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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Earthaven:Week 6

Merry meet friends.

Michelle here, sending lots of love and light.

On Sunday, May 4, we celebrated Beltane at Earthaven.  Beltane is a cross quarter day between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice usually on May 1st.  We celebrated on Sunday for those who couldn’t attend during the week.  Face painting for the young and old was an activity along with various games.  There was a maypole dance which was fun to watch.  I hadn’t done a maypole since elementary school but I let those who had never done one participate.  Then there was a ritual.  We called in the elements, paid homage to future generations, and honored the ancestors by calling the elders to the center.  I’m considered an elder so of course I went to the center of the circle.

There was a small fire in the center of our circle.  We were given dead leaves to represent what no longer served us.  We named it and threw the leaves into the fire.  Then we were given fresh, new green leaves to represent our intentions for the year. We were asked to embrace our shadow selves, our wild nature, as it were.  Well, you know I liked that.  Releasing the wild stallion is my thing.  LOL   As we held the leaves in our hands, we were asked to find someone we wanted to be in partnership with in any capacity and jump the bonfire.  We could also jump alone.  Many songs were sung representing the earth. 

Cookies were passed out and whoever had the one with the almond was chosen as Queen.  The King was chosen by lot. We gathered back in the circle and mead, alcoholic and nonalcoholic was passed around. The leaves were gathered and scattered to the wind.  One of the women who is ready to give birth was called into the circle with her husband and child.  We gathered around them with laying on of hands and spoke well wishes over them.  With drumming and singing, the royal couple then led us in a procession to the bon fire.  We then had a pot luck feast.  Later, stories were told, songs were sung and poetry was read.  It was my first Beltane celebration and I enjoyed it immensely.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling that my time was up here.  Originally I thought I had to be here five months which I didn’t want.  Before coming here I found out that the five months was a misunderstanding but that I probably would want to stay that long.  After arriving and finding out that most work exchangers were leaving in two months, I decided to stay for two months as well.  Last week after certain incidents I consulted my beautiful pendulum (thank you Sonya Brown) about whether to leave or the 10th or not.  The answer was yes.  I wanted to be in integrity and complete my two months but I really felt a pull to go.  Spirit always, always works everything out.  This is what happened: on Tuesday when I went out to water the orchard, I asked Spirit to let Patricia be out there if I was supposed to say something to her.  She wasn’t.  She came out within 5 to 10 minutes however.  After exchanging pleasantries, she asked what I was feeling and what my plans for my journey were.  I told her that I was feeling like my time was up.  She said that she could sense that because I wasn’t acting weird or anything but my energy was different.  She then said that if I wanted to go that she wouldn’t hold me to the two months.  I explained how I wanted to act with integrity and fulfill my obligation and she said she didn’t question my integrity.  They don’t want people flopping in and out but they don’t want to hold someone if they’re not feeling happy.  She went on to say that she wanted me to find my place and not take as long as she had.  I was very moved. 

That night at check in I told the group that I was leaving and how I was glad that I started my journey at Earthaven and had met them all.  Tears began to fall because I have mixed feelings about leaving.  They are a great group of people with similar yet different goals.  Everything there, in spite of the lack of ethnic diversity, feels real and genuine.  The young women plant bare breasted which seems so natural and earthy. I notice that most of them don't shave their underarms either.  Quite a few of them have locks. The children have no shame about sexuality and a three year old can identify plants.  Yes, there are disputes and disagreements but the general atmosphere is one of congeniality.  I told the group that I felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz.  Lyndon, a co-owner of the house, asked which character I was.  I said, “Why Dorothy of course, I’m the one leaving.”  In my mind, Demetrius is the scarecrow, Seaver is the tin man and Will is the cowardly lion.  I didn’t share that, so after saying I was Dorothy, Seaver said that he was the tin man.  I knew it!  I said to him, “Yes because you have a heart even though you act as if you don’t.”  I will miss Seaver walking through the orchard singing, “Oh, I wish I was a glimmer in your eye”.  One day as he walked through I started singing that and he picked it right up and continued singing.  Will (lion) has so many fears but is getting braver every day.  Like Dorothy, I will miss Demetrius (scarecrow) most of all.  I have a special but different bond with all three but I bonded with him first and fast.

The household consists of Patricia and Lyndon, co-owners (not a couple), Brent, his wife Devi and their son Eamon, Seaver, Sarah, Allie, Will, Demetrios, Hillary and myself.  Seaver is thinking about becoming a member.  Brent and Debbie were considering long term but are separating.  She will live in town and he at Medicine Wheel.  Sarah is moving to a homestead in NC with her partner.  Allie plans to be at Medicine Wheel for a year or longer.  Will, who recently split with his fianc√©/wife, is planning to stay or join another community.  Demetrius is leaving on the 17th and is not sure whether or not he will return.  Hillary plans to live there except in the winter because she hates cold.

On Tuesday, a former resident, Travis took me into Asheville because he likes it and wanted to show me the places I had not seen.  It was a fun day.  I got to see downtown, West Asheville and the River Arts District.  I like downtown the most, it has a great vibe.  Hopefully I will get to spend some time there before continuing my journey.  On Wednesday some of us worked outside clearing up the back and side yard.  It was rewarding and productive because we cleaned a lot.  Dinner was Patricia, Demetrius, Allie and myself.  Hillary and Sarah were at work.  Lyndon, Brent and Seaver went with Travis to Illinois to help Travis’ housemate move.  Devi and Eamon went into Asheville for the evening.  It was nice to have a small group for a change.

On Wednesday I said goodbye to Lyndon, Seaver, Brent and Travis.  I will really miss them.  Wednesday and Thursday were quiet days for Medicine Wheel.  I went into town on Friday with Hillary for ice to make mint juleps.  It was a goodbye celebration for me.  One night, about a month ago, Allie read my horoscope for the year from the We’Moon book.  Everything she read described me.  When she read the part about me being a “frisky mentor” for people, she laughed because she said it’s so true.  After that, my nickname became frisky mentor.  What can I say? if the shoe fits, hey, you have to wear it.  By the time Saturday came, I was anxious to get under way.  Patricia smudged me and the car for the journey.  I am so happy to have started my journey at Earthaven and to have met the people I’ve met.  Perhaps we will meet again along the way.

 I learned that Medicine Wheel started as a Bed and Breakfast in 2001.  It was started by Patricia, her mom, and her sister and brother in law.  It was called A&A, B&B.  Patricia’s family came to visit and decided she wasn’t as crazy as they thought and started a bed and breakfast as a welcome center for Earthaven.  It was shut down in 2007 because one of the guests had visited Peru and contacted hepatitis, someone else got it and the health department became involved and shut it down as a business.  Hence the birth of Medicine Wheel and 11 bedrooms.  Patricia’s brother in law Lynn is buried beneath a pecan tree in the garden.  His body was placed in the ground sans coffin in order to nourish the soil.  The coffin is not wasted either.  It’s used to house linens on the third floor.

Corinna invited me to a Goddess dance in Black Mountain on Saturday.  I was going to attend but it was from 6 until 9 and I would have had to stay the entire time.  I didn’t want to do that because I was coming to Greensboro for a while and didn’t want to drive that late.  Perhaps I will get to the next one.  It sounded like fun and Corinna said I would have missed the most beneficial part if I left early.  I can’t wait until the Herbal Immersion at the end of the month.  So long for now.  The journey continues!

Until next Sunday, Merry part and merry meet again

Gypsi Mama Michelle


  1. Brava cara! Happy Mother's Day!!! Keep writing and trying new things!

    1. Thanks Cher. Happy Mother's Day to you as well. Thanks for the support.

  2. Hey Dorothy (Wiz of OZ). Happy belated Mother's Day by the way. I read the other day, just didn't get around to comment.

    Looks like the journey is serving. All the what shall I do's, the mixed feelings, looking at the pros and cons. Good that you aren't hesitant to share those thoughts, so when others stumble upon this (one day in time), they will know what to expect and not be alone.

    Any who i still think it's awesome how you even made it to week six! So many other people would have been out after day six..... Especially with no toilet. ;-)

    So many thoughts, so many things. Glad you're doing it. Way to many people in the world doing the same thing that they did one, two, all the way to FIFTY years ago. And that's not me just sucking up, cause I like your daughter. That's the truth. Lol

    Fact is, it's a place where you find peace. A sense of comfort. Outside of the typical HOME. Even with the cultural / ethnic boundaries. And no toilet. ;-)

    You're gonna look back at the journey one day, Whether you leave today, tomorrow, whenever. You know for yourself, for the next jump... That there's Nuthin to be fraid' of...


    1. Hey Brandon. I so look forward to your comments each week. I'm glad to know that I'm not writing in vain. Thanks for the support. The journey continues in whatever form. In a way, I miss the compost toilet, being one with nature so to speak. But it's a good miss.LOL Ase', So It Is and Blessed be!

    2. No Prob. And YES - It's crazy but hilarious. Out of all the things that we say we need in life, a toilet is the last thing we appreciate. Lol.

      Looking forward to tomorrows post, and what occurred this week Cause, from my standpoint. No day is the same on this journey

      Talk soon and you be blessed also.


  3. Michelle, so vivid a story. I am imagining as I read. Glad you could come spend Mother's Day with us. See you soon..Love and Peace.

    1. I am still trying to post pictures so that you don't have to imagine. Technically challenged LOL I had a blast, thanks for the invite.

  4. All of your descriptions are so vivid, I feel as if I've been there myself. I so envy your free spirit. You are so unencumbered by the dictates of this structured society that most are not brave enough to challenge.

    Go forth as the spirit leads and continue to live your truth. You are finally free to live the life you were created to live but know that if you ever want to go home
    click your heels together 3 times, because Dorothy, there really is no place like home, wherever home might be.

    I love and adore you always. Be safe and be happy.


    1. Thanks Debbie For some reason I don't always see comments but am glad you did. thanks for the continued support Love you too!