Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

By the Shores of Snowy Lake Michigan . . .

in Community, Gratitude, Spirituality

Stella (Photo at left: Stella the Traveling Mermaid visits Lake Michigan) 

Last weekend my mermaid sister Nora and I traveled to Wisconsin to spend a few days with Angie Buchanan and the women of Gaia's Womb.  The theme of the weekend was "Womb to Womb" and Nora did a presentation on Home Funerals and Green Burials Saturday morning. I followed up with a workshop in the afternoon on "Tarot & the Mysteries of Life, Death & Rebirth," then taught the women how to read the cards intuitively, without looking the meanings up in the book.  Many ah-ha moments and epiphanies came to the women in both workshops — something all teachers hope for.  

Spending time with these women felt like being welcomed home. After the first evening on Friday, all the faces looked familiar, as if I had known them all my life. It was lovely to meet Holly, Rowan and Willow, and to hear how they see themselves in my 3 of Earth card. With much giggling, they told me which of the women in the card corresponded to each one of them.  I bought a gorgeous handspun, handwoven shawl from Holly in Ostara colors, just the thing to brighten a grey Northwest spring.  Moonfeather, who runs PSG, was relaxed and radiant and has a beautiful singing voice.  She sang a welcoming song to the babies in the wombs of two pregnant women there that brought us all to tears. Angie is a fabulous ritual priestess and hostess, and is the glue that holds this community together.   

We stayed in a convent / retreat center on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Nora and I shivered every time we ventured outside, while these homegirls walked outside in short sleeves and kept saying, "It's really not all that cold."  Ha ha.  The nuns were all elderly and so welcoming. They gave us big smiles when we passed them in the hallways and some stopped to tell us how glad they were that we were there.  Some even gave us hugs and kisses.  "You're so beautiful!" they would say.  "You're so radiant!"  Their walls were covered in artwork that would look right at home at a Goddess conference — the Sacred Feminine is alive and well in these women's hearts.  

Saturday night Angie led us down into the bowels of the convent where we walked through darkened hallways singing "We all come from the Goddess."  Our voices reverberated through the corridors and I imagined the sisters and other retreatants upstairs hearing ethereal strains of our song, perhaps wafting up the heating ducts.  Soon we came into a large ballroom-sized space with a Chartres labyrinth laid out, surrounded by candlelight, with Jennifer Berezan's "Returning" setting the mood. It was one of the most profound labyrinth walks I've ever done.   

Blessed be, women of Gaia's Womb.  You are wonderful!

Lots of photos after the jump.


Gaian Tarot cards on the altar.


Comforting a sister during Nora's presentation.


Fire at the still point of the turning wheel.


A Tarot "ah ha!" moment in my workshop.


My sister priestesses Rue and Becky, who traveled from Minnesota to be with us.

 Nora and me.


Lake Michigan.  Brrrrr!!!   And so beautiful.   (Photo by Rue.) 

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • judy Thu - Mar 04th 2010 9:40 am

    It is so comforting and inspiring to realize that there are little communities of awakened women all over this continent.
    Perhaps we should have a secret password in each city and town so we can find each other! Hah! wouldn’t that be great.

  • Anna Thu - Mar 04th 2010 6:06 pm

    Thanks for th beutiful story Joanna! Gave me goosebumps! And now I understand the picture of the beutiful prgnant lady on the altar!
    Reading inuitively – is that something you going to emphazize in the online workshops with the Gaian Tarot? Wish it was because this is something I myself struggle with, being a leftbrainer originally!

  • Hecate, Runnymead Conspirator Thu - Mar 04th 2010 6:10 pm

    Sounds lovely!

  • Tracie Fri - Mar 05th 2010 5:31 am

    What a beautiful experience. I love that the divine feminine was present in all her faces at the retreat center! Me too – I vote for online classes about intuitive reading.

  • joanna Fri - Mar 05th 2010 7:24 am

    Anna and Tracie – I will some thought to how to teach intuitive reading online. I’ve been teaching it for many years, in just about every Tarot workshop I do. But it’s so interactive, I’m just not sure how it would work online, unless we were all on Skype or something. Hmmm . . . . Let me think about it!

  • Holly Heart Free Fri - Mar 05th 2010 7:37 am

    OH! What a lovely post! And what a fabulous weekend it was! SO glad you came to the lake, spent some time, spun your stories, talked tarot in a ‘different’ language, and loved and laughed and cried with us! Can’t wait to get your new deck. You ROCK, sister!

  • ~Angie Fri - Mar 05th 2010 7:56 am

    Thanks so much for all you brought to the weekend.
    No need to imagine the Sisters hearing our song. It really happens. Our voices travel up through the vent system and they all come out to listen. We know this because they tell us about it – and also, one ritual last year, one of the GW Tribe fell ill and was unable to make it to the main ritual but she heard us singing, came out to sit in the stairwell to listen and was joined by several of the nuns, who admitted that this was one of their favorite things to do when Gaia’s Womb came to visit.
    I love that story – and I love that venue. The Sisters — truly are.

  • willow Fri - Mar 05th 2010 9:30 am

    Joanna, it was wonderful to welcome both you and Nora as Sisters…

  • Rowan Sun - Mar 07th 2010 7:50 am

    Joanna … I love when I come away from a workshop with tools I can use. You and Nora gave me a whole sack full — as well as two new Sisters! Thank you for coming, and for being brave enough to travel to the shores of Lake Michigan in February.

  • joanna Sun - Mar 07th 2010 7:55 am

    Angie, thank you for telling me that. I’m so glad the Sisters can hear our singing. Holly, Rowan, Willow – how cool you came to visit my blog! Sending hugs to you all from the balmy Pacific Northwest . . . 😉