L i s t e n C l o s e A n d
F o l l o w U s I n t o T h e F o r e s t
This year marks my second at the Spiritweavers Gathering. Both of the Gatherings I have been honored to be present at have held such deep and sweet medicine for me, teachings and tides which linger long after I leave the Land. This Gathering has brought me Sisterhood as I've never known it before, communion with myself and my Ancestors, as I have never known it before. I am forever grateful to each woman who chooses to walk this path and find her way into the wood, whether you gather with us in person or in spirit, you are deeply felt and seen and appreciated for all that you bring to this collective ceremony of remembrance and healing, honoring and releasing, inviting in the full spectrum of experience of Life on Earth.
At this year's gathering, I shared four different offerings --
The Medicine Of Pine + Pine Needle Basket Weaving
Herbs For The Feminine Heart
Sacred Moontime Rituals
Wild Edible + Medicinal Plants
You can learn more about them here
The photographs + paragraphs that follow are only an ephemeral glimpse into the depth and immensity of the Gathering. Like so many sacred things in life, words cannot begin to express the nuanced complexity of one's felt experience. I will say only that if you feel the call to join us next year, I truly hope you will find a way. Currently we are working as a community to make available more scholarships for women who would like to attend but are unable due to limited financial resources. To anyone who worries that they won't belong, whatever the reason, put that thought aside and know that you are wanted and welcome. Never have I felt the embrace of such a sincere and inclusive community. We are women with wings, with songs to call out, and we are waiting, waiting, watching, watching, praying, and praying. We see you, and you are beautiful.
L I S T E N
One thing I have been asking to learn, longing to embody, is the art of deep listening. I want all of my relations--human and otherwise--to feel deeply heard in my presence. One form I've watched this lesson take as women gathered together for the classes I offered during the gathering, was as an invitation to let go of attachment to form--to set aside agendas and outlines and class notes in order to simply be present with the people and plants before me in that moment, waiting eagerly to be introduced to one another. Teaching and staring from this place of spontaneity has required me to develop not only the skills of deep listening, but also to trust and humility.
My Moontime arrived late Friday night as I sat in my camper, stitching leather, stitching leather, stitching leather. This is a sacred time I do my best to reserve for silence and solitude, prayer and quiet, and rest. And yet, here I was--surrounded by so many beloved Sisters and with a commitment to S H O W • U P and teach for six hours the following day.
The photo above was taken by Alexa Rae during a walk I led around Camp Navarro -- three hours spent meeting the wild and edible species which make their home here. The previous week, during the Sun Session, the same plant walk had followed a predictable course and format, moving from one stand of plants to the next, sharing tales of their medicine and inviting folks to cultivate a relationship with those that they felt called to. This week, however, during the Moon session--I listened to my slow moving, Moonwise body and invited the women who'd gathered to join me in a moving meditation--over the hills and far away; to listen to the plants that spoke to them without my formal introduction. As we walked through this meadow, butterflies alighted with our every step until we came finally to rest and offer introductions and prayers in a forest glade held within the jeweled embrace of blossoming tiger lily, feathery horsetail, precious starry solomon's plume, fragrant bay and ancient redwood.
We moved slow and tuned into the wisdom of our own Hearts; washed our eyes with cool water from the creek, so that we might see more clearly the wild and wide world around us. En route back to camp, we met Horsetail and Oats, Blackberry, Ox Eye Daisy, Lemon Balm, Wild Strawberry, Plantain, Mugwort, and many others. the plants came through to introduce themselves in the end -- but by listening to and followed the path of the unexpected in that Moon-hued morning moment, it is my hope that the medicine and the teachings most potent for those sisters, at that time, is what I was able to call forth and share. So, all that is to say -- forget your plans and wake up to the life that is asking to be lived through you right now. This is real wisdom. This is real Medicine.
s p i r i t w e a v e r
f o r m u l a
A formula to nourish, soften, and bring unwavering resilience to the feminine Spirit. With herbs and flower essences included to embody Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects of the Self—the Spirit Weaver brings you deeply in touch with the gifts of the archetypal feminine journey and your own Sacred Path in this Lifetime. This formula aids in healing the wounds we take on as Women of this time and culture, and replaces any sense of powerlessness or unworthiness with the pure Truth and Beauty that is your essence.
The Spirit Weaver formula offers the empowerment necessary to do the work you came into this Life to do; to sing the song and forge the path that is uniquely your own. Helpful in moments when you feel unequal to the task at hand, find that you are comparing yourself to others, or are simply feeling the weight and intensity of the Earth's sorrow. In times such as these, this formula is a reminder of the Path of Beauty which you came here to walk, and to share with others for the healing of the Earth and all her Children.
What a sacred thing, these warm and healing waters from the Earth. This photo is from the first day of the year, a day spent dissolving in Love. During the Gathering, I had the opportunity to return here, to this very spot, beneath the brilliant night sky, the wise light of constellations framing silhouettes of ancient Redwoods as I sank deep into prayer. At the gathering, Violet, a Pomo Elder, native to this Land, shared with our community of women that the best way we can honor this Land, honor our Relations is through prayer. These last few days have found me sitting with two tangled threads in the woven story of my life. Not knowing where to begin, I take Violet's words to Heart and begin with prayers to the trees, prayers to the night sky, and it is enough.
s u n s h i n e • i n c a r n a t e
r e s t i n g . d e e p
In the days between the first and second weekend of the Gathering, I spent many hours at a stretch simply resting as we prepared as a community to welcome a second wave of sisters for the M O O N session. One of the lessons I integrated during my time in the Redwoods is the importance of silence, solitude, and self care, even within the context of such a sacred and nourishing gathering. The more I go inward and give myself time to be still and sit with all we are sharing here, the more beauty, grace, and presence I have to offer to my Sisters, to myself, and to this Land. I hope you too will give yourself the gift of your own presence and the simple luxury of ample time spent communing in quietude with the Forest, herself. May the experiences you share with others be that much richer for having done so.
My very special new friend, Milla
P i o n e e r s ( + p a l s )