Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Prana ‘Gaia Galactic 2011’ Festival

Having only attended one other festival; Island Vibe with the Whale Dreamers on North Stradbroke, QLD, Australia in October 2010, I came to Prana with really no expectations. All I knew was that the festival had been a happening thing on the Coromandel for the past 19 yrs and was possibly one of the largest new age festivals in the country. For various reasons a few of the usual Prana regulars who I had recently met had chosen not to participate in the festival this year however I did not allow this to cloud my vision or dampen my enthusiasm and proceeded to answer my calling and show up so that I may discover for myself what the festival was all about . . . and I am very pleased I did!

Day 1 involved a short drive from Te Moata back through the misty rain to Tairua, time to stock up on a few essential supplies before continuing on to Prana Eco Retreat located on the east coast of the Coromandel just north of Whangamata. Donnell arrived the night before and had already set up our gazebo in the front row of the healers zone where we could easily be seen however as much as I appreciated her intention the space just didn’t feel right. I explained to Donnell that I trusted in vibrational attraction and after a bit of a wander through and around the boundaries of our zone we found a space just a little further back that we both felt would be way more conducive for our purpose. A space where not only could we not be crowded, we simply were not.

It was fun consciously creating space for ‘Healers of the One Heart Race’. Relying on vibration is one step toward living in the world we are creating however what is important is that we are consciously sending out the vibration for what we wish to attract. So as we made our space and assembled our altar all was done with prayer and conscious intent. This however did not stop the drizzle which I was assured would last that afternoon and most of the first day of the festival as according to Prana’s long standing history the days of arrival for stall holders and participants were reputed to also be the days of cleansing.

With our sacred space and meeting place prepared beneath the pine tree where I would roll out my swag each night, we shared a scrumptious supper of falafel and avocado before taking an evening wander to explore the Buddha field and the Global Village. Only we didn’t get very far beyond the Buddha field before being waved into Jyoti’s chai tent to hold space for a brother who was in a little bit of bother.

Moving with the ebb and flow of the festival energy felt like the most natural way to be, our little corner of Jyoti’s chai tent soon became a healing zone and as we began our work some moved on while others came to hold space and observe the happenings. Energetic surgery took a little longer than I imagined it would but as no one was watching time that too was unimportant . . . once our work was complete Jyoti prepared us a lovely cup of chai and let us know that we were welcome to refill our cup at any time.

We then moved on to the global village, Donnell kindly introduced me to all she knew and I her to all I knew . . . strangers were simply friends we hadn’t met and the atmosphere was one of family, community, warmth, peace, joy and love . . . wow I can’t believe it has taken me 42 yrs to discover my ideal feeling of what community life could and can be like. There was clearly an international community of festival going friends and families that had somehow managed to escape my awareness until now. And I soon began to realise Prana was the perfect space in which to network with like-minded local and international artists, practitioners, project coordinators and scientists who are bringing their gifts to a national stage and making an effort to raise awareness and human conscious on a global scale.

And as we made our way into the main tepee to join the drumming circle and warm ourselves at the fire I was delighted to discover Tor Webster, of the Rainbow Serpent Project, sitting at none other than centre circle. A brother from Avalon last seen on the streets of Glastonbury in November 2009, a wonderful surprise and a great opportunity to catch up with each other as we shared stories of our last 12 months of adventure and discovery. We departed with a promise to connect for tea and cake next day which on festival time equated to about 3 days later after one of Gary Cooke’s inspiring talks on Sacred Sites and Ancient Mysteries . . .

Day 2 for us which was effectively day 1 of the festival was declared by Donnell and I as our day off. After a beautiful star filled night beneath the milky way the day dawned red and the clouds returned to complete the cleansing they had begun. A process that continued right through until the end of the opening ceremony that evening and as most participants were still arriving and setting up camp we decided to make the most of the opportunity to attend a whole bunch of interesting workshops.

Opening Ceremony

Workshops ran all day each day throughout five different venues, a multi-media tent for films, slide shows and presentations and multiple music venues for both local and foreign performers. Children had their own program of activities including nature walks and movie making playshops and there was a day care facility for when Mum and Dad both had places to be at the same time. There was something for everyone from meditation to martial arts, laughter yoga, music making, workshops channelled by the Arcturians, practical permaculture, sacred geometry, sacred sites, sacred journeys and the sacredness of our water with none other than my favourite waterkeeper!

An amazing mulit-colour mulit-facted Orb!

So many interesting and colourful characters . . . one who particularly caught my attention was Chris, the director of Oceans Watch. The passion, dedication and integrity with which he conducted himself and presented the story of his charity reminded me so much of Ian and I and our adventure into Conservation in Africa that I wanted to get to know him. And as one does, once his talk was over I asked him if he had ever experienced an energy healing session and when he responded no, I asked him if he would like to the following morning. The privilege to hold space for Chris was entirely mine and afterward we made the most of the opportunity to have a good chat. I also wanted to share my understanding of Earthwalk and its connection with the coming earth changes as I was now aware that Chris worked with a number of communities that lived at sea level, communities that may quite possibly need to relocate in the near future.

Making music with our Maori flutes!

I now understood why someone had suggested that I should not be too concerned about working on my first visit to Prana however I did have to earn my ticket so after being very busy but only having one paying client in the first two days I began the morning of day 3 with a word in the ears of the universe and set my intention to manifest sufficient paying clients to cover the costs of my healers ticket, camping, meals and the fuel and food for my journey through the Coromandel that I knew would follow soon after Prana . . . and so it was! And not only did I get to meet some extremely gifted individuals who found their way to our healing/meeting space but I also shared some interesting exchanges experiencing different modalities with a number of other neighbouring practitioners.

Every session came with its own unique gifts tailored to suit each individual and I continue to do less and hold space for healing to happen so that I may learn more. One of the most interesting was realising that someone had a disruption within their nervous system, a good time to get out of the way and hold space for the etheric surgeons to come in. And, as I held space at my client’s head I could feel what I can only describe as neurosurgery taking place, it truly was an extra-ordinary experience.

I also found it very difficult containing my excitement as I held space for Donnell to receive a transmission that contained the story of her role in the greater Earthwalk Project  I was so excited that one of my team members had shown up that I had to keep reminding myself what it was like for me directly after and for the month that followed my transmission. The complete disorientation caused by a high frequency energy overload, not knowing to laugh or cry, not being able to think, being very content just to ‘be’ yet having to continually move my body to help integrate an energetic shift that I knew had just transformed my life in a very short space of time.

It is interesting looking back at the similarities of our journeys to date as we had both had to bring closure to our lives as we knew it, make a conscious effort to heal ourselves and step into the unknown, to show up for what we had come here for without knowing in advance where we were headed. And now there are two of us to assure you that those choices have so far been well worth the effort . . . and who knows what adventures await us???

The food at Prana was absolutely amazing, lots of organic living foods, raw foods and vegetarian delights all made consciously with an abundance of love and care that you could taste in every mouthful! It was also the first time I was introduced to the Wise Cicada, Gift Economy Cafe where there were no fixed or published prices and the customer decides how much to pay for their meal, an incredible concept that really asks people to make conscious choices based on personal values. And I must say the wheatgrass at Prana was the sweetest I have ever tasted and the stall holders did not hesitate to share their secrets of cultivation, of keeping their seedlings well hydrated and in the dark until it was time to introduce them to the sun.

Prana ‘Gaia Galactic 2011’ New Year’s party was brilliant . . . more like a gypsy carnival than a festival and with so much sound, light and colour! And the time and effort some people had gone to with their costumes was really quite incredible. Donnelle, Ro and I were very grateful to my sister and her extensive wardrobe of angel/fairy cocktail dresses but that was nothing compared to what other people and their imagination had created.

I loved the way that there was no separation between event organisers, stall holders, workshop presenters, artists, healers and participants. Everyone shared the same space and a common interest and outlook on life. Fernanda summed it up quite well when she said wherever you go and whoever you meet at Prana there is always a meaningful conversation to be had. I remember on the last evening of Prana lying on cushions at the edge of the chai tent listening to some of Russell Walder’s wonderful music when a young boy by the name of Blake just came right up and sat down next to me and we shared his apple pie and my chai along with stories about our lives . . . hmmm, community life where the whole community is responsible for the upbringing and welfare of the children.

It was one of those long weekends that could have carried on forever which I guess in some ways it did just that . . . the morning everyone was packing up and leaving I had a couple more clients and it was mid-afternoon by the time we packed everything up and headed down the beach for a swim. For whatever reason we still didn’t feel like leaving so instead joined in and shared our last evening with the crew and stall holders that had remained and I am glad that we did.

I finally got a chance to chat with Michael Fleck, an American/NZ Resident from Waiheke Island who is a networker of note and suggested a number of further contacts that I should make on my NZ travels. And as we shared our last cup of chai in Jyoti’s space along came Tejas, the engineer behind 19 yrs of Prana festivals and an absolute wizard on free energy devices who just so happened to be heading north into the Coromandel also. We shared the next couple hours completely absorbed in conversations that ranged from free energy and earth changes to crystals, Merkabah fields, DNA and light body activations! Tejas had also been seriously ill a few weeks previously, an illness that had been a final cosmic slap to remind him to get back on track as he had work to do! I invited him over next morning for an energy session before I left then rolled out my swag for my last night beneath my trusty pine tree.

Only when next morning came my calling to head north was getting stronger along with the feeling that there was some earthwork to be done and as we were both heading in the same general direction I suggested to Tejas that it would probably be best if I escort him to his next destination so as that way he could rest after his session while I carried on. At this time he said that he didn’t really have a fixed destination if I didn’t mind he would be interested in joining me for whatever earthwork I was doing even though, as was becoming the usual, I had no idea yet what had to be done where only that I was to head north . . . and then there was two of us!

I enjoyed a lovely relaxed cup of tea with Fernanda, Donnell and Michael Fleck during which I discovered that there had been a whale stranding here at Prana a couple years ago and it just so happened that Todd, who was at that moment giving Tejas a healing session, knew exactly where the whales had been buried. Tea and healing session completed, the girls had decided that they would not be joining us for our walkabout through the Coromandel so we said our goodbyes until our next meeting and while Tejas set about preparing himself for our joint venture Todd offered to take me for a walk to the whale burial site . . . only little did I know I was taking my own little journey to bury all of my old stories with the whales.

When we got to the site Todd took me completely by surprise by offering to hold space for me to which I agreed without question and simply surrendered to the process . . . a process I am hoping to one day have the opportunity to experience again and learn more about. It wasn’t until we began and Todd asked if I was ready to let go of the whole Earthwalk story I had just spent the last 30 mins telling him about that I suddenly realised that it too was just another story that I would have to release in order for it to manifest as it was meant to which probably wasn’t much at all to do with what I thought was going to happen anyway.

SO in that moment I simply said yes and as we worked our way through every other place of tension in my physical body, letting go of all the stories that they carried my mind became silent . . . so silent that by the end I couldn’t even hold a thought and at that moment the tears began to flow . . . I didn’t even know what they were for and it didn’t matter and for once I didn’t need to know, quite simply my tears needed to flow . . . time to surrender again . . . a never ending journey of surrender and I was so grateful for Todd’s gift and the integrity of the space he held for me . . .

Once he left I took a long walk and swim . . . I didn’t know what I wanted in that moment except to be still and by myself. Not an ideal situation when I had just agreed to begin a walkabout with Tejas so I made my way back to camp, took a shower to wash my hair and prepare for our departure. Todd gave me a hug goodbye and as I burst into tears again I realised that I very much needed to find a space where I could allow myself time to process and integrate. Looking back now I should have chosen to stay another night however I let me head decide and chose to fulfil my commitment to Tejas only in doing so we really didn’t make it very far. When we stopped in Tairua to purchase something for supper and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat I knew then I needed a quite space to roll our my swag so that I could crawl into my cave for the evening.

Tejas to the rescue knew just the spot . . . a little DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite up in the hills behind Pauanui where everyone used to gravitate toward after Prana Festivals of old. a quiet space where we could camp deep in the heartland of the crystal Coromandel next to a river . . . a perfect place for my next period of incubation!

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