a Poetic Medicine workshopwith Birch Dwyerhosted through Zoom
Eight Wednesday MorningsOctober 5th - November 30th(skipping November 30th)10 am -12:45 pmCost: $300(Group size limited to 9)
We did not come to remain whole.We came to lose our leaves like the trees...and start again, drawing up on great roots
In fall, the sunlight takes on a new slant. Grasses and meadows golden. The air crisps. Green changes to ochre, orange and red. Leaves drop to the water.
In addition to offering up such beauty, fall provides another opportunity—to come home to our inner wisdom. In many indigenous cultures, autumn is considered the season of the wise woman. As the year draws towards its close, we can reflect on the harvest of our year, asking ourselves what we want to keep and what we want to let go. We can ask ourselves where we are being called to flow with the pathway of water.
This theme and companioning ones inspire the poems chosen for this two-month series. Each session we will share poems and write to them,in whatever writing style most pleases each writer. Sharing and writing to poems in community can be such a buoy in times of turmoil, providing a connection to our truth and creativity and sense of humor, as well to each other.
Examples of our eight weekly themes include:
From Ancient Root of Redwood, from Primal Bed of Ocean: Inviting in the Wise Woman
Lessons from Otter: Poems of Play
The Rope Let Down to the Lost: Poems for Uncertain Times
Until I Have Grown from the Rock: Poems of Hearth and Sanctuary
Our Ancient Great Aunts with Their Long Slow Eyes: The Resource of Ancestors
If the Room Spoke Back: Poems for the Spirits of Place
Here, Take the Red Brocade Pillow: Poems of Generosity
The series is inspired by Dr. Angeles Arrien’s study of the four seasons. According to Dr. Arrien, indigenous cultures widely consider fall to be the season of wisdom. This series is the fourth of four offered annually, inspired by each season.
"Your particular facilitation style was so lovely to experience. I left the session this morning awash with gratitude for you as facilitator and the circle as a whole."
"I loved Birch’s workshop. I liked her methods, which allowed more emotional response and allowed us all to go deeper. We all rode the waves smoothly with her compassionate and loving guidance. She always gives such beautiful feedback in writing circles, and that skill along with the skillful holding of space makes for a great experience." ~Dr. Karen Waters
"Birch brings me into safe community and offers a banquet of poems that enlivens my creativity. I return often and enthusiastically. Her years of training with John Fox and Angles Arrien weave through all she offers with humor, kind intelligence, and grace. With Birch I can dive deep, find the unexpected, and surface laughing." ~Peg Edera
"I totally enjoyed the experience yesterday. You held the container so beautifully. I was surprised by the emotions provoked for me by the prompts and glad to have the information about myself. I especially appreciated the attention and encouragement you gave to each writer." ~Lorraine Anderson
"I love these weekly groups because there is always a moment where you feel ready to go deeper, and it’s so good. The other women risk more as well. It’s magic. Thank you for your expert holding of space, and the nurturing environment. I don’t want it to end!" ~Bonnie Minden Ward
My gratitude to the following poets whose poems serve as inspiration for our weekly themes: Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, May Sarton, Catherine Staples and Nancy Wood.