So last spring I attended the woman's herbal symposium in Laytonville. For those of you who do not know about this amazing festival, let me share with you my experience. First of all it is an all womyn event. No men allowed. If you are a mother and have a young child who is a boy, there is an exception to this rule. I first heard about this festival through some friends a few years back, but I wasn't able to attend that year. Last year I decided it was time to go. I arrived early with a friend and we scored a spot in a tipi! If you get there before the crowd comes you can sleep in a tipi or you have to bring a tent. This was my first time getting to sleep in one and I was extremely excited about it. After setting up, there was a nice campfire and we got to hear about the weekend's offerings. I took some really awesome herbal classes and even a class on essential oils. I learned how to do a yoni steam and sat with some amazing womyn and stirred a pot of herbal magic together. The whole weekend was incredible. BUT the best part of the entire weekend was definitely the Rites of Passage Ceremony.
Let me tell you about this amazing ceremony. It starts out as a beautiful parade. Big life size puppets walking on stiltz and womyn dressed in bright colors sparkling around. There are maidens about to be initiated into womynhood. The girls enter a circle that has been formed by all the other womyn. We stand together in support of this beautiful passage. The young women are greeted by the crones. They receive their initiation and a small piece of hair is cut off to symbolize shedding the layer of “girl” and now stepping into womyn hood which is represented by their moon cycle. We then all join hands to form a tunnel and each maiden walks under the tunnel as we all sing a very beautiful song about being supported, loved and safe. Then every womyn including myself, got to walk under the tunnel and we are then greeted at the end of the tunnel by the crones. I personally have not had my mother in my life, and after I walked thru the tunnel and felt the hands of these wise womyn pat my back, I felt as though I gained 300 mothers. It was amazing.
The red tent
I came back from this experience a changed womyn. I felt ALIVE and ready to emerse myself in the plant kingdom. I dedicated myself to my garden that summer and it really showed. I was so inspired by the symposium that I decided to purchase my own tipi. After doing some research, I found out that there was a company that would do custom artwork. A vision was born inside of me and from that moment on, I knew it had to come to life. I worked with a few companies for a few months and my beautiful sister-in-law Bridget. She is an amazing artist. After I expressed my vision, we worked together to create the ultimate goddess tipi design. I submitted the artwork, but the original company didn’t feel the confidence to take on the magnitude of this project. I knew it had to come to life and so I didn’t let this obstacle stand in my way. Magically with such divineness I found Debra. She owns a company called SageBrush. She took this project into her heart and made this vision come true for me. And so Minosha was born.
Minosha for me represents the goddess of love, compassion, healing and a warrior of courage and truth. The BP oil spill had taken place and so I knew mama earth needed healing. The tipi has an image of the earth wrapped around minosha and her reflection. Love is inside the earth, breaking thru the layers of destruction and inbalance. It shines greater than anything.
This summer I hope to have a gathering of all the beautiful womyn in my life, soul sisters. As we dance under the stars and share the joy of being a goddess, I know we can bring healing to ourselves and that will heal this planet. In the meantime, I have been harvesting poles off of our land and peeling the bark off each one. It feels so gratifying.