2011 slides to an end during this dark corner of the year as we approach Winter Solstice. Thanksgiving is a great time to stop, make note of and give thanks for all that has come our way. We’ve been blessed with many wonderful guests who have attended ceremonies, circles, classes and stayed overnight at our B’n’B. Indeed, it has been a steady stream of open-hearted seekers coming to the Groves for a sense of community, healing, to connect with each other, Mother Earth and Great Spirit.
Here’s a summary of all that happened here in 2011:
Each month we hosted a women’s group (Earth Mothers Circle), an opportunity for grief support (Wailing Ritual and Grief Retreat), the Red Cedar Circle and a Family Constellations group.
Each season we’ve offered a seasons change celebration and a sweatlodge.
Music performances have happened in the Round House: Songweavers, Che-oke-ten (Paul Wagner) and our home-grown drumming events and classes.
Compassionate Listening training and Wilderness Quests were each offered this year.
The Women’s Mysteries School included the Women’s Rite Retreat, a crone-initiation journey, and welcome-to-womanhood rituals for teen girls.
We hosted a group from Rite of Passage Journeys and other private groups for sweatlodges and ceremonies.
The Moonlodge, our Guest Room and Guest Yurt have had many overnight guests.
Therese has offered private counseling sessions, mentorship and compassionate listening training to individuals.
This list feels big and our hearts are full! Many thanks to all of you who came to the Groves this past year, bringing your good energy, financial contributions, big love and full-hearted participation. We arrive at the end of this year with a sense of abundance and much gratitude for the many gifts that have been showered upon us. We hope all of you who have visited have felt blessed by your time here.
We’re coming to the end of another year, a big year for us here at Sacred Groves. It feels like a good time to give thanks to all of you wonderful people who have visited and supported the Groves over this past year, and share news about what’s been happening here for those of you whom we haven’t seen for awhile. Tere and I feel so blessed living this wonderful life on this beautiful and sacred land, sharing life with many open-hearted folks–those who live here and those who come visit. It is a good life and we give thanks every day for the abundance and beauty that surround us. .
Our “intentional community” here at the Groves has finally settled this year. Cristie (now “Cat”) Thuren and her two children Dusty and Miranda have lived here for the past 2 1/2 years. This year they re-located to the Round House, which they currently share with Sarah Jackson, Sage Vann and the baby twins, Liam and Genevieve. Tere and I also share the facilities at the Round House; our god-daughter Oneisha has been living here with us part-time too. The nearby yurts and other outbuildings give us space to get-away when we need it. Truth is, we really enjoy the warm & lively household we have co-created together. And new mama Sarah is happy for the extra hands to help soothe the twins, especially now that Sage is working full-time. We can’t imagine dealing with twin babies without this extra support!
Van Calvez and his partner Sandra O’Connor moved to the Groves in mid-July. This is Van’s third time living at the Groves and we’re so happy to have him back! Among other gifts, Sandra brought an amazing “mother drum” (photo below) that now blesses the Great Room with its beauty and big voice. Lastly, Daniel Postlewait and his sweet daughter Juniper have been here for over a year. 6 children and 2 babies — WOW! We love hearing the children as they run happily through the woods or jump on the trampoline, their laughter echoing through the Groves. With all this good energy on the land–our gardens expanded and thrived, a beautiful and artistic fence was put up as an entry to the Round House, and a new structure is being built under Tere’s skilled direction. All of us living here have settled in as a happy and helpful family of families.
In addition to our expanding residential community, this year we hosted hundreds of guests in our guest rooms (the Moonlodge and Guest Yurt) and at our many events and rituals. For the eighth-year running, Therese hosted a monthly women’s group (Earth Mothers circle) and this year again we offered two Grief Retreats and monthly Wailing Rituals. In addition, we hosted drum-dance nights, sweatlodges, compassionate listening trainings, a celebration at each change-of-season, the Sacred Fool Festival, Women’s Mysteries rituals, Spirit Quests in the Groves. New additions for 2010 were a monthly Red Cedar Circle, a class on nettles (taught by Jennifer Sundstrom), Spirit Quests and Family Camp at Ekone Ranch. We hosted two groups from Rite of Passage Journeys again this year too. It was a busy and full year, one that brought in much support, filling our hearts with joy & love!
Several of you return to the Groves over and over and over again, becoming part of our extended family. We love this! We are also delighted to welcome newcomers. It seems everybody that shows up brings good energy for us and for the land. We know that 2011 will bring in more blessings and give thanks in advance for this amazing life we get to live in these sacred Groves.
At this year’s end, we pray for peace –within each person, within families, neighborhoods, communities, and between nations. We pray that places of beauty on our beautiful Mother Earth will be protected and enjoyed as they are here at Sacred Groves. We look forward to sitting in circle, drumming, dancing, singing, opening our hearts, sharing good food, and deep ceremonies with those who show up in 2011. We hope when you come to the Groves you feel a sense of refuge here, a place where connection in community brings healing to your soul. May you all be blessed with abundance, beauty and love in 2011! DO come visit soon!
Autumn has begun with the sweetest of “Indian Summer” weather here in the Pacific Northwest. The new twins born to Round House residents Sarah and Sage on Sept 1st, are getting fat cheeks and everyone in our community here is settling into some semblance of routine. Our garden is still boasting a big harvest of chard and kale; our community dinners are full of love and laughter. Life is good in the Groves as we slide into the dark corner of the year.
Therese is featured during an interview with Susun Weed this month, talking about “Women’s Mysteries.”. To hear it, click here.
Things at the Groves are wonderful in their small, simple way this summer…..as usual we welcomed the new season with joyous song, dance, ceremony and silly-ness in two different events, drumming and dancing June 19, Summer Solstice Ritual June 20th. We do indeed feel we are living in the “Whirling Rainbow Dream” here. But elsewhere in the world, things are not so good. Oil is spilling into the Gulf of Mexico in alarming amounts every day, coastal and ocean wildlife habitats are being devastated….And the Gulf of Mexico is only one troubled place among many. I just heard that there is an oil spill in Nigeria that is as big (or bigger) than the Gulf spill and its been spewing oil for nearly a decade.(Read more here.) Not to mention the many wars, the refugee camps, prisons, slums and polluted places all over the globe!
As near as I can tell, a powerful and important tool for “holding” and hopefully healing our current global situation is prayer/intention. Here’s a link to follow for guidance from the ancient grandmothers, from a website called GrandmothersSpeak.com. Their messages tell us ways to bring our love and positive energy to the “net of light” in the face with the wars, environmental destruction, greed and poverty of our current world, with the intention of restoring harmony and balance.
Following is a wonderful statement for/about our current world leaders that came from an organization called “The Intenders for the Highest Good.” I hope you are as inspired as I was by this statement that calls forth the positive, rather than dwelling in a negative view about our current political leaders. We need to envision a new world and this kind of approach will help usher it in!!
If you want to join your prayers with others, do join us here in the Groves in the coming months. The Red Cedar Circle and Wailing Ritual are each offered monthly. Our next sweatlodge is July 10th. These are powerful rituals that will help transform you and our world, bringing in more love, harmony and authenticity. Ceremony ignites the spark of enthusiasm.
It ignites the light of willpower.
It gives man the strength to carry on,
to move forward, to have motivation.
When you get into one of those moods where you feel like you can’t make a difference, or like your life is out of control, you can always turn to ceremony to give you a boost. Indeed, that’s one of the great things about ceremony: it catapults you up and out of your apathy. It ignites the spark of willpower within you. Ceremony is like medicine for the lost soul.
~ An Open Letter to the Leaders of the World ~
On one hand, we want to thank you. You have provided us with such adversity and it is this that has finally made us stronger. You have been formidable foes, but we are learning that this world will get better only when we love our fellow travelers and see the good in each one of them. We know that every bad guy has a good guy inside. And we know that spark of divine essence that dwells deep within our own beings, also lies deep within yours.
If you were to come and join us at our table, you would find curiosity, friendship, and forgiveness. Just because you have treated us badly does not mean that we hold a grudge against you. We would, however, expect you to understand that we reject your authority and that you will find no support for your plans and schemes among us. We simply no longer choose to be manipulated.
Although there will be obstacles, we are willing to start over. We are prepared to be responsible for our own lives now. We must discard your Cards, Vaccines, and Chip Implants because they have too many strings attached. We must turn off your television and radio programs until their messages become uplifting. And we will start to rebuild our lives, without your help, by first living together in small self-sufficient communities. If need be, we will grow our own food in our backyards as well as in common areas, and we will barter and trade among ourselves. We will also nurture our children with foresight, and learn to love and heal each other so peace and freedom can return to all of our lives.
As we see it, you are also being stalked by your own evolution and you will change. You cannot avoid being drawn out of your secrecy at this time. The only path left for you to follow is one of conscience. Like us, you are realizing that there is no separation between you and what you perceive. We are all beginning to understand that when we inflict pain or hardship on others, we inflict it upon ourselves. Once you fully comprehend what you are doing to yourself, you won’t be able to continue. Enlightenment is coming to all who renounce conflict and violence. Even an unscrupulous, sophisticated robber baron can evolve into a higher, more loving entity. He is no less entitled to the Grace of our Great Creator than the people he has conspired against.
Just that one small transformation in your attitude whereby you begin to see, without blinders, that you only lack the opening of your heart in order to take the next step — a step for which you are poised and ready, but which all of your power and money cannot provide for you. Isn’t it ironic, now, that you have dared for generations to hide our own hearts from us? Ever since we were trusting little schoolchildren reciting your pledges and practicing your patriotic ceremonies, you deceptively taught us to place our hand over our heart on the left side of our chest! Only now are we locating our hearts in the exact center of our chests, and we are learning how to activate the Â¬wondrous feelings that have long slept dormant within us.
The people of the Earth yearn for the day when we will all live together in peace. You cannot stop us from advancing toward the love we all deserve. That glorious moment nears, when, instead of being adversaries, we will stand together as brothers and sisters whose consciences have awakened, as equals whose time of heaven on Earth has come. Until then: for all the people who needlessly suffer and die because of your economic and political manipulations; and for all the animals who face extinction or life in a cage that doesn’t even allow them enough space to turn around; and for all the beautiful plants and trees of the forests who burn indiscriminately, we ask one last question. Why must you continue to bring harm and havoc to all the living things of the Earth when your own truest happiness would automatically come from helping us instead?
Spring is awakening the land, as well as our hearts, bodies, minds! We celebrated Spring Equinox in a wonderful way with songs, dances and planting flowers in the Medicine Wheel garden. Photos below give you an idea about all the fun we had.
We closed the old year and brought in the new year with a few heart-opening and well attended events….
Our annual Winter Solstice Celebration was the best ever–beautiful songs from Lorraine Bayes and the Sacred Fire Choir, the home-grown shadow puppet show “Raven Steals back the light!” written by friend & artist Craig Spencer, enacted with Therese, Tere and Connie of the Groves. We sang, we danced, we laughed, we ate, we sat in darkness and made prayers.
On New Years day we held our annual sweatlodge, a full lodge with strong prayers. The next day, we ushered the new year in with drumming and dancing–WOO HOO! As you can see from this photo–we were having FUN!
The calendar for 2010 is getting fleshed out, I think I’ve got most of it up to date now and most of the hot-link glitches on various pages fixed finally. We look forward to a great year here!
Mostly we truly hope that the work we do here at the Groves to weave together community in healing and heart-opening ways helps bring about a more peaceful world for all of us two-leggeds around the planet. May the earth get greener this year, the trees grow taller, people’s hearts flourish.
The big news around here is the arrival of Therese’s grandson, Tavi Orion on November 25th in Seattle. His full official name is Octavian Orion Fetz Stallings, son of Ariel Stallings (Therese’s daughter) and Andreas Fetz, her wonderful husband.)
This wonderful sweet boy coming in in this dark corner of the year is a testimony to new life in the darkness. He’s healthy, mellow, easily soothed, sweet, beautiful, precious. What else can a grandma say?
SOLSTICE & NEW YEARS….
December is a quiet month in the Groves but we are offering our usual monthly events (Earth Mothers circle, Wailing Lodge, Sunday meditation) and a few special events too: Winter Solstice Celebration (Dec 20th), a Si.Si.Wiss ceremony and Red Cedar Circle (Dec 27th), a New Year’s Day sweatlodge and a New Years Drum-Dance, Jan 2nd.
One of our sweet yurtlettes is awaiting a new resident (or two), available for short-stays if you are looking for a getaway place during this dark corner of the year.
Happy Holidays everyone! Whether you celebrate Solstice, Christmas, Hannukah or nothing at all, may these dark days of December bring you inner peace.
Autumn is the time of the west, time of twilight, deepening darkness, release, ebbing, waning, time of elder-hood. We started the autumn season with several wonderful events. On September 19th we hosted our annual ‘descent into darkness’ ritual where we walked through the woods with candles, singing “We descend…..down to the darkness, our mother so dear.” On October 3rd we co-hosted the ENTER AUTUMN Festival with Woman’s Way Red Lodge, when we honored and told stories about important elders in our lives. On October 10th, we hosted our autumn sweatlodge, this season’s opportunity to release the old and open to the new.
As usual, these events were attended by a wonderful mix of open hearted men and women. Now we’ve got ourselves in alignment with the new season and hope to flow with it in a good way.
There are two big week-end retreats coming up this fall: Compassionate Listening training (Oct 24-25) and Grief Ritual Retreat (Nov 21-22); the monthly Earth Mothers Circle will continue through the fall too. But otherwise, things are quieting down as we gestate the seeds of what is to come in 2010.
Though we don’t have many events, guests continue to be welcome to come stay in the Guest Room at the Round House (our new Bed and Breakfast room) or the Moonlodge for private retreats and quiet time in the Groves. Happy Autumn Everyone!
We’ve had so much joy, play-fulness, good company and good food here in the Groves this summer that as fall begins to come in We just feel GOOD, full with the harvest of all we shared here.Â Below is a photo from the Drum-Sing-Dance week-end Simone LaDrumma and I co-facilitated.
“On Sunday morning ten of us gathered around the drum and proceeded to pound out the heartbeat while Therese, my co-facilitator and owner of Sacred Groves, led us in chants to the Mother Earth. We took turns lying under the drum, feeling its power.Â That is me, under the drum. I could feel the earth beating beneath my body. Soon I couldn’t tell what was the drum, what was the earth, and what was my heart. It was all One.
We started summer in style with several joyous events that celebrated the culmination of spring’s frenetic growth! All in all, about 50 men, women & kids showed up to celebrate Summer Solstice and 4th of July week-end drumming and foolishness with us. You can read more about these events and see photos on our flickr photo pages.
Things are settling now into the ‘lazy days of summer.’ Our new Medicine Wheel garden (begun at Spring Equinox) is looking beautiful and groomed again thanks to the efforts of Groves’mates Larissa Notter, Sarah Jackson and Sage Vann. If you were here at Spring Equinox, check out the photos to see how it has evolved! Better yet: DO come visit sometime this summer! In addition to our regularly monthly offerings, we’ve got many special events this summer to draw you here. As usual, please RSVP!