Editors Note: The 14th Annual Gaea Goddess Gathering (GGG) was held on September 16-19th at the beautiful Gaea Retreat Center. This year approximately 150 women and young ladies gathered to honor and celebrate The Nine Muses, 2010’s chosen Goddesses. This report was submitted by a participant of GGG who wanted to share her experience.
The theme this year was Inspiration. Imagine That! We honored The Nine Muses.
It all began that fateful night I volunteered to help Susan clean cabins for GGG. At first it sounded exciting and fun! Four days away from technology, out in the great outdoors, surrounded by women who would surely understand me, and an opportunity to learn more about my newly chosen life!
Anytime I do something new my stomach goes nuts. This was no exception. I was determined NOT to let my nerves keep me from going. The fateful day arrived and I set out with a set of directions to some place I had only been to once before and I had a passenger who knew how to get there. I managed to find my way to Camp Gaia and to my cabin. At first I was OK with not bunking with my coven sisters. Then the thought of being with two strangers in a new situation started to sink in. On the other hand I did not want my coven sisters to feel they had to babysit me. So, I looked at it as an opportunity to branch out and make new friends!
Until. I discovered one of my bunkies was The Snake Lady! She was not able to bring her friends with her this year. (I was relieved.) My other Bunkie was just as sweet and adorable as The Snake Lady. I had more in common with them that I thought I would.
There were too many workshops to choose from! I managed to narrow down my choices. Among the workshops I took: Meditation, Poetry and Spell Writing, Chocolate, and a class taught by Annie Cherry on Burlesque and The Art of Strip Tease (hubby was pleased!). I met more new friends and my head was crammed full of info. I am glad I always carry a notebook and pen.
The Big Bad Gina concert was totally awesome! The group spent the entire weekend with us and they held their own workshop. The ladies were extremely friendly and high energy!
Of course you can’t have an outdoor ritual without fire and drums. I saw fire spinning live for the first time! The Keeper of the Fire built many different fires to suit our needs. The drummers added to the overall spiritual experience by bringing us closer to nature and the Goddesses we were honoring.
There was one thing that took me totally by surprise. The scenery at Camp Gaia very closely resembles the Ozarks where my parents grew up. Wednesday night as we were gathering for our pre-GGG ritual, I found myself feeling homesick. Not for my husband or technology. But for my maternal grandmother. Even though she has been gone for 30 plus years, I still feel her presence. Then I began to miss my paternal grandmother who is Native American. Just being outdoors and so very close to nature stirred feelings and memories deep inside of me that I was not prepared for.
I have no regrets except that this was my first time. I look forward to going back next year to deepen and strengthen the bonds I already have, and reconnecting with the new friends I made this year!
During the process of getting in touch with her Native American roots, Desert Moon discovered organized religion no longer served her needs. About three years ago, she began to seriously study Wicca. She is currently a member of the Luna Lushede Coven and is working towards Initiation.