As some of you know a few weeks ago I was having a rough time. I had made the realization that I may lose my house with this separation and it was hitting me hard. In the midst of this horribly emotional week I received an e-mail from my dear friend Dom. She was going to hold an Autumn Retreat at her wonderful brainchild The Creative Wheel Centre. This was to be her first W.I.N. (Women In Nature) retreat, and was I interested. I was ecstatic to discover it was on a weekend that the boys were going to be at their Father's house. It was just what I needed.
So Saturday morning, I packed up my camping gear, and my bike, and headed to Creative Wheel to see what I might discover about myself with Dom as my guide. There were five women that were committed enough to brave the cold, dreary weather. That were committed enough to spend a weekend in an unheated building, with no electricity, or running indoor plumbing. That were committed enough to be honest with themselves about the stuff that they needed to explore.
We began the weekend by taking an oath of confidentiality in order to respect each other and make the retreat a safe place for everyone.(so I will only talk about my own experiences) We then moved on to breaking in Dom's new set of Medicine Cards. We passed them around, and each drew a card. When I drew my card two stuck together, and since it wasn't my first time drawing cards I knew that I should keep both. These cards were drawn with the intention of finding a guide for the duration of the weekend. The cards that I drew were the BUFFALO(prayer and abundance), and the LIZARD(dreams). These were very appropriate guides for my weekend since one of my main goals was to start the process of manifesting my dream clinic/retreat centre.
Later in the day on Saturday we were taken on a "shamanic journey" in order to discover our true spirit guide. This was a 20 minute process where we were lying comfortably on the floor while Dom drummed for us. We were guided to search for an "opening" to the underworld where we would meet at least on animal that would tell us if they were or were not our spirit guide. Unfortunately I was not able to find the opening to the underworld because I was constantly interrupted every time I set out on my journey by people in my life. I did not get frustrated about this, but decided to contemplate what it means. Which I am still doing.
That night I slept alone in my tent. I was totally dead to the world, which I didn't realize until the next morning when Dom asked if I heard her restart the fire at 3am. The answer was "no".
Sunday we spent the morning chatting by the fire, drinking coffee and eating wonderful oatmeal. The afternoon was spent hiking in the rain up the mountain. We did so quietly, paying attention to the Earth and taking MANY pictures, mostly of mushrooms. At the top of the mountain we had tea, and made a small fire where we drew another card while asking a question. We also made a small tobacco offering to thank the Universe for all that we have.
The question I asked at the top of the mountain was, How will I accomplish my goal of creating my centre? The guide I got was the Squirrel(gathering). This is the perfect guide for that particular journey.
The entire weekend offered me many ideas to think about. It also helped me towards a much more concrete idea of what I want my future to look like. I met some really very amazing women. Dom is hoping to hold a W.I.N. retreat in each season. I hope that I will be able to continue attending them. Dom hopes that I will become a co-facilitator with her. This is an exciting, and very frightening idea.
The weekend was EXACTLY what I needed. I am very grateful.