Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Mermaids on Retreat: Photos & Doodle-Sketches

in 0-Library, Art, Community, Mermaids, Nature, Place, Spiritual Practice, Wheel of the Year


Last weekend, I traveled with my mermaid sisters to Orcas Island for our annual Imbolc/Brigids Day retreat. We are a circle of women who first gathered together during the Goddess classes I taught in the 90's. They went on to complete the priestess training program I created. I have long since stepped down as "leader" and am glad to be one of a circle of equals. I have many other dear friends locally and around the country — but there is something very special about sharing your soul with a group of women that you have known intimately in sacred space for nearly fifteen years.

We spent most of the weekend talking and listening, cooking and eating, walking and laughing. This year we chose topics for our rounds — Health, Finances, Work/Career, Relationships, Spiritual Path, What We Care About the Most. And at the end, we set goals for the coming year. We would go around the circle by topic and each woman had a chance to speak as briefly or as long as she liked about that issue in her life. Then the rest jumped in with feedback or questions. The process becomes a cauldron for self-discovery and reflection, and I believe we all emerge from the Retreat with new energy and new clarity about our lives.

Oh, are you wondering why we call ourselves Mermaids? I wrote about that here, a few years back.

I opened a new sketchbook and sat and doodle-sketched throughout the weekend. I'm sharing some of those doodle sketches here. Please, be kind! These are not even remotely polished like my professional work. They are done solely for my own pleasure. It's pretty fun though, how I've managed to capture the essence or attitude of the mermaid sisters through a few simple lines.

Blessed be.



View from the ferry.

Our favorite market on the island.

"Dang that Temperance card!"


Our home for the weekend.



Greeting Mama Ocean, giving thanks at the altar.





"That sunnuvabitch raccoon stole my eight dollar chocolate bar!"








'Til next year. Splash!

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Pietra Fri - Feb 06th 2009 9:19 am

    Sooo beautiful.
    Once Filhote de Lua made drawings of ourselves as the Gods we worship… Just thought of that as I saw your mermaids.
    I love them!! Cute!

  • A. Venefica Fri - Feb 06th 2009 10:16 am

    Whimsical and wavy,
    in the depths
    these dreams doth lay.
    Blessed you for sharing,
    raising leviathan reveries
    to meet the dawning day.

  • Lisa Hunt Fri - Feb 06th 2009 10:40 am

    I love seeing an artist’s doodles! To me, it exposes a certain rawness that is captivating and soulful unlike anything else–perhaps because they’re so playful and spontaneous-looking. Your drawings remind me of one of my favorite fairy tale book collections published in 1971–you definitely could have been one of the showcased artists. I especially love your scant use of color–as if you’re making an unconscious statement. What fun! Show us more doodles in the future. And what a lovely retreat it must have been! I favor coastal living myself and derive much inspiration from the water.

  • Julie Fri - Feb 06th 2009 10:48 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your photos and sketches. They brought up a deep yearning for me. I really need a soulful retreat in nature with a supportive circle of friends. Should they be mermaids, all the better!

  • joanna Fri - Feb 06th 2009 11:48 am

    Thank you all! Lisa, I especially appreciate your words. Yes I want to do more of these. Julie – just glanced at your blog and will go back. Love it – and I see you are also a green smoothie aficionado, like me!

  • JulieZS Fri - Feb 06th 2009 2:17 pm

    Lovely, fun sketches Joanna. I’m glad you have such a great, soul-filling group to regularly get together with. (and hooray for quilting mermaids!)

  • Silverstar98121 Fri - Feb 06th 2009 3:01 pm

    I miss that group so much, especially right now. I wish I had been able to finish the program. Greetings to all the mermaids.

  • karen Fri - Feb 06th 2009 3:50 pm

    thanks for sharing- the doodles are very cool indeed

  • Shell Fri - Feb 06th 2009 4:15 pm

    I love your doodles. There are beautiful and give you so much emotions from their simplicity.

  • Goddess Leonie I Creative Goddess Fri - Feb 06th 2009 5:22 pm

    So divine…
    I love reading all of this and seeing your beautiful pictures 🙂

  • Lunaea Fri - Feb 06th 2009 5:50 pm

    Well, you know I’ve always been a mermaid — no escaping it with a Pisces Moon. I would spend all my time in water if I could, and of course, in the company of other mermaids! Blessings to you all.

  • e14studio Sat - Feb 07th 2009 4:12 pm

    Love love love the sketches!!
    I only spent one afternoon on Orcas Island and collected some wonderful driftwood that I display on my shelf. Maybe I will return someday. In the meantime, your pictures and drawings are enchanting!

  • patricia boutilier Mon - Feb 09th 2009 6:42 am

    I love feeling connected to all the mermaid sisters throughout the cosmos!

  • Kim Antieau Mon - Feb 09th 2009 12:49 pm

    How wonderful for you all! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Chele Mon - Mar 16th 2009 11:48 am

    I love them all they are so sweet! They really show your love of your group. Thank you for sharing!
    XX Chele

  • Amitofa Sun - Mar 22nd 2009 8:05 am

    Joanna – Really beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for feeding my soul this morning. It makes me want to go out and CREATE! Green and Bright Blessings – Amitofa