Explorations of the Wild Feminine, an Art Retreat.
What can I say about something so moving, so life-changing as this? It was more than an art retreat. Even in the intense heat of August in Jaen province, tucked away within the endless mountains of olive groves is Cortijo Las Salinas, a beautiful old farmhouse, lovingly restored and with Roman origins. Each room is carefully and thoughtfully considered, with beautiful views.
We had twice-daily circles, where we shared our truths in safety and love. We held space for each other. There were tears. As a woman who has many friends, I used to think this is something I frequently do, but it is not. Our lives are so busy and caught up in details. We are deeply private. Some things we never discuss. We talked about our lives and experiences as women. We shared so much as women's lives often contain similar patterns, themes, paths. Terre read poetry, writings, thoughts. She held space in strength, love and vulnerability. We all wrote, we had guided meditations led by Terre, and these meditations informed our paintings.
Terre guided us through the process of intentional creativity. We painted every day, so in flow and reverence, to our work and all we had assimilated through our women's circles, meditations and writings. Steffi taught us yoga in the mornings and performed gong baths, reciting poetry before and after. Oh my goodness, I have chills even thinking about those gong baths. The intense power of those, within the mountains. Steffi also held a Kundalini yoga class, chanting Adi Shakti while the full moon rose over the mountains.
There was so much laughter. The vegetarian food was nutricious and delightful. I gave a workshop of the landscape and the sacred feminine in nature.
We walked with wonderful writer Chris Stewart, who guided us with grace, humour and knowledge in Granada, in some places I had never seen. Mysterious places, magical places. The home of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla was wonderful. The day was blessedly cool as Granada in August, the heat can be fierce, but it was perfect.
Sometimes I had to escape and walk to the top of the mountain in early morning, to the Balcon de Don Rafael. I am a private person, and want to experience things alone sometimes, so in the cool of the early morning I made my way up to the top of the mountain in slippy sandals, as the land was so dry it was sometimes like skating. Note to self: bring hikng shoes and/or poles next time.
After the retreat, many of us traveled together to Las Alpujarras mountains, slightly further south, and settled in Bubion, a high mountain white village, with water running from fuentes everywhere. The sound of water, the healing, life-giving vibration from it gave the village a cleansing feeling and we walked through labrynthine pathways, under tinaos, places built for shade, sat in cafes, walked up and down mountain sides. We walked from Ferreirola to Atalbeitar, stopping to drink from the gazeosa spring, with effervescent iron-rich water. Then to the incredible waterfall, the Salto de Paula, bathing in its freezing iron-rich waters.
We visited the Green Tara statue at the rarefied Buddhist Temple O Sel Ling, near Soportujar. The drive up there was hair-raisingly precipitous, on hairpin bends on narrow dirt tracks with no barriers. We climbed further still, to the Tibetan prayer wheels and prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. We chanted Adi Shakti together on the threshing floor (Era) at Ferreirola in front of the mountains.
Some photos of our magical women's art and exploration retreat in Andalucia in Spain are in the links above, (see Photos from Explorations of the Wild Feminine.) For more info about the next retreat, or to be on our mailing list, please use the contact form above, or email: email@example.com