Photo Diary: Spirit Weavers + California
"Spirit Weavers Gathering is a five-day celebration of cultures past, a remembering and practicing of basic human skills to ensure the survival of the body and the soul. Fermenting foods, weaving, dying fabrics, creating ceremony, sharing meals at night and dreams in the morning, drinking tea, and making plant medicines - singing songs, together as a community- these were the common knowledge ways and part of the simple pleasures of a life lived in balance and harmony with nature. Let us gather together as Women and share our skills in remembrance of the beauty path and an honoring of our Ancestors." - via Spirit Weavers Gathering Last month I traveled to California to attend Spirit Weavers and embarked on a journey that transformed me in ways I am still just beginning to understand. Five days at Camp Navarro, immersed in the Redwoods, disconnected by technology and reconnected with myself and my sisters. Seeing new and familiar faces, learning, teaching, sharing, all while surrounded by the great trees. Over 600 women from all around the world united together for ceremonies, workshops, song, reflection and community.
The entire trip was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. The freedom that comes from supporting and accepting one another, letting our guard down and expressing our fears, hopes, dreams and desires without judgment. Connecting with fellow sisters, ourselves and the land created an atmosphere for such powerful healing and love. I will never forget the way I felt walking through those Redwoods, hearing the stories of the women around me, sharing my stories and the beautiful vulnerability and trust that was all around me.
For me, the trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I had been feeling stuck for weeks, overwhelmed by NYC, craving something different, “needing” more space, frustrated by my writer’s block and yearning for my creativity. Knowing very well that it was not my reality that left me feeling this way but my attitude, I couldn’t wait to push outside of my comfort zone and conquer these fears head on.
The week began in LA, exploring Venice with Sima. We stopped by the beach, Moon Juice, Gjusta and had lunch at Cafe Gratitude (to name a few). She made the day extra special and I loved getting a tour of all the best spots for my first visit. The following day Alexa, Kristin, Sima and I began the early morning journey from LA to Mendocino. We stopped for lunch at SHED (a must visit!) where we were joined by Mich of The Vibrant Kitchen. We had been connecting through emails and on social media for well over a year now, and it was so wonderful getting to meet her in person. That evening we stayed in the cutest cabin in Healdsburg where our friend Julia Corbett joined us and we spent the evening exploring the woods, pulling tarot cards and sharing stories.
The next morning the journey to Camp Navarro began. We ventured deep into the forest and arrived for opening ceremony. Throughout my time there I experienced the Pachama Despacho Ceremony with Maggie, Honey for the Heart (infusing honey with herbs) + Awakening Beauty through Self-Portraiture with Julia, Growing Medicinal Herbs with Vicky, Sacred Tarot for the Wild Soul with Lindsay and Sacred Relationships with Elisa. I took part in ceremony, danced my heart out and turned inwards without fear or hesitation.
I came out of each class and ceremony feeling renewed, inspired and energized. I tuned-in mentally and physically in a way that felt emotional, profound and brave. I learned so much about myself, the women that surrounded me and the plants all around me. Through each circle, conversation, class and experience I began to regain clarity about where I wanted to go and the woman I want to be. I shared, let my guard down, cried my eyes out and listened with an open heart. With each day I began to feel like myself again until suddenly I recognized a renewed and uplifted version of myself that I greeted with open arms.
It was a week that will be etched in my heart forever and was so important to me that I shared it in this sacred space and within this community of Dreamers. Reintegrating back into life has felt different, not always easy but special. I am feeling grateful for where I am, inspired by my work, clear on what I am working towards and connected in my relationships in new and meaningful ways.
I come back to NYC with an open mind + heart, connected to my mind, body and spirit, grateful, humbled and excited for all the adventures that are to come.
"What if our religion was each other If our practice was our life If prayer, our words What if the temple was the Earth If forests were our church If holy water—the rivers, lakes, and ocean What if meditation was our relationships If the teacher was life If wisdom was self-knowledge If love was the center of our being." - Ganga White