Wisdom of the Four Directions—June 19-21, 2010
Finding Healing and Guidance in Nature:
A Summer Solstice Celebration
“Journeys start from where we are. Everything starts from where we are. Where we are is where we’re supposed to be.” - Evelyn Eaton, The Shaman and the Medicine Wheel
This retreat will teach you tools and ceremonies for working in nature to access your own inner guidance and the guidance that nature can bring. This could be in the form of answers to questions, deepening connection with the greater mystery, healing, letting go, accepting, or gaining new strength. Whatever you need is available to you, and can be reflected to you through the mirror of nature. You will learn different ways of working with the four directions to access this guidance.
Our ceremony will begin with setting our intentions for the retreat and creating a sacred container for learning by creating an altar together. You will learn the four shields, an ancient model of understanding the psyche of humans and nature. Each shield corresponds to a cardinal direction, with its own colours, textures, seasons, stages of life, and qualities of true nature.
Most of one day will be spent experiencing the medicine walk. After brief instruction, you will go on your own solo walk in nature, seeking guidance from our dear earth mother and her diverse creatures. Following in the footsteps of our ancestors from many cultures and traditions, this solo time includes fasting from food, human company, and human-built shelters. At the end of the day we will break our fast together with a delicious meal, and then share our stories with each other around the camp fire.
Monday at 7:28 AM is the summer solstice. To celebrate this turning of the year, we will spend Monday working with the medicine wheel, the sacred circle of stones that channels the energies of the four directions, deepening the learning we began with the four shields. Medicine wheels can be table-top sized, like the one built on a heart-shaped rock shown here, or big enough to walk in. Shadows cast by the noon-day sun show that white stones are in the north, red in the south, black in the west, and yellow in the east. We will work with a large wheel, learning the ways of the wheel as we walk the four directions together.
We will also spend time with exploring our connection with nature through ecopsychology exercises and we will bake bread in the traditional way to honour the solstice. There will be time around the campfire drumming, rattling, and sharing songs as well. Bring a friend or family member to deepen the connection to your community of people.
9:AM Saturday to 5:00 PM Monday
Overnight camping permitted before and after.
Includes teaching fees, camp fees, and some meals. Participants will be responsible for some meals too. A complete list of what to bring, preparation information, and a map will be provided when you register.
For info about the Monkey Valley Retreat Centre, see http://www.monkeyvalleyretreat.com.
you can register at the web site, or call Karen at 604-251-6337.