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2019 Retreat Report

Imported from this forum post 5/17/22:

All, Below is the retreat report which will also be saved as a PDF to our files/on our Wiki. Please let me know of any edits/questions.

The 2019 Retreat took place in Truth or Consequences, NM at the ‘Pelican Spa’ a resort where we had a main room ‘the loft’ that had space for our sitting, meals, workshops, rituals and everything in between, then bungalows shored by school members a short walk away. Much of the food had been prepared in advance by Cedar, who had been the retreat committees ‘on the ground’ person – feeding us often with food from his garden.

Folks arrived Thursday afternoon and evening and did the work of creating our space: getting the food situated, getting out art supplies making the altar for our main work, as well as one for the ancestors in land and  joyfully reconnecting with each other. Once everyone arrived and we had delicious food in our bellies we did our check in we talked a little about roles and kitchen tasks.

    Ari led us through sitting practice, sharing some of the work she does. Then we broke out the paints! Ealasaid has organized a hands on/crafting of planes cube exercise that engaged sticky one (paint! stencils) where we dove pretty deep into what our planes are, what our relationship is to the tarot/planes reading can be a diagnostic or prescriptive practice.  We then enjoyed a lunch of sandwiches before our first outing. Many of us took a walk to the Rio Grande to enjoy the neighborhood, its art, and make a more tactile connection with the land. At a nearby park we discussed/dreamed/schemed what that night’s ritual to build the Tomb of Birth could look like.
    Back at ‘the loft’ we gathered together for Jennifer and Tony’s psychic skills workshop which was focused on experiential exercises, rather than talking/theoretical work. After the class many of us took a break before getting ready for the ritual where we came together and build the Tomb of Birth. There is a separate post describing the build of the Tomb here, as well as space on the wiki for reference. After ritual we enjoyed tacos and cobbler and wine and deep discussions, laughter, and each others company.

    Ken led us through sitting practice. Tony then facilitated a rich, deep, and lively conversation around our experiences building the tomb together, and the ritual in general. From there Cedar then discussed teaching – inviting us to contemplate ‘what is curriculum.’ We explored what different teaching styles can look like, balancing student/teacher needs, and accountability.
    We then broke for lunch (enchiladas) to ground ourselves a bit before diving deep into Jennifer’s workshop on the Guardian chants/toning. After all that deep work some of us took our second trip into town visiting the mineral and occult stores. The ritual when we came back together was the Rite of Connection traveling again to the astral temple, acknowledging the Egregore and the crystal (whose home for the next year is with Ken). During the cording ceremony Lyssa received a cord (which will be mailed!) and Doneby received a blessing on her pledge for the blue cord. Tony stepped forward in his re-commitment to his work in Morningstar, and that of the braided cord, and Ken stepped forward to dedicate himself to the work of the gold cord. Then, we as a group gave name to that which we have learned/received by those in the school. After ritual we enjoyed left overs, and each others company. Some of this included toasting those teachers who have past, thanks to Ari, Laura and Starr who shared in those who helped shape their path. There was also the discussion of who are the Morningstar Gods that felt rich and heartfelt.

    Laura led us through sitting practice, and the group did a check out on how they felt after the retreat, and the work of the school. After the circle was closed Ari and Ken led us in chants, we cleaned and gathered our things and said goodbye.

Things that arose/bloomed during the retreat:
Starr brought up the importance of naming/sharing some of the ‘smaller’ things that happen during retreats – those things that become lore/injokes/jests from one retreat to the next:
At some point there became a sort of call and response as we would close an activity by one person asking “cool?”
and the group responding “and cool it is”
It seems this started with Jennifer
The group also made a ‘transmogrifier’ before the Tomb of Birth

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