Now What?! Opening Ceremonies - 25th October 2021
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On Monday 25th October 2021, we will honour the start of the next edition of Now What?!, a four week journey for dynamically and collectively exploring and practicing the art of being fully human in a time of crisis. A journey where we weave together new knowledge and ancient wisdom, seeking mutual respect through building, deepening and expanding our relationships. With others, with ourselves, with the environment we live in. Also exploring, co-creating and developing a gift economy to support us through the process.
The timing of this edition was chosen to contain the two weeks in which the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is happening in Glasgow, Scotland. The offerings and intentions will certainly have an emphasis on what is happening there, and yet they will also offer continuity with our previous editions. As always, the Systems Crises we're experiencing, and the many Possibilities of transformation that come with them lie at the heart of Now What?!
We invite you to join us in our ceremonies of welcome, of honouring our place in this world, the pain of the unnecessary losses and violence of our time, and the radical abundance of this Earth we live in. The grief and the joy of being alive. Like the "two wings of the bird", as Martín Prechtel writes, which need to experience both of these if we wish to fly. Our invitation is to join us in attending and tending to those wings, so that our collective heart, "breaks open and not apart."
We offer these ceremonies with the intention to grow and deepen our roots in the soil of Now What?!, enriching a collective support to each and all participants, so that connections may come to life over the following weeks and beyond. To include more time zones, we offer Ceremony #1 during the evening in Asia, afternoon in India/Europe, morning in the Americas, and Ceremony #2 during the evening in Europe, afternoon in the Americas, morning in Oceania. Plus a whole stream of activities from our collective members and guests over the following four weeks (see the calendar).
The very alive Now What?! is a co-creation to which you too can contribute, and was born from these questions:
What are the gifts of engagement and support that you might want to offer to those who will be gathering?
What are the requests you are prepared to make that might spark generosity in others?
You can offer an initial answer to those questions via our Network Map. There is also an email list you can subscribe to for receiving regular Now What?! News updates. Both these options are available at https://www.nowwhat2021.com/connect.
In these times when the words "paradox" and "polarities" are so often heard, we want to bring awareness to and honour the diversity of perspectives that make up the fabric of our reality. The two sessions will offer distinct sets of co-created ceremonial elements. A dynamic flow through gender, place, ancestry, history. The invitation is to see the possibility in that richness, to embrace the paradoxes of life. May they serve as the poles and beams holding the iridescent tent over our fairgrounds.
The details of the flow of each Ceremony are still being woven by the nimble and loving hands of our Collective Members, so check this space for updates as they come!
Bringing awe through the connecting energy of sound and music we'll hear the Celtic Pipe of José Luis Vizoso (Venezuela) and the visuals of his sister Dita in the Scottish Highlands, touching their hearts across the Atlantic Ocean, the healing voice of Clare Hedin (UK, US, Greece), and the magic harp and singing of Vicki Burke (UK).
Rituals of gratitude and invitation, of honouring the land and our place in it, our responsibility and blessing, will be offered by Keiko (Japan), Michael (Ghana), and Joy (Australia).
Co-creation and weaving of intentions, places and connections will happen through an invitation to all participants who want to offer their voices and creativity to support the making of our human container (paper and colourful drawing tools welcome!).
Inquiry into the state of our world, the why of Now What?! and our personal intention in this time of crisis and possibility will be guided by Milka Chepkorir Kuto (Sengwer, Kenya)
Holding the loom to continue the weaving of Now What?! will be Ben Roberts, who dreamed, birthed, and continues to nurture this space, joined by collective members extraordinaire Akiko Frid, Dita Vizoso.
And of course the diversity of emotions and feelings, of histories and stories, of intentions and expectations that each of you will be contributing to this magic container, while we get together to embrace this radically generous Earth. Our home.