Re-rooting (1).png

A new monthly circle with Wendy Wuyts (wereldwoud

using structures (storytelling, from deep ecology, relational ecotherapy)

to connect with other souls who want to dig 

into the memories of the Belgian landscapes to learn more about

themselves and the place. 

a new initiative from Robur op Den Eik 

Dutch version "Wortel-wijs" started in February 2021 (but already full-booked)

Starting in the end of March 2021

This English program puts more emphasis on themes like globalisation, expulsion and migration.  

Register via this form

Introduction: Where did you take root? 
 

In the past, people were born wherever they would grow up. Being born then meant rooting. Between man 'and the earth that saw him come into the world', an almost corporeal bond had grown. There was not only a relationship between the individual and the community, but also a relationship on an even deeper level between the individual and the ancestral soil, the region from which one came. Now most people are not born at home. Now people do not live in the same place. And that is ok. Nevertheless, one often sees that people like to say where they live and where they come from. These are two of the first questions people ask a new acquaintance. 

Loneliness is not about being alone, but having the feeling of not belonging. One reason may be that you don't know where exactly your roots are. Maybe you belong to different places, like me, because you have lived in different places and have given to and taken from that place and the people there (knowledge, energy, money...). 

A healing journey: rediscovering your roots 
 

For years, I have been working with two passions, or two 'medicines': storytelling and storydoing. After years of living in Thailand and Japan, I returned to Belgium at the end of February 2020. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, I stayed longer than I had expected in my 'heimat': the Kempen. I myself was on the verge of a nervous breakdown: the workload in Japan had worn me down. I then applied my two medicines to myself while re-rooting in Belgium.

Last year, I wrote and shared mostly my own retellings of Flemish folk tales, European fairy tales and Japanese myths on my Instagram account or my blog Wood Wide Web Stories, often inspired by observations during forest baths and other nature experiences. Through these experiences, I deepened my journey and rediscovered Flemish nature: its beauty, but also its problems. I sought refuge in retellings of old stories, old enough to contain a certain wisdom. By working with those stories, even rewriting them and calibrating them to my own experiences and observations, I found grounding, solace and comfort and got to know my authentic self better. 

My quest is not yet over: such journeys are spiral-shaped. In this second year, I want to take others with me. I am going to organise monthly meetings, where we think about what a postheroic story or retelling can mean for our Belgian landscapes, where we can dream and share together.

So, I am looking for like-minded souls in Belgium (or who rooted in Belgium before), who would like to meet online on a monthly basis and explore their creative energy and critical reflections through forest bathing, writing and/or drawing. 

In this experience, I combine my two medicines to dig out with you what we can learn from the old stories of our region/regions to stand firm in the present and the future, regardless of ecological, social and personal crises. This means that together - for each participant - we are going to find out which ancient region/regions we belong to today. 

When will it take place? 
  •  March 2021, to February 2022

  • 10 monthly online sessions of 2,5 hours 

  • Dates: Fourth Tuesday of the month, except July and December 

  • Time: 19.00-21.30 hrs. 

  • 1 online follow-up session in 2022

  • possibly a physical meeting with forest baths and creative work during a weekend or midweek in a beautiful location in Belgium,

The (temporary) goal? 

A journey never ends and some effects of such connections and processes are sometimes only visible after a long time, but after ten months we want some 'tangible' gifts that we can share with others in the next dreamtime. I hope that every participant will have rewritten or 'redrawn' at least one Belgian folk tale - which touches him/her/x, perhaps because it comes from his or her region where he/she/x is rooting , or sees parallels with places he/she/x has rooted before, or because its essence touches him/her/x - into a postheroic story. 

I am also curious about other goals to weave into this project: if you are engaged in a quest or project around creativity, place, connection between traditional ecological knowledge and a more sustainable future for your community and/or yourself... there is certainly room for that.   

What are we going to do?

Each session consists of a welcome, an introduction and a short sentence (20 min.). 

In the second part, we look back on the past month. What did you experience? What is bothering you? What has made you happy? What have you learned about the nature around you? We pass on (the virtual) talking stick so that everyone can briefly share their story with the circle (30 min.). 

The third part is more technical. I do a short knowledge transfer, sharing some of the storytelling. Each session also has a theme. Provisional monthly themes are 'structure of a heroines journey', basic ecolinguistics, women in supporting roles (e.g. the belly goddess, the seer...) .. Afterwards you also get the chance to ask questions or share comments (30 min.). 

After a break (10 min.) we do an individual creative exercise (20 min.) and have a group reflection (20 min.). 

I call the last part 'wisdom of the circle'. In the first session I ask for example which local old story appeals to you and why (20 min.). 

At the end I give 'homework' for the next month: an invitation you can try outside and a short creative task. So this experience is more than just the monthly meetings. 

Dates and details of the content: 

Every fourth Tuesday evening of the month, 19.00-21.30 CEST (Brussels time)

The details might change during the course, as a result of the feedback and inputs of the participants. 

23 March: The preparation of our 'dig' 

  • Introduction of this programme and the virtual circle tools

  • Getting to know the participants: Where do you come from? 

  • Short theory: The alchemy of old stories and nature experiences 

  • Creativity and connection exercise: The Hazel 

  • Reflection on a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (will be sent together with the zoom link)

  • Which old story from 'your home/multiple homes' appeals to you and why? 

27 April: Staying, surviving ... (Japan, USA and Flanders)

  • Welcoming back and reflection about the past month 

  • Short analysis: "The dog of Flanders" - a short anthropology about 'a good story end' according to American and Japanese culture 

  • Reflection on essay from a nature writer with roots in USA and Japan  (will be sent before)

  • Wisdom of the circle: Which words for nature (connection) do you know?

  • Creativity and connection: The gingko tree, or the survivor tree

  • Belgian nature in the spotlight: Lost practices and lost trees 

  • Wisdom of the circle: What did survive in Belgium? What got lost? 

25 May: Reclaiming the feminine energy (Greece, Mexico) 

  • Welcome back and reflection about the past month

  • Short theory: the hero's journey and the heroines journey (Campbell and Murdoch)

  • Reflection on Psyche and Eros, and especially on Aphrodite 

  • A woodwide story from Mexico 

  • Creativity and connection: the mulberry tree

  • A Belgian forest in the spotlight: Silsombos, a 'feminine' landscape?

  • Wisdom of the circle: Which heroine stories appeal to you? 

22 June: The Healing Question  (United Kingdom)

  • Welcome back and reflections about the past month 

  • Short theory: Post-heroic stories in times of social/ecological/individual crisis (Sharon Blackie)

  • Reflection on the wounded fisher king and the wasteland 

  • Creativity and connection: when the beech tree departs

  • A Belgian forest in the spotlight: Liereman, a wounded nature park with many traumas?

  • Wisdom of the circle: Which old stories give you comfort? 

  • 'Dig' assignment for next two months

24 August: Intuitive work (Russia) 

  • Welcoming back and reflecting upon the digging work of the past 2 months

  • Dealing with drought and climate depression

  • Short theory: the psychology in ancient stories (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

  • Reflection on Vasilisa the beautiful and Baba Yaga

  • Creativity and connection: the birch tree

  • A Belgian place: The Minnebron, the last drinkable source in Flanders 

  • Receiving and gratitude

  • Wisdom of the circle: Which signals do you follow on your path? 

28 September: The Campine Dream (Belgium)

  • Welcoming back and reflecting upon the digging work of the past month

  • Short theory: othering and belonging 

  • Creativity and connection: (return of ) the juniper tree

  • Reflection on 'a pine tree in the campine' 

  • A Belgian forest: Visbeekvalley, a palimpsest

  • Wisdom of the circle: Which local story would you like to calibrate to the new realities? 

26 October: Sacred Space  (Bhutan and India)

  • Welcoming back and reflecting upon the digging work

  • Short theory: fragmentation history of Belgian's landscape 

  • A forest bath with Bhutanese serial rooters 

  • Reflection on an unnarrated short documentary: 11 Palms in Bangalore 

  • Poisonous plants and other boundaries 

  • Creativity and connection: Night shade 

  • A Belgian forest: Brabant woods, Belgium's next national park? 

  • Wisdom of the circle: What is a sacred space? 

23 November: The language and stories we live by (Ghana and the Low Countries) 

  • Welcoming back and reflecting upon the digging work of the past month

  • Short theory: An introduction to ecolinguistics 

  • A memory: interior versus exterior life

  • Creativity and connection: Big Tree

  • Digging the roots of a Belgian tradition: Where does Sinterklaas come from?  

  • Wisdom of the circle: Which stories does Belgium need? 

  • Assignment for next two months

25 January: The Clearing from the West wind (From Ireland to Belgium)

  • Welcoming back and reflecting upon the past months 

  • Reflection on the retelling of 'St Dimpha and the rowan tree

  • Short theory: mental health and nature connection

  • Creativity and connection: the rowan 

  • Wisdom of the circle: What do you have to let go? 

  • Assignment for next two months

22 February: The home of a snail (New Zealand and Canada) 

  • How does the sky look like? 

  • Short theory: Orientation and the medicine walk 

  • Reflection on the Maori symbol 'koru'

  • Reflection on the 'Medicine Walk' (Wagamese)

  • Creativity and connection: Back to the Hazel tree

  • Last sharing and reflections on creations of participants 

  • Wisdom of the circle: Where will you go? What's next? 

Included in the price: 
  • content and guidance via monthly zoom and email

  • monthly: pdf with ideas, inspiration and invitations 

  • creative vibes, a new 'tribe' and other 'things' that are priceless

Not included:
physical meeting

Cost: 

Price per session: € 12

If you register for all 10 sessions: € 90

The ticket price should not be a barrier (contact us via the contact form or explain shortly in the registration form why we should waive the costs. The money is for the charity of Robur op Den Eik vzw (e.g. volunteer reimbursements). 

Subscription: 

Please subscribe via this registration form. 

Participants send the money to the account of Robur op Den Eik vzw at least two days in advance to receive the zoom link. Communication: month + "rerooting" + e-mail address 

Robur op Den Eik vzw

IBAN: BE82 5230 8087 7968

BIC: TRIOBEBB

Vekenveld 11

2550 Kontich

Belgium

We could create an invoice on request. 

What is Robur op Den Eik vzw? 

Robur op Den Eik (www.roburopdeneik.org), a charity recognised by the King Baudouin Foundation (www.goededoelen.be), is a place of CONNECTION, through rest, nature, healing and creativity, specifically for people suffering from burnout and for the prevention of burnout. Nature plays a decisive role. The Robur hobbit-like silence house wants to be a healing presence in a small-scale, modest way (can be done under supervision!).

As a meeting place where people can share together, Den Eik supports the web of connectedness.

Robur also wants to be a place for artists: finally writing that book, finishing that CD, etc. Creativity is also a necessity of life that has to do with rest, nature and healing.

In addition, there is a strong ecological aspect. Robur calls for awareness in the choices we make, including in the use of (drinking) water and electricity. Because we need less than we often think.

Do you know people who don't want to be heroes in 2021 and want to dream and create with me in a virtual cave?