Edge of the Wild   The Annual UK Ecopsychology Gathering

Image by Gordon Sheret (2015 delegate)

The 5th annual Edge of the Wild gathering was from 4 to 7 August 2016


With 'Heartlands', the call was to move beyond egoic and abstract ideas to connect with the longer histories of how people and cultures emerge from the land. As our own internal landscapes reflect our relationship with the environment so our theme spoke to the sensuous and lived 'knowing' of 'my nature’, ‘my soulscape', and 'my body the earth'.

The aim of 'Heartlands' was to offer the opportunity to share our poignant land-stories, tend the graves of our ecological ancestors and return to our roots.

It was also a space for vital conversations about how the gathering remains connected to the earth and the relationships that sustain it; such as how we can ensure the gathering remains an expression of the ecopsychology movement? And might we renew our gathering with good heart at the threshold of a new paradigm?

Here's an overview of the 2016 keynote speakers and their keynote titles:

Hilary Prentice

'The Wild Goose, the Condor, the Eagle and the Blue Jewel'

'We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light the way through an uncertain future'  

From the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers

Colin Campbell

'Elements and archetypes: The Search for a New Inner Topography in Flatland'

“Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature… natural phenomenon… have slowly lost their symbolic implications. Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry god, nor is lightening his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no trees the life principle… no snake the embodiment of wisdom, no mountain cave the home of the great demon. No voices now speak to man from stones, plants and animals, nor does he speak to them believing they can hear. 
His contact with nature has gone, and with it has gone the profound emotional energy that this symbolic connection supplied".

James Hollis paraphrasing C.G. Jung

In addition to the keynotes, the programme was a mixture of both led workshops and open space sessions. There was plenty of space for participants contributions and a rich and diverse open space session. You can view the flyers from 2016. The workshop flyer can be downloaded here and the full programme here.

Dates: 4-7 August 2016

Workshops 2016

Workshops took place on the afternoon on the Friday afternoon and were two and a half hours in length. You can view the 2016 Workshops or click on the links below to find out more about the content of each workshop:

Open space sessions

The Open Space session on the Saturday afternoon consisted of conversations, talks, workshops, explorations or experiences that emerged spontaneously out of our time together - this year there was a pop up singing group, for example. "How do we bring our visions for ecopsychology home?" was the theme. It turned out to be a rich afternoon, with everything from energy healing, discussions about the future direction of ecopsychology in the UK, through to a singing workshop!

Dream matrix
Another highlight of the 2016 event was James Barrett holding a Dream Matrix each morning before breakfast, an event which has become a foundation of the the 'Edge of the Wild' gatherings. 

Home groups
Each days home groups had the chance to meet at an allocated time. We've found from experience and feedback that home groups can provide an important space in which to share and process your experiences of the gathering, and support when you need it, particularly if you are new to this community. 

Evening entertainment
People coming to the gathering were, as always, invited to bring along their musical instruments, poetry, songs, stories and other short creative activities they’d like to share with others. There was rich sharing around the fire on the Friday evening, facilitated by Robbie and Fi and dancing on the Saturday evening with Jed Milroy and Jo Jefferies (of the Whisky River Boat Band and Homecoming String Band.

Image by Declan Burley (2016 delegate)

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