Are you dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is a rare occurence for many, where at some point during slumber you are able to consciously realize that you are dreaming. Oftentimes, this "realization" happens right before waking up, taking all the fun out of the equation. However, the most exhilarating experiences occur when you, the conscious dreamer, are able to stay in the dream, and essentially do everything that you couldn't do in waking life - fly, court another lover, or just be utterly ridiculous. This realization that you are in a dream that isn't "real" can often be frightening, but usually extremely liberating.
Herein lies the concept behind Santa Barbara's 3-day Lucidity Festival - or at least, my interpretation of it - as a place where one can consciously take advantage of these fantastical dreams, however far-out or impossible they may seem. Depending on what hypothesis you choose to believe, you may realize that we are essentially wading in the depths of a lucid dream ourselves, with life being the dream full of possibilities and us humans being the conscious dreamers. The only thing holding us back is our deluded notion of the boundaries we have already set for ourselves.
Lucidity Festival strips these boundaries we have built in our brains concerning who we can or cannot be, and in place, encourages us to breathe our dreams, aspirations, and visions into our daily lives... starting now. Gone is the pre-conceived thought that one day we will be someone special. That one day we will we be able to spend our time how we wish. That one day we will finally achieve great things. When you see that the barriers are broken, there is no waiting game - you can start living your reality now. Just like in a lucid dream where there are no rules, you can imagine for yourself how relieving, freeing, whimsical, and enlivening reality would be if we all adopted this concept.
So now that we are aware that we are dreaming, how do we thrive on the ground of this Earth while living out our wildest ambitions and desires? And how does Lucidity Festival help bolster this intention?
This April's Lucidity Festival is the 5th year in part of a 6 year series. While the first year in 2012 was titled "Awake in Your Dreams", the saga has now come to its designated "Crossroads", a name that seems fitting as the world trudges through a massive transitional period. "We see our global human family entangled in a liminal, transitional zone between what was and what will be," Lucidity Festival LLC explains on their website. "Crossroads is the place between worlds."
Taking my own personal account from the organizers' wise words, I can only assume that "what was" refers to the dark history of civilization thus far, still motivated by greed of money and power, leading to the inevitable destruction of our earth. On a lighter note, "what will be" references the positive outlook that a significant portion of people in the world have already joined the movement towards global change, both environmentally and socially. At the turn of the millenium we find ourselves at a crossroads between the old and the new, realizing that we are powerful enough to succeed this change, saving not only the earth but ourselves in the process. Depending on your perspective, this awareness is beyond inspiring, and even more miraculous that people all over the world are beginning to wake up as well.
"Without denial or judgment, we acknowledge the bursting cities and poisoned seas, the weeping jungle and waning ice worlds. As the Dreamers of the New Dawn, only moments are spent on grief, as we are here to envision solutions. We resolve to cast light upon the darkness, to dig our hands in the dirt, to sing songs of a peaceful future, and actively sweep away that which no longer serves us."
Although this year's central focus is on bridging the crossroads between worlds, everything that founding organization Lucidity Festival LLC does revolves around the mission to advance the following core values: Participation and Immersion in the Artistic Process, Personal Growth and Global Healing, Awake and Aware Consciousness, Environmental and Social Responsibility, Family Fun and Creative Play, Communal Reciprocity, and Transparency.
Photo: The Untz
Truly a transformational festival at its core, Lucidity Festival provides the playground to fulfill your lucid dreams through art, music, movement, understanding, education, and creating meaningful connections with the people around you. As an open-source festival, Lucidity encourages active participation from the festival attendees, inviting each individual to get involved in their own way in order for the community environment to genuinely prosper.
The diverse camp-out event will feature three stages of music, along with renegade stages, and plenty of dance performances, live painting, inspirational speakers and teachers, and too many interactive activities to count. The live music, artists, and workshop Lineup will be announced shortly.
Check out the bottom section of this article "Event Info" for all your event dates, info, camping, and ticket-related questions.
Photo: Edward Clynes
Each Village at Lucidity resembles a different part of the community:
The Lucid University provides knowledge for students of life to explore topics presented by inspiring speakers "from permaculture to cultural literacy, lucid dreaming to sacred economics and beyond". Such knowledge that we don't learn in school is crucial for personal transformation, and this year features useful panels on 5 broad subjects: Creativeworks, Spiritworks, Earthworks, Bodyworks, and Communityworks. Oh, how much fun conventional schooling would be if these were required classes!
Warriors' Way is a village where you can test your survival techniques, warrior skills, and energy awareness through activities like martial arts or dance. As mental and emotional stamina are just as important as physical prowess for Warriors, the village will also host workshops pertaining to our relationship with nature and emotional intelligence, just to name a few.
Photo: Winter Creative Co.
Trixsters' Playground is the stomping grounds for playful interactions, from a rowdy get-down to acoustic mountain music, to elusive street magic and games, to amusing riddles and rhymes. Life isn't to be taken too seriously in a lucid dream, remember? Expect lots of upbeat live music and interactive areas like the Stolen Art Gallery.
Nomads' Nook embraces the free-spirited, the passionate, the renegades of the land. The Wild Monkeys of Nomads' Nook carve their own path on their journey, through traveling, dance, practicing radical self-reliance, and making strong connections along the way. The nook will have nonstop 24-hour electronic music, as well as creative workshops and whimsical theme camps.
Photo: Ruthie Carl Taylor
Lovers' Nest is a peaceful village that strengthens the omniscent: love. In a turbulent world we must find the love and calm within ourselves first in order to shine our spirit bright towards others. Nestle in at Lovers' Nest to taste sweet teas and elixirs, vibe to music and words of wisdom, and warm your heart with oodles of snuggles. All are welcome in this supportive space!
Healers' Sanctuary nourishes the mind, soul and body through restorative practices like massage, body work, and sound healing. Additionally, you will learn to heal yourself from within - perhaps a meditation or yoga session is the rejuvenation you need to feel refreshed and anew. After all, the greatest sanctuary comes from inner peace within.
Photo: Winter Creative Co.
Harnessing the power of the divine feminine, Goddess Grove is a haven for anyone who wants to find the compassion and courage outside of their comfort zones, male or female. Expect creative activities surrounding "secret treasures, words, acts, dance and the boundless fire of the creative spirit". The Goddess reminds us to love unconditionally, and act with passion and instinct.
The Family Garden provides a wholesome experience for families who desire a fun adventure for young and old. Children of all ages are open to participate in funky drum circles, body painting, community building, as well as enjoying fun music, yummy food and a "Grand Finale Parade" for all of us on Sunday. As the children are our future, they hold the magic seed to shaping our world for the next generation.
Photo: Marisa Pfenning
The Lucid University Courseweek is an incredible opportunity to gain more knowledge on these transformational topics beyond the scope of the 3-day festival. Awaken your spirit, engage your mind, and emerge transformed after taking these invaluable and invigorating classes.
The following courses are offered on-site at Lucidity during the week prior to the festival from April 4-6, 2016:
- Art and Creativity
- Reiki Healing 1 & 2
- Lucid Dreaming
- Permaculture Design Certification
- Embodiment & Leadership
Students of Lucid University receive 3 days of instruction in one course, 3 meals per day, and early arrival passes to the festival. You can read more about the Courseweek details and classes on their website.
Photo: Get Tiny
Lucidity Festival: Crossroads will take place April 8, 9th, 10th, 2016 at Live Oak Campground, Santa Ynez, CA. Early arrival is available for Thursday, April 7th for Early Arrivals Pass Holders. The event is all ages.
Lucidity is a Leave No Trace event, and takes it one step higher to "Leave it Better" - so don't leave any trash! Additional eco-conscious practices include bringing a refillable water bottle, although water will be provided and food will be for sale.
Tent Camping is included in the 3-day festival pass, but not the 1-day event pass (which will be on sale closer to the event). You must purchase a car camping or RV pass if you wish to take your car or RV into the camping area.
Photo: Winter Creative Co.
"When we become lucid in our dreams, we realize ourselves as infinite potential, we let go of fear, and we are free to create that which we want to see in the world. Bring those visions, those possibilities, and that delicious conscious energy with you to Lucidity and wake up in the dream."
Are you dreaming? Wake up.