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Mystic Garden Party at Jackson Wellsprings

If you can imagine four stages set up outdoors and featuring a lineup of more than 50 internationally recognized musicians, you'll have some idea of what will be in store when The Mystic Garden Party returns to Ashland for the third year.

The four-day event runs from Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26, at the Jackson Wellsprings, 2253 Highway 99 North, Ashland.

The Mystic Garden Party's executive director, Phil Lindsey, has produced the event in Maui, Portland and High Falls, N.Y. In a press release, Lindsey said, "At the Mystic Garden Party festivals nationwide, we practice and learn about healthier lifestyles for a sustainable and spiritually meaningful future. Our family-friendly healing arts retreats and festivals strive to adhere to high sustainable and ecological practices and values."

The event, billed as a festival of music, ceremony and visioning, gets under way at noon, Thursday and continues late into the evening and early morning hours each day through the weekend, wrapping up at 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Jackson Wellsprings natural mineral spa will play host to a number of visionary thinkers working at the forefront of positive change and global sustainability. A featured guest will be water researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of the best-selling books "Messages from Water," "The Hidden Messages in Water" and "The True Power of Water."

Emoto, a long-time advocate for peace in relation to water, will lead a Globally Synchronized Water Ceremony on Saturday in alliance with the United Nations Water Awareness Day. He will be joined by American Indian spiritual leader Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the 13 Grandmothers.

In an interview conducted by e-mail through a translator, Emoto pointed out that July 25 is The Day Out of Time, according to the Mayan calendar. "When you divide 365 days by 28 days, one day would be left over," Emoto said. "Mayan people decided to call this day The Day Out of Time. Mayan New Year starts on July 26, therefore this day would be New Year's Eve, the Day Out of Time.

"In 1999, I designated this day as the day to send love and gratitude to water. On July 25 of the same year, we held a ceremony to send love and gratitude to water at Lake Biwa, Japan. This ceremony contributed in purifying the water of Lake Biwa. Starting from the ceremony at Lake Galilee in Israel in 2003, we have been holding a ceremony each year around the world. Last year's ceremony was held at Lake Baikal in Russia. We will have this ceremony in Ashland this year."

Emoto will conduct workshops on Saturday and Sunday. "We are in the process of creating a new form of art," Emoto said, "taking film footage of moving water crystals after playing music to water. I am sure people will be moved to see such beautiful images. Various other new findings will be introduced in the seminars. Hopefully, participants will be getting new realization. The contents of Saturday and Sunday seminars are different."

Other featured speakers include activist Julia Butterfly Hill; shamanic healer and Egyptian mysteries expert Nicki Scully; and local author and peace troubadour James Twyman. Also appearing at the festival will be visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey.

Among the musicians scheduled to appear are Zilla (featuring Michael Travis and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident); Chris Berry and Panjea; Hot Buttered Rum; EOTO; Goddess Alchemy Project; Medicine Drum; Lynx and Jamie Janover; Randon Rab and many more. Nighttime entertainment includes an electronic music stage; Kirtan and chanting dome; acoustic music café; and fire performances by Liquid Fire Mantra dance troupe.

In addition to music, art and workshops, the weekend also will include a yoga camp, sweat lodge, kids village, sound-healing dome, "Ecstatic Dance Camp," an eco village and visionary arts village.

Tickets are $150 at the gate (if available) and include four days of camping, daily yoga classes, sweat lodges and all workshops. An optional vegan meal plan is prepared with organic food. Children under 12 are admitted free. Tickets for individual days are $25 at the gate for Friday; $40 at the gate for Saturday; and $35 at the gate for Sunday. Admission includes entry to all healing arts workshops and lectures.

Mystic Garden Party festivals are produced by the Alliance for Healthy Communities, a California nonprofit organization that advocates healthy culture and community through music, arts and education.

See mysticgardenparty.com or call 888-966-2568.