5 Sacred Lessons from Enchanted Forest
Not long ago we returned from Enchanted Forest in Laytonville, California and had our minds blown by the production, atmosphere, and overall offerings. If you’re on the West Coast and are interested in the intimate, homegrown festivals then we can’t recommend Enchanted Forest enough. Below are some lessons we recently learned from our weekend at the legendary Black Oak Ranch, the venue where the event was held.
Feel comfortable in your own skin.
Enchanted Forest knows how to conjure the perfect festival atmosphere that combines safety, security, love, and support in one concoction. With this gathering being one that supports the “free the nipple” movement and has always embraced a clothing optional policy, many attendees feel comfortable showing their bare skin whether they are in the river, in the showers, in the Dr. Bronner’s foam station, or just walking around site during the hot summer days. Of course, showing skin isn’t a requisite and this shouldn’t be considered an “attraction” for those who are thinking of attending this event. However, it is refreshing being in a public space where so many people feel safe and comfortable enough to wear (or not wear) what they please; you can also spot some dope-as-f*ck outfits created and worn by some people with superb steeze. Another property of this gathering that builds on the safety of others is their no alcohol policy. With less sloppy, reckless, incoherent people lurking around, many feel less threatened by the usual possibility of having to ward off a creeper who doesn’t respect boundaries. Wear what you please at Enchanted Forest, people will embrace your beautiful body however you choose to present it.
Take the opportunity to learn from your peers.
There was an exponential amount of workshops and lectures offered this year and many were taught by friends and peers who have been participating in this particular festival scene for years. Veterans like Toni Bernaum, Ron Nadeau, Philippe Lewis, Karl Baba presented their life lessons and guidance to the crowd and newcomers showcased newly-birthed workshops like Martial Flow, Environmental Studies 101, Banking with Bitcoin. One of the most awesome things in life that truly raises the community is supporting your friends and learning new skills and information that they possess and can pass on. Empowering each other to reach our highest potential is priceless; Enchanted Forest really knows how to support those who have supported their endeavors.
Explore alternative ways to have fun.
Striving to be a no-alcohol event, the community of Enchanted Forest has some seasoned knowledge on how to grace their event with some serious shwirl that doesn’t involve alcohol. Ice cold, refreshing kombucha, yerba mate, and delicious elixirs were heavily flowing throughout the festival site so those feeling the afternoon slump could revive themselves with tasty treats. Another luxury that was offered on site was Emerald Pharms, a medical marijuana dispensary. If you had your medical card handy then you were able to learn, shop, and lounge at the dispensary that was set up. The people working the space were always welcoming and kind so their presence was a pleasure and benefit to many. The folks of Enchanted Forest don’t cut corners, they are always packing their event to the brim with interactive spaces and there was a myriad of places to choose to spend your time. You could sip on some ancient Chinese tea, get a massage, listen to live music, laugh your ass off during a comedy set, attend a workshop, get a dope haircut, or grab a flow toy and surrender to the flow. With so many extracurricular activities, substances aren’t necessary; this gathering hopes you’ll use your precious brain-power to interact with the atmosphere.
Find support in your community.
Something else that was seriously special about this gathering was the offering of 12-Step meetings each day of the event. We all know that festivals are saturated with substances no matter how hard a festival tries to weed them out, so having community support during these stimulating and tempting times is a blessing for many. If there was one festival where you could feel completely secure in your decision to be alcohol and/or substance free, it would be Enchanted Forest. Another offering that is starting to become popular at many different festivals are safe spaces for men and women. Although Enchanted Forest didn’t have a designated space for each sex, there were community circles that were being held over the weekend for both men and women. Both were lead by established leaders who have been supporting Enchanted Forest for many years, and towards the end of the weekend both male and female circles came together to honor one another.
Take a moment for yourself.
Festivals are an amazing way to bond with your friends and to meet new ones. From the second you step on site you are surrounded by smiling faces, prospects of new adventures, and music that you can’t help but dance to. As wonderful as the festival atmosphere is, sometimes you just need a moment to yourself. A break from the untz, untz of music, a break from constant interaction, and a break from hyper-stimulation is not needed by everyone, but it is something that some find themselves looking for during their weekend. Luckily, Enchanted Forest had some great places to take a breather. You could take a stroll in or along the river and easily get to a spot where not too many people were around and during the scorching weekend, a place to cool off and find some solidarity is really unique. The Crystal Dome was, as always, a popular spot filled with high vibrations, treasured crystals, and great lighting; when the crowds were at a low, this spot was a great place to wind down and re-center yourself. If you needed a sacred space to recharge, this was it.
This year, Enchanted Forest really executed the event as one of their best years yet and those who attended are still raving about the experience. People are collectively chatting about the something special that’s sprinkled through this gathering and that something special changes from person to person. This festival touches the hearts of many because of many different reasons and they know how to hold that sentimental value by keeping their attendance numbers intimate, staying true to their ethics, and opening their arms to young folks and families alike. Keep them on your radar if intimate festival experiences are your vibe as you surely won’t be disappointed if you choose to attend this event.