The experience I had yesterday will be difficult to describe, but I'll try...I attended a High Priestess Convergence ceremony at the Goddess Temple here at the Jackson Wellsprings. I had no idea what to expect...but it was amazing!
First, we were greeted by Graell. We were about to embark on a journey...experiencing Death, Sacred Sexuality, and Birth...the three most significant events in our lives. I was intrigued! I wish I had photos to share, but technology was forbidden...
We walked along the path, towards the Goddess Temple, and entered the first station...
Insence tickled my nose...and I felt somber immediately...we all sat on pillows, and gazed upon our guide who sat cross-legged, wearing black, in the front of the tent. Two priestesses, dressed in shrouds, were seated behind a black, sheer curtain.
After a short meditation, we were instructed to write, on a small paper, what part of our lives we were ready to part with...what no longer served us? Next, we took turns approaching the priestesses behind the curtain...we embraced, and let go of whatever we needed to let go of. After handing her the paper, we exited the tent, and contemplated how the death of this thing would affect our lives.
What did I write on the paper? I would like to discard "living my life based on what's expected of me"
Instead, I want to live my life based on what is true FOR ME and what feeds MY HEART...without worrying about what I"m "supposed to do" or what people might think.
Some of you might be surprised to hear this...I am, after all, spending a month up in Oregon, alone! Isn't that a pretty good example of living my life by my own rules? YES! and that's what was so profound about this experience...its like I'm living my life according to ME already!
It gets better...
The next station was my favorite. We entered the yurt. On the floor were mats for us to lie on, positioned like the pedals of a flower. In the center, were various items...feathers, a bowl of peaches, stones, flowers...we were instructed to lie on the mats, head towards the center, face up. Oh, did I mention we were to put on a blindfold?
I think you can imagine what happened next...we were treated to 20 minutes of pure sensory pleasure. Feathers ticked my arms...my mouth was treated to a sweet peach...smooth stones placed in the palms of my hands...gentle fingers caressed my face. All the while, I heard bells, and chimes and drumming...all my senses were activated! I was smiling the entire time! I didn't want it to end.
The last station was outside in the gardens. Two rows of 10 priestesses were lined up, facing each other, to create the womb that we would each be birthed from. Our guides chanted and undulated...as I approached, I was filled with anticipation...I began my rebirth...I was caressed, soothed, hugged, massaged...slowly I moved through the womb, through the birth canal and out into the world...it was a beautiful experience I will never forget.
After a somewhat restless night (it was cold, and my sleeping pad sprung a leak!) I took a walk around the grounds and found some very cool stuff around here!
The best thing was a few wooden swings hanging from a weeping willow tree. I can't remember the last time I was on a swing! Wheee!!
They have an incredible garden here...and further down the path, I came across a few more interesting things. Pictures speak louder then words sometimes...
Then I walked out towards the road, and met two women selling soap made from goats milk! You;; hear more from them later, I'm going to visit their farm this week and interview them for the podcast, as well as two other women selling semi-organic flowers. This dream is starting to come true.
After my walk, I came back to the Wellsprings and had the most enjoyable experience! I ventured into the steam room. A few more people came in, and someone started chanting. Then another person...then everyone followed along! We were all chanting together in this tiny space, in the steam we could barely see each other...but we made beautiful music! WOW! Then I spent two hours in the mineral baths...the sun came out...
Now I'm sitting in the tea room enjoying a cheese and pastrami burrito and home made apricot bar...and I met this guy.
I'm looking forward to an evening of more music and chanting and dancing! More to come.