Sing in the Garden ~ Chants and Plants of Hildegard

Are you fascinated by Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century visionary, abbess, composer, and physician? Please join medieval chant specialist Erin Durrett and myself for a day of exploration of Hildegard’s music and her herbal medicine ways. Step here for more info. I hope to sing with you in the garden!

Celebrate Summer: Body/Earth Nature Connection Retreat

Please join Stacey Hinden and myself in what promises to be a beautiful and deeply rich one-day retreat!

Gather with other women in a sacred circle as we open our senses to the delights of the land, source our body’s wisdom, and awaken our ancient relationship with plant intelligence. With the land overflowing in summer’s abundance, we’ll enjoy a truly nourishing experience, in which we cultivate deeper joy, harmony, and well-being for ourselves and with the Earth.

Body Intelligence. Learn a somatic movement practice to experience your body from the inside out. Enliven conscious connection with sensation and begin to weave the living wisdom of your cells with the intelligence of life around you. Experience a sense of peace and well-being in the present moment.
Plant Intelligence. Engage with Rose, Yarrow, and other plants in the fullness of their life cycle with all your senses activated. Learn to attune to the green beings and interpret their “language.” Discover what these plant allies reveal about your timeless connection to your inner self and the landscape.
Plant Craft. Learn a protocol and practice for engaging with a plant and their essential nature to create a vibrant and more potent food and medicine. Harvest a plant for making a plant spirit extract, and co-create with the plants as our imagination and the season suggests.
Solo Time in Nature. Cultivate a simple practice for “being” in nature, with all your senses activated.
Ceremony, Story, and Song. Create sacred circle and enliven your authentic voice through nature-based story and song.

Date: June 29th
Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: $115, includes $25 materials fee
Location: Beautiful Vashon Island, just a short ferry ride from Seattle, Tacoma, and Kitsap. Location details will be sent prior to each meet-up.
Enroll Now

This retreat is designed for women, and we welcome all sincere students regardless of how they identify. Please contact us with any questions.

Deer Medicine from the Beginning + Exciting News

Hello, dear Reader,

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. The deer have been strong in my life — with sweet and sad encounters with these creatures. One such encounter involved a fawn who had been hit by a car, and its cries of pain and fright as it was carried out of a ditch by two kind women. When nothing was left to be done, I sang to it, the softest of wordless sounds for a time, and then opening to words with such Threshold Choir songs as “Let Me Lie Down,” “May Peace be With You,” and “River, Going Home” — a beautiful song by Barb Adams, co-director with me of the Vashon Threshold Choir — and other chants.  All these songs as the fawn passed away. I never guessed that my second attendance with song at death would be for a spotted fawn who had barely known life.

These days, I’ve been in deep discovery with plants, and they have had much to teach me, much to share — especially as I apply Body-Mind Centering® practices to my explorations.  Invariably the deer are present as well, moving through the meadow, or lying in the grasses. I had something of an epiphany today with Hawthorn in a place where the deer had bedded only hours before, and I realized that it is time to resume my Deer Medicine Healing practice — and, dear Reader — to share that practice with you.

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Deer Song - photo art by Jane Valencia (c) 2014

Deer Song – photo art by Jane Valencia (c) 2014

So let’s start at the beginning.

Deer Medicine, plain and simple, is about deep listening. It’s about being as present as you possibly can in a moment, and using all the senses you can (even senses you can’t really identify with your thinking mind) to discern what is needed in that moment. If you are with someone in pain (of mind, of body) or even someone who is dying, you are listening and opening, being with them with the whole of your heart, the whole of yourself. Often you are doing what seems like “nothing” — as you hold them with your heart, hold them in a sheltering and witnessing space, hold them with an attunement to the Sacred that is the true nature of the world around and within each one of us, and which threads us altogether.

You are listening, listening. Waiting for something to emerge that feels undeniably like the right small gesture to offer. For me, sometimes it’s a gentle song in the softest of voices, or a melody that emerges that is the breath of the moment, the medicine that softens a resistance, that soothes like a fresh rain. Other times, I invoke Reiki, or speak silently with the plants, and that healing grace infuses the space and offers its own harmonizing and strengthening qualities, working in a mysterious but very real way. I can’t always tell at the time what good has resulted, but something is surely present, and I have come to trust its own timing, its own movement.

You have your own medicine ways. It may not be with song, or with plants, or with energy — but if you are reading this post, I’m certain you have your own creative healing magic. Tell me, dear Reader — when do you find yourself listening, listening, deeply with every cell in your body? What do you find yourself doing or offering or holding in response? If you wish, please share your reflections in the comment box below (you’ll need to scroll down to find it).

Before I go, I have some exciting news to share with you.

Women’s Nature Ways Year-Long Transformational Journey

My dear friend and colleague Stacey Hinden and I have created a brand new offering for women! It’s called Women’s Nature Ways, and it weaves our 50+ years combined experience exploring the realm of deep inner and outer ecological wisdom.

We’re inviting an intimate group of 10 women to retreat with us four weekends a year here on our beautiful Vashon Island home to explore somatic, energetic, and wildcrafting practices to awaken our connection with bodymind intelligence and plant spirit. We’ll slow down and explore both in the studio and out on the land – moving, communing, wild-harvesting, creating, cooking, visioning, and tapping the wellspring of our most grounded, loving, powerfully-attuned selves.

I’d be so grateful if you could help spread the word about Women’s Nature Ways, and even more delighted if you chose to journey with us this year. Registration is open; we begin this November. For more information, please visit our website  WomensNatureWays.com

Gracias, dear One!

WNW-Flyer-8-6-15