Our Theme for 2016 - Weaving the invisible threads of community
At our dreaming, the theme didn’t present itself straight away, rather, it came to light smoothly and easily, that afternoon, amid a First Circle meeting. Once the sentence had been said aloud, it hung in the air, ringing of truth. It incorporates so many things. The vibe of our town; our circle of friends; the businesses we choose to support and choose to be influenced by; the interest groups we meet with; the way we sing together, build together, plant together; the network we choose to support and seek support from; sharing the care and responsibility for our children, our environment, our wellbeing. The list goes on and on. For us, this speaks of the foundation of The Joining. This magnificent weekend is more than just an event of workshops, food and good company. It is coming together. It is the network of likeminded people. It is the sharing of ideas, and the willingness to really listen to each other. It is the friendships that endure far beyond the weekend, and the gatherings that occur because of it. Even within our First Circle, this theme has so many layers. It seems to mean so many different things. It is a theme that will grow. Through our collections of thoughts, feelings and ideas about it, it will develop. Through your input, our precious Joining community, it will evolve into the foundation of our Joining Gathering for 2016. Your input, your thoughts, ideas and the songs of your hearts will add threads and flavours of relevance and poignancy to our theme, and we would love to hear them. Weaving the invisible threads of community . . . What does it mean to you?The Creation of ‘The Joining’ Essence Each year a man and a woman, the 'Staff’ and ‘Basket’ Holders of The Joining carry the masculine and feminine energies for the next year. We now call them HOTFE (Holder Of The Feminine Energy) and HOTME (Holder Of The Masculine Energy). Both of these symbols have been with The Joining since 2003 -the first gathering of this kind held in Australia. The year’s journey for the Energy Holders and the First Circle committee is very different from work on other committees. There are two aspects of being on the committee, the first part is doing the practical component of putting on the gathering and the other is about doing the inner work together as a group. Unresolved personal issues may come up; therefore, the committee participates in many days and/or weekends doing their ‘inner’ work with each other. Often facilitators from The Joining offer the committee their services. The container that is held at The Joining is made of the willingness of those at its heart – the Directors, the Elders, Committee and Helpers - to do their inner work at the individual and cultural levels.