The Yin to your party-Yang is a programme of talks that take you from the cerebral to the celestial, the ceremonial to the spiritual. You will not leave a Totem Talk the same person as you entered, so expertly have we curated this programme of mind-expanding and horison-shifting experiences administered by our troupe of global experts and thinkers. Open your mind and let the knowledge seep into you…
Totem Talks – The Common Glastonbury 2022
Visions for the New Earth
What happens when you put a diverse group of visionaries together into a pot and stir it?
The pandemic had many gifts of transformation that will be unveiled in the coming years. For many the shifts that have begun are something that we have been anticipating for a long time. There are numerous prophecies about the ‘Aquarian age’ or Golden Age and many believe that we are now in a potent chrysalis for a magical new way…Collaboration is key to understanding the profound transformation we are now collectively experiencing.
Over the festival weekend the Common is hosting many frontline visionaries and changemakers who have been traveling through unchartered realms and domains for many years. We’re going to bring some of them together to offer a unique opportunity for a fusion from key vanguards in the fields of Consciousness, Free Parties, Shamanism, Altered States and Festival Culture. This series of talks held on Friday and Saturday afternoon will culminate in a panel discussion where we vision what it will take to birth a new world.
Friday 24th June
Moderator for the Breaking Convention Talks – Aimee Tollan
Aimee is a Co-Executive Director at Breaking Convention, a charity that holds Europe’s largest conference on psychedelic research. She has previously been the Director of Screening at The Synthesis Institute. She holds a BSc in Anthropology from the Univ. of Kent and an MSc in Psychology from The Univ of Greenwich. She has previously conducted research on drug policy reform and the cannabis induced altered state of consciousness.
14.00 – 14.50
Bruce Parry – Old Tools in Modern Times
Drawing on his experience living with indigenous people, particularly egalitarian nomadic hunter gatherers, Bruce will unpick some of the tools and methodologies that preagricultural societies used in order to be in harmony with each other and nature. Combining these tools with modern technologies he will explore how we can create a regenerative and respectful future in which humankind is in ‘right relationship’ with its mother earth.
Bruce Parry is a filmmaker, best known for the BBC documentaries in which he lived with tribal people around the world. His series explored indigenous wisdom, globalisation and climate change, giving him a deep insight into the problems of modern humanity and the solutions offered by alternate ways of living. He left the BBC to make a feature film Tawai about our spiritual connection with nature. He currently lives in Wales where he is trying to live by some of the insights that he has gained over the years.
15.00 – 15.50
Hattie Wells – Slow River: The Ebb and Flow of the Psychedelic Renaissance
The psychedelic field is evolving at an exponential rate. Clinical trials point to the potential efficacy of these compounds to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, anecdotal reports of transformative experiences are widespread and investment and interest is increasing dramatically. Is this a yellow brick road, or could these compounds give us the chance to change more than just our mental healthcare? Is it time to acknowledge the lurking shadow that comes in the form of aggressive patents, the pursuit of profit over ethical concerns, the tweaking of molecules for IP rather than efficacy, the high cost of treatments, and the threat to biocultural sustainability an increasing market brings? Drawing inspiration from the rivers, this talk will outline how we can wind our way towards a more ethical and equitable future, one that is guided by its source, the container in which it flows and the desired destination.
Hattie Wells is a co-director of Breaking Convention, the UK’s largest conference on psychedelic consciousness, a psychedelic monitor on a 5 MeO DMT trial, and is collaborating with ICEERS on a policy project focused on how to legally and ethically integrate shamanic plant medicines into countries outside their origin. Over the last decade, she has worked with non-profit organisations including the Beckley Foundation and Transform Drug Policy Foundation in an effort to support psychedelic science initiatives, challenge the needless criminalisation of people who use certain drugs, and create a path forward that minimises the risks and maximises the benefits of using psychedelics and plant medicines. She is currently focused on how to create a more ethical psychedelic future: one that honours its roots, embraces diverse perspectives and practices, and where purpose is prioritised over profit.
16.00 – 16.50
Nikki Wyrd – Tripping Through Life: The psychedelic connections of nature-centred spiritualities
The sense of awe and wonder instigated by a psychedelic experience allows us to inhabit the natural world without artificial boundaries. In this state of awareness, followers of many paths encounter a deep heart connection to life in all its forms, and make meaning for themselves by talking with the divine creative force found within all beings. Today, we will take a tour through a few examples of contemporary practices—including rave and festival culture—to examine their common thread of ecstatic awareness (which informs so much of the outpouring of joy and community), which subsequently encourages the practical creation of a better environment for all. What can we do, as a society and as individuals, to allow these sacred encounters to flourish, in a culturally approved and consciously supported way?
Nikki Wyrd is a Director of the charity which runs Europe’s largest psychedelic conference, Breaking Convention. She is the Editor of the Psychedelic Press Journal, runs the Universe Machine publishing house, and also works as a freelance editor for books and academic papers related to psychedelics, occultism, anthropology, and medicine. Nikki is a sacred space holder, organises retreats, and presents workshops centred around ritual practices. Nikki’s past roles include British Isles Section Head of the Chaos Magic order The Illuminates of Thanateros, ecology graduate, bass player in an all-women punk band, and single mother. She actively encourages humans to reconsider how they can live in harmony with other organisms, and deeply enjoys dancing to psytrance.
17.00 – 17.50
Fredi Devas – Whales combat climate change!
In 1986 the commercial hunting of whales was banned, and only in the nick of time. Our great whales were brought to the brink of extinction. Southern right whales were the hardest hit. They grow so old, that some alive today are likely to have witnessed this brutality, and yet, amazingly, these whales remain gentle and inquisitive around humans.
The good news is that, for the most part, whale numbers are increasing. Just in the last two years the first accounts document Antarctic Blue whales and Fin whales starting to recover. Some Humpback whale populations are almost back to pre-whaling numbers. With the resurgence of whales, new research is revealing just how important a role they play, not only in restoring ecosystems, but also in combating climate change… and on a major scale!
Fredi Devas is an award winning wildlife filmmaker who cares deeply about the natural world and the challenges it faces. After completing a PhD on chacma baboons in Namibia, Fredi did research on the bushmeat trade in Equatorial Guinea, and then spent time living with the San bushmen in Southern Africa.
He has spent the last 17 years working on wildlife films such as Planet Earth II, Frozen Planet and Wild Arabia, but it was his time filming whales for Seven Worlds, One Planet and Planet Earth III (still in production) that brought his attention to their huge importance to us all.
14.00 – 14.50
Jade Shaw – How to have an out-of-body experience and why it will change the world
Something is missing. Collectively, we’ve lost perceptual diversity: different ways of ‘knowing’. Science calls it polyphasic perception. Actually, it’s just being human. It still exists in some cultures. Shamans enter trance, Buddhists meditate and dervishes whirl as a way to understand life. But not in the West. Here it’s written off as ‘woo woo’. As such, we’ve become ‘monophasic’, gaining knowledge solely from the physical world. Our mental health pays the price.
But the reality revolution has begun. You can’t see it, but you can feel it. We can improve our perceptual diversity by inducing an out-of-body experience (OBE). In ancient times, it was taught in secret to achieve self-mastery. Now it’s done by ordinary people for self growth. In this fascinating talk, Jade discusses why returning to polyphasic practices like OBEs is not only vital for our well-being, but crucial to the future of society.
Jade is an out-of-body experience (OBE) researcher and teacher that advocates altered states of awareness for personal and collective change. After a life-changing OBE, she studied the transformative effects of the phenomena for her MSc in Transpersonal Psychology.
Keen to raise awareness of the benefits of this experience, she produced ‘Insight Out’, a film featuring on Gaia TV and Amazon Prime. She was the Astral Projection consultant for the NO1 Netflix series ‘Behind her Eyes’, and last year she won the 2021 Kindred Spirit Magazine Emerging Voice Award.
Jade has lived in a Tibetan Buddhist Temple for five years, undertaken a pilgrimage around India and has attended Shamanic retreats in Peru. She’s trained with the Mindfulness Association and the renowned Monroe Institute. Her mindfulness approach to OBEs for well-being has been featured in UK national magazines & newspapers Women’s Health, Spirit & Destiny, Daily Express and The Sun.
15.00 – 15.50
Panel Discussion – Birthing a New Earth Vibration
We are in a constant state: our old paradigms colliding with new paradigms. Both have value and need to be acknowledged but there is something that we are still missing! What needs to be accepted for there to be symbiosis between all living things, a collective consciousness, where exchange is based on reciprocity, and we only know the frequency of the heart? Come join us in our panel discussion to co-create and envision what this new age feels like, how will it come about, what is the key, and what part will you play?
Panel: Jade Shaw, Hannah Kendaru, Graham Hancock, Eric Marky, William Hawk Birdshead, Huitzomitl, and more…
Moderator – Felipe Viveros
Felipe Viveros is a British-Chilean multi-media artist, independent researcher and strategist. Felipe’s work focuses on the intersection of art, on-line organising, digital storytelling and systems change. He helped to co-found Culture Hack Labs in 2018 and now works for them as an independent advisor on projects around the world from Mexico to Manchester, UK. He is a co-founder of Choose Earth, and contributed to the development of Cura daTerra, an initiative to centre the voices of Indigenous women. He has served as the European representative of the GNH Centre Bhutan, the board Chair of /The Rules and at the Sacred Head Waters Initiative and is a member of the UN Harmony with Nature initiative.
PANEL MEMBERS NOT ALREADY IN THE PROGRAMME
Graham Hancock – Graham is the author of Magicians of the Gods, and of the major international bestsellers The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heaven’s Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures, radio and TV appearances, including two major TV series for Channel 4 in the UK and The Learning Channel in the US – Quest For The Lost Civilisation and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age – have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions. He has become recognised as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity’s past.
In 2005 Graham published Supernatural: Meetings with The Ancient Teachers of Mankind, an investigation of shamanism and the origins of religion. This controversial book suggests that experiences in altered states of consciousness have played a fundamental role in the evolution of human culture, and that other realities – indeed parallel worlds – surround us all the time but are not normally accessible to our senses. Graham Hancock is the author of the No 1 bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods, and Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient
Teachers of Mankind.
* In 2013 his TED talk, “The War on Consciousness” was famously banned by TED but resurfaced in multiple pirate editions all over the internet: Click here to watch it.
Huitzomitl – Dancing through Chaos. Epistemologies of Cure, an Indigenous Antidote to the Anthropocene.
The colonisation of Indigenous people began 528 years ago and carries to this day. Today we live in cities, where we still carry our knowledge and traditional ceremonies. In this experiential talk, we will explore what we can learn from Indigenous wisdom that is relevant for us today. In ‘Dancing Through Chaos’ we will dive deep into ancient embodied practices that can help us navigate through times of crisis. We will also explore epistemologies of cure that can inspire us to see and feel the world differently, and together dance our way through chaos.
Huitzomitl, is an Indigenous artist and wisdom keeper from Mexico. His work combines ceremony, dance, tattoo and body modification, and he lives between New York and London. He is a lineage holder, and carries the traditional knowledge of his Indigenous community through medicine, music, art and rituals. He started training and learning from a very young age and much of his wisdom has been passed down to him through his family lineage. For him, Indigenous culture has a key role, in helping build a more harmonious and ecological society.
As an Artist, Huitzomitl has collaborated with different art collectives around the world, and has exhibited his solo work in the UK, Mexico and the US. For over a decade, he has been researching Traditional Mexican Tattoo techniques which is now applying to his professional tattoo and body modification practice.
Huitzomitl work brings together Indigenous wisdom and art, as tools to empower people and communities around the world. He dies that by integrating traditional ceremonies with body modification, making the connection between traditional and modern art.
William “Hawk” Birdshead – Ancient Tribal Knowledge for A New Earth
Visions of the future are often dominated by white, male, western perspectives. Indigenous peoples see both the present and the future differently, and their worldviews have a lot to add to the conversation. During ‘Ancient Tribal Knowledge for a New Earth’ William will bring Indigenous voices to the fore. Through ancient stories, songs, wisdom and practice, prototype a more diverse and thriving future.
William Hawk Birdshead is an Indigenous (Cheyenne and Arapaho) artist and activist. He is the co-founder of “Indigenous Life Movement” a renown Indigenous media organization, and works in suicide prevention.
He is a leading artist, and has performed around the world including at Glastonbury in 2016 during the opening ceremony as one of the lead singers. That year he also performed a ‘prayer for the future generations’ at the Arcadia and toured the UK presenting the film “Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock”.
Julio Cesar Pacheco Kuk
Representative of the ancestral house of knowledge called ´PACHAMAMA´ for 13 years.
Julio Cesar learned from a very young age the use of medicinal plants, by watching his grandparents and others in the community caring for people. He had the opportunity to live with Otomís, Wirarikas, Mazatecas, Toltecs heirs. Hmenes and Xmenes of Yucatan, (currently one of his elders is a hmen) He had also the opportunity to travel outside of Mexico to the most original territories, visiting several tribes and bringing respect to the elders in: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Salvador and Guatemala where he had the opportunity to share local wisdom, science, ceremonies and creating alliances.
Finally he returned to his Campechano´s (maya) territory and shared all he learnt in his new ceremonial center where visitors receive this wisdom and guidance from different parts of the world.
16.00 – 16.50
Hannah Kendaru – The Time for Decolonial Healing is Now
With the crushing realities of climate collapse, soil degradation and societal divisions, the skills to cultivate embodied approaches to decolonial healing are vital on all levels of our being.
Often times our healing and healing practices resist acknowledgement of the role that colonisation, capitalism and racism have evolved our practices, or how we still rely on them to avoid, suppress or bypass our collective histories.
This talk will be an introduction to decolonial healing, embodied antiracism and embodied social justice as an emergent process. A form of leaning into a more integrated human experience. Moving beyond conversations of diversity and equity, and towards gard(i)enship of what it means to be a full participant of an evolving society.
This talk is an invitation to shift the ways we have been taught to be in this world. It is a radical reforming of what it means to heal. To heal out of the oppressive systems that we have learned to perpetuate onto our own bodies. It is a return to the age-old wisdom of the body: to remember fully, actively acknowledging, learning and choosing to unlearn the patterns of oppression in order to address the core wounds that we all suffer from today.
Hannah Kendaru is an Indonesian-British Breathwork Practitioner and Embodiment Facilitator working on embodied approaches to healing intergenerational, historical, institutional and personal trauma. She uses specific breathwork techniques, the conscious connected breath and embodiment practices to bring us back into the deep remembrance of what love, liberation and justice means.
She uses the breath to remember our connection to the earth, to our lineages and ancestors; to start our journey of decolonial healing and rewilding our civilised minds, bodies and spirits. She provides two pathways of engagement: breathwork therapy with 1:1 clients online and in-person and Breathwork Education.
She is a co-creator and teacher on Breathing Pathways, a breathwork facilitator training rooted in embodied social justice and shamanism and Embodied Decolonial Healing Programs with The Forest Garden.
This is a year of connection and of weaving, please reach out, she would love to hear from you.
17.00 – 17.50
Eric Marky – Reforest the Mind: Rights of Nature in Times of Crisis
Indigenous peoples are Mother Earth’s best stewards. In order to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change, we must fundamentally transform our relationship with the Earth. We can learn from Indigenous peoples millenary wisdom and ecological practices, and work
together for deep long term solutions to the ecological crisis. As we do so, we will begin the process of reforesting our minds, opening the horizons for new possibilities.
Eric Marky is an Indigenous storyteller, DJ, filmmaker and campaigner. He co-founded Mídia India, Brazil largest Independent Indigenous Media collective. A talented multimedia artist, Eric has toured the world with his music and travelled extensively through Brazil, Europe and the US. His work focuses on communicating through music, the dreams and struggles of Indigenous peoples, an eclectic mix of styles that is both unique and fun.