Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Samhain Gathering

This year my friend Charlene and I decided to go on an adventure to the Womyns Spirit Retreat in Hockley Valley. It was this past weekend and was a gathering of women at the Ecology Retreat Centre there to honour and celebrate Samhain.

There were about 50 women and we all arrived on Friday afternoon and that's about the time the rain started really coming down and then the hydro died up at all the buildings but the dining hall and kitchen, which luckily was on a different circuit. It was actually fine since we had flashlights and there were woodstoves in most of the buildings. There was no heat of course in the bedrooms but I luckily had my old wool poncho along from my younger backpacking days so tucking that over me in my sleeping bag kept me cosy all night. The first ritual of the night was done lite only by candles which of course makes it much more magical.
The next morning was still dark when I got up and headed for the only working bathroom down the path at the dining hall. It was all good though since Linda the cook was up and about and had a pot of water already to go for tea, I was a happy girl. I love mornings of solitude to watch the sun rise. After I finished my tea and I could actually see outside a bit better I headed for the labyrinth to walk as the sun brightened the sky behind all the grey clouds.
Char and I met some very interesting and amazing women and learned alot from the weekend. We each took some workshops in the afternoon, though I think Char regretted the choice to do yoga. Her muscles were not too happy with her after that!
I got to play with beeswax and learn a new way to use it which I am going to totally use for Yule gifts!

We learned a whole bunch of songs and chants from the rituals and I actually have come away remembering a bunch of them! I can never remember tunes to songs but I think we sang them so much and they are fairly simple they finally stuck with me! Yeah! I also came up with lots of ideas for Leah's coming of age ceremony that will probably happen this spring. On Sunday for the last ritual we actually cast the circle using bubbles, it was so fun!

Char and I both want to go again next year and possibly bring along our daughters. Leah has already said she wants to come but she needs to go through her coming of age before she can join the women's circle. She would probably have just as much fun with the younger girls circle though she does get shy with new kids.

It was a beautiful weekend and I really enjoyed it and I didn't mind the loss of hydro or the rain that came and went. The vegetarian food was fabulous and luckily they also had gluten free for those of us that needed it. It was wonderful sharing and learning from all the women that were there and I'm looking forward to next year.