Monday, September 3, 2012

Sage Mountain: The Shaman’s Path, Women Shamanism, Spirituality and Healing Plants

Just came home from Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center in Vermont after a weekend of a great workshop called The Shaman's Path.  Workshop doesn't seem like a big enough word to describe the weekend however.  We learned with wonderful healers and shamans Rocio Alarcon, Susan Ross Grimaldi and Maria Elena Martinez, a collection of 40 amazing women and of course, Rosemary Gladstar.

The magic of Sage Mountain is difficult to put into words.  I hadn't been back for a couple years and needed to just ground to the earth there again.  I was able to work with yarrow as a power plant this visit, learned to drum a bit and challenged myself to participate in activities outside my personal comfort zone. 

And there was such laughter and good friends made.  It was a group of women in the best sense, which sometimes doesn't happen.  Strong, independent, open, honest, vulnerable, healing, sensitive, loving, giving, kind and searching - it was quite a group as we all shared and learned from each other.

I was enthralled with Susan Ross Grimaldi's work in Mongolia and China documenting and helping re-institute the ancient history of shamanism there (see more about Susan on her website  Her words on personal power touched deep inside and the responsibility that personal power invokes in the healing process.  And through her talk on Shaman Chants, finding my own personal song (thanks to my workshop partner and friend Linda helping with this), which we all have inside us, just waiting to get out.

Rocio Alarcon brought her work from Ecuador and the Amazon rain forest as well as the Basque country in Spain to work with us on spiritual cleansing and healing through water.  A very special evening healing water ceremony under the full moon in the clean, cold Vermont water on that magical piece of earth was transforming.   I was especially blessed to be Rocio's partner in this ceremony, an extra added bonus.

And as we talked about herbs used in the shamanic process and did energy healing with the plants, I'm forever amazed and grateful of the healing bounty that is all around us.  We asked for healing for women around the world who are suffering, oppressed, violated, and marginalized, sending the healing of the plants and recognizing the shaman in each of us in the process.   May we all be thankful for what we have and who we are, and use that in going out into the world to foster healing, kindness, peace and love.