Feedback 2016

Please feel free to leave your constructive and specific feedback in the comments section below.

A quick note about the feedback. Right now we are listening and reading your feedback. We are not currently replying to your posts, because we want to gather all of the feedback first and then review everything at one time as a cell.

We may reach out to folks as a community or as individuals if we need clarification, or if you offered resources and we’re following up with you.

Many thanks. Feedback is how we change and grow. – The Spiral Dance Cell


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  1. Karen E. Schlumpp
    Posted November 8, 2016 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    First of all many thanks and blessings to all of you for making this happen!

    What worked well:

    +lovely ritual, music, songs, altars and honoring of ancestors
    +access to public transportation and location
    +good start and end time, perhaps in future years time for community
    building can be made available at the end

    What didn’t work:

    -space was small and cramped
    -inadequate seating in comfortable chairs
    -loud kid space was distracting and interrupted fully hearing the ritual.
    Parental attendance and guidance is needed in the future.
    -lighting in some locations was glaring
    -not all who wanted to attend were able to
    -limited time at end for community sharing. Refreshments offered to benefit fund-raising efforts would be a nice touch!

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide feed-back.

  2. Ewa
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Beautiful ritual, great flow, tight and focused leading to great magic, a wonderful spiral dance (always better in smaller places like this or the Regency), loved the cone! Invocations and priestessing were great, loved the Elements, and especially ancestors, Suzanne singing ‘burning times’, ohlone blessing and grandmother’s song.

    The sound, music and chorus were great, amazing solos thank you, Robin and Gwynne. Missed the God song fiercely and All the Worlds Below just as much, it hurt not hearing them. Would have also like the see the words displayed and correctly. I love that we moved the baby names to Beltane! Also loved hearing the names read at the beginning in the circle spiral form – great magic.

    The lights, unfortunately, didn’t work, way too bright and as I inquired at the beginning of the ritual, YBCA was not willing to dim them. It was also very unfortunate to not be able to close the door for a long time so the outside noise was very disturbing, as I thought the kids space seemed, so cramped and close because of the tight space.

    I know it’s a giant relief to not have all the shlepping that’s required at Kezar and places like that, but of course I missed our north altar, and the abundance of altars due to the small space.

    I could talk about how awful the whole ticketing experience was and being greeted by some very unmagical guard dog rather than graces sprinkling rosemary water gave me a panic attack, but what I actually think is more of a deal breaker is, how many people did not get in. Not just those outside but also those who tried online too late.
    I agree with much of what Gary says about the space and that we were too much of a rambunctious and powerful group for this space and even if they would let us do the doors and ticketing, we still wouldn’t all fit.

    I am so very grateful to the cell for giving this space a go and I think we did the best of it. And I am even more grateful for you all for finding it. I have no idea what to suggest as to our next space. Having to turn so many people away seems like a dealbreaker to me, but so does going to Richmond or such . . .

  3. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you for you valuable feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  4. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated.

  5. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Your feedback is appreciated

  6. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your valuable feedback

  7. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the feedback

  8. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your feedback.

  9. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your feedback

  10. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your feedback

  11. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    We appreciate your feedback

  12. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the feedback.

  13. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the feedback

  14. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your feedback

  15. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your feedback.

  16. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Hello Mary,

    You can view the names of the participants by visiting Spiral Dance Program 2016 at this link –

  17. Mary Edda Gamson
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I understand that the names of all participants it the ritual are listed. Would you please tell me how I may access this? Thanks. Mimi

  18. Rachel Yukimura
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I had an amazing time as a Grace — thank you to everyone who makes this beautiful ritual possible. <3
    My one criticism/concern: I bought three tickets, and asked for two of them to be used as sponsorship tickets. The third was for my partner. When I went to the ticket booth before the event started to confirm that one ticket was available for my partner, the YBCA staff told me that I had THREE tickets to my name. In other words, the two tickets that were intended as sponsorship tickets were never turned into sponsorship tickets — they remained attached to my name, as if I had three friends coming. I was really disappointed about this. I thought that the sponsorship ticket idea was a good one, esp since Spiral Dance used to be sliding scale. If I hadn't checked at the ticket booth, I would never have found out that these two tickets weren't being used. I wonder how many other people purchased sponsorship tickets that never got labeled as such, and in the end got wasted, leaving people out of the ritual and preventing low-income folks and others in need from attending.
    Something fell through the cracks, between my purchasing tickets and those tickets getting to the booth. I hope this process can be tightened up. Everyone should be able to attend!
    Thank you! <3

  19. Cedar Sposato
    Posted November 1, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    The ritual worked really well-the space NOT so well–#1 THE NOT GOOD STUFF-the space is too small (no one should be turned away)-not enough seating for us Special Needs folks(people got pretty grouchy trying to get seats)-too hot!-Could not hear the Goddess invocations clearly…maybe the mikes were not turned up enough -The Kid space was pretty loud…could not hear the ritual sometimes…love them any how!- The environment did not feel flexible enough..too many rules-(very clean …but almost too sterile in some ways). #2 THE GOOD STUFF-The ritual was tight & powerful…a Spiral Dance Concentrate!-Being special needs I LOVED being able to remain in the center at the end of the ritual & having people do the closing around us!…THANK YOU!–Love to all who put this on—BUT let us go back to Kezar or another LARGER space BLESSED BE!

  20. Susa Black
    Posted November 1, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    The ritual was wonderful, but the facility was not. I am a senior with a bad knee, and there were no chairs available so I had to stand the whole time, which was painful and distracting. At Kezar, there were bleachers, and room for everyone. Also, one staff member told me my backpack (which is my purse) was too big and would have to be checked.

    Much prefer Kezar stadium – better ambiance, more seating, more inexpensive parking, and you can party in Haight afterwards. I don’t think I’d come back to this venue next year, so hopefully, it will change.

  21. Posted November 1, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I got there and waiting on line, I was with the final non ticketed group of less than ten but weren’t allowed to come in. Maybe next year you can have an overflow group in the lobby area. Thank you, a new SF transplant from NYC, to rebirths and births, Warmly, Jade

  22. David Myriad
    Posted November 1, 2016 at 1:33 am | Permalink


    However, the kids space was so loud we had to move twice so we could focus on the ritual. Also the green light focused on that corner shone directly in our eyes.

  23. Laura Nicodemus
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m one of the folks who couldn’t get in. I’m not a regular participant in this community, but have been to several Spiral Dances and consider it a spiritual touchstone. We came from East Oakland and I brought my husband, ten year daughter and her best friend. It would have been the first time for all of them. I had spoken very highly of the event and prepped them all, so it was definitely a let down. I understand now that I should have gotten tickets in advance, but that’s never been necessary before so it didn’t occur to me. Reading the comments above, it sounds like many aspects of the evening were amazing, and my congratulations to you. Also congratulations for finding a space near BART and with union workers. As someone who witnessed the event from the outside, things seemed a bit more constrained and buttoned-down than at Kezar. Obviously my perspective is that the space needs to be bigger. I look forward to next year, whatever the location. Thank you for the feedback opportunity.

  24. Stephen
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Overall, I think the evening was a resounding success – it flowed very tightly, which I think kept the power of the ritual moving forward. I also liked that, while it was definitely tighter and shorter, it didn’t feel rushed. All the individual parts were beautifully done, and the trance was especially effective for me – so moving. My deep thanks and respect for all of you.
    Like another post here, I didn’t hear any of the names I submitted, which was a bit of a shock. That’s never happened before. If there is going to be editing, who decides what gets cut? If there’s going to be editing, can’t there be at least a printed list of them all? I was there before 5:00 to hear the names read, as that’s a huge part of the evening for me. To think that other names were also not included is a real shame.
    I missed scope of the altars from Kezar – I realize it’s a space and time constraint.
    The tickets were a bit of a cluster! I don’t mean availability, as that’s been addressed. If we could have had separate lines for will call and purchase, it might have been smoother. Also some signage for that would help. Maybe we could have “line graces” to stand in line and collect tickets for those of us who can’t stand in line for whatever reason.
    The noise form the lobby was pretty loud at the early stages of the ritual.
    BUT the acoustics and sound inside were so great! I could hear everything being sung.
    I had a fantastic time and would not be against using YBCA again.
    Thanks you again for such a great and essentially well-managed event.

  25. Chuck
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Amazing work everyone! What a beautiful ritual and powerful magic. I am so grateful for the hard work of the cell–and everyone involved with organizing.
    Here’s some of my feedback:

    1) I am so grateful for the ways the ritual aligned with the work at Standing Rock and other First Nations struggles to protect the land. Solidarity is powerful. Thanks to all the priestesses who wove this in.
    2) Thank you for honoring indigenous protocol and inviting Kanyon Sayers-Rods, from the Matsun Ohlone and Chumash Nations and Indian Canyon to participate. Thank you for the Grandmothers song.
    3) Thank you for honoring the mighty dead who have died this year, Charlie Murphey and Rebecca Tidewalker. As someone who has been in deep grief over Tides’ death it really meant so much to me and others in her family that this was done. Some of her beloveds traveled great distances to be at this dance in her honor. From the bottom of my heavy heart, thank you.
    4) The space was beautiful. It felt really good to be in a space that’s aligned with so many of our values (union workers, Close to Bart, etc). I know the SD cell worked their butts off finding this space and I offer deep bows of gratitude for this heavy lifting.
    5) And on the issue of space–it BREAKS my heart to hear that people who wanted to come were unable to be there. I can imagine that many of the folks who couldn’t get tickets were people who are at the margins of our community (i.e not on tbeBAR list, not socially connected). That makes my heart hurt. Magic is powerful and in these changing times more and more people are being called back to good relationship w the earth. Do we want to hold our rituals in a way that creates space for growth? How can the broader community who’s interested in supporting help find a larger space if the cell decides that’s the next step?
    6) Wonderful priestessing, beautiful music, powerful magic. I would have also loved to have seen all the words to the songs like in years past.
    7) Grateful for the invitation to go deeper into the island in the trance. Don’t know if that’s been present in years past but this was the first time I have felt that draw and then was surprised when the trance led us there. I found some much needed medicine from deep within a green blooded one on the island.

    Again, thank you all for the beautiful dance.

  26. Gary Jaron
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    The ritual was fantastic.

    The space, not so much, which is very frustrating to the Cell for all the hard work put in to finding what seemed like an appropriate fit.

    The ritual was tight and focused. Early start was good and early end was needed considering this was a Sunday eve. It was great to start and finish and still feel like had enough time in the rest of the evening to soak in the event without worrying about the coming day.

    The combined God and Goddess invocation was great and powerful altogether.

    The combined element dancers with song was also great, powerful, and focused.

    The eulogies were amazing and heartfelt. True and clear examples of ‘what is remembered lives!’ All left me teary eyed and I didn’t know these people but felt like I did as I heard what was said. I came away feeling I did know them. They were us and they gave to make us who we are.

    Shinning bright examples of Reclaiming magic those eulogies were.

    The Ohlone blessing was amazing, felt like we were really appreciated and acknowledge as a group who truly does stand for the land and the people of the land. Felt like we were truly honored and invited to be here and felt like we were honored to belong here.

    The ‘Burning times’ song was transformative and transcendent. Again magically powerful example of ‘What is remembered lives!’

    Would have been great if YBCA tech people could have understood how to cue and use their own projectors…they were rarely ever in sync with words of the songs.

    Having the ‘those who need to sit’ tribe in the center and left there afterwards was great! No lose of energy and focus in the ending of the ritual. Felt like we were all still connected.

    Overall though it felt we were too big to fit in that tiny box of space and time.

    More people would/could have come and attended but space was too small.

    Altars were beautiful, heartfelt and creative, but felt like college kids posters temporarily hung on the wall in an effort to mark the space.

    Once we were all stuffed into the space…it was like a ‘hot yoga’ event, once we moved…really felt like a giant sweat lodge. Nice metaphor but not comfortable.

    Not enough seating for the many who need it. We could not accommodate all who wanted to be comfortable, that would have been alleviated by pillows, low seats and such on the floor but YBCA insurance policy (?) the “most have clear access in case of an emergency to exit” would have been violated. Hence our problem.

    We were a colorful, powerful, rambunctious, vibrant, non-conformance, and defiant bunch stuffed into a confining, sterile, rule bound small box that we had to contend with. We did a great job all things considered.

    Overall one of the most powerful Spiral Dance rituals ever!

    Unfortunately, after the event and in the light of a new day, YBCA brings up very rose-colored glass visions of how ‘good’ Kezar is as a venue for this event.

    Ahhh…the irony of it all.

  27. Deborah Oak
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful space and good feeling – definitely need more chairs and -maybe another circle of them around the outside? Missed the welcome at tho door with rosemary and water and really missed All the Worlds Below after cone… that is my most important feedback. That song helps ground the cone and is also another way the energy goes out to the world. AMAZING CONE!! Truly sublime and really good work with drummers to both build and let go. Also love words being up… Love if the words of the spell could be up or even put up somewhere in the room.. but that’s just frosting… the cake was darn good. Good energy all around and felt like love was indeed being wielded. Just what I personally needed this year of my mother dying. and also Standing Rock and the election that has gone on way too long. GOOD MAGIC!!
    Thank you all for your service.

  28. Sarah D
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The new space was both great and not great, as with most things. Some of my comments may or may not have to do with the space itself as I’m not clear on what is/isn’t constrained by the space.

    First,early start time – hurrah!!! This mad for a much family friendly ritual. We could stay until almost the end and my child was able to do the spiral dance fully for the first time! I saw other children in the 3-8 range participating as well. Does my heart good!

    The kid’s corner was awesome! Better than at Kezar because it was flat :)

    We couldn’t get there early, so finding it was harder than it should have been – I’m sure that was my fault for not knowing the area better and the construction really threw me.

    When we got there, it was difficult to pick up my ticket. Nobody seemed to know which line to stand in and the the YBC staff were really short & irritated that I didn’t just know which of the three lines (none marked) I should stand in. Fellow attendees were far more helpful and kind!

    I may have missed this because I got there right as it was starting, having greeters outside to direct or maybe signs we create would be lovely. Mostly people to welcome us would have made a huge difference! Maybe even having people on the corners of the block outside directing or holding signs, or chalk spirals on the ground?

    It was too small, so it was limited how many could be there. Even with the limit, ran into posts during the spiral dance.
    The chairs they have are great!

    It was hard to see if in the outside area – the stadium seating in Kezar was nice from that perspective.

    It felt “jarring” leaving and entering into the cement city space.

    We left wondering if there was anyway to hold this event in an outdoor space with a giant tent (think wedding). Maybe Stern Grove? That might be a pipe dream, but it feels lovely to think about!

    THANK YOU!!! For creating amazing ritual and all the work you do to make this happen!!!!

  29. Joli
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Overall, I thought just about everything about the new space at Yerba Buena was great.

    I thought it was a little bright (lighting) during the trance. After the ritual, I talked with a person who said that she thought the lighting was a little bright throughout and that it took away some of the mystery (I know the feedback instructions say not to give suggestions from others but she asked me to pass along her thoughts & I said I would.) The lighting is probably a very easy thing to adjust.

    It would also be a good idea to have some more aisles to allow people to move easily and safely if they need to go out to the lobby during the ritual.

    Thank you to those who found the space and arranged for its use!

  30. Christy
    Posted October 31, 2016 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    So disappointed to be turned away this evening due to lack if space. Our group waited over an hour hoping that more tickets might become available. I have never needed to purchase tickets in advance before. I would guess close to 100 people were turned away. The venue is not big enough.

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  • 2017 Intention

    Riding the knife's edge of history, we face the great challenge of this present moment; to step off the old path and weave futures of strength and joy with the dead and the generations to come.

  • Admission

    This ritual is Bay Area Reclaiming’s largest fundraiser for the year, and supports many of our other activities, courses, ritual, and resources.

    As soon as the venue is announced, we will begin accepting donations for tickets.

    Donor - Suggested Donation $120.00*

    Supporter – Suggested Donation $60.00*

    Regular Admission – $25.00*

    Special Needs – $18.00*

    Youth (12-17) – $18.00*

    Senior (65+) – $18.00*

    Children under 12 years old are welcomed at no charge with a paid admission

    In keeping with our Principles of Unity, sponsorship for those with a lack of funds is encouraged.

  • When and where

    The Likely location for this year's Spiral Dance is the Richmond Convention Center, Richmond California.

    The Spiral Dance is happening Saturday, October 28th, 2017.

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