As I wave a smudge stick around the woman’s head that is sitting next to me, I repeat to her: I, Alexandria, daughter of Angela, daughter of Concetta, welcome you to the circle-
You’re probably thinking, what the heck is “the circle”? Our opening ritual consists of a container of 21 women whom I had briefly met moments before, most who have traveled from around the country to join together in this Moon Magic Retreat, tucked away and nestled up in the Catskill Mountains.
What’s the point of this circle? To be able to connect to these women’s divine feminine and connect as sisters. Our container is safe, free from judgment, harm or negativity as we set intentions for the upcoming astrological cycle, dig deep to find our soul purpose, attend workshops in moon-sign astrology, and story-tell.
Hmm, sounds a little “woo-woo” right? At first, that’s what I thought too, but a woo-woo get-away made me feel a bit high, high on life.
Let us rewind for a moment, to the weeks leading up to this retreat and what they looked like:
Flights to Miami, work, party, network, do we have time to eat? More flights, work, emails, contracts, phone calls, Dr. appointments, clean house, manage my team, manage my schedule, weddings, family reunions, ship out products to costumers, don’t forget to clean brushes every night, meditate for 5 minutes, hop on another plane, 10-12 hours on set days, who has time for sleep? Not I. Shit, did I pick up the cat litter?
My calendar fills up pretty quickly. I absolutely love the hustle but it’s nice to take some time out to reconnect. Engaging in nature and stillness for a significant length of time can be an ultimate de-stresser. Silence is something I’m constantly and actively seeking out. Silence is precious.
You can only imagine the relief I felt when my job for Saturday and Sunday canceled after several weeks of non-stop going. I found myself sending out a self-care SOS.
Typically, I’d love a good spa day. But this time I wanted to experience something different such as immerse myself in nature and learn how to read my astrology birth chart. I’m an eternal student and love to learn new things, especially about myself.
The weeks leading up to the retreat, I was constantly hearing about Ruby Warrington, a well-known fashion journalist who now is the Founder and Goddess of The Numinous, and author of Material Girl, Mystical World. During my visits to Miami, Orlando, and New York multiple sources brought her to my attention and voiced that I should find time to hear her speak. OK, Universe, I hear you loud and clear, I’m on it!
I googled to see what event’s she had going on and coincidentally she was hosting a retreat with the beautiful, spiritual writer and healer, Alexandra Roxo in the Catskill Mountains on the weekend that my job had canceled- YES. Except, when I clicked to sign up for the retreat, it’s SOLD OUT. Ugh! I’m being CALLED to attend this retreat. It’s as if the Universe is urging me to go. It’s so close to home and there are so many signs pointing me there. For some reason, the idea of this Moon Magic Retreat made me nervous yet excited at the same time. That’s a clear sign for me that it’s something I must explore. Thankfully the night before, Maha Rose North made an exception and allowed me to attend. Whew. Now, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what I call- The Law Of Attraction.
Driving up there straight from a job, as makeup, glitter, and lipgloss is covering my hands, I’m not sure what to think. I already decided I was letting go of any expectations. So I turn the speakers up in my car as I tune out and sing along to Aerosmith- Dream On, because why not? “Dream it till’ your dreams come true” (Cue Guitar.)
As I walked on site to Maha Rose North, one thought kept repeating in my head. “Trust the process, trust the universe.” I heard this over and over in my mind.
Opening ritual with Alexandra and Ruby to open the container for a weekend retreat spent digging deep to find your soul purpose. We ate a delicious vegan and gluten free meal while doing partner work, asking others why they came here. This was not meant for conversation, this was a practice to learn the importance of LISTENING to others. It’s more powerful than speaking. We lit candles in a circle, one by one, as we stated what our intention will be for the New Moon this weekend. We then placed our candles on an altar where we also placed our crystals, flowers, jewelry & anything that held importance to us.
Ruby gave us an astrological work book and printed out our birth charts. Our birth chart is a map of the sky at the exact moment of our birth. In order to receive your birth chart, you need your:
Ruby explained in depth how to open up to astrology to use as a tool for aligning with your Soul Purpose. We studied our Sun sign, Moon sign, and Rising sign which helped us learn our personality types, our emotional needs, and how we may come off to others. This is the perfect tool to use for personal development.
For a free version of your own birth chart, you can visit www.astrostyle.com
After a delicious vegan lunch, Alexandra led us into a meditation. This wasn’t your typical guided meditation like the ones you may listen to on YouTube. I quickly found myself with my knees pressed up, rolling around my yoga mat with my eyes closed, breathing in deep then exhaling sighs of any emotion we needed to “release”.
Then Alexandra partnered us up with another Goddess from “our circle.” She had our partners sit directly across from us on our yoga mat. We were instructed to hold each other’s gaze, staring into each other’s left eye, and to breathe in sync while connecting our breath. You can only imagine how uncomfortable this was. This was the first moment I truly felt uneasy and awkward.
Breathe in, Breath out, connect, continue to breathe in sync, hold each other’s gaze without any judgment, breathe in, breathe out, support each other, breath in, breath out, you are safe, you are loved.
Then something extraordinary happened.
Breathe in- and this time upon exhaling we are instructed to release any blockages and deep rooted emotions we’ve been holding back. Within seconds, my heart is pounding, I’m feeling hot, and tears are streaming down my face. What is happening? I am crying and screaming, still holding that gaze into my partner’s eye. I am releasing grief, sadness, sorrow, guilt, frustration, and anger, a lot, a lot of anger. All while staying connected to our partner’s eye and breath. Breathe in, breathe out. I start to calm down. We shut our eyes and go back into our meditation.
Yoga & Swim break – woo!
After our yummy dinner, (first time eating a black bean burger and I loved it!) we are led back into another guided meditation. This one may not have been as intense as the last one but still magical. At the end of this meditation, we envision ourselves walking up a beautiful set of stairs with a fire burning at the top. At that fire, we are to release our old traumas and negativity. Alexandra then instructs us to open up our eyes and silently walk outside to a beautiful bonfire. There is nothing better than a good bonfire on a summer night in the Catskill Mountains, especially one that we are dropping all of our old negativity into, on the night of the Leo New Moon. Bye Boo!
The New Moon is a time to get still and centered with one’s self. It’s a time to get quiet and focus on your intuition, the new ideas that come to mind, and what seeds you want to plant next. This is the time to set new intentions, start with a fresh beginning and stir up creativity.
To help indulge in a New-Moon ritual you can:
-Journal. Write down what you would like to release and what your new intention is.
-Light a candle
-Light some sage
-Read (I highly recommend Ruby’s book: Material Girl, Mystical World)
We gather around the circle once more. This time it is to share stories. Love stories, sad stories, Goddess stories, whatever you want to share. I shared a story about my Dad. I owe so much to him, miss him dearly and do my very best to honor him. RIP PAPA DUKES!
Leaving the retreat, I’m feeling:
-A little bit of sadness, mostly because I’m going to miss my New Moon Soul Sisters that I connected with, on a whole other level of deepness
-Itchy. (I was bitten 100x by mosquitoes near the bonfire the night before)
Overall after this journey, I am feeling empowered. I have found a new love for “retreats”. On this particular retreat, shit got real. I definitely feel an internal shift after confronting deep parts of myself, I’m not sure I knew even existed. This was work. The way I see it is sometimes having time for self-care or self-love isn’t always a trip to the spa. Get in tune with your inner self, especially when it is involving the cosmos and moon cycle. Mindful getaways can offer so much more opportunity to become grounded than your Instagram worthy vacation. Thankfully, we are in an age (the “Now Age” as Ruby would say) of health and wellness. Wellness and spiritual retreats are having a serious moment right now, most that don’t require a passport to satisfy your need to “escape.” Whether it’s culminating in a Moonlight Ritual or camping under the stars in the mountains, there are many ways to show yourself some self-love.
What I am grateful most is for my new cosmic crew of ladies, who I hope to remain in touch with. These ladies along with Alexandra and Ruby have taught me such valuable lessons in only 3 days. I thank them for the most incredible experience and memories that brought out pure magic. Namaste.
To Join Moon Club visit www.MoonClub.Co
For other Retreats visit www.maharose.com/collections/maha-rose-north-retreats