On Returning from the Sacred Grove

"Rio Osun" by Alex Mazzeto - Jurema Oliveira (talk) 18:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC) - Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove UNESCO. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Rio Osun” by Alex Mazzeto

It’s been a few weeks since I returned from my Cherry Hill Seminary Intensive: Into the Sacred Grove. I went to the Intensive expecting days of academic instruction and more than a few glazed-eye moments. What I got was four days of comradery, learning, introspection and new friends.

The Intensive was about taking our domestic life – the things that we make – to the Sacred Grove, where we sacrifice our domesticity and are transformed by the Wild Divine. We spent the days listening to stories, creating stories of our own, sharing with each other and learning together.

We learned about what Sacred Groves where and how they were used in Ancient Greece and Rome. Then we took some time to investigate where the Sacred Groves were in our lives – those places and times where we sacrifice our things, our time, our selves – and how we were, or may be, transformed from the experience.

Since the Intensive, things have definitely been changing for me, both at work and personally. Work is starting to line up so that I can focus more there – which in turn allows me to focus more on my personal stuff.

One of the other cool things that came out of the Intensive was the personal connections that I made. I got to meet two of my current classmates, the professor for my next class at Cherry Hill, two Cherry Hill graduates and a number of the other professors and Deans. For me, it was an opportunity to chat with pagans of a variety of different faiths and practices about things that mattered to us in the pagan world. We could just sit and chat – about whatever we wanted – and all respected each others perspectives and were open to listening about other points of view.

It was a wonderful experience on many different levels!

The Intensives are open up to non-Masters students, so if you get an opportunity, I do recommend that you go.


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