Full Moon, No Werewolves: Whistler’s Nita Lake Luna Fest
October’s full moon in Whistler is generally a time to put the finishing touches on the Halloween costume while simultaneously figuring out a way to maximize candy-intake without sacrificing your healthy pre-season ski training/wellness regime. (Unless you are a werewolf- werewolves don’t need costumes and they rarely ski because all that transforming into a beast is tough on boots and outerwear. To a werewolf the October full moon is just one big party).
WhisterUnfiltered Photos (left to right): Feet Banks, Jake Doyle, Jorge Alvarez
This October 18-20 2013, marks the inaugural Nita Lake Luna Festival which coincides with this month’s full moon. While they may not be much help with your costume/werewolf issues the Luna Fest can definitely contribute on the fitness/wellness front.
“Whistler seems to be on the leading edge of wellness,” says Nita Lake Lodge general manager Mike Duggan. “When I head into our deli in the morning these days I am seeing more people drinking fresh fruits and vegetable juice than there are drinking coffee. We recognized that to do a festival around lunar celebrations and wellness and fitness would be a great fit and this is a chance for guests to embrace the glow of the full moon, harness their creativity and immerse themselves in nature.”
Featuring a full slate of workshops, seminars and classes covering restorative full-moon yoga, painting, singing bowl meditation, clay sculpture, fresh food preparations and more the Nita Lake Luna Festival aims to attract and connect with a large spectrum of the health and wellness crowd. “I’m signed up for the ‘Yoga for Stiff Guys’ class,” Mike admits. “I’ve never done yoga and I am definitely a stiff guy.”
Photo: Phillipa Campbell
One of the most intriguing sessions set for the weekend is the Raw Cacao & Five Elements Dance. Described as a transformative shamanic dance the ceremony features music, native drummers and a specially prepared raw “chocolate” elixir that will be unlike anything you will get in a Halloween goodie bag this year.
“Cacao is a sacred plant medicine that’s been celebrated for thousands of years in the native cultures of Central and South America for thousands of years,” explains workshop leader and local yogini/dancer Nolita Ananda. “Raw cacao contains anandamide, a so-called ‘bliss chemical’ that is believed to help the heart’s ability to expand and supports the emotional clearing of whatever is preventing us from connection with life and ourselves.”
The ceremony involves music and dance as Nolita guides participants through “a Shamanic dance journey through the five elements—earth, water, fire, air and ether—that gives ourselves the opportunity to journey deep into our beings and bring forth our ultimate truth in a loving way that is immediate and lasting.”
This is no sugar high and you won’t find that kind of connection with a crushed Mars bar in the bottom of your kid sister’s trick or treat bag. The Nita Lake Luna Festival Cacao Ceremony features First Nations drumming, music by local artist/DJ Chili Thom and gong meditation with Pashumati Tina James. It should be a howling good time.