Heart of the Great Lady

Join Us for a Painting and Prayer Retreat into the Heart of the Great Lady

The heartbeat of the Great Lady can be heard throughout the land. Listen deeply with the ear of the heart….She is already waiting at the door.

Blessed is the one that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors… Proverbs 8:34 – Said by Wisdom

In this time of epiphany and paradox each of us is seeking that which will see us through. To sustain us and guide us on the path. The light is often blinding, and the darkness often consuming, the feeling of being stretched can feel to great to bear. Have you been having a few of those moments lately? My dear friend Christine Arylo and I have been having those moments ourselves, and the women we work with have spoken – it is time to gather. This is why we are calling a Circle of 13 women together for Luna: Our Lady Lodge.

As for me, I have been feeling like the drying skin on the head of the frame of the drum. The skin laces in the back are tightly woven to create a resonant sound when it is played upon, at some point in the future. But first there is this heating, stretching and drying time. A point of feeling almost as if I might break – how much more can I take? The contrast of the love and the beauty with the shadow and the suffering has to find its place within me. Am I up for the task? No I am not.

At least not on my own. I will need my community of women sisters and men of heart, my fellow Priestesses and, the Great Lady to rise shilohmccloud-15c35c11-f4bc-47fc-860c-15ee58b7f0c2-v2within me and I am certain a fair degree of ritual and intentional creativity will be called for. At the right is a painting I did called Our Lady Sings A Lullaby to the Endangered Species. SO GRIEVED am I by all the ignorance and loss I felt close to bursting when I heard the list of lost species read at a Jennifer Berazan concert, but I was in a Color of Woman workshop so I didn’t have time to break down and break through – so. I painted Her in the weeee hours and was relieved of my burden. Lightness filled my heart through painting the pain I was feeling inside.

To survive and thrive during uncertain times, I will need guidance, creative spiritual practice and the gifts of the collective wisdom to show me where to turn and how to expand into the grace – and to make room for what is coming through. It feels like a lot is coming through, that needs to be brought to the light and healed but we have to be ready. How do we get ready? Well, Christine and I make ourselves ready through our committed spiritual practices which we would like to share with you at LUNA: Our Lady Lodge. We are thriving in our lives, because our spiritual life is nurtured and tended as a daily part of our practice. This is what provides the strength and vision to continue to serve our communities. And frankly – the desire to share with others.

Here are a few things I know, though I don’t now much else right now, I feel helplessly co-dependent with the Universe, leaning into Her great starry hem asking to be lifted…and She does:

* We cannot go through this alone (and we don’t have to!)

* We need to be expressing through creativity to discover how to ‘hold’ the energy of what is coming through us and the Universe. (there is are guided processes that can help us expand in grace)

* There is a grace beyond reason, held in and poured forth from the pure heart of the Blessed Mother, Our Great Lady, that is available to us all the time at all times. (Even if you don’t know what that means, or how to access her, She is there no matter what and alwashilohmccloud-dc8cbc88-edf9-46ce-9b90-e45a3b5d5708-v2ys has been.)

This is the time of the great wheel turning when we are asked to CHOOSE how we will show up and what our part is in the great turning. We are in this together and each of us needs to choose what piece of the red thread we are holding and healing in ourselves. This is a huge part of this journey to know our part and to heal that which might be in the way. This is why we called a Lodge – because we can FEEL it is time to gather – and for us to be nurtured by sacred space, sacred food, sacred creating. Are you feeling that heartbeat? Stop and listen….we have a video on this page that will help you make a choice that we recorded in my little art studio, The Red Thread Bungalow.

I am always fascinated when Holy Days, holidays, coincide with big astrological happenings. This week we have been moving into the darkest time in the calendar year and the space of the heart, for those of us who follow the path of Christ to the cross. At my church, The Protection of the Virgin, on Saturday night at midnight we begin to celebrate the Resurrection, but for now we are in the tomb. On Monday we reach the appex of the Grand Cross happening astrologically – can you feel it? I feel like calling this era: The time of the great stretching.

There is a combination of HUMMM and HMMMM all throughout the land. Connection and inquiry side by side. This time is less about answers and more about asking the right questions. But there is also a way to navigate these challenges – vibration, resonance….sound cosmic? Well it is.

There is resonance that we can to TUNE into and be a part of. But often we feel anxiety, instability and a racing feeling in our heart and tummie. We have to tune in, so that we can get connected in the ways our soul and body are calling us to and this happens in connection to the earth, and HER. Christine and I both agree we NEED a true connection into the heart of the GREAT MOTHER – the Blessed Lady. She who has known greatest joy and greatest suffering. She who calls herself, Blessed of all Generations. Re-mothering is something we all need in our lives and often our earth mamas are not available for that – but SHE who is, IS available. And wouldn’t it be so amazing to create your OWN icon of her, no painting experience needed. This is a step by step process called the Color of Woman Method (you might have heard of it) – that makes it possible for ANY woman to create a painting. The Lady will guide your brush and reveal to you the next steps in the painting and on your healing journey.

Every Easter for many yeashilohmccloud-848db6df-097d-41f2-8a6b-eb9e7fc31a2b-v2rs Christine and I experience this co-together tomb experience and we keep checking, are you in or out now? Is it dark in there – are you cold? Let me come keep you warm. Is the light coming yet, are you out of the tomb?

We are testing our spiritual temperature together, watching, listening, witnessing in each our own way, HOW the energy moves during this season of darkness, and light and new life. I feel so grateful to have a friend with which I can explore this terrain. We are fellow Preistesses, but also just girl-friends. We have matching wine glasses with Rhinestone Crowns, scarves, polar bears and now fuzzy pink pillows. We are silly, and serious. We are into creating ritual, and extreme pleasure. We walk between the worlds, it is what is natural for us and that is why we are teachers, artists, and visionaries because we express those two worlds through our offerings and our very beings. And, we are both at the point in our lives where we are willing to share what we have been exploring with you at a new level – but we want to do it together. To call a lodge in the Valley of the Moon and share our paths with you and invite you to share yours with us. The shared wisdom of our circle will be a gift to all of us and prepare us for the days ahead.

While Christine and I approach the JC (Jesus Christ) and Mother Mary from different perspectives, we find a place right in the heart of theshilohmccloud-e58a8e41-f8ff-4e9e-8cb3-d2a238f43c02-v2 matter where individual beliefs or differences disappear and we enter the heart of reconciliation, which occurs like grace in our friendship. Wherever you are on your path, you are welcome here. YES there is an emphasis on the Blessed Mother and yes we will also explore the Wisdom Scriptures, but you come just as you are. And attend church with me on Sunday if you choose 🙂

Christine is the friend I don’t have to worry about getting too ‘spiritual’ with because she is just as out there as I am! I feel SO BLESSED by her friendship – we met many many moons ago at my gallery in Mendocino, Wisdom House and then she came and found my at my church in Oakland where I was still a part of the ministry team, and not long after that we became friends, perhaps you have heard the story, and you can hear it with us in circle if you join us in May for Our Lady Lodge.

2014 Phoenix Vision QuestThis is our second time to really combine our energies like this.
Last year we held a powerful in person a Vision Quest together called Phoenix that combined our two spiritual mojo magical Mama energies. It was an incredible experience for us and for the 35 women who joined us. So we felt the call again to ask you if you want to come and sit in our circle. We will be combining our wisdom, of painting and catalytic ritual. As well as something we both study – The Medicine Wheel. Oh, there is so much we have planned for you dear one. Come see what it is all about here – it is happening May 22-25. Most of all you just need to feel it is right for you…and only you know that.

This is Lady Lodge – we we are gathering together to sit in counsel together, and yes, it is at my home, Chateua Sophia, where the video below was recorded. We just moved here to Kenwood in December and are enjoying the space of the Mayacamas and Sugarloaf Ridge and Jack London Park right here in wine country and that Native energies that are present on this land. We cannot wait to have you here with us enjoying the sun and the stars.

We will each be doing personal sacred work while in the collective energy. Each woman will be focusing her creative energy into one thing she is choosing heal. And bring onto the altar of Our Lady. Perhaps this will begin to reveal itself to you right now –

What it is that has been hanging on that is ready to be transformed?shilohmccloud-8457d49e-940f-44c9-a07d-3e88e6d0ee8f-v2

Is there one wound that you feel is holding you back?

Do you feel a separation between you and the feminine that you want to explore?

If you could choose to heal one thing in your life right now, what would it be?

We will bring your prayers to the altar in the Garden of Our Lady. Jonathan and I have been outside this morning getting ready by building an outdoor altar right next to the grotto and planting even more flowers. There are 65 rose bushes here, we tend them and bless them since the previous owner Dorothy tended them here for over 30 years – she loved Our Lady so much and I even got to pray with her in front of the Grotto on her last day in this home. Yes I know it is wild that the house we ended up moving to had a grotto for Our Lady – guess who made that happen. (not me) Dorothy even said to me, She sent you here. I said yes, she did.

So much goodness, in addition to painting your own Icon of the Blessed Mother (outdoors in the garden on easels) we will also be enjoying incredible feasts by my sweetie pie Jonathan Lewis who is a master chef. The food is an important part of this experience, and once you taste this cooking you will know why. We have been busy buying plates and glasses and beautiful things for the Feast table. And we will be going on a mountaintop wine tasting tour and enjoying what the Valley of the Moon has to offer – including lovely hikes in the sacred mountains here.

After the stretching on the head of the drum, comes the music that can be played. So. If the Great Lady is calling you, join us for LUNA: Our Lady Lodge.

Blessings upon your Easter time. Whatever this time is for you – there is healing available, a time or resurrection and remembering.

Signed with Red Thread and Rose Petals,
Shiloh Sophia


This turning towards what you deeply love, saves you.