Once a year, at the beginning of the summer, an inter-disciplinary gathering takes place in Tuscany, 60 km south of Siena, in Pienza. The countryside around Val d’Orcia is breathtaking, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and Pienza is a jewel, known as the touchstone of Renaissance urbanism.
The Aurora Festival of Nature and Spirit is an occasion to meet, exchange and deepen our understanding of current issues such as our relationship with nature and the environment, not only in scientific terms, but also in our personal and spiritual understanding.
In a moment of crisis in our culture the Aurora Festival wants to contribute to a need that is very present in the West: to reestablish a direct connection with nature, feel part of nature, connected to all things and in the presence of the unceasing creative miracle of life.
Each year we offer a range of options from our masters, artists, scholars, therapists and quality researchers. There are seminars, conferences, encounters, roundtables, concerts, lectures, private consultations, collective dances, ceremonies, and evening events open to the public.
The radiant and beautiful Bebetta Campeti – soulpreneur, green goddess and founder of Aurora tells us about the third edition of her inspiring festival, shamanic activism and how reconnecting with nature and spirit gives us the strength to change the world.
Aurora: Nature & Spirit Festival
I would like to involve all those who wish to organize an event of collective Shamanic activism during our next event in Pienza, Aurora festival of Nature and Spirit, 2014. Our guests of honor are Vandana Shiva and Serge Latouche, the shaman Jonathan Horwiz and in addition, his friend and colleague Zara Waldeback, who will be helping us in the enterprise.
In the morning, you will participate in lectures and round tables by world class speakers in an historical building in the centre of Pienza. Lunch around town; in fifteen minutes drive along scenic winding roads you arrive at Podere Isabella, a beautiful Tuscan villa with meditation center, where the afternoon workshops will take place. Dinner will be cooked and served each night al fresco by a different organic Chef: a Tuscan Traditional dinner, an International Vegetarian dinner and -last but not least- a Vegetarian Cordon Bleu, accompanied by world famous local wines.
WHAT IS SHAMANIC ACTIVISM?
Lenore Norrgard, an activist in the American peace movement, has embarked on a shamanic journey, and for several years has been developing collective rituals of reconciliation in the ecumenical or the secular context, such as during the Occupy Wall Street protests. The premise of his work is that often activists instead of working towards peace and union fuel the conflict with their hatred towards ideological enemies. The illusion of separation is therefore the enemy to fight, and shamanic activism seems to me an interesting and probably effective way to release shamanic work from the privacy of small closed circles.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHAMANIC APPROACHES
My lineage is that of core shamanism with Michael Harner, but there are many other types of shamanic approaches to turn to for help. The only other approach I know directly is that of the shamans of the Amazon, and I can testify that their work with plants, always from true masters and not of charlatans, leads to an increased sensitivity towards the environment, and detoxification of the body and spirit. Plants teachers are spreading among large sections of the population around the world, and carry the message of oneness with nature that embodies shamanism.
RECONNECTING WITH NATURE AND SPIRIT TOUCHES OUR HEARTS AND GIVES US STRENGTH TO CHANGE THE WORLD
The moment the illusion of separation is broken, the need of self protection and to take advantage of others (the vision of the world where if I don’t eat you, you’ll eat me) ends. Fear and greed that poison our world dissolve, and we begin to experience an ancient truth that lies at the heart of the most profound teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and the Shaiva Tantra, as well as shamanism: the world that each of us experience, or rather, the way in which each of us experiences the world is the projection of our inner selves.
The way in which each of us experiences the world is the projection of our inner selves.
If we are distressed, we will attract experiences of distress. If we are violent we will attract violent people. If we are needy and dependent will attract people responding to the vibration that we emanate.
If we are able to respond to provocation peacefully; if we are brave enough to look at our dark side and that of others without judgment; if we have the patience to wait with confidence – we will be rewarded by the love that opens our hearts, bringing the compassion and joy of being part of this wonderful and terrible game, the moving force of humanity that for millennia has stumbled, fallen and rises again in the course of Earth’s evolution.