Last Thursday (I can hardly believe its been a week already!) Cathy Skipper and Florian Birkmayer arrived in Los Angeles from Albuquerque for the transformative Alchemy and Medicine of the Soul classes and experiences beginning with the Panel on Alchemy in Cypress Park.
Originally we had set up the discussion to take place at a friends home in Woodland Hills, but as the RSVP’s continued to mount I began searching for a new location. Out of the blue, we had a very generous offer via e-mail from Meike Kopp informing me that we could use her gorgeous space as a venue. Although we lost many attendees from the San Fernando Valley stretching up to Ojai, we gained the same amount back and also had a glorious, large open space which we took advantage to film the event. As soon as the footage has been edited I will share it here at the journal.
The next day the Hydrosol Distillation began at 3pm up on the warm, sunny plateau of Topanga. It was an absolutely gorgeous day which started off with taking Cathy and Florian over to visit the perfumery, lunch at Blue Table, a stop at the house to cut the white sage and then hauling all the gear up the mountain and setting up.
Auspiciously the flowering Salvia apiana, white sage, from my garden had already been pollinated by the honey bees. This was confirmed by Cathy as she used her magnifier to examine the botany of a flower. So, besides her wand, a little medicine bag with crystal offerings for plants and her journal Cathy also has her magnifier at the ready!
Saturday and Sunday was the two day workshop, what I consider the main course of the aromatic venue. Each morning everyone arrived and squeezed into the teaching space of the perfumery where Florian lectured about Jung, our collective imagination and shared his point of view on the Alchemical processes as a tool to recognize and move through emotional challenges. Cathy interjected regularly adding her strong intuitive approach and her own personal stories of transformation.
On Sunday we finished traversing all the alchemical processes with some work on our shadow, culminating in creating a blend and a group photo.
Monday evening was the dessert, featuring an encounter of the aromatic kind with sipping gorgeous and very diverse hydrosols. As we inhaled and sipped the high vibrational plant waters we each tuned into the message shared with each of us through the elixir.
The five days were a magical mystery ride with Cathy and Florian as the chauffeurs in partnership with the botanical intelligence from the plant kingdom. Personally, I was able to re-visit work in a very similar vein as an initiate in a Celtic Shaman group. The facilitator, Kaitryne, also had a Jungian psychology background which she had woven with Celtic & Native American shamanistic concepts. Thus there was quite a bit of overlap as well as concepts I had introduced with The Tree Of Life presentation at Bastyr.
Next stop for Cathy and Florian is teaching the two day workshop in Seattle followed by returning to New Mexico to finish up their online course.