A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Collective

Welcome to the Forestdance New England Frequently Asked Question page. Below you will find needed information concerning the gathering and our beautiful site.

Thanks for reading!

WHEN DO WE SLEEP?——————————
Yes, it can be hard to imagine such things. But you can do it. We break up our sleep into two different times during the days after our all nighters. After dawn we sleep until yoga or brunch. And again a bit after dinner we have quiet time until an hour before the circle. Though not a typical model, we find we have all the energy we need to make it though the night. Honoring quiet time is very important. And inside the circle energy is amplified. Shifting our sleep schedules in part helps with the fantastical nature of the ceremony. We dance during dream-time.

RIDESHARES——————————————————
Looking for a ride? Or have a ride to offer? Please check out our Facebook event page.

WATER and SHOWERS————————————————

There is excellent well water available on site. There is a gorgeous spring fed lake to dip in. There are hot showers on site in one location. Bring your solar showers if you’d like to shower at your campsite or deep in the woods. And bring your water bottles!! Please bring a bathing suit and only all natural bio-degradable soap.

BATHROOMS—————————————–

There are flush toilets on the property.

ARRIVAL/REGISTRATION————————————

REGISTRATION TIMES Wednesday: 1pm-7:30pm, Thursday: Late Registration: 6-7:30pm

PLEASE ARRIVE WHEN DURING THE ABOVE LISTED TIMES, WHEN REGISTRATION IS OPEN.

FOOD——————————————

We provide healthy vegetarian mostly organic and native foods –

We ask everyone to take a shift in preparing the food for others, and for cleaning up after the meal.

We offer two full meals a day and snacks at all other times, including fruit and eggs at breakfast time.

Are children welcome at Forestdance? —————————————

Yes, yes, yes. Children are our hope for our future. All children are welcome to participate, and if they are 11 and under they may come for the cost of a donation to cover their food. The Forestdance staff will be providing childcare help from dawn until brunch everyday, and parents will be asked to be on the Kid’s Service Team to hold space for the kid’s during Seed Group times and throughout the night. Parents are encouraged to co-create programming during Seed Group times for their children during the gathering. It can be challenging to have your kids at FD and to do the all night circle. But we encourage the building of our community to include the gifts of the little ones.

DIRECTIONS AND CONTACT————————————————

Location
Camp Timber Trails
1266 E. Otis Rd.
Tolland, Ma

Directions
Google Map to the Site

Which forms of artistic expression are included in the fire circle?—

In addition to drumming and dancing around the fire, Forestdance attendees add chants, spoken word, melodic instruments, costumes, and ritual theater to the circle. The event is improvised and operates organically, and at times participants allow space for the faintest voice and most subtle movement to come through during the course of the night.

Which spiritual traditions are honored at Forestdance?—————–

People from many different spritual and philosophical backgrounds attend Forestdance and are encouraged to bring their creative expression to the fire circle. The fire circle is a highly intentional ritual space that we agree to hold as a sacred experiment, where we honor and celebrate our diversity, our similarities, and the threads that run through many traditions. The model that we’ve been developing is one that is difficult to share with words, as is often the case with metaphysical or transformational experience. It’s a process that has a profound effect. Forestdance is considered an inter-faith gathering. We welcome dialogue around sensitive cultural issues in relation to where our traditions come from and why we do what we do.

Can I come for part of the event?—————————-

Forestdance practices a “closed vessel” policy during our ceremony. There are specific times that you can arrive. Everyone needs to be on site for the orientation, and no one who misses the 1st circle will be admitted to the gathering; only an “act of God/Goddess” would permit admittance. Furthermore, if you leave the site during the gathering, you won’t be allowed to return to the site. Everyone is of course free to leave at any time as long as they understand there is no re-admittance. We have chosen these ways to ensure a safe container for deep work, where our community can develop our intimacy around the fire circle together, as we step deeper and deeper into the work and play each night.

WORK-SHIFTS/Service Teams—————————————

We ask everyone to contribute to community work to help us
keep this gathering running during the weekend. There will be kitchen prep
and cook shifts, kitchen clean up shifts, water changing teams, fire circle prep/ wood cutting teams, Luminary teams, etc. It is a fun and enjoyable way to co-create our magic together. Buy-out options are available and the money raised goes towards supporting our continuing community service.

DRUGS & ALCOHOL——————————————–

Forestdance does not support the use of illegal substances on the properties we lease from for our gatherings. Illegal usage is strictly prohibited. Very often, you will read a sentence like the two above in any festival’s or gathering’s guidelines that are written to protect the organizers. That said, many on the staff may enjoy partying at different times, and some may even be willing to get together with you and do so at some point in the future. However, we ask and highly suggest that everyone take this opportunity to explore magical space without the use of any drugs or alcohol. There are many reasons for this. We will be engaging in the process of fine-tuning ourselves, rather than doing anything that will remove us from one another or tune us out from our own greatest subtleties. In our experience, we have everything we need to attain incredible heightened states of consciousness without the aid of any altering substances.
Furthermore, the ability to retain the experience and integrate it into our daily lives is far more sustainable without altering ourselves. Our sacred circle model offers an opportunity to step into an environment that truly holds us in the highest vision of ourselves. For us the vision holds a space in which we are authentic about addiction in relation to habitual mind-altering substances. Also, others that walk with addiction or engage in habitual drug use are far more likely to partake if folks around them are offering or are carrying a vibration in which they are partying.
During the all-night Fire Circle process it is often difficult to achieve a place of true openness. The sense of a barrier or a wall is a common result. However, with continued participation and service within the circle, breaking through to a place of empowered embodiment will happen. Thank you for respecting these boundaries.

ANIMALS—————————————————————–

There are lots of people, children, edible plants and gardens at this event.
Pets can be a problem. Our hosts ask you to not bring your dogs. There could be a couple of service dogs on site as our hosts allow
staff to have them.

LEAVE NO TRACE————————————————-

Everything you bring in with you should leave with you. This
means your trash and all the little bits that are attached to things you are
bringing.

Is there any Lodging?————————————————-
Everyone gets a cot in one of the cabins at Camp Timber Trails. There are multiple cots in each cabin. If you want a private spot, you will need to bring your own tent. There is no additional cost for using the provided cabins You will need to BRING YOUR OWN BEDDING.

What should or can I bring?

GENERAL NOTES: Bring a flashlight – the moon may not be visible. Consider bringing a battery operated alarm clock (best if covered and we suggest not bringing watches into the sacred circle), earplugs, and all natural bug repellent. Please bring a tent and light bedding if you are camping, it will be warm. Any extra throws are welcome if you can, for the “nesting areas.” These are places outside the fire circle to take short rests if necessary during the night. Bring your own cup, bowl, plate, utensils and water bottle clearly labeled!
Bring a towel. Bring poems and any musical instrument and a song or three for the Bardic Circle. Consider contributing anything you would like to offer to the community or lending anything to an altar, such as sage, candles, something to burn sage in, seashells, feathers, crystals, etc. Something that represents your ancestors like a photo or one of their belongings. If possible, please bring food and snacks for the food/community altar. These we are offering to each other as sustenance for the all-night circles. Aim for healthy and nourishing items, though chocolate-covered espresso beans do tend to disappear quickly. Please bring eco-friendly toiletries and your own towel. There will be a Gifting Circle at the end of the gathering so please bring something to give away to the community if you feel so called. This can be as simple as a shell or a story. The Gifting Circle can be quite an amazing experience.

FOR INSIDE THE FIRE CIRCLE: Drums, RATTLES (so important), and other percussion such as cowbells. Instruments other than drums and percussion are welcome in the sacred circle, but their use must be discussed beforehand with a facilitator after Forestdance Orientation. Chants, songs, masks, costumes and elaborate clothing are welcome, as are body and face paint and your intentions. (What would you choose to manifest in your life and for your life?)
Here is a CHECKLIST:
Costuming, masks, towel, Walking shoes, Tent, sleeping bag, bedding, Battery-operated alarm clock, Flashlight, Earplugs, Natural bug repellant, Sunscreen, Rain cover, Bathing suit, Towel, Eco-conscious toiletries, your medications if you need any, Water bottle, Your own cups and bowls labeled with your name, utensils, Nesting blanket/Ground cover to sit on, Snacks for the food altar, Ziplock bags, Instruments, Drums, Shakers, rattles, extra ones too for the percussion altar, Decorations for the altars, Massage oils and tables, Clear intentions for shaping our reality, something that represents your ancestors

Bring a Bicycle and a good Headlamp It’s a large site.
Can I teach or do work exchange?
Staff and teachers are chosen long before the event, so it is highly unlikely you will be able to do work exchange at the last minute. But there is often space in the Seed Groups to make offerings. We also prefer that people experience the Forestdance fire circle once as an attendee before being in service as a teacher, though we have made exceptions to this ideal. If there are certain work exchange positions still available, we will ask you about your specific skill sets and see if we can match things up together.

Thanks again, we look forward to honoring our lives to the fullest.

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