Participants split into groups of 3 armed with a question to explore. Each person takes a turn to play each of 3 roles:
• as storyteller, you respond to the question. The invitation is to seek the deepest possible place of inner truth as you respond.
• as listener you listen deeply to the storyteller. If needed, ask questions to draw forth the storyteller’s truth. You also take notes (the harvest is typically shared with the plenary) and keep time (triad processes tend to be strictly timed to ensure equal participation).
• as witness, you lend your full attention to the interaction between the storyteller and listener. You are energetically tracking both the field and the impulses coming through you as you observe. At the end of the storytelling round, the witness will share their impressions with the small group
Typically, after a time in triads, the groups are invited to speak the essence of their insights into the full circle, which will then collectively make sense of them. One harvesting pattern is ‘triangulation’, where each group is asked to name the 3 key insights from their triad work in relation to the question that was the point of entry.
Being intentional about harvesting is a key navigational attitude in a Collective Alchemy journey. The intent to gather and cultivate the fruits of our shared inquiry is held at all times. Rigour is required to adhere to this practice and keep refining it over time.
One aspect is tracking the line of understanding as the inquiry unfolds. This is done both as part of the process (when working with triads) and through whatever means the members of the circle bring to bear. In the case of the first Collective Alchemy journey, individual members offered different modalities:
Poetic harvesting (capturing essences in poetic format). Here is a sample:
“It’s also in the being born. Humanity is in the birth canal. Birth is a phase change. Perhaps we are NOT a parasite… Birth is always a near-death experience, We might not make it. But when it’s over – everything will be different. A new story begins. There is no forcing this process. The Winter Solstice intensified the contractions, but no cosmic surgeon hovers to perform an emergency caesarean air-lift rescue. We have to make it on our own. And this is a natural process. How much do we trust nature?”108 Poetic harvest offered by Helen Titchen Beeth.– Helen Titchen Beeth
Visual harvesting (capturing the energetics in colour and shape, and illuminating with essential quotes).109Viola Tschendel Clark offered her unique visual harvesting gifts.
The harvest from each session can be shared during the session where helpful (in support of further collective sense- making). It will also inform the intent and trajectory for the next encounter, and can serve to create a bridge between one meeting and the next, or between one phase and the next. It would then be introduced at the beginning of the encounter or phase.
Collective sense-making is iterative in both the core team and the plenary group. Any time a crucial ‘field coordinate’ emerges into the collective consciousness, it must be named and connected to others that have already emerged.
Which modalities are used to harvest the journey will of course depend on the purpose of the journey. In terms of visual/tangible collective harvest, online calls can be recorded and notes taken real-time in a google doc.