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Article Specs

Article ID: 7357

VoxAcct: 108067

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,392

Times Read: 5,530

Gaea Goddess Gathering 2003

Author: Mariposa
Posted: November 22nd. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,530
Location: Leavenworth, Kansas
Event Date(s): September 11-14, 2003

The gravel road winds through fields and woodlands until--you'd best be watching for it--a small road sign simply states "Gaea". This unassuming sign leads down a dark, tree lined road to a most gorgeous piece of the Mother outside of Leavenworth, Kansas--known as "Camp Gaea".

Each September for the past 7 years, Camp Gaea has been the setting for a wonderful weekend retreat called the "Gaea Goddess Gathering". Even if there were no planned events, just enjoying the beauty and energy at Camp Gaea and being amongst such kindred sisterly spirits would be a great rejuvenator!! What started as the inspiration amongst a handful of women has grown to a 4 day event with many diverse workshops, rituals, entertainment, great food, camping, merchants area, even a wandering chocolate fairy! Each Gaea Goddess Gathering wraps around a theme and has a temple for a particular Goddess. The years theme was "The Strength to Evolve" and how appropriate to honor Sumerian Goddess Inanna with the theme and a gorgeous, provocative temple.

Gaea Goddess Gathering 2003 got off to a thundering start most literally--the opening ritual and talent show Thursday night had to be moved under a pavilion to dodge the needed--alas! Inopportune winds and rain. This did not dampen the spirits of the sisters gathered, however, what with a momentous opening ceremony, memorial for a Gaea maiden that had passed to the Summerlands during the year, Emily Kerns, and several talented acts for the talent show.

Friday offered many great workshops to choose from--belly dancing, drumming, herbal remedies, Psychic and Spiritual exploration, Maiden workshops, even a 4 part workshop utilizing the theme of Inanna's descent to the underworld, asking the participants: would we descend to the depths for our sisters? Do we hear our sister's cries? Will we reclaim solidarity with our sisters and begin to heal woman community?

I opted to dance all day Friday--first, in Wild Woman Cinda Hugh's "Shake Your Tail Feathers" in which while we were signing and dancing to "I can see clearly now" the clouds actually parted and the sun came through! Later I went to an inspiring introduction to belly dancing where I learned a few basic, beginning moves. I was excited to learn that the womb-space, the belly, is the seat of a woman's creative power--giving such meaning and spiritual importance to the art of belly dancing!

Cinda also led the annual Wild Woman ritual, where she portrayed the Dark Sister--the one within us all, the one driven to the outskirts of our tribes, our communities, our hearts. The climax of the ritual was found in dancing about a large, roaring bonfire--many thanks to the Fire Keepers and the Mother! (no rain!) The moon was near full and it was a very sacred time for me--being one with the elements, dancing around a large fire, smelling sage burning in the air, feeling the Earth beneath my feet and the drumbeats--pounding a wild rhythm, so much like my heart.

Saturday. More workshops, more rain. I dodged the wet as best I could by going to workshops--in particular, "Creating Political Magick" an incredible ritual put forth by the sisters of Ancient Traditions in Kansas City. Very powerful!

I must confess that the rain and cold were difficult to endure for too long, in keeping the best interests of one of my guests in mind. We left late Saturday afternoon, thus missing the main ritual which had to be taken indoors as well. I can't wait until GGG 2004, and will be in prayer for merciful weather! Overall this is an experience I'd highly recommend. The energy of the land, Camp Gaea, is joyful, healing energy; so beautiful to explore and behold. The fellowship is warm and relaxed, the food is great, and the workshops exciting and informative. Who could ask for more!!!

Beth Sage~Weber

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Location: North Central KS, Kansas

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