• Dare Dates
Sunday Schedule


Jan. 13, 2013                    July 14, 2013

Feb. 10, 2013                    Aug. 11, 2013

March 17, 2013                Sept. 8, 2013

April 14, 2013                   Oct. 6, 2013

May 12, 2013                    Nov. 3, 2013           

June 9, 2013                    Dec. 8, 2013

First Sunday after the New Moon or New Moon Sunday




12 noon until 9 pm …
hosted by Deena Metzger and Michael Ortiz Hill
and the Topanga Dare' Community
Topanga CA
For Directions call Danelia Wild: 310-815-1060


No fee.
Open to the Community
Please bring food and drink
(no alcohol)


Daré needs to be experienced and lived in order to be known. Still, there are certain principles that are fundamental to it.

The strength and essence of Daré is in the circle and its intelligence. Council is its heart. And in Council one always speaks from the heart and allows the spirits and ancestors to speak through one. Wisdom comes from the combined voices and presence of everyone who is participating. The purpose of council is to seek answers from the community that we can’t find ourselves. Asking and addressing a single question coheres the community.

Daré begins by calling in the spirits. Everything depends on this. The invocation allows spirit to inform the participants. It creates a field of knowing and remembering. Daré also centers on telling dreams and receiving dreams as gifts from the ancestors to the circle. Council and dreams are channels between the world of the living and the world of the invisibles.

Music is another essential element. For thousands of years it has been the way that people have called spirit and that spirit has made itself manifest. So, in the Daré in Los Angles as well as in Bulawayo, the voice and the drum as well as other instruments are essential components for invocation as well as healing.

Daré is for the sake of healing, but we don’t presume to say we know what healing is, how it occurs, or even how, always, to recognize it. Sometimes one is the healer and sometimes one is desperate for healing. Sometimes the two activities are one in the moment. Healing is, thus, an interchange, the dynamic of giving and receiving.

This year, after September 11th, we began to devote the concern of the Topanga Daré to peace-making. Again, we don’t know how peace-making proceeds, but we have determined to make it the center of Council. Sometimes the questions are direct: "Describe moments in your life when you have participated in or received the benefits of peace-making. What are the principles that were at the core of this experience?" And sometimes we address other questions in Daré, but always knowing that healing and peace-making are the ground of everything we do.

Everyone is welcome and welcomed in Daré. Everyone is listened to and heard without judgment. This generous mind is not easy to attain, it takes time, practice and dedication. Welcoming, praising and blessing are the core of it. Daré is the place where each person’s individual genius, intelligence and particularity is sought out, acknowledged and called forth.

And finally, Daré is truly composed of all the members of the community, living and non-living, visible and invisibles, the humans and the non-humans, the people, trees, birds, animals, stones and elementals. When all the beings gather, Daré comes to be.

These are some of the basic principles, but it isn’t a checklist. Daré emerges when people gather, some familiar, some strangers, with the intention of manifesting in the moment a community in which such principles are vibrant and alive. Each gathering, then, is different as it responds to those who have come together, their joy and suffering, and as it responds, of course, to the circumstances of the times. When we leave each other, we are different because we have allowed ourselves to be altered and because we are carrying Daré mind into all our other relationships. But, all of this comes about because everyone who comes is deeply committed to and engaged in the on-going process of exploring how such a way of being might come to be.


Augustine Kandemwa, an indigenous Shona healer from Zimbabwe, introduced Michael and Deena to the idea of the Daré or Council. In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Augustine has re-imagined a tribal form in an urban setting. Daré is a healing community composed of all the members of the natural world where exchange is constant and dynamic. Augustine believes that many diseases are caused by ‘the heaviness of the gods upon us.’ the healer acts on behalf of spirit, calling people forth, opening the path between the individual and spirit, removing the obstacles to the spiritual life. the ways of coming to spirit are many and can be both arduous and beautiful. Song, prayer and ritual are as essential to the healing process as are medicine, treatment, dream interpretation, divination and service.

In the Shona and Ndebele traditions, the gods heal through us. "I am God’s feet, I am God’s hands," Augustine likes to say. The healer’s task is to create himself or herself into the vessel that can carry the healing spirit. In any given moment, the healing spirit passes through a room and anyone who has the capacity receives it on behalf of the community. The extraordinary healer is the one who is so devoted to the gods that he or she carries the gods all the time for the sake of the community. But, ultimately, there is no great distinction between the healer and the one who needs healing, Just as the beggar can be the angel who calls forth our gifts and generosity, The one who is ill calls forth the healing spirits in the healer as the healer invokes them in the one who is ill. Through initiation one is both healed and empowered to bring healing to the community. The members of the community learn to heal each other; the one who receives is called forth to develop the capacity to return the gift. As the healer must be sustained in order to heal, the question the community poses to itself is: how can we sustain each other.

Healing is not a profession; it is a way of life. Exchange is not limited by money or one’s ability and so the sacred and beautiful are not commodified or commercialized. Such a Daré is based on the idea of the gift as a sacred responsibility. We are given gifts. These gifts are for the sake of the community. We add what we can to them. We pass them on. Such is the way of the authentic and meaningful life.

Poetry and Art are not professions, they are sacred activities and ways of life. The sacred and beautiful are not to be commodified or commercialized. A creative community is based on the gift as a sacred responsibility given to us for the sake of the community. We add what we can to them. We pass them on. Such is the way of the authentic and meaningful life.

At this terrible beginning of the 21st century, it is essential to re-imagine art, healing and community. These gatherings are seeds for beginnings we cannot yet conceptualize. The task is to see how we can each come forth To meet and ease each other’s suffering and concerns.

No rules, protocols, minutes, legislation, organization, statements of purpose, tax deductions, agendas. But: meditation, Council, medicine, hands on healing, conversation, shamanic work, curañderismo, divination, ritual, cooking, reading, gardening, Prayer, poetry, dance, song, art, listening, silence, healing ...

We will bring what we have to offer and we will form and reform in the course of the day into what configurations develop. We will call each other forth, receive from each other in the ways we can and will offer to each other what we can. To receive what heals and to offer what sustains, this is the goal.


" I owned a small shop on the main street. Baba, the old healer, wanted to teach me secret songs and how to prepare medicines. He said I was an ojha. I prayed to the goddess for direction. She came upon me. "Close your shop and build a temple in this field. Fly a red flag from the roof. You will become an ojha. Do not worry about money or your family’s needs. I closed my shop the next day and everything has come to be. I could not sing before and now I have a beautiful voice to heal with, a gift from the goddess!"


Pat Moffit Cook , Shaman, Jhankri and Nelė, Music Healers of Indigenous Cultures.


The Beggar’s Prayer: The world I love is in great need of healing and I am incapable of healing it. Please help me.

From Left to Right: Dzou, Augustine Kandemwa, Ambuya MaGumbo, Michael Ortiz Hill, Deena Metzger
photo: Valerie Wolf

WHAT MAY OCCUR DURING Daré — very very tentative schedule

And what you should bring

12:00 to 1 pm

Gathering. Meditation. Individual work, particularly with Deena and Michael including augury, divination, dream interpretation.


1 pm to 2:30 pm

Invocation of spirit music, drumming, chanting, prayer

What is Daré review, if appropriate, of what occurred in the last Daré and what we hope will occur this day. Teaching / Discussion regarding principles of healing being explored and developed here. What is created, transformed, when healing is returned to the community? What/who requires healing? What are we being asked to carry today and what is being offered? What grief, crisis, illness, conditions, situations are calling to us to carry as a community.


3:30 pm to 5: 30 pm

Council. Council is a form of yielding to the plural perspectives and wisdom of the circle. It is the basis from which Daré arises.

Addressing a question. Telling the stories that need to be told.


5:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Healing Circles. Small circles for healing work, meditation, understanding alternative ways to approach illness, grief circles, discussion groups, special interest or professional circles, prayer and meditation circles etc.

Small groups centering around an issue or a specific need led by members of the Wed Healing Circle and Individual Work with Deena, Michael and other healers present.

Walking in the hills, meditation, solitary prayer, communion, solitude as desired.


6: 00 pm to 8:00 pm/closing

Stories that Must be told.

Dream, Prayer and Healing circles

Discussion of Community Issues and Concerns

This is the time when we consider the issues that are arising for us individually and as a community given the personal, national, environmental, political and global crises arising from and in response to September 11th.

Dream Telling. Many of the dreams we have are also dreams for the community. To contemplate them together can become one of the essential steps in calling forth community.

As always considering time and appropriateness this may be the right time to relate dream like events remarkable circumstances, visions, premonitions or recognition of healing in ways to that pertain to the community, these times and the transformation we are seeking together. It may also be the time to raise questions regarding Daré, Healing, Creativity, Ritual, Community, etc.

Meditations. Prayers for healing. Closing.


After clean-up members of the community are invited to stay for a brief discussion of what transpired during Daré. Our intent is to de-mystify the process the process of healing and also to provide some training or reflection upon the way of the healer.

What To Bring

Please bring or wear layered clothes. Temperatures can fluctuate during the day and into the evening. If you plan to walk the land, please bring appropriate closed-toed shoes. Daré meals are pot-luck. We need enough food to get anywhere from 30 to 70 people through three meals. Please bring a healthy dish to share, preferably with organic ingredients where possible. We have re-usable china and flatware in the Daré kitchen. If you are bringing take-out, please do NOT bring plastic spoons, forks, knives or paper napkins frequently packaged/offered with the purchase.
Please do not bring plastic water bottles. Each month the plastic bottles exceed the recycling capability of the household. Out of respect for the environment, please use a glass or cup throughout the day and wash it when you are done. Or you can bring a recycled bottle you can fill with filtered water in the house. Please take such containers home with you at the end of the day.

Dare’ is a fragrance free zone, including perfumes, fragranced personal care products and essential oils. Some of our Dare’ members suffer from chemical/fragrance sensitivities and/or respiratory difficulties, including asthma. A little thoughtfulness on our part can help insure they can participate fully in the day’s activities.

And PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY up the roads, especially once you turn off Topanga Canyon Boulevard. There are children and many animals along the roadway. The slow speed also lessens the noise for the neighbors.


Jan. 13, 2013                    July 14, 2013

Feb. 10, 2013                    Aug. 11, 2013

March 17, 2013                Sept. 8, 2013

April 14, 2013                   Oct. 6, 2013

May 12, 2013                    Nov. 3, 2013           

June 9, 2013                    Dec. 8, 2013