“Part of the Whidbey Institute’s path is to help people find their own authentic center point, the place in themselves where they are able to be at ease, to be resilient, to be flexible, and to be at peace.” —Joel Shrut

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Dreaming the Dark: A Winter Solstice Retreat

December 15, 2016 - December 18, 2016

Click registration link for more details

For many, the longer nights of Winter are a challenge. But when we choose to slow down and cherish the darkness, we can take solace in receiving its gifts of healing, power and rebirth.

Dark. Darkness.  * The dominant culture teaches us to fear the rich, dark source of our deepest selves. *



We are birthed out of darkness and return to it frequently throughout our lives.  *  The power to create and nurture lies within the dark womb.  * Every night the dark comes and blesses us with rest and visions of the dreamtime. *  Love is often made in the dark, as well.  * We close and cover our eyes, and in that darkness we gain perception of the spirit world.  * In times when our lives feel chaotic and off track, when we feel in the dark, great transformations take place that we cannot perceive until we come out on the other side.  *  “It’s always darkest just before the light,” we often say.  * When we die, our bodies return to the dark earth, to begin the cycle of life anew.                             *



Most plants begin their lives as seeds in the dark womb of the earth.  * Many animals are active only in the dark night.  * The great, dark depths of the oceans teem with life. *



Dark is as essential to life as light.  *  Let us come together when the nights are longest, and honor the darkness — source of life, vision and transformation.

Enjoy the warm company of Earth, Spirit and friends, meeting in a beautiful, hand-built Sanctuary nestled in sacred cedars.

We will take three full days to step back from our ordinary lives, slow down, and immerse ourselves in shamanic practices to explore and embrace the gifts of the dark.

We will take stock of the past year — both personal and collective — and bless it, before putting it to rest. Then we will take time to dream into what we want to manifest in the coming year, and do ceremony to bring it into being.

We will celebrate the Dreaming the Dark: Celebrating Our Source ritual, first inspired in 1995 by the dark Winter season of Puget Sound.

We’ll also share singing, drumming dancing, playing, and plenty of rest and delicious meals in the sun-filled dining room.

Enjoy the deer, birds, and other wildlife around us; the Finnish, wood-fired sauna; walks in the emerald-green forest; beach combing on a nearby beach.

Nourish your body, heart and soul, restoring yourself in the embrace of beloved community.

Give yourself an oasis of peace this holiday season!

To register, contact Lenore.


December 15, 2016
December 18, 2016
Click registration link for more details


Lenore Norrgard, Certified Shamanic Counselor