After the 40-Day retreat, Restoring the Sacred Feminine, hosted by Jackie Crovetto (see May 2021’s Newsletter), Valerie Dean, in England, described her experience:
On the day we started, I went out for a walk through the woods and down to the river and had a strong sense that during the 40 days I needed to come down and sing to the river every day, which I have done.
On the fifth day, I asked the river to help me remember. She answered, “As I help you remember so you help me remember,” and I was shown how we must do this together, weave a thread of remembering together. The Earth cannot remember alone. We cannot remember alone, we must join together in the remembering, we are one re-membering, making whole what has been separated: Oneness.
As I walked further along the bank, I had a flash of light, insight, understanding. Oh, this is not what life was meant to be, Life is meant to be ceremony, every day a ceremony, ceremony in the everyday actions we make, a constant remembering, so that neither we nor any aspect of Earth forgets the sacred, the holy, the love, the vibrant life we are together. This is our work.
As I walk down through the woods to the river day after day, I feel myself more completely woven into the tapestry of trees, birds, animals, the living conscious ground under my feet, the air I breathe. I greet the wind in my face, acknowledge the welcome return of the sun, know that the water runs through my body as it runs through the body of the Earth herself, feel the intimate connection. Without breath I am dead, where do I end and air begins? Without water I am dead, where do I end and water begins? Animal self in its own living landscape.
On Day 14, I ask the river to take our song, our remembering on her journey to the sea and I have a sense of that thread going out to all the waters and not being lost or diluted but becoming part of the whole. Each prayer we make, each praise, each acknowledgement, each expression of love, of gratitude becoming a living part of the whole.
Jenny Cox, in England, was inspired to lead a one-week retreat for women, Stand by the Rivers. As in Jackie Crovetto’s 40-Day retreat, men were invited to join the meditation in support. The poem, ‘We are a river’ came to Valerie during this retreat.
We are a river
We are a river, us women
when we join, womb to womb.
We are a river of the Great Mother God.
We flow from her sacred waters.
We are a river, us women
when we join together, womb to watery womb.
We are a river of love.
All daughters of the Great Mother God.
We are a river of love.
We are a river, us women
when we join together, womb to womb.
We are a river of consciousness.
A great rising river of consciousness.
Singing a song of love and the sacred.
Singing life back into being.
Singing the soul of this Earth our Mother.
Singing the soul back home.
Jenny Cox wrote of her retreat: We did an exercise linking our wombs together with all the other women’s wombs in the circle, just as the trees in a forest are all interconnected by means of the underground fungal networks, and are both nourished and informed by them.
This connection through our wombs wasn’t my idea: I was visited by a feminine being on the inner planes the day before the ‘rivers retreat’ began. She looked like Botticelli’s Primavera, except that she was wearing green, and she had a garland of leaves and white and golden yellow flowers in her hair. “Women!” she began, clearly not only addressing me. “Know that you are connected through your wombs! Become conscious of your wombs, because therein lies your power. In connection! Allow the wisdom to flow between your wombs!”
Valerie described her poem’s context. Well, it was day six of the ‘rivers’ meditation. I wanted to be outside for the meditation, rooted deep in Mother Earth. You talked of us as rivers, we joined womb to womb, a powerfully felt sense began running through me, first of myself as a river, then of us women as one great river. At the end of the meditation, I quickly found pen and paper and began to write. “We are a river” is part of what I wrote, the closest I could get to describing what I had experienced as part of a greater whole.
Ursula Schullerus, from Germany, has led two women’s retreats in the past few months. The first was Relating to Water as a Living Being. And in August, Witnessing the Fires with Love and Compassion.
I received this from a friend. I cannot speak to its authenticity but the message itself seems valuable to me.
Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle commented a few days ago on the Covid situation:
“This moment that humanity is living through can be considered a door or a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the door is yours.
If you consume information 24 hours a day, with negative energy, constantly nervous, with pessimism, you will fall into this hole.
But if you take the opportunity to look at yourself, to rethink life and death, to take care of yourself and others, you will go through the door.
Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect with your spiritual home. When you take care of yourself, you take care of others at the same time.
Do not underestimate the spiritual dimension of this crisis. Adopt the perspective of an eagle that sees everything from above with a broader vision.
There is a social demand in this crisis, but also a spiritual demand. The two go hand in hand. Without the social dimension, we fall into fanaticism. Without the spiritual dimension, we fall into pessimism and futility.
You are prepared to go through this crisis.
Grab your toolbox and use all the tools at your disposal. Learn to resist by the example of the Indian and African peoples: we have been and continue to be exterminated.
* But we never stopped singing, dancing, lighting fires, and having joy.
Don’t feel guilty for feeling lucky in these difficult times. Being sad and without energy doesn’t help at all.
* Resilience is resilience through joy!
You have the right to be strong and positive. You have to maintain a beautiful, cheerful and bright posture.
This has nothing to do with alienation (ignorance of the world). It is a strategy of resistance.
When we walk in the door, we have a new view of the world because we have faced our fears and difficulties.
This is what you can do now:
– Serenity in the storm,
– Keep calm, meditate daily,
– Make a habit of encountering the sacred every day.
Demonstrate resilience through art, joy, trust, and love.”
Red Bird Explains Himself
“Yes, I was the brilliance floating over the snow
and I was the song in the summer leaves, but this was
only the first trick
I had hold of among my other mythologies,
for I also knew obedience: bring sticks to the nest,
food to the young, kisses to my bride.
But don’t stop there, stay with me: listen.
If I was the song that entered your heart
then I was the music of your heart, that you wanted and needed,
and thus wilderness bloomed that, with all its
followers: gardeners, lovers, people who weep
for the death of rivers.
And this was my true task, to be the
music of the body. Do you understand? for truly the body needs
a song, a spirit, a soul. And no less, to make this work,
the soul has need of a body,
and I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable
beauty of heaven
where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes,
and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart.”