Crystal Blanton is returning to Sacred Harvest Festival, Aug 6-12th. She is bringing her whole family to experience the festival, and is offering a second Restorative Justice Circle as a service. Harmony Tribe is facilitating community participation by non-registrants of the festival for this event, Thursday, Aug. 9th, 10am at the festival site in Geneva, Mn. I talked to her by phone:
You are back at Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF) ?
Crystal: Yes, I had such a good time last year and I made such incredible connections with people that I really, really wanted to go back, and I wanted to share that experience with my family. I knew that if I could make it happen, I would.
Are you familiar with SHF Guest, Yeshe Rabbit?
We are both in the Bay area, and have had a great connection with each other as we both have continued to grow along our paths. I am really excited that she is one of the national guests this year. I think she will give the festival a great service. I visit her store often. I don’t work within her coven, but because we both are in the Bay area and do leadership type programs we come across each other frequently. We have been able to develop a great working relationship and friendship together even though we don’t work in the same coven.
You are offering another Restorative Justice Circle (RJ) at SHF, why a second one?
Usually when we do an RJ circle around a particular topic there is a follow-up. We do that as a means to make sure that after the first interaction that people have had the opportunity to be a part of the solution and deal with whatever has come up since the initial engagement. In this kind of scenario, my thought was to come back and offer that same kind of opportunity for people to engage in a follow-up but to also focus on some community building type exercises supporting the community with moving forward and gaining more tools as a community in that rebuilding process. This is the benefit for participating if you participated last year, to support going from one phase to the next phase of healing and restoring community values.
What if this is your first RJ experience, what would be the benefit?
As I am designing this my initial plan will likely change once I connect with the community. There is always what we think we want to do, and then once there, what is needed. My guess is that it would have a portion set aside to talk about the past year, and the feelings and emotions associated with the rebuilding of community. I want to focus more on that direction, but that is just based on impressions of what I left a year ago. Since this will be open to community, it also depends on who decides to participate and attends. Part of the RJ process, that can be both challenging and important, is to be able to move within the needs of the community which we are serving at that moment. Because I don’t know what portion of the HT community will be participating, I have to leave that somewhat open at this time. There will be time to get some basic feelings out, but my main push will be to get to the next phase of restoring.