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#4 Meeting the Warrior: The Sword September 17, 2019

Posted by wimynspeak in Sourceress: The Book of Fear.
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It must be said that the girl knew little to nothing of swords and violence and keeping the peace (peace just was) when she saw the old woman, but this does not diminish the significance of their meeting. And, most assuredly, chance played no part in the event, for fate is written in advance and cannot be avoided once the scenario is struck and life and story have shook on it to seal the deal. That being said, choice still plays a role in how we meet our fate. So the stage is set, the characters are in place, the meeting will happen, and choices will be made. From these choices come all the consequences that follow.

It seems prudent here, as a reminder, to once again point out that the old woman is blind. So, from this point in our story, it is not only choice but blindness — our characters’ and our own — that determines how they and we are impacted in our understanding of events, situations, and outcomes — both intermediate and final. Take heed and remember …

The girl, for her part, recognized the old woman right away, though she couldn’t have explained how or why. When she saw her in the village market, she left her mother’s side and marched right up to the blind warrior. “You have something for me, wise grandmother,” she said.

As soon as she heard the child’s voice, the old woman’s heart leaped, and the sword at her waist began to shrink in the folds of her skirt, scabbard and all, until it was the perfect size for the little girl. The blind woman smiled and laid her hand on top of the girl’s head in grateful benediction. “Indeed, I do,” she said. “And it seems you are even more ready than I had anticipated. Your first blood cannot be far off. In the meantime, you will begin training.”

“Training for what?” asked the girl.

“Why, to take up the Sword of Wisdom, of course,” she told her. “A great sword requires great skill to be used purposefully. It will be many seasons before you are truly accomplished, but I feel you will learn quickly and will have at least some proficiency very soon.”

If the girl was surprised by this pronouncement, she gave no indication (though as we have already established, she knew nothing of swords and warriors and such, only, somehow, that the woman had a precious gift for her and that she must accept it). And so she nodded and bowed to the old woman, who could not see her, yet knew she was being honored.

“I trust the sword has chosen well,” the old one said to the girl. “Now, go back to your mother and wait for my summons.”

When the girl’s mother saw her speaking to the old woman with the sword, she knew intuitively that this was another of her daughter’s guides. She had no reason for concern regarding this (Who was she to question destiny?) and did not anticipate any problems, though if she had been paying attention to the dark clouds gathering overhead (or, we might say, had not been blind to them), she might have realized a storm — coming from an unexpected direction — was about to overtake them.

When her daughter returned to her and told her what the old woman had said, she put her arm around the girl’s shoulder and smiled. “It is time, daughter,” she said. They quickly made their final purchases and turned down the lane to their little home, now engulfed in deep shadow. Neither was sure what would happen next, but each was content to wait and see how events might unfold.

The girl’s father, however, was not so complacent when he heard about the old woman with the sword, and saw her arrival as a threat to their peaceful, contented lives. It had been nearly nine full sun cycles since the faerie woman had shown up at their door, and even though she still flitted about their home constantly in her dragonfly form, she was mostly inconspicuous and he had grown used to her protective presence. The appearance of a strange old woman with a sword, however, looking for his little girl, he found disturbing.

Just as his wife had missed the growing storm outside, she was equally as blind to the darkness that clouded her beloved’s walnut brown eyes, as solemn and deep as night-black fog. She simply patted his shoulder gently, as she always had at times like these and said, “It will be all right.”

The man wanted to believe her, truly he did, but something ugly and twisted had begun to grow within him and this time he wasn’t so sure he could trust without question. Though he had no experience with swords himself, and was generally a kind and gentle man, fear is a fierce alchemist, and he had grown up hearing the stories of the terrible deeds that men wielding swords had committed in the past, and surely did still, even today. He assumed that it was the sword that signified danger and could not know the training and honor codes of those in the ranks of the peaceful warrior, into which the old woman had been initiated. Could not know the crucial part his young daughter would one day play in mortal events. Indeed, had he known, he would have worried no less, for like all caring fathers, he wanted only to protect his daughter from harm, from danger, from grief. He wanted her path to be an easy one.

But now his fear blinded him to the truth: He could not alter his daughter’s destiny no matter what desperate acts he took. In the black clouds of the storm of fear, the girl’s father began to devise a plan to keep the wretched old woman away from his little girl. There was no way he would let his daughter take up the sword — destiny and magick be damned! And the old woman, too, should she cross him to make contact with his little girl.

Outside, thunder rumbled and the first drops of an unusually cold rain began to fall on this near-by, far-away place; the heaviest pelted the little cottage where the family huddled about the fire for warmth, each lost in a tangled labyrinth of her and his own thoughts.

We will stop here, in this place where the fear that was planted when the girl was but an infant is finally taking root and heretofore becomes a major player in our story. It is not that fear was non-existent prior to this moment. We, all of us, carry fear within us as a primal emotion, but it is usually best that it does not direct the action, at least not for long. It has its place, to be sure, in keeping us safe, but when it runs the show, havoc most often ensues. And this, for now, is where we must leave our story, in anticipation of mayhem … and perhaps a bit of magick, too.

 

Copyright 2019 Linda Maree/Linda M Gabriel

#3 Activating the Warrior: The Sword August 21, 2019

Posted by wimynspeak in Sourceress: The Book of Fear.
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And so we are, finally, past the beginning, and now we enter another phase. In this phase we will meet the warrior, and, eventually, the girl will be gifted The Sword of Wisdom. But of course we are not there quite yet. And it must be said that the warrior is not what we think. Or perhaps even who we think. Or why. When one travels back through time and language one learns that ‘war,’ the word and so, too, the idea, in its original meaning and various spellings, had more to do with the confusion of things rather than violence, killing, and the obliteration of people and things. And so our warrior has more to do with cutting through confusion than with cutting through flesh — destruction, unless it is the destruction of useless ideas. Hence, The Sword of Wisdom, for it is wisdom that cuts through confusion.

We return to our story, then, this once upon a time in time, just before the little girl’s eleventh sun cycle threshold, to find a very old woman showing up at the village gates…

She was dressed very much as all the women in the village dressed, except for one thing: at her full, plump waist was sheathed a great sword, so long that, despite her remarkable height, the tip of the jeweled scabbard all but dragged in the dirt. A sword of that size would take, one might assume, great strength to wield, and though the woman was large, taller and heavier than the people who lived in this recent long-ago time and nearby far-away place, still she was undeniably old and no one was likely to be ridiculed for failing to imagine that she could handle the great sword.

No one could know, of course, upon first meeting her, that the old woman had carried the sword an immense distance already; that indeed it had not left her side since she had received it all those long cycles and seasons past. They couldn’t know that the sword itself had grown in size and strength proportionately as she herself had done. And only she could tell that, recently, the sword had become just a shade lighter in weight, an infinitesimal measure shorter than it had been. This was how she knew it was time to find her successor.

The old woman had been raised to be a warrior ever since she had been given the sword at her blood ceremony when she herself had reached eleven sun cycles. An auspicious age to step into the blood flow, her own mother had told her at the time. She was lucky, her mother further explained as they prepared for her ceremony. Some girls, most girls, in fact, were a lot older when their flow found them, and by then it was usually too late.

“Too late for what?”

“To activate the warrior,” her mother had replied. “Because of the way things are in our world and in these times, for girls the warrior-self has to be activated early on or it will never happen, and the best time, the most auspicious time, is at first blood.”

“Never?” She couldn’t imagine such a thin slice of golden opportunity with no second chances.

“Well, almost never,” her mother had said as she finished braiding her daughter’s long chestnut hair and turned her to face her. “But it’s much more difficult. It will be easier for you. Besides, you don’t really have a choice; it’s your destiny. You have been chosen. And,” she said, smiling, “you are ready!”

The old woman hadn’t been sure back then, when she was just a child, that she wanted to be a warrior of any sort. And she would have liked to have felt as if she were making the choice, not being passively carried along on the tides of fate. But her mother had been right. She had fallen naturally into the training as easily and comfortably as she fell into the softness of sleep every night. After a while, it felt as if she had chosen her path, and she was satisfied.

Her training had been intense and rigorous. Warriors in her lineage, she learned, never set out to destroy, but to cut away, when necessary, that which obstructed, strangled, choked off, killed life. Sometimes, paradoxically, this still required the taking of a human life, but this was exceedingly rare and only considered as a last resort. And she was assured by her mentors that the day would come (soon, they hoped!) when warriors would not be required to kill at all. When they would have learned or, perhaps more accurately, remembered the secret that would allow only peaceful resolution to all conflict. When the mere presence of a warrior would inspire life-enhancing choices, collaboration, and cooperation. When the energy of polar opposite positions would come together to create a current of vital life force that nourished and sustained rather than maimed and destroyed.

This was the vision she held still, and she believed it was within reach; could possibly even happen in her lifetime, but would almost certainly happen within the lifespan of the child for which she now searched; the child whose eleventh sun cycle threshold was imminent and whose blood flow would likely begin within the same or the following moon-cycle. She was as sure of the inevitability of this awaited transformation as she had ever been sure of anything in her long, long life.

The only thing she had not been sure of was her ability to find the girl … in time. She had had to trust that she would be led to her. That her eyes that could no longer see would not be needed, and that it was the eyes of her soul, the eyes of the Great Ones, the eyes of her mentors long past who would lead her to the child. For this was also something that was not readily noticeable: The old warrior with the great sword was blind.

Going blind had been a surprise, sudden and traumatic. One day she simply woke up to darkness. She had had no warning, no premonition. She had been angry at first. How is a blind warrior to use a sword? But she had found that the sword, after all their cycles and seasons of practice and working together, had become an extension of her own arm, her will. The sword always found its mark, even when she could not see it.

Her other senses, too, had grown stronger (or maybe it was just that she had learned to use them and rely on them to a greater degree), her inner sight more acute and assured. And now her knowing had led her here, to this village. She was sure the child was here, could feel the certainty in her bones, in the peacefulness that settled around her heart. Her mission would be fulfilled, her dream for the world realized, surely. Surely …

We have come, now, to a natural pause in our story, a time for pondering. Who among us does not hope for peace, at least for ourselves, which is a start,? And who among us does not at least occasionally feel confusion, chaos, turmoil, like a great, foggy storm both within and without? We get a sense here of what is coming, and this is good. It means we are paying attention, even if we are uncertain. Attention, awareness, these are the first steps that can lead us beyond our blindness. For yes, in some ways, perhaps many ways, we are all blind. And so it is with some excitement and yes, some trepidation, that we await the meeting of the girl and the blind warrior, and the gifting of the sword. It must be noted, however, that wisdom is not bestowed so easily as desire and creativity. It will take more than the waving of a wand and the nourishment taken from a cup, no matter how valuable, how magickal, to gain true wisdom … to accept the gift and to learn to wield it with courage, grace, and humility.

 

Copyright 2019 Linda Maree/Linda M Gabriel

#1 Beginning: The Wand July 3, 2019

Posted by wimynspeak in Sourceress: The Book of Fear.
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We begin her story where all good stories begin: at the beginning. But beginnings are controversial and nebulous at best, most being no more than a moment, really, too small for the eye to see, too brief even to take up the space of a word, a sound, too ephemeral and misunderstood to be agreed upon. And so we will choose this particular beginning from all the possibilities and begin our story a few moon cycles after the babe has slipped the confines of her mother’s watery womb and her father has danced under the stars singing, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl!” And all the universe has felt his joy, at least in that precious moment, for life goes on, does it not? and moments change, each a new beginning. Each a story in and of itself. Hence the confusion.

And so, as I said, we will begin here …

Once upon a time, as recently as long ago, in a nearby faraway place, which we shall, for want of a better name, call “home,” a young child, an infant still, lived with her parents. In this place where nothing ever changed and each moment was, as we’ve noted, different from the next, they had settled into their roles, the father opening his shop each morning, serving his loyal customers, and the mother caring for the child, often strapping the little one securely to her body and walking with her to meet the old women, the elders who huddled under the spreading branches of the great Grandmother Tree to once again tell their stories in the hope that they, the stories (for the women understood full well their own mortality), would be more likely to infinitely live on.

And just as the child would do herself one day in the not so distant future, the young mother loved hearing the old women’s stories, so different from the mundane tales of the everyday, for they told of a far distant time, when the stars burned hotter and time itself had a less slippery pace. And no matter how each story progressed or ended, no matter how the characters behaved or events transpired, no matter how it all turned out, the old women always finished their storytelling in the same way: they’d sigh, smile, and pronounce, “It is as it is.” And then they’d all nod, for they understood their acceptance was absolutely necessary for the wisdom within the stories to fully ripen.

And so the sun rose and set, rose and set, and then one morning, just as the steady sun rose once again, a stranger from an even farther far-away place came walking along the river, an old woman with bright skirts and jangling bangles on her wrists and ankles. Her scarves were dyed in colors never before seen in this part of the wide world, and she carried a small and colorful pack on her back. She was tired, for her journey had been a long one, and she stopped at a little pool at the edge of the river to wash the dust from her feet and splash cool water on her face. She was just slipping her sandals back on, leaning on the great Grandmother Tree for balance, when the elder women began to arrive, looking forward once again to the telling and the retelling of the stories, for therein, they knew, lay the magick.

When they saw the old woman, so colorfully dressed, a stranger so different from themselves, they stopped for a startled moment to take her measure, and then, sensing no malice within, they smiled and welcomed her as a sister. The stranger did not speak their words, but she made it known she was looking for a child, a babe in arms no more than a few moons into her terrestrial cycle. The elders invited the woman to sit with them underneath the great Grandmother Tree, for, they assured her, the child she was looking for would surely be along with her mother very soon.

And so it happened. The sun had barely shifted overhead in its journey across the sky when the young woman arrived, carrying her child in a sling across her belly. When she saw the stranger waiting with the elders, she smiled. It was as if she were meeting an old friend, though she was certain she had never laid eyes on the woman prior to this moment. They smiled at each other in silent recognition and when the baby stirred, her mother took her out of her sling and the child reached for the stranger in a way that made it clear to all present that here, for sure, was a kindred spirit. As the woman, now merely an almost stranger, took the child readily and comfortably into her arms, she pulled a long, colorful wand from her equally colorful pack. The wand sizzled like a hot pot over a flame and glowed with the silver shine of the moon when she gave it to the child, who immediately put it in her mouth, as children are wont to do. A startled chorus of women gasped in unison.

“What is it?” asked the young mother.

One of the older women, her crinkled eyes smoothed in the widening of wonder, whispered in her ear, “A Wand of Desire. I have never seen one, but I have heard many stories, passed down through the generations, enough to trust what my admittedly shadowed eyes reveal to me now.” The young woman, startled, immediately tried to take the wand from her daughter. “Oh, no!” she said, apologetically. “She’s chewing on it!” The merely-nearly strange old woman just smiled, patted the young mother’s hand, and pushed it gently away from the wand, shaking her head. The old woman closest to her whispered in the mother’s ear, “She wants her to have it, my dear, to do with as she will. It is for this reason only, it seems, this wise woman, this colorful sage, has come here. It is an auspicious gift, one many of us believed to be no more than a myth. And yet, our eyes do not lie. We see what there is to see. And this little one,” she continued, nodding toward the child, who was clutching the wand and laughing with the old woman who had bestowed her with its blessing, “will cut her teeth on the Wand of Desire. She will always know exactly what she wants in life.”

And so it was.

From that day forward, the Wand of Desire was nearly always clutched in the child’s fist, and when it was not, it could certainly be found within ready reach. At night the little girl placed the wand under her cheek, where she could taste it, smell it, hold it tight while she dreamed. If her mother ever worried that this was not an appropriate use for such a rare and precious object, she never said it aloud.

And so we come to the end of a scene, a segment of time, which itself does not stop, though the story seems to pause, an illusion, to be sure, for life does not pause, though it does change. So far, all is well with our girl and her parents, but because this is a story worth telling, we can be sure that this will not always and forever be so. Something must happen. But not yet. After all, our story is still only just beginning …

Copyright 2019 Linda Maree/Linda M. Gabriel

Stone Bear July 26, 2018

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Story Tellings.
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Did I ever tell you the story about the time I met the stone bear? It happened countless lifetimes ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was on the hill where the old stone circle ruins now stand. Back then, the circle had not been constructed yet, and wouldn’t be for many generations, and the hill was higher, less rounded by time. The surface was covered with dark, jagged rocks and stiff, course grass; it was not the gentle, comfortable place it is now. On one side of the hill there was a very small cave, which was well hidden and said to be unendingly deep. In fact, the ooooold stories said that one could see the other side of the universe from the mouth of that cave. Of course, no one in my lifetime, then … or now, really, had ever seen such a vision, but I decided that I must do just that.

So, one morning in mid-summer, I woke before all the others and crept away from our encampment. We were nomadic, then, remember, but we would be in this place for some time yet, at least another turning of the moon, for food was plentiful and we could fill our bellies and put on necessary fat stores for winter. Though morning had just dawned, the stars still shone overhead as I made my way… they were much closer and brighter back then … and the spiky grass was damp with dew beneath my feet. I knew how to creep as silently as an owl moves in flight, and I am sure I disrupted no living creature’s rest, nor drew the attention of any of the nocturnal predators returning to their lairs with whom we shared the brightening landscape. I had just reached the path that led up the hill, where the cave and its mysteries lay silent and hidden, when I saw the stone bear.

He snuffled in front of me on the path, moving and breathing like any other living creature, but it was obvious his great hulk of a body was created entirely of stone. Even for the time it was back then, so close to the dawn of humanity, as we call it now, I knew that it was not usual for stone objects to move and breathe thus. This was obviously no carven object, such as the mage’s made, but a living creature made of stone.

I followed the creature, fascinated, and it seemed that, a time or two, it turned its great stone head to see if I was still following, as if it expected me to do just that. I seemed now to be captured by its hard, earthen energy, and felt that even if I were compelled to do so … and I was not … I could not have left the beast’s influence.

Of course the stone bear led me directly to the cave, which, from my vantage point a few steps back along the path, appeared gaping and dark, an abyss into which one might be swallowed whole and alive, to live out one’s allotted time in abysmal nothingness. But the stories promised something greater, a wide expanse of universe that would make the magic and majesty of the star-filled sky over my head seem ordinary, mundane. So I stepped closer to the bear, wanting the promise it seemed to offer.

“You must leave them behind,” I thought I heard the bear whisper when I found I could get no closer. There seemed an invisible field of force about the creature that repelled me, not in the sickening way, but in the true physical sense of the word. I simply could not come closer, no matter that I tried.

“You must leave your most precious thoughts, your fears and inhibitions, your expectations and disappointments, all of them. Leave them here. The others will not find them. Strangers will pass by without noticing them. The treasures of the mind are such that they cannot be recognized once abandoned by the thinker. Even you, upon your return, will not be able to pick them up again, not as they are now.” All of this the bear said without words, but I heard the message nonetheless and vow that this is a true telling.

Be this a curse or a gift? I wondered, and got no answer, and so I came to see that it was neither, but rather a choice that hung on the balance point of my desire. For good or ill, if I wished to see the wonders of the cave, all must be left behind, and the leaving must be understood to be undoable.

The great bear turned away and moved toward the dark entrance of the cave as if certain of my decision.

 

 

© 2018 Linda Maree

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Still Following the Bee: The HeArt of the Hive July 31, 2016

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Honeycomb Moon

Still Following the Bee: The HeArt of the Hive

Intuitive COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, August 13, from 2:00-5:00PM

You have followed the path spiraling into the dark center and now you sit and wait. All around you are the quiet whispers and hums of your sisters coming and going, the magickal music of life. You feel a sweet vibration as it rises through your core, settling around your HeArt, where it emanates a golden light. The honeyed light grows and you are bathed in the realization that the journey to the center has indeed brought you to The HeArt of the Hive, the HeArt of generosity, a HeArt in loving communion with itself.

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process and simple creative writing prompts to enter into The HeArt of the Hive, where our generosity thrives and love is the sweet honey we share with ourselves.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can join us!

Still Following the Bee: Queen of the Impossible April 3, 2016

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LogoIntuitive collage workshop for women, Saturday, April 16

The women came together, dancing and singing, under a star-littered sky, the nearly full moon rising just above the treetops. When their circle was formed, they grew silent, listening, hearing at first only the wind in the trees, the gurgling of the nearby river, the call of an owl in the distance. And then the sounds slowly came together to form one sound, one word, the key to their hopes and dreams: Impossible! At first the women were dismayed, until one of them, the one whose face glowed with excitement in the moonlight, said, “Well, aren’t we the lucky ones! There aren’t many who get to unlock the mystery to “Impossible.”

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple creative writing prompts, to find our own key to unlocking the mystery and crowning ourselves Queen of the Impossible.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously and joy-fully, according to your means.

Advance registration is required.Let me know if you can join us!

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, April 16, from 2:00-5:00PM

The Hive of HERstory: Still Following the Bee November 29, 2015

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LogoThe Hive of HERstory: Still Following the Bee

Intuitive collage workshop for women

She was grateful for the passing of years, the accumulation of memories, some happy, some sad; all points on the map of her life. She remembered now her anointing, painful at the time: the buzz, the sting, then . . . oh, the joy when she had been chosen to follow the sweet path of wisdom. They had been her mentors, then, her sisters, joined in a common cause. She saw them rarely these days, but their communal vision still inspired her to follow their ancient wisdom, to keep her vision true . . .

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process and simple writing prompts to reclaim our sistership with the bees and fire up our vision for ourselves, our loved ones, and our world.

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, December 12, from 2:00-5:00PM

Open Pricing *   Please pay as generously and joyfully as possible, according to your means.

Advance registration is required.  Let me know if you can attend.

The Hive of HERstory: Coventina’s Well September 5, 2015

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LogoThe Hive of HERstory: Coventina’s Well

Intuitive collage workshop for women

The wide smile of a waxing crescent moon lit the path for the women, leading them to the hidden grove and the magickal pool they called Coventina’s Well. No one knew for sure how long the Well had been there, but the stories were ancient, telling of a time of lush gardens and abundant resources. The Well could only be found when the light of the moon cast just the right shadows on the path. But once found, one could make any wish, put forth any desire, and it was bound by the laws of Coventina’s magick to manifest . . .

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple writing prompts, to follow the path to Coventina’s Well and discover our own hidden magick within.

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, September 19, from 2:00-5:00PM

Open Pricing *   Please pay as generously and joyfully as possible, according to your means.

Advance registration is required.  Let me know if you can attend.

The Hive of HERstory: Perpetual Blessings August 2, 2015

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LogoThe Hive of HERstory: Perpetual Blessings

Intuitive collage workshop for women

They came with generous hearts and full arms, baskets laden with abundance and a desire to share. They came, too, with generous hearts and empty arms, hands open, ready to receive. They came together that new moon night, when the heavens were dark with clouds and the only light that pierced the inky blackness was the shower of heartshine that enveloped them all in the magick of Perpetual Blessings given and received . . .

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple writing prompts, to create a shower of Perpetual Blessings . . . for us, for our beloveds, for our world.

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, August 15, from 2:00-5:00PM

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously and joyfully according to your means.

Advance registration is required.  Let me know if you can attend.

The Hive of HERstory: Weaving Our Words June 25, 2015

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LogoThe Hive of HERstory: Weaving Our Words

Intuitive collage workshop for women

The smiling crescent moon called to the women, “Come! Come! Dance with me and weave your stories that I may laugh with you.” And so they did. They danced and sang and their voices created threads of light that flowed about them as their hands fashioned them into intricate knots and spectacular weavings. The tapestry that came together was made of moonbeams and joy and the magick of the women’s words, powerful and true . . .

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple writing prompts, to weave together our own magickal tapestry of joy and power and truth.

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, July 18, from 2:00-5:00PM

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously and joyfully according to your means.

Advance registration is required.  Let me know if you can attend.

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