Opening Circles at Wise Woman (Aug 2003)

Many thanks to Jane Shack for taking all the wonderful pictures of the Wise Woman Weekend last year and again at the Spring Festival of Awareness this spring. We featured them as a collage on the back cover last month. This time we have chosen the two that most allude to the essence of the weekend. We also feature a shortened version of the program (page 23-26) to remind women of this incredible event. It is well worth the time and the rates are most reasonable. If you sign up before the early deadline of August 15 you save $20. If you didn’t get last month’s Issues and are interested, please phone and we’ll mail you a program, or check out all the pictures on our web site… issuesmagazine.net. Everyone has such a great time that they usually return bringing their friends and relatives with them, so over the last seven years these events have continued to grow.

I started organizing the WWW when the attendance at Spring Festival of Awareness became too large for the site, which was nine years ago. We called it The Fall Festival of Awareness and rented half the site. The date was late in the year and snow fell—we had more instructors than participants that first year. The numbers doubled the second year, but we still lost money. Laurel suggested that we change the name and provide a venue for older women, women over the age of thirty-five who were looking for ways to empower themselves. We announced the name change and had fifty women attend. There were a few complaints from the younger ones who wanted to attend so we decided our instructors were to be older women, and as long as the young women behaved wisely they could attend as well. Now both events have approximately two hundred participants plus healers and instructors.

Organizing the Spring Festival of Awareness and the Wise Woman Weekend has changed my life and I am grateful. With the move to the Kootenays I have been guided to give this event to Samarpan, Laurel and Urmi who are excited about taking over the administration of the Wise Women Weekend. I am also grateful for the many years of support and guidance from Marcel, Laurel, Urmi, Nywyn, Samarpan and all of the others who have helped out. I will continue to organize the Spring Festival of Awareness from Johnson’s Landing, returning to the valley with a new crew in the spring time to set-up. In the age of computers and telephones it is easy to organize from a distance and Naramata is the only place to have a large gathering.

Since I won’t be busy organizing The Wise Women Weekend, I have another idea… to organize a Wise Guys Weekend in either August or September of 2004. I have been asked many times to organize a men’s retreat, and Johnson’s Landing will be the ideal spot… since it is smaller and there have always been fewer men attending holistic events. I would appreciate feedback from men as to what they would like. I thought an event similar to the women’s with maybe only three workshops at a time. A time for men to share and heal with an honouring of the male elders. I also thought of another weekend for men and boys/fathers and sons—a bonding and inititation ceremony during the summer. These weekends could be back to back or separate. I am throwing these ideas out there, if you have any others let me know.

It always takes a few years to get a project off the ground, but as someone once said, “Create the space and the people will come.” If you are a presenter and are willing to offer your services, let me know. Applications go out six month in advance. The Spring Festival of Awareness applications are mailed out in October and the Wise Guys Weekend forms will be in January. You can reach me by phone 1-888-756-9929, email: angele@issuesmagazine.net, or snail mail…RR 1, Site 4, Comp. 31, Johnson’s Landing, BC, V0G 1M0.

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