Many traditions describe the elements and their corresponding significance by associating meaning in the pairing of an element with a cardinal direction. In the Chinese five-element paradigm, for example, the North is associated with water; whereas in the Lakota tradition, water is associated with the West. From our collective meditations on this year’s organizing principles for our Gathering, we devised a unique set of pairings where we combine an element with one of the four directions not to signify a correspondence, but to play with the juxtaposition and interaction of element and direction. Below you’ll find descriptions of the central conjuring sessions we’ll share on Saturday and Sunday.
The East - Water
EAST | the rising; the beginnings; the darkness & light.
WATER | the purifier; the reflection; the creator & destroyer; the transmitter; the sculptor of grooves.
healers/artists/griots/activists at the frontlines feel the waves of the energetic and political tides on multiple frequencies. We are called upon to create new systems, link our networks, reclaim & reinvest in our ancestral healing & knowledge practices — and to heal and sustain ourselves in and for this work.
What do we mean by healing?
Heal: to cause a wound or injury to become sound.
Together, we will vision healing as a pilgrimage—a journey through cycles of remembering, dormancy, transformation, and emergence.
We will use water, sound and movement ritual to explore the cycles, to examine what is meant by healing and what it is calling for in/from us. Finally, we will create practices for the year/s ahead for conjuring and remembering on the journeys of our personal, spiritual, collective, and environmental healing, for emergence and liberation.
We will focus on the direction of the East and the water element to catalyze our remembering, create and share practices for becoming sound in our spirits and bodies, and for reverberating these practices out to sustain & fortify our communities, movements, and environment.
Lead Facilitation by Nana Fofie
THE SOUTH - FIRE
Grounded in the element of fire and the cardinal direction of the south, together and alone we will explore two central questions - How can I manifest in this lifetime my Greatest Good? And how can I scale up my process to advance needed changes in family, community and movements? The exploration of these questions will inform the creation of affirmations and sacred symbols to support one’s journey to answering these questions in practice. We will make and empower symbolic objects to physically embody the spells we create.
Lead Facilitation by Ife Afriye
THE WEST- AIR/ETHER
How can we fortify the practice of forgiveness, rooting in our hearts the needed mercy whose medicine makes coalition possible?
Along the magnetic currents of our home planet Earth, the energies of the West bring us powers of release and connect us with our ancestors. Energy channels (called Nadis in Vedic yoga, meridians in Chinese medicine) within our subtle bodies are activated and transformed by sound vibrations. The water molecules that comprise most of our bodies are literally re-shaped by their encounters with sound waves.
Together we will hum, sing, moan and speak into our bodies, from within our bodies, using intentional healing spells, mantras, and affirmations to shake loose, alchemize and release unconscious punishment-based emotional body blocks comprised of the unforgiven.
Lead Facilitation by Karma Mayet
THE north- EARTH
As descendants of black divinity, we must give ourselves permission to release the traumas of our past. In this sacred act, we birth familial and community transformation.
Many conjured new home in the land known as the North, new roots joining older roots deeply embedded in the Earth. The land yielded new traditions, intentionally bridging all that was distant with the reality of new land.
Mother Earth is our sacred source. We will intentionally call the ancestors by name, schlay (cover) ourselves with Mother Earth’s herbs, listen to her rhythm, move against her hard and soft spots, and invoke imagery grounded in ancient ritual to help with transformational healing, emotional release, and overall wellness.
Lead Facilitation by Nana Korantema