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Watching the sun go down
Watching the sun go down, August 2022 Gaian Soul Gathering.

Last week I hosted my first Gaian Soul Gathering (aka Gaian Soul Retreat) for the first time in three years. Home now, I am still feeling profound gratitude for being able to return to Aldermarsh and to feel so welcomed by the land. 

I feel like I got a piece of myself back that I didn’t realize I was missing. Blessed be Grandparent Fir. Blessed be the sacred circle. My Ace of Cups runneth over.

To produce and host a retreat means juggling the skills of an administrator, promoter, hostess, priestess, workshop teacher, artist, circle caller, and spiritual guide. It means holding the center and remembering there is “a leader in every chair”.) It means “asking for what we need and offering what we can” (Christina Baldwin).Each person gives, each person receives. We practice reciprocity between each other, and between humans and more-than-humans.

This time I was not only the One Who Tends the Circle and the council fire at its center, but I was also the One Who Is Tended. I tripped on a step early in the retreat and twisted my ankle badly. With three nurses in the group, I was well cared-for. Another woman had a cane in her car and I was able to use it to get around the pathways of Aldermarsh. By Saturday I was dancing again during morning movement time! I’m grateful to have experienced an injury while being held in the arms of community rather than being home alone.

I’m also beyond grateful that no one got sick! I had some anxiety around hosting a retreat while Covid is still very present in our collective lives. We stayed healthy in part because everyone adhered to our Covid protocols (especially being vigilant before arrival), in part due to prayer and energy support, and partly because of sheer luck. I know we all have to do our own risk assessment around Covid. For me, gathering in small groups feeds my soul in ways that large events don’t. So I will continue to call the circle. I’ve already booked Aldermarsh for dates in 2023 and 2024.

And the wheel turns ever on…

The shimmering path. Photo by Karen Karlovich.

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