LITHA - The longest day. The battle between dark and light.
The sun is at its height of its life giving power! Within its climax is the whisper and promise of a return to the dark! We are drawn back into the dark to complete the turning of the wheel.
" A truly remarkable and magical day." Jack
In a week were high winds and threatened rain, we were blessed with a dry, sunny day!
To relax everyone and download the pressures of life we started our day with a barefoot walk on the labyrinth. As you stroll in a gentle meditative state, following the different twists and turns of the labyrinth, you find that your mind and body start to re-balance, your mind is freed up to set intentions and negativity begins to drain away. An exercise with scarlet wool which was thrown across the room at each person who then wrapped it around the wrist - a star shape was formed across the room with the thread, everyone was physically connected for that moment - the wool was then cut but everyone still had their connection with each other and the day.
With shoulders gently lowered below our ears, Jules led us through two hours of yoga. Beginning gently with a little Yin then working up to Nidra to challenge the mind to force out negativity and bring in peace and harmony. The shevasana at the end was much needed and a few snores could be heard as proof of total relaxation became obvious!
A picnic lunch was shared al fresco at the giant wooden table surrounded by the ancient trees and wild flower meadows.
There was a selection of mysterious, mindful and artistic boxes. Everyone was encouraged to take a box away to a peaceful private place and consider the contents. No two boxes were the same. One had chocolate with instructions as to how to eat mindfully; another had feathers and ink for drawing; one had a tiny tea set in it for a tea tea ceremony with a stranger - to sit and find out about each other; there was a bee hive nest of great geometry to draw; there were cloud formations to consider; there were stones with messages and ideas; there were crystals for healing and setting intentions; dragon breathing and much more. No one could say what was in their box, once they had finished with their box, it was put back with the rest and another one taken. A beautifully gentle, considerate exercise.
Exploration and gathering of natural gifts were collected to decorate the wooden carvings of the Green Man and his goddess in celebration of the King of Oak's battle with the King of Ivy - the battle of dark and light - night and day - winter and summer.
A beautiful and simple ceremony was held in appreciation of the sun's divine power of life giving force, it's fertility, colours, light and warmth. A candle was lit to represent the sun - each person then lit their candle from the original showing that giving and receiving light grows until everywhere and everyone has light.
Tea and cakes were needed and more chatter!
The day was completed with roaring flames in the fire-pit. The group sat around the fire with drums and we were all led into mesmerising rhythms with solo contributions and singing. As the group of individuals worked together, we knew that everyone was in glorious harmony and at peace with themselves with a slightly tingling feeling of being part of nature's life giving force!
"I really can't imagine a more pleasant retreat experience. Loved starting with the labyrinth as it really centred me after a horrible journey/start.
The yoga was delicious as always - Jules has such a gift to be able to tune into us all and say exactly the right thing. The card message was really special. Loved helping to create the wool star and having lunch after yoga was perfect) decorating the green Man and woman was something I couldn't really visualise and the reality just was so much better than I expected.
Then THE BOXES! What a wonderfully creative and special activity and ticked every box I have!! (see what I did there)
Finishing with the fire pit was really special too
Honestly there wasn't anything I would change of the programme and it totally relaxed me but with an urge to change too!!
Thank you to Kate and Jules for another really special day"