the vast umbrella of shamanic practices. It will include a brief history of the path, examine the similarities of shamanism around the world, discuss the basic functions and philosophies of a shaman, and connect the past with the present by presenting ways shamanism has evolved into modern day practices. There will be some hands on activities to include learning the skill of Bare Awareness, which allows us to harness our intuition in a way that allows us to connect and receive information in a way that breaks down communication barriers between humans and nature, or even each other. Participants will also have an opportunity for a shamanic journey experience, giving them a chance to peek into the realm of spirit for what could be their first time.

Please note:  This is the first of a two-part series.  Participants interested in attending the Primal Shamanism: Introduction to Shapeshifting workshop are asked to attend this workshop first.  

Artwork by Susan Seddon Boulet

Primal Shamanism

Introduction to Shapeshifting

with Jacob Hackney

 In this class, participants will be introduced to the concept of Primal Shamanism. They will discuss the often forgotten connection between humans and nature and how, despite often being physically removed from it, we ARE nature. This will lead into the introduction of the concept of the Within Animal Totem. There will be a guided meditation designed to allow for students to meet and reconnect with that primal aspect of our spirit as well as discovering what their own Within is. Utilizing these concepts, participants will be taught exercises to begin bringing them in harmony with their primal nature, and ultimately attempt their first shapeshifting ritual.

Please note:  This class is the second part of a two-part series. Participants who wish to attend this class must attend the Introduction to Shamanism class on Friday afternoon.

Artwork by Susan Seddon Boulet

 

The Agony and the Ecstasy,

or How to Stop Your Brain from Ruling (or Ruining) Your Life!

Our brains are wonderful organs for navigating the world. Brains are a location for processing all sorts of “internal” and “external” information. As powerful as our brains are, there is an organ that generates an electromagnetic field 10 times greater than our brain: our heart. This workshop offers a quick overview of recent fMRI research that helps us to begin to understand the things our brains do well and the things our brains do not do well. The workshop covers current brain science on thinking, emotions and beliefs and concludes with an exercise that connects us to our heart and takes us outside of ourselves into the collective unconscious – literally exstasis – standing outside ourselves.

 

Spirituality, Philosophy, Religion:

Weaving the Path

In this course, we will look at the difference between spirituality, personal philosophy, and religion; we will explore how the three relate to one another as part of our daily practices and our interactions with others. As part of this exploration, we will discuss some of the reasons why we see misunderstandings among individuals and groups who approach their paths from different perspectives, and discuss how a better understanding of the three aspects of the path can mitigate conflict so that we can walk our paths in support of one another.

 
 

Introduction to Personal Energy Work

We exchange energy with our environment all the time; spiritual, emotional, and physical energy flow into and out of our minds and bodies, affecting every aspect of our lives. Learn to become more aware of these flows through simple meditative techniques. Participants in this workshop will learn the techniques of conscious energy breathing, finding their energetic center, grounding their energetic selves, and establishing a shield to protect them from undesired external influences.

 

This is the first in a two-part series focusing on elemental work.  The second part, Experiencing Elemental Energy, will build upon the lessons covered in this workshop.  

 

Experiential Elemental Energy Work

The eternal patience of Earth. The fluid power of Water. The constant motion of Air. The transformative nature of Fire. We experience Alchemical elements of old every day, but most often we do not pay attention to the lessons they hold for us. In the first part of this workshop, we will make use of the natural environment of the park to truly experience each of the physical elements, and listen to what they have to tell us. This is an experiential workshop; we will be walking around outdoors, off the beaten path. You will get nature on you. Please dress accordingly, and come prepared to explore.

 

Once we have experienced the elements for ourselves, we will combine what we have gained from the experience with what we already know of personal energy work, in order to incorporate the elemental energies, and the varied attributes they offer, into our practice of personal energy work. The instructor recommends that those who wish to attend this workshop also plan to attend Introduction to Personal Energy Work, especially if they are new to personal energy manipulation. Participants in this workshop are expected to be familiar with the concept and practice of centering and grounding.

 

Run Valdr

This is a system of symbol-triggered energy healing like Reiki, but it uses Runes and another set of symbols (given to Rodney Cox by Odin and Freya.) The workshop includes history, descriptions of the technique, and the attunement (inserting the symbols into your energy field). You will be able to use it immediately, to heal, to shield, to awaken, and transform, and for other magickal practices. You don't need to know Runes before you start, but you WILL need to learn them to use it. Works with both younger and elder futharc.

Please note: This workshop will take place over two sessions, and is limited to 15 students.  Advanced sign up is highly recommended.  Students who wish to participate in this workshop must attend both sessions

 

First Degree Reiki

with Mark Cogan

This workshop will take place over two sessions. The first session includes an introduction to Reiki, an explanation of what Reiki is (and what it isn’t), and a discussion of energy work. Handouts will be provided. Students will learn the First Degree Reiki symbol.

 

The second session will include individual attunements and offer students the opportunity to practice. Certificates of completion will be be provided upon completion of both classes.

Please note:  This class is limited to 10 students, so advance sign up is highly encouraged. Students who wish to participate in this workshop must attend both sessions.

Fiber Magic

Magic lives in the fibers that we wear, wrap our children in, and walk upon. We will discuss and learn the delicate balance (and magic) of spinning fiber into thread, and a basic knitting stitch that you can meditate with. Exploring how chant and lacework can support each other, and the language of cables and colorwork in our knitting, we will also talk about offerings we can make, surrounding those in need with items imbued with love and magic.

 

Bring the fiber tools and projects you have with you, and I will have some to share. Practitioners of all ability levels and interest are welcome to join our “Stitch and Witch.”

 

The Tapestry of Your Life

A birth chart may look like a bunch of random symbols in a circle. But a trained astrologer knows how to weave those symbols together and see the tapestry that is the road map of your life. In this workshop we will learn about each of the major strands of that tapestry and learn how to unravel your own chart and put it back together again so that the meaning starts to become clearer.

No previous astrological knowledge is necessary, but even experienced practitioners may learn a good deal from Chris's traditional approach.

 

Weaving Your Own Destiny

Both Fate and Free Will play important roles in astrological prediction. Like weaving or knitting, you start with whatever raw materials you have, but it's up to you to decide what to do with them. In this workshop, we'll examine your own raw materials (fate) and see what options you have (free will) for weaving the future you want.

No previous astrological knowledge is necessary, but even experienced practitioners may learn a good deal from Chris's traditional approach.

 

Morning Yoga

with Eclipse

Morning yoga is an opportunity to re-calibrate our whole selves as we transition from night to day. This gentle class will awaken our bodies, our minds, and our spirits with a bit of movement, breathwork, and meditation. Like the sunrise that transitions our days from darkness to light, the class will transition our minds, muscles, and joints from the cold, stiff slumber of night and reawaken and warm them in preparation for the adventures that Fertile Ground Gathering offers. Bring your yoga mat and a strap or belt and join in taking your body from sleepy to energized and ready for the day. All levels welcome.

 
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