Lupercalia: A Dartmoor weekend retreat with Divine Ridiculous

February: In the Pagan aeon it was the time of the "Galenalia" - associated with the polyamorous weaver goddess MinerVa (MinerValentine) - inciter of a month of "Februa", or FEVER... A feisty feasty fertility romp long ago ripped off and sold back to us as cheap chocolate consumer romance a.k.a. St Valentine's day. Did you know the custom of giving flowers on Valentines originates from Chaucer's time, when the "Magyk Natureel" of giving flowers was thought to repress the visionary malady of seers - epilepsy? Make of that what you will.

February has always been associated with both feasting and purging - Mardi-Gras (Fat Tuesday), a time of MASQUERADE, of promenade, of donning animal skins and cavorting, to embody - in lightness - the shadow. CARNIVAL - the meaty BODY+ the inert eternity of MASK = a fine-tuned instrument granting passage to high spirits, (the antithesis of establishment forces that would seek to split us - mentally and interpersonally - in to warring factions) - a time promote a healthy fertile fullness and complexity, to see ourselves unified into the mass of SOULS. Marking the body with ASHES (Ash Wednesday), and preparation for the time of fasting (Holy Thursday). The ancient Romans celebrated in February the LUPERCALIA by taking to the streets wearing goatskins and donning whips: LUPA being the she-wolf who suckled the twins, the LUPERCAL being the cave in which infants were raised by wild beasts. (The word Lupercalia is also associated with LEPRECHAUNS those effervescent spirits of mischief).

Brothers and Sisters of The Wolf and of The Goat! - It is time to call in RUMINA, the goddess of breastfeeding and of the wild fig (in ancient times known as "The Goat Fig"). It is time to seek out the GROTTO's of the imaginal, to make our offerings at the Nymphaeum, to celebrate our LYKAIA, to get together and make an orgy of art...

Our weekend will take place in a very special space in Devon, Dartmoor. We have at our disposal 2 studios, a SAUNA, our expressive and poetic potential, and the magical-artistic praxis of the Divine Ridiculous - spontaneous, foolish, syncretic.

Modalities: Clown, Buffoon, Mask, Butoh, Voicework, Dance, Drawing, Movement and Bodywork, Tarot, Ritual/Theatre, Psychomagic, Sacred Sexuality, Film-Making, Voudon Gnosis, Multidisciplinary Arts.

We make no pretence of being accomplished at anything other than mistakes. Our goal is not mastery but unfettered, innocent creativity. We will mine the collective mind, inviting the ephemeral to take form in synchronistic moments of drama, insight, epiphany and plenty of non-sense. Work will flow according to the needs of the moment and the dynamic of the group. At the end of the weekend we will make a public presentation/happening.

We are calling out for 22 self-motivated players to join our motley clan and play the game. The goal is to explore and redefine our vision of gnostic theatre, to tap into our innate ability to create ritual, to envision how playing can be praying.

Embodied practitioners, wannabe witch-clowns, part-time pranksters, art activists, psychic researchers, innocent bystanders, wandering minstrels, lost souls, self-gardeners, and humans of all shapes and creeds are invited to join our kin.

We love diversity and call in any and all fringe-dwelling minorities to add your special flavour to our mix.

We are less interested in academic reference, clever speech or philosophic treatise, more interested in glossolalia, cut-up, entrance, offering ourselves vulnerable, instinctive, and poetic to this experiment, to trip up, pray, make ritual and engage in a fantasy that transformation can be opera. This work is very much grounded in and associated with the earthy spirit of THE CLOWN. We will play in zero-space, an empty-handed palace of potential, and call in the local spirits to help us make sense of what happens. All of our art is an eroticly charged offering to something beyond our mundane body. Hence we call it ENGROUNDED practice.

We are interested in harnessing THE ARCHETYPAL as a tool to dig into deeper levels of the collective mind and make contact with archaic ORACLES embedded in our own knowing. Modern living has uprooted us, yet as humans we all seem to know how to do this - we seek to reclaim what is already ours - a sense of connection with the eternal and a trust in our own instincts.

Each participant will bring their own intention: a magical question from their own current life-drama - in to the work. Upon submitting this question each participant will be assigned at random (through a process of divination) a specific archetype/spirit with which to focalise their work. These archetypes will be drawn from the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky. This will open for us a pandoras box of gnostic/artistic possibilities, limited only by our individual imagination and time-space boundaries. Be it physical, musical, dancing, photographic, filmic, painted, sculptural, ephemeral, drawn, scraped. ripped, enscribed or flamsical whopdoodle - it is all welcome in our temple, and there is no right or wrong way to play, no experience necessary. We work with the interplay between the fleshy mortal body and the immaterial/archetypal world.

Each day will comprise vigorous physical practice, structured facilitation, self-led creation, group/solo reflection, and documentation of the research. Cameras will be used and we will co-create a film during the weekend. With consent images of our work may be included in our irregular print-only journal "têt" (link below)

Work flows from 5.30pm Friday 21st Feb into the night of Sunday 23rd Feb - when we will present our findings to an unsuspecting public.

Time is short, whilst we offer up to 8 hours of facilitation per day during the workshop - we can only offer some 'tastes' to inspire your own practice, therefore we en-courage practitioners to bring ideas, energy and motivation of their own - to draw upon their own resources and be ready to dive into the field.

Since we want to make the best out of a single weekend -we offer also a chance for groundwork to begin from the moment you pay your deposit - whence, upon submitting your enigmatic enquiry - you will receive correspondences from our mystery school to provoke your practice, focus your research and familiarise you with our working methodology as it is developing right now. Yes, there will be HOMEWORK and ONLINE LEARNING included in the price - including membership to our online archive of films, images, pdf's of important books, and space to communicate with the community of practitioners who have been initiated into the work.

This is a residential retreat facilitated by Daniel Hernandez and Chloe Amia Isabelle.

All inclusive cost, including food, accommodation, facilitation and administration: £200 per person

After booking, please send:
1: A question from your life in the form of a poem/haiku/riddle/enigma (no longer than 3 sentences)
2: A mysterious/mythic photograph of yourself you don't mind sharing online

All enquiries and applications to: tryhardtobekind@gmail.com

MORE INFO:
community and public archive: facebook.com/groups/divine.ridiculous
mailing list: https://my.sendinblue.com/users/subscribe/js_id/36tee/id/1
new!: https://www.patreon.com/divineridiculous
divine ridiculous journal "the embodied tarot" https://www.blurb.com/b/9355279-the-embodied-tarot
clothing: https://divine-ridiculous.teemill.com/
radio: https://www.mixcloud.com/dirtyhernandez/
safety/ethics/boundaries: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1665335606858562/


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