Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flute And Drum Circle, Workshops, Camp Out In The Border Ranges NP Saturday And Sunday 28-29 March 2009

Hi beautiful beings,

I am excited to welcome you to a Flute and Drum Circle and camp out at the end of this month in the amazing Border Ranges National Park.

View from Blackbutt Lookout towards Mount Warning, early morning after rain.

A favorite place of mine has always been the Border rangers since I moved to this area over 10 years ago. I recently visited there in early January for a camp out and sacred ceremony with two special friends. After one of the busiest years endings mostly due to a last minute rush on flute orders, and flute stock preparations for, and also attending my 3 late December and January festivals, I was totally exhausted and in some serious need of a nature get away. Coincidentally as I was preparing to go my friend called and told me he and another friend were interested to go also. I noticed after returning home late the next day that it felt like I had been gone for many days such was the effect this ancient world rainforest and it's endangered wildlife energy had on me. I'm sure our healing ceremony had something to do with that too. I decided then this would be the place for the next flute gathering such is it's immense beauty, wildlife and flora, creeks, and not to mention the bush walks etc. The camp ground where we will be is Forrest Tops on the Tweed Valley Scenic Drive, a gravel road that stretches 45 km from Barkers Vale just off the Kyogle Murwillumbah Rd to Sheep Station Creek near Wiangree North of Kyogle. We have great amenities at Forrest Tops such as a large open walled cabin with benches a fireplace and sit down tables, toilet and lovely shady and flat grassy spaces for us to camp and for the workshops on the Saturday.

The flute and drum circle will be held on the Sunday the 29th March at 1.30pm, Please come along early and we will share a communal lunch, so please bring something to contribute, meat or veg but veg preferred.

We welcome all, whether you play the flute or medicine drum or not is not really important. Knowing that you are all welcomed to come, enjoy and experience being part of this group and gathering is what is important. Bring along indigenous percussion instruments and flutes if you have them. Bring any other things you may need such as drinking water, chair, blanket and cushions, cameras, etc. I look forward to sharing a special afternoon with you. I will also give a free group lesson just before the circle if any one wants me to share a few playing tips. I'll have a few nice flutes for sale as usual so please ask me before hand if you are interested in seeing flutes on the day and I can bring keys that suit your taste.

Now this circle, in keeping with the pattern of always doing something different and nowhere near identical to the last, has a very special surprise. We are blessed to be joined by Morning Star, a special friend of mine who's journey for most of her life has been learning and teaching the crafting of sacred medicine tools and their customs handed down to her from many traditional indigenous peoples throughout the world. She now teaches and tours through the UK, Europe and USA and as she does she learns more amazing knowledge and is devoted to keeping it alive. I surport her work and dedication and her depth of understanding when it comes to Animal Medicine often suprises me. Morning Star has been creating from roadkill, from leather and making medicine tools for over 35 years and teaching this skill for 17 years. She has spent the last 5 years on the road, sharing these skills with others. She traveled with the 7 foot Alaskan Grandmother Drum from Alaska to Guatemala in 2006/7 and returned to the USA in May 2008, traveling 8,000 miles overland promoting her new book - 'Making Medicine Tools & Ceremonial Art' and teaching workshops in 6 US states, plus traveling with 3 snake head medicine items to the planetary gateways in 2008. She is preparing to leave OZ again late April for Philadelphia to further promote her work overseas. This is a rare opportunity to learn from Australian Medicine Woman and Earth Mother 'Morning Star' before she leaves OZ. she has expressed her desire to join us and I am very happy to welcome her to come and share with us. For more info visit her website
Morning Star will have copies of her book for sale as well as some of her amazingly crafted smudge fans, medicine rattles, pouches and other interesting things from her journey.

I too will be sharing my skills as a flute maker with a new workshop I have created to make flutes affordable and easy to craft for those who don't want to do my intensive beginners course over 2 days at a greater cost. The flutes will be carved and in the old Grandfather style which is one of may favorite styles and feels for the Native American Flute. This style has been very popular and I am always short of them because of that. So I look forward to introducing new people to this amazing flute and healing tool through this workshop then we can share and enjoy the afternoon together with the others present and you may want to be part of both workshops. These workshops will be the day prior to the Flute Circle and separate to but sponsored by the flute circle. The flute circle is a donation only gathering whereas the workshops are pay to participate. All the details for the workshops will be in a word doc that I will mail out to the flute circle email data base, if you want a copy then please email me here (email address at top of page). On the Saturday evening after dinner we will have a sing along and ceremony which all are welcome to join. It is fine for people to arrive and camp from the Friday evening onwards even if you are not taking part in the workshops as there is so much to see and do besides relax. You may even decide to camp elsewhere in the park then move to Forrest Tops for Saturday night. I'll be camping from Friday arvo and I'm sure others will also.

Some more pics of the sights around the park below. This park was made world heritage listed by the Keeting Labour Government which means it will never again be logged, prior to that many parts were sadly logged, however as it is such high and rugged country much of it was off limits to loggers. This NP is habitat to many endangered species. There is a place called the lost world between the boarder rangers and Lamington NP and it is virgin old growth Rain Forrest, one of the last large pockets left in NNSW, there are many parts of the park that are also virgin RF. There are Red Cedar, Antarctic Beech, Teak, Rosewood and numerous other species of trees which are many thousands of years old. Bushwalks take you right past them. The leaf shapes of the under vegitation, the vines and the moss growing on everything make you feel like you are in an ancient world, not to mention the cool brese and the clouds swirling meters overhead bring thier own enchantment.

Mt Warning from the Pinnacle Lookout.

Bar Mountain (Centre) from the Pinnacle Lookout.

The very Sacred Brindle Creek in the Border Rangers NP, walking distance from our camp at Forrest Tops. Pic Paul Daley.

Flute in nature, another NP flute and healing journey at Yuriguir NP.

Morning Star starting the web on a Medicine Drum, MBS Syd. 2008.

Morning Star making the cross handle and the tightening mechanism of the Medicine Drum.

Matt and Morning Star at the Sydney MBS 2008, sharing stand space together.

We must pay the required fees to NSW NPWS, It's $5.00 per night plus a onnce only cost to take a veichle into the park of $9.00. See the NPWS website for details about the park. The map is not the greatest but these directions will help, it does show clearly where Forrest Tops is and you can see the road, I suggest all people to make a printout from Google Maps that way you will not get lost, Directions are simple. I will send you the details of the best route from where you are so please let me know where you are coming from when you reply. The roads are good but expect well maintained dirt roads all the way to the camp ground once you leave the main road, the way via Kyogle is nearly mostly bitumen though. Details about the Border Ranges

Wet weather arrangements will see us move to a nearby camp ground with more cabins, Sheep Station Creek. Rain, Hail or shine we will have no problems just pack what you need to suit the conditions.
If you are coming please put all your contact details including your Mobile No. in the reply email, so I can contact you if there is a last minute change. It always is great to know exactly how many people intend to come so please give us some notice.

All in all we should be well taken care of with the conditions and it's a really beautiful time of year to be up there. I look forward to seeing you when you arrive. Please contact me if you have any questions at all. Matt - 02 66 33 3314 Mobile: 0429 832 071 or email me here.

Expect a weekend of relaxation, learning, achievement and of course lots of love

See you there


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