Towards the end of this winter we will be posting new information about 2018 – 2019 workshops for women with Carolyn on Dartmoor. This will include details about the new BRAIDED RIVER APPRENTICESHIP programme and one-to-one sessions in the roundhouse.
There are no bookings taking place at the moment. Please email us to add your name to the list for receiving the information about new workshops as soon as it is ready to be published.
Meanwhile the information below relates to the 2016-2017 programme; it is on this page to give you a flavour of recent women’s workshop journeys on Dartmoor.
At the heart of every workshop lies the magical tending of women’s wild, wise and ancient fires. Our shared journeys will encompass these things: entering, pathfinding, spellbinding, protecting and dreaming as we work in turn with the rituals and teachings of hearthstones, embers, flames, smoke and ashes. However, the theme and structure of each weekend will change, shaped by the season of the year and the depth or expanse of work being undertaken.
HEARTH GATHERINGS are for women who want to explore their own story within the sacred house of women; or who are new to sitting in sister circles that are safe, inspiring and empowering; or who wish to expand their wise knowing, and travel deeper on their mystical journeys as hearth women. We will be working in ancient and newly-envisioned ways with the ingredients of fire and ritual and drum and song and sacred land. This is the workshop to join if you have not sat in circle before on Dartmoor or with Carolyn, although these are not exclusively beginner weekends. All women are welcome, whether or not you have already worked in this way, and we aim to create circles that are rich with variations in age, perspective and life experience. This gathering offers a carefully supported and nurturing environment, where you will be tended by two kindling women (as well as Carolyn) while you journey through the weekend with your hearth sisters.
THRESHOLD CIRCLES are for women who have worked with Carolyn previously or who carry some experience with women’s sacred circles; and who are willing to dissolve boundaries, travel beyond edges, explore intuitive landscapes, dive deep and throw caution to the winds. These weekends will involve a combination of night work, intense journeying, challenging initiations, and close cooperation and support between sisters. We will live, sleep and cook together on the land in a large Siberian-style nomad tent, and share both our domestic and sacred work in the manner of our ancestor mothers. Our ceremonial work will take place in the roundhouse, where we will have the care of an ancestral bone bundle. All our domestic facilities will be based outside (stream washing, compost toilet hut) therefore this workshop requires a specific level of physical ease, consideration and tolerance among sisters, and a willingness to forgo privacy during the weekend. The prayer of the circle will start as soon as sisters arrive, and continue unbroken until the formal conclusion of our journey.
TRAIL JOURNEYS are for women who want to stride out into the wild belly of the moors, and travel with ancient stone women into shrine, beneath cairn and along high ridge. This workshop involves walking, wayfaring and vigil in deep communion with the untamed earth. We will make our pilgrimage through a neolithic and bronze age ritual landscape, travelling the hidden trails of primordial wild herds, and making homage to the ancestor mothers of the moor. We will honour the cistvaen and bone bundle of the white horse hill woman from 4000 years ago. We will work with a small hearth in the wild and with the roundhouse fire. The workshop will be supported by two heron track sisters who will assist in caring for women on the trail. The pilgrimage will take place during 13 hours, with plenty of time along the way for individual contemplation and ritual. On our return in the evening we will share a dream vigil in the ceremonial roundhouse. This workshop requires a very specific level of fitness and stamina, and the ability to walk at a steady pace over long hours. The first trail journey takes place in early summer 2017, after workshop groups have been working with the home hearths for one year.
OTHER HEARTHSTONE INFORMATION
Drumming and the shared singing of prayer songs, drum songs and ritual chants will be important in all the workshops. We have spare drums for you to use if you do not have one, as well as large communal drums. There will be the ongoing creation of a hearth dance that we will grow together and pass from group to group, strengthening the hearth prayers that we place into this land. During many of the weekends we will be making simple totemic items to deepen and focus our journeys, such as hearth spirit dolls, ash pouches, fired earth prayer bowls or small horse hide masks. The intuitive casting of oracles, either individually or together, will be included in some of the workshops.