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