There are types of gatherings that I’m most interested in facilitating: conscious celebrations and entreprenurial jams (work/play combination).
Celebrations occur during the holidays of the Earth: solstices & equinoxes and full & new moons.
Solstices and equinoxes are longer and bigger celebrations, while the full and new moons are single day and more local.
You might be thinking, “who cares about the these ‘Earth holidays,’ you hippy!”
And for the most part, you’re right. Not many people care about them these days.
Instead, in the U.S., we celebrate the day that white men came to the New World and mass genocided almost an entire indigenous population, Jesus’ supposed birthday (the day that capitalistic America loves, so much money is spent on stuff), and New Year’s Day (which is on an arbitrary calendar day that has no significance to the natural world, really the new year would make more sense if it fell on the winter solstice).
But here’s the thing. These “traditional” holidays are becoming less and less significant. People mostly celebrate them because their family did. Young people are caring less and less about these holidays, because they are not significant to them. They are not really “holy days.”
Holydays go beyond religion, go beyond nationality, go beyond tradition. They are “holy” because they unite all of us on planet Earth together as one species on one planet. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, what religion or non-religion you practice, these Earth holydays happen at the same time for all of us. They mark the changing of the seasons, if that isn’t holy then nothing is.
While holidays are a good reason to visit your family, holydays are a good reason to celebrate life, to commune with nature. To get us out of our tech/city bubble and remember our roots and remember where we came from.
Technology makes it possible for us to keep the sun (i.e., lights) on all night long, to keep the weather inside the same all year round, to eat the food we like all year round (even if it means shipping it halfway across the world). While none of these things are bad, they disconnect us from the natural world. Just because you’re more comfortable, doesn’t mean you’re enjoying life more.
The more connected we are to nature (to an extent), the better we feel. Google wilderness therapy if your interested.
While we don’t need to be totally immersed in nature all the time, it is super helpful to commune with our roots from time to time. And four times a year, during the changing of the seasons, is perfect for it.
Full and New Moons
As entrepreneurs, we can work at any hour, day or night. Weekends mean nothing to us. Unless we consciously choose to stop, there can be this nagging thought in the back of our head to work, work, work. It can be super draining to not have an off switch.
When was the last time you went a full day without going on your laptop or smartphone? Why not use the cycles of the moon as in excuse to take a fucking break, recharge the batteries, sharpen the knife? Join me on a tech fast <LINK> twice a week or so for every full and new moon. Use the cycles of nature to help your entrepreneurial pursuits.
When living in a city, we often have no idea what phase the moon is in. Do you know what phase the moon is in now as you read this?
Traditionally, full moons are a time to reflect on what we’re grateful for (check out a Tim Ferris article on the benefits of a gratitude practice) and new moons are a time to reflect on our intentions for the next moon cycle.
The idea is that during a full moon, we reflect on the fullness, we appreciate what we have and feel gratitude for all of the things in life that help us feel full.
During the new moon, the slate is clean, we’re starting afresh. These are like new year’s resolutions for the next month or so. Use this as a time to get clear about your goals for the next moon cycle.
Solstices and Equinoxes
This is a time when we come to celebrate life, be festive, maybe take some plant medicine, dance, sing, play music, eat delicious food, teach, share, learn and connect with each other.
These types of celebrations have been around since the dawn of time. Nowadays we have transformational music festivals that try and embody this festive celebration. However, there generally isn’t a cosmological or Earthly event that’s being celebrated. It’s more that the weather is nice enough to camp outside, so let’s party.
My ideal festival is intimate, less than a few hundred people. You can only meet so many people in a weekend, why do we need any more than that? The important thing is to focus on raising the quality of the people, not the quantity.
I like gatherings where we all eat at the same time. The more people there are, the more of a logistical nightmare that becomes. But it’s such an easy way to meet people, just sit down not to some people and say hi.
When there’s a few hundred people, instead of a few thousand, or ten thousand, the people who you do talk to or share a moment with, you will likely run into again and have the opportunity to deepen the connection further.