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Setting up the day before with the help of an exuberant small helper.

“Ritual that is alive encourages each person to touch what is sacred in their own way, in their own time, through their own unique experience. So there evolves a dynamic dance between guiding and shaping the group’s experience and encouraging and supporting the individual’s experience, so there is a smooth and cohesive flow to the ritual.”

–Suzanne Reitz and Sandy Hoyt (Celebrating, Honoring, Healing)

In late August, we had an all day Red Tent Retreat. The preparations for it were done around the edges of doing our normal order prep and shipping. I felt and was present with the “dynamic tension” of excitement + overwhelm + anticipation + not wanting to forget anything + wanting to make sure it was special and magical for everyone. As my mind clicked along with remembering to pack up the banners and the candles and the birthday cake I made for my dear friend, I took some time to just honor the reality of the high level energetic work that goes into preparing an event like this while also reminding myself to take a sacred pause to appreciate the moment and honor of getting to do the work that I do rather than getting frenzied.

As we got to the end of our Cauldron Month, my mental “cauldron” has felt like it is at full boil. It is interesting what can come together, emerge august-2017-117and become more clear with just a little space and time to incubate and blend.

At this Red Tent Retreat, we created a collaborative nature mandala which is our summer tradition. I love creating these instead of trying to have a ritual around a fire in hot weather! My heart was so full with gratitude after our retreat. It is such an honor and a blessing to share these experiences together.

We passed the rattle and journaled on “living the questions.” We chatted and ate and hugged and laughed. We descended into the “cave” of the basement where we did a shamanic drum journey followed by silk painting. Mark worked for several days prior to the retreat creating wooden clay stamps for us to use and we used them to create clay goddess pendants (my mom is a potter and will fire and glaze them. We are so lucky!).

I had made a “cheat sheet” to help us remember the order of the stanzas in the beautiful song Wise in Her Ways for our closing circle at the retreat. When Mark saw me writing it, he joked: “I hope that’s not your itinerary for the retreat!” But, you know, in some ways it really was…

august-2017-129This work is beautiful. It is complex. It is multilayered. It is simple. It is hard. It is easy. It is rich and rewarding. It is dynamic and evolving and flowing. It is never the same.

We explore the “dynamic dance” referenced in the opening quote as an in-depth living reality during our Practical Priestessing august-2017-153course.

Other resources:

  • Our free Voices from the Red Tent course is open here.
  • And, our intro to Goddess Studies and Ritual class is also free and open!
  • Our card layout inspired by the Whole Moon rune from Womanrunes is also available for you to use during the Full Moon.
  • There is also our Simple Full Moon Ritual outline available here.
  • Open enrollment seven week Red Tent Initiation course is here.
  • Upcoming intensive Practical Priestessing course is here.