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 a few exceptions, preregistration is not required for our workshops, so you'll be welcome to decide each day which ones you'd like to attend.
Below is the list of the workshops we will be offering in 2023, along with links to the presenter bios. As we get closer to the Gathering, we will update the event schedule, and add the days and times for each workshop. You will then be able to find that information in each workshop listing below as well as on the individual day's schedules.
Nuke It From Orbit: Entropy, Destruction, and Rebirth of the Sacred Self
with Irene Glasse
As our beloved Mother Earth lives, grows, decays and sleeps only to be born again in the spring, so too do people pass through different lives during the course of their incarnation here. We grow and change, and sometimes the lives that we built for ourselves no longer fit. Sometimes the lives we built for ourselves are suddenly taken away from us. Bring yourself back into right relationship with your true nature, values and aspirations with this workshop. Learn techniques for planning your next phase, preparing for major life sculpting, releasing the broken pieces that no longer serve (or are no longer available to you), and beginning your next Fool’s Journey. Through ritual reconsecration, reconnect with your Sacred Self and step into the next phase of your life empowered, confident, and connected.
Chaos and Catharsis
with Sophia Kelly Shultz
I once had someone say to me “You can't control everything around you.” I replied, “Oh, I know that!”
He looked me in the eye and said, “No, REALLY. You can't control everything around you.” This was at once both a crushing and uplifting moment.
Intellectually, we're pretty much all like this. If asked, many would say, “Of course I know I can't control everything around me!” and then spend half an hour trying to convince their boss that their way of doing things is the best—even when the boss has decided otherwise.
What is chaos? According to the dictionary, chaos is defined as “complete disorder and confusion.” That's pretty cut and dry; I'm thinking that whoever wrote that definition has never experienced chaos at all.
To the ancient Egyptians, the universe arose from the Nun (pronounced noon) or primordial ocean. The Nun is a place of complete chaos. When the universe was formed, the Nun did not cease to exist: it was always there, and the Egyptians knew that if they were not careful, someone could end up plunged into it.
They had this right: chaos is always just around the corner, a fact that was made especially clear after the lock down in 2020. Humans have always lived with uncertainty—another form of chaos—the feeling that anything could happen at any time. Most of us manage to get through it pretty well by developing habits like looking both ways before crossing the road or not standing in a field during a thunderstorm. But these days, many of us might feel that we can't control anything anymore, and that feeling spins out, bringing increasing feelings of helplessness.
This makes chaos the Bad Guy. It's the Bad Guy, right?
No. The ancient Egyptians believed that there could not be order without chaos—that it is the balance between the two that keeps the universe running smoothly. Here and now, it is how we handle the chaos we might encounter that will make all the difference in our lives. Learning what we can control and what we cannot—and how to deal with the things we cannot control—is key to better emotional health.
I invite you on a ritual journey where we do not battle chaos but seek to deal with it—or accept it for what it is.
Elder and Anglo-Saxon futharks; Runes: the Younger futhark and some rune codes
with Jane Sibley
These workshops will explore runes and their use in history. The first hour will go into the pre-Viking period runes and their posited origins; the second hour will go into runes used during the Viking into Medieval periods. Note that this is not New Age material.
Orlog, Luck, and Wyrd
with Ash Glasse
Orlog, Luck, and Wyrd will explore ideas around the Heathen concept of fate. Pulling from both the Lore and modern practice this class will define these concepts and explain how they work together.
Energy Infusions (AKA. Spirit Vitamins!)
Part one of three
An exploration of methods and modalities to transform and transfer energy for good spiritual self-care. This course will touch on the existence of energy as a concept, its benefits and applications, and some of the many forms it can take. Participants will get hands-on experience with basic energy channeling techniques including universal energy, color, and sound.
Participants are highly encouraged to bring a journal and something to write with.
This is part one of a three-part series. Preregistration is required, and participants must be prepared to attend all three sessions.
See part three of this series for registration form.
Introduction to Soul Retrieval
Part two of three
As an introduction to the concept of spiritual wounding, participants in this class will learn the theories around how trauma, in its many forms, may affect us on an energetic and spiritual level. Then, explore the concept of “soul-loss” and be introduced to the existence of a deeply rewarding, powerful healing ritual known as the Soul Retrieval; meant to aid in consolidating those parts of ourselves which have been lost to the painful challenges we face along our path.
Participants should plan to bring a journal and a writing instrument.
This is a heavy topic that will touch on mental health struggles. Fully reprocessing trauma and management of mental illness requires the careful handling of a licensed medical professional. Energy work is a valuable supportive field meant only to address the spiritual components of our struggles and should never be used as a substitute for professional therapeutic care. Participants are invited to engage in discussion only as they feel called, and are free to excuse themselves from class as is necessary to ensure their continued well-being.
This is part two of a three-part series. Preregistration is required, and participants must be prepared to attend all three sessions.
See part three of this series for registration form.
Group Soul Retrieval
Part three of three
Participants in this ritual will have the opportunity to take part in a guided group spirit healing facilitated by Caine Dreamwalker. Those in attendance will have the opportunity for first hand experience of a Soul Retrieval as taught in the preceding class. The ritual will also include time and space for processing, and reintegration of soul essence, which will be aided by the healing energy of a sound bath created by Caine Dreamwalker and Irene Glasse.
This is a heavy topic that will touch on mental health struggles. Fully reprocessing trauma and management of mental illness requires the careful handling of a licensed medical professional. Energy work is a valuable supportive field meant only to address the spiritual components of our struggles and should never be used as a substitute for professional therapeutic care. Participants are invited to engage only as they feel called, and are free to excuse themselves as is necessary to ensure their continued well-being.
This is part three of a three-part series. Preregistration is required, and participants must be prepared to attend all three sessions.
See below for registration form.
The Riddle of the Sphinx
What walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening? The transformation of the phoenix is more dramatic, but every human goes through big changes in their lives, and each carries blessings and burdens. Sometimes the blessings are really hard to spot, especially when our culture isn't supportive. We will look both at being more supportive of those who are dealing with changes, as well as how to find support within and outside ourselves as we travel through the changes of life.
with Jenny Brown
Every year in a growing number of communities across Wales and beyond, the Mari Lwyd tradition continues, is being revived, or is newly introduced as her ghostly visage graces her snappy blessings upon shores old and new. A raucous occasion allowing for releasing pent-up energy and taking part in activities that were normally taboo (especially in earlier eras), this lively tradition is centered on blessing and cleansing for the coming New Year. “Out with the old and dirty and stagnant, in with the new and clean and vibrant” is a major theme of this seemingly contradictory tradition combining the macabre horse’s skull with cheerful ribbons and bells, tongue-in-cheek insults, and rambunctious activity. Come meet the Mari Lwyd of Severn and learn about the songs, the revelry, the history, and a bit of the beautiful Welsh language as we delve into the tradition of the Mari Lwyd.
(CW: The Mari Lwyd is a real horse's skull affixed to a pole and this one has glass eyes in the eye sockets. There will be an actual Mari Lwyd at this workshop.)
with Terry Wagner
Let's take a journey together! In this workshop you will learn about the healing and transforming properties of teas and herbs. We'll sit together and share, and then we'll take a meditative journey together. By the time you leave this workshop, you will walk away with your bags of magic to help with your ongoing transformation! *this workshop uses herbs and we will be drinking pre-prepared herbal tea. If you are not comfortable with the herbs used, or unsure if you might have an allergy, please let me know at the workshop so we can ensure you are safe and have an alternative.
Attendees should plan to bring a pillow to sit on.
Cost is $10 per attendee. Preregistration is recommended, but walk-ins may be welcome if there is still space at the beginning of the first session. Click below to register and pay for this workshop.
Becoming is Being
with Liz* Jacobs
There are times when we find ourselves in a rut, where we merely exist rather than living because anything else is too much effort. And all the while, we beat ourselves up over letting ourselves remain in that state of mind, hopeless to actually do anything about it. We've all been there. For many, quite recently. In this workshop, we'll be talking about how we got there, how we're feeling about it, and what we can do to get ourselves out of that funk. You'll learn methods to help you notice when the spiral is beginning, methods for coping while we step into that spiral, and methods for stepping back out, and moving forward. Through movement, meditation, laughter, self reflection, and maybe even tears, we'll walk this path together and come out the other side, able to get back to living our lives fully present.
Why Do I Do That?
with Cael Jacobs
Sometimes we look at the choices we make and we ask ourselves questions like “Why do I do this thing, when it does not serve me?” or “Why do I keep doing something that I don’t want to do?” In this class, we will explore techniques of personal understanding that will allow us to answer these questions for ourselves, to better understand our own personal motivations, and to make choices that move us forward toward the lives we wish to live.
All you need... isn't love
with Cael Jacobs
Many of us have grown up believing the idea that, for a relationship to work, all we need is love. The Beatles even wrote a song about it. And it just isn't so. But as a result of this idea, many of us have gotten into all sorts of unhealthy relationships: relationships with ourselves, relationships with friends and partners, relationships with work, or even with the Divine itself, which are based on the false premise that if only we love hard enough, we can make things work out.
The years we have spent in enforced isolation since 2020 has caused many of us to cling to any connection we could find, and it's time to drag those attachments out onto the carpet so that we can look at them, and determine whether they still serve us.
In this workshop, we will discuss what actually makes relationships (of all types) work and be healthy and positive in the long run. Participants will have the opportunity, if they choose, to talk about things in their own relationships (regardless of type) to uncover the fundamental underlying truths about their connections with those around them. The conversation will be deep, and participants will have to be willing to look inward with an unflinching eye, to evaluate whether the relationships they are in are healthy and workable, and (if not), why they are not and what can be done to resolve those issues.
Empowering Your Creative Mind:
Channeling Your Soul Without Your Mind Getting in the Way
with Sophia Kelly Shultz
“I'll never be any good at art.”
“People will criticize me.”
“I hate whatever I try to do artistically.”
Sadly, these are statements I hear all too often. As an artist, the last thing I want is to make people feel inferior, and I've heard other artists echo my feelings.
Let's open up some windows in our minds. It's Spring, time for a fresh start, a fresh new way of thinking. Learn to be kind to yourself, allow the creative juices to flow like new sap, and simply enjoy what you're doing instead of feeling like you need to become the next DaVinci.
This workshop is both a little ritual and a little art...well, okay, it's a little ritual and a lot of art. Maybe it's more ritual than I think. We'll decide while we talk about our obstacles to loving what we do and learn some techniques that we can take home and practice. This is a NO FEAR zone!
Kitchen Witchery - Claiming the Magic of the Kitchen
The kitchen has long been the heart of the home, from the huge cooking-hearths of yesteryear to the clean, bright and modern kitchens of today. It's a place where people naturally want to congregate. We all have a kitchen of some shape and size in our homes. We all use it in different ways. Feeding people is the primary function, but did you know about the magic that can happen in a kitchen? Have you ever considered that you've had an altar space hiding in plain sight? I bet everyone here knows someone that can step into a kitchen and just make amazing things that nourish, heal, soothe or excite others. Perhaps you're that person - you could be a Kitchen Witch and don't know it yet! This class will discuss the history of cultural and magical Kitchen Witchery, the altar space that can be created, magical correspondences that can be employed, and of course, the magical things that can be produced in any common kitchen. Please bring note-taking supplies of your choosing, and there will be printed handouts to take away.
Traditional Norwegian Folk and Magic Medicine
with Jane Sibley
The knowledge of nutrition and healing techniques in the Northlands was more sophisticated than down south of Denmark. Although they didn't know about the endocrine system, the local Wise Women (and some Wise Men) treated man and beast across the board, from dentistry to childbirth, from wounds and burns to mental problems. Herbs and fir tar, incantations and healing baths were commonly used, targeted to the particular ailments presented by the patient. We will explore these treatments as used from Viking times into the near present.
with Liz* Jacobs
Childhood is supposed to be a time of joy, when the simplest things spark happiness and wonder; when our capacity to be in the moment is not hindered by the demands of the everyday world. But many of us have been taught that in order to grow up and become a successful adult, it's necessary to set aside that wonder, that capacity for spontaneous enjoyment, that simple ability to set aside the world and revel in the joy of the moment. Once we let that go in favor of what we have been told we "should" be doing, the world becomes a dimmer, duller place, and what was once life becomes simply existence. In this class, we will explore ways to let go of the expectations in our minds, both those others have imposed on us and those we have imposed on ourselves in the name of adulthood. We will discuss, learn, and discover new ways to find the joy in a moment, to revel in wonder at the magical and beautiful world that surrounds us. We will set aside what our minds and the world tell us we "should" be doing, and allow us to be the simple, joyful, spontaneous people we have forgotten how to be.
Reading palms is not hard- in one hour you will walk away with enough of the basic skills to read your own palm, and those of your friends (not that you shouldn’t keep studying!). The most useful aspect of palmistry is learning about yourself, and thus gaining control of your future- and it's fun too!
This is a simple healing technique developed by Serge King which can be used for most situations with no tools. If you have an ache or a chronic condition- or want to help people who do, come in and add this to your healing "workbox".