Yeah, I had so much fun at the conference. I have next year's dates (august 27 - 29, 2010) all blocked off. I attended my first conference four years ago and I have no intention of missing one. This year their was a record 575 women in attendance. For more info check out Sage Mountains website.
Oldest and I headed out Friday morning in the clouds. We arrived right at 10 when registration started. We set up the tent while the sun was still shining and headed for check in and to buy t-shirts. If you want a t-shirt you must arrive early and shop early (like in the first hour for any selection). T-shirts in hand we checked in and received our packet of classes for the week end. We looked over that while enjoying our picnic lunch.
Opening circle started at 1 and the first class was at 2:30. Mz. Imani was there with her drums calling us together and raising the energy.
Oldest is in "circle within a circle" for girls 13 to 18. Her classes are all planned out. Which I sometimes envy as I choose from 11 different classes each time slot. Friday I attended Love your liver with Tammi Sweet and Using Kitchen Herbs as Analogs for Wild Native Medicinal Herbs with Tammi Hartung. I've been considering taking anatomy and physiology at the community college and if Tammi Sweet taught the class I would sign up immediately. Oldest had belly dancing and the art of felting. The rain came down during the second class and dinner had to be eaten in the cafeteria instead of on the lawn but it cleared up by night fall. Dinner choices were lasagna and salmon. The nights entertainment included Katrin, Rising Appalachia and Kellianna along with Mz. Imani and the heartbeats. We were in curled up in our sleeping bags by 11. We woke to a full rainbow.
Saturday we were up early and showered. Oldest and I visited over coffee before breakfast and looked at the classes we would be taking. I took Safe Cosmetics with Susan Hoffman and learned a few new tricks to apply to my soap making, Tools of Assessment:Reading the Body with Margi Flint (I've taken this before but it is worth taking repeatedly) and Healing through Song with Cloe and Leah Smith (from Rising Appalachia). Me singing - who would have thought. Oldest had prayer bundles, hoop dancing and moon cycles. During "free" time I watched Numen:The Nature of Plants a wonderful documentary on the healing power of plants. I would highly recommend seeing it. By this point it was raining - OK torrential down pour and oldest and her friends played in the rain. The rain was a blessing to the girls visited by the henna queens as they were able to wash that henna right out of their hair from the water pouring off the roof. It was a fun show to watch. Can I say they call it free time but it is packed with dozens of options - from films, to classes, to henna to cordial tasting. After dinner and the rain subsided a little oldest and I moved our still dry sleeping bags into the car. Everything else was wet or damp and it looked like more rain was coming. We slept dry and comfy in the back of my car with plenty of room.
Saturday night was filled with music, stories and dance. It was after midnight before we crawled into the car. Sunday we were up early and started the day much the same way. Oldest was cold and decided to skip sweat lodge and attend Early Christian Mystics and their Creative Feminine Theology taught by Candis Cantin with me. While waiting for breakfast we had a wonderfully in depth conversation about religion, spirituality, beliefs. I ran into Katie who organizes circle within a circle and she commented how much oldest has opened up in the past year. The WHC is soooo sooo good for her. The sparkle in her eyes, the friends she has made. Yahoo! My last class was Signs of the Times: Astrology for Health with Phyllis Light. It was a class on folk astrology and how it is used to plant crops and aid in diagnosis. I also bought the CD for Susun Weed's class Favorite Herbs for a High Energy Life. I listened to this to and from work on Monday and loved it. They tape all of the classes. Some people use a lot of hand outs or the white board and you can miss so much. I knew Susun Weed doesn't do this and that the CD would help me make up my mind on what class to take. Oldest had their closing circle/class. Then it was lunch and closing circle. Ten minutes after we left the rain started again.
We stopped for dinner on the way home and then it was unpacking and hanging everything to dry. The ride home was filled with song as I bought the latest CD's by all the performers. This is Katrin's best CD yet. And it is Friday and I am still excited. The classes, the women, the energy is just amazing.