Benedicaria Retreat

This three day event is open exclusively to graduates of the Benedicaria Training and is designed to be a review as well as a continuation and deepening of the work we began together during our 15 weeks of study and practice.

Sud Italian Pharmacopeia – specifics of medicine making for treating physical illness as well as many ways of using the plants for energetic/spiritual healing and magic. We’ll have access to all the plants and trees here and this work will be entirely experiential in nature. We will make medicines and magic in co-creation with the herbs. We’ll cover making tinctures, oils, teas and syrups…if you want, we can fire up the copper alembic and distill a very special Benedicaria potion!

Prayers and Healing Rituals – We’ll practice the rosary prayers in Italian – I’ll teach you the call and response method, the traditional way the communal rosary is said in my village, and most likely in yours too. We’ll also practice a number of the healing prayer rituals in original dialetto. I’ll teach you a number of symbols for writing on parchment or skin as talismans for healing and protection. We’ll prepare and make offerings. Since it is the full moon, we will have a special full moon ritual on Thursday night – we’ll include our precious, ancient tribal prayer, Santa Luna. We will have an initiation ceremony under the full moon and I will share my family prayer with you.

Dream Temple – Our entire three-day experience will be a Healing Dream Temple container and there will be two nights for dreaming. We’ll enter the inner chamber after a cleansing/clearing ceremony on Wednesday evening, and again on Thursday. We’ll make time to discuss our dreams and receive their direction the following mornings.

Rhythm, Song and Dance – Bring a tambourine if you have one. I have several we can share. I’m no expert, but I bet between all of us we can strike up a few traditional Sud Italian beats and dance steps (Alessandra Belloni will be here in July for a weekend workshop on the Tammoriata and Tarantata). Perhaps we could even learn a Napoletan song to sing together, like Santa Lucia.

Blessings – Fumigazione, Spazzatura, Limpio…we’ll practice it all.

We’ll schedule in plenty of time for grounding and gathering in the gardens and wild areas on the farm, hikes along the Medicine Trail to the stream, a special trip to the Kennebec River for a water healing ceremony.

You’ll be served seven delicious, fresh and locally sourced, primarily organic, traditional Sud Italian meals. Rosa and her Radici Cucina crew will prepare and serve our meals all three days. Trust me, you’ll be raving about how well you ate here and how graciously your meals were presented and you’ll want to come back next year because, well, those meals!!!

What to bring: If camping on the land, you’ll need a tent and camping supplies. Flashlight. Water bottle. Sun hat. We have several couches and a day bed available in the School House, let me know if you want to reserve one. There is also nice clean floor space in the drying room. You need to bring your own pillow, blanket, etc., for either of these options. We'll have an immaculate portapotty and wash stand outside and a bathroom inside. We have a wonderful outdoor shower with hot and cold water.

Notebook, pen suitable for writing and drawing. A tamborine or shaker, other musical instruments. Comfortable shoes and clothing. Toiletries. An item for our altar. Anything special you want to include in a brevi bag. (I have lots of scraps of leather.) Red ribbons, beads, string for wrapping smudge sticks.