Spring 2018 Gaian Soul Retreat ~ Wheel of a Woman’s Life

spring at aldermarshThe Maiden of Spring calls us to the sacred land of Aldermarsh to tend to our creative spirit through play, movement, story, and art.


We will gather with like-minded women to share and embody stories of the seasons of our lives, and find deep restoration in each other’s presence.

When: March 21-25, 2018
Where: Aldermarsh Retreat Center, Whidbey Island, Washington
Led by: Joanna Powell Colbert, artist, teacher, mentor, and creatrix of the Gaian Tarot
and Jennifer Lucero-Earle, embodied diviner, movement facilitator & creatrix of ArcanaDance.

Already know you want to be there?

Dear Beautiful Ones,

Joanna & JenniferI hope you’ll join me and a circle of lovely women in March at our Gaian Soul Retreat. We’ll replenish and refresh ourselves with creativity, gentle movement, contemplation, and community. We’ll connect with Mama Gaia as she dresses up in her Spring gown of light green and shimmering rainbows. 

I’m happy to announce that Jennifer Lucero-Earle will be our guest teacher in March. Jennifer’s great love is bringing archetypes and symbolism to life through movement. She will guide us in experiencing the wheel of a woman’s life through somatic practices. Somatic means “relating to the body.” Jennifer creates a safe and loving space for women to draw wisdom from the emotional memory and dreams stored in the sacred temple of our bodies. She uses a range of embodiment practices that include guided imagery, music, storytelling, and gentle movement prompts. She wants each retreat participant to come away feeling like a goddess with deep embodied reverence for all phases of womanhood. 

For the last few years, Joanna has been working on a book that compares the seasons of the Wheel of the Year to the seasons of a woman’s life. She will draw on material from that book for this retreat. Together, Joanna and Jennifer will guide you through a process of learning how to do somatic tarot readings using the Wheel of a Woman’s Life as a map. You will come away with an embodiment practice you can integrate into your tarot readings by yourself or with others. Joanna will guide us to create visual art mandalas that show the beauty, magic, power and wisdom of each phase of a woman’s life.

Aldermarsh Retreat Center on Whidbey Island is a magical place, where the nature spirits are quite alive and present. Even if the weather is brisk and wet outside, we’ll be cozy and warm inside, with steaming mugs of tea and coffee. The marsh itself will most likely be full of water, becoming a magic mirror that invites you to scry and divine its messages. Whidbey Island is a jewel, with luscious beaches, woods and meadows to explore, and small towns full of art galleries and cafes when you’re ready to shop.



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:

  • Ceremony with JenniferTeaching on the Wheel of a Woman’s Life, based on Joanna’s book-in-progress.
  • Movement workshops with Jennifer, as she guides us into embodying each stage of a woman’s life.
  • Contemplative walks through the woods, meadows, and on the seashore.
  • Time alone and time together.
  • Tarot play, to invite deep wisdom into our circle. Jennifer and Joanna will teach a method of somatic tarot reading.
  • Wisdom sharing in council circle.
  • Sacred art play: a collage mandala focused on the seasons of our lives.
  • Scrumptious, locally-sourced, hand-crafted meals by Elaine Nichols of the Radical Rolling Pin.
  • A massage therapist available for appointments.
  • A Spring Equinox ceremony.
  • 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.
  • Somatic tarot reading workshop with Jennifer and Joanna.
  • A scrumptious, nourishing lunch.
  • A contemplative walk on the beach.
  • Maybe a massage!
  • A delectable dinner. With dessert!
  • Making a Wheel of Life collage mandala.
  • Sauna, hot tub, time together, or time alone.
  • Dreamtime.

moon dorm

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, creatrix of the Gaian Tarot and the Pentimento Tarot, has been an artist, teacher, and convener of circles for over thirty years. She was named by SageWoman magazine as one of the Wisdom Keepers of the Goddess Spirituality movement.

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

About Jennifer . . .

Jennifer Lucero Earle, photo by Zorn TaylorJennifer Lucero-Earle is a magician of the soul. She uses music, movement and powerful storytelling to shift your mind, heart, spirit and body to higher vibrations. Her birth name, Lucero, means “bright star.”

Jennifer is an embodied diviner, the creatrix of ArcanaDance, a Black Belt Nia teacher and movement facilitator with over 30 years of experience working with the tarot. Her charge in life is to facilitate safe non-judgmental experiences for people to move, feel, heal, and grow into a more joyful whole self.

ArcanaDance is a fusion of tarot and movement that feels like dance therapy! Using imagery, music and guided movement prompts, ArcanaDance makes personal growth fun, empowering and transformative.

Jennifer teaches classes, workshops and retreats across the United States but has a great love for the Pacific Northwest where she began her sacred work as a movement facilitator. She also does in person, video and phone tarot counseling, using embodied practices, with clients from across the world.

You can learn more about Jennifer’s work at on her website www.jenniferluceroearle.com

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 21-25, 2018

This retreat is now full. Please email me at joanna AT gaiansoul DOT com if you would like to be on the waitling list.  Thank you!

Private room, $1395, Early Bird Price $1325. ALREADY BOOKED!

Private tiny cabin, no bathroom: $1395, Early Bird Price $1325.  ALREADY BOOKED!

Shared room, $1305, Early Bird Price $1235.  ALREADY BOOKED!

All registration fees are per person.
Early Bird Price is good through October 31st, 2017.
We accept Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

If you have never been to a Gaian Soul Retreat before, we ask you to fill out an application. This will help you clarify your own desire to come on retreat with us, and it will help me (Joanna) get to know you ahead of time. An application will be sent to you after you register. Thank you!

CANCELLATION POLICY: If you need to cancel your spot before December 1st, 2017, we will refund all but $150 of your tuition. After December 1st, we won’t be able to issue any refunds because of agreements with our providers.

Additional TRAVEL INFO here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in March!