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What is Dandelion?
The programming of Dandelion comes together from you, the community of participants. Past gatherings have been the host of rituals, workshops, skill-building, entertainment, coordination between groups, childrens programming, social gatherings for teachers and community leaders, and lots of time to connect together as a community. Dandelion also hosts the BIRCH meeting.
The Broad Inter-Reclaiming Council Hub is a meeting that takes place during Dandelion and is a format to support many voices from across the Reclaiming tradition to be heard together. The intention of this assembly is to deal with wider issues in the Reclaiming tradition, nurture seeds of connection, communication, facilitate resource-sharing and skill building, and in general offer a way for Reclaiming practitioners to come together and grow our community. The meeting is open to any Reclaiming-identified individual or group.
BIRCH is a place for people in Reclaiming to speak and be heard, and to deal with wider Reclaiming issues (beyond just camp-related business), to address large issues of our core values and ways of organizing (for example, whether or not to revise the Principles of Unity.) The BIRCH assembly is open to all Reclaiming individuals and groups. Any Reclaiming-identified individual who attends the Dandelion Gathering on the day that BIRCH meets is welcome to take part.
BIRCH was birthed at Dandelion 2 with the intention of serving all parts of the evolving Reclaiming communities by nourishing our webs of connection, past, present and future, through passionate, generous, magical reflection, service and action. BIRCH is visioned as a body that can hold Reclaiming in all of its parts. BIRCH's Purpose is to act as an empowered, accountable and transparent body that will:
1. Facilitate communication, resources sharing and skill building
2. Affirm our identity and honour our history and lore
3. Support and strengthen our diverse communities, individuals, networks and guilds
4. Enhance the visibility of Reclaiming in the world
If a group chooses to send an official representative to BIRCH (which is only necessary if a group specifically wants to have someone speak on their collective behalf), the group and rep can identify in writing prior to Dandelion by contacting the BIRCH discussions list on the Dandelion 3 website. Groups and representatives can also form and/or identify in writing onsite during Dandelion. Only a representative of a group of 5 or more may block a consensus decision during the BIRCH assembly. Suggested agenda items for the BIRCH assembly will be collected from anyone who wishes to contribute them on the BIRCH discussions list and onsite at Dandelion.
How Dandelion came to be may offer some insight into the intention of the event.
Fall 2002: Having heard a call from their respective communities, the WitchCamp Spokes Council consensed to create a 4-day gathering of the tribes. The event was visioned to be a large gathering, accessible physically and financially, and open to anyone supporting the intention and the Principles of Unity The intention was to support opportunities to manifest the community that we envision for our future, and To celebrate, with a re-union of greater Reclaiming Community, tend the hearth, dream the future, and nurture the wild seed.
Spring 2004: The first Dandelion Gathering was held in Texas. The event was nearly cancelled through lack of early registration, however, enough people registered, and the gathering of the tribes manifested.
2005: Spokes Council dissolved into the Witch Camp Council
Spring 2006: Vermont hosted the second Dandelion. Lengthy consensus meetings resulted in the creation of BIRCH as a way to hear many voicessolitaries, small communities, and large communities. BIRCH offers a structure by which any Reclaimer accepting the Principles of Unity can work together to shape the future of Reclaiming.
The BIRCH Administrative Hub was formed to manifest future meetings of BIRCH and future Dandelion Gatherings.
Spring 2008: Dandelions third gathering, and the first actual BIRCH meeting, was held near the San Francisco Bay. Several working groups, also called cells or pods, were formed to carry the work in-between BIRCH meetings.
Fall 2010: Dandelion IV was held at Diana's Grove near Salem, MO. In addition to sharing workshops, offerings, meals and social time together, this gathering held two days of BIRCH meetings. BIRCH came to consensus on several points of action (see D4 notes) and planted seeds for the possibility of changing the gendered language in the Principles of Unity, as well as the creation of a new "all-Reclaiming" core class on community building.
August 2012: Dandelion V was held near Portland, OR. Our time was filled with socializing and enjoying the swimming hole, as well as sharing workshops, meals and meetings. BIRCH continued discussion of the all-Reclaiming community class and came to consensus regarding language changes to the Principles of Unity. There was also discussion around updating the reclaiming.org website, as well as maintenance of the Dandelion seed money.