Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I wasn't called out last night, which was just as well, as I spent the night tossing in bed with aching limbs, streaming nose and sore throat. I stayed in bed with a book (Affinity by Sarah Waters) all day and didn't knit a stitch. I'm sure it's just a bad cold and not a dose of the virulent bronchitis/flu that's doing the rounds.

I got a letter from Carolyn Hillyer about an interesting weekend jaunt I'm signed up for, coming up at the end of January: "The Hollowing" a special all womens' retreat up on highest Dartmoor.

Sister Moon comes but unseen, time dissolving through her eyes,lonely witness to what has been as the circle road moves on…

Within the silent stillness of the hollowing woman, caught in the marrow of ancient bones and far inside the cauldron of crows, rests one seed that holds the key to the restoration of life. So we create a journey of germination and renewal as we pause before the last out-breath of winter, held at a turning point within the protecting hands of the oldest guardian, and guided by the visions that wait behind our eyes. A time for mending, dreaming, tending fires and travelling gently, supported within the circle of women and nurtured by the ancient land.

I've been told to bring the following items:
  • A piece of yarn approximately 3 metres in length, that I have filled with the energy of my journey and my land between now and the gathering - washed by rain, blown by the wind (frozen solid if the weather continues like it is!) lain at my hearth, worn around my belly.

  • A small simple gift that I've made, (out of wool, bones, something from nature) to carry and offer when we make a ceremony of remembering fire.

  • A few words to share with the circle on our first night to describe my winter journey so far.

  • A personal totem, piece of nature or item of significance to me, to represent me on the central shrine for the duration of the weekend.

  • Since I can expect to spend some time in the roundhouse (an amazing building built as our ancestors must have done, by Carolyn and her partner Nigel - that's Carolyn in the entrance in the picture above) I must bring wellies and shawls and blankets to wrap up in and drums and rattles and torches to keep the night at bay.

  • Women who came to the first workshop (I didn't) should bring their spindles and death totems (which sounds rather alarming!?)

The yarn and small gift and spindles are no trouble - but words to share? Death totems? What have I let myself in for?


Helen said...

Your weekend away sounds very intriguing! Hope you're feeling better by then.

btw, I love the Tams in your previous post.

Rosie said...

Sounds very intriguing!

Hope that you feel better soon.

ambermoggie said...

Sounds wonderful, I think both Carolyn and Nigel are very inspiring. I think I have almost all their music. My ambition if I ever have spare money:) is to go on one of her workshop weekends
Do let us know how it went won't you?

Mumov2 said...

I want to go....that sounds like a brilliant weekend...any spaces left!
Gurnie xx

TutleyMutley said...

Thanks for the wellwishes you all. I remember you saying before how much you liked Carolyn's music, ambermog! I'll be sure to blog on't, dot dot dot.
And, Gurnie, why not give Carolyn a ring?

lilypily said...

Wish I could come too. It sounds amazing. :)