Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Immerse in Elen Retreat 2013

Inside the Temple of Elen

*sigh* and so another 'Immerse in Elen Retreat' is over.......I'm still coming back down to earth to be honest but wanted to sit and take a few moments to take it all in and share some of the experiences.

This year saw the Elen Retreat move from its home, of four years, at Retreat Farm to a new venue on the edges of Danbury Woodland. Leaving behind Tipi's, Barns and Farmland and moving into heated en-suite log cabins, bigger workspace, ancient woodlands, debut of the Temple of Elen and catering!!!

Our lovely Elen Clan started arriving on Friday evening and once settled in to our cabins we headed off to a local pub for dinner and socialising.
A selection of delicious food from the Griffin

After an enjoyable evening in The Griffin we headed back home to the cabins to bed. Suzi and Julia were this weekends 'Tine Sister' and we rose bright and early to set up the Temple of Elen and the workspace. More Elen Clan began arriving and the start time drew nearer.

We spent the morning in our lovely large workspace surrounded by Elen artwork and with a central hearth. We lit candles for each of us, marking our space in the circle, and lit two special candles for Esther and Sarah who for very personal reasons couldn't be with us. We shared our stories, Elen's stories and journeyed in deep meditation and after a shared lunch (which could have fed us the whole weekend lol) we gathered in our circles....Spiral Heart, Shed Antler and Spiral....to create Incense and Anointing Oil to honour Elen and create Elen Mala Bracelets. We then headed out to spend time in the Temple of Elen and to share as a community learning and chanting the Elen Mantra. This was the first time our portable space had been erected and used for this sacred purpose. Thanks to donations, art sale percentages and generosity from Bell Tent UK  the dream of a Sacred Elen Temple was born, and here this weekend we saw the dream become a reality. 

 Temple of Elen

Altars of Elen's Maiden, Mother, Crone

After time spent in the Temple we headed out into the ancient woodland. We had been SO blessed with good weather and the early evening light was loaded heavy with magic. We wondered the tracks and spent time with the trees and on the banks of the streams and lakes. Everyone had been given a small Confetti Offering Token, biodegradable and loaded with wild flower seeds, to leave as thanks along the way. 

Emma Moon Breeze's Offerings

Jacqueline Honeybee's Offering

We collected kindling for our fire and headed back to site to gather our drums and voices. 

Kindling Collection

Sunny Sunday saw us gather after Breakfast in the Temple. We shared our experiences and feelings from Saturday and we sang the Elen Mantra together with our bracelets. We journey further with Elen of the Tribes and gathered in circles again to create deer leather Journey Pouches. As the afternoon came round we headed back to the Temple and gave those, that wished too, a loving space to dedicate themselves as Priestess's of Elen or walkers of The Antlered Road. WOW what can I say.........its at these times I realise how open and loving the Elen Clan completely are. The love, healing, tears, community and support that radiated with that 5 metre Temple Space was absolutely mind blowing. It humbles me, I feel so blessed to be part of and witness these moments that each of them bring......WOW

We took some time to gather and ground ourselves, then began to create our wonderful 'Footprints Along the Trackway'. Using ancient earth pigments, we started to track our journey as Clan along a piece of natural cloth. This is something I wish I'd had the inspiration to do from the first ever Retreat. We supported each other as we stepped into the Ochre and felt it squidge between our toes, we then stepped onto the cotton trackway and left our footprints/hoof prints (?lol) behind. Marking our journey together over the weekend as Clan Community.

After taking time to sit in circle one last time, to say our farewells and send the love and gratitude we'd built over the weekend, with each other and the wider community. We gently headed home......

Much love and thanks must go to Suzi and Julia, my 'Tine Sisters' for this Retreat. The Tine Sisters idea was born after I realised I can't always be in 3 places at once. So by having sisters, by my side, that I know I can trust and ask to help and support both me and the rest of the Clan over the course of the days, makes things a whole lot easier....especially as we moved into a new venue. So THANK YOU ladies!!!!

Suzi and Julia Tine Sisters 

And so I will end this as I started with a *sigh* another 'Immerse in Elen' Retreat is over, but its only 16 weeks till Elen's Equinox Reunion, where I can gather the Clan of 5 years worth of these wonderful and deeply profound Retreats and Workshops. How grateful I am to be able to do this.......I'll leave you with a few words the wonderful Anya wrote about the weekend.

Immerse in Elen Clan 2013

"What a wonderful weekend that was, sharing so much beauty and inspiration in the sunny countryside with my lovely new friends and soul-sisters! We came together from far-flung places, to share our merry-making, deep-diving, life-enhancing new connections ... feasting and crafting ... singing & chanting ... meditating and track-making ... out in the spring-green woodlands, and then drumming & singing as twilight came & night fell, and the fire blazed & the sparks flew upwards to meet the summer stars. That delightful, relaxed feeling is still upon me, that comes from deep sharing from the heart, head and imagination ... mutual support as we wove our stories, dreams and visions, crafted our treasures, made our dedications and left our ochred footprints ... sharing food, fun & frolics in free, female open-heartedness and good humour. This was the best clan-gathering I have ever experienced. I have always longed for a sister - and now, by Magic, I feel I have 20. Powerful, primordial, profound ... connecting us to our distant ancestors and the ancient herds-people and hunters of our land and the far northern forests - quite wonderful!”


  1. Was something I always wanted to experience and I am so glad I have. Walking the antlered road has never felt so right as it does now. Thank you so much for running the retreats Sam. They are very very special!

    1. Thank you Linz, such a joy to run, love doing it :o) So glad that you were part of it. Big Hugs xx