Men's Retreat

Women's Retreat

mens retreat

“Our feeblest contemplations of the cosmos stir us, there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” - Carl Sagan.

If the celestial beauty of the universe evokes such a response in rationally minded scientists, consider what it awakens in those with an openness to the transpersonal.

In the language of astrology, the zodiac represents archetypal themes. Astrological ages change every 2150 years when the Earth's rotation moves into a new sign. There has been debate as to when the last shift occurred with many proclaiming 2012 as the time we left the Piscean age and moved into the Age of Aquarius. The solstice of December 21, 2020, saw Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in Aquarius with the Great Conjunction. In February of this year, seven celestial bodies move into Aquarius. One way or another, this archetype has come to the fore.

Aquarius is considered the most progressive and forward-thinking of the zodiac archetypes. Consider how much change there has been in terms of gender identity and acceptance of diversity around sexuality. It promotes a “we” mentality rather than an “I“ one.

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About Life Story

about life story

The dancer and musician Gabrielle Roth shared some potent wisdom when she said

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? Especially the stories of your own life?”

As industry slows, nature grows more vibrant. 

And as our industriousness wanes, so can our soul-sickness dissipate.

This morning I connected with an online group where we each spoke about what has changed in our lives since Covid. Many people shared the same responses.

‘I’ve had to stop and sit with myself rather than be distracted with busyness.’

‘For the first time in ages, I’ve gotten to do things I want to do rather than just fulfil obligations.’

‘It has allowed me to connect with my neighbours reminding me of what it was like 20 years ago before we all became strangers.’

People spoke of how clear the air was, how connected they felt and how peaceful life had become.

Collectively, we hoped that the gains we’ve made would stay once normality returned.

Beauty making was another theme. We were asked what creative work was rising within us and how we could help create a better world.

It reminded me of the glorious phrase Maggie Smith’s closed off with in “Good Bones”, a poem encouraging people not to be overwhelmed by the immensity of the issues we are facing:

“This place could be beautiful, right? 

You could make this place beautiful.”

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middle age

Middle Age

The midlife passage (ages 35-55) is the most treacherous of our lives according to life phases expert, Gail Sheehy.

Midlife calm is not a phrase in the lexicon but midlife crisis certainly is.

Dictionaries define it as: a loss of self-confidence and feeling of anxiety or disappointment that can occur in early middle age.

Midlife cycles involve major mood shifts and physiological changes. Menopause for women and men. Most men notice a steep decline in sex drive while many woman experience a letting go of identities forged on appearances. Roles based on people pleasing and gaining societal approval wear thin. A crises of authenticity is just one of many that emerge.

Middle age Age

The middle years of middle age have been dubbed middlescence. It’s the adult equivalent of the mayhem we experience in adolescence.

An example of this can be seen in the recent film, The Professor, starring Johnny Depp.

He plays a responsible university professor named Richard who has a wife and family.

Struggling with her slumping career and midlife malaise, Richard’s wife has an affair with his boss.

Upon learning he has 6 months to live, Richard casts aside every social norm that feels stifling. In his opinion, “maturity is really just another word for how much misery you'd swallow.” And so he begins doing away with pretence to live boldly and freely.

In one conversation his wife says, “What happened to us?”

He replies, “What happened to us? Life.”

If you’re navigating this stage of life and like Richard and the rest of us, don’t feel like you’ve got it all together, take heart.

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creative writing

Creative Writing

Employing a Mythic Imagination

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer tended to be a rather grim and stoic character. With the benefit of age and having lived quite a self-reflect life, he was able to eventually find a sense of interconnection with the cosmos.

Schopenhauer had this to see about how empowering it can be to see yourself as the hero of your own story:

“When you reach a certain age and look back over your life, it seems to have had an order. It seems to have had been composed by someone. And those events that when they occurred seemed merely accidental and occasional and just something that happened, turn out to be the main elements in a consistent plot. Who composed this plot?


Just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself, of which your consciousness is unaware, so your whole life has been composed by the will within you. Just as those people whom you met by chance became effective agents in the structuring of your life, so you have been an agent in the structuring of other lives, and the whole thing gears together like one big symphony, everything influencing and structuring everything else.”

Read more: Creative Writing - Employing a Mythic Imagination

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