Sixteen members of the Women of Westminster from the Westminster Unitarian Church of East Greenwich, RI recently held our 15th Annual Retreat. We are doing the sessions for “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” during our regular weekly meetings so we were inspired to have a Goddess theme for our retreat.
For an individual activity, women chose a goddess card from The Goddess Tarot deck by Kris Waldherr, read the meaning of the card, and then read about the goddess in The Book of Goddesses by Kris Waldherr.
For a two-hour group session we used Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women over Fifty by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD. We focused on Part 1 of the book “Her Name Is Wisdom”. We divided into four groups for Hestia, Hecate, Sophia , and Metis. Each group had access to the meditation on page 70 of the book and a summary of some of the information about the goddess. After 30 minutes to prepare each group presented to the rest of us a role-play or guided meditation exploring the Wisdom offered by their goddess.
We had a lovely ritual with a chakra blessing using a goddess for each area. And of course we sang our favorite goddess songs, including, “Opening Up” found in Circle of Song by Kate Marks, and “Sacred Pleasure” from the CD Goddess Chant: Sacred Pleasure by Shawna Carol.
We had two hands-on activities for the weekend. One was decorating goddess coloring book pages from
The women loved the simple line drawings and glued on colored paper, fabric and ribbon scrapes, etc. to decorate them.
The second project was to create goddess sculptures using Crayola Model Magic. This medium is great fun to work with. It is not sticky or messy and does not smell. One to two ounces per person is plenty to make a six-inch long goddess (see photo). Small items (1-2 oz.) held their shape well. Larger upright items (4-8 oz.) had a tendency to sink a bit with gravity as they dried. It is sturdy enough to take home right after making it and air-dries in 24 hours. You can draw on it with markers or paint it.
Model Magic is available in craft stores such as A.C.Moore and Michael’s. The most economical way to purchase it for a large group is the 2-pound tubs (white or natural are good choices). However our group of 16 women enjoyed having the different colors available in the variety half-ounce craft packages. We used 28 half-ounce packages (two boxes with 14 each of different colors) and one two-pound tub. (We used the craft store 50% off coupons to reduce the price!)
Our group has done the Cakes curriculum several times over the years and we feel truly blessed to have entered into the world of the goddess.