In October 2018, some lucky women made a joyful trek to the Dekoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin for a weekend of reflection, singing, writing and growth. Mary Grace ("M.G.") Bertulfo was our dynamic keynote speaker, workshops were offered, massages signed up for, vendor wares purchased, raffle prizes claimed, old freiends reunited, new friends made, and a rousing good time was had by all. The element we honored was "fire;" the fire of passion, the fire that cleanses, the fire that destroys, the fire in each of us.

The Dekoven Center has a nurturing environment. We gathered in the large conference room for the opening ritual Friday night. We had great meals. Dekoven could accommodate almost any diet and went out of their way to meet our needs. There was a distinct Halloween theme in the air with lots of orange and witches' hats. Very festive. Our workshops included a wonderful variety. One workshop was an introduction to using Tarot. Another was the opportunity to make a grimoire. A third offered singing for justice and ourselves. AND! We had evening drumming and singing. Dekoven is big enough that you can always find a spot to do what you want. If drumming isn't your thing, but a nice quiet dialogue with a friend is, you will always be able to find a cozy out-of-the-way spot to talk. MG helped us to realize the importance of speaking not only our own truth, but also to reflect others' truth in our writing as a gift to them. As women, we can use all the empowering we can get! I cannot say enough about the beauty of connecting with others at these retreats. As you meet new friends, and continue to see them through the years, there is an unbreakable thread of strength and joy woven into your life: a new well and resource of satisfaction from which you can draw strength and hope. It is deeply gratifying to raise your voice in prayer, in power, and in healing for the beings our planet.

Our next weekend is being planned for May 31 - June 2, 2019. We will honor the element of water. I hope to connect with you there.~ Pat Hyams

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