Having been clearing and flattening the site all summer long, a lot of the ground was bare and the new grass has not caught yet, so we were worried that an increase in rain will turn the site into a mud bath. We spent a few weeks getting the place up and together with the help of some friends and relations: we first made a large workshop area near the Zodiac Tent site.
Next thing we rigged up the tents again: the Scorpio yurt was up all summer long, but we had taken the Sibley tent down (its a type of hanging tipi) so that had to go up again.
Luckily we had some friends to visit just in time, and it was lots of fun putting it all up, and it felt like the event was already on.
The Sibley tent is a tent we made earlier this year, it is traditionally pitched with a tripod, under which one has an open fire, but we just hang it from a friendly oak.
Sibley Tent and Yurt pitched for the event
The last tent to go up was the latest addition to the Baker Tent Family, the ‘Kitchen Tent’, which is a double sized Baker Tent.
The Kitchen Tent
So, the group arrived, a few of the participants had already made a yurt before, and one friend was a professional yurt maker.
Breakfast in front of the Majella
Everybody where keen to get into it, we started the week by going into the forest and cutting poles.
Tammy cutting ash poles
We then started the peeling and steaming process, every body getting into peeling and shaping rafters, tying trellis poles, and glueing the wheel.
All through we were introducing group work and inner focus, but with little emphasis so not to make it too emotional for the group. However it seemed, at times, that there was so much people were going through because of the ‘open psychic space’ around, and working together out in nature. at one point an Israeli participant even commented, “wow where is all this emotionality coming from I thought we came here to make a yurt”! (He was just joking, trying to keep things light).
The community making process, was taking place and it was interesting to see the group going through the motions, how the first high of coming together was replaced by disillusion and how harder feelings started coming up, it was amazing to witness some of the things people went through. The weather mirrored this process with more rain than we’d had all the summer in a couple of days. The collective mud-bath did bring the group together.
Campground in rain
Face in the (watery) element
At one point it seemed the whole gathering was falling apart, but that too was part of the community making process, than out of that harder space something amazing started to bloom, a real sense of togetherness. Seeing people pitch in, working until the evening making the yurt parts, sharing the fire-heated bath water, and more than all some real life change was starting to take place in all it was the perfect balance. We were afraid the rain would be too much, or the winds, or that being so far out in nature without comforts, mobile phones or chocolate would prove hard, but it wasn’t. (The food came out more than amazing, with 3 meals a day cooked on the fire!)
It proved that group process work could be maintained simply by intent, and our job was simply to hold the process and the place together.
Happy Yurt makers, after steaming the yurt wheel
There is simply too much to say and the inner processes that took place are too private to share here, but it was a deep experience seeing a little tribe form and go through it together facing the elements together, at moments even crying together.
In a way some of the best things to come out were the resolutions people came up with at the end. We got some amazing thank you’s, and were told by one woman that it was a life changing experience and she has decided to up it and go into a new life within the year, that coming back home after all the nature was trying.
At one point in the middle of this gathering we were sitting by the fire, and Lucy said we need to look for an omen to find out which sign this yurt will represent. With the Scorpio Yurt, we had a clear sign when a Scorpion crawled out of one of the door posts whilst it was being made.) Her feeling was that this yurt was the Libra yurt as this gathering started as the Sun moved into Libra on the Autumn Equinox, going until the Super Harvest Moon Eclipse the night before the yurt went up. As she said it, we were all outside looking at the sky for Libra and there was a collective gasp as a shooting star shot through the sky. We knew this one was the Libra yurt.
Libra Yurt next To Scorpio Yurt
Here is an article (in Italian) by Dayana Piccoli, who participated in the event, in ‘Chi si dicie’, the magazine of Torricella Peligna, our local town. Amidst the pages of town history and rural life, Dayana’s article (page 17) shines through, and says much of what I was gonna share here, and a little more!
Contact us if you are interested in participating in a similar event. We are also starting to look for people that want to get involved on a more regular basis, help with the work while living in nature for longer periods, or even help us run events.
And here is a little video: Yurt Makers Heart Video