Firefly Gathering 2015: The Faces of Fireflies Light Up the World
Firefly Gathering 2015 was held June 12-14 at Soggy Bottom Ranch in Flagstaff, Arizona. The event is “intentionally designed to inspire profound positive social and individual growth. Firefly provides the opportunity to connect deeply, learn unique skills, become inspired, and celebrate life.”
A transformational, sustainable, “leave it better” event, Firefly offered a plethora of educational and learning opportunities, a kid’s zone, yoga, meditation and healing throughout the day, organic, vegan and non-GMO food options, conscious vendors, workshops, sacred ceremonies… and of course, MUSIC!
So what does it mean to be a Firefly? The Lucid Planet with Dr. Kelly and Clare Black Photography made the trip to our first Firefly to find out!
The opening ceremony on Friday evening really helped to illuminate what Firefly is all about. It was designed to bring all participants together in harmony to align our intentions for the weekend. As speaker Laura Rivero reminded the thousands strong crowd, we are Fireflies because we are bioluminescent .. Our light comes with WITHIN, and we share this light with the world..
As thousands of us stood in a circle together, holding hands and chanting “OM”, we broadcast our intentions for our collective growth and our personal transformation. We hugged, we cried, we laughed, and perhaps most importantly, we made new friends as we shared in this symbolic ritual. We opened ourselves up to each other and shared our gratitude for the land and its people.
It was easy to see how the collective intentions displayed in the opening ceremony played out across the festival. The organizers of Firefly made it at point to emphasize and highlight sacred spaces, such as the beautiful and peaceful rock garden and altars curated by Cooper Montgomery and friends.
As we walked, danced, mediated and did yoga all across Firefly, it felt as if we were being transported to another place in time. It felt like something familiar but completely new, like an ancient future fusing our indigenous roots with our progress through modernity.
The members of The Sacred G’s explained it best, sighting the evolution of our transformational culture as an Ancient Future Renaissance. They explained how they seek to fuse modern urban dance with ancient spiritual traditions, treating movement as meditation, and connecting with source to use these energies to dance through life.
The Sacred G’s performed on the main stage throughout the weekend – More than just dancing, they help embody the new way of thinking and BEing that has been emerging.
Speaking of music, Firefly had no shortage of musical talents and incredible performances, Nico Luminous and Dela Moontribe stand out in my mind as absolutely crushing it, and there were so many amazing diverse performances ranging from SaQi, to Drumspyder, to B-Side Players.
The community really came together at the main stage each night to offer such a delightful array of performance art, from hooping, to aerials, to fire spinning. The organizers created a truly immersive feast for the eyes and heart.
A huge part of the HEART of this event came from the beautiful young free spirits who frolicked around so freely. Children and adolescents were really in their element at Firefly, and mingled and shared space with adults in a seamless fashion. As a psychologist and as someone who remains optimistic for the future of the human race, seeing this many children SAFELY play, roam, create and express themselves in this carnival of delights filled me with happiness!
Firefly helped stimulate the inner child of all of us, and reminded us that we are all artists, healers and musicians. The live art happening at the main stage over the weekend was phenomenal and watching these pieces come to life was breathtaking.
As we walked the grounds and took in the sunset over the water on Saturday night, we felt so peaceful and relaxed. Some festivals come with a huge amount of hustle bustle, exhaustion and dehydration- literally taking a toll on participants and on the environment. But Firefly was all about nurturing the spirit, learning, relaxing, and realigning intentions. Participants were able to sleep well, eat healthy vendor foods, meditate, do yoga, dance, and were offered plenty of comfortable relaxation space. I was blessed to be able to give back to the community by offering a workshop on sexuality and open relationships.
So why we were there? Just to party? No. Just to dance? Not entirely. Maybe we were there to find out who we really are, and to reconnect to what we have forgotten as we carve a future that can sustain humanity.
The closing ceremony on Sunday night brought all of this into focus, as we watched members of the local indigenous tribes perform, chant and sing. It felt like they were offering blessings to the land, which had been so graciously offered as a space for this event.
We were then asked to hold hands and form a circle as we walked the festival grounds together, once again sharing our intentions for healing humanity and bringing all people together.
I held hands with a close friend who had never seen anything like this, and at the end of the circle he told me, “I’m usually a pessimist, but this actually gives me hope for the human race.” It’s amazing how collective ritual in sacred space can shift our perceptions so profoundly. Mission accomplished, Firefly.
Thank you so much to the many beautiful fireflies who lit up the day and the night, and who agreed to have their light featured by The Lucid Planet. You Light up the World!
Please enjoy our 2015 Firefly Gathering Gallery! Remember to like, share and tag your friends! If you would like to download prints, please get in touch with our awesome photographer, Clare Black, and follow her on Facebook. Light and Love!