Sorry, but I didn't take any photos and unless someone donates some that they took, this will have to be a "You had to be there!" gathering; shared here in writing as Sitting Owl experienced it.
After unpacking and greetings, it was well past dark when we (most of those there) dug the Sacred Fire pit, but at least we had good moon light and the odd torch to check on details.
What can I say about the gathering? From opening ceremony to closing ceremony; just magical for everyone, including all of us pushing through obstacles and past comfort zones; and with a double Sun-bow (rings around the sun) to signal the after effects on the Monday.
One of the best aspects, for many I suspect, was the introductions and sharing of everyone, one by one, at a couple of fire circles. where we got to hear everyone's story, which could only strengthen our uniting bonds with each other. Yes, it did push many of us past our comfort zone, which helps us grow and has to be good for us, yes?
In my opinion, it was the efforts and hard work of everyone putting in everything they could that made it the greatness that it was, but it simply would have lacked greatly if any one who attended, had not.
We were blessed with visiting Elder (from USA) Ben Rhodd and other blessed and blessing Elders like Kiri Dewes and tribal land owner (caretaker) of the land Johny(?) Lovett, who blessed us with his enthusiasm.
The Sweat Lodge was a memorable experience with all the improvisations and scary wind gusts that were playing with bursts of ash and small embers; pushing this little fire keeper past his comfort zone at times.
The Committee agreed that the attendance and spirit at this gathering has re-energise their commitment to SUT.
I hope to see some photos I can upload; anyone out there!? And I hope to see some of YOU at the next one or before, as often or as long as you like.
Here are some pictures graciously shared by Monica Finch. Thank you Monica for this; it is beautiful what you have done.
Evening time waiting for the Gathering
Looking at the site that was chosen for the fire
"All Our Stories" was drawn whilst we all shared around the fire where we had come from and I drew us in the circle connect by golden thread of spirit, the four directions gateways are there and behind this are collective symbolic representations of peoples stories.
"Mountain Deva" is a vision I had whilst meditation at the fire. I saw her in the mountains, the rocks were vivid colours and she sang a vibration the colour of white. She does this every night.
"Scared Space" was my feeling of the space and the power of grandfather and the talking stick.
"Wiping Away the Tears" was the first of the 2 ceremonies, (I participated in the 2nd ceremony).