Understanding: Offering a Turtle Sprit Jam circle is about opening yourself and allowing Spirit - in whatever form you focus on in your practice – to come through you to create a Sacred Space where other can come to sing, drum and dance in Safety, Communion and Peace.
Once you establish this space, your job is to back out and let it happen. This can be easy or it can be hard, as it requires a bit of TRUST in the community to hold their own and express themselves. Facilitators never tell people how to drum or dance in Turtle Spirit Jam beyond bringing the jam back into balance or rhythm.
Who hosts Turtle Spirit Jam circles:
People are asked to be hosts for Turtle Spirit Jam based on their involvement with the event and their understanding of its principals. This decision is made by the current host(s) of the event and their participation is on a trial basis for 6 months.
If you are too far away from Seattle to come but want to start one of your own, contact us.
The goal is to train enough people in this Way to make it a sustainable practice in the Seattle drumming community. The goal is also to not grow very fast, as the Turtle says going slow is more sure.
How to Prepare:
- Ask your Spirits if it is your time to step forward and do this Service
- Offering a Turtle Spirit Jam space is not about ‘being’ or ‘doing’, it is about serving. It is not about self, but about others.
- Wait for a clear answer.
- If the answer is No, ask what you need to do to be prepared to do it in the future.
- If the answer is Yes, ask for an exercise or meditation or dance or something that you can do before people show up to create a opening for a safe, unbiased-towards-any-religion space. Your opening or altar may reflect your own path but should not in any way force others to go down it.
- Create an altar of some sort for people to place important objects to them.
- It is very good to reflect your own medicine, the goodness of yourself as offering to others
- There should be a center candle
- The base can be a simple cloth, a plate, cedar boughs, anything you want
- Be sure that you will be able to leave the room as clean as it was before you arrived
- Here are some ideas of optional things to bring
- Extra candles for other people to light
- Exra instruments
- Scarves to dance with
- Anything else you got.
- Get the list of guidelines that all circle-givers read before a Turtle Spirit Jam event.
- It is crucial for these to be read at the beginning of every circle because it give everyone the approach which will result in a sharing, non-dominating spirit jam.
- It's totally fine to ask someone else to read them.
- Come up with a simple meditation to get people’s minds off the street and back in their own bodies, to clear themselves and come to as quiet a readiness as possible. If it is special and deep to you, you will be more passionate when delivering it to others, but remember to keep it non-denominational.
- For example: I usually use a tree as part of the meditation, not only because it is pretty generic but because Trees are a huge part of my personal spiritual sustenance.
- Have a space-creating opening that everyone can take part in
- This should NOT be a performance!
- Have an intention prepared for the first song, hit the chime and you are done! Thank you for giving of yourself to the community!!
- Actually, after hitting the chime is a good time to walk away and collect the money. Not only are you preventing someone from slipping in the front door and helping themselves but it puts the responsibility of starting the song in everyone else’s hands.
- When it is over, don’t forget to THANK everyone for their gifts of music and song and dance. Especially thank your door person, if you have one.
- IMPORTANT: If you are able to, please try to organize some sort of outing directly afterwards so people have a chance to make friends at a local pub or tea house.
- What makes communities strong is doing things together and building good relationships.
1. Your invitation is your INVOCATION. Do not forget to hone your ceremony and put it on the flyer clearly in one sentence.
2. Please cut/paste from a previous event and use it as a template so you don't forget anything important.
3. Please show the invite to Tasara before posting!!
There are two reasons for this:
- One is to make sure the intention is honed, clear and supporting the Turtle Spirit Jam philosophy. This should be a painless process.
- The other one is that we have had multiple times where something critical like the date or time is wrong or missing and we have to go update all the myriad invites, creating a whole bunch of work and annoying people on the list.
4. Where to send inviation and reminder email:
- turtlespiritjam AT littlelight.info
- seattle-drum-jams AT yahoogroups.com
- Facebook. Don't forget to actually INVITE people to the Facebook event.
- Littlelight Ceremony Meetup
- Any other groups you are a member of (Druid Meetup, Pagan Meetup, Reiki Meetup, seapagan list)
5. Ideally, the first invitation goes out within three days of the prior ceremony.
6. The reminder email is in the week right before.
7. Personal recruiting and empowering is critical to get people involved. Otherwise people do not step forward on their own. This can happen on the invite, in the Turtle Clan group on Facebook and 1:1.
8. The Turtle Clan is a place to get feedback and inspiration from regulars. It is valuable for us and empowering/community-building for everyone else.
Things to bring along (for indoor ceremonies):
- Welcome sign and money box sign
- Email sign up sheet (give Tasara the email addresses and she will add them to the list)
- Cup, bowl or basket for money (extra money beyond rent goes into a kitty to cover expenses on the nights we don’t make rent – which is often)
- A few bills to throw in for people to give themselves change
- Extra flyers and "How to Play with Turtles" sheets
- Your altar/candle.
- Any notes you need for yourself.
- IF YOU CAN'T COVER THE RENT: please cover it yourself and keep track of what you are owed next time we get extra. If I have extra cash from another night, I will reimburse you immediately.
ABOUT THE TROUBLE OF DOMINATING DRUMMING
Here is some text you can use if you are looking for a way to spell it out at the beginning of the circle.Etiquette.