Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Circle of Trees: A Multigenerational Program about Nourishing Deep Connections with Nature

Activity 2: Creating the Gateway

Part of Circle of Trees

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Drums or rattles

Preparation for Activity

  • Select an area, preferably outdoors, for the Council to take place, and designate an entry or "gateway" to the Council circle. Be sure that your chosen area is accessible to people of all ages and ability levels.
  • Specify co-leaders' roles in conducting the Council and any participant roles in shared leadership.

Description of Activity

Explain that once the Council is formed, participants will speak in the first person of their being or nature spirit. Model how to do this by introducing yourself as your creature, for example:

I am Tree Bark and I protect the trees.

Encourage everyone to refer to humans as "they" or "the two-leggeds." Say, in these words or your own:

Please don't talk to the other creatures in the circle as if they were human-this is very confusing for them.

Create the gateway to the council by standing with your co-leader on either side of the entry to the Council area. Ask participants to put on their masks outside the entry in silence. Say, in these words or your own:

As we begin to drum, we invite you to walk one by one through the gateway to the Council Among the Trees. Welcome your creature or nature spirit into your body. Once you have passed through the gateway, begin to move and make the sounds of your being or nature spirit. Slowly form a circle with your fellow beings.

With your co-leader, begin to drum as participants pass through the gateway and form the Council circle.