2018 Class Descriptions

The 2018 Firefly Gathering is now over. This list of classes from the 2018 event serves as an example of the courses and instructors generally found at the gathering. We look forward to seeing you in 2019!

 

 

 

Thursday (6/21/2018) – Morning

Fuz Sanderson

40 Minute Forks

40 minute forks: Thursday Morning, Friday morning, Sunday Morning,
Don’t eat your salad with a spoon! This a wood carving gateway skill, we’ll make a fork you can use in the wilderness, or in the office…
Age 12 and above. you will need a sharp knife, and you will feel empowered.

Graham Wesley

Ancient Stone Medicine: Taoist Traditions & Earth Connection

Discover the origins of stone healing in the Taoist tradition and essentials of stone medicine in your experience. Learn about specific stones you can incorporate into your everyday practice as well as practical applications of stone medicine like elixirs and treatments. Learn about how to work with the stones of your place, with the land you call home and sacred spaces, for healing for yourself, your community, and our home.

Ashlyn Cornelius

Back to basics: Things you need to know to survive out there

The basics range as far as the sun does, but this class is about the recommended habits survival-oriented people tend to have. Useful knowledge about becoming un-lost (in the physical sense) with a little bit of signaling, what it takes to not freeze at night, highly useful gear, and even the possum’ mentality will be covered. This class is geared towards the idea of making sure that you don’t end up in a life-or-death situation, and a few tips to get out of them as well! All survival is in the preparation…come prepared to learn and prepare your mind for the future!
Any age and experience welcome, and I encourage appropriate discussions that do not leave voices stifled. Everyone has something to add or learn. This class is the basics, I have other classes that go more in detail on both shelters and signaling for those who want to say hi again.

Tod Kershaw

Blacksmithing Basics

This class is for people who want to get started blacksmithing! This information-rich class will cover topics such as choosing charcoal vs. coal, building your forge, choosing your material (raw steel vs. re-using/recycling old metal), and repairing broken metal tools. Those who signup will get at least 5-10 minutes of hammer-time. Whoever wants to come can come and watch but only the 12 who sign up are guaranteed time with a hammer.

Materials Fee $2-$5

Luke McLaughlin

Bow Drill for smaller bodied humans (…and anyone else)

Struggling with the making fire?! Come and learn the bow drill sitting method that will help produce more down pressure and stability. This is a great technique FOR EVERYONE (but especially for people with less body mass). Come and rub some sticks together and hear some spiritual/nature stories.

David Wynn

Bowdrilling

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, this is your opportunity! We’ll be exploring the way of the bow-drill. Covering everything from harvesting materials, kit craft, nesting processing, and bow-drill technique. Leave with a set of your own making and an invaluable skill! Must bring a sharp knife and sharp safety.

Yona FrenchHawk

Building the Cherokee Sweat Lodge

Help build the Sweat Lodge for this year’s Gathering!
Yona is a full blooded member of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Born and raised on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee NC Yona has a deep connection to Turtle Island/Mother Earth. He will share the Cherokee Prophesy of Feminine and Masculine and how they live in balance to honor all life and living things. Through ceremony, song, and honoring, Yona has been tasked by his Tsalagi elders to continue to weave the web of life by sharing the Tsalagi way and helping to connect all the colors of the rainbow.

Prepare to do some hands-on work!

(Thursday Morning Building of Sweat Lodge participation is optional – you don’t have to help build in order to sweat later)

Ages 18 and up only

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening and Care: Axes and Adzes

Use and sharpening of edge tools. This session will focus on Axes and Adzes, but we can sharpen and go over maintenance for whatever edge tools you bring. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tools and sharpening equipment.

Nancy Basket

Freeform Kudzu Hat

Learn to weave without worry! Splitting kudzu vines, we will measure your head, make a bowl and bill or brim. Stay all day to finish your hat or half day to build a skeleton to finish later with thin colorful vines.. without hair on them! Learn Cherokee stories too. Scissors or a knife will be helpful.

Aileen Peterson

Gaia as Healer: Introduction to Land-Based Healing

Join Aileen Marie ‘Sequoia’ of AWILDA WE’MOON for a discussion on earthing and forest bathing as healing modalities, our innate connection to the earth, and working with the natural world for healing such as through plant spirit medicine and stone medicine. We will experience some flower + stone essences, then go on a guided nature walk/forest bathing/earthing session as a group. Class fee is $0 but donations are welcome.

Dawn Mathews

Goat Cheese Making

We will discuss cheesemaking and the process of fresh verses aged cheeses. I will be using goat milk to make chèvre and mozzarella. You will go home with loads of cheese recipes. And of course we will eat all the yummy cheese we make in class! This class is for adults only.

Ivy Lynn

Healing stress in the modern world with food and herbs

In these times, stress is a huge issue. We will discuss how to heal ourselves by using food as medicine (mostly preventative). We will also look at how nervines will help our frayed nerves and how adaptogenic herbs can heal our adrenals. We will discuss which of these grow in this region. We will make and sample some of the remedies we discuss.

Tyler De Francisco

Hog Butchering with Sugar Creek Meats

This Butchery class will be breaking a 70-pound half hog into primals for curing and cooking. Ham, shoulder, loin, and belly. We will focus on the home-use of large cuts to encourage you to buy in bulk from local farms by teaching you how to use them! The main focus will be on loin and belly breakdown.

Sara Callaway

Human Life Cycle, Stages of Life, and Rites of Passage

This class focuses on the human life cycle and how our journeys unfold over time. Well discuss the stages of life, core competencies to develop (nature tasks, culture tasks), rites of passage, and how ones community can impact this experience. Many of these ideas are drawn from the work of Bill Plotkin (Nature and the Human Soul) and Paul Raphael (an Odawa Elder), as well as from personal experience. Life is a continual process of transformation. Learn how to support the changes.

Ren Zatopek

Making and Breaking Trance for Personal and Collective Magic

A lot of us want to create change in our lives and in our culture. Trance is a state of consciousness that makes us less resistant to change and more capable of magic. Great! It also makes us less rational. Great? It’s key if you want to join a cult and live in fear of the end times. Um…not great?

Trance is not good or bad; it’s a tool that can be used many ways. A very sharp, powerful tool. And everybody has one. And we’re running around using it on ourselves and each other every day: for pain relief, for entertainment, for creative insight, for spiritual connection, for manipulation, for control…

But, I’d never tell you to put it down or quit using it, just as I wouldn’t tell you to stop speaking or using your voice, another powerful tool most of us use each day. Instead, let’s choose to cultivate our capacity for trance as a conscious skill. Let’s bring discernment and consent to the trances woven into our relationships and work.

Class will be a mixture of lecture, simple practice, and guided journey. Please bring a notebook and something to write with.

Jason Drevenak

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

If the shoulder bag you carry just isn’t big enough come and learn to design, lay out,and create a medium, large or Xtra large buffalo leather shoulder bag to put all your cool primitive stuff in. All materials (including leather, buckskin for lacing and tools) provided. Come by Drev’s camp to see what a finished bag looks like.

Materials fee is:

$15 for a small bag,
$20 for a medium bag,
$30 for a large bag,
and $40 for an Xl bag!

Luke Learningdeer

Our Magnificent Trees!

Let’s walk and meet some of the magnificent and generous Trees of the gathering, and discus their Edible, Medicinal, and Wondrous gifts.
Bring a notebook, and a spirit of exploration. We’ll be diving deep into the green and wild world

Laura Roscoe

Pine Needle Baskets

Make a beautiful, functional pineneedle basket using a coiling technique. This technique can be used for many different materials once learned. Ages 16 and above.

Noname Jones

Sacred Geometry (an Introduction)

Sacred Geometry – The equilateral triangle is the physical manifestation of the concept of 3. How can we draw one without a protractor ? Many insights are weaved throughout the process of solving basic geometric problems – the original way – with our brains as our only tool. These are old problems, problems that have been with humankind for millennia and are the foundation of the most advanced technologies today. Connect with ancestors thru these ancient puzzles, craft 3D models to take home, and discuss the connections between math art science and spirit, from the vitruvian man to the human electromagnetic field, The Golden Mean/Phi Ratio, romanesco broccoli and beyond !

Barron Brown

Spoon Carving

Learn how to carve your very own spoon with Barron Brown using just hand tools the old fashioned way. No Firefly Gathering is complete without making a spoon of your very own! bring a sharp knife!

Age limit 10 and older unless parents are present.

Steve Torma

The Art of Intimacy (NVC) Level 1

Staying centered in any situation, moving beyond stalemates with Nonviolent Communication, forgiving others and yourself, hearing the yes behind every no, being flexible without being submissive, expressing anger or disappointment without judgment or blame, and more. With the former president of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Bill Parravano

Working out the Kinks: Hips & Lower Back

Working out the kinks: Hips/Lower Back

Do you have sore, stiff, tight, achy, painful hips or lower back? Then this class is for you! Learn the secrets of your body’s nervous system. You will walk away from this class with the working knowledge of how to eliminate tension in your hips and lower back no matter what age or what you do.

Participants of the class will receive a copy of my book, Knees For Life that contain the ongoing practice of the concepts and principles learned during the class to take home with them.

For your own comfort bring any pillows, blankets, or yoga mats to make lying on the ground more comfortable for you.

Thursday (6/21/2018) – Afternoon

Joshua Tant

Atlatl – Throwing Primitive Hunting Spears

A course on throwing spears using an atlatl (an ancient, wooden, hunting tool). Atlatl is a tool used by the Inuit (Eskimo) people and other early Native Americans (and many other indigenous peoples with several variations) to propel a spear or dart with greater speed and force.

A $1 fee covers the cost of spears and points.

Tyler De Francisco

Bacon and Curing with Sugar Creek Meats

This Curing class will be further processing of the 70-pound half-hog that we began butchering in the morning. We will be turning loin and belly meat into bacon. Learn to cure your own meats at home! Also learn about the difference between commercial cured meat products and the alternative of real meat from real farmers.

Walter Tipton

Barrell Stove Theory and Build

What does it take to build an oven?
There are countless successful designs from around the world and we can discover much from reviewing their common features. Let’s combine some common materials with first principles and our combined creativity to build an oven for us to use for the remainder of our gathering.

Tod Kershaw

Blacksmithing Basics

This class is for people who want to get started blacksmithing! This information-rich class will cover topics such as choosing charcoal vs. coal, building your forge, choosing your material (raw steel vs. re-using/recycling old metal), and repairing broken metal tools. Those who signup will get at least 5-10 minutes of hammer-time. Whoever wants to come can come and watch but only the 12 who sign up are guaranteed time with a hammer.

Materials Fee $2-$5

Maurice White

Building Economic Modern Nomadic Housing and Boonedocking Hacks

Building Economic Modern Nomadic Housing and Boonedocking Hacks. Need we say more?

Barron Brown

Carve a Wooden Hair Comb

Carve a beautiful hair comb for beauty and function with Barron Brown.

Bring a sharp knife.

Age limit: 10 and older unless accompanied by an adult.

Yona FrenchHawk

Cherokee Sweat Lodge

Yona is a full-blooded member of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Born and raised on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee NC Yona has a deep connection to Turtle Island/Mother Earth. He will share the Cherokee Prophesy of Feminine and Masculine and how they live in balance to honor all life and living things. Through ceremony, song, and honoring, Yona has been tasked by his Tsalagi elders to continue to weave the web of life by sharing the Tsalagi way and helping to connect all the colors of the rainbow.

Drink lots of fluids. Men will be wearing shorts and women we ask to wear a skirt or wrap and a loose fitting top that covers the shoulders. Also bring a towel.

Age Limit 18 and Older ONLY

Jeffrey Gottlieb

Cordage College

Everything you always wanted to know about natural string, rope and thread. Anyone can come; there are no prerequisites. We will make cordage by hand and using a simple machine, producing two ply and three ply cord. Explore the cordage museum and its many animal and plant fiber and rope samples. Handle specimens of fresh fiber bearing plants and learn to process them to get their fiber. Find out how civilization as we know it would not have been possible without rope! Book by instructor is available for $10 if desired.

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening and Care – Drills, Augers, & Planes

Use and sharpening of edge tools. This session will focus on Drills, Augers, and Planes. But we can sharpen and go over maintenance for whatever edge tools you bring. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tools and sharpening equipment.

Tracy Wilson

Fire-Starting with Ferro Rods

How to use a Ferrocerium Rod

This class is a combination of lecture, demonstration and hands on learning that will help you get the most out of your Ferro rod.

Adults and children are encouraged to work together as a team.

Bring your own Ferro Rod and the materials fee is waived. If you want to purchase rod the cost is $13.00.

James Clinkscales

Flintknapping

Make an arrowhead or blade out of stone! In this class students will be using stone and antler tools to reduce and shape stone tools. Percussion and pressure flaking techniques of reduction will be demonstrated and hands on practice is encouraged. Bipolar percussion techniques will also be demonstrated. Copper Ishi tools and safety glasses will also be provided.
Advanced flintknappers welcome to hone those skills and bring them to the next level!

Nancy Basket

Freeform Kudzu Hat

Learn to weave without worry! Splitting kudzu vines, we will measure your head, make a bowl and bill or brim. Stay all day to finish your hat or half day to build a skeleton to finish later with thin colorful vines.. without hair on them! Learn Cherokee stories too. Scissors or a knife will be helpful.

Natalie Bogwalker

Heat Your House with the Sun! Plus Natural Building Intro

You can turn off the thermostat, give your wood stove a break, and bask in the glory of heating your house with the sun. You can also learn how to keep it cool in the summer. Save money, help the earth!

We will explore the theory and application of heating with the power of the sun. You will learn how to design for “passive solar” for
-tiny houses
-natural buildings
-conventional houses

Humans have known about and applied passive solar design thousands of years. It absolutely insane that this is not the basis for modern architecture of both public and private buildings.

After the passive solar class, which will last for about an hour, we will explore the pro’s and con’s of various natural building techniques.

Marion Hearth

Instinctual Childbirth (Self-directed Birth)

This teaching is open to all people who seek uncommon information and inspiration about childbirth. The information presented is applicable in all settings – unassisted at home, in the wild, at home with a midwife, in a hospital, etc. This class will be facilitated by Marion, a mother of two babies born at home without a trained professional present. She passionately believes that women intuitively know how to birth their babies and deserve access to all options. Marion believes that ALL women, no matter what birth plan they choose, should be prepared for an unassisted birth because this preparation can help the birthing mother and witnesses in any setting. This class will cover both Intuitive Pregnancy (navigating self Prenatal Care at home) + Instinctual Childbirth (the basics + addressing common myths about childbirth, especially those in crunchy home birth communities!). There will be time for your questions, so please bring them. 🙂

Sangoma

Lodge of the Clan Mothers: in the BE coming

13 times a year Grandmother Moon is new and Full. From the seats of the council fires burning before ours…we access realms, angels, star-seeds that anchor our birth, death, and everything in between. In this Lodge great wisdom is shared among the Council of All BE ings…the collective of who we are! Stories of the Moonlodge and its origins among indigenous cultures to maintain balance between feminine and masculine energies. Together we create a Vision Lodge for all Beings.

Jason Drevenak

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

If the shoulder bag you carry just isn’t big enough come and learn to design, lay out,and create a medium, large or Xtra large buffalo leather shoulder bag to put all your cool primitive stuff in. All materials (including leather, buckskin for lacing and tools) provided. Come by Drev’s camp to see what a finished bag looks like.

Materials fee is:

$15 for a small bag,
$20 for a medium bag,
$30 for a large bag,
and $40 for an XL bag!

Shawn Kelly

Making fire with flint and steel

People have used flint and steel for years to start fire. With a little preparation and practice, this can be as reliable as a modern lighter. Learn to make fire like the mountain men. No cost for this class.

Liat Bashira

Partner Massage

Come improve your massage giving skills. We will go over basic massage modalities and incorporate a bit of Swedish, Thai, Lomi Lomi, and deep tissue.
Wear something comfortable that you can move in. There will be massage oil available for people to use and folks will be welcome to have their shirts off for this class.
We will partner up and everyone will both give and receive an hour+ massage. You may come with a partner that you want to practice with or find a someone in the class.

Bari Caton

Peyote Beadwork for Beginners

Learn the basics of peyote bead stitching using large needles, yarn and large beads that don’t require a magnifying glass. I’ll have lots peyote samples for inspiration. I’ll repeat this same beginner class on Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon, plus an advanced class using the tiny #11 seed beads on Saturday afternoon. Older children (ages 10+) welcome, but check with instructor first. Please be on time; we have a lot to do!

Laura Roscoe

Pineneedle Baskets

Learn to make a beautiful coiled pineneedle basket using a technique that can be applied to other materials once learned.

Michele Gee

Reusable Menstrual Pad-Making

In this class, led by Michele Rosa Gee, participants will learn how to make reusable, homemade cloth menstrual pads and class members will each make their own to take home. We will also discuss the benefits of using pads as opposed to other ways of catching our flow. Spiritual and energetic aspects of the menstrual cycle will be touched on and discussed. Very light sewing involved – no former experience necessary. All materials provided. Join us for an intimate crafting time bonding over our cycles!

liz thecowgirl

Rotational Grazing and Portable Fencing for the Homestead

This class will explore many aspects of rotational grazing, including an opportunity to interact with portable electric fencing and move the Cows and Chickens to their next paddock. The focus of this class may shift based on the specific interests of participants. This class has information applicable to a variety of species. We have experience fencing in Cows, Sheep, Poultry, Pigs, and Livestock Guardian Dogs.

Spencer Two Dogs

Stick Jiu Jutsu

Compassionate compliance is a term that refers to control of a violent or dangerous person without permanent or lasting injury. Stick Jiu Jutsu is a practice of applying effective holds, locks, and chokes using common and everyday stick-like objects. All experience levels welcome, be prepared for respecftul discomfort. Principles and techniques will come from arts of Kali, hanbojutsu, bo jutsu, and others. Spencer teaches locally through his own school and as a traveling guest full time.

Graham Wesley

Stone Medicine: Grids + Elixirs

Get to know the applications of stone medicine. Grids. On-the-body treatments. Essences and elixirs. We’ll discuss how to work with these methods for the most potent transformation at any level of healing. Take home a stone elixir to work with yourself. Please bring your own bottle or jar or $2-$10 for a dropper bottle with elixirs we make that you’d like to take home.

Steve Torma

The Art of Intimacy (NVC) Level 2

For those with some familiarity with Nonviolent Communication. Using NVC Dance Floors and Somatic Experiencing to move from pain to compassion, from the illusion of conflicting needs to finding win/win strategies, from grasping for approval to deep inner peace, and from negativity to the natural joy of life. With the former president of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Abby Artemisia

Wild Edible & Herbal Appalachian Walkabout

This is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, with so much to offer in the way of food, medicine, and, of course, beauty. Abby, a botanist, herbalist, and forager, will take you on an adventure into the forest and open spaces to see what free foods and herbs surround us, how we safely and ethically harvest them, and how to preserve them. Get an introduction to basic botany to demystify plant identification and use all of your senses, to learn more about these plants.

Thursday (6/21/2018) – Evening

Yona FrenchHawk

Cherokee Sweat Lodge

Yona is a full-blooded member of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Born and raised on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee NC Yona has a deep connection to Turtle Island/Mother Earth. He will share the Cherokee Prophesy of Feminine and Masculine and how they live in balance to honor all life and living things. Through ceremony, song, and honoring, Yona has been tasked by his Tsalagi elders to continue to weave the web of life by sharing the Tsalagi way and helping to connect all the colors of the rainbow.

Drink lots of fluids. Men will be wearing shorts and women we ask to wear a skirt or wrap and a loose fitting top that covers the shoulders. Also bring a towel.

Age Limit 18 and Older ONLY

liz thecowgirl

Evening Milking Demonstration with Q & A 7:30pm

Join us at 7:30 while we milk one of our cows for a casual “cow side chat.” We will do the milking while folks ask questions related to farming.

Subject matter could include: cow health, pasture management, portable fencing, milk processing, kids and agriculture, and more…..

Bring your mug or jar for a taste of warm, fresh milk!

*This is not a hands on class. To try your hand at milking, please sign up for “Milking 101.”

Liat Bashira

Relaxation & Connection Space

Come chill, relax, and snuggle up. There will be a little conversation about safe space, consensual touch, and boundaries, but mostly this space is for connecting with friends/strangers, unwinding and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the gathering. You are welcome to take solitude (perhaps a nap?) and not interact with others in this space.
*the relaxation station will be open for chilling in till after dark
** no sign-up necessary. You are welcome to come and go in this space when it is open.

Phil Ferguson

Swordplay Arena

The Wandering Swordsmen will run the Swordplay Arena each evening from 7:00-9:30pm during the last light of the day Thursday-Saturday. We will run field battles from 7-9pm, including games like capture the flag, javelin dodgeball, and archery tag!

7:00-8:00 will be reserved for youth ages 15 and under.
8:00-9:00 will be for adults ages 16+.

From 9-9:30pm we will light up the 20′ wide arena tent for tournament style games including 1v1 and 2v2 tournaments with single sword, sword and shield, dual sword, and other weapon styles.

All our boffer gear is made for full contact combat and tested monthly for compliance with the regulations provided by The Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, a national boffer league with very strict standards for safety and game play. All our swords, shields, spears, javelins, bows, arrows, and other gear are designed to safely engage in the highly physical and athletic sport of boffing, or padded weapon combat. All players must have a waiver on file to play, and minors must have their waiver filled out by a legal guardian. We will have paper copies of the waiver on site.

We will also have gear for sale and information about our summer camps and classes for all ages of people who are interested in this growing sport! Come check out our donation based weekly battles every Sunday at Carrier Park in West Asheville from 1-3pm for kids and 3-6pm for adults! See our website at www.thewanderingswordsmen.com for more information.

Friday (6/22/2018) – Early Morning (before breakfast)

liz thecowgirl

Morning Milking Demonstration with Q & A

Join us at 8:30am while we milk one of our cows for a casual “cow side chat.”
We will do the milking while folks ask questions related to farming.
Subject matter could include: cow health, pasture management, portable fencing, milk processing, kids and agriculture, and more…..

Bring your mug or jar for a taste of warm, fresh milk!

*This is not a hands on class. To try your hand at milking, please sign up for “Milking 101.”

Tara Rawson

Partner Yoga Playshop

This will be an hour (ish) class full of partner yoga, trust exercises, vulnerability work, sharing, singing, solo exercises, laughter, flying, and tons of fun. This is community building at it’s finest!

Meet and play with your fellow sisters and brothers and let’s build a better tomorrow together. Please join us as we come together to move our bodies and connect in a supportive and playful way.

Each morning class will have a different focus physically and energetically. Our Thursday morning class will consist of basic stacking and stretching together. This is perfect for all levels.

Kid friendly ♥

Please bring your own blanket, towel, yoga mat or tapestry. (The bigger the better)

Friday (6/22/2018) – Morning

Fuz Sanderson

40 Minute Forks

40 minute forks: Thursday Morning, Friday morning, Sunday Morning,
Don’t eat your salad with a spoon! This a wood carving gateway skill, we’ll make a fork you can use in the wilderness, or in the office…
Limit 20 people, Age 12 and above. You will need a sharp knife, and you will feel empowered.

Alexandra Tait

Archery Lesson and Shoot

Stretch warmup, professional lesson and supervised shooting. discussion of equipment and some archery lore thrown in. All equipment included. We will use training recurve fiberglass bows with wooden arrows shooting into straw bales.

$5 arrow fee covers wear and tear and broken arrows and equipment!

Walter Tipton

Biscuits n Gravy!

You know you love ’em and now it’s time to master the magic.
We’ll make BnG with the simplest tools and materials available.
Vegetarian friendly, we’ll make a nice onion gravy.
This will not be a gluten free event.

Tod Kershaw

Blacksmithing Basics

This class is for people who want to get started blacksmithing! This information-rich class will cover topics such as choosing charcoal vs. coal, building your forge, choosing your material (raw steel vs. re-using/recycling old metal), and repairing broken metal tools. Those who signup will get at least 5-10 minutes of hammer-time. Whoever wants to come can come and watch but only the 12 who sign up are guaranteed time with a hammer.
Materials Fee $2-$5

Daniel Foor

Boundaries, Consent, and Animist Ethics

Animism is a way of thinking, speaking, and relating with other people (both human and other-than-human) that emphasize relationships, community, and interdependence. Animist values are what some people think of when they think of Indigenous wisdom/traditions, shamanism, earth-honoring spirituality, Paganism, or whatever you like to call your version of dirt-worshipping Earth devotion. Primitive skills/rewilding organizations like Firefly and Wild Abundance are implicitly if not explicitly valuing these older relational ways of being by virtue of prioritizing local, ecologically mindful ways of relating with the rest of life.

At the same time as folks are learning to brain tan and grow awesome food, we’re also in a cultural healing moment where centuries of patriarchy, misogyny, and sexual violence are breaking through the collective denial bubble with the possibility of greater awareness, healing and cultural change. Primitive skills folks, progressive-minded Asheville transplants, grouchy luddites, and/or anarchist farmers are not immune to this necessary reckoning; to believe so is to perpetuate the denial and trouble and to fail to encourage a safe and nurturing community including for our children.

In this interactive teach-in, we’ll explore ways in which animist earth-honoring wisdoms bring relevant skills and awareness to the imperative to become personally and communally skillful around topics of boundaries and consent. We’ll explore how the ways in which we navigate consent and boundaries in one aspect of life are likely to inform others. We’ll open a discussion about what animist-informed processes of accountability could look like (beyond blowing people up on social media). There will be plenty of time for kind, connective dialogue around tricky, charged topics and we’ll also enjoy some experiential safety-minded boundary practice.

David Wynn

Bowdrilling

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, this is your opportunity! We’ll be exploring the way of the bow-drill. Covering everything from harvesting materials, kit craft, nesting processing, and bow-drill technique. Leave with a set of your own making and an invaluable skill! Must bring a sharp knife and sharp safety.

Barron Brown

Bowl Carving

Come and learn how to carve a wooden bowl with hand tools with Barron Brown.

Bring a sharp knife.

Age limit: 12 and older unless accompanied by an adult.

Rebekah Luhrs

Circle Ceremony (Yoga Flow)

Coming together in a circle signifies the unity and desire to co-exist together in harmony, to support one another and allow ourselves to be supported. The goal is to move as one, breathe as one and sound as one, uniting everyone included in the circle. In this ceremony, participants explore new ways to practice movement and breath as one. With the support of others, balance postures in yoga become steady; with the assist of others, stretches sink deeper and feel especially delicious, and simply the physical connection to another promotes communication, openness, and support. In closing, we discuss how and if we can incorporate this level of support within our existing communities and what the benefits would be.

Bring water and a yoga mat if you have one (or a blanket).

Dawn Mathews

Drop Spindle Spinning

Drop spindle spinning has been use in almost every ancient civilization and continues to be used today around the world. I will provide the spindles and fiber needed to make yarn. Two hours is all it will take to learn the basics and after that you can purchase a spindle if you wish to take your skills to the next level at home. $5 charge for class includes fiber.

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening and Care: Knives and Scrapers

Use and sharpening of edge tools. This session will focus on Knives and Scrapers, but we can sharpen and go over maintenance for whatever edge tools you bring. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tools and sharpening equipment.

Graham Wesley

Embodiment, Boundaries, + Resiliency

Embodiment in practice is the cultivation of deep, conscious awareness of the integration of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Get a useful introduction to this experience with a hearty helping of self care and inspiration. We’re sensitive creatures, and the challenges of our living can cause real stress, discomfort, and burden in our day-to-day. But our bodies offer clear and direct examples about how to navigate the challenges of our experience with more perspective, how to facilitate our capacity to handle the heavy stuff when we need or choose to, and how to keep our integrity and boundaries even when we engage in difficult experiences. This is deep self care and potent inspiration for our creaturely ways of being.

Jason Drevenak

Friction Fire Free For All

This class will introduce the fundamentals of fire by friction using the hand and bow and drill methods. We will work on components of each method, body posture and mechanics, material choices and natural tinder. Come by for the whole session or just stop by to work on something specific.

Bill Parravano

Functional Movement, Breathing, & Relaxation

This class is all about your nervous system and the tension we train it to hold onto (or not)! We will cover the importance of functional movement, breathing and relaxation in the context of primitive/homestead living. Be prepared to move in ways you never thought possible and gain flexibility through breathing that is both dynamic and exhilarating. You will move away from the class with a deeper understanding of your body and the role your nervous system plays in how you feel.

Lena Eastes

Herbal Allies for Rites of Passage Ceremonies

In this class we will experience calling on plants to support our transition from one life stage to another. Come to learn specific plant rituals for the red tent, coming of age, birth and entering motherhood, postpartum and how to ritually dance with plant allies for cleansing, seeking clarity and guidance and for making offerings.

Particpants will take some herbal allies home with them and a small donation is requested to support this. Please bring 2 of your own empty quart size (or smaller) jars or other vessels to reduce our use of plastic.

Julia McDowell

Humanure and Composting Toilets

Grow food with your poop! We will discuss the normal waste water system vs. humanure waste saving or utilizing system. We will also talk about various ways to set up a humanure system in your home/on your land including several examples of composting toilet design and certain legal aspects.

Scott Sullivan

Leather Wallet Making

We will be using up-cycled leather to make simple wrap around style wallets and bi-fold wallets.
We will use different style and techniques of stitching using artificial sinew or leather lacing.

Jessica Kaufman

Needle Felting

This is a fantastic skill to have: turning loose wool roving into strong, useful felt WITHOUT needing any water or soap or manual strength for scrubbing/agitating! Using one simple (and very affordable) tool, the barbed needle, we will create faces, figures, pouches, patches, etc with sheep’s wool and the barbed needle only. Everyone is successful in this class, and projects turn out better than most folks imagine. This is a popular class because needle felting is so portable: you can bring your project to any lecture class and work away quietly while listening to other instructors. Learn everything you need to create a beautifully felted project. You can also repair holes in wool clothing with needle felting, and add decoration to natural fiber garments. Imagine felting sweet vines and leaves pictorially in woll onto your favorite hat, jacket, sweater, or backpack… See you there! Kids welcome with an adult companion. Materials fee is $5/person.

Laura Roscoe

Pineneedle Baskets

Come learn to coil a beautiful pineneedle basket. adults only

Jeffrey Gottlieb

Rabbits from Farm to Table: Processing and Preparation

We will take farm raised rabbits, learn to humanely and reverently kill, skin and handle the meat for cooking prep.

Free to watch and take notes and photographs.

If you want to do the whole process hands-on and keep the rabbit with all its useful parts, the fee is $25. Must contact instructor ahead of time to reserve a rabbit.

Email Jeff at argskids@optonline.net OR: call or text Jeff at 631-457-9009

Limit 12 students, and 5 rabbits.

Chuck Blethen

Rope Making

Learn how to make rope using a simple rope making machine that can be made out of scrap wood and coat hangers. Rope will be made our of commercial twine as well as left over bailing twine from an old barn.

talcon quinn

Sewing Buckskin Bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

Learn how to sew with brain tanned buckskin!
In this class you will create a beautiful and functional buckskin bag, big enough to hold your phone and other essentials!
Learn how to lay out patterns appropriately on a skin, how to sew three beautiful, classic and versatile stitches with
buck skin thong and an awl.
Braintanned Buckskin is provided for a materials fee, as well as an awl to use or purchase. If you have your own brain tanned buckskin you may use it, but please, don’t sign up and instead talk with
instructor (Talcon Quinn) first.
This class is ALL DAY! & open to youth, who are dexterous or accompanied by an adult.
Class fee sliding scale 45-75 bucks.

Ashlyn Cornelius

Shelter Making and Things to Avoid

This is a talk (with maybe a little bit of walk?) based class. What a person should be aware of when making shelters, as well as what to definitely not do is discussed in a conversational setting or via a lecture, depending on the class! This ties into a preparedness mindset as well as an aware one. Shelters that use gear as well as don’t are discussed. If you want to see what else we go over/do, come join me!

Shawn Kelly

Simple spoon carving

Come learn an easy, safe way to carve a spoon. I have this listed as a morning class but it may spill in to the afternoon to allow time to finish your spoon. This is listed as an adult class but ok to bring your little person with you as long as they are supervised. Please try to bring a sharp knife; a few loaners available. No cost for this class.

Nancy Basket

Small Coiled Kudzu Market Basket

Learn to sew plant fibers together making a rectangular basket with handle. No kudzu? No problem! Find out what can be used instead. Cherokee stories included. Scissors or a knife will be helpful.

Spencer Two Dogs

Stick Jiu Jutsu

This is a continuation for anyone wanting more and for beginners!

Compassionate compliance is a term that refers to control of a violent or dangerous person without permanent or lasting injury. Stick Jiu Jutsu is a practice of applying effective holds, locks, and chokes using common and everyday stick-like objects. All experience levels welcome, be prepared for respecftul discomfort. Principles and techniques will come from arts of Kali, hanbojutsu, bo jutsu, and others. Spencer teaches locally through his own school and as a traveling guest.

Steve Torma

The Art of Intimacy (NVC) Level 1

Staying centered in any situation, moving beyond stalemates with Nonviolent Communication, forgiving others and yourself, hearing the yes behind every no, being flexible without being submissive, expressing anger or disappointment without judgment or blame, and more. With the former president of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Luke McLaughlin

The Zen art of Hand Drill

All are welcome! Come and learn the ancient art of making fire with 2 sticks! The hand drill was the preferred fire making method for so many indigenous cultures because of it’s simplicity and ease. Come and learn how to pray to the fire gods. We will share stories of fire and talk about the finer details of technique.

Alinahh Ever

Tuning & Toning Our Voices

We will work with ancient Essene and Vedic practices that connect us deeply with our hearts and use our voices to tune in to ourselves and all creation. Toning and tuning our voices, we will move into using sacred sounds to soothe the soul and empower us to express ourselves fully. We will end with beautiful songs in several languages that are intended to heal humans and send our love to Mama Earth. No singing experience or ability necessary. These are practices to honor your self and become a full member of the singing species that we are. Your birthright is to sing and express yourself fully through your voice. This circle will support you in your journey of joyful healing and empowerment.

Jillian Bowman

Womb Reconnection Meditation

As Modern women we are profoundly disconnected to the Wisdom and energy of our Wombs. In tuning into this sacred space we open the channel to our ancestral lines, connection to our higher selves and can begin to heal. Our Wombs hold energetic imprints, essences of past lovers, and negative experiences. Without cleansing these energies pile up like armor within us . This can cause disconnection, pain, stifled creative and sexual energy, irregular cycles and inability to receive and open to pleasure. Womb Meditation helps us initiate the healing process, remember our Wildness and clear ourselves of things we no longer need. A beautiful honoring of the goddess energy that flows within and without us.

Doug Elliott

Woodslore, Weeds, and Useful Wild Plants Walk

Come on a magical journey with Ranger Doug through the fields and forests to learn about the old-timey ways and connections to the natural world, hear about our regions heritage and crafts, and become familiar with some useful plants and animals. Not to mention, he might have an entertaining song or a story or two to share…

Friday (6/22/2018) – Afternoon

Godi Godar

Ancestral Rights, Land Rights – Preserving Rainforests by Preserving Culture

The connection between the earth and the people living here is precious and must be treated with dignity and respect. In the area we working, this means protecting and reinstating tribal land rights and helping communities protect their rainforest homes while empowering them through initiatives like clean water and education that make their lives healthier and more sustainable.

It’s easy to be worried about the state of the environment. We are all wondering if we are doing enough to protect the earth for ourselves and future generations. There’s talk of global warming, melting ice caps, smog, and turbulent weather. We know the rainforests are important, and we want to protect them!

There are large communities of people living in extreme poverty in these rainforests. When multinational companies take over these lands for logging or farming, not only do they destroy the rainforests, damaging the earth’s environment, but they devastate the lives of the people living here, leaving them with even fewer resources for survival. Meanwhile, in their efforts to survive, these communities often use farming and fishing methods that further damage these ecosystems.

Most of us have never lived without access to a school, water, or food. We haven’t had to drink the water we wash our clothes in. We’ve never lost a child to starvation or a simple preventable infection. But for 790,000,000 people, these are the daily realities of their lives.

At GCEarth, we have developed an approach that preserves large tracts of rainforest while fighting poverty and cultivating long-term sustainable practices within the communities living there.

Godi will cover some of these contentious issues, explain what Go Conscious Earth is doing to address them, and how we can all do our part to help preserve rainforests and the human cultures and communities who call them home!

Sara Callaway

Applied Medicine Wheel Teachings – 8 Directions, 8 Shields

The rhythm of the natural world was once the rhythm that people lived by as well. Deep in our bones and psyches, I think we still expect things to unfold as they do in nature.
As the sun moves through the sky, as the seasons move through the year, energies awaken, increase, peak, decrease, and slumber again. So let’s take a look at nature’s map for life and see how it can help us navigate this journey. We’ll use the lens of the 8 directions, the medicine wheel – a tool many cultures have used through time. We’ll look at the energies of the 8 directions and how they are reflected in the natural cycles of a day, a year, plant life, human life, the life of a relationship, the life of a project, and more. And we’ll discuss how we can tap into those energies to better understand and design for life experiences.

Tod Kershaw

Blacksmithing Basics

This class is for people who want to get started blacksmithing! This information-rich class will cover topics such as choosing charcoal vs. coal, building your forge, choosing your material (raw steel vs. re-using/recycling old metal), and repairing broken metal tools. Those who signup will get at least 5-10 minutes of hammer-time. Whoever wants to come can come and watch but only the 12 who sign up are guaranteed time with a hammer.

Materials Fee $2-$5

Barron Brown

Bowl Carving

Come and learn how to carve a wooden bowl with hand tools with Barron Brown.

Bring a sharp knife.

Age limit: 12 and older unless accompanied by an adult.

Liat Bashira

Consentual Cuddle Class

This class is designed with the intention of allowing people to experience nonsexual group physical intimacy through cuddling. We will talk about and practice consent. We will also practice making requests and saying no. We will share some games and then settle in to cuddle time where folks might relax in silence or share conversation. You may be touching just a hand or be completely engulfed in bodies. This is a safe space where you have to ask and receive a “yes” before you can touch someone else. Also, you do not have to touch anyone. You can come and practice expressing your boundaries!
Please come on time. The “doors” will close 10 min after class start time. You are welcome to bring pillows.
*please note: that the relaxation station will also be open for less structured consentual touch in the late afternoons

Fuz Sanderson

Didgeridoo Making and Playing

Fuz Sanderson will teach you how to make and decorate your own bamboo didgeridoo. We’ll touch on the cultural history of Australian original peoples and other uses of bamboo. The class will finish with playing techniques and circular breathing.
There is a materials fee of $ 10-$20, pay what you can afford.
Class limit 14
Age 13 and above.

Lee Barnes

Dowsing for Water, Springs and Better Intuitive Answers

Dowsing involves intuitive skills way beyond finding potable water. Want to increase your acute awareness and search for something of need- fresh water, needed herbs, safest way home?. Dowsing searches begin with asking very specific, clearly worded questions to find the best answers and results such as finding water, lost objects, and learning to trust your intuition. Dowsing is an ancient, time-tested techniques to sense the unseen and connect with distant things.
Learn basic sensory awareness of underground flowing water and techniques to sense subtle electromagnetic energy changes to estimate depth to main, year-around potable water aquifer, make estimates of water yield, water quality, and depth to bedrock. Anyone can use the same focus to find herbs, judge animal trails, avoid uncomfortable energies and generally connect to all that you can access beyond your basic senses.
Basic dowsing tools will be provided at no-fee. Lee was honored as the 2012 Dowsing Educator of the Year by the American Society of Dowsers.

Steven Townsend

Drum circle 101

We are going to practice certain etiquette that makes for a successful drum circle. This will include Awareness(Mind),Technique(Body),Intent(Soul), This class is offered to all skilled and unskilled drummers, Also if you have never drummed but are curious or interested there will be a limited number of drums available. Lets Drum!

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening and Care: Chisels and Gouges

Use and sharpening of edge tools. This session will focus on Chisels and Gouges, but we can sharpen and go over maintenance for whatever edge tools you bring. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tools.

Luke Learningdeer

Edible, Medicinal and Wondrous Plants of Field and Forest

Let’s walk and meet some of the astounding and generous Plants and Trees of the gathering, and discus their Edible, Medicinal, and Wondrous gifts.
Bring a notebook, and a spirit of exploration. We’ll be diving deep into the green and wild world

Tracy Wilson

Fire-Starting Ferro Rods

Ferrocerium Rod usage

This class is a combination of lecture, demonstration and hands on learning that will help you get the most out of your Ferro rod.

Adults and children are encouraged to work together as a team.

Bring your own Ferro Rod and the materials fee is waived. There is a materials fee of $13.00 if you need to purchase a Ferro rod.

James Clinkscales

Flintknapping the stone scraper for fleshing hides

In this class students will be using stone and antler tools to reduce and shape stone tools with emphasis on making a scraper for fleshing hides. Percussion and pressure flaking techniques of reduction will be demonstrated and hands on practice is encouraged. Bipolar percussion techniques will also be demonstrated. Copper Ishi tools and safety glasses will also be provided.
Advanced flintknappers welcome to hone those skills and bring them to the next level!

Elise Damilatis

Herbalism 101

Come learn the basics of herbal medicine – philosophy, plant identification, medicine making, and some first aid.

Tyler Lavenburg

Intro to Brain Tanning

An introduction to making buckskin using brain-tanning techniques.

Steve Torma

Introduction to Sacred Sexuality

After our survival instinct, sexual energy is the most powerful force in the human experience. How do we access and guide this energy? With the heart. And what guides our heart? The overall spiritual purpose of our lives. When all three are combined: sex, heart, and spirit, we can live a deeply satisfying life of service to our ultimate vision. Ideas and practices for improving your physical and emotionally-intimate relationships. With the former President of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Maurice White

Jewelry-Making and Wire Wrapping Techniques

Free, unlimited jewelry supplies and instruction. I have sea glass from the Bahamas, sea shells, beads, wire-wrapping supplies, and more. Come learn some cool wire-wrapping techniques for making charms and have some fun with others, creating funky designs!

Scott Sullivan

Leather Wallet Making

We will be using up-cycled leather to make simple wrap around style wallets and bi-fold wallets.
We will use different style and techniques of stitching using artificial sinew or leather lacing.

Grant Adkisson

Mead Making with Grant and Asa

Magical Mead Making – Fundamentals of Brewing and Cultural Inoculation

Learn to make the rarest of vintages, honeywine using fruit, medicinal herbs, spices, and more. Whether medicinal or purely recreational, we will discuss the history of mead and the various cultures and cultural customs surrounding this magical brew. Experience a mini Mead Circle and savor the taste of a cold winter day in summer, or the nectar of another time and place in each unique brew. Up to 20 participants can join and watch the demonstration. There will be enough materials on hand for up to 15 people to brew their own small batch to take home with a materials fee of 25$ to cover the cost of the raw, (non-alcoholic) materials, and starter brewing setup. Gain your own brewing independence and enjoy your own rarest of vintages at a fraction of the price of store bought meads.

Materials Fee: $25 to take home your own 1/2 gallon of brew. $35 for 1 gallon. Limit 15 people to take-home a new brew. More can observe without paying a materials fee.

***(THIS CLASS IS FOR ADULTS 21 AND OVER ONLY)*** ***(THIS CLASS IS FOR ADULTS 21 AND OVER ONLY)*** ***(THIS CLASS IS FOR ADULTS 21 AND OVER ONLY)***

Ivy Lynn

Medicine Making

This is a medicine making overview: covering the range of common medicine making – infusions, vinegars, tinctures, oils/salves. We will actually make a tincture and a salve.

liz thecowgirl

Milking 101

Come try your hand at milking one of our Guernsey cows!

We’ll also discuss other cow-related topics during our time together.

Please wear closed-toed shoes.

**This class is an ADULT class. Mature children age 12+ are welcome with a guardian and closed toed shoes.

Spencer Two Dogs

Ninja Sensory Development

Ninja Sensory development

Come play with your sense of sight, sound, smell, touch …… taste? And more! Games and drills designed to be taken back home and used in your own family or classes will help us explore many senses and information sources of the human organism. Ninja Sensory development will give you tools for wilderness time or urban awareness. We will acknowledge and play with the role of intuition as a survival mechanism as well.

Natalie Bogwalker

Permaculture in the Landscape

In this introduction to Permaculture, we will see how the principles of permaculture can be positively or negatively demonstrated in the landscape and in your lives.

This class transforms the theoretical into tangible to help you apply permaculture to your everyday life.

This will be a walking class, so please arrive on time.

Bari Caton

Peyote Beadwork for Beginners

Learn the basics of peyote bead stitching using large needles, yarn and large beads that don’t require a magnifying glass. I’ll have lots peyote samples for inspiration. I’ll repeat this same beginner class on Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon, plus an advanced class using the tiny #11 seed beads on Saturday afternoon. Older children (ages 10+) welcome, but check with instructor first. Please be on time; we have a lot to do!

Laura Roscoe

Pineneedle Baskets

Learn to make a beautiful pineneedle basket using a coiling technique that can be applied to other materials.

Kearsley Schweller

Returning Blood to the Earth

As womxn bodied beings, we are blessed with lunar rhythmic cycles that connect us to nature. Come reconnect with your femininity as we explore the ancient Blood mysteries & rituals of reconnection from returning our moon blood back to the earth. It has been said that once womxn return their blood back to the earth, there will be no more blood needed on the battlefield. And so it is, that when we water our relationship with our own Feminine that we water the healing of the Feminine on our earth. Come to be held in a radical remembrance of your power, we are so honored to sit in circle with you, Sister… Welcome Home.

*Any and all humans who are inspired by this class are welcome to join*

Chuck Blethen

Rope Splicing

Learn how to splice rope. This skill is useful for repairing broken rope without the use of knots that will easily travel through pulleys, preventing rope ends from fraying, and add useful permanent loops in the end of rope.

talcon quinn

Sewing Buckskin Bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

Learn how to sew with brain tanned buckskin!
In this class you will create a beautiful and functional buckskin bag, large enough to hold your phone and other essentials.
Learn how to lay out patterns appropriately on a skin, how to sew three beautiful, classic and versatile stitches, with
buck skin thong and an awl.
Braintanned Buckskin is provided for a materials fee, as well as an awl to use or purchase. You may use your own brain tanned buckskin, but please do not sign up for the class and instead talk with
instructor (Talcon Quinn) first.
This class is ALL DAY! & open to youth, who are dexterous or accompanied by an adult.
Class fee sliding scale 45-75 bucks.

Nancy Basket

Small Coiled Kudzu Market Basket

Learn to sew plant fibers together making a rectangular basket with handle. No kudzu? No problem! Find out what can be used instead. Cherokee stories included. Scissors or a knife will be helpful.

Lena Eastes

Solstice Flower Crowns and Flower Mandala

Adorn your crown with the beauty of the flowers! Let’s celebrate summer solstice and the fullness of the light within our souls, and the full blossom and vitality of Mother Earth!

We will craft our crowns with locally grown heirloom flowers from our family farm: Blossoming Hearts in Candler, NC.

Making flower crowns brings together many of my passions beauty, flowers, floral design, celebration, craft and the power of love and intention.

In this class each participant will make their own fresh flower crown or create one for a loved one.

This is a great class for all ages so bring your family and let’s surround ourselves with beautiful flowers and beautiful blessings for one another and Mother Earth. We will also do some singing.

Once we’ve made our crowns we will co-create a flower mandala!

Fermenti. foods

Vegetable Fermantation

Basic and Advanced Principles of both Self Brining and Brined Vegetable Fermentation. General discussion with a Make and Take component with a Q&A to follow. Additional technical support is provided as well.

$10 materials fee covers the “Make and Take” materials, enough for 20 people.

Friday (6/22/2018) – Evening

Yona FrenchHawk

Cherokee Sweat Lodge

Yona is a full-blooded member of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Born and raised on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee NC Yona has a deep connection to Turtle Island/Mother Earth. He will share the Cherokee Prophesy of Feminine and Masculine and how they live in balance to honor all life and living things. Through ceremony, song, and honoring, Yona has been tasked by his Tsalagi elders to continue to weave the web of life by sharing the Tsalagi way and helping to connect all the colors of the rainbow.

Drink lots of fluids. Men will be wearing shorts and women we ask to wear a skirt or wrap and a loose fitting top that covers the shoulders. Also bring a towel.

Age Limit 18 and Older ONLY

liz thecowgirl

Evening Milking Demonstration with Q & A 7:30pm

Join us after dinner while we milk one of our cows for a casual “cow side chat.”
We will do the milking while folks ask questions related to farming.
Subject matter could include: cow health, pasture management, portable fencing, milk processing, kids and agriculture, and more…..

Bring your mug or jar for a taste of warm, fresh milk!

*This is not a hands on class. To try your hand at milking, please sign up for “Milking 101.”

Alinahh Ever

Fire Songcircle

We will be singing songs related to our beautiful earth and other songs that warm the heart and tickle our fancies! Silly songs and rounds welcome too! Bring a song or just your lovely self. This will be in the evening around the Ancestor fire.

All ages welcome!

Phil Ferguson

Swordplay Arena

The Wandering Swordsmen will run the Swordplay Arena each evening from 7:00-9:30pm during the last light of the day Thursday-Saturday. We will run field battles from 7-9pm, including games like capture the flag, javelin dodgeball, and archery tag!

7:00-8:00 will be reserved for youth ages 15 and under.
8:00-9:00 will be for adults ages 16+.

From 9-9:30pm we will light up the 20′ wide arena tent for tournament style games including 1v1 and 2v2 tournaments with single sword, sword and shield, dual sword, and other weapon styles.

All our boffer gear is made for full contact combat and tested monthly for compliance with the regulations provided by The Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, a national boffer league with very strict standards for safety and game play. All our swords, shields, spears, javelins, bows, arrows, and other gear are designed to safely engage in the highly physical and athletic sport of boffing, or padded weapon combat. All players must have a waiver on file to play, and minors must have their waiver filled out by a legal guardian. We will have paper copies of the waiver on site.

We will also have gear for sale and information about our summer camps and classes for all ages of people who are interested in this growing sport! Come check out our donation based weekly battles every Sunday at Carrier Park in West Asheville from 1-3pm for kids and 3-6pm for adults! See our website at www.thewanderingswordsmen.com for more information.

Jeffrey Gottlieb

Trade Blanket Ceremony

Come one, come all! Meet in the big Craftlands Tent at 6:30 (right after supper time begins). Bring things to trade, especially if they are handmade, edible, wearable, books, tools, etc, useful and/or desirable to earthskills people. This is a Fur Trade Era (1820s) ceremony done during rendezvous when mountain men, trappers, prospectors and explorers came together to exchange their goods. Like a cross between an auction and a poker game, it has excitement, suspense, drama, pageantry, humor and tons of fun! Bring your goods and a chair. Participants sit in the inner circle, observers in the outer.

Saturday (6/23/2018) – Early Morning (before breakfast)

Luke Learningdeer

Come Meet the Birds Around You!

Yes it’s Early… but this is when the birds will be most active!

We will walk, look and listen… and learn to identify the various species about our gathering by voice, appearance, behavior and placement on the landscape.

If you’d like to go even deeper – sign up for the “Introduction to Birds and Bird Language” during the Saturday AM classes. See you there!

liz thecowgirl

Morning Milking Demonstration with Q & A 8:30am

Join us at 8:30am while we milk one of our cows for a casual “cow side chat.”
We will do the milking while folks ask questions related to farming.
Subject matter could include: cow health, pasture management, portable fencing, milk processing, kids and agriculture, and more…..

Bring your mug or jar for a taste of warm, fresh milk!

*This is not a hands on class. To try your hand at milking, please sign up for “Milking 101.”

Lena Eastes

Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

I’m currently in what will be a life long apprenticeship in the way of tea and learnig the traditional japanese matcha tea ceremony with my sensei Emiko Suzuki who lives in Hendersonville.

Very much a beginner, I love sitting meditatively with the tea.

We will be having a meditative early morning (7am pre-breakfast) tea ceremony inspired by my study of the tea ceremony and unique to firefly and to the morning and who shows up.

Come for a meditation and tea, hopefully we can all meet in the present.

Tara Rawson

Therapeutic Flying Thai

Join us for connection and restoration for the physical and emotional body. Refine listening closely to your own body and needs while you learn tools to tune into others’ energetic and physical needs. It’s like your own personal yoga therapy and bodywork session where we’ll fly each other, stretch each other and use compression techniques to enhance our partner’s healing experience. This is a perfect Sunday morning activity to work out the kinks from the weekend and it’s great for beginners.

Kid Friendly.

Please bring your own blanket, towel or tapestry.

Saturday (6/23/2018) – Morning

Zev Friedman

Applied Appalachian Agro-forestry

We’ll walkabout the Firefly site observing ecological succession as an origin point for understanding how to interact gainfully with forested landscapes in real time. Then we’ll go into more depth with 4 or 5 cherry-picked agro-forestry techniques that serve multiple functions while addressing common needs/challenges in this region (things like eroding pastures, low organic matter in soil for annual crops, managing edges of roads and clearings, feeding livestock, creating fences). We’ll talk plant species and varieties and propagation, integration of animals and fungi, cultural and ritual and economic dimensions, realistic work planning, foods and medicines and how to stage things through time. Then we’ll hear about people’s specific sites and split briefly into thematic discussion groups. The goal is that you leave with at least one agro-forestry technique you can begin practicing in the next year.

Ivy Lynn

Aphrodisiacs, libido and deep holistic health

We will talk about the many layers of libido support including food and herbs. We will consider how it connects to our overall health. We will make an aphrodisiac elixer and sample it.

Alexandra Tait

Archery Lesson and Shoot

Traditional Archery Lesson and Shoot. We will stretch, go over equipment, maybe talk some archery lore, learn form and shoot arrows. We will use fiberglass composite recurve bows and wooden arrows shot into straw bales. Ages mature 8 and up.

Rebekah Luhrs

Beginner AcroYoga

In a culture where we have lost a deep level of physical connection, AcroYoga offers a space where people can connect with one another, build trust, and develop deep and meaningful relationships. Rooted in the mindfulness of yoga, AcroYoga is a practice that is available for every body, age, and ability. It is a dynamic partner practice that blends the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and the loving kindness of healing arts. In this session, we will dive into the foundations of the AcroYoga practice. We will start with a brief overview of the philosophy behind the practice, and then move into a warm up and foundational postures and therapeutic inversions. Through this session, we will work closely with spotters, providing a safe and supported environment for newcomers to immerse themselves in practice. In this particular part of the practice, we learn how to build trust in partnerships, how to communicate, let go, and play.

Lee Golos

Biochar for the Masses

Learn about the fastest, cleanest, cheapest, and most efficient method of producing high-quality biochar, with no upfront costs or specialized equipment. The applications, chemistry, and biology of biochar are also discussed. We will construct a flame-shield kiln and then use it to produce a substantial amount of high-quality biochar within minutes. You can take some biochar home with you if you’d like.

Marion Hearth

Birth Story Circle

Let’s come together in a safe circle and share (and be witnessed) in our stories of childbirth – our own birth and/or the births of our children. By sharing these powerful, beautiful, and sometimes traumatic stories we dive into a deeper awareness of how the portal of birth impacts us, our community, and our world. By telling and hearing these stories we reclaim the tradition of the birth story, a remembering of where we came from and where we are going…

Walter Tipton

Biscuits n Gravy!

You know you love ’em and now it’s time to master the magic.
We’ll make BnG with the simplest tools and materials available.
Vegetarian friendly, we’ll make a nice onion gravy.
This will not be a gluten free event.

Tod Kershaw

Blacksmithing

This class is for people who want to get started blacksmithing! This information-rich class will cover topics such as choosing charcoal vs. coal, building your forge, choosing your material (raw steel vs. re-using/recycling old metal), and repairing broken metal tools. Those who signup will get at least 5-10 minutes of hammer-time. Whoever wants to come can come and watch but only the 12 who sign up are guaranteed time with a hammer.

Materials Fee $2-$5

talcon quinn

Buckskin Bikini Tops (ALL DAY)

Make yourself a custom tailored buckskin bikini top! You will learn how to make a pattern and some fundamentals for sewing with buckskin.
Leather and tools are provided with the material fee. Students who have their own brain tanned buckskin are welcome to use their own for the class and do not need to sign up for the class, but they do need to talk to the instructor (Talcon Quinn) prior.

Fee:Sliding scale 60-100 bucks. This is an all day class.

Ian Snider

Chainsaw 101

We will go over the basic care and use of chainsaws, how to safely fell a tree, and break it down into useable material. Receive step by step instruction from a seasoned woodsman and his family who make their living from the Appalachian Forest.

Fuz Sanderson

Coal Burning Spoons – Fire as a Tool

An ancient method of using fire to shape wood – we’ll take coals from the fire to shape the bowl portion and carve out the rest.

You will need a sharp knife

Age 12 and older

Peace Weaver

CONSCIOUS CLOTHING – What are you wearing? plus MENDING and UPCYCLING clinic.

Do you know what you are wearing? What is it made from? Where is it made? Who made it, and how?
To live sustainably on planet earth, and to make good eco-choices it’s good to know what you’re wearing.

Clothing is one of the most powerful, expressions of who we are and what tribe we are from.
Learn the difference between types of fabrics and the difference between the CONSTRUCTION of cloth, vs. the CONTENT of the cloth. We will also learn how to avoid drycleaning, wash anything, and repair and upcycle.

Bring your own projects for the QandA, discussion and open mending circle. Open to all Ages (parents please accompany children).

Remaya Wind

Cultivating Fulfilling Relationships

A workshop on how we relate with one another, shifting from how we’ve been conditioned to be polite, to an authentic way of sharing ourselves and listening in ways that build compassion. This workshop builds relational skills and creates intimacy amongst the participants as well as tools to create intimacy in any relationship. Get in touch with relational and emotional nourishment.

Justina Prenatt

Discussion of Racial Equity in the Firefly Community

Join Firefly’s new Community Equity Advocate, Isa Whitaker, and Justina Prenatt, a therapist and fierce advocate for a socially and racially equitable and just world, for a facilitated discussion to address questions and concerns from community members about Racial Equity in the Firefly Community. Our focus will be to create a safe, supported space to allow for the uncomfortable feelings and sometimes difficult conversations we need to be having about race and racism. We are changing the world and building a new paradigm of thriving in the Firefly Community, so please join us to learn, share, and grow together.

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening & Care – Saws and Files

This class will focus on the sharpening,use and care of various saws. we will joint and sharpen various types of saws handsaws,crosscut saws, etc. you may bring your saws to work on but please bring a sharp 60 degree triangular file to use.

Abby Artemisia

Foraging Your First Aid Kit

Let’s take a meander through the wild places, learning which plants you can grow in your garden or wild harvest for everyday ailments and health support. We’ll discuss the basic tips and tricks of plant identification, safe and ethical foraging practices, tools, preservation, and formula making.

Nicholas Parker

Frolicking for Fungi in the Forest.

This class will go over forestall fungal concepts. We will walk and talk about how fungi work with our flora and fauna to create our natural world. Discussions edibility and toxicity and what to do if you are poisoned as well as basic foraging dos and donts. And of course there will be fungal stories and folk lore.

There is no class fee but any there will be take-home sheets so donations t offset printing costs are appreciated.

Jamie Sparks

Get spun! Beginners drop spindle with wool

Learn to take raw fleece from a sheep (or other animal) and spin it into beautiful use able yarn for knitting, crocheting or even weaving. Come try your hand and the portable and easy to use drop spindle, used for ages and through many cultures. I will have drop-spindles for your use or to purchase if you just can’t get enough!

Kennedy OneSelf

Humanitys First Musical Instrument:The Didgeridoo

We will learn about the first musical instrument played by humans on Earth. Estimated to be 60,000 years old. We’ll talk about how they were made, discovered, and explored by the oldest culture on the planet. We’ll learn how to play the didgeridoo, learn about circular breathing, tips and techniques for tonal variety. We’ll open a conversation about the culture and history, as used in ceremonies for thousands of years. We’ll touch topics like, “Why weren’t women allowed to play?” and talk about myths and stories associated with the instrument. My information has been verified as true by people who have spent much time with the aboriginal Australians, the Yolngu tribe, yet I have personally not sat with them. With reverence and respect to this culture whose instrument is quickly becoming popular all over the world, this will be a space where we can also talk about cultural appropriation, and how to be in right relationship with the melting pot of global culture.

Then we’ll be guided in a meditative listening experience, where we get to lay down and listen to the didgeridoo being played over our bodies, feeling the powerful and ancient vibration first hand. Kennedy will have 20 didgeridoos he hand made himself, out of Agave stalks.

Steven Townsend

Intro To West African Drumming

we will be practicing traditional rhythms, there history, origin, meaning. Also proper technique, solo patterns, breaks and calls. All skill levels welcomed. limited drums available

Luke Learningdeer

Introduction to Birds and Bird Language

The astounding World of Birds and Bird Language offers us new and novel insights and unexpected wisdoms that greatly expand our Awareness and understanding of the wild landscape.
Come ready to dive deep into the lives of our local feathered friends and learn practical techniques to begin the life changing journey of joining the Conversation of the Wilds.

You may also want to take the Early AM class “Come meet the Birds around You!” before hand. See Early Am sign up sheet.

Sean and Nesta Kennedy

Intuition and Action! Using Instinct to Be Safer, Happier and More Powerful

This class is all about freedom. It’s about exploring being stuck and taking the right actions to get where we need to go. We are born with a voice inside that helps us make the right decisions – both moment to moment and day to day. In this fun interactive class, deepen your intuition and use it to know what to do next. We work through movement, exploring some basic self defense scenarios in a safe and empowering environment. We also have time to take a look at places in our lives where we feel stuck and come out inspired and ready to move forward!

Eric Blevins

Knot, a class

Learn a variety of knots and hitches that can be used for many applications from tarps to climbing to vehicle tie-downs.

Scott Sullivan

Leather Wallet Making

We will be using up-cycled leather to make simple wrap around style wallets and bi-fold wallets.
We will use different style and techniques of stitching using artificial sinew or leather lacing.

Maurice White

Making a living playing guitar The Art of Gigging

Instructor Maurice White has been making a living and traveling locally and internationally by playing guitar and picking up gigs at restaurants. Learn “The Art of Gigging” and become financially “free at last”. In this class you will learn: “The 10 golden songs”; how to solicit gigs at restaurants; simplified chord techniques; how to play requested songs that you do not know on the fly; tip generating tricks; gear-(mics, PA, speakers, hardware, vocal tools); tricks on how to engage the audience; what not to do; choosing the right venue; and open discussion. A must do class for all aspiring musicians.

Jason Drevenak

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

If the shoulder bag you carry just isn’t big enough come and learn to design, lay out,and create a medium, large or Xtra large buffalo leather shoulder bag to put all your cool primitive stuff in. All materials (including leather, buckskin for lacing and tools) provided. Come by Drev’s camp to see what a finished bag looks like.

Materials fee is:

$15 for a small bag.
$20 for a medium bag,
$30 for a large bag,
and $40 for an XL bag

Shawn Kelly

Making fire with flint and steel

People have used flint and steel for years to make fire. With a little practice and preparation it works as well as a modern lighter. Learn to make fire like the mountain men.

Kelly Gaskill

Natural Dyes with Native Plants

Come explore the rich color palate found in our amazing native plants and mushrooms! We will identify the optimal plants to use and discuss mordants and common color extraction techniques as we go through the entire process of natural plant dyes.

Bring a small natural fiber for the dye pots or purchase wool yarn or silk from me…. Be super crafty and bring your dyed yarn to my weaving class on Sunday!

Matarial Fee: $3 (or more if you purchase fibers)

Scotty Karas

Nature Awareness Games

Awaken and hone your sensory awareness through games and activities. Learn to walk quietly and listen intently with fun games. Expand upon your senses of smell, touch, and taste with interactive activities. These engaging games and activities enhance our sensory awareness and bring us to the present moment. This present moment awareness enhances our ability to connect with nature, deepens our relationships, and brings about a peaceful state of mind. Learn skills, games, and activities to take home and share with your community.

Ages 8 and up

Jessica Kaufman

Needle Felting

This is a fantastic skill to have: turning loose wool roving into strong, useful felt WITHOUT needing any water or soap or manual strength for scrubbing/agitating! Using one simple (and very affordable) tool, the barbed needle, we will create faces, figures, pouches, patches, etc with sheep’s wool and the barbed needle only. Everyone is successful in this class, and projects turn out better than most folks imagine. This is a popular class because needle felting is so portable: you can bring your project to any lecture class and work away quietly while listening to other instructors. Learn everything you need to create a beautifully felted project. You can also repair holes in wool clothing with needle felting, and add decoration to natural fiber garments. Imagine felting sweet vines and leaves pictorially in woll onto your favorite hat, jacket, sweater, or backpack… See you there! Kids welcome with an adult companion. Materials fee is $5/person.

bradley jones

Perennial Vegetables, Resilient Food

Lazy Farming with Perennial Vegetables

we will talk about plants that are abundantly generous, delicious and easy to propagate.

plants will be provided.

Sara Callaway

Proactive Peacemaking

What is peace? How do we cultivate it? There are many elements that go into peaceful relations, including communication approaches, structural setups, power dynamics, internal tracking, and personal priorities. At the heart of it all is respect. Come explore an 8 shields approach to Peacemaking. If you long for greater inner peace, if you deeply desire more peace in your relationships and in your community, this is a conversation you may want to join in.

osker brown

Rewild appalachia

You are an attribute of your ecosystem. The only chance for humans to live without fossil fuels in southern appalachia lies in the restoration of the crucial ecotypes that allow for sustainable subsistence. We will discuss ecological history of the region for the past ~13,000 years of human presence here and the reciprocal effects on ecosystem function. We will then take a quick tour through some ancestral examples of European indigenous cultures. To conclude, we will describe real world strategies for putting the puzzle pieces back together and fully integrating humans into this region.

Aileen Peterson

Rewilding Womanhood: The Primal Womxn + Freebirth Salon

Join Aileen Marie of AWILDA WE’MOON to embark on a journey into reclaiming our body autonomy, exploring natural and ancestral womb-carrier health practices, and rediscovering our innate wisdom of instinctive, primal birth and mothering. Part One of the salon will discuss Our Cycles; Holistic Womb & Breast Health including body and eco-friendly menstrual products; Natural Contraception & Conscious Conception. Part Two of the Salon will open the floor for discussion around Undisturbed, Instinctive Birth, and Freebirth. Preteens nearing menarche and Teenagers are welcome!

Ashlyn Cornelius

Signaling Home: Survival Signals and Preparation

‘Whatchya gonna do so they come for you!’ Complete the song in your head if you got it, or read it again so you catch the word that changed. This class is for those interested in getting out of a bad place on more than luck and instinct without living off the land for a month! Basic signals in sounds and signs and even smoke is gone over. If the sun is bright, lets do some mirror experiments with various things to see who we can see best! Bring something shiny or a sound-maker if you want to help out.
This is the best backup knowledge to have on that bad day. What do you already know?

Dawn Mathews

Soap Making

I will teach the history and step by step soap making and various ingredients that can be used to make them. This class is for adults only.

Jeffrey Gottlieb

Southeastern Style Moccasins (Part 1)

Learn to make a pattern for your foot, choose hides, cut and sew the best fitting, most comfortable footwear you have ever had on your feet. These are the beautiful center seam moccasins made by several Southeastern tribes. Must attend both morning and afternoon sessions. Fee waived if you bring your own buckskin. Bring a pencil and sharp scissors.

Barron Brown

Spoon Carving

Learn how to carve your very own spoon with Barron Brown using just hand tools the old fashioned way. No Firefly Gathering is complete without making a spoon of your very own! bring a sharp knife!

Age limit 10 and older unless parents are present.

Steve Torma

The Art of Intimacy (NVC) Level 1

Staying centered in any situation, moving beyond stalemates with Nonviolent Communication, forgiving others and yourself, hearing the yes behind every no, being flexible without being submissive, expressing anger or disappointment without judgment or blame, and more. With the former president of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Alinahh Ever

Tuning & Toning our Voices

We will work with ancient Essene and Vedic practices that connect us deeply with our hearts and use our voices to tune in to ourselves and all creation. Toning and tuning our voices, we will move into using sacred sounds to soothe the soul and empower us to express ourselves fully. We will end with beautiful songs in several languages that are intended to heal humans and send our love to Mama Earth. No singing experience or ability necessary. These are practices to honor your self and become a full member of the singing species that we are. Your birthright is to sing and express yourself fully through your voice. This circle will support you in your journey of joyful healing and empowerment.

matt hidder

Ving Tsun (or Wing Chun) Kung Fu

In this class, you will begin to learn the basic self defense techniques of Ip Man Ving Tsuna concept-drivin style of kung fu originating from Northern China and cultivated in Hong Kong by Ip Man, made popular by Ip Man and Bruce Lee. We will also discuss the deeper, meditative aspects of practicing Ving Tsun, as well as the Buddhist ethics found within the principles and practices of Ving Tsun (e.g. relaxtion and flow) and how practicing Ving Tsun can impact one’s relationship with one’s self and life to increase overall satisfaction.

Robert Eidus

Water – designing for water on the land and homestead

Join us to discuss dual water systems with two examples: one with a spring, one with water catchment (rain barrels, reservoirs, grey-water, rain gardens)

Sangoma

WeMoon Ceremony of Inipi

This will be a Sweat Lodge Ceremony of purification for all women. Bring towels. Drink plenty of water, all day!

Doug Elliott

Woodslore, Weeds, and Useful Wild Plants Walk

Come on a magical journey with Ranger Doug through the fields and forests to learn about the old-timey ways and connections to the natural world, hear about our regions heritage and crafts, and become familiar with some useful plants and animals. Not to mention, he might have an entertaining song or a story or two to share…

Saturday (6/23/2018) – Afternoon

Raymond pate

Emergency Suturing , Keeping Them in Stitches

For more serious accidents when laughter may not be the best medicine. We will cover basic suture techniques necessary for emergency wound closure. Students will then get to practice these techniques on a suture board and pig skin. I have supplies for 16 students.

Godi Godar

African Bow and Arrow Making

Students will see a demonstration by the instructor and then have the opportunity to make their own African-style bow. If time allows, we will also have some time to practice a few shots!

Steven Townsend

Afternoon Drum Circle (Voice of the Village)

It is said that a village without music is dead. we are going to bring life into our Firefly village. this will be a slightly guided intentional experience, all instruments and skill levels are welcome! There will be a limited number of drums and music makers available.

Tod Kershaw

Blacksmithing Basics

This class is for people who want to get started blacksmithing! This information-rich class will cover topics such as choosing charcoal vs. coal, building your forge, choosing your material (raw steel vs. re-using/recycling old metal), and repairing broken metal tools. Those who signup will get at least 5-10 minutes of hammer-time. Whoever wants to come can come and watch but only those who sign up are guaranteed time with a hammer.

Materials Fee $2-$5

Tyler Lavenburg

Bone Tools: How many Things can You Make from a Deer Leg?

In this class we will butcher the lower leg of white tailed deer. Then we’ll make a variety of tools that include sewing awl and needles, bone knives, buttons, pendants, and so much more! We will cover various methods for harvesting, splitting, grinding, and shaping bone.

$5 material fee

talcon quinn

Buckskin Bikini Tops (ALL DAY)

Continuation of morning class.

Mateo Ryall

Capoeira Foundations

Learn the basic movements and art of Capoeira. The class will cover defensive techniques, the basic motions of the dance and roda, while also providing instructions on kicks, offensive moves and general movement for this ancient art.

Ian Snider

Chainsaw 101

We will go over the basic use and care of a chainsaw, learn to safely fell a tree, and break it down into useable material. Receive instruction from a seasoned woodsman and his family who make their living from the Appalachian Forest.

Tracy Wilson

Fire-Starting Ferro Rods and How to Use Them

Ferro-Rod Use
This class is a combination of lecture, demonstration and hands on learning that will help you get the most out of your Ferro rod.

Adults and children are encouraged to work together as a team.

Bring your own Ferro Rod and the materials fee is waived. There is a materials fee of $13.00 if you need to purchase a rod from the insturcutor.

Barron Brown

Fish Net Weaving

Join Barron Brown to learn the ancient art of fish net weaving using shuttles, cordage, and one special knot. Take home your own shuttle or use ours. We will also discuss the history of nets and chat about different types of nets while we weave. 5$ donation for materials.

Nicholas Parker

Frolicking for Fungi in the Forest

This class will go over forestall fungal concepts. We will walk and talk about how fungi work with our flora and fauna to create our natural world. Discussions edibility and toxicity and what to do if you are poisoned as well as basic foraging dos and donts. And of course there will be fungal stories and folk lore.

There is no class fee but any there will be take-home sheets so donations t offset printing costs are appreciated.

Kat Shaw

Herbal First Aid

Herbal medicines can be effectively used to treat a variety of conditions such as infections, sprains, digestive disorders, allergic reactions and more. Come learn about a few very useful medicinal plants and the nuances of using herbal medicines in first aid scenarios.

Grant Adkisson

Hunting – the basics

This class will be an intro to the art of hunting for food, fur, bone, etc. We will go over some helpful exercises, cover critical gear and other gear to consider, legal issues, etc.

All things hunting. Questions and discussion are welcome.

Michele Gee

Infant Massage

Come and learn techniques for soothing your baby and toddler with massage. Hands-on experiential learning to guide you into deeper bonding and connection with your little one. Keep in mind that babies on the move WILL likely be on the move 🙂 Head to toe massage skills to help increase infants coordination and sense of self. Infant massage improves circulation, digestion, and nervous system function. Plus, it is SUCH good medicine to be around a bunch of naked babies! Coconut oil provided. Please bring a blanket/towel to lay your baby on.

Remaya Wind

Intro to Circling

We will cover specific skills and techniques used in the art of circling, which is a practice of deep listening and feeling/being with what is. We will share what we notice in our own experience and explore how we impact those around us. This is also an exercise in radical honesty.

Natalie Bogwalker

Intro to Hide Tanning

All of our ancestors wore buckskin. In the class, you wil get to explorel the ancient art of creating braintan buckskin yourself.

Natalie has tanned a massive number of hides over the last 15 years, and has made a wide array of garments out of buckskin for herself and for clients. She has successfully taught hundreds of people how to tan hides using the braintan method.

Natalie will walk you through the steps, show you equipment and materials, and you will leave with a mini-book she wrote that will empower you on your journey to tan hides.

Luke McLaughlin

Intro to Minimalist and Endurance Running & Hunting

All are welcome! In this introductory class we will first discuss our human superpowers and how we have evolved as a species to be one of the best (and only) endurance animals on this planet! We will discuss the physical advantages and adaptations we have that allow us to run which we can use to take up distance running or persistence hunting! Luke will share his experience from going from a complete non-runner to marathons in sandals, and running down animals in Australia! Furthermore, we will discuss proper form, footware, mindsets, and obstacles. Finally, we will take some time to practice some running form, maybe we will go for a quick run too!

Courtney Brooke

Intro to Permaculture

How can your life, landscape and social systems be shaped with an intelligence that is based in ecology? Permaculture is an ethical design science that is based on the way ecosystems function and can be applied to anything from soil to water management, to food growing, to designing social systems or business structures. Permaculture is a new word for an old concept that’s putting the common back into common sense. We’ll discuss the history, foundations and global, multi-discipline applications of Permaculture concepts and its solutions-based approach to life.

Steve Torma

Introduction to Sacred Sexuality

After our survival instinct, sexual energy is the most powerful force in the human experience. How do we access and guide this energy? With the heart. And what guides our heart? The overall spiritual purpose of our lives. When all three are combined: sex, heart, and spirit, we can live a deeply satisfying life of service to our ultimate vision. Ideas and practices for improving your physical and emotionally-intimate relationships. With the former President of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

liz thecowgirl

Kids Milking

PARENTS – BRING YOUR KIDS

Come try your hand at milking one of our Guernsey cows!

We’ll also discuss other cow-related topics during our time together.

Please come with a guardian and closed toed shoes.

Bring a cup or mug for a taste of fresh (and warm) milk.

Jason Drevenak

Making Buffalo Leather Shoulder Bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

Making buffalo leather shoulder bags (ALL DAY CLASS)

If the shoulder bag you carry just isn’t big enough come and learn to design, lay out,and create a medium, large or Xtra large buffalo leather shoulder bag to put all your cool primitive stuff in. All materials (including leather, buckskin for lacing and tools) provided. Come by Drev’s camp to see what a finished bag looks like.

Materials fee is:

$15 for a small bag,
$20 for a medium bag,
$30 for a large bag,
and $40 for an Xl bag

john kraus

Making Hand-Hewn Beams (with Mark Kessler and John Kraus)

Using only human-powered tools (crosscut saw, broadax, etc.) you will learn how to take a raw log from the forest and turn it into asquare beam which can then be used for log or timber frame building.

Ivy Lynn

Medicine Making

This is a medicine making overview: covering the range of common medicine making – infusions, vinegars, tinctures, oils/salves. We will actually make a tincture and a salve.

Alex Bergdahl

Perennial Guilds and Symbiotic Plant Communities

An extension of forest gardening, perennial guilding focuses on communities of plants that work in harmony with one another to create thriving gardens that save space and stack functions. We’ll cover everything from principles of guild design, the individual and collective roles within a food forest, examples of various guilds, as well as a set of resources to dig deeper into the world of ecological abundance.

Bari Caton

Peyote Seed Beadwork – Advanced

Advanced peyote seed beadwork, also called gourd stitch. Must know how to do the basic stitch, maybe from taking my Beginner peyote class on Thursday or Friday afternoon. In this class, we will make one or two larger “carrier beads” using tiny #11 seed beads. You can search Google or Pinterest for “carrier beads” to see images of what the finished beads look like when combined into necklaces or bracelets. I’ll have lots peyote samples for inspiration. Older children (ages 10+) welcome, but check with instructor first. Please be on time; we have a lot to do!

Zev Friedman

Pragmatic Permaculture Design For Your Property Or Project (Walkabout + Discussion)

We’ll walkabout the Firefly Gathering grounds itself as a case study in eco-cultural design, observing patterns present in the landscape ecology and in human infrastructure, what’s working and what isn’t, and then sit in the shade and discuss how to apply these insights and principles within different kinds of sites and situations. We’ll have a generous 30 minutes at the end for Q&A and troubleshooting your projects.

Lee Golos

Primates, Plants & Permaculture

We will explore the significance of food forests and permaculture in human evolution, tracing their origins to the symbiotic co-evolution of primates and flowering plants over the past 60 million years. This discussion aims to situate the ideals and practices of permaculture within a broader ecological context, showing how primates have always been involved in creating their own habitats without any forethought, planning, or labor, and how this process has intensified during the evolution of monkeys, apes, and humans. It also explores the role of dietary adaptations on the trajectory of primate evolution and the ecological significance of these adaptations.

Drawn from a synthesis of published scientific research, this talk is a discussion of evolutionary agroecology, a saga of the changing habits and habitats of our distant ancestors, and a source of inspiration for permaculture design today.

Sangoma

Sacred Shields and Medicine Wheels

Nature, Superpowers and Sacred Activism: together we will share tools for deepening our connection to Mother Earth and all our relations. We will review the uses and applications of Medicine Wheels, Shields as it relates to inspiring and activating the power of the Sacred in our modern world. Peace Principles and embodying the Good Message anchors this time together. We are the Circle….and we are calling YOU!

Lee Barnes

Seed Saving Techniques and Skills

– learn hands-on techniques how to collect, clean, store, and germinate common vegetable and useful annual and perennial seeds. Saving seeds is relatively simple and by harvesting genetically diverse open pollinated seeds of superior plants, we can preserve our cultural heritage of food, medicinal, fiber, useful, beneficial butterfly and insect plants, and other ornamental plants. Specific techniques for cleaning and storing both dry or wet seeds will be highlighted through practical demonstration.

Peace Weaver

Social Justice 101

To be human is to need justice. In these times of change, it’s important to have a collective goal that includes justice for all.

What is Social Justice, what does it look like, and how can we grow it? Why do we struggle with it? We will discuss fair trade, economics, activism, geo-political-power, corruption, greed and more … How do religions and governments use it to control us with propaganda, advertising, guilt and false hopes? How do we reconcile our civilized vs animal nature, our emotions like revenge, anger, and jealousy in our need for justice. What does it mean to shift power balance?

In this class we will look at social justice from a local to a global level, and then look inward. We will first establish the foundations of social justice through dialogue, teaching and questions.
Then we will journey into our soul and explore it’s need for justice, and how this ties into your sense of purpose in the world. And finally, we will create in class, personal action plans for soul driven social justice in our world.

Jeffrey Gottlieb

Southeastern Style Moccasins (Part 2)

Continuing morning session: take patterns we made in am, learn stitches, cut out and sew beautiful, custom fitted Southeastern style moccasins. Fee waived if you bring your own buckskin. Bring pencil and sharp scissors.

Kennedy OneSelf

Spirit Chant: Collaborative Musical Exploration

Allowing the spontaneous freedom of unhindered expression, we celebrate the moment and explore our inherently musical nature through toning, drumming, singing and playing, or through dancing, stretching, and listening. We will begin with breathing together, and gentle humming/toning. Gradually we’ll explore greater volume and variety of pitch. We will play with our voices in whatever way feels good. We will then learn how to play various instruments~ asian and african harp, kalimba, shakers, chimes, flutes, ocean drum, djembe and more. These instruments will be in the center of our circle, for anyone to play.
With the freedom to explore your voice, your rhythm, and also to listen deeply to others, we will create a musical tapestry that is liberating and inspiring, both to listen to and to co-create.

Incorporating rhythm and other instruments we’ll venture into a collaboratively created musical trance. Bring drums, didgeridoos, shakers, singing bowls, flutes etc. or just your ears and voice.

James Clinkscales

Stone drill points

Make an arrowhead or blade out of stone! In this class students will be using stone and antler tools to reduce and shape stone tools. Percussion and pressure flaking techniques of reduction will be demonstrated and hands on practice is encouraged. Bipolar percussion techniques will also be demonstrated. Copper Ishi tools and safety glasses will also be provided.
Advanced flintknappers welcome to hone those skills and bring them to the next level!

Shawn Kelly

Strike-a-light kits

Make your own flint and steel kit. Each kit will contain flint, a striker and char cloth.

Matt Bennett

Sun/Earth Buffering & Solar Energy Systems

We will explore Solar Energy’s key roles in sustainable living, from passive solar building design to solar thermal and photo-voltaic systems for hot water and electricity. We will discuss the basics of energy independent design, as described in Don Booth’s book, “Sun/Earth Buffering and Superinsulation.” We will power water pumps directly with solar PV panels and tour a solar trailer system with battery storage.

Eric Blevins

Thai Massage

This ancient healing art is beneficial to the giver and receiver. We will learn techniques for working on the feet, legs, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head. Please bring a blanket or yoga mat.

Papillon DeBoer

Tools for Healing Sexual Trauma

This workshop is for survivors of sexual trauma, allies, and healers. We will review some facts and statistics, then focus on building skills and tools for healing. These will include breathing, somatic, and cognitive skills – to work with emotional dysregulation, boundaries, and self-criticism and shame. We will not be processing personal wounds or doing healing work on each other. In order to keep the space safe, we will not be discussing personal trauma stories or identifying our reasons for attending. If panic arises at the thought of participating in this workshop, please be gentle with yourself and consider attending another time. ***Please arrive on time – late arrivals will be gently turned away after the space has been established.***

Spencer Two Dogs

Trapping; the big picture

Trapping; the big picture

Not for sport, not for money, not for fun – trapping for survival.

Legal and ethical issues will be addressed to start off this wide ranging look at the Art and Science of Trapping.
Students will learn about behavior engineering, sensory windows, camouflage, route management, and examples of historical traps. Class will include not only survival food trapping but also the defensive use of mantraps, vehicle traps, path obstacles, pitfalls, snares, whips, wires, deadfalls, drags and more.
Bring a sharp pocket knife if you have one – bonus for small (1/2″ diameter) fore arm length sticks to whittle on! ALSO a notebook or sketch pad is recommended.

osker brown

Wild staple foods

You are what you eat; 95% of the serotonin, and 50% of the dopamine in your body are produced by your gut in direct reaction to your food. These hormones are how your body determines what you should and should not do (ethics). If you eat industrial foods, you will maintain the industrial infrastructure regardless of the ideas in your brain. Wild foods provide higher densities of vitamins and minerals, while creating an impulse to perform the will of the forest. We will give practical details on finding, gathering, storing, processing, and preparing acorns, hazelnuts, and mulberry leaves. If time allows we will also give overviews of black walnuts, hickories, and chestnuts.

Saturday (6/23/2018) – Evening

liz thecowgirl

Evening Milking Demonstration with Q & A

Join us after dinner while we milk one of our cows for a casual “cow side chat.” We will do the milking while folks ask questions related to farming.

Subject matter could include: cow health, pasture management, portable fencing, milk processing, kids and agriculture, and more…..

Bring your mug or jar for a taste of warm, fresh milk!

*This is not a hands on class. To try your hand at milking, please sign up for “Milking 101.”

frank salzano

Layla & Majnun

Layla and Majnun is a Persian sufi epic story of love, grief, ecstasy, war, mysticism, re-wilding and the animate soul. It is considered the Romeo & Juliet of the Islamic world, and is the most shared story outside of the Koran. This telling will be interactive, interspersed with poetry and with modern commentary.
Location: This will be at the Pondside Fire (Not the Main Fire, the DIY “jam” fire pit, just above the pond)
Time: 8:30
(Please come ready to hear an epic story. We’ll have plenty of dark chocolate, ecstatic hearts, and mercurial imagination…)

Zev Friedman

Masa Preparation and Appalachian Milpa Successional Farming

We’ll be preparing homegrown heirloom corn by cooking those seeds in ashes to transform them into hominy/nixtamal/posole, which will be rinsed and ground Sunday morning into masa (fine ash-cooked corn dough) for a breakfast taco potluck as part of the Co-operative Permaculture Strategies class Sunday morning. As we cook the corn on the fire, we’ll take a quick dive into Appalachian “milpa” farming (including corn, beans and squash), an elegant form of truly sustainable land use and cultural practice that provides foods, medicines and other yields while sequestering carbon dioxide and increasing biodiversity. Handouts provided for $3 fee.

Sarri Brownlee

Pleasure is your BirthRight

You are welcome to experience a sensuous journey in reviving the relationship to your infinite pleasure. We will explore ways to embody our own pleasure and experience it within every sense. There will be earthly offerings to savor the pleasure of smell, taste, sight, sound, touch and energy.

This is a safe space to share about the full spectrum of our experiences of pleasure.
Discussions that can inspire a passionate dismantling of oppressive systems that can limit our fullest capacity of pleasure.

All bodies are welcome!!!

Liat Bashira

Relaxation & Connection Space

Come chill, relax, and snuggle up. There will be a little conversation about safe space, consensual touch, and boundaries, but mostly this space is for connecting with friends/strangers, unwinding and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the gathering. You are welcome to take solitude (perhaps a nap?) and not interact with others in this space.
*the relaxation station will be open for chilling in till after dark
** no sign-up necessary. You are welcome to come and go in this space when it is open.

Phil Ferguson

Swordplay Arena

The Wandering Swordsmen will run the Swordplay Arena each evening from 7:00-9:30pm during the last light of the day Thursday-Saturday. We will run field battles from 7-9pm, including games like capture the flag, javelin dodgeball, and archery tag!

7:00-8:00 will be reserved for youth ages 15 and under.
8:00-9:00 will be for adults ages 16+.

From 9-9:30pm we will light up the 20′ wide arena tent for tournament style games including 1v1 and 2v2 tournaments with single sword, sword and shield, dual sword, and other weapon styles.

All our boffer gear is made for full contact combat and tested monthly for compliance with the regulations provided by The Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, a national boffer league with very strict standards for safety and game play. All our swords, shields, spears, javelins, bows, arrows, and other gear are designed to safely engage in the highly physical and athletic sport of boffing, or padded weapon combat. All players must have a waiver on file to play, and minors must have their waiver filled out by a legal guardian. We will have paper copies of the waiver on site.

We will also have gear for sale and information about our summer camps and classes for all ages of people who are interested in this growing sport! Come check out our donation based weekly battles every Sunday at Carrier Park in West Asheville from 1-3pm for kids and 3-6pm for adults! See our website at www.thewanderingswordsmen.com for more information.

Sunday (6/24/2018) – Early Morning (before breakfast)

Tara Rawson

Mantra & Meditation

Join us for an early morning mantra and meditation session. We’ll begin with call and response chanting from the vedic tradition along with some earth based pagan chants/songs in english followed by guided meditation. This will be a cleansing and restorative way to end our weekend together.
Beginners and children that can sit quietly welcome.

Please bring your own blanket, towel, yoga mat or tapestry.

liz thecowgirl

Morning Milking Demonstration with Q & A 8:30am

Join us at 8:30am while we milk one of our cows for a casual “cow side chat.”
We will do the milking while folks ask questions related to farming.
Subject matter could include: cow health, pasture management, portable fencing, milk processing, kids and agriculture, and more…..

Bring your mug or jar for a taste of warm, fresh milk!

*This is not a hands on class. To try your hand at milking, please sign up for “Milking 101.”

Sunday (6/24/2018) – Morning

Fuz Sanderson

40 Minute Forks

40 minute forks: Thursday Morning, Friday morning, Sunday Morning,
Don’t eat your salad with a spoon! This a wood carving gateway skill, we’ll make a fork you can use in the wilderness, or in the office…
Limit 20 people, Age 12 and above. you will need a sharp knife, and you will feel empowered.

Joshua Tant

Atlatl – Throwing Primitive Hunting Spears

A course on throwing spears using an atlatl (an ancient, wooden, hunting tool). Atlatl is a tool used by the Inuit (Eskimo) people and other early Native Americans (and many other indigenous peoples with several variations) to propel a spear or dart with greater speed and force.

A $1 fee covers the cost of spears and points.

Kelly Gaskill

Backstrap Loom Weaving

We will be weaving with a loom made from popsicle sticks! This backstrap loom is small and portable, it attaches to a fixed object and also to a strap around your back, the tension created holds it all together. Participants will learn how to weave a colorful strap. This technique is good for beginner.

Be super crafty and come to my dye class on Saturday to dye your own yarn! …. or I will have additional yarn for purchase.

Material fee $3-8

Alena Applerose

Beaded Mandala/Dreamcatcher Earrings with Alena Applerose

In this class participants will learn a simple beadworking technique to create a pair of earrings with seed beads, needle and thread. The pattern being taught resembles the shape of a six sided mandala or dreamcatcher. Materials will be provided including choice of bead colors and silver or gold plate earwires.

Alena Applerose is an arts educator, baker and metalsmith living in the South Toe Valley of western NC. She has been a maker of jewelry and wearable art for over 20 years and has a passion for handwork and the making of beautiful things.

Materials fee $10

David Wynn

Bowdrilling

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, this is your opportunity! We’ll be exploring the way of the bow-drill. Covering everything from harvesting materials, kit craft, nesting processing, and bow-drill technique. Leave with a set of your own making and an invaluable skill! Must bring a sharp knife and sharp safety.

Ian Snider

Chainsaw 101

We will go over the basic use and care of a chainsaw, learn to safely fell a tree, and break it down into useable material. Receive instruction from a seasoned woodsman and his family who make their living from the Appalachian Forest.

Julia McDowell

Clothing Upcycling

Stop buying new clothes! We will discuss the plethora of environmental impacts that the fashion industry has on our planet. We will talk about how to take your old discarded clothing items and recreate something beautiful for yourself or even as a gift to someone else. We will learn some basic hand sewing stitches and also make an upcycled shopping bag from old t-shirts.

Zev Friedman

Co-operation and Ecstatic Tortilla Griddling: Permaculture Strategies For Long-Term Success

Please bring a breakfast taco potluck item, if you have one. We’ll be griddling fresh tortillas from ash-cooked homegrown corn on the fire (see Saturday evening schedule for learning about corn preparation and milpa farming) while talking about how to grow cultural ecosystems that work like food webs. We’ll discuss ins and outs of 5 case studies of actual functioning co-operatives (historical and present) which use different forms and scales of collaboration to grow “bio-cultural” systems that take care of people as part of earth systems, through the greater level of resourcing and human capacity harnessed by co-operative structures. Things like solar micro-grid co-ops, indigenous “mutual aid societies”, urban duck flock and orchard co-ops. Then we’ll pick a couple topics from participants and do some real-time design thinking for co-operative strategies to improve those systems.

Maurice White

Cultivating Breathing & Emotional Freedom

Stress, worry, negative emotions, and confusion can all be brought under control with this 3 minute breathing exercise. This class will teach you the parts of the brain that are responsible for negative feelings and the parts of the brain that will give you a productive and positive wellbeing. It will teach you some simple breathing techniques that allow you to shut down the parts of the brain that are causing the toxic hormone cortisol to be released into your bloodstream and ruin your peace of mind. Class will include brief brain anatomy; a brief description of toxic hormones responsible for stress; a specific breathing session that uses deep water diving techniques to expand and strengthen your lungs. Maurice White is an avid free diver in the Bahamas with thousands of hours of time spent under the water hunting for fish and lobster while holding his breath. The breathing technique you will be learning about is based on the mammalian diving reflex, which is a set of physiological responses to immersion that overrides the basic homeostatic reflexes, combined with land based stress reduction breath work.

Justina Prenatt

Cultivating Consent & Achieving Accountability

In the age of #metoo we are realizing that many of us are not clear on how to interact with others always in consensual ways. We also may realize that we have unintentionally hurt others by not obtaining consent and we wish to be accountable and make amends. This discussion based class will help us all understand better for ourselves, and give us resources to take back to our communities, how to cultivate consent and achieve accountability to create safer, more nurturing communities, to prevent harm, and to foster healing.

Abby Artemisia

DIY Flower Essences

Flower essences help heal us at a deeper level, below the surface, at the emotional and spiritual level, because you’re working with the vibration or energy of the plant. They are easy to make with just flowers, water, and alcohol or vinegar. After you do it once, you’ll see how easy it is to do it on your own. We’ll learn how to identify the plant we’re making an essence of, do a meditation to learn from the plant about the medicine it has to offer us, and then make an essence to take home. Bring a journal for notes.

Steven Townsend

Drum Maintenance, Weekend Recap.

Learn steps to rehead a Djembe. Also this class is designed for any and all question, curiosities, or info you might have, want, or need. A good drop in class.

Natalie Bogwalker

Earthen Paint: Making and Taking

We will be mixing up earthen paint of many luscious colors and making color sample boards for you to take home.

Earthen paint can be used on earthen plaster walls, lime plaster walls, or on drywall. It can really work for everyobody; this is a type of natural building that is truly accessible to everyone.

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening & Care – Edge Tools Fest

Use and sharpening of edge tools. This session is your last chance to hang out with John, a true tool-making expert. You can sharpen and go over maintenance for whatever edge tools you bring. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tools and sharpening equipment. Go pick his brain if you haven’t yet!

Nicholas Parker

Frolicking for Fungi in the Forest

This class will go over forestall fungal concepts. We will walk and talk about how fungi work with our flora and fauna to create our natural world. Discussions edibility and toxicity and what to do if you are poisoned as well as basic foraging dos and donts. And of course there will be fungal stories and folk lore.

There is no class fee but any there will be take-home sheets so donations t offset printing costs are appreciated.

Jamie Sparks

Get spun! Beginners drop spindle with wool

Learn to take raw fleece from a sheep (or other animal) and spin it into beautiful use able yarn for knitting, crocheting or even weaving. Come try your hand and the portable and easy to use drop spindle, used for ages and through many cultures. I will have drop-spindles for your use or to purchase if you just can’t get enough!

Kat Shaw

Herbal First Aid

Herbal medicines can be effectively used to treat a variety of conditions such as infections, sprains, digestive disorders, allergic reactions and more. Come learn about a few very useful medicinal plants and the nuances of using herbal medicines in first aid scenarios.

Courtney Brooke

Holistic Management: Managing your projects like an ecosystem

Wondering how to get your project from where it is to where you want it to be? Holistic Management is a decision making tool that can be applied to land projects, businesses, relationships, groups or anything else you care about. We’ll learn about the history of Holistic Resource Management from Alan Savory and how this tool has been adapted to the management of just about anything. Then we’ll pick something that matters to you and get to know the tool by creating a decision-making frame work for it.

Sean and Nesta Kennedy

Intuition and Action! Using Instinct to Be Safer, Happier and More Powerful

This class is all about freedom. It’s about exploring being stuck and taking the right actions to get where we need to go. We are born with a voice inside that helps us make the right decisions – both moment to moment and day to day. In this fun interactive class, deepen your intuition and use it to know what to do next. We work through movement, exploring some basic self defense scenarios in a safe and empowering environment. We also have time to take a look at places in our lives where we feel stuck and come out inspired and ready to move forward!

Nancy Basket

Kudzu Freeform Basket

Split kudzu vines forming a birds nest that holds jelly beans. Act out Cherokee stories!

Jessica Kaufman

Needle Felting

This is a fantastic skill to have: turning loose wool roving into strong, useful felt WITHOUT needing any water or soap or manual strength for scrubbing/agitating! Using one simple (and very affordable) tool, the barbed needle, we will create faces, figures, pouches, patches, etc with sheep’s wool and the barbed needle only. Everyone is successful in this class, and projects turn out better than most folks imagine. This is a popular class because needle felting is so portable: you can bring your project to any lecture class and work away quietly while listening to other instructors. Learn everything you need to create a beautifully felted project. You can also repair holes in wool clothing with needle felting, and add decoration to natural fiber garments. Imagine felting sweet vines and leaves pictorially in woll onto your favorite hat, jacket, sweater, or backpack… See you there! Kids welcome with an adult companion. Materials fee is $5/person.

Luke Learningdeer

Our Astounding Trees and Plants

Let’s walk and meet some of the astounding and generous plants of the gathering, and discus their Edible, Medicinal, and Wondrous gifts.
Bring a notebook, and a spirit of exploration. We’ll be diving deep into the green and wild world!

Chuck Blethen

Primitive Fire Starting with Flint & Steel

Learn how to start a fire using flint & steel. Learn how to make charred cloth, one of the secrets of successful fire starting.

Grant Adkisson

Qi Gong and Tai Chi Push Hands

Mobilize and warm the joints with these Buddhist Longevity exercises. Be still with standing meditation and move your energy with intention through Chi Gung (or Qi Gong). Learn the basics of Tai Chi Push Hands, the bridge between Tai Chi form and martial application.

Sangoma

Reclaiming our Cultural Codes of Conduct

When does Life and the Living of it get better???

When we know what the agreements are…or what new agreements need creation. The agreements between the Living, Dead and those waiting to be born are the foundation not only for safe and healthy ancestral veneration, they are the WAY by which our journey through the Earth school is navigated. Ancestral trauma and neglected repairs in our family lineages play out everyday…and are either “Our blessing or Our disgrace”. In striving toward righteousness…or right standing with the Spirit world, we must know and master our ancestors’ codes of conduct. What are rules of engagement???

In other words ..”What is your Wakanda State of Mind?”

Alex Bergdahl

Resilient Plant Propagation

In this class we’ll explore propagation techniques beyond seed saving, with a focus on cuttings and divisions of native, edible, medicinal, and pollinator plants that do well in our region. No prior experience or fancy tech needed. Learn to create abundant gardens from simple means!

Michele Gee

Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pad-Making

In this class, led by Michele Rosa Gee, participants will learn how to make reusable, homemade cloth menstrual pads and class members will each make their own to take home. We will also discuss the benefits of using pads as opposed to other ways of catching our flow. Spiritual and energetic aspects of the menstrual cycle will be touched on and discussed. Very light sewing involved – no former experience necessary. All materials provided. Join us for an intimate time bonding over our cycles!

Barron Brown

Spoon Carving

Learn how to carve your very own spoon with Barron Brown using just hand tools the old fashioned way. No Firefly Gathering is complete without making a spoon of your very own! bring a sharp knife!

Age limit 10 and older unless parents are present.

James Clinkscales

Stone tool production

Make an arrowhead or blade out of stone! In this class students will be using stone and antler tools to reduce and shape stone tools. Percussion and pressure flaking techniques of reduction will be demonstrated and hands on practice is encouraged. Bipolar percussion techniques will also be demonstrated. Copper Ishi tools and safety glasses will also be provided.
Advanced flintknappers welcome to hone those skills and bring them to the next level!

Remaya Wind

The Art of Circling

A practice of deep listening and feeling/being with what is. We will tune into one person at a time and listen deeply to their expression in attempt to get their world and intentionally grow our compassion for the person and for humanity. The Art of Circling delves into using some basic inquiry techniques to innerstand the unique world and reality of the person being circled. We will get curious about what its like to be them and expand our listening beyond hearing in order to really soak them in as a unique and special human.

Steve Torma

The Art of Intimacy (NVC) Level 2

For those with some familiarity with Nonviolent Communication. Using NVC Dance Floors and Somatic Experiencing to move from pain to compassion, from the illusion of conflicting needs to finding win/win strategies, from grasping for approval to deep inner peace, and from negativity to the natural joy of life. With the former president of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Doug Elliott

Tulip Poplar Baskets

In this class we will make beautiful strong baskets from tree bark. They are functional and stylin! Bring a sharp knife and $ 20 materials fee. (20 students max)

Bill Parravano

Working out the Kinks: Neck & Shoulders

Working out the kinks: Neck & Shoulders – Teach your body to recover faster after primitive & homesteading skills.

Got a sore, stiff, tight, achy, or painful neck and shoulders? Then this class is for you!

Learn the secrets of your body’s nervous system. You will walk away from this class with a working knowledge of how to eliminate tension in your neck and shoulders no matter what your age.

Bring your own pillows, blankets and yoga mats to get the most benefit out of this class

Sarri Brownlee

Yoni Steam Ceremony

Join us in a sacred self-care ceremony! We will circle together around a co-creative altar as we nurture our vaginas and wombs with this ancient practice.

Steam from organic herbal blends will offer healing and cleansing to the precious tissues inside and around the vagina~yoni.

There will be 3 blends available Nourish Thy Womb, Fleur De Femme and Cleanse Thy Womb. We will discuss the beneficial properties of each herb~flower and will have an opening for inquires before we begin ceremonial steam.

Please bring a bowl/pot to squat/sit upon.
(definitely no plastic, we have a few extra for anyone in need of a proper vessel)

Please bring offerings for a co~creative altar!

~Contradicted if you are pregnant, currently menstruating or have an IUD~
We have options for people with any of the above listed contradictions, you are welcome to join it just isn’t recommended to steam!

Sunday (6/24/2018) – Afternoon

talcon quinn

Amulet Buckskin Bags

Learn to make small pouch out of brain tanned buckskin leather scrapes. You will learn how to use an awl and sew a simple running stitch with buckskin thong and how to insert welts for fringe (if you want fringe).

$10-20 materials fee.

Godi Godar

Ancestral Rights, Land Rights – Preserving Rainforests by Preserving Culture

The connection between the earth and the people living here is precious and must be treated with dignity and respect. In the area we working, this means protecting and reinstating tribal land rights and helping communities protect their rainforest homes while empowering them through initiatives like clean water and education that make their lives healthier and more sustainable.

It’s easy to be worried about the state of the environment. We are all wondering if we are doing enough to protect the earth for ourselves and future generations. There’s talk of global warming, melting ice caps, smog, and turbulent weather. We know the rainforests are important, and we want to protect them!

There are large communities of people living in extreme poverty in these rainforests. When multinational companies take over these lands for logging or farming, not only do they destroy the rainforests, damaging the earth’s environment, but they devastate the lives of the people living here, leaving them with even fewer resources for survival. Meanwhile, in their efforts to survive, these communities often use farming and fishing methods that further damage these ecosystems.

Most of us have never lived without access to a school, water, or food. We haven’t had to drink the water we wash our clothes in. We’ve never lost a child to starvation or a simple preventable infection. But for 790,000,000 people, these are the daily realities of their lives.

At GCEarth, we have developed an approach that preserves large tracts of rainforest while fighting poverty and cultivating long-term sustainable practices within the communities living there.

Godi will cover some of these contentious issues, explain what Go Conscious Earth is doing to address them, and how we can all do our part to help preserve rainforests and the human cultures and communities who call them home!

Lee Golos

Ancient Irrigation

Learn about two simple and highly efficient methods of irrigation, biological irrigation and passive irrigation, and about the importance of water to plants and soils.

Biological irrigation makes use of the roots of living plants to irrigate neighboring plants. We’ll discuss the mechanisms by which this occurs, and how to make use of it in your own gardens and farms.

Passive irrigation using porous earthenware vessels, also known as “ollas”, is the oldest known system of crop irrigation, having been used for over 5000 years. It’s also the most efficient and resilient system of irrigation still today. You will learn about the benefits of this almost forgotten method and how to construct and install your own ollas from easily available materials, in a modern twist on this ancient method. $5 covers materials to build and take home your own olla, or you can watch for free.

Ian Snider

Chainsaw 101

We will go over the basic use and care of a chainsaw, learn to safely fell a tree, and break it down into useable material. Receive instruction from a seasoned woodsman and his family who make their living from the Appalachian Forest.

Spencer Two Dogs

Clothing as a Tool

Chances are good that when a situation requires us to shift into an improvising, survival mindset we will not have the best tools we would wish for. Self defense, wilderness travel, auto repair, international adventures, first aid, and more can be enhanced with many things we wear every day. From plastic water bottles to nylon hose, belts and shoelaces to plastic credit cards and an old sock; things we are familiar with can be turned into useful items with more than one purpose. Most of all this class helps us get creative in new ways and think outside the box. This class is based on a chapter in Spencer’s book The Appalachian Ninja – Clothing as a Tool. Book not required for class!

Students will learn to categorize items based on use and functionality. Class interest will direct how much time we spend in a given area from traps to defense, repairs or navigation through the wilderness. Flexible items will be taught for restraint, arrest and immobilization as well.

Spencer directs Land of the Sky Wilderness School in western NC and has taught internationally.

Julia McDowell

Clothing Upcycling

Stop buying new clothes! We will discuss the plethora of environmental impacts that the fashion industry has on our planet. We will talk about how to take your old discarded clothing items and recreate something beautiful for yourself or even as a gift to someone else. We will learn some basic hand sewing stitches and also make an upcycled shopping bag from old t-shirts.

Courtney Brooke

Deep Ecology

Let’s take time to Reconnect and empower our work for the Earth. We are alive at an extraordinary moment in time of great possibility when creativity, courage, and collective action can change the political and ecological landscape for future generations. A time when many of us are seeking ways to reconnect to one another and to the living Earth, and to bring forth our particular gifts to contribute.

The Work That Reconnects is a transformational body of work that includes theories and practices enabling us to reconnect to our own true nature, the web of life, and to our human community. Opening our hearts and minds to the love and the grief we feel for our world empowers us to act on behalf of Earth.

frank salzano

Earth Systems History Walk

We will take a stroll and talk about Earth Systems History, using Appalachia as our gateway to the world of deep time and Gaea Theory. We’ll weave together a story of how evolution, geology, atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, extinction and dynamic change have all been interacting through some astounding theater to support this ongoing creation of home, Earth. We’ll probably drop some mytho-poetic lines while we are at it….

john kraus

Edge Tools Sharpening and Care: Edge Tools Fest

Use and sharpening of edge tools. This session is your last chance to hang out with John, a true tool-making expert. You can sharpen and go over maintenance for whatever edge tools you bring. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tools. Go pick his brain if you havent yet!

Barron Brown

Finish Up Wood Carving Projects and Fish Nets

Time to finish up whatever you started earlier this weekend.

Bring a sharp knife.

Age limit: 12 and older unless accompanied by an adult.

Nicholas Parker

Frolicking for Fungi in the Forest

This class will go over forestall fungal concepts. We will walk and talk about how fungi work with our flora and fauna to create our natural world. Discussions edibility and toxicity and what to do if you are poisoned as well as basic foraging dos and donts. And of course there will be fungal stories and folk lore.

There is no class fee but any there will be take-home sheets so donations t offset printing costs are appreciated.

Kat Shaw

Herbal Wound Care

In this class we will discuss protocols for treating wounds at all stages, when and how to use herbs, bandaging techniques, and more.

Marion Hearth

Instinctual Childbirth (Self-directed Birth)

This teaching is open to all people who seek uncommon information and inspiration about childbirth. The information presented is applicable in all settings – unassisted at home, in the wild, at home with a midwife, in a hospital, etc. This class will be facilitated by Marion, a mother of two babies born at home without a trained professional present. She passionately believes that women intuitively know how to birth their babies and deserve access to all options. Marion believes that ALL women, no matter what birth plan she chooses, should be prepared for an unassisted birth because this preparation can help the birthing mother and witnesses in any setting. This class will cover both Intuitive Pregnancy (navigating self Prenatal Care at home) + Instinctual Childbirth (the basics + addressing common myths about childbirth, especially those in crunchy home birth communities!). There will be time for your questions, so please bring them. 🙂

Aileen Peterson

Intro to Kitchen Witchery: Food Alchemy & Folk Healing for the Home

Join Aileen Marie ‘Sequoia’ of AWILDA WE’MOON as we explore traditional nutrition + food preparation methods (like sprouting and fermenting), safe simple home herbalism, and hearth magic. In our discussion we will touch on intuitive eating and eating for our constitutions, how to get into a routine around your kitchen alchemy and meal planning, plus the basics of traditional food preparation and simple herbal medicine making while weaving magic into the every-day. Hands-on includes getting to see/feel/taste different herbal medicines + starting some sprouts for use in your weekend meals. **Class fee is sliding scale, $5-$15 per person. Please give what you can! **Bring a small cup and a spoon to class if you can.

Steve Torma

Intro to Sacred Sexuality

After our survival instinct, sexual energy is the most powerful force in the human experience. How do we access and guide this energy? With the heart. And what guides our heart? The overall spiritual purpose of our lives. When all three are combined: sex, heart, and spirit, we can live a deeply satisfying life of service to our ultimate vision. Ideas and practices for improving your physical and emotionally-intimate relationships. With the former President of Earthaven Ecovillage and co-founder of The REAL Center.

Sangoma

Keeping the Ceremony in our Everyday Lives

This session is designed to assist those that seek balance through ancient indigenous rituals and practices. Grounding ourselves in Nature and accessing our beliefs in this season of unprecedented change is paramount to maintaining healthy living skills. As with any skillsets that we are unfamiliar with, the key ingredients are knowledge, wisdom and practice.

Eric Wolf

Lets Talk about Whiteness

A facilitated conversation for white people about the obvious and invisible – that is rarely discussed. What does it mean to be white and practicing earth based skills? What is our relationship to indigenous people and to our ancestors? How do white people benefit from the current political and economic inertia in the Asheville area? How do white people who want to live in multicultural spaces actively support racial diversity? What is our position on these realities?

Jamie Sparks

Medicine as Food-Preserving the Herbal Harvest

These mountains are full of herbal medicines that our body can enjoy and utilize to increase our vitality and maximize our nutritional intake. Learn who and how as we meet and taste many forms of some of these wild plants that will keep your body vital and wild and just a bit less domesticated. Come learn how to create herbal vinegars, honeys, powders and so much more that can easily allow you to “eat something wild everyday”.

If you would like to make a vinegar, there is a $5-10 fee

Alex Bergdahl

Perennial Guilds and Symbiotic Plant Communities

An extension of forest gardening, perennial guilding focuses on communities of plants that work in harmony with one another to create thriving gardens that save space and stack functions. We’ll cover everything from principles of guild design, the individual and collective roles within a food forest, examples of various guilds, as well as a set of resources to dig deeper into the world of ecological abundance.

Sean and Nesta Kennedy

Self Defense Basics

Jump right in and learn simple, effective principles for staying safe in the most common self defense situations. Great for either a refresher course or a first-time intro to personal protection. Nesta and Sean create a welcoming and safe environment for you to learn at your pace and leave empowered and prepared.

Sarah Chappell

Tarot for Self-Care

Learn to use the Tarot to nurture yourself, clarify your journey, and find the medicine in any situation. The Tarot is a powerful tool of reflection, and approaching the cards through a lens of self-care opens the door to an expanded personal practice of empowerment.

We will begin with a discussion of using the Tarot as a mirror to reflect back that which we are unable or unwilling to see. This unlocks the power of the Tarot for personal empowerment: we are not trying to divine the future, but rather to untangle the threads of the present. We will then explore a system for understanding all 78 traditional cards, and spreads to support your personal expansion. You will leave with a firm knowledge of the structure of Tarot, and a new, compassionate language to discuss its messages.

There will be time to practice reading, and to ask questions. Please bring a 78-card deck (strongly encouraged but not absolutely necessary), a notebook, and a pen.

Eric Blevins

Thai Massage

This ancient healing art is beneficial to the giver and receiver. We will learn techniques for working on the feet, legs, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head. Please bring a blanket or yoga mat.

Kennedy OneSelf

The Symphony of Serenity: Musical Meditation

Sound Healing Meditation Journey
This musical journey is an opportunity to experience the stillness that exists beneath the chattering mind. The clarity that can be experienced through sound symphony meditations is beyond words.

Simply by witnessing the pulsations of these effervescently interacting sounds, we can become a deep silence within. In this silence, our true self is unveiled.

Kennedy OneSelf weaves together vibrations so fluidly you will think there is a team of three musicians. While listening to the many dancing rhythms and resonating vibrations of didgeridoos, crystal and tibetan singing bowls, gongs, flutes, ocean drum, buffalo drum, hulusi, tibetan bells, chimes, African and Asian harp, kalimba, the unity harp and more, the mind tends to surrender, basking in the glorious moment that is now. Come join us as we explore the infinite wellspring of awareness within.

Chad Ananda

Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke

Humans have had many causes to use plant-produced smoke. Medicines from moxibustion to smudging and fumigation, also preserving and enhancing of flavors in meats, cheese, and eggs. Smoking as recreation may have originated while passing a bundle of burning herbs to keep a long match going between camps. Incense, bug repellent, the list goes on. Come and explore and sample some of these vapors. There will also be a hands-on portion of the class as we roll incense or gather a bundle to take home.

andrew vanderveer

Wild Nuts + Natural Jagua Tatoos!

Wild Nuts! Learn how to identify, forage, store and eat an abundance of nutritional dense tree nuts! Walnuts, pecans, several varieties of Hickories and acorns! Processing techniques will be discussed and examples of baked goods and nut beverages will be available. I will provide each class participant with a nice sack of wild foraged nuts! Great Sustenance and sharing opportunities during the festival! I also have loads of persimmons and am happy to discuss this wonderful tree and fruit as well.

Natural Jagua Body art and Temporary tattoo. Create beautiful body art or provide protection from the sun using this all natural plant dye. Derived from the seed pods of the tropical plant Jenipa Americana, which is used as food, medicine, body art, sunblock, insect repelent. I have collected and processed the dye (from costa rica) and will provide participants with the opportunity to paint themselves or friends, or receive artwork from me!