Women, Poetry and Spirituality
Online Summer Solstice Retreat 2020:
Freeing The Maiden’s Power
June 19-21, 2020
This three-day online retreat offers all who identify as women the seeds of lasting creative renewal and authentic passion through the poetic words of women including Sappho, Ntozake Shange, the Priestess Enheduenna, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, Joy Harjo — and ourselves. In our private ritual online space, we will gather for a series of 90-minute circles from Friday night through Sunday morning as we prepare ourselves for the blossoming energy of Summer Solstice. Together, we will appreciate the poetry of women who have woven the webs of interdependence and interconnection that sustain the world—and explore how to continue weaving webs of our own.
How can we learn, honor, and connect with the power of the Mother, incarnate in Goddesses such as the Taino Goddess Atabey, Mayan Ixchel, the Shekinah, and Yemaya, and in our own ancestry, in order to free ourselves from the chains that hold us back? And how can we use the power of the Maiden Goddesses to nourish the marvelous potential of the Maiden within ourselves— self-determination, creativity, and even rage? These are the questions we will ask and answer as we sit in virtual council together to explore the rhythmic magic of words within and without.
This weekend’s nourishing experience of supported silence and deep community will provide time and space for the journeys where poems take us, away from the alienations of patriarchy, remembering our connection to the Great Mother Goddess who reminds us that we are all indeed one Spirit. Together, we will reclaim the sacredness of online space through meditation, movement, mindful eating, ritual, and being in circle together as well as reading poems and journaling. Let’s remind ourselves how, even in a world that is still patriarchal, we have the power to move beyond binary identities, beyond the constrictions of history, racism, sexism, poverty, and stereotypes, and create the poetic herstory that will sustain us and future generations.
Celebrating the Summer Solstice by honoring not only our own vision and agency but also the astounding strength of women together in circle, we will remember that the courage to live joyfully is a gift to others as much as to ourselves.
Meeting times : We will meet for the opening night 7-8:30 pm EST on Friday. Saturday sessions will be held 10-12 and 3-5 EST on Saturday. The closing session will be 10-12 EST on Sunday.
Brief guided mindful eating meditations will precede lunch and dinner on Saturday. Our meeting room will be remain open during breaks and after sessions end for the day, so participants will have the option to eat together or mingle informally.
Timing: if you’d love to participate but the timing doesn’t work, please sign up for Annie’s Spellsletter to hear of future events, and feel free to drop a line so we can keep your timing needs in mind.
Financial need: Some scholarship support is available. If needed, please get in touch and we will aim to work something out.
About the Instructors:
2 sessions in 1 day| Transformative women, poetry, spirituality circle
In Online Zoom Meeting
4 sessions in 3 days| Transformative women, poetry, spirituality circle
In Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY
Annie Finch, of Celtic and Scandinavian lineage, is a poet, writer, teaching artist, and performer. She is known for her work on women’s literature and spirituality and her deep knowledge and practice of poetic form. Finch is the author of six books of poetry including Spells, Calendars, Eve, and the feminist epic Among the Goddesses, as well as numerous books on poetry including the writing guide A Poet’s Craft. She is also the editor of Choice Words, the first major literary anthology about abortion. A graduate of Yale with a Ph.D. from Stanford, Finch has appeared widely at poetry conferences, taught as a tenured professor of poetry writing at two universities, and is the recipient of the Robert Fitzgerald Award and the Sarasvati Award for Poetry.
Marianela Medrano is a Dominican writer, poet and a psychotherapist with a Ph.D in psychology whose practice include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness and Integral Psychotherapy. Medrano has trained in Mindfulness and spirituality and in trauma-specific modalities such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is a Mindful Eating instructor/facilitator. She has done extensive research on the Divine Feminine in the Taino culture, has lectured in many countries, and has published her poetry widely in journals and in books including: Oficio de Vivir (Buho,1986), Los Alegres Ojos de la Tristeza (Buho,1987), Regando Esencias/ The Scent of Waiting (Alcance,1998), Curada de Espantos (Torremozas, 2002), Diosas de la Yuca, (Torremozas, 2011), Prietica (Alfaguara, 2013), Rooting (Owlfeather Collective, 2017), and El Libro de Revelaciones (chapbook), (2019). Her poetry has been translated into Italian and French. She is a certified poetry therapist and serves as a mentor/supervisor for the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy.