We circled together as a council of women in the lineage of Marion Woodman to receive her teachings through the embodiment of our lead crone Sil Reynolds. For me, it was a re-initiation into the teachings of my first crone teacher Eunice Zimmerman, who was also an exemplary Jungian Analyst like Marion Woodman. Unfortunately, Eunice died before she became well known yet she left an indelible mark on my soul and guided my apprenticeship into the unconscious realms of the psyche through ‘dream work.”

Marion and Eunice knew each other in the 80’s when I had the good fortune of receiving these teachings long before I could understand the profound meaning and depth they contain for bridging the unconscious to the mature feminine consciousness that our world is hungry for.

When we pay attention to our dreams, the unconscious paints a picture that captures our hearts, minds, and imaginations with metaphors that provide us with new information to live our lives by. Dreams are a way that our soul feeds us. Just listening to the voice in a dream is nourishment that gives us the courage to be who we know we are.

We began each day in noble silence to give space for our dreams to speak to us. After breakfast, we gathered in the sunroom to dance in a circle and call in Sophia or whatever name or names resonated with each woman.

“So If you dream of ISIS— fine. If you dream of your Grandmother — Great Grandmother  — and she becomes HER — fine. Call her SOPHIA, Call Her ANN, Call Her BUFFALO WOMAN. IT DOESN’T MATTER — Call Her whatever you like.

BUT CALL HER.

If it bothers you, change it. Try not to get stuck on the little things: God, Goddess, Shiva, Shakti, Yang and Yin. We get caught on old words. Call it what you want. But Call Her.” — Marion Woodman

We continued the morning by looking at and witnessing a dream from each woman, one at a time. This took me back to the late 70’s, my early twenties, a time when I was very lost and captive to destructive behaviors that were killing me. I was acting out unconscious archetypes in the form of addiction. Marion and Eunice refer to addiction as soul starvation. Dreamwork is a powerful way to understand the power of a complex before it takes us out. Complexes are disempowering forces — archetypal energy that defeats our willpower and the natural beauty and instinctual nature of the soul.

Of course, when I sat with Eunice on and off for over five years in her blue room, I understood little about the complexities that overshadowed my life. I had taken a few courses in Jungian Psychology but did not know how to apply conceptual knowledge to my life. By working with Eunice I traversed a transformation. We looked at my dreams, she mirrored the images I brought forth, and she witnessed and held me in a safe container that earned my trust and respect. I eagerly attended our sessions, happy to feel addiction and destruction leave my body. I began to inhabit my body, a vessel I ran from and learned not to trust.

This retreat came at the perfect time for me. I’ve been facilitating healing retreats utilizing the tools I have gathered over the years from my lived experience, professional training, and gifted mentors for three decades but my well ran dry. Now it runneth over.

I was at a hard crossroads in my family life. Amid the bitter-sweet reality of tending to adult twins with disabilities and breaking my leg, I encountered a critical initiation. An initiation that forced me to look at any aspect of my life I might have silenced, numbed, walked away from, pretended didn’t matter, believed would work itself out in time, OR forgot to celebrate and say “F…ing well done, Prajna.” In this process, I chose to retreat a bit from my professional life to plan a structure for my twin’s future — to be sure they will be held well in the years to come when I am no longer here. I do not plan on exiting the planet any time soon! I feel fortified to the bone and there is work to do, more to understand and put in place.

This particular retreat named “Exquisite Tenderness” was exactly what I needed to view my life with a wider lens, to weave a golden thread through the undergrowth, to root deep in my body, and to feel how essential it is to join together in person — live with other bodies. An element that is brutally missing in our disconnected cyberspace cubicles.

We need it. We re-anointed ourselves back home — more deep in our bodies. We tended to each other, witnessed, learned, healed, connected, and weaved the golden medicine thread through working with dreams — in subtle body — in conscious awareness. I was re-initiated into the vitality of Marion and Eunice’s Conscious Feminine Teachings as a Rooted Medicine Crone.

This gives my life meaning. I carry this in my bones, together with all I have received from my indigenous mentors and allies. If you choose to work with me, you will experience more of the same for your balanced embodiment and revival of your instinctual nature, and exquisite tender wise soul.

This is Awashonks. A Native American woman who served as chief of the Sakonnet tribe in Seconet, Rhode Island where we just returned from our Exquisite Tenderness retreat at Stonehouse. Our names, hearts, souls, arts, bodies, and social nervous systems were well tended as we called in Sophia and made prayers for the land.

In 1671, Awashonks was among the signers of a peace agreement between a confederation of local tribes and Plymouth Colony. We stand with you and honor your courage, sacrifice, and love.

I am beyond grateful for this retreat and Sil Reynolds who entrusted us: the crones, mothers, virgins, and maidens while receiving her embodied teachings from the lineage of Marion Woodman. The depth of soul is revealed by retrieving dream images, metaphors, poems, dance, land, song, and stories, and witnessing each other in the vitality of remembrance.
Thank you to the Goddess Baubo for so many deep belly laughs with this council of women. I’m still smiling at you.

We acquainted ourselves with Baubo, a figure from Greek mythology, depicted as a comical or grotesque old woman who plays a role in the story of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, and her search for her daughter Persephone that we explored over three days with great fun.

In the myth, Baubo encounters the grieving and distraught Demeter, who has been wandering in search of her Persephone. Baubo attempts to cheer Demeter up by making her laugh. She does so by lifting her skirt and exposing her breasts as her eyes and her vulva as her mouth, in a gesture of bawdy and irreverent humor. Baubo’s action elicits rip-roaring laughter from all of us in the presence of Demeter. Baubo provides moments of comic relief amid tragedy when we need it the most.

Baubo is often interpreted as a symbol of fertility, renewal, and the power of laughter and humor to bring comfort and healing in times of sorrow. Her role in the Eleusinian Mysteries underscores the connection between humor, sexuality, and the cycles of life and death in ancient Greek religious beliefs.

 

 

It is so healing and necessary to laugh again and again.
This is one of the aspects of my retreats that I love the most — the way we get to be silly, come out of hiding, and isolation, wash away shame and denial, and so much that enlivens us to be true to who we are. Life becomes a cosmic celebration of all the parts of who we are — not just the light. If we only look in the light, we miss the messy, muddy middle that gives the totality of life strength and meaning.
This replaces painful patriarchal imprints with exquisite wonder that weaves the tender underbelly of life together again and again. it is not enough to gain power. The real work is to bring our feminine values along with us. By doing so, we change how power is negotiated and understood in the over culture or physical world.
For more information and to book an Exquisite Healing Retreat with Prajna, click here. 
You are invited to attend an information session as listed below: