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SoulCollage® Facilitator Gathering in Sorano, Italy June 2023

June 17-24, 2023
An International gathering of SoulCollage® Facilitators to explore the theme:
The Summer Solstice: Our Neters are Vehicles to the Sacred.
Workshops, Ceremonies, Excursions...creating, sharing and exploring!

Since I became a SoulCollage® facilitator in Italy in 2019 it was my dream to attend an international gathering to meet other facilitators from around the world and experience the magic of SoulCollage® in different ways together as a community. This June that dream became reality. This blog post intends to give a brief impression of this life-changing week.

We spent a week 

* diving into our SoulCollage® deck 
* learning new ways to work with our Neters
* creating new cards
* participating in small groups activities 
* enjoying plenary activities 
* discovering the beauty of our surroundings 
* celebrating the Solstice in more than one sacred and special way
* exploring sacred time 
* rejuvenating body and soul with the help of healing waters in the natural hot springs

"SoulCollage® is an intuitive and transformational collage process for self-discovery and community. Anyone can create and enjoy this powerful practice.

The Location:
Terme Di Sorano

A beautiful residence in the Italian countryside that provided a magical backdrop for our gathering. More Info here.

Sacred Creativity

Activities included BioDanza®, Dreamwork, creating portable altars for our SoulCollage® cards, playing with watercolour and making miniature sanctuaries, working with poetry, forest bathing and much more.

New SoulGuides

During my time in Sorano I made 6 new SoulCollage® cards and met new Neters that have been waiting to step into my consciousness. Some of them took my breath away. Some would speak mysteriously in coded tongue and others gave clear, practical direction. I am so grateful for their presence  and I cannot wait to work with them extensively in creative ways to receive more of their guidance and blessings.

 

To view the altar I created in one of the workshops with Catherine Anderson in full, click on the “play” button below 

"As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow."

Return to Tuscania

The small and very picturesque medieval town of Tuscania is the place where I trained to become a certified SoulCollage® facilitator in 2019. To return to this very special place for a stroll and dinner brought back a lot of memories. Tuscania still carries the ancient traces of Etruscan civilisation as well as those of its medieval history, and is also famous for the surrounding lavender fields. The ice cream parlour and the store with all things Lavender are still there. Nothing seems to have changed; as if the Pandemic, which hit Italy hard, never touched this place. 

If you are curious about my SoulCollage® Facilitator training in Italy I invite you to visit this blog post

Summer Solstice Ceremony

This high-relief sculpture consisting of two winged horses standing in profile, prancing and harnessed to a biga, enriched in red, brown and cream colours, was used as a covering for the left mutule of the Temple of the ‘Ara della Regina’, which, in turn, was built around the 4th century BC to replace an archaic temple.

On June 20th, on the eve of the Summer Solstice, we were driven to a remote place outside the ancient town of Tarquinia, called the Sanctuary of the ‘Art Della Regina’ to celebrate  the fiery energy of the sun and manifest its spiritual transformation powers. 

The land on which this ancient temple ruin stands felt truly mysterious and unlike the landscape outside this plot. The light as the sun set felt eerily eternal. With drums, ritual, ceremony, dance and  evocative medieval music performed live by Renato Vecchio I spent the most unforgettable Summer Solstice of my life this far.

Enjoy one of his powerful songs below:

DayTrip To Orvieto

One of the highlights of the week was a day trip to the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto. It is a true gem of Italy, offering a unique blend of rich history – going back to Etruscan times – art, culture, and architecture.

Pozzo di San Patrizio (st. Patrick's Well)

Walking down the 248 steps to the bottom of this medieval well was a truly mystical experience. Like a descent into the Underworld, into the belly of the earth, into the depth of the Unconscious. Truly unforgettable.

The Pozzo di San Patrizio is a historic well, built by architect-engineer Antonio da Sangallo the Younger between 1527 and 1537, at the request of Pope Clement VII, who had escaped to Orvieto during the sack of Rome, when the city was attacked by the troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1527. The well would serve to supply water to Orvieto in the event of a siege. 

It is the most famous attraction of the Umbrian town along with the stunning Duomo, has been added to UNESCO’s list of water museums. 

You can read more about this fascinating structure HERE

Duomo di Orvieto

Visiting the magnificent Cathedral of Orvieto and the Cappella di San Brizio (San Brizio chapel) with its stunning and powerful frescoes by Luca Signorelli have been highlights of experiencing a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance art. Signorelli, who is said to have inspired Michelangelo’s Sixtine Chapel frescos, pioneers with skill and very engaging choreography, the theme of the Last Judgment, in a striking alternation of apocalypse and redemption. 

Walking the Labyrinth

"The labyrinth literally reintroduces the experience of walking a clearly defined path. This reminds us that there is a path, a process that brings us to unity, to the center of our beings. In the simple act of walking, the soul finds solace and peace."

Walking the labyrinth, which was set up in a small area in the woods that are part of the residence’s property, was our opening and closing ceremonies. The latter was conducted by candlelight under the starlit Tuscan summer sky. Walking the labyrinth “is a walking meditation, a path of prayer, and a blue-print where psyche meets Spirit.” It is a powerful symbol of our journey in life. We are doing our best to walk with courage and trust into the unknown future. We will wander astray and might even feel lost at some point. We will cross the paths of others and we will eventually come full circle, arrive at the center, and for a moment feel whole and at peace, before we continue our way back and around again. Layer after layer we walk our path, a journey home towards our Heart and Soul.

I recommend to research a walkable labyrinth in the area where you live and experience it for yourself. Even more powerful: go on a retreat. Resources: Creative Pilgrimage and Lauren Artress.

In the meantime you can try a Finger Labyrinth walk and meditation as demonstrated in the video below:

The SoulSisters - Sacred Community

Beloved guides and teachers: Head trainer Mariabruna Sirabella and Laura Pieretti

The most important part of going on a retreat or gathering with like- minded human beings is to experience connection and belonging on a personal, authentic level – especially after the isolation and social distancing during the COVID epidemic I was not the only one craving real, live encounters, conversations, hugs, shared experiences. Wether sharing meals, having fun at the pool party or dancing, crying, laughing and forest bathing together – nothing can replace the in-person experience in a group.

Especially the experience of ritual and ceremony as a group has been particularly meaningful and of course sharing the messages from our SoulCollage® Neters with each other is something that will stay with me.

Never did I expect to have such beautiful soul connections with some of the participants from around the world. I feel so honoured and grateful to have met them, to have laughted and cried together and to know we are one spiritual family.

And how lucky to have had one male in our group to balance the divine feminine energy with the divine masculine energy.

"A Candle never Loses any of its Light while Lighting up another candle."

It was pure joy for me to give complimentary readings with my Inner Journey Tarot Deck to a couple of soul sisters and connect and give intuitive, heartfelt guidance.

"Everything in the world is actually connected. That means, even if we get separated, we'll never be alone"

Gathering my treasures on my altar and by the window gives me deep joy and infuses my sacred space with cherished blessings. Days filled with journaling and reading my cards lie before me.

I am only starting now, upon my return, to begin to process, reflect and integrate the awe and wonder of the many transformational experiences and encounters I have been gifted with. They are beyond words for me at this time. This post can only give a hint at the great mystery…

"I am part of all that I have met."

WITH DEEP GRATITUDE 🙏☀️💫

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