I know, I know… a beautiful Blue Racer may not be the most ideal marketing tool, considering the aversion so many — too many — folks feel when a snakes suddenly reveals its secret presence. But this scaly beast’s fluid movement had mankind recognizing the creative life force and fertility as well as duality symbolized by serpents from The Beginning . Associated with some of the oldest rituals known, snakes shed their skin, becoming entirely new creatures, making them potent figures of rebirth, transformation, immortality and Healing. “Sometimes snakes can’t slough. They can’t burst their old skin,” the writer DH Lawrence reminds us. “Then they go sick and die inside the old skin, and nobody ever sees The New Pattern. It needs a real, desperate recklessness to burst your old skin at last. You simply don’t care what happens to you. If you rip yourself in two, so long as you Get Out.” Sure there’s work to be done, trudging and sloughing and even bursting involved, but the result is a renewal, of mind, body, and Spirit, and advancement from the stagnant past into the new energetic and vital.

That’s the work that went on here this weekend during our monthly Ceremonial gathering. I’ve told so many of these weekend success stories from my own perspective, I thought I’d leave this one up to the people. “Last evening was Fantastic,” wrote Wild Heart Guide J. Scott Campbell. “Love the power of the energy that gets going at Higher Haven.” Scott is truly a Force of Nature and you’ll have to come out and discover what his Forest Therapy Walks — inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or "Forest Bathing”— are all about. I’ll close with Mindy’s takeaway, a new community member who experienced her first visit here. We’ll be doing it again next month, along with our Medicinal Herb Walk Weekend, Summer Wednesday Meditation class, and other happenings into the late Summer and early Fall. Toksha, Until then.

"The Higher Haven Retreat Center is a truly wonderful and majestic place. The property is breathtaking and the retreat house has one feeling instantly at ease. Paul is an incredibly gracious host and a joy to converse with. Upon arrival and getting settled in, Higher Haven immediately felt like a home away from home. The overnight retreat culminated in an ancient Ceremony that led to an overwhelming feeling of release and being born anew. It felt like everyone in attendance had all bonded and become a little community. The celebratory feast after was fresh, healthy, and delicious, as was the food provided throughout the entire retreat. My experience at Higher Haven was one on I look back upon fondly. It truly is a place above all others. I want to thank Paul for facilitating such a healing experience, and look forward to returning!" – M.R.