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Magical Winter Solstice

Mandala with candles and foliage with drums in the background

Mother and daughter work back to back

Foraged from the grounds of Tofte Manor

The Retreat held at Tofte Manor on 21st December was magical. Held in the Sanctuary, a hexagonal building set in the woodlands beside the labyrinth, the inside has beautiful geometric wire designs hanging from the ceiling.

After meeting and greeting, sharing warming drinks and much laughter, everyone worked in pairs during the yoga session. Working back to back, mothers and daughters and friends were gently led to trust and support each other physically. Within minutes everyone was in tune and moved beautifully gracefully.

Whilst it was still light, we went outside to appreciate the wonderful setting and forage for natural foliage to add to the head wreaths. Refreshed, buzzing with the outdoor activity, the group had drinks and settled down to make their beautiful head wreaths. Lunch of home made spicy root vegetable soup and hunks of bread with mulled wine seem to re-energise the group! We read extracts and poems and discussed what winter meant to us, what we wished for ourselves. Notes of negativity were written.

Dark descended, candles were lit and we trooped out under the moonlight to walk the labyrinth, always a very emotional experience. Each person manifested plans for the future as they walked deep in thought. The firepit was lit, drums gathered. The notes of negativity were ceremoniously burnt on the fire along with rosemary for remembrance. A drumming circle set up a rhythm and we sat by the fire as the sky became clear and velvety black. Back in the Sanctuary, a circle was formed and thanks were given that such a wonderful group of people had spent precious time together appreciating the positivity for change and growth of Winter!


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