THE BRAIDED RIVER

WOMEN’S WORKSHOP JOURNEYS & APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME
Created and guided by CAROLYN HILLYER

Welcome to the opening of this new programme of women’s circles, gatherings, and apprenticeship journeys at Lower Merripit Farm, located in the deep heart of Dartmoor.

Forthcoming event
THE BRAIDED RIVER
CONFLUENCE  OF WOMEN
Dartmoor,
September 29
See details below

 

 

This 1000-year old farmstead and place of wild sanctuary has been a home for women’s sacred and magical work for nearly 25 years. During this time, many thousands of women have travelled here to explore, expand and share their questing hearts, wise souls, profound inspiration, deep perception, creative hands, tender prayers, untamed spirits… and all the wonder and understanding we encounter when we sit on wild land with ancient fire and welcoming sisters.

This year marks my sixtieth and with it all those shiftings of shape and distillations of thought that herald the glorious and trepidatious stepping into old womanhood. As I have walked slowly towards this threshold, I have been aware of restless grandmother feet pounding the ancient trails that circle the edges of this farm, and unsettling grandmother voices singing lament and defiance and celebration along the streams and among the woods. Time and the world are urging new shapes to our gatherings. Those ancient mothers are reminding us of this, and prompting us to shake out our bones and stir new songs into our blood. So how do we stand or rise or run to meet these challenges and changes? Connecting with each other in empowering and enwisening ways is a good place to begin… or continue…

THE BRAIDED RIVER will become an unfolding landscape of women’s sacred work with land and drum and fire and sisters. It will aim to gather us into fast-flowing waters and send us skimming like determined arrows through the cresting waves. It will exist to carry us with strength through unfamiliar terrain, and lay us tenderly beside new perspectives and fresh understandings, washed always by the constancy of women’s ageless, boundless, intuitive wisdom.

“… And beneath it all the river sang. It sang with the insistent clatter of gravel and the protesting pummel of stones and the fierce resounding resistance of boulders, all rolling forward in the water’s force. Surfing through the foam, we could hear it all. And we could also hear the dip and rise of women’s songs being threaded through the water. They sang with the gathering gravels of hope and the transforming stones of justice and the great unstoppable boulders of truth…”

”… Over and again and maybe forever we will make our river rebellion, until the solidity of water and women has changed the shape of the ocean, until the force of our songs has cleared the silt from the estuaries, until the power of our gravel and boulders has swept away the banks that contain us, then we will all ride the tides that are equal and free…”  (from Rebellion at the House of Rivers, 2018)

These things will follow as the year unfolds:

Ongoing apprenticeship journey involving a series of residential weekends on Dartmoor, as well as other gatherings of sisters and individual sessions in the roundhouse.

Single workshops, circles and camps of women, including wild moor pilgrimages and a yearly confluence that gathers sisters for sharing, celebration and ceremony (see below).

Individual one-to-one sessions (hearth tendings) that combine time beside the roundhouse hearth with retreat space on the land and inside our bee-herder’s hut.


Bookings for the weekend workshops will begin later in the summer. Meanwhile here is the first event:

THE BRAIDED RIVER CONFLUENCE OF WOMEN
Created and guided by
CAROLYN HILLYER

September 29 Saturday
Scoriton Hall, near Ashburton, DARTMOOR
9am – 10pm

A gathering of sisters, a braiding of power, a blending of visions, a confluence of wise waters…

Thirteen mystical, exciting and profound hours of song, drum, dance, ritual, workshops, spun tales, honed craft, shared food, ceremonial council and wild moor, all held within our symbolic and sacred House of Rivers.

This river flows in both directions: it offers an invitation to women who have travelled here before and over many years, as well as a welcome to new sisters who would like to dip their toes into these waters.

The confluence offers 130 places. Ticket: £88
Half-price bursary places are available for women who are full-time students, on benefits or with low income – please email for information and to apply. Some places are available for volunteers to help on the day – please contact us.

Evening supper, hot drinks and organic cakes are included; bring your own packed lunch.
All craft materials provided; we will be creating beautiful river books with handmade paper & nettle yarn.
Bellever Forest YHA hostel and B&B accommodation may be booked locally.
Why not share a walk on the moor with your sisters the following day?

To order your ticket please visit the events page

COME INTO THE WATER, SISTERS! LET THE RIVER WASH YOU THROUGH…

You are warmly welcome, with love from Carolyn