This post have been in the making for the past 2 weeks. I should have posted it earlier, but I was too scared that it was going to be too long. It has only come to me now, amidst all the chaos (I am in the process of moving) that I should split it up into 2 separate posts…..so that is what I will do
On First Impression of the Northern Territory
The first thing that I noticed on arriving to the Northern Territory (NT – or the top end as we like to call it in Australia) is the humidity and the heat. I am sure that I was not the only one that noticed it on arriving (unless you come from the tropics, in which case you’d probably be immune to it). Coming from the southern states, I am not entirely ignorant of humidity and heat. But that type of heat and humidity in September!? Not in a million years. Needless to say the entire time in the NT I was covered in thin film of sweat that only vanished the moment I was on the plane back to Sydney.
The place is very flat. And there is space up there.
Quite a lot of open space.
It’s something that I’m not accustomed to, being from Sydney. Sure for entire length of the Conference, I was still in the same geo-political state, but it definitely didn’t feel like I was in the same country. Sydney is busy and packed in. The energy is frantic, at times disconnected when everyone is plugged into a device, has somewhere to be, a meeting to go to, I not being an exception. Up in the NT the energy was palpably different, and I felt it within moments of arriving into the Territory. The lack of the human built environment allows the earth energy to flow much more freely- with no impediments. As such the energy flows at its own leisure. I also think that the heat has something to do with the pace of which the energy moves. It was a nice change.
On the Conference
We arrived at our destination in the afternoon; A beautiful nature reserve/park that was approximately 25 km out of Darwin city. I also learnt that distance is measure somewhat differently up in the NT as well. I was blown away at the distances that are considered ‘normal’ up there. I would not survive given my lack of driving skills or car….
Now I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, once I heard about the small numbers that were attending this year’s AWC, that I was a little disappointed. Having been aware of the usual numbers that attend such events (over 100 at some previous years), coupled with my experience at Samhain earlier this year, I was expecting something more than just a gathering of 16 people.
Having said all that, and arriving at the venue, I had made a promise to myself that I would approach the weekend with an open heart and an open mind. My expectations of a larger gathering were feed by people present at this year’s event who had already experienced AWC before. They were in a position to expect something else, something more perhaps.
Needless to say, my expectations were promptly shifted as I opened myself up to what was to come during the Weekend.
The setting was fabulous. Our accommodation consisted of individual cabins set in what were very lush and green grounds. On our doorsteps we had all sorts of wildlife, from wallabies to a variety of native birds, the Kites being my favourite. The staff was also very helpful, given the odd guests we were bound to make for the length of the weekend.
Having settled in, shared dinner in the common hall, we had our first ritual – the “Fire Ritual” to officially opening the conference. Grounding and Centering before the ritual commenced was a unique experience unto itself. As I centered and grounded my energy, I became aware of how old the land really, I tapped into something incredibly deep and ancient within the land. As the fire was ignited, the ashes from previous conferences were thrown into the fire, a few words were said, spirits invited to bare witness to our weekend.
The fire was kept burning throughout the entire weekend…