The Fall is here, and normally we would be so excited about this season where we can look forward to so many festivals and family celebrations, but in 2020 nothing is the same as what we have known before.
We are exhausted, our country is grieving, and we are grappling with how to move forward with our lives as individuals, as communities, and as a country. We are having to look at every part of our lives right now, no stone is unturned, to see the systemic injustices, environmental impacts, feeling the economic downturn, losing loved ones and fearing impacts from the pandemic. This reveals our class system, the racism, the sexism, all the isms. It appears our World is really out of balance.
This is where the Autumn Equinox comes in, as a point of focus, to remind us the universe, and nature herself is always seeking balance. We are in a place where vision is crucial as we move forward. This is a portal we can explore in connection with the otherworld, or the world behind the world, when the veil is thin and the ancestors are near.
Mabon is a Celtic Fall Seasonal Celebration known as the 2nd Harvest. The 1st being in August for Lamas, and the 3rd being on October 31st for Samhain, when the harvest of souls takes place with the Wild Hunt, and the good folk come through from the Other world. A time when Winter and the Celtic New Year begins. It should be particularly Wild this year as it is a Full Blue Moon in Taurus on Samhain. We celebrate the 2nd Harvest on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 with gratitude and sharing, releasing and healing, to help bring life back into balance. Incubate a dream and ask, what do I need to do to help bring my world, and the world behind the world, back into balance. The role of the shaman or witch or healer, is to help bring the unseen worlds into balance with the Earthly realms, and thereby protecting the community. When calamity and despair, disease and disgrace starts to appear, it is time to look into the otherworld to see what prayers need to be spoken, or forgiveness asked, permission granted, or repayment of some kind offered. This is a kind of justice, and what we can offer now, will determine what we are able to receive later. So join me in celebrating Mabon and creating balance in our world, and don’t forget to vote this season!
Our recent Wild Woman, Blue Moon, Spring Retreat 2018 in Southern Oklahoma, was in it’s 5th year of offering safe and sacred space for nature getaways for women. We are each held deeply by dreams, shamanic journeys, ceremony and the wilderness of our inner and outer realities. This year was a deeply touching and profoundly moving experience with the newly formed bonds between SisterStars made from our group of 14 women. Some came from as far as Colorado, to take part in this weekend with other Wild Women to howl with the Blue Moon! I was very blessed to be supported by this weekend by Victoria Anna, who is a very gifted healer and shamanic movement facilitator, and also the immensely talented sound healer and music artist, Savanna de Valle. Our next Wild Woman Fall gathering is slated for the weekend of October 26-28 of 2018. If you would like more information about the next retreat or future retreats please let me know.
I have invited Victoria as a guest blogger, to share her reflections from our weekend retreat.
Wild Women’s Spring Retreat 2018 – Reflection
by Victoria Anna (Zsuzsi)
Walking the grounds on the first day of arrival at the Wild Women’s Dreaming Retreat, my visceral memories of freedom begun to emerge. I was still half way in the structured material world, capturing a few photos, then I chose to put my phone away for the rest of the weekend. I’m glad I did.
With 14 women we entered a well held ceremonial space, journeying into our active dreaming world by Dream Teacher, Valley Reed. Guided by the sound of the drum, we brought messages and guidance back to our waking life for each other. As we shared in our circle of women, and journeyed over and over, ventured deeper and deeper, very rich tapestry emerged that called for being worked with. The sound of the drum penetrated deep. We entered portals to other worlds, our bodies at rest, yet we soared in adventures.
Each night we incubated an intention of inquiry for our dreams to reveal more insight. Each morning, as we all gathered for breakfast, we shared what came though and marveled in the mystery.
We spent plenty of time outdoors as well, taking personal vision quests to collect symbolic items. Walking through the forest singing or laying down by the water, the vastness of nature held many treasures, opening and widening our senses.
We then embodied our dreaming presence as a group, with a guided shamanic movement practice. The facilitated journey led us into experiencing physically “stepping in” to our waking dream, while periodically “pausing, to recognize and to be recognized”, as we integrated our presence with all, through our breath.
At twilight, we walked the labyrinth towards the tree of life, taking every step winding inwards as a representational journey of fate. Arriving by the Tree of Life, we shifted, thereafter, every step winding outwards, now walking the path of our destiny. Accompanied by the sounds of the cello the strings passionately came alive. Filled the air with palpable essence, powerful visions coming through. What is it that our soul is asking us to do?
During our evening fire ceremony, we offered our give-aways to let go, drumming to hold space for one another, we then danced our visions into the Full Moon. Gold Lotus Elixirs were there to support our journey, whether it was to find forgiveness, gratitude or to call in clarity. The resonance of crystals connected us to Earth and the Heavens, humbly aligning with our soul’s destiny.
The next morning, we offered our gratitude and prayers by holding a sacred water ceremony. We each took part in singing The Grand Invocation mantra for healing our planet’s history. The sacred waters of many rivers collected and held as one, from the jar poured into the fresh spring water pond, now blessing this one. From the pond some water transferred back to gather with the sacred waters from all around the world, we each held the jar to our heart, to receive healing, open portals and to let messages in. Water is its own portal, water holds ancient wisdom, water transmits messages – water heals through intention, remembering prayers of many generations.
We finished our retreat by walking back to our lodge to the sound of the drum. We joined to sing and celebrate. Then, we split off to laugh and play. We shared many hugs before we got on the road, a bit worn out, just enough to feel that some structures have been torn apart. Now, to integrate our journey, I find myself the next day sharing stories, journaling, breathing out in nature.
I am immensely grateful for this transformation that occurred, to refresh, to renew and to come into alignment walking my purpose, becoming more embodied and aware of the gifts that come through from my healing. I’m so touched by this experience of sharing space with other women, reminding me of our strength and ingrained ancient wisdom within.
I’m feeling so blessed for being invited as a contributor, holding ceremonial space and guiding our group shamanic movement practice in nature, as well as holding the water ceremony alongside Valley Reed, our organizer & main shamanic facilitator. I’m grateful for sharing this experience with Savanna de Valle who has infused our experience with her authentic cello sound bath and her untamed fiery youthful expressiveness. We had a circle of women of 3 life stages: the Mother, the Maiden, and the Crone. Grateful to be with all expressions and learning the wisdom from All.
Smiling now, having taken my shower after this weekend, feeling clean again, I’m plugging my phone back to reflect and post. This weekend was short, but at the same an unforgettable experience of being launched through portals of time travel, meeting ourselves within this multiverse.
Women, we part, but the web we have woven lives long. I look forward to keeping in touch and following one another’s journeys as we venture on! With overflowing love, I now go to sleep. Maybe we, you just never know, meet in another dream.
Victoria is a lover of dance, poetry and nature. Her interest in indigenous shamanism/ dreamwork has enticed her to study in what ways dance/movement can become an integral part of entering portals into other realms. She explores movement from multiple perspectives as a form of art, psychosomatic journey, gateway to dream states and as a tool for integrating profound experiences of transformation. She has traveled the world for personal growth, professional training and teaching. She has taught numerous workshops and contributed to retreats that explore consciousness, other realms, spirituality and embodied connection.
Victoria touches people’s lives in many ways: She is the founder of Embodied Art of Life – Personal Development and Transformational Life coaching (through Astrology, Somatic Movement Practice, Nature, Art, Creative Expression, Writing); healing practitioner of Aguahara – An aquatic journey back to Self – Aquatic sessions in a private pool; founder of Gold Lotus Elixirs – crystal-infused elixirs for intentional life; and the founder of Integrated Conscious Leadership – corporate mindfulness and team building group workshops informed by somatic psychology, behavioral neuroscience and body-mind centered practices.