Explorations of the Wild Feminine, An Art Retreat.

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:  alicejulietmason@gmail.com

Upcoming Retreat, 'The Seed' April 7th-14th 2017

'The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that it has the potential to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed.
 ~ and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the journey starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft.
There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the challenges. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the cross to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves.'  Osho

My focus is very much about the transformative power that creativity and making art produces. I often work alongside other artists to create my art retreats in Spain. The healing effects of working from the imagination, group work, with people creating alongside one another and interacting in the studio cannot be underestimated. We combine arts such as movement, storytelling, and music with painting and drawing.   In short, art heals and transforms.

I will be working with artist, dancer and healer Terre Cerridwyn Busse from California and Steffi Goddard, artist, Reiki healer,  yogini and also co-owner of the cortijo.

Retreat dates:  April 7th-14th 2017   This retreat will again be in beautiful Cortijo Las Salinas, Jaen, Spain.  To register an interest or to be on my mailing list, please fill out the contact form above or email me at alicemason64@gmail.com.  Please see below for photos of my last retreat and the links above for my previous retreats.  

Cost is £950 per person for a week-long retreat.   Inclusive of luxury accommodation, delicious and nutritious food, (we will be dining together,)  art materials, tuition, guidance, hiking in Las Alpujarras mountains with best-selling author Chris Stewart, writer of Driving Over Lemons, reiki, yoga, dance and movement (optional,) creativity, creative writing, visiting historic sites, including Granada and Cordoba, and all the other treats and delights the cortijo has to offer.   We will be painting every day in a huge and beautiful art studio, mostly using intuitive art processes and meditative art, with guided meditations.  Check out The Seed Retreat links above for full details and itinerary.

Does not include flights or car hire.  Travel insurance is recommended.  The cortijo is easy to find, either we can give you simple directions, or you can locate it with your sat nav or smart phone.  If you would prefer to be collected from the airport, we can arrange that too, via a car service we regularly use, at an extra cost of approximately 50 Euros.

To secure your place, please contact me to discuss,  (alicemason64@gmail.com) then a refundable deposit of £200 per person will be payable to me via bank transfer or Paypal.  The balance is payable 6 weeks prior to the course.

The apartments can be single or double, all with ensuite bathrooms and all apartments have stunning views onto the landscape, with outdoor seating areas,

There will be ample free time for pampering and relaxation as the cortijo offers yoga and reiki, (included in the cost) and there is a huge swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a cabana with phenomenal views, lots of relaxing and gorgeous places to be alone, or sketch in nature, to take self-led walks, or wander down to the river, (Rio San Juan,) or lovely local historic sites to see, Alcala La Real with its Moorish castle is very close, with a colourful weekly market, and Granada and Cordoba are approximately an hour's drive away.  It is in glorious olive country, undiscovered and unspoiled Spain.  There is an honesty bar, a courtyard with fountain, a mountain behind the cortijo with amazing panoramic views, a Moroccan chill-out area, and beautiful sitting room with antiques, a large and well stocked kitchen, and so much more.  

Check out the Cortijo Las Salinas website to see how simply beautiful it is.  The owners are dear friends of mine and we have worked closely together for several years now. 



Click on the Seed Retreat links above for all details. 

Check out all links above for all details about me, my work and previous retreats.