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The Rising of the Phoenix

Summer Solstice 2020 at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat was an amazing growing experience.

Bringing up the story of the Phoenix. A powerful fire ceremony, balance through the water, and rising above the ashes.

The weekend started off with lots of rain, which canceled the awesome set The Wild Hymns were going to play! Instead they sat with us and Megan played a little guitar while we listened to the pouring rain.

Around 8pm my children came to me to tell me our tent had flooded and everything was soaked! I became so frustrated… and disappointed. It was a tough moment for me. And on top of that, when we went to get into the car… the door was locked with the keys inside! The universe was really testing me. The rain finally stopped around 8:30 pm, everyone tired, wet and ready for bed.

Saturday morning I woke up early to pray and meditate, to help ground and center my energy for the rest of the weekend, and was greeted by the fog, so peaceful and serene. The message was to breathe and let go. Let go of expectations, fears, worry and doubt.

Everyone woke up a little groggy, but ready to get into the heart of the summer solstice energy. Our schedule was adjusted a bit to accommodate time to clean up campsites. Breakfast was delicious and morning yoga was perfectly lead by Brenda. Our day was off to a more balanced start.

Brenda lead a garden tour, and tea making workshop while others spent time on their creative expressions for the altar. The time was so peaceful.

I was able to fix up the altar area and light the Solstice candle just before it started to rain again. Grateful that this time we were all prepared, we danced and made music to celebrate.

Our fire ceremony was to be held out by the pond, however with the rain we improvised and rearranged the tables under the pavillion to have our ceremony there.

It was divine.

After the ceremony the rain departed and the sky opened up to a beautiful night, where we saw shooting stars and celebrated with jumping the fire, a drum circle and fireworks.

Sunday started with Laughter Yoga, lead by Tammy and Jack Bray.
The perfect ending to such a divine weekend.

At the end of the event on Sunday I went back to the altar to clean up and to my wonder, the Solstice candle was still lit! Even after all the rain!

I am so blessed to know so many beautiful and magickal people. So many kind souls to travel through this life learning from and growing with.

I am forever grateful for my dear sister, Brenda Solonoski. Without her love, support, and partnership this event would not have happened.

Check out the video of our event and look out for the next retreat …

REVIVE, REFILL & REFRESH
August 14th-16th 2020

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Watercolor Exploration

Usually I am the teacher, but sometimes my daughter Element wants to teach as well! She made the beautiful painting featured in this blog, and showed me how she did it!

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Divine I Am Earth Existence Green Lifestyle Most Popular Spirituality Video

Earth Meditation

The earth is the Goddess, in all her feminine and receptive energy. Her direction is North. The Pentacle and a bowl of salt are her tools. Her colors are green, yellow, brown, black, and her season: is Winter.  The Zodiac Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn are earth signs.

Earth energy is grounding, bringing us back to the present moment when all else might be up in chaos.

The Earth is the foundation of our lives, as it is both our home and our source of sustenance. The Earth Element is ever-present and highly versatile, manifesting as both soil and seed, and witnessed in the eternal rhythms of growth, harvest, decay, and regeneration.

Earth is represented by the diverse topographical features found all over the planet, including forests, fields, caves, rocks, valleys, and gardens. This “classical” Element is associated with abundance, prosperity, and strength.

It is presented as the duality of existence.

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Divine I Am Earth Existence Green Lifestyle Most Popular Spirituality Video

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Nettle is a superb nourishing food and has beneficial actions on many parts of the body including the urinary tract, liver, digestive tract, reproductive system, and respiratory system. Known as an overall nourisher and strengthener, stinging nettle leaf is full of vitamins and minerals most notably magnesium, calcium, iron, and protein.

Harvesting stinging nettle at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat was such a learning experience.  I used gloves to hold the nettles while I cut them, however I still got stung.

I learned when brushed by the nettle, its best to leave the area alone so it will sting less. If you touch the area a lot, it rubs the sting into your skin more and lasts longer! I got a few welts and a rash from where the nettle touched me above the gloves! It went completely away within 12 hours. 

Nettle’s sting, however, reminds us to value our gifts just as we must honor and protect our work if we are to remain healthy. With her sting, she asks us to recognize and honor the worth of what she gives; if you’re willing to brave the sting to gain her treasure, you’re more likely to value what you have taken.

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Divine I Am Earth Existence Green Lifestyle Most Popular Spirituality Video

Stewardship!

Stewardship is the job of taking care of something.

When we are stewards of the land, we are taking care of what’s been given to us.

We are showing our gratitude for all of the gifts we’ve received.

The earth provides so much life energy.

Show respect and reverence through tending the land.

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Divine I Am Existence Most Popular Spirituality Video

Water Meditation

Water is life.
It flows… freely or with structure.
It rushes loudly or trickles softly.
Filling the world with its music.
Carrying away all of our thoughts and cares.
Water cleanses.
Reminding us that nothing stays the same.
Its constant rush is grounding
There’s security in the rush of the water.

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RMS after Quarantine

Today I went into my classroom to grab a few things.

It was like the twilight zone.

I felt like the kids would walk in any minute!

It felt so familiar, yet students working in the classroom is such a distant memory.

I took pictures of some unfinished artwork; that really had me feeling disappointed and sad. The students were doing so well and created so many amazing things that they just had to leave behind.

It felt like I’m living in two realities at once.

Such amazing artwork… So much to look forward to. My only hope is that the time we had together taught them how to be creative no matter how good they thought they were at “art”.

I miss my students and my classroom.

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Meditative Mandalas

Mandalas are one of my all time favorite things to create.

Each mandala resonates its own energy.

When creating a mandala, I meditate with the certain energy

Putting my intentions into each piece.

Each color is chosen to be symbolic, as are the designs.

Representing the movement of energy.

Mandala means sacred circle, and represents all of life above and below.

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Air Meditation

In the beginning was the word…
And the word was God…

How do we create our words, but by first taking a breath.
Filling our lungs with air, and and releasing it.

Air is constantly moving
We can not keep it
It is not mine, nor yours
Air teaches us the most important lesson
Letting go
Breathing in, I am here
Breathing out, I let go

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Stone Creek

The water at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat that flows beautifully through the woods, has been named Stone Creek, for the many stones you can find there.

Stone Creek houses many little waterfalls and surrounds a few little islands! These islands have been cleared and named as well… Solomons Stone Island, and Circle Stone Island.  Each island has been cleared so that people can camp and enjoy the water all around them.

My friend Eli ArtSparkle came to visit last weekend and I took her out to the woods and let her pick the spot we would sit for our artmaking. This specific spot is a beautiful place to sit on huge rocks that Brenda and Theo arranged.

Having Eli here really reinforced that my idea of a Plein Air workshop here at Burns Valley is something that I must plan! I can only imagine what beautiful work would be created from having many different artists here, inspired by the land.

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