Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wild Spirit Gathering
Summer Solstice Weekend

Saturday, June 20 & Sunday, June 21

at RavenWood Forest Retreat
in Chesterfield, Mass,
in the foothills of the Berkshires

Saturday, June 20:
Women's Healing Day

Ritual, Labyrinth, Forest Magic, Sacred Art & Sound,

Healing with the Land and Fire Council.

Private sessions offered all day:

Pilates/Movement Education & Maya Abdominal Massage

Nourish Your Wild Spirit in the beauty of majestic hemlocks, verdant mosses and a gathering of healers honoring women’s wisdom, ritual & community. Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is a time to celebrate the gifts of the sun and the bounty of Mother Earth as plants take deep root and the growing season is well underway.

This time on Earth, women are returning to the ancient wisdom of our grandmothers. We have returned to rituals celebrating the cycles of the moon and sun, traditional healing techniques , herb craft, and practices that connect us with the land and our beauty. Saturday offers many ways to renew, retreat, and connect with soul-sisters and the Earth in a safe and sacred ritual space. Anneliese, Astrid and Valerianna each bring their own rich and colorful magic to the day, weaving a tapestry of deep healing and celebration of the wild spirit. RavenWood's magical forest is a sweet and gentle place to nurture your wise woman self and Sunday we gather with men and women to celebrate and welcome in summer.

On Saturday, retreat and renew on the land all day: walk the labyrinth, receive a healing session, make something at the art table, meditate in the moss garden, walk in the woods, drum and sing at the forest circle, read a book in the garden or the porch, bring your sketchbook or knitting, sip nourishing herbal teas, meet like-minded women, soak in the healing vibration of the hemlocks and ferns and listen to the singing of the tree frogs and the ancient whispering of the stones.

After dinner, we gather and share stories and women's wisdom at the evening fire council. Bring a story, poem, song, dance, or let one find you in the moment.

Sunday, June 21:

Sunrise Sacred Sound Ritual

Celebration Day- Open to all

  • Sing, chant, and dance in summer with crystal bowls, drumming and sacred sound instruments with Valerianna and Joa
  • Celebrate and retreat the rest of the day on the land
  • Private sessions available with Anneliese and Astrid on Sunday

Saturday: $35 for day including evening fire council circle. Private Sessions extra.

Sunday: $10 for Sunrise Ceremony and open retreat time on the land until 2pm


  • Register for either or both days with Valerianna. Pre-registration is preferred, however, if space is available, last minute registration is accepted by phone. Call 413-296-0330, or email:
  • For Private Sessions: Pre-register with individual practitioners to make sure you get a spot, or sign-up on Saturday.
  • Pilates/Movement Education with Anneliese: $25-$45 (for weekend) email for more information, rates and to schedule a lesson:

Testimonial: "RavenWood is an exquisite forest- it was a rare treat to spend time here. I experienced Valerianna as an authentic, clear, gracious and gifted healer." - Joan Hunt

Facilitator bios:

Anneliese Mordhorst is passionate about movement and offering lessons to people of all abilities. She is a trained PilatesInstructor with a rich background in somatic movement methods including Body-Mind Centering ® and Continuum Movement and contact improvisation. Anneliese currently offers private and group lessons in Movement Education and the Pilates method. Lessons are individualized to the needs of the client, focusing on whole body awareness, breath, movement coordination, core strength and exercises addressing areas of chronic discomfort.

Astrid Grove is a community midwife and herbalist whose passion lies in creating sacred space for women, men and children to honor and explore life cycles. She is deeply devoted to health and wellness. In her presence one feels a deep sense of calm, compassion, and wisdom. When working with Astrid, you receive the benefit of her experience and training in polarity therapy, herbal medicine, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, yoga and meditation, reiki, reflexology, holistic midwifery, and The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal MassageTM.

For more information, visit her website at:

Valerianna Claff is an artist, teacher, sound healer, storyteller, ritualist, Wild Spirit and steward of RavenWood Forest Retreat. With over 20 years teaching experience, Valerianna combines her lifelong exploration of creativity, spirituality, music and healing to invite authentic self-expression and deep transformation. Her studies and exploration of shamanic and vibrational healing techniques led to the development of her own form of shamanic sound healing.

She completed the Priestess Path Apprenticeship with ALisa Starkweather and has been a facilitator there since 2000. Valerianna presently teaches art at Clark University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She gardens, creates art in her studio and with the land, offers private healing sessions and rituals celebrating seasonal cycles. She listens deeply to the stories of the land and offers her sanctuary at RavenWood to those in need of a sacred healing space in the embrace of the sweeping hemlocks and the wild spirits of the forest.

Joa Agnello-Traista is a body worker and a voice and sound healer. She leads sound healing circles in Western Mass and Connecticut together with her husband, Julian Traista and other musicians. Julian is a sound-space maker, an instrument maker and a musician. Joa does sessions out of her home in Worthington and at an office in Florence. She is also a student of Wise Earth Ayurveda.

Additional information will be sent to you upon registration. Some details:

  • Bring a bagged lunch. Potluck dinner, grill will be available. (Bring your own plates, utensils, mug or travel mug)
  • Nourishing women's herbal teas will be offered.
  • Sunday there will be a light breakfast offering.
  • RavenWood has several indoor spaces in case of heavy rain. Saturday will be offered as a Women's Healing Temple with Sacred Spaces to retreat, be in community and council with others, exchange healing work, meditate, experience Sacred Sound, and create Art. Private sessions will be offered all day with Astrid and Anneliese. Evening council circle will be held in the yurt. Sunday's sunrise ceremony will also be in the yurt.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: There are several bed and breakfasts nearby- Inn Nature at, a bed & breakfast/yoga center. Seven Hearths, and the 1886 House are also just up the road. Check listings for Chesterfield, Worthington and Williamsburg for other options.
  • For the rustic wild spirit, tenting is allowed at RavenWood, free of charge for a spot on the forest floor. A short distance away, Indian Hollow Campground is a full-service campground. They require a reservation a few days before.