Bloom Baltimore hosted a community gathering for Bloom's Planet Medicine theme. It was their 40th event since starting up in 2009! Robin Gunkel, producer and writer, sent in this report.
The event took place at the Baltimore Yoga Village, http://www.baltimoreyogavillage.com/ with new healing rooms on site donated to us by Metta Integrative Wellness, http://metta-wellness.com/. About 25 people came.
Summer Blake also had a table set up w visionary art: http://summerblake.com/
Mare Cromwell sold her books on the earth mother: http://www.marecromwell.com/
And, Michael Weese sold mushroom tinctures and kits: http://mushroomlife.com/
The first hour of Planet Medicine began with Kathe Izzo from The School of Invisible Arts (who flew in from Florida; she lives between Florida and Brooklyn and made a stop in Baltimore for this event on her way back to NYC ). She began with a ceremonial flower blessing and participants brought flowers with them to Planet Medicine and fashioned them into a mandala and later into flower malas for themselves. Kathe had a really strong presence during Planet Medicine, and we had a ceremonial circle sharing before we called Magenta in.
Magenta was awesome and gave the galactic overview of Bloom and talked about regenerative culture and technologies, visionary business models, the long term vision of Bloom etc. We used Facebook chat instead of Skype as I had borrowed a laptop from the University of Baltimore and couldn't make a Skype connection.
After the chat with Magenta, one of the healers, Andrea Wegner, played crystal singing bowls and sang during the intermission- her voice and the bowls were unearthly beautiful and a lot of people did meditation and yoga during this intermission since she created such a resonant, transformational space.
After this we called Jim in, and he spoke about Tonkiri Healing Centre, http://www.tonkiri.ca/. Kathe knows Jim and she had a lot of good questions for him. And, there was a nice thread of medicine work and it's connection with family and community, and Jim talked about his daughters serving medicine during ceremony. He also sang an icaro for us. It was so beautiful, and there were many great gems of wisdom in his talk, such as learning patience from people in ceremony, which we may need more than the visions from the medicine, and how drinking medicine is like drinking time in how it speeds up natural healing processes.
We concluded with a discussion where we invited everyone in, and it was reminiscent of the old Evolver spores that we use to have in this space. There was a lot of talk about Evolver, questions about the transition to Bloom and why, national leadership roles, talk about the local currency, mycoremediation etc. The theme of the discussion began with the relationship between personal and planetary healing.
We then finished the day with a closing circle and song.
It was a hugely successful event and people are anxious for the next event. Since Bloom events are now quarterly, I suggested hosting a potluck to bring us together again next month. People are also interested in helping organize future events.
Even though I was expecting a larger crowd (a Bernie rally the same day and beautiful weather invited people to be other places), the people who did come were very dedicated, interested in Bloom, and identified as wanting to become part of the Baltimore spore. I have hosted a lot of events over the years, but I've never seen this level of commitment coming out of a single event. I feel that Planet Medicine may help build the foundation of the spore into a community again. So, I had to shift my perspective to understand that the event was successful in an intimate and connected way, and this is what it was meant to be.
For the next event, we will likely collaborate with the Baltimore BNote (our local currency that launched out of Evolver 4 years ago). They are releasing now $10 and $20 notes with historic African American women on them, http://baltimoregreencurrency.org/. There was discussion on whether the BNote has been successful. It sounds like instead of just focusing on local currency, which is just one piece of a larger economic picture, people are interested in broadening out to also discuss Time Banks and Gift Circles too. There is a Baltimore Time Bank which launched from the BNote years ago, https://letsbmore.timebanks.org/, and I hosted a gift circle through Evolver in the past, so we have a foundation to build on for this coming event.
Bloom really does feel like a 2.0 beyond Evolver, going more deeply into the work that was first built almost 7 years ago, and we're leveling up to a next more developed and heart-centered place. I never would have hosted an event in the past with such a spiritual component, but it did very much feel like the right next place to be.
Yay, Bloom Network!! Thanks for reading this long report!! So glad to be engaged in this work with all of you!