wildmoon stories

Blueberry Wild Moon 2023

Before I start sharing about this past Wild Moon, I need to state, that every Wild Moon is different. It is created by both the people guiding it and the ones joining it. It is influenced by the land we live on, the season and weather we experience, and the projects and materials that are present at that moment in time. It by no means gives any indication of how any future Wild Moon might look like. And it also just gives a story from one single viewpoint, which could never include the whole circle of voices, both human and non-human.

We had set out as a group of 28 people, with ages ranging from 8 months, all the way to 60 years. Slightly more than a third of the group were kids and young adults, and male and female were quite balanced in their representation.

The time we had picked to start this experience was just a few sun-cycles after midsummer. And being in southern Sweden, but still rather far north compared to central Europe, we were blessed with experiencing long stretches of sunlight, with the sun being hidden only a very small portion of the sun-cycle.. So it took some getting used to, not getting up when the sun came up, but when he was already quite far over the horizon.

Adjusting to the new clan

Imagine being put together with 27 strangers, some of them seemingly knowing each other, but all of them open to getting to know each other in a very different way. Having several family units joining, compared to only individuals creates a very different dynamic. Every family has their own routines of when to go to bed and when to get up. How much they are willing and able to contribute to clan tasks, or simply manage to take care of themselves and all the different emotional processes that come up.

Every family was also in a different stage of their growth, both when it came to the age of their kids , as well as the maturity of their relationship. But in this forming clan – as it happens so often and so beautifully -, we were blessed with a natural balance of functional and emotional tasks being taken care of, almost right from the beginning.

Of course, some of the kids as well as some of the adults were a little more cautious to engage with those strangers that they were thrown together with, while others were openly connecting right from the beginning. Still, knowing very little about each other, maybe just the story of their new chosen name and intention for this upcoming moon-cycle, we all needed to work together right away. Making sure that we all arrive safely in camp, setting up our new homes, cooking dinner, and taking care of some of the food supply, like picking greens and bringing fishnets out into the water.

Doing things together is probably the best and fastest way of truly getting to know each other on a more basic level. No full history needed.

Full moon celebration

After about a quartermoon of time passed, the moon had reached its brightest and fullest state. And the energy was ripe for a celebration. A party. But without alcohol, prerecorded music, or fancy lighting. Everyone came as they were, we had drums, and whatever other instruments we could create out of the things we had, like pots, lids, stids, and our bodies. Bringing in whatever our voices could create as sounds and music. Not having any plan, and creating our own rhythm.

When being out in nature, living immersed as part of this greater circle, there is a lot to celebrate and be grateful for. It’s a way to let our whole body express whatever we feel in this moment. Flowing and growing closer together. Bonding without words, but rhythm and movement and song.

The family growing and shrinking

Even though this experience is meant to be with a stable group for the whole moon-cycle, away from this civilized life that we are so used to, we can’t always let go of it completely. Sometimes, the transition is simply too much too fast. Other times, the grasps of civilization won’t let us go soon enough.

It is a sad reminder, how we are taking ourselves with us wherever we go. And that living in a small clan in the middle of nowhere is not something we simply do like changing our clothes. It is something we slowly adapt to. That we need to grow into. And that sometimes needs a lot more energy, support or time than we would have expected. So it is also important to embrace wherever we are at, and sometimes make that hard decision that it might not be the right time to take a certain step. Or that the most healing thing we can do is not to push ourselves even further.

This also happened to one of our clan members, together with her todler, and we honor them for the strength they brought, both for their decision to come, as well as for their decision to leave earlier than planned.

Successful hunts and exotic animals

Living out immersed in nature also means, that we need to – at least to some degree – take care of gathering and trapping our own food. The first step is to gather greens that can be added to our dinners, like linden leaves, nettles, chickweed, wild leeks and lambs quarter. Also several types of berries are usually easy to identify and find. But more on that later.

A lot more fascinating and somewhat new to a lot of people in the clan was both fishing with nets, and fishing with line and hook. This however not only includes the techniques to put out the nets and get them in, but also how to most effectively and humanely kill the fish. And how to give gratitude to the animals who gave their lives so we could be nourished.

When bringing in the nets, however, we were in for a surprise. Not only were there fish in the nets, but also crayfish! This even inspired some to specifically build a crayfish trap. Allowing everyone to learn more about those not so common animals.

And in this specific region there were even very special animals like the banana deer, mystery bunny or the walnut beaver, that all take very special skills to catch đŸ™‚

Decisions and their impact

Being immersed in nature, away from all kinds of other distractions brings up a lot of inner processes. We are confronted with a different type of diet, with living closely together with both kids and adults that we might not know so well. In an environment that might seem harsh at times without being able to hide behind closed doors and safe walls. Without all the luxuries of running warm water, toilets and toilet paper, a dishwasher and a washing machine.

So it’s very normal to question our decision to come to an experience like that. To wonder if the grass might be greener on the other side. Sometimes, it is an important decision to actually accept and embrace that we can’t go on, and that we don’t have to push through. And sometimes, especially when it comes to children, it might only seem like they want to leave, but what they are actually doing is mirroring the parent’s uncertainty. Or it’s a diverted way of communicating that they have some needs that are currently not met.

In these latter cases, getting clear on their own uncertainties, making clear decisions, and supporting the kid’s needs, can twist the situation completely , so that all of a sudden, there is no more talk of going home, but instead more deep and full engagement in the experience.

Following the berries

This Wild Moon was called the Blueberry Wild Moon. But in the beginning, they were rather hard to find. This could have been because of the dry period right before, that reached into the first quartermoon of the experience. But as soon as it started to rain, more and more blueberries could be found, as well as raspberries and the occasional wild strawberry.

But even though there were a lot of blueberry bushes at our camp spot, being there for quite some time, and us being almost 30 people, it was time to leave camp and explore new areas, with fresh patches of blueberries and raspberries.

There might have been all kinds of reasons, why with each new camp spot, there were more berries and bigger ones at that, but I still like to believe that it was magic. And that the reason why we left a camp spot was solely because the berries started to dwindle…

Contributions and Inspiration by examples

When living in a clan, a lot needs to be done and taken care of. But being in a big clan, somehow there is always someone who takes care of it. Sometimes it might still be out of the feeling of needing to contribute, obligation, or fear of not doing enough, but over time, watching others, we learn to find a good balance of self care, other-care and contributing by simply being ourselves.

Being a mother of 5, including a toddler who hasn’t even seen a full turn of the seasons, it might be hard to take care of fishing, building shelters or gathering firewood. But she can contribute by being a role model of how to take care of little ones. Or others, who might have given so much in the past, that they now need to take care of themselves a lot more, can be a role model for slowing down and being more present with yourself.
This is all possible, because there are also those, who are all of a sudden allowed to experiment with a lot of things. That are curious, and want to fully engage in whatever is coming their way. And they seem to kindle the fire in others to be more courageous and open to do things they have never done before.

Where do we go from here?

These are just some examples of what are were allowed to witness and experience in this past Wild Moon. There were quite a lot of Wild Moons over the years, and we want to continue offering these experiences to as many people as are up for the adventure that might impact their whole life in a way they never thought possible.

Are you one of them? Sign up to our newsletter or contact us directly if you have any questions.

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