For us, "Ancient Trance" means inviting cultural diversity and preserving music as a handmade cultural technique. The sound of the Jew's Harp, as one of the oldest instruments of humanity, becomes the mediator between the most diverse styles of a young, international music scene. On the trails of shamans we want to connect a great variety of traditional sounds and lead over the old ethnic roots to modern ecstatic world music.
As a team we have a common vision, which we bring to life with the festival. It is a space for inner growth based on a circular culture, whose cornerstones are appreciation, mindfulness, respect, compassion, empathy and love. Creating a space where we can feel the magic and come together as human beings. Celebrate together and enjoy the liveliness of being.
As an organization method we use the Sociocratic Circle, which makes it possible to reach decisions in a consensus and to give everyone an audible voice, no matter at which point or circle he enriches the festival.
All festival organizers work voluntarily for Ancient Trance. Most of the organizers are members of Maultrommel e.V., the non-profit association based in Taucha, which forms the legal framework of the festival.
In the end of August our spirit is similar to that of Santa Claus' and his little gnomes who enjoy the "after Christmas" mood: The materials are back to their original places, the bills are paid, the last Lost & Found stuff is picked up, and we enjoy the late summer.
In October we meet for a leisurely weekend and share our feedback on the past festival and talk about our wishes and dreams for the next few years. In November , the first tasks for marketing and booking are already in progress - presale and program conception are discussed. From January on the work begins to really take off and the different circles and working groups meet regularly.
Anyone who deals with alternative, hierarchy-free organizational possibilities inevitably encounters the concept of sociocracy.
For us, Sociocracy is exactly the kind of update that empowers us to structure our values and the established interpersonal relationships empathically and non-hierarchically, and that can lead to a new level of organizational cooperation at eye level.
Respect and mutual recognition of our personal values and ideas are at the forefront.
Sociocracy also holds the potential of understanding ourselves as human beings in our diversity and otherness, while remaining open to the new and changing.
Both in our process of change as a person and as a festival team. So far, the first steps have been taken and this year's festival will reveal our exact status in this process.
The circle culture, as a value and as part of Sociocracy, plays the most important role. Festival meetings are now taking place in areas in which every individual has a serious hearing for his ideas. What emerges is a phenomenon that can be compared to collective intelligence. All members of a circle may speak with their different perspectives on a situation. So there is a very high probability that all the essential aspects can be mentioned, everyone can develop their own opinion on the basis of the information of all. Thus, with high certainty, a consensus arises in the whole team. By consensus, a proposal is accepted as long as there is no serious objection affecting the interests of the whole festival.
Find a consensus
In doing so, it is remarkable how a group of people can - in relation to the goal - agree on the best for all. Unlike in democratic decision-making processes, in which not always all important information is taken into consideration, mutual confidence is lacking and members are even holding resentment against each other and thus power relations influence the system, a communal process within the Sociocratic circle culture is able to agree on a consensus on one thing. So that a wonderful force can emerge, which not only leads the project to success, but also strengthens the sense of community and consolidates trust for each other.
There are fixed roles that are filled in a circle in a Sociocratic election.
A facilitator (moderator) will guide through the process, making sure that everyone has their say and that the best can be decided.
The leader of the circle pays attention to the contents that are to be jointly developed and bears responsibility for their realization. How the individual aspects are to be realized is decided and developed by the circle itself. Each participant can contribute optimally with his know-how and skills. Each role is not occupied for a fixed period. Everyone is free to decide how long they want to take a role. Also the circle can decide in the consensus that a circle leader can no longer cope his tasks.
In general, each member of the organization decides in which circle they would like to participate, depending on their own strengths or on the desire to gain experience in a certain area.
A secretary makes sure that everything is logged and made available to all participants of the circles. Also he plans the dates for new meetings.
Each leader of the circles come together in a superior circle to exchange information. For each role there is also a substitute person. The double linking ensures that at least two people are responsible for passing on information between the circles. This ensures safety and completeness. All circle meetings are also accompanied by a singing bowl, which provides the necessary mindfulness and concentration during the meetings. In a circle, all are invited to serve them as soon as the focus is no longer maintained.
All in all, at the beginning of a long process of change we stand to a true participatory structure in which each individual can develop his or her competencies. We see ourselves as human beings in a common process of creation of a festival that stands for openness and peace, community and mutual recognition. We all share valuable time together, which should be a wonderful experience for all guests, helpers and organizers.
We want to make change and self-development tangible and realistic in a consciousness of mindfulness and aliveness. We know that this idea also represents an opportunity for our global socially and ecologically sustainable togetherness and our planet as our habitat to be preserved. We have the opportunity to change ourselves so that we and our children have a good and worthwhile future. Without war, without emergency and with a more conscious coexistence of all beings. For all this, Sociocracy is a first step.