Next fall, as autumn leaves turn to gold, we invite you to join us at beautiful La Casa de Maria. A sacred retreat center, it offers soulful renewal with its gardens, fountains, labyrinth, and woodland walks. Here, in celebration of a decade of Wellsprings, we will explore the ancient, yet compelling story of Demeter and Persephone. This tale of the deep feminine is a myth for all time and for all women.
As our avenue into the psyche, this living myth illuminates the very matrix of our lives, that first relationship between mother and daughter. It is the primal ground from which we all emerge, physically, emotionally, and psychically. This story reveals the passages we each face in our personal journey toward individuation.
We will see how our naive ‘maiden’ must separate from her identity with ‘mother’ — a separation which often thrusts us into an initiatory descent into an “underworld” experience of “hades.” There we encounter our shadow, and engage our ‘opposite’ — the masculine (inner and/or outer). Only after navigating this cycle, sometimes repeatedly, may we discard our persona masks, and find in our mirror the face of our Adult Woman, she who is our authentic self, she who carries the seeds of our Crone.
How do we allow the mother in us to release, help the daughter in us to develop, and embody our wise old woman? We may share belly laughs with the ribald goddess Baubo – and seek wisdom from fiery Hekate at her crossroads. Meeting these figures in the past shaped our metal. Can they help us now to realize our inner “Persephone,” Queen of light and dark who is at home in both realms? A vital woman, she is One-inherself, living her seasons with grace.
This intensive offers the chance to revisit the universal pilgrimage from innocence to womanhood to crone-hood. As we retrace our personal journey, we seek its hidden meaning and treasures — and also discover where we perhaps got lost, or abandoned those treasures. We can celebrate ourselves as survivors — and also affirm ourselves as seekers in this present season of our lives.
This myth brings us full circle, to the very core of BodySoul work. For 2000 years it was the basis for rituals held at Eleusis in Greece. Today our modern intensives follow this ancient arc of feminine initiation, of descent and renewal. We will engage the guidance of the unconscious through dreams, bodily states, discussion, and creativity. Authentic Movement helps us connect with buried energies and open to our inner dance. Simple, playful vocal explorations help release our true voice through relaxation, breathing, and sounding. The approach is attuned to the individual, and does not involve performance. Enhanced by music and the arts, these dynamic processes support self-discovery, integration, and individuation in a safe and nurturing space. It is fitting that we come full circle, because, as the seasons turn, this will be the last Wellsprings of Feminine Renewal. We as facilitators find that after more than ten years, our own “seasons” too are shifting, and our energies are drawn in new directions. While this intensive may hold the sadness of endings, of winter — it will also bring the celebration of Persephone’s return from the underworld, ushering in sunlight and flowers. We invite you to join us in seeking renewal, and discovering that even in the midst of winter there is within us an eternal spring!
Old and new participants will be warmly welcomed to this ‘last Wellsprings dance.’ Enrollment is limited. Early application is strongly recommended.
‘SISTERHOOD’ image, above, is a painting by Melissa Harris.
Copyrighted & used with artist’s permission. www.melissaharris.com