We just returned from a healing weekend in the woods with about 100 of our friends. We returned recharged, rejuvenated, and refreshed.
Part of the magic was the setting—an old growth forest and a trickling creek so full of clean, vibrant energy that it almost did the ritual for us. The place was so still that we could hear the creek softly burbling along about 50 feet from our cabin. And did I mention the stars? Ever so many and ever so bright in a clear black sky. Since I’m working on The Star tarot card for this blog, I was especially moved by their message of hope and inspiration.
Another part of it was the people. We have attended NWFEF for the past twenty years and have made friends that we usually only get to see at the festival. There were also family members and other friends there. We moved from one hug to the next, caught up on everyone, and basked in the love.
And another big part of it was the six goddesses that blessed us with their presence. In 1999 Lauren Raine created thirty masks of the Goddess for the Spiral Dance Festival in San Francisco. Her project, The Masks of The Goddess, traveled the world, spreading their message of the divine feminine from community to community. She retired the masks in 2008. Last year she brought them out of retirement, recharged and good as new.
Six brave women of our community opened their hearts to a goddess and her mask for a year. I say brave because living with a goddess is not easy. She has her own agenda and doesn’t understand that you already have a life. Of course, once you look over her list of demands, they all make perfect sense. The greatest demand is for time in meditation and contemplation. This shows you what needs to change. But you’re not quite ready to divorce your husband, or find a different career, or tell your best friend to take a hike, or let go of your fears. So you tell her that’s not going to happen and she doesn’t listen. She keeps pushing you and tweaking things, making your life into a field of land mines until you begin taking those first baby steps toward your goal. Then suddenly things become a bit easier.
Gaia: Mother Earth. The soul of our planet
Kali-ma: Hindu creatrix, protector, and destroyer
Lilith: Babylonian demoness and original bad girl
Hecate: One of the oldest Greek godesses. Goddess of magic. Able to move freely between heaven, earth, and the underworld.
Green Tara: The Bodhisattva of enlightened activity
Artemis: Greek virgin goddess of the hunt and the new moon
We stayed in the village of Hemlock, which was populated mostly by the over 50 crowd. The festival committee, in their wisdom, put the Hecate and Kali masks and shrines in this lodge. It was an honor.
Main ritual was a spellbinding dance of the goddesses. An inspiration and joy to watch.
A perfect way to turn the Wheel of the Year toward autumn.