THE INTENTION OF OUR LODGE
For us it’s about making sure that the next generation is fully and harmoniously integrated into themselves, their bodies, their families, their communities and into nature. So they grow up to be happy, strong, and fully functional for themselves, their tribe and families.
The purpose of this is so life works in a good and becoming way and that this carries on into the future and down the generations.
In traditional tribes they would spend a huge amount of time and energy into holding their young people and initiating them because the cost of not doing that is greater.
So not only are we teaching and guiding them, we are giving them the new pattern and that is what culture is.
We are creating new cultural patterns.
We had a vision, a collective vision, part of which each of us had held for many years, in our own way, in our own life. We came together and that vision began to unfold. Our vision was a sacred lodge, a tribal lodge, to create something similar to the native lodges, where women, mothers, grandmothers passed on the women’s wisdom and traditions to their daughters. Where girls would be honoured and celebrated.
We realised that this did not exist in this culture, so we understood that to manifest this dream we would have to do it ourselves. So we began the work, dreaming, visioning, circling, healing, creating and re – learning to enable us to hold such a space.
We did’nt have a map,as we did not know of any other lodge or circle in this country, so we looked to the indigenous cultures of other lands for guidance, we listened to the deep knowing held in our bones, we made offerings of gratitude to the land , and received guidance from the Earth mother. We weaved our collective wisdom and skills.
We created something unique in this culture(whilst there are other girls groups and mother and girl red tent days, none of them are offering the unique mix of nature connection, women’s wisdom, mentoring, peer support…etc), we created something truly beautiful that the girl’s ( and mothers) love! And we would love to see more lodges being birthed, and we want to share our learnings and skills with you. (workshops will be coming soon…keep in touch!)
What became apparent was that women are busy, very busy and it’s difficult to find the time to hold our selves…let alone our girls. Our original vision had been a lodge where all the mothers, grandmothers, women held the girls, but we realised that in this busy culture, this is not possible (hopefully as this society moves into a culture of sharing and connection this will change) So as a core group that could clearly see how important and how needed our lodge was, we offered to hold the lodge, to be the ‘elders’ and we asked the mothers to commit to attending once a month for a day with their daughters. We ask no more that they come and bring a few bits- lunch, warm clothes, a journal and on occasion some natural objects and donations. As the core group, we would plan and hold the group.
We offer mentoring for both the women and the girls.
In the morning the women sit in circle with Rachael and Do.
The girls have their own lodge outside on the land, and they are held by Emma, Jenny and Robyn.
Mentoring the women- Sitting in circle
Do and Rachael are able to hold the womens space from their years of experience of being part of, and holding womens circles, groups, moon lodges and red tents over the years. We share our womens wisdom, offer ceremonies, and an opportunity for therapeutic sharing and self enquiry.
Some of the mothers have chosen to go deeper by joining Rachaels Thirteen Moons Journey.
Women holding theses spaces need to be in their truth and power, they need to have spent time sitting in circle, they need to have been honoured and celebrated by their tribe, for if they have not, how can they be with girls? How can you pass on what you don’t have?
So the women are mentored and held by one another in circle, slowly and gently going though the past, sharing the joys and wounds of our childhoods, wrapping our bundles, meditating on Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth, our inner heart and womb spaces, creating “catch up” ceremonies, taking time on the land to connect with the earth and ourselves, witnessing one another and gradually stepping into our power.
There are lots of opportunities both within the circle sharing and over breaks and lunch to discuss the issues we all face as mothers- social media, food issues, body image, make up, bra’s, menstrual products….and how we open up these topics with our girls. Some things are discussed within the afternoon sharing session with the mothers and daughters, some are kept as part of the womens circle.
Mentoring the girls – connecting to the land, to each other and themselves.
Many of the problems facing young girls today is their disconnection from themselves, which is in fact a disconnection from life and nature… Nature Deficit Disorder.
Once, through reconnecting they gain a sense of their higher purpose and regain their sense of belonging, and therefore trust in life, they feel whole, they can hear their inner voice and intuition clearly, they are grounded in the reality of being alive on this sweet earth and they sense they have a purpose and they can allow their flow to guide them on their journey.
Through connecting to Earth, spirit, love and their natural cycles they can discover who they really are.
If they can come through these powerful years with their sense of their natural self and connection intact, they are more likely to find their right path in life amongst all the challenges of living in this modern age.
So this is the aim of the mentors that hold the girls outside. Using our years of experience:
Emma’s experience coming from running her ‘Becoming Native’ project, including children’s lodges and storytelling. “This is why I feel stories are vital, as they begin to push away from us as parents, we can still reach them with stories, comfort and love.” Emma – talesfromtheeartheart.com
Robyn as a forest school leader, leather craft worker and with her skills at bush craft.
Jenny with her knowledge and talent for ancient crafts, love of the land and games.
We guide the mornings, so that the girls have time to simply be on the land through nature connection and awareness, hold ceremonies and teachings that weave women’s wisdom and teachings with Earth awareness. Give them time to share with and listen deeply to each other and to speak their truth. Weave in the spirit of adventure, indigenous teachings and storytelling, wellness, a sense of there emerging natural selves and sense of purpose.
Issues that have come up for us to face…
The biggest issue was money! We have expenses- rent, materials and those of us holding the space wanted to be paid something for our skills and our time!
We quickly learned that the best way to tackle issues was to discuss them as a group- so we circled with the mothers and came up with a price that everyone felt comfortable paying. We were also lucky enough to get start up funding from the National Lottery and the Earth Pathways Diary Seed Fund.
Resistance– yes, theres is always resistance to re-patterning, new ways of being, opening up and being vulnerable. But with a good facilitator and solid ways of working, these can be pushed through. (we use the method of circling as taught in The Way of The Council)
Technology– As adults we have ‘grown up’ with todays technology, we are the first generation to witness computers and tablets in every home and mobile phones in every pocket. We have had to learn for ourselves our personal boundaries around these gadgets, which we can see clearly are highly addictive. Whilst we honour and recognise the power and usefulness of modern technology, we also hold a boundary of sacredness around our lodge and the land- which includes no technology on lodge days, with the exception of phones/cameras for photos!