These are strange and difficult times! We hope that you and your families are navigating this pandemic as well as you possibly can. Sonoma County is currently under shelter-in-place orders, which Weaving Earth is adhering to. This means that for the time being we have postponed all in-person WE programming until further notice. This includes the WE Immersion and the Wild Tenders Youth Program. The Teen Backpacking trips are officially cancelled for 2020.
Although we don’t as of yet know when it will be possible to run the Immersion program, applications will remain open during this time. For anyone considering joining this program in the future, we encourage applying now. We will be keeping all applicants informed of program updates as they occur. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The WE team
Human domination of the Earth is inextricably linked to cultural systems that value separation and domination. As shorthand, we are calling these interwoven systems supremacy culture, recognizing that each strand has specific dynamics. U.S. supremacy culture includes extractivism (oppression of the Earth), ableism, ageism, anti-immigration, anti-Semitism, cis-genderism, colonialism, fat-phobia, heterosexism, Islamophobia, nationalism, racism, religious persecution, and sexism. We view climate change as a result of supremacy culture.
Education shapes our perceptions and beliefs, both through what is taught (content) and how it is taught (context). The institutions in mainstream U.S. society, including education and mass media, foster profound ignorance about how supremacy culture shapes belief, behavior, power, and opportunity. Supremacy culture is pervasive — we can’t choose whether to participate. But we can choose how to participate, which is key to systems change.
The intention of the WEI is to learn how to change “the how,” supported by a community of practice in which participants and staff explore, make mistakes, and grow through human-to-human-to-nature relationships. Using the educational tools above, we aim to critically deconstruct inherited stories of separation and domination, and at the same time responsibly recollect a deeper human inheritance: stories of interrelationship, belonging, dignity and respect. We believe this orientation supports the conditions for systems change so needed at this time.
The ongoing health of community and ecology depends on cultural elements that deeply connect members of every generation to self, others and place.
Our current era requires leadership that is born out of the maturation of the human spirit. Such leadership must be rooted in interrelationship, fueled by creative collaboration, deeply aware of historical patterns of oppression and considerate of the health and well-being of many generations to come. Community resilience emerges when leadership is sourced out of respect for the whole.
Creativity is far more than our capacity to make art. It is the key to solving today's problems with different worldviews than the ones that generated them. When we open a channel for inspiration to move through us, unhindered, emergent solutions and innovations are born.
Transformations large and small can occur when we take our prayers—hopes, longings, dreams, and visions for change—and live them through service and action. Prayerful activism affirms that the changes we seek necessitate our participation through sustained daily action. We guide our service by the understanding of the inherent connections we have to communities and systems that go far beyond ourselves.
Humans and nature are part of an inseparable whole. By connecting deeply to our place in the natural world, we remember our ultimate belonging and awaken our vision and unique genius.
Vitality arises out of our direct, reciprocal relationship with the 'wild' landscape. As we tend to the health of the ecosystem and wisely gather food, medicine and tools, people and the land are both incomparably enriched.
As humans, we have shaped and been shaped by our environments since the beginning. Now, as natural systems face increasing stress, we must ask: do our efforts follow nature's wisdom or defy it? Permaculture guides our response towards the health of the whole.
Just as we can read animal tracks on the forest floor, so too can we track movements within our internal landscape—of behaviors, judgments, dreams and longings. Our ability to see the dance of light and shadow within calls forth our wholeness and gifts.
To orient to life somatically helps us to uncover a sense of self that is rooted in the wisdom of living systems—the wisdom of the Earth as it expresses itself humanly. This orientation invites us to fully inhabit our bodies by learning the ways our systems adapt, communicate, and respond. With this experience, we can make decisions that are informed by our body's inherent wisdom and also face the traumas of the human experience, employing body wisdom to permit our healing from the severance. Ultimately, somatics allows us to locate ourselves as deeply embedded, precious, and critical bodies of the Earth in the larger web.
Healthy relationships are at the foundation of regenerative culture. Weaving Earth works with traditional Peacemaking practices to empower self-awareness, deep listening and the capacity to think and act like a circle. As we pursue collective liberation, these tools help us to connect across difference and engage the patterns of power and privilege we encounter along the way.
Activists, educators, entrepreneurs, naturalists, systems thinkers and changemakers (ages 18+) who are interested in experiential learning, nature connection, social justice and systems change.
Over the years, we have seen firsthand the value of intergenerational learning environments. While the majority of our participants are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, we have also been fortunate to work with participants in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. We treasure the diversity of perspective and wisdom that these additional decades of life experience can bring.
The Immersion is a dynamic learning environment that is shaped by the interests and energies of each participant and member of the teaching team. This relational fluidity is an important part of how the program responds and evolves — like nature, the Immersion is emergent. Also like nature, there is an operating system underlying the dynamic, relational experience. See our Core Curriculum and Relational Education pages for more information.
One essential part of the Immersion eco-system is layered participation. Students have the option to participate for one, two, or three years, which generates opportunities for leadership development, facilitation training, peer mentoring between the years, and ongoing opportunities to practice embodying the curriculum. These years are not hierarchical — they are ecological.
The Foundations (Year 1) track is about exposure to the curriculum/container and the beginnings of embodiment. The emphasis in Year 1 is “going on the ride.” TIMING TBD. Click here to see the pre-COVID calendar plan for a sense of how the Foundations track is typically laid out.
The Fire Tenders (Year 2) track is about circle leadership and service to the community. Completion of Foundations is a pre-requisite for joining Fire Tenders. TIMING TBD. Click here to see the pre-COVID calendar plan for the Fire Tenders track.
The second-year training is a carefully held individual and group process intended to support the unique leadership expression of each person in the circle. Second year participants help create surface area for learning, working side-by-side with the first year group, supporting their learning journeys, asking good questions, offering stories, and facilitating some curricular pieces. As participants step more fully into their unique leadership, they often encounter their learning edges. Our well-trained staff are practiced in helping individuals meet this growth in healthy and productive ways. Second years arrive early and stay late to support this process.
The Bridge Builders (Year 3) track is about dirt time, holistic tracking, continued circle leadership development, and deeper support from staff on how to apply this training to future endeavors. Completion of Foundations and Fire Tenders is a pre-requisite for joining Bridge Builders. TIMING TBD. Click here to see the pre-COVID calendar plan for the Bridge Builders track.
For those who are called to more fully embody these teachings, to further apply the learning in their lives, and to take this model out and share it with others, the Bridge Builders track adds a definitive layer to the WE Immersion journey. The third year is an individually designed combination of deep nature-connection experience, real-world service learning opportunities, and distinct, personalized mentoring. The Bridge Builders are stretching the edge of awareness for the rest of the circle with the stories they gather from the land. They are also the camp leaders, who are anticipating needs before the arise, practicing the skill of putting their gifts and awareness to work, and looking out for the greater good of the whole.
Fire Tenders and Bridge Builders participate in one additional multi-day session at the start of the year to prepare for beginning with the full group.
Sonoma County, CA on occupied, unceded Southern Pomo territory, with additional off-site field trips.
Unless noted otherwise on the calendar, all weeks begin with dinner at 6 PM on Wednesday evening and end no later than 7 PM on Sunday. Second and third-year participants have a slightly different schedule that will be discussed in-person with each group. The 4 group calls will be scheduled at the beginning of the year and Personal Mentoring sessions are set up individually with participants. Additionally, there are two 10-day intensives during the year that follow a different pattern. See the calendar for details.
The following sections explain our sliding scale, Equity Funds, and other mechanisms to support our participants. Please read this section thoroughly, and if you still have questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition includes catering, camping, program supplies and admission to all special events unless otherwise noted in the calendar. Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. We ask you to self-assess the price point that is appropriate for you. The high-end of the scale reflects the value we believe the program holds, and the low-end offers a more accessible entry point while ensuring we cover all costs. By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. If you pick a higher price point, you can designate the additional tuition to support one of our Equity Funds, described below.
*Weaving Earth is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our federal tax ID number is 83-1110798. Anything you choose to pay beyond the entry-level price point is considered a tax-deductible charitable contribution for tax purposes.
We also recognize that the low-end of the sliding scale might be cost-prohibitive. If this is true for you, please be in touch to begin the conversation about financial assistance. Payment plans, financing options, and some financial aid are available. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Weaving Earth has established two Equity Funds to support members of the community who hold targeted identities.
The first is a Reparations Fund to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) participants to attend the Immersion. We offer these reparations with a prayer toward collective liberation. Given our collective inheritance and its relationship to displacement and disconnection, we do not want BIPOC participants to have to pay for the reclamation of connection to land/nature/place. Please see our Commitment to Reparations for more information.
The second is a Multiplicity Fund, which we established to provide financial support for queer, trans, and non-binary folx who are interested in attending the Immersion. We offer this funding as an act of resistance against the oppressive system of cis-heteropatriarchy, which prioritizes and empowers cis-heterosexual men at the expense of everyone else.
While these efforts are small compared to the enormity of systemic white supremacy and cis-heteropatriarchy, we believe that uplifting the voices of those most targeted by these systems, plus tangible demonstrations of educational equity, can inspire significant change.
We acknowledge that there are many life circumstances and identities not covered by these Equity Funds that also deserve financial support to attend the Immersion. We are doing our best every year to make our programs more accessible to more people, financially and culturally.
All regular weeks of the Weaving Earth Immersion are catered by Carin Mckay of Culinary Magic This includes dinner on Wednesday, breakfast, lunch and dinner from Thursday to Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Certain special events within the WE Immersion are non-catered. Details about non-catered events are listed on the calendar page.