Last year Sorcha, Liza and I did our second workshop with Phyllis Curott called the Grail Workshop. The other three members of our Ara-group would do it this year together with a Belgian group. Unfortunately that didn't work out and Phyllis wasn't able to come to Holland to do it. For the first time she decided that Sorcha, Liza and I could give the workshop to the three others without her being present. We sent her our notes and together we made an outline for the weekend. It is a great honour she trusted us to do this!
Sorcha had booked 2 cottages for us in the woods on the Veluwe. This is the view on the back. Our goddess-mother has a cottage nearby. I picked up Sorcha and Liza in Amsterdam and we arrived around half past 3 pm. The weather was absolutely fabulous for the whole weekend: warm and sunny like an Indian Summer. I brought Foofur with me. He had the time of his life! He gets along fine with the other dogs and it was fun to have him around. When the others arrived it was time for dinner. Sorcha had made a big pan of pumpkin soup, delicious! We had bread and salad to go with it. Everyone brought something to eat and/or drink. We even had elements-tea! I had made fresh juices.
Friday evening we started the workshop. We smudged the room and each other and made an altar in the corner. My drum was next to it with a light behind it. After a short introduction about grail magic (from Phyllis' book Witchcrafting) we cast the circle from hand to hand. Liza rattled and called the elements, I asked the Genius Loci (local spirits) for their guidance and blessing. Then we did a grounding exercise. We all brought a bottle of water from our homes. In a big chalice we poured the waters together. We raised a Cone of Power and charged the water with the energy. We each drank some from our own chalice. The rest was put on the altar.
We also tried several kinds of divination this weekend. We trained it in pairs and in the group. When one of the girls was reading my object (a moonstone), she suddenly felt very tired. She didn't know it was my object and also didn't know about my fatigue. The other things were right too. Amazing! The Goddess Oracle gave me Furies first (crisis) which fits the current situation. For the outcome came Nu Kua (order), so that's reassuring.
Saturday morning I was up early and took Foofur for a walk in the woods. That felt great! It was very quiet, the sun was coming up and the woods were so beautiful...
After breakfast we prepared ourselves to make an inner journey. The goal was to meet the Genius Loci and ask them what this place needed, what we could do for it. I had a good journey:
In the morning I went for a walk with Foofur. He chased a rabbit into its hole. The hole was in a little hill and seemed to go straight ahead, not into the ground immediately. I entered the earth through this rabbit hole. First it was very narrow and I had to crawl on hands and knees, straight on (not up or down). I wasn’t afraid though. Along the way it got broader and higher until I could walk upright.
I came out on the open field across the road and through the woods on the other side. An open space with high grass and trees around. My power animal, black panther, joined me. I asked him to bring me to the Genius Loci. I had to wait in the woods near a fallen tree. I sat there and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings. Suddenly the panther came back. Behind him floated (just above the ground) a lady in white, a dress with layers of transparent white fabric. She was about my age. She smiled at me and extended her hand to me. She took me for a walk through the woods. Foofur, Yum Yum and Noa were there with us. It was important to use all my senses: hear, see, feel, touch and taste nature around me. Be really present and aware. This place needs genuine attention, love and respect. She wants us to enjoy nature, feel the energy. Walk with dogs, ride on horses, whatever you like.
Near a big tree the group was with me. We gathered around the tree and held hands. We were very aware of the energy and enjoyed in silence. Then we let loose and touched the trunk with the palms of our hands. We stood there for a while, then turned around and sat on the roots with our backs against the tree. The lady in white smiled at us, she seemed content with what we were doing. She trusted us in respecting and honouring nature and left us behind in perfect love and perfect trust. She disappeared, faded among the trees and became one with the environment. It was time to walk back to our cabins. When we arrived there, the journey ended and I came back in the room.
We spent the afternoon analyzing our journeys and preparing for the ritual. Around 5 pm we had a conference call with Phyllis in the US (her time 11 am). We discussed our journeys and the ritual. She was happy and satisfied with how we were doing so far. It was nice to hear her voice again!
For the ritual we drove to the heath. On a very special place we did our ritual. We were surrounded by a white transparent mist in the dark. A mystical experience. It was the perfect place. The ritual felt good, very powerful. When we got back we sat and talked for a while.
Sunday we made another walk on the Veluwe. The weather was still sunny and the colours of autumn were gorgeous! We visited a little pool in the woods, so beautiful! I sat against a tree that felt very good. It was half uprooted, but still standing strong. We did a tree meditation around it. I made a picture from under the tree; that's on my desktop right now. We collected the mess people left to throw it away where it belongs. I've made literally hundreds of pictures in nature: trees, fungi, spiders, beetles, etc.
After lunch we packed our stuff, tidied the cottages and closed the circle. We said our goodbyes and went our different ways. I drove Sorcha and Liza to Amsterdam and was home in the late afternoon. It was a magnificent weekend!