A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Collective

“I must express this deep gratitude. My experience in community and ritual at Forestdance has truly been life changing. Some old stories were able to be unearthed, seen, experienced burned and healed….in full support of loving guides. It was so profound…as I’ve been processing and settling in, I’ve been feeling the space created by the death of the old. What is taking it’s place is grace, strength, a knowing and seeing of my own worth….I have never felt like this. I’m communicating clearly, truth. There’s so much, my friend~
It’s like women who want to share there birth stories… I feel like Forestdance is my birth story~
Ah! So much Love and Many Blessings!”

-Melinda ManyNames Wilkins

“I’ve been feeling downright crappy for a while: unsure, afraid, lost, alone. Very very tired of the repeated rhythms of my lonely stress, hating myself for the ways I procrastinate on my dreams, feeling alienated from myself and the people I love.

Enter Forestdance. I didn’t go in with expectations of finding a breakthrough, or feeling healed. My intention was presence, striving to remain open to what comes and letting it be what it is. And around the fire I never felt bored, or disengaged. I felt at times alienated, frustrated, self-conscious, but I never felt sick of the work. I’m surprised about that, looking back. I was really really in it, and focused on accepting it as is.

And I arrived at some beautiful and cathartic feelings, including deep sadness about how I feel I am failing in my life, profound appreciation for my big brother, excruciating fear of sharing parts of myself and, ultimately, the satisfying thrill of reveling in the power of my voice, and in the creative strength of my movement and my rhythm.

So this was an adventure, and I wasn’t expecting to feel refueled. But in the end, after the embers have cooled and my brain has been restored by rest, I look back, and I look forward, and I feel… DAMN GOOD. I am grateful I honored my urge to invite more fire, more dancing, more singing, more nature, and more love, into my life. I feel a bit tipsy on the juice that flows from the fruits of these things I know I love, and too often lack.

And so I head home unsure of exactly what’s next, but encouraged by renewed energy, and a lighter spirit. I feel in touch with deeper parts of myself, empowered to find what brings me joy, and eager to sing my song.

Yawp!”

– Joshua Warrior

“…I want to express my deepest gratitude for you and the Forestdance community. I cannot begin to tell you how much my world has opened up since joining you around the fire in September. And the effects have been obvious not only in my life but in the lives of the people around me as well. It has been such a beautiful transformation and I cannot wait to bring it with me to my music therapy endeavors in San Francisco and whatever other adventures I end up on after that…

-Kim Zunner

“I usually steer clear of spiritual gatherings these days for personal reasons, and had to be dragged the first day, but within minutes all my resistance melted away, so welcomed was I by the open minds and hearts of everyone at Forestdance. As a teacher I was honored by Una, my Seed Group Coordinator. And having been at many multi-day spiritual gatherings, I was thoroughly impressed by the collabaorative nature of everyone involved, by the inspirationaI leadership of Jason and the rest of the staff, and the sincere, high integrity and powerful nature of the rituals. I believe I will be back, as I now feel that I am part of a community I can feel safe in and call my own. Thanks for everything.”

– Chris Marano

“Between the Tribes’ harmonic music, the laughter of children and dawn tea made from roots of earth and wood, I reconnect to my family, myself, my power, our power, and the song that life always wants to sing through me but I don’t always hear. At Forestdance, I can hear.”

-Robin Sol

“Forestdance is a gift of love, earned through sincerely bringing one’s self, peeling back layers and opening to what is present. Although I often arrive with my defenses up, I always leave blown wide-open by my capacity to love and be loved, by the community and what we can hold together. It is powerful medicine to learn that our intentions and safe-space are all that is needed to touch the divine and be returned to self.”

– Orion Kriegman – Tellus Institute

“I have experienced some of the most beautiful moments of my life through this fire circle ceremony. Forestdance has brought so many blessings and gifts into my life, the core of which is a feeling of deep love and family through sharing this sacred work together.”

– Patrick Draper, Director of the University of the Wild

“Forestdance awakens and fulfills our intrinsic capacity to experience a depth of soul and a vibrance of spirit that is often muted by the dead skin of our egos. There is a tangible density to the energy within the circle that pulses and radiates from the fire of our collective heartbeat, suspending us in the space between thoughts, creating a perfect harmony between our humanity and animations of the Spirit. It is a cure for mundanity, an elixir of truth and beauty, and an opportunity to transcend and awaken your limitless bliss.”

– Luke Destefano

“Forestdance was a beautiful demonstration of human community and will power, I feel blessed to have been there.”

– Eli Carlton-Pearson

“Fire in my belly, fire in my soul, earth in my body, sun in my heart, stars in my eyes, as the medicine wheel spins. Deep love, beyond words, beyond tribe, beyond community; to the very essence which makes us human and makes us children of God. Of earth and sky, we tapped into our role as the great connectors. With our feet pounding into the sacred Earth, and our souls soaring in and around the universe, with the angles, with the spirits, stars and supernovas, we were everywhere and nowhere. As little brother sprite I felt the role of star gazer, eyes wide open in awe of all of your love and fire and passion and compassion. Ohh the teachers oh the teachers. We all came with gifts to share and share ohh we did, and receive ohhhh we did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I grew in so many ways this past week. Preparing me for a new step in my life, filling up with so many different kinds of love and …. maraca patterns. Forest Dance in Costa Rica to this past Forest Dance at Earthlands has marked the most dramatic time of growth, aside from the womb, in my life. In my 20th year, much has happened, I have awakened to my true self, I have come of age, I have become a man. And Forest Dance has been the catalyst. Thank you all for being apart of this for me. My family, I love you WITH EVERY INCH OF MY BEING …inch….. not an accurate portrayal of soul dynamics …. you get the picture.”

– Oliver Jacobson

“Thanks again for all the work you do to create this amazing container where we can safely go deep within if we choose. For me; well, it’s my favorite thing to do–movment and sound coming from now with all the power of creation, for its own sake! A chance to be fully present, listening for the next step, letting go and just feeling/expressing where it takes me next. Listening for the space to respond “I hear you!” sometimes in beauty, sometimes in pain, its bliss! And to do this with beautiful mindlike brothers and sisters with sacred intention and humor in our heart … well, pure yummminess!!”

– Eva Arriaga

“Forestdance was an amazing experience for me last summer. I felt so open to absorbing everything when I was there and I love the community of people and recognizing more faces from previous gatherings. The size of Forestdance makes it easier to connect with people. I was on this natural high that lasted for a few weeks after I got home. I started a new job which I loved and my phone kept ringing with more job opportunities. Things just seemd to turn around when I got back from the festival.”

– Melissa Morrissey

“The Forest Dance in Petersham, MA. was the best. I felt safe enough to dance for the first time in a long time as if no one was watching. I truly felt moved. I had experiences, I thought lived in the world of the improbable, which now are reality.”

– Billy Woods

“Going into Forestdance, I was wise to leave my expectations at home. They only would have gotten in the way. The beauty of the Sacred Land, the integrity of the participants, and the intimate atmosphere made this a supporting and safe place for me to work the deep majics and transformation. Not just drums and dance, but a Family of Spirits. I knew I was in the right place when the storm came and everyone kept going. The fire was hot, the drummers were hotter, and the dancing was truly in between the worlds. Fire performers, shooting stars, and spoken words weaving the wisdom of our Gods and Goddess, everyone had a chance to serve, to hold, to be held and to trance. To see so much love in action was humbling and inspirational. I am grateful to be included in such a vibrant Community, and Gods willing, I will dance and drum there again.”

– Raven Marquez

Thanks, Jason and crew for bring Forestdance and the magick of the Sacred Fire Circle into my life. From the moment I stepped into the Sacred Fire Circle I knew I was hooked. The warmth, the love, the caring and sharing of everyone in the Circle was so powerful and you couldn’t help but be comfortable and feel so accepted. I’ve never felt in a safer place to do my work and turn my lead into gold. This is definitely an experience that will never be forgotten and I look forward to sharing many more Fire Circles with you.”

– MoonFeather

“… Forestdance, which I find to be the perfect combination of everything worthwhile in life: communion with our selves, each other, and all nature, self-expression through the body, in dance, song, music, poetry and art, and healing of mind and spirit in cycles, again and again.”

-Nina Smolyar

“The first forestdance was probably the most amazing small festival I’ve ever attended. There were enough people with the intention of love and celebration that the mojo was strong, but not so many people that I couldn’t find time to connect with most of them. Each Forestdance I’ve been to since has built on that first one, with clear intention around the fire, coherent ritual that shapes the energy but does not restrict personal spirituality, a strong focus on community, and intense mojo.”

– Papillon

“It’s better than drugs”

– Noemi Bowman, Normandy, France

“For me, Forest Dance is a magical container for personal transformation. It is a place to honor the land, the community and the spirit. The festival is held in a beautiful place. You can feel the sacred intention that is being held by all involved. When I am there I am surrounded by many shining beautiful faces, most who I know, some who are new to me. The energy of the fire circle is very dynamic. It is a place where I can feel myself open up and unfold completely…I am safe and held here. It is truly amazing to witness this opening in myself and others! One thing I most love about Forestdance is that is very intimate. It was easy to connect with everyone.”

– Leah Shapiro

“I have been to a Forestdance and would like to be included in info on upcoming gatherings and tours. A memory of Forestdance was seeing the fire area get prepared with a huge amount of focus and intention, the same firepit I found myself dancing around reluctantly a few times, slowly building into a rythym and through the dance interacting with a dear friend, and building, and letting go and letting flow, and next thing I noticed that my friend was dancing behind me and before long I let go again and soon I was off on a tidal wave riding the rhythm in all its power and drive. I remember flying around the fire on my toes, moving with lots of creativity and energy, totally sober, yet in a non-normal state of conciousness driven by the rhythm. I also remember loving some awesome yoga in the mornings, and the feeling of community that built in the handful of days.”

– Jacob Zammito

“This has been one of the best fire circles that I have been touched by!”

– Nick Cannizzaro

“The participants of my sound workshop at ForestDance arrived amazingly open and willing to try anything; it was my best group so far! Jason has done a wonderful job in creating a festival in which everyone is presented with opportunity to experience true heart connections, like a coming home, like family. I will most certainly be back and will recommend any other events that Jason puts together.”

– Kerem, ReSounding Peace, Sound Healing practitioner and workshop facilitator

“I’m just getting in from Summerset. I have to tell you it was the best one I can remember thus far. In large part… this is due to the group Incus and the wonderful mastery of fire circle magick that was demonstrated last night by Jason Cohen, it’s leader.

“Anyone who has studied or led ecstatic dance circles would readily admit to being skeptical about whether a serious one can actually take place in an open setting like the main firepit at a pagan festival. Jason puts that skepticism to rest. His unique approach is like no other I have experienced. And WOW!”

– From Susan Herger of Snakes’ Rising

“Forestdance was a wonderful experience for me last year. The energy was intimate and warm, which matched the sounds and movements around the fire. To see so many wonderful people together in harmony always reminds me of how blessed I am to be surrounded by such an incredible community. I look forward to returning this year, and to creating more magic together.”

– Shawn Starkweather

RETURN TO FORESTDANCE EVENT PAGE