I used to work and live at this eco community which was running a seminar house with a garden of 1,5 Ha, and we would pay our bills by hosting events, seminars, workshops and by designing and organizing our own retreats and festivals.
The dreaming and planning started by an invitation from one of the older and most experiences inhabitants of the community. He recognized the opportunity to design our own retreats and had blocked the booking calendar from the end of december til the beginning of january.
We started out as a big group of 8 or 9 people who were all interested in co-creating this festival. The meeting began with a talking circle where everyone could voice their thoughts about the retreat. I was inspired by the transformational programs in Pacha Mama’s Costa Rica and suggested we focus on transformation devided in 3 phases. The physical and emotional transformation which would lead to celerbation and silence. This idea was received by the group and we decided to meet once a week and set the next meeting time and date. (NOTE: Pacha Mama used to structure their program according to the seasons in transformational cycles. This does not seem to be the case anymore!)
A the second meeting only 5 people showed up. We dreamed further about the retreat and Sarah came up with the name Phoenix Retreat. This was recieved by the group again.
At he next meeting only 4 people showed up. This was to be the core group or team to organize the festival. The constellation crystalized naturally without any votes and talk about who to be in the group or who not to be in the group. Just by trusting the process and following the implicit rule of whoever would show up would be the right people to show up.I did an astrological analysis of the team and it turned out the team consisted of a Taurus, a Gemini, a Scorpio and a Saggitarius. T & S as well as G & S being complimentary oppoisites. The sign Gemini being the sign after Taurus, which to me reminds the Taurus of where it is evolving to. The same goes for Scorpio and Saggitarius.
An ideal team I’d say. Well balanced and future oriented.
The team consisted of two males and two females.
At the ages 30, 40, 41, and 64.
We planned the retreat, designed the flyers, set up the website, did the promotion, discount deals and regular updates to keep the retreat alive with workshop giver profiles, and teasers.
The retreat turned out successfull with 16 paying participants who all highly praised the retreat.
The slogan or tagline of the retreat was: Don’t run away from the fire – run towards the fire.
As the retreat was successful we organized it again the next year. Here is a link to that retreat.
Unfortunately I can’t find a link to the first retreat with visuals.
So what where the ingridients of this retreat – What did it take & tips:
START EARLY (ideally 6-12 months in advance)!!! As early as possible. And trust the timing of existance. “Existance has its own timing” -OSHO
- An invitation from a maintainer willing to hold space for the retreat
- Interest and motivation by co-creaters
- Open brainstorm: Non-judgemental and open
- Trusting the process: The people who come are the right people
- A well-balanced future oriented team: sag, scorp, gemi, taur.
- A focus and theme for the retreat: Transformation – Inspired by Pacha Mama
- An image which described the retreat: The Phoenix
- Regular rythmic meetings: Once a week 3-6 six months before the retreat.
- Imaging the participants being held by the circle of the core team every week.
- Consent by the community to organize the retreat despite the risk of not being able to pay the bills if not enough people would join the retreat.