What to Expect

 
By Charlotte J Ward

By Charlotte J Ward

During our retreats we live as one - with each other and with beautiful nature. The retreats are held by a loving team of qualified instructors who will be facilitating the daily workshops and ceremonies.

Each day will be slightly different with its own set of unique challenges and delights. Together we will evolve in unity. 

Throughout the retreats there will be ample time to swim in rivers, explore the land, spend time alone and practice just being.

There will also be the opportunity to carve out a special moment to go deeper and receive individual sessions

 

Fire

Throughout the retreat we will keep a sacred fire burning. The fire element is central to this retreat and we will honour this ancient energy through respect, offerings, song, movement and prayer.

Throughout the retreat participants who wish to do so will have the opportunity to have a turn as the fire guardian, learning how to work with, and take responsibility for, this sacred element.

Everyone will learn and be blessed by the fire.

 

Program

Our retreats look something like this…

Day 1

  • 2 - Opening circle + explore land

  • 3 - Set up/ unpack

  • 4 - Light sweatlodge fire - New Moon ceremony begins

  • 8 - Dinner

  • 9 - Chanting and meditation

Day 2

  • 7 - Fluid time grounding and connecting in nature

  • 9 - Rose ritual + breakfast - dream sharing

  • 10 - 1st Womb Workshop

  • 2 - Lunch/ Vision Quest (facilitated by the team): open

  • 5 - Sweatlodge

  • 7 - ‘Planted’ for sleeping

  • 8 - Team holds space with the Fire

Day 3

  • 8 - Fasters collected

  • 9 - Sweatlodge

  • 11 - Brunch + sharing circle/ Vision Quest: close

  • 2 - Rest and Integration/ Individual Sessions

  • 4 - Intuitive herbalism

  • 8 - Dinner

  • 9 - Chanting and meditation

Day 4

  • 7 - Fluid time grounding and connecting in nature

  • 9 - Rose ritual + breakfast - dream sharing

  • 10 - 2nd Womb workshop

  • 2 - Lunch/ Rest and Integration/ Individual sessions

  • 6 - Offerings at Gors Fawr Stone Circle

  • 8 - Dinner

  • 9 - Cacao Celebration Movement Ceremony

Day 5

  • 8 - Rose Ritual + Brunch - dream sharing

  • 10 - Flower blessing ceremony

  • 11 - Closing circle + offerings on land

The schedule is open in order that we can, like the water that surrounds us, flow with the needs of the group.

Sweatlodge

During our retreat we will be holding sweatlodge ceremonies. The sweatlodge is an ancient ritual which is practiced across multiple different cultures and in many countries. We will be praying in the tradition of the sweatlodge ceremony of the ancestral spiritual traditions indigenous to Mexico.

The sweatlodge ceremony will be dedicated to reconnecting ourselves with the elements and to purifying our wombs specifically. We will be holding this prayer in order to remember. To remember how to pray together as woman, to remember how to stand strong and hold space, and to remember our unity as sisters - as women of the moon and of the womb.

The sweatlodge is an ancient ceremony. The shape of the structure itself represents the sacred womb of the Mother Earth. We enter this spiritual womb to let go of what we no longer need, to purify ourselves, and to be reborn.

Through praying with the elements of water, air, earth and fire, we regenerate ourselves both energetically in that we feel better, as well as on a cellular level - the sweatlodge has the power to bring about rebirth. We can emerge happier, healthier and free of whatever is holding us back and weighing us down, whether its trauma from experiences in this life, or ancestral issues which we have inherited.

We take part in this ritual in order to remember the origin of life and where we come from. To remember who we are on a soul level, and what our purpose and path is. We also come to be reminded where life wants to take us. In this regard we can use our time in the temazcal to set intention, to ask for help, to pray for healing, and to give thanks for all of the beautiful blessings in our lives. For the blessing that is life!  

How does it work? Volcanic stones (grandmothers) are heated in the sacred fire and brought inside the temazcal. The water that is poured on them awakens the ancient wisdom that they carry. Volcanic rocks these stones have travelled to the fire at the core of the planet and returned up to us on the surface. Therefore they are embedded with the wisdom of the earth’s core - hence the name ‘grandmothers’. They are information and memory itself in physical form.

The divine fusion of water and fire represents the duality and creation of life. It is the presence and power of this divine fusion which brings us healing. As well as working on the spiritual, mental and emotional level the sweatlodge has many physical medicinal benefits. The process is carried by healing medicine songs, chants and prayers.

The sweatlodge can be intense and difficult. But by offering our intention and by being willing to sit through the discomfort of the heat we strengthen ourselves and empower ourselves in order that we can then live our lives with a clear mind and vision.

What to Bring 

  • Please bring a tent to sleep in and bedding. If you are coming with friends then sharing is a good idea as it will minimise the amount of ground space affected by our being on the land. We want to tread as lightly as possible!

  • During the summer retreat we will be holding a wild sleeping ritual on the second evening. If you would like to participate in this fast you will need a bivvy bag (waterproof bag to go over your sleeping bag), a tarp to keep you dry, a good sleeping bag to keep you warm and some rope. You can get the tarp and bivvy bags for fairly cheap on eBay and camping shops.

  • You will need sufficient changes of clothes and good gear for wet/ cold weather in case it rains.

  • We will be swimming in the rivers so bring swimwear unless you want to be naked.

  • Please make sure all toiletries, toothpastes, soaps, suncreams, creams etc are organic in order that we pollute the land as little as possible.

  • If you would like to bring something to wear for the ceremonies/ fire rituals then please do - anything and everything is welcome (however, there is no pressure to dress up).

  • Bring blankets, sheepskins, cosy, soft things to sit on and wrap up in around the fire and during the workshops.

  • You'll need something to work your body in during the morning exercises.

  • A notebook/ pen/ sketchbook etc (if you want to record thoughts and feelings).

  • Appropriate footwear - we are on wild terrain so lace up boots, wellies etc are a good idea, as well as something lighter if the weather is super sunny.

  • Power items: feathers, crystals, fans etc. + Offerings: minerals, tobacco, spirits, precious food items, cacao beans, grains etc.

 Felindyrch ~ Mynachlogddu ~ Clunderwen ~ Pembrokeshire ~Wales

Gors Fawr stone circle at the base of the Preseli Mountains. Photo by Charlotte J Ward

Gors Fawr stone circle at the base of the Preseli Mountains. Photo by Charlotte J Ward

When in the UK, we congregate at Felindyrch, in Wales. Felindyrch is an area of intense natural beauty: 16 acres of waterfalls, streams, rivers, wooded areas and moorland.

The land is an area of Special Scientific Interest which houses rare wildlife habitats. These are protected by the seasonal farming and land protection that is practiced here. The land has a huge river running through it and there will be a ceremonial yurt (with fireplace and altar) which we will use for workshops.

A short walk from our camp is Gors Fawr stone circle which dates back to 4500-2000 BC. The stone circle (and our home for Wild Woman) sits at the base of the Preseli Mountains where the "bluestones" of Stone Henge were quarried. We will return to this spot throughout the retreat in order to honour these ancient spirits.