Well, day 2 of this Pentacle of Community path is done and I am left a little unsettled. We are weaving our way through a huge amount of concepts. That is not to say that things are rushed but it is true to say that as the points unfold the depth of the layers with which we approach community in Reclaiming is revealing itself. Through the first point of Collaboration we have already touched on many ideas. A couple of key pieces have left me with strong impressions and reflections. The first is the unpacking of Tuckman’s model of group dynamics which states that all groups go through a process of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. I have sat quiet in the group with my critiques of this model which in group work is considered to be simplistic, poorly researched and inadequate to describe what actually happens in groups. I just don’t want to be that student who starts to unpick the teaching but I know of other better theories that could contribute to this discussion but there isn’t really the time to unpack it all. I have a similar hit around ‘active listening’ as I see it as just the beginning point of quality communication in groups and so much more intimacy is possible when people respond to each other but I also know it has taken me years of training to learn these useful responding techniques and so it feels best to stay shtum. Mmm, there is some irony in my choosing to staying silent in this community class!
Two other pieces within the Collaboration point have really lit exciting fires within me. One is the question from Gwydion about who the collaborators were. My mind instantly jumped to the Second World War and to those who supported the Nazis in occupied countries. It gave me a real glimpse of how language can become distorted and that something as community weaving as collaboration can become a dirty word. I actually felt a shock run through me as Gwydion unpacked this. Another beautiful piece from the collaboration point were these words from Kate and I find them to be so reflective of my Reclaiming experience; “Everybody has a place in the circle, we each have a piece to bring”.
Honour is the second point in the Community Pentacle and this has an ancestral twist to it for me. My family crest has the motto ‘Death before Dishonour’ on it and I am now really curious about the intergenerational effects of that. We explored the Honour point further and investigated how we need to show up for this work in integrity and accountability and how it requires personal introspection to continually take inventory. I sit well with this and have learned a lot recently on such shadow and mirror work in Axis Mundi. Another key piece that we are exploring here in Honour is feedback and I have experienced this way of doing feedback in Reclaiming before. It makes my heart sing knowing that we have a clear process for something that can so easily flip and become criticism.
The big takeaway for me today is to take my concerns about some of the content directly to Gwydion or Kate and to speak about them using some of what I have learned today to express myself. I think this would be me stepping into both collaboration and honour by doing so.