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" Live out of your imagination

not your history "

Stephen R. Covey

A Healing Retreat – That’s What I need!

January 6th, 2011

For years at OBOD we’ve wanted to create a regular healing retreat, and finally we’ve managed to organize it! It’s planned for September and you don’t have to be an OBOD member to participate. We’ve personally experienced all the healers (and the cooking of Jade – who’ll be in charge of the kitchen!) and I just wish it was happening next week and not in 8 months time! Here are the details:

'The Restorers' from The Druid Plant Oracle. Illustration by Will Worthington

Natural Healing Retreat

4-10 Sept 2011

Imagine spending a week once a year attending to your body and its needs: eating a healthy cleansing diet, exercising your body with swimming, Qigong and Tai Chi, participating in Druid healing ceremonies, having massage and saunas, and daily meditations – all in a beautiful setting close to Nature.

If this appeals to you, we would like to invite you to the Order’s first Natural Healing Retreat in September this year, led by Philip Carr-Gomm and Thea Worthington. Set amongst 17 acres of beautiful woodland near St.Albans in Hertfordshire, the grounds of the Sun-Folk Society and Spielplatz will provide a peaceful setting for this week of deep relaxation designed to help you open to the healing powers of Nature and your own body.

Philip and Thea will offer guided meditations and one-to-one sessions, while practitioners in a range of healing modalities such as deep-tissue massage, aromatherapy, herbalism, cranio-sacral osteopathy, Qigong and Tai Chi will offer individual or group sessions.  A carefully designed detox diet will be available, and there will be many opportunities for deep rest, exercise and spiritual practice.

Life can be stressful and sometimes we need to take the time to remove ourselves from daily responsibilities and habits, and discover new and healthy ways of nurturing the body, mind and spirit. By working to restore our health, we will hope to transform our relationship to the body, to the self and to the food we eat.

Sun-Folk with its ancient oaks, green lawns, sauna and splash pool is a naturist paradise and a perfect setting in which to enjoy a life-changing experience. We will enjoy the full use of the resort with two large yurts to provide sleeping accommodation and workshop space. In addition, members may camp, bring their own caravan or campervan or book accommodation in a nearby hotel.

Spielplatz adjoins Sunfolk, and is the Utopian naturist resort where Nuinn used to retreat regularly, and we have arranged access to this resort too for participants, so that we can walk in the grounds which include the tallest birch trees in England, and use their large outdoor heated pool and other facilities, such as tennis and badminton courts.

Spend a week in this beautiful place surrounded by Nature, learning to listen to your body and develop skills which will help you stay in tune with its needs. Meditation helps develop self-awareness, compassion and unconditional love for ourselves and others; and an informed and healthy relationship to the food we eat can be energising and healing. A poor body image can be the cause of real distress and inhibit the possibility of discovering our wild free soul-self. Whether you are a naturist or not you are welcome to join us for the week, which will be clothing-optional. This means there is absolutely no obligation for you to be either dressed or undressed. You are totally free in this respect, and the Retreat will provide a safe, respectful and sacred place in which, if you wish, you can let go of any damaging and limiting feelings about your own body and gain a sense of real freedom to be who you truly are.

Have fun, feel supported in your journey, play in the pool, walk in the woods, share stories by the fire, eat good food…relax and enjoy this very special place of healing.

All activities will be optional. A three-day brown rice mono-fast will be available if wanted. The detox diet will be varied and delicious and will be caffeine, sugar, meat, dairy, wheat and alcohol free. The healers will present themselves and their work on the first day and participants will be free to book individual sessions scheduled each afternoon. This retreat is ideal for those wanting to restore their sense of well-being, recharge after a period of stress, or change life-style habits such as smoking. To support these aims, in addition to the work of the healers, Thea and Philip will be offering individual counselling and oracle sessions.

The retreat will be held near to one of the most significant centres in the history of magic in England – St.Albans (See references in The Book of English Magic for details). Philip will give a brief talk about this, and participants might like to visit the town and surrounding area before, during or after the retreat. We will also be a walk away from Butterfly World – a 27 acre site designed in the shape of a giant butterfly’s head, with a 100m Biome (which is due for completion in autumn 2011) as its geodesic eye. Here you can see the world’s most amazing butterfly centre, and if the biome is ready on time you will be able to see ‘Giant Maya ruins based on archaeological sites of Belize and Mexico providing the backdrop to a kaleidoscope of up to 10,000 tropical butterflies and a variety of hummingbirds and many other creatures. The Biome will be an exhibition of living flora and fauna found within the rainforests of the world, including a lost civilisation, underworld caves with insects, spiders and scorpions, canopy walkways and intermittent thunderstorms – a lost world and a truly tropical adventure.’

The cost, including all catering and group activities and four individual consultations, one with Thea, one with Philip and two with healers of your choice, is £551.

To make a reservation and pay online email or send a cheque for £100 deposit made out to OBOD to: OBOD, POBox 1333 Lewes E.Sussex BN7 1HB. The deposit is non-refundable. For the balance, cancellation at least 8 wks prior 75% refund. 8-4 wks 50%. No refund within last month.

10 Responses to “A Healing Retreat – That’s What I need!”

  1. Hi Mardoeke, by ‘present’ I guess you mean ‘introduce’: Thea Worthington is the Modron of the Order and is a friend and colleague I’ve been working with for many years now – first co-leading retreats on Iona together in the 90s when she used the name Cairistiona (under which she wrote ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Druidry’.) She is a very skilled intuitive healer and counsellor. We will be posting a list with bios of all the healers who will be on the retreat soon – I think it will be a wonderful week and I hope we can make it an annual event.

  2. Hi Philip,
    A couple of questions: What is the maximum number of people you will have at the retreat, will there be flushing toilets or a hole in the ground.
    Thanks and we hope to join you on this retreat.

    • Hi Jonathan – We think about 30 max, and there are plenty of flushing toilets and hot and cold showers in several locations in buildings with hand-basins etc., plus heated pool, two sauna buildings, etc. Great if you can come!

  3. i would love to come to this, it sounds fantastic, but its a long way from NZ……big sign…..

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