THE ART OF MIRRORING: There is an art to hearing a story as well as telling one. Mirroring is a collection of skills employed in receiving, embracing, and honoring each others’ stories. In mirroring, we neither project nor interpret but rather celebrate the magic of the story and the gifts of the One Who Bears the Tale. We help the storyteller glean-harvest-reap the jewels, the dark ones as well as those that sparkle.
The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring are invaluable practices on the descent to soul. Although much of the descent is solitary, gathering with others in council can make all the difference in finding our way. In the mirror of another, our eyes are opened to aspects of both our gifts and our challenges that we might not have seen otherwise. We are encouraged and inspired to drop into realms that are scary, edgy, darkly alluring, mysterious, and ecstatic — dangerous, yes, but keenly aligned with our deepest longings. During council and through mirroring, we serve as consorts for each other’s mysteries. We are supported to track threads of our soul story that, during the intensive or later, can be amplified as we wander on the land or surrender ourselves to movement or dance, or expressed through poetry or other arts. Council and mirroring can crack us open to irrefutable truths about our core nature and our connection to the Others, the larger field in which our councils occur. During council, we track synchronies with the other-than-human world that surrounds us (animal appearances, for example, or weather shifts, or the quality of the light). And we unearth common archetypal themes that appear within our own human circle. All this helps us better perceive the threads of our individual soul stories and our unique ways of belonging to the world.
Through the Art of Mirroring, we learn to listen as if our lives depend on it (they do). We hone our ability to detect the magnificence and mythic qualities in our own and others’ stories. We listen for unique soul threads that might appear in a repeated theme, a tone, aspects of sacred woundings, dreams, unique imagery, archetypal dimensions of the journey, or tracks of shadow material.
A circle of fellow pilgrims, witnessing and mirroring us, helps us understand where we are on the journey to soul and supports us to take our next steps — from our initial preparation for the descent, to the leaving of “home” and the courageous abandonment of our old story, to our hazardous and ecstatic encounters with numinous mysteries, to the gathering up of mysterious treasures, and, finally, the return to our communities with a vision to perform in service to the larger web of life.
This is an all-camping program for those who desire to camp. Participants will be meeting at Taft Gardens each morning for the Program and camping each night at Lake Casitas Campground (a 5 minute drive from the Gardens). Price includes campground fees, however participants can arrange their own nightly lodging if desired.
We invite participants to arrive at the Lake Casitas campground the evening before we commence (February 11th) to get settled.
TAFT GARDENS, OJAI, CALIFORNIA
Taft Gardens is located near the wild edge of the Pacific Ocean. The gardens include 15 acres of South African and Australian succulents giving the land a wild feel to it. The gardens open up to several hundred acres of oaks, pine, eucalypt, and a variety of grasses and ponds, and is home to eagle, hawk, scrub jay, hummingbird, woodpecker, lizard, snake, bear, bobcat, mountain lion. It is nestled at the edge of the Los Padres National Forest and looks out upon the Topa Topa mountains.