Gathering Spaces

Class Spaces

At the gathering, classes will largely happen under teaching tarps organized around types of classes. Some classes will happen in instructor camps and some, such as plant walks and tracking classes, will happen on the move. 

Main Fire

The main fire is a place for people to gather and connect throughout the gathering, kind of like a living room for all. There are also classes held at the main fire. Friday and Saturday evenings there are often planned song and story performances after dinner, or a drum circle later in the evening. 

Community Camps

In addition to these public spaces, people often make camps in groups creating small villages to share food and company. It’s always a good idea to check in with folks when entering a space not your own, and if it is your space it is always good to clearly and thoughtfully welcome people in or let them know that your home-for-the-gathering is not having visitors at the moment. 

Safe Spaces

We’ve also got spaces oriented toward and facilitated by various identity groups. We call these ‘Safe Spaces.’ It’s important for folks to have spaces where they’re around folks who have had or who are having the same *lived* experience.These are spaces where people who identify as part of that group can be among their peers in a safe, shared, and ‘closed container.’ As closed as possible under a tarp at a gathering of 300ish people. This is a place where people who may come from historically, and currently, marginalized contexts can be with each other to laugh, rant, cry, dance, drink tea, play music, and share their lived experience with each other— without worry of judgement, violence, or being exotified by people outside the group— without the need to explain themselves or mediate across those particular social differences. 

These places as a rule are only open to the identity group for which they have been created. At certain times- limited and posted on the info board- they will be open to the general public. There will be a facilitator, or two, at these spaces at designated times throughout the gathering, but there may not be one there all the time. Check the sign up board for when a facilitator will be there. These spaces are open to their community members at all times. Classes may be held in these spaces, but these classes will only be open to folks of the space.

Red Tent

2022 Facilitator: Tara Rawson

How it works:

The Red Tent is traditionally a space for people to go and have their monthly moon time, or monthly bleed. This is a space to rest, read, bleed, journal…..anything to nourish your body and spirit.

Why it’s important:

Everyone needs down time in the midst of the busy-ness of life. Womb carriers especially need a little extra down time as we approach our monthly cycle and we need a space to rest while we’re on the first few days of our monthly cycle (our time of bleeding). With such an abundant 5 days of being at the Florida Earthskills Gathering filled with friends, socializing, teaching, learning, working and playing- it’s important for people to have a cozy, introspective space to retreat to while they’re bleeding so they can rest and restore their body, mind and energy levels. It’s also important for folks to have spaces where they’re around folks who have had or who are having the same *lived* experience. Some examples of how this translates to the Red Tent are people feeling safe and comfortable enough to have vulnerable conversations with folks who they know are having the same *lived* experience such as hormonal cycles, menses, birth experiences, menopause etc…..This is also a space to ensure folx feel safe and comfortable enough to stretch out and lounge around with no bra or little clothes without feeling judgement or that they’re being sexualized. Having separate sacred spaces for folks with the same *lived* experience to retreat to in order to refill themselves with kin is appreciated by all as it helps the collective.

Who it is for:

The Red Tent is for womb carriers. This is Women, Trans Men & gender-queer folx who bleed….anyone young and old who has monthly bleeds, who will bleed when they come of age or who has bled.

How people can tap in:

The Red Tent is open for Womb Carriers 24/7 to come rest, connect and replenish themselves. Space holders will be there at various times of the day but just know- you’re welcome anytime (even when there’s not a class or dedicated intentional time there). It’s always open for you to enjoy and connect. We just ask that the sacred tools we have available be honored and treated with care, all candles be blown out when you leave and no candles be lit past 10pm. (We’re early birds)  

When certain groups of people shouldn’t expect to be welcome: 

As a rule of thumb the Red Tent is not a space for masculine men and we truly appreciate our kings giving this sacred space some breathing room. This shows respect and support for the people within the Red Tent area. That being said, we do open up the Red Tent to the whole community where all are welcome for certain classes and offerings at each Earthskills Gathering. For instance- several Sacred Space holders will be coming together to offer an intentional class for the whole community on why we celebrate separate spaces and why/how separate spaces actually help the whole village at large. You might also find birthing classes for the whole family, Masculine/Feminine for all and so much more in the Red Tent. Class times that are open for all can be found on your schedule and all other times just remember that rule of thumb. 😉

BIPOC

2022 Facilitator: Jae

Who it is for:

The BIPOC Culture Camp is a designated safe space for those identifying as black, indigenous, or any people of color.

How it works:

This is a space where we can rest our minds, bodies and souls in any way we choose without any pressure from perspectives that are not our own. A space where OUR voices, opinions, stories, triumphs, grief, and excellence are celebrated and highlighted as the primary story and focus without the need for anyone or anything else to understand or fit in.

Why it’s important:

This is a space for us to further understand who we are, always have been and who we want to be in the new world we create for ourselves.

This is a space of empowerment and unity, to rest and recharge, and simply a place to Be yourself.

How people can tap in:

Come as you are, and make this space your own by sharing some of your cuisine, folklore, truth, pains, yearnings, goals and ambitions with those who can most relate.

Come to take a nap, a time out if things are too heavy between classes, or just to be apologetically you in safe, open arms away from it all.

When certain groups should not expect to be welcome:

To keep this space as dope and as safe as possible, we ask that all allies and accomplices stay clear until the space opens up for more community activities and vibes after the last class ending conch blow.

Allies and Accomplices can also help by bringing wood, nourishing treats or items, love notes, decorations etc in the form of donations, just look for Jae to know how to get these through and best serve the camp.

Rainbow Bridge

2022 Facilitator: Emma Savage

How it works:

Rainbow Bridge is an offering of oasis for queer and non-binary folx. This is a space for us to engage in rest, share songs and stories, tune into inner rhythms, and regain the strength to meet the challenges of life.

Why it’s important:

The rainbow is a bridge between worlds, and we are the ones who often find ourselves standing on the bridges between worlds and identities. As people who may often find themselves in conflict with society or the world around us, Rainbow Bridge is an opportunity to find shelter, peace, and sanctuary.

Who it is for:

This space is for queer and non-binary folks to gather, rest, connect, and share their lived experience.

How people can tap in:

Here we can come together in authentic sharing and celebration of our collective wisdom. This is a space where we will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm. 

While we are open to providing guidance and helping those who seek resolution and support for feelings of overwhelm or conflict, we ask this space be kept free of interpersonal dramas, political dogma, spiritual bypassing, and argument. Those who feel unwilling or unable to honor this, may be asked to relocate or encouraged to seek other spaces within the gathering.

When certain groups should not expect to be welcome:

Allies are welcome to come hangout at Rainbow Bridge after dark, but not before. Please respect this place as a closed container for queer and non binary folx during daylight hours. 🙂

Spearhead

2022 Facilitator: Kayan Cajudo

How it works:

Spearhead Camp is a space for men to expand their self-awareness and ability to connect empathically with others. It is a space of support for men to process any challenging beliefs, fears, or grievances. We (facilitators of Spearhead) invite men to examine their understanding of masculinity and what it means to be a man.

Spearhead is still a new addition to the Earthskills Gathering and is evolving each year to accommodate the experience of the facilitators and the needs of the community.

Who it is for:

This is a designated space for those identifying as men (he/him)

Why it is important:

Holding tribal traditions of council, Spearhead’s primary purpose is to teach ourselves to be better men so that we may better serve our families and community. To become better husbands, partners, teachers, fathers and stewards all begins with becoming better individuals.

How people can tap in:

Join us every morning for meditative knife honing and coffee. Feel free to come by whenever. There will usually be a facilitator present.

When certain groups should not expect to be welcome:

Unless otherwise mentioned, this is a designated space for those identifying as men.

Ancestor Fire

2022 Coordinator: Sara Callaway

In collaboration with Sangoma Oludoye

Support by Fuz Sanderson

What is the Ancestor Fire?  What is our intention?

The Ancestor Fire is a sacred, ceremonial fire that offers a bridge of connection to our ancestors, to those who have gone before us.  It is a place to come and make prayers, discuss our troubles, tell our stories, share our griefs, celebrate our joys, honor our elders, sit in quiet reflection, and allow for the wisdom in us all to emerge.  Together, we hold space for the complexity of life, for the possibility of re-weaving together the fabric of our community.  The Ancestor Fire burns day and night; come sit a while and feed the fire and the ancestors with your finest thoughts and feelings.

First Aid