Fittingly enough, it was on a long hike in the deep woods of Oslo that the planning of our forest rave started. After corona knocked over the nightlife and festival landscape in early March here in Norway, the Oslo fraction of Monument has been gathering in smaller groups to dance, have deep listening sessions in nature and to plan our dancing possibilities with you, our friends.

But working out the details for the forest rave proved itself to be a challenging task, as safety for our friends is always our top priority when making quality adventures with good music. We continually monitored the changing restrictions throughout the summer, and at the end of July we felt confident that the time was right for a musical gathering beneath the trees. This was going to be strong magic!    

During the last weeks and days leading up to the event, the whole Oslo team was spending day and night carrying, planning and preparing. The “summer of corona” has brought changes in all our lives. Many have spent more time than ever before in self-reflexive solitude. As a collective we have experienced a type of fear never felt before, as our perspective for the future changed very suddenly and very fundamentally. So being able to roll up our sleeves together again felt more than good. After a good and long barefoot walk in the hot summer forest, the last minute fixing, organizing, painting and cleaning before the event got rolling. Anticipating smiles were on our faces, and shouts of joy, laughter and clapping filled the air as we all soaked in the mystical magic of what was to come. 

Samuel’s beautifully selected ambient tunes set the tone for the day, and got us into that deep grounding sway. I remember closing my eyes, curling my toes in under the grass, taking some deep breaths before opening my eyes again and looking at my best friends smiling, loving each other. I felt proud: We had managed to gather so many beautiful souls to connect. And this year’s festival, which was not able to go on as planned, was happening in some way, anyway.

Foto: Niklas Johnsen

It made it once again clear to me how important it is to create spaces for this: For people to connect, dis-connect, be. The only answer to me is freedom of expression. In whatever way you love.

Dancing together can give you the possibility to revisit past moments – just witnessing, feeling and remembering them. Sometimes it can even enable you to reach meditative states, where you become completely free of the mind and exist in a form of complete peace. You are able to bring everything to a standstill; time ceases to exist, and you are the movement or stillness of that moment. Your breathing and movement slow down, and become perfection, a true connection to the divine, to love. In these moments you are listening to another frequency of the music. When your mind is free to truly listen, your entire being becomes a whisper of freedom.

This “soul dance” or self-conversation can be a way of expressing your thoughts and words through movement instead of words. It can be scary, painful, euphoric or pure ecstasy. Revisiting memories, make plans for the future, witnessing fears in yourself or have insights with souls you are deeply connected to. It’s a form of deep release and healing inner work. 

Being able to offer a safe space for such beautiful experiences is a true gift! Looking back on our forest gathering fills me with enough love and warmth to get me through the upcoming cold and dark Norwegian winter months.     

Foto: Niklas Johnsen
Foto: Cronje Martti Strøm