Grove members gathered last weekend for a retreat at Raccoon State Park. Our retreats are generally pretty laid back, giving us an opportunity engage with each other outside of the obligation of providing a public event.
Our theme this year was Arts and Crafts. So often we get busy, worried about the past or what is coming, and we forget to be present in the moment. Creating a piece of art or a craft encourages us to stay focused on what we are doing, engages us in the moment of creation, and directs our attention to work at hand.
The rain kept us inside for most of the weekend, which gave us plenty of time to work on personal projects and learn some new crafts, and allowed us the time to chat and get to know each better.
Friday afternoon we spent a few hours working on Prayer Beads. We discussed some uses for beads, what prayers we wanted to use, and how to put it all together. We shared our stashes and folks put together some awesome sets!
Friday evening, Deana taught us how to make coil baskets. Starting this project required quite a bit of patience and focus, but once we got going, it was a lot of fun and something many of us would like to do again!
On Saturday after breakfast, Diane W led us in a rite celebrating the Kindreds of Arts and Crafts. Folk were encouraged to make personal offerings to Ancestors, Worldly Spirits and Deities who inspire them and guide them in their creative endeavors. For the omen, Diane closed her eyes and allowed the Kindreds to guide her hands as she created a created a painting that she them interpreted for us.
After the rite Diane W was prepared to lead us in making a solar printed altar cloth for the grove, but we never got the two hours of direct sunlight needed to activate the paint. We postponed this project, but hope we can complete it by the end of summer. We were able to harvest a bit of sassafras root between the rain showers and make some tea!
We spent the rest of Saturday working on our prayer beads, baskets and other projects. For dinner on Saturday night, folks brought their favorite toppings to share for the grove pizza party. It was a lot of fun and we hope to make it a new tradition!