Spring 2017 Gaian Soul Retreat: Tarot & Talismans


 elaine at cedar springsGather with us

under the mantle of Mama Mountain
in magical meadows and woods

where the river runs down to the sea


We will gather with like-minded women to replenish and refresh ourselves, drinking deeply from the sacred well of Nature, Spirit, Creativity & Community.

When: March 15-19, 2017
Where: Cedar Springs Lodge and Farm, Skagit County, Washington
Led by: Joanna Powell Colbert, creatrix of the Gaian Tarot
and Lyn Belisle, San Antonio mixed media artist and teacher

Already know you want to be there?

Dear Beautiful Ones,

jpc-mtnI hope you’ll join me and a circle of lovely women in March at our Gaian Soul Retreat. We’ll connect with Mama Gaia as she dresses up in her Spring gown of light green and shimmering rainbows. I’ll be teaching tarot sessions designed to unlock your own intuitive wisdom.

lyn-galleryAnd … I am happy to announce that my friend, San Antonio artist and teacher Lyn Belisle will be joining us again. Lyn was our guest teacher in March 2015, and is returning to teach us her mixed media magic with beeswax and fiber.   (No previous art experience necessary!)

We’ll create exquisite and meaningful pieces of art in Lyn Belisle’s workshop, The Beauty of Beeswax: Wax & Fiber Talismans:

Wax & Fiber Talismans

Lyn will show us how to create exotic, intriguing talisman necklaces using fiber and wax. Each piece represents a statement of natural beauty and individual creativity.

As you build your talisman, you will learn about the properties of color and symbol. You will develop a personal iconography to use as your signature marks. And you’ll learn the basics of encaustic (wax painting), including how to use it in a very small studio space without expensive equipment, and how to use it safely.

Lyn will provide handmade earthenware faces and other inspiring elements. At the end of the class, you will have created two or three talisman necklaces or wrist wraps with waxed enhancements and gorgeous textures. Each piece will reflect the process of conscious creativity.

I can hardly wait!!


wax talismans


This year, we have a new sacred place to explore — Cedar Springs Lodge and Farm, in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. We will find ourselves spellbound by the magic of Mama Mountain, Sister River (Day Creek), and 50 acres of meadows and woods, which we will have all to ourselves.

We may see elk, eagles and deer, and hear owls and coyotes. Plus the farm animals — horses, goats, and chickens! In spring, even if the weather is brisk and wet, we’ll be cozy and warm inside the Lodge and on the spacious deck, with steaming mugs of tea and coffee. We’ll gather in circle to make art together, play with tarot cards, and share our wisdom.


christinaTrust Joanna to hold the space, to hold the sacred, and yourself; then trust yourself to hold the possibility that you can enter the space, touch the sacred, and know yourself better than you did before.” Christina Baldwin, author of “The Circle Way,” “Storycatcher,” and “The Seven Whispers.”

karenk“I have been to many retreats in my life, and for me the Gaian Soul retreats have been by far the best. I love that it consists of art, tarot, nature and honor to the Goddess. The land there is magic. The schedule was perfect, I never felt rushed, time even seemed to slow down. And the food! — to have our very own chef whipping up taste treat after treat was pure bliss. I feel so loved and pampered and at peace when I’m there. The camaraderie between the women is an awesome thing to behold.” Karen Karlovich, Everett, WA

michelem“I love the authentic connections that are made possible in the safety of Aldermarsh. I love crossing the magical bridge that makes me feel I am a priestess of Avalon. I love hearing each other’s truths and stories within the comfort of the Marsh House — those walls hold many secrets. When I left, I felt energized and connected with a powerful group of women. A treasure, a filling of the well, and done so consciously, and with great love.” Michele M., Lummi Island, WA

Ali“Delight and surprise accompanied my every moment at the retreat. In awed gratitude, I joined and participated in a powerful circle of women who listened to each other and their deepest intuitions while drawing on their wisdom with the intercession of Joanna’s exquisite tarot cards.” Dr. Ali Erickson, Bellingham, WA

Robin“Coming to this retreat was embarking on a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage to commune with kindred spirits, a pilgrimage to sacred land, and a pilgrimage to rediscover lost parts of myself. I found all of that and more. There was deep exploration, and there was joyful laughter and play. We nourished our spirits, and our bodies were nourished with wonderful food. We held the land in reverence, and the land held us.” Robin W., Murfreesboro, Tennesee

At our Retreat, there will be:

  • new gaian tarot cardsTarot workshops with Joanna.
  • Sacred art play with Lyn (for artists and non-artists alike!).
  • Contemplative walks through the woods, meadows, and by the river.
  • Time alone and time together.
  • Tarot play, to invite deep wisdom into our circle.
  • Wisdom sharing in council circle.
  • A Spring Equinox Ceremony.
  • Scrumptious, locally-sourced, hand-crafted meals by Elaine Nichols of the Radical Rolling Pin.
  • A massage therapist available for appointments.
  • Giggles and great big belly laughs.
  • Sweet dreams.

Want to hear about past retreats?

lisab“Joanna’s ability to create and hold sacred space at retreat provides a respite for my weary spirit. I come to retreat with doubts about sparing the time from my work and my family, fears about being the odd woman out, and anxiety about quieting my very loud mind. As soon as I cross the threshold at Aldermarsh and am enveloped by Joanna’s warm hug and the smell of Elaine’s divine cooking, I am transported. Away from all the mundane cares that plague me in the “real world” to a place of serenity, calm and peace.

The kindness, warmth and inspiration of the women at retreat is a salve for all the wounds that the world inflicts on my heart and the laughter, joy and creativity is fuel for my soul’s journey upon the end of retreat. It is a place where you will find exactly what you are looking for, even if you have no idea what that actually is until you hear it spoken, see it reflected in another woman’s eyes, or feel it through the art you craft. It is truly magical.” Lisa Blinn, Houston, Texas

latisha“Joanna has a special gift. She is able to cultivate a space that allows full expression of shadow and light. She holds a circle that encourages woman to show up just as she is wherever she is. But her true gift is in illumination. She has a way of gently fanning the flame of your soul fire so your cauldron bubbles with the spiral smoke that holds the stories of your soul. The kind of illumination that gives you permission to carry on, to rewrite and restore the legacy of your grandmothers grandmothers. Retreat with her leaves you walking in celebration of the witches and goddesses that have long lived within your soul.” Latisha Guthrie, Bellingham, WA

Loran“What I loved about the retreat was the emotional support I received. I didn’t expect to be held in such a loving and caring space. The biggest benefit to me was the healing that took place as I opened up to the restorative powers of circling and the ocean. The retreat was the best thing I’ve done for myself in a very long time! It was truly a dream come true.” Loran Hills, Sheridan, Wyoming

>>>This retreat is limited to 18 women!<<<

What will we be doing?

One of the days may look something like this:

  • A yummy breakfast.
  • Morning circle.
  • Sacred art workshop with Lyn, or tarot workshop with Joanna.
  • A scrumptious, nourishing lunch.
  • A contemplative walk by the river.
  • Maybe a massage!
  • More art-play.
  • A delectable dinner. With dessert!
  • Dance of Life or story circle.
  • Sauna, hot tub, time together, or time alone.
  • Dreamtime.


Of course, we can’t plan the magic — all the synchronistic things that happen, the moments of insight and healing, and the bonds that form as the days and nights unfold.

I can promise you that I know how to hold the container for the retreat in sacred space, in such a way that encourages these magical things to happen!

I invite you to connect with your inner guidance, and see if coming to this retreat for replenishment and connection, is right for you.

Brightest Blessings,

P.S. The Retreat will begin with dinner on Wednesday and end after closing circle on Sunday morning.

About Joanna . . .

Joanna Powell Colbert is an artist, author, retreat host, and creatrix of the Gaian Tarot. Amber Lotus Publishing Co. calls her one of “the most accomplished and well-loved artists in the Goddess-spirit community.” She was named by SageWoman magazine as one of the Wisdom Keepers of the Goddess Spirituality movement.

Joanna teaches e-courses and workshops on earth-­centered spirituality, seasonal contemplative practices, creativity as a devotional path, the Divine Feminine, and using tarot as a tool for inner guidance and self-­exploration. She leads Gaian Soul Retreats for women several times a year. She lives on a small, magical island in the Salish Sea near Bellingham, Washington.

About Lyn . . .

lyn belisleLyn Belisle is a teacher, author, mixed media artist and founder of Lyn Belisle Studio: A Place of Creative Belonging in San Antonio, Texas. She works in earthenware, paper, fiber and acrylic. Her Shard Faces are known internationally as the inspiration for countless Spirit Dolls. Her mixed-media pieces are exhibited in three Texas galleries and at the national Association of Women Artists in New York City. Lyn presented at the National Conference of The Association for the Study of Women and Myth in 2014 on the subject of Otomi Spirituality.

She is a member of the International Encaustic Association and the Fiber Artists of San Antonio. Two of Lyn’s articles on mixed-media were recently published in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, and she is a faculty member at Artful Gathering, an online creative community. In addition, Lyn is a certified Aromatherapist, receiving her certification from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in 1990. Her popular workshops are a creative blend of technique, celebration, discovery and serendipity. Visit Lyn’s website and her YouTube channel, to learn more about her work

Wondering about planes, cars & shuttles? All the travel info you need is here!

People are talking about the Gaian Soul Retreats:

Karen B, Sunshine Coast“I don’t think I had to put voice to a single one of my “first timer” questions. What I loved about this part of the retreat was that I didn’t have to guess at what expectations there were around logistical details, and that set the tone for the entire weekend. What I loved was the acceptance by each person for each person. I never felt I was alone, all were welcome and all could join in the myriad conversations, coming and going at will.” Karen B., Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada

marym“What makes these retreats so special is that they are open enough that each one of the participants will discover exactly what it is they need to discover at this point in their lives. This has been true for me all three times I’ve been on retreat with Joanna. And — Elaine honored us, with her nourishing food and nurturing presence. Thank you. . . . “ Mary M., Oregon coast

“The best part was meeting so many wonderful women, the camaraderie and genuine warmth. I would tell anyone that is questioning whether or not to come, to listen to their heart. If they truly are seeking a time of rest and rejuvenation, of quietness of spirit and an alignment with their souls’ inner voice, come. Give yourself the gift of this time.” CrowsFoxes, Pennsylvania

Arwen“Come to this retreat to make time for your soul-me. Make time for you. Understand that no one has an agenda for what you should come with or what you should leave with. This is a time to do some wildcrafting within your own beautiful self. Make time for it.” Arwen Lynch, Austin, Texas

theresaeYour ~Heart~ was very evident in all your soul-satisfying culinary creations, Elaine. We were all so thankful to have you with us!” Theresa E., North Carolina

kathryns“Joanna said the food would be good, but I wasn’t expecting … inspiring!” Katherine S., New York City

karenb“This was my second time attending the Gaian Soul Retreat. It felt like coming home. It had been 18 months since I’d last been there and Aldermarsh welcomed me with open arms. Sometimes I ask myself, what have I done to deserve being part of this wonderful community that comes together at this retreat? Surely someone will see the “real me” and ask me to leave. Then I realize this is the “real me” — the person I become when I am surrounded by wonderful supportive people, where I can let my defenses down and open to what is.

For a few days I am true to myself and I vow to bring that true self out into the world. Why should I waste my time being less than I am? And this is the gift of the container Joanna creates at the Gaian Soul Retreat. She creates community, she facilitates love and caring. Her compassionate creative heart permeates the space and our hearts grow in response. Unexpected healings can and do occur. It’s magic. I will return again and again and again.

Come. You will find yourself held in the loving arms of the land and community; accepted as you are, loved as you are, nourished body and soul.” Karen B., Seattle


We’d love to have you join us for 4+ days
of inspiration, renewal, and connection!


March 15-19, 2017

Private room, $1335, Early Bird Price $1260. (ALREADY BOOKED!)

Shared room, $1245, Early Bird Price $1170.  (ALREADY BOOKED!)

All registration fees are per person.
Early Bird Price is good through October 31, 2016.
We accept Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

CANCELLATION POLICY: If you need to cancel your spot before November 1st, 2016, we will refund all but $150 of your tuition. After November 1st, we won’t be able to issue any refunds because of agreements with our providers. But you can give or sell your spot to someone else.

Additional TRAVEL INFO here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in March!