Thursday, 1 October 2015

California Day 4 - 5

Today Deborah and I, after a lazy morning, caught the shuttle to the airport to then catch the Fly Away bus to Van Nuys where we will be collected to go to the venue of the Goddess Spirit Rising Conference in Simi Valley.

We were picked up and taken to the American Jewish University Brandeis - Bardin Campus. Such a large and sprawling complex and self contained accommodation, conference rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, basketball court, 2 pools, horse stables etc.

We settled into our unit which we were very grateful to find had air conditioning as it is so dry and hot. I took it really easy not feeling well. We joined the group for dinner that night in the dining hall.

The next morning was the fringe day of the conference, so we both started our day with morning mediation with Jacqui Bussell, such a lovely way to start the conference.

We went to breakfast and then we had our first workshop that we had selected, as I had not selected a morning workshop I decided to attend Jacqui's workshop on Wild Earth Wisdom.

Such an extraordinary workshop exploring our connection to the earth. When we are aware that the world is alive, we open the doorway into sacred mystery. Connecting our wild heart with the wild soul of nature, we journey into deep communion with land, wind, water, rock and animal, exploring our unique perception and responsiveness to the earth. As we enter into open conversation with the rhythms and scents within nature we know that there is no separation between us and the swoop of the wing, the brush of fur, cry of hawk, greening of leaf. Coming home to that soft borderland where our skin ends and wilderness begins, nothing is outside of ourselves.

We then all gathered for lunch and would then go our separate ways for the afternoon workshops.

When I arrived at the retreat I was told that I had been given a 1 1/2 hour sessions to work in the temple as priestess and this was during and after the lunch time slot. So I quickly ate some lunch and went into the temple which was a sight to behold. I have never seen such a large, elaborately decorated temple. There were maybe 18 different altars etc. I asked the other priestess working with me how long it had taken to set this temple space up and she said three solid days which I totally understood, such a credit to the dedication of the women here.

At most altars there were exercises to do to release and invoke aspects of those elements in your life and a little representation of the element to place in a small calico bag to take home with you as a keepsake of the conference.

The Altar of Air

The Altar to Chak Anna the Argentine Goddess of the Southern Cross

Altar to Bast Eqytian Goddess

Altar to Kuan Yin

Altar to the Cosmos

The Seven Chakra Altar

Altar of Fire

Altar to Goddess Isis

Altar of the Void

This amazing 500 year old wooden statue was just so regal and magficient

Altar of Water

Altar to the Ancestors

Altar to Spirit

Altar to Goddess Coyolxauhqui and Aztec Moon Goddess

Altar to the Moon

The Main Altar divided into four segments honouring the maiden, mother and crone and other goddesses.

In the afternoon I had selected to work with Georgina Sirett Armstrong Smith in Healing the Ice Mothers.

This workshop explored why on earth we choose the mother we had at birth? Has she abandoned you, abused you, do you feel unloved and unsupported by her, did you choose not to have children yourself, were you neglected? What did she teach you about yourself? How can we heal and learn to forgive? Journeying through meditation, art therapy, and craft we learnt that our Mothers had been teaching us all the time,

We made a peg mother doll that can be used as we wish and received a blessing pouch in red from the grandmothers which had a black feather, blue candle, water and a rose petal a blessing from each element.

We gathered together again for dinner and then watched a performance of live theater before listening to a concert by Julie Felix, such an extraordinary performer who is in her 70's and gives a power packed singing performance of sacred music.

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