Roots of the Same Tree: Healer, Seer, Mystic, Prophet, Dreamer
A Weekend Residential Intensive Retreat
A fierce Winter storm uprooted the Great Grandmother Tree on our land here in Santa Cruz. Now thick roots point skyward. Leaning into Earth is the broken trunk exposing annual rings testifying to the many years and lives She witnessed during her time as one of the Evergreen Standing Tall People.
As Ziva and I meditated on what Winter had wrought, we realized Grandmother Tree had given us both the title and the intention for this workshop. That is, She had crystallized for us thoughts and visions that have been percolating for several years about what we wanted to teach together.. In her life she seemed always to be the Voice for her Kin saying "We Trees, the Standing People, are the soul and very breath of these mountains." In Her Winter death, She seemed to whisper "as I leave, I impart a vision for Now and the Future coming". And in our planning for this retreat, we carry both her vision and the image of roots to the sky and trunk leaning into Mother Earth.
Our human-created Winter Storms arrived last Fall: the fierce winds wrenched away previous paradigms and laid bare a succession of annual rings to be honored yet a tree so constructed by we humans it could not shelter, flourish, or represent the Tree of Life among the Standing Tall People.
We choose these two roots because they are the ones that are 'thick' in our own personal lives, and spiritual lineage. And over the years of our explorations together, we have found remarkable parallels in the principles (and sometimes even the practice) of Judaism and Native North Americans. In their differences are some key elements that, woven together, may assist us in creating a new 'story,' a new myth that will serve us and our descendants...and through our shamanic journeying and activities we might discover how to weave this new tapestry.
To have the courage to dare to envision a different future, and to enact a different future, means exposing the roots, bringing them skyway to the clarity of the Light. It requires learning together 'what' from the individual roots' might contribute to a new paradigm; what from these roots might teach us some ceremony that holds us in Circle so our hoop is maintained in this time of fragmentation. We need support for each other; guidance from Spirits, and blessings from our Ancestors - and keep an eye on the descendants on their way to this Earth.
Shamanism is sometimes referred to as the path of heart. Well, today we need all of our powers - not only those of the heart. We need our minds and our creative abilities so that our path with heart is informed. We need to partner with the Guardians of all the Worlds so we can create a new world and avoid recreating paths that would splinter and divide us; or paths that would deprive us of the timeless satisfying waters of the spirit. Our Ancestors kept the Circle fires burning, the wisdom flowing so that we might have necessary tools for creating new fires, and the necessary wisdom that would guide us towards the future unfolding. Our Call is to enlarge our Circles rather than sit around burned out ashes; our Call is to have the courage necessary to envision a new future rather than think Wisdom no longer grows. We're being invited to Re-member together the mystic Roots that shall shape our form and to Re-Count together the Annual Rings or the Stories that shall serve us for they are stories of Transformation -- and we are being asked to Transform Ourselves: to weave and plant our roots together and flower forth a world of blessing and gratitude; a world beautiful for all our descendants and our extended Kin.
Imagine ourselves on the Plains of North America few hundred years ago -- in the deep Winter time. Imagine ourselves in the Sinai Desert, countless years ago. Imagine ourselves gathering up what shelter and clothing we had; gathering our scattered kin - far and wide. Or imagine sending our Voice, echoing over mountains, valleys, and rivers -- and pausing a while in the freshness of Spring......for we KNEW it was time now to move to some other Place and we must tend each other in the long walk. Foremost in our hearts was the yearning to Remember the Sources of our courage, our inspiration, our nourishment, and renew our Covenant to Walk with Beauty among all we encountered for we knew we were walking across Mother Earth - and She was the Ground of our Being and Sky the Above Place for Sun, Moon, and Stars.
After experiencing what our hearts and our minds needed to Remember and Know, then were we ready to supplicate to the Spirits and become the Walking Prayer People, moving to another Place. We knew when we arrived to this Place, once again we would gather around the Tree of Life, celebrate the Tree of Many Roots, of Many Branches, and there would we become the Flowering Tree People.
This Call has to Gather has gone out before....our Ancestors Responded or we would not be here...again and again through human history have we needed to Call and to Come together: to Re-member, to Respond. Once again come the Call.....heard and responded to before.......and our 'time apart' in this weekend together is to 'pause' and respond to our hearts' "yearning to Remember the Sources of our courage, our inspiration, our nourishment, and renew our Covenant to Walk with Beauty among all we encounter."
The 'root' sources we will remember and explore are those from the mystic rivers of Judaic and Plains Indian spirituality. We will focus on both the differences and the similarities for it is the merging of these that one finds the final shape of the leaf of the Tree we see on the Land of the Eternal Tree of Life. There are many roots and each root provides its own access within Earth and its own influence on the shape of the Tree.
Our prayers is that by so tending and honoring we, too, may bow our human bodies towards the Earth, with renewed hearts; and lift our roots upward to be fed by the Light.
Our Experiences and Activities
We will use many forms for our explorations e.g. story telling, dance, ceremony, journeying, dreaming, and healing methods.
Our purpose is to discover the essential features of these traditions that might serve us in our times. Such features include:
How in the world do we plan to seriously address all of these issues in a weekend retreat??
And we invite those to participate who are prepared to dedicate themselves to an intensive time together. From our opening ceremony until we come to our departing, we shall be exploring together. Often workshops have what is called "breaks"...we plan to have no such 'breaks.' We do plan to have time wherein each of us goes 'apart' from the Circle so our Souls and our Bodies might hear that which is meant for us alone or meant to restore us----we shall not exhaust ourselves; rather we shall fatten our souls and shore up our spirits so that together we are a Circle strong and a People more prepared to be Walking Prayers in our World today.
Finally, the groundwork has already been laid: the tree is uprooted, the roots are exposed. Birds and animals perch in the branches low to the ground, calling to us 'come here, come here.' We need but listen and we shall know how to use our time together rich and intensive for the path is already marked. We invite you to join us in this special weekend retreat.
If we receive notice of cancellation by January 23rd, we will refund your deposits minus a $50 administrative charge (for the rental space). Cancellations received after January 23rd, will receive no refund.. If this retreat is canceled either by the events at the Retreat Center and/or by the Leaders, you will receive a complete refund of what you have paid.