Submitted by: Wynter Wonderland <email@example.com>
On September 16-19th , the 14th Annual Gaea Goddess Gathering (GGG) was held at the beautiful Camp Gaea Retreat Center. This year approximately 150 women and young ladies gathered to honor and celebrate The Nine Muses, 2010’s chosen Goddesses. Many activities went on such as rituals, workshops, concert, merchants, evening fires, and a silent auction.
This event is held every year during the third weekend of September. Founded by Carrie Moonstar and Rosalie Vaught in 1997, this event has evolved into a wonderful 4 day long event that focuses on the celebration of the Goddess in every woman. Each year a new Goddess and theme is chosen to honor and learn about, allowing each women to find her own spiritual connection.
Gaea Goddess Gathering is dedicated to honoring the Goddess within and all around us and to that end we feature several rituals during our event. The goal of our open rituals is to create a strong community of women for the duration of GGG so that we can all take the lessons, joy and strength back home with us to help guide our lives for the next 12 months.
To facilitate that goal, we have three major rituals throughout the festival. Opening Ritual is on Thursday night and is used to create a strong sacred space that contains elements to protect us and the camp from negative outside energy and to aid release of any negative energy the participants may wish to rid themselves during ritual or healing and a cleansing process to help women shed the outside world and prepare themselves for a weekend focused on themselves. The extents of the Sacred Circle is the entirety of Camp Gaea’s boundaries. Main Ritual on Saturday night honors the year’s chosen Temple Goddess to invoke the wisdom and blessings she imparts and is often interactive with the participants. Closing Ritual on Sunday is when we all gather to thank the Goddess for her blessings and protection, discuss the event, hug, laugh, and then close our sacred circle.
In addition to our main rituals, every morning at the Dining Hall we have our Morning Glory Ritual where we welcome the new day, recharge our Sacred Circle and get ready to face a new day of spiritual growth and fresh possibilities.
The festival offers a wide variety of workshops encompassing:
- Psychic Development
- Hands-on Artistic Creations
- Herbal Mysteries
- Rhythmic Dance
- Maiden Workshops
- Goddess Lore
With workshops focused on inner strength, to connecting with others outside our realm, to singing, dancing, and writing, there was sure to be something for everyone. This year we had the honor and pleasure of Annie Cherry presenting a fun and sexy workshop on burlesque dancing. The women even got to make and wear their very own pasties!
Big Bad Gina was there to present a wonderful workshop on being each other’s muses. These lovely ladies created a chant that allowed each of us to create one unified voice. As a last minute decision, this chant was worked into the concert the following evening!
We have had many great musical talents join us each year. From Wendy Rule, to SJ Tucker, to Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso, each band has rocked the pavilion. This year we were honored to have Big Bad Gina. These three ladies from Fayetteville, AR rocked the house Saturday night with their unique blend of harmony and funky style of music, intertwined with sexy, sultry tunes that made the women hit the dance floor.
Renee Janski, Melody Griffis, and Jori Costello are Big Bad Gina. Together these ladies use their wide variety of musical talents to create their own sounds ranging from jazz, to rock, and yes, even country! They recently released their first CD titled “Amazon Warrior Princess” and GGG was lucky enough to be among the first to have them for sale!
We will definitely be asking Big Bad Gina to join us again, possibly even next year!
As always GGG welcomes merchants to come and share their products whether they be handmade or retail. This year we had several merchants with a wide variety of items such as books, crafts, jewelry, décor, apparel, candles, and much much more. We had the community fire each night tended by The Women of the Flame who did an awesome job building the fire and keeping them bright and beautiful. A silent auction was held which a large part of GGG’s fundraising. We had many great items donated by several women. GGG also provides a meal plan available for purchase and our wonderful kitchen witches provided us with a fantastic Greek feast on Saturday night inspired by The Nine Muses.
Gaea Goddess Gathering is meant to be a place of fun, relaxation, and spiritual experiences. We recognize each woman is different and it is our hope that each woman brings with them what they need to get the best out of this event, and each woman leaves feeling she has reconnected with her inner Goddess.