STICKS AND STONES a process

May a single action be creatively catalytic in effort and effect?

STICKS AND STONES

(MAY BREAK MY BONES BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME?!)

A ritually inspired process designed to gently re-evaluate, share and transform our relationship with the animate world through memory, magic and tactile engagement.

 INTUITION INSTINCT nature BEHAVIOUR COMMUNICATION MEMORY ritual MAGIC ANIMISM

 for

THE PROCESS 

you will need

A STICK, A STONE/some earth or pigment, A metal BUCKET, A BOWL, A CANDLE (preferably beeswax) to be lit, SOME WATER (preferably from a natural source), possibly A FEATHER, SOME PAPER (cut into notelet size)+ MARK MAKING TOOLS and A HAT

Preferably this action would be performed outdoors, possibly using objects gathered from the immediate environment…

  • invite your ‘audience’ to sit comfortably and quietly in a circle; ask them to close their eyes and listen carefully to their environment
  • announce (casually) that you are about to perform some ‘magic’ for which you will need a hat – place the hat upon your head (humourously)
  • pass around the objects one at a time, and carefully contemplate their elemental nature and any memories they might evoke for you, depending on the situation discuss…
stones (pward 2011)
  • to enable the next exercise engage the group in a quick word association game – this exercise will hopefully promote a more automatic/intuitive response…
  • when all objects have been returned invite the participants to quietly recall any events, happenings or experiences from their past that have brought them closer to nature and made them feel more connected to it, and that have in some way made them the beautiful, life-affirming, ecologically sensitive and creative person that they are today
  • ask the group to hold the feeling of that experience, the sensation it brought them, the power of it, and to then write or draw the experience onto the piece of paper you have passed them, (reassure the group that what is written on the paper will be treated with the strictest confidence)
  • then place the piece of paper into the bucket,
  • pass around the objects again, this time contemplating how they may have changed or recognizing how your relationship with them may have changed since first ‘meeting’ them, (and again possibly discuss)…

  • the ‘responsible participant/process facilitator’ will then place all the objects into the bucket with the paper and pour water over them; the contents will be stirred while singing/joking about ‘there’s a (w)hole in my bucket and other ‘magic words’,
  • a small quantity of the liquid will then be poured into the bowl and passed around/shared/sprinkled/daubed onto the foreheads of the participants
  • ‘close’ the ritual with an offering of food (cake) to all the participants
  • inform the participants that the paper used will be mulched and then made into more paper for the next time the process is performed, or an art object (a ball perhaps); the objects will also be used again, hopefully accumulating more ‘memories’ of their own,

  • open a discussion to reflect on the process/elements of the process just experienced and the nature of ‘communication’, between ‘objects’, and through non-verbal means,
  • suggest to each participant to write a longer list of events/experiences/happenings in their lives which have brought them closer to nature and made them feel more connected to it – this list may be very useful in their own practices for initiating/sharing such activities with others or may simply become a personal affirmation or even an artwork in itself…

References:              

DREAMING THE DARK – Starhawk

WHAT IS ART? – Joseph Beuys

THE SPELL OF THE SENSUOUS – David Abram

THE LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS – Richard Louv

Presentational Knowing

(eco-)Phenomenology

Homeopathy

(PW2011)

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