Communication & Community Building
Ancient Chinese knowledge teaches that “the community that practices nonviolent communication together, stays together.” OK, so maybe it’s a new Asheville saying, but the skills of empathic engagement, peacemaking and healthy communicating are certainly age-old wisdoms that are oftentimes overlooked in the modern world. That’s why we offer so many “soft skills” classes at Firefly every year, classes like: REALationships 101 & 201, Sacred Sexuality, Nonviolent Communication, & even De-escalation (With some back-up survival tricks if it doesn’t always work).
Grassroots, Local and Social Issues
We all know it is a truly sacred and empowering experience to combat cynicism in daily life, maintain a positive mental attitude, and stay focused on our highest intentions. And also, let’s be honest, the world is currently in a scary place. Climate change continues to spiral in the wrong direction. Social inequality, racism, industrial warfare, and refugee crises don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Corporate power reigns strong. Overpopulation. Obesity epidemics, global health epidemics…enough said. We promote cross-fertilizing our culture with the movements that struggle to make the world a better place and want Firefly to be a platform for local and regional activists working on political and environmental campaigns.
Storytelling and Myth
Story is how human culture has been carried down throughout the ages and passed on from generation to generation. Whether it be the literal details of survival strategies, subtle hard-earned social truths, or deep cosmological metaphors, the oral tradition has been blending entertainment with the seeds of human cultural wisdom since the dawn of our species. At Firefly, story and myth run deep. Being present at the gathering, one hears threads of tradition and seeds of new stories weaving in and out of plant walks, sharings at homebrew and mead circles, around the evening fires, and in classes focused on story and myth. Some past classes in this track have included Resurrecting the Wounded Healer; Cherokee Storytelling; The Origin of Medicine and Disease and other Native Legends; Weaving Baskets of Half Truths: Trickster Tales; and Wildwoods Wisdom & Folklore.
Earth-Based Spirituality & Ancestral Healing
This work is important! There are deep traditions and understandings that we are keeping alive. And there are new wisdoms manifesting and becoming integrated in the present time. At Firefly, there is a real density of both formal classes and informal ritual spaces that make healthy containers for spiritually connecting with the Earth and the world of spirit. In the past, some of these spaces have included Ancestor Reverence and Ritual; Circles and Ceremonies: Cultivating Your Nest Practice; Dream Skills; Earth Ritual & Honoring Spirits of Place; Roots to Fruit: Maintaining a Healthy Connection to Your Family’s History & Traditions; Tending Our Spiritual Gardens; Healing Songs Ceremony; and Grief Ritual. There is also a Vedic sweat lodge held daily.
Firefly has classes for everyone and for a vast array of interests. Please check out our other class themes: Crafts; Plant Medicine and Food; Permaculture and Gardening; Natural Parenting; Community and Storytelling; Fire, Metal, and Stone; Homesteading / Survivalism; Natural Building and Appropriate Technology; and Bushcraft and Campcraft.