The Aqua Odyssey Story
The only light came from the stones nestled in a hole dug in the ground in our center. Stones that had been heated until they glowed red, releasing themselves back into the fire that had given birth to them as liquid lava eons ago.
I was in a sweat lodge, an ancient purification ceremony found in cultures worldwide that involves crawling into a low-domed lodge covered in blankets. When water is poured on the hot stones the lodge fills with steam that penetrates through pores into the bones, relaxing the body as the red stones fade and go out, leaving those sitting inside in total darkness.
I found this darkness terrifying at first, but slowly, over many ceremonies, I was able to cleanse myself of this fear. I came home into my own body, and I reconnected to the Great Mother who now sustains me as I perform my own ceremonies with the water.
I remember the night this shift occurred, the shift from fear to knowing I was connected to Gaia and the Great Mother who gave birth to her. It was when the man leading the ceremony told us, "Remember this lodge when you go out into the world. These stones are your brothers. This fire is your relation now. The connection can never be broken. Remember this when you feel alone."
I knew it was true. In my bones. I knew it with every inhalation and exhalation as the steam penetrated my lungs and softened every hard corner inside me until I became one again with the round Earth. I came home.
The Odyssey, the epic at the foundation of Western Culture, is the story of one man's journey home after many years fighting in the Trojan War. It takes Odysseus, the hero, many years to sail back to Ithaca, where his wife Penelope has awaited him, defending their home and raising their son alone.
I chose the metaphor of an odyssey rather than a retreat because I want to offer people an experience of active engagement with their inner process that reconnects them through the element of water with an unshakeable knowledge that the water is their relation, just as I discovered that night in the sweat lodge that the fire was my brother.
Aqua Odyssey Immersions are improvisational experiences that require us all to be present with what is. However, some things you can expect are movement and sound therapies, dancing and singing, and of course time exploring in the water with a partner as you learn to give and receive aquatic bodywork.
Aqua Odysseys are for those seeking personal growth and transformation as well as for those wanting to learn the technical aspects of aquatic bodywork. By incorporating movement and sound, we bypass the intellect and enter a flow state where it is much easier to learn technique. You'll be amazed at how quickly and easily you learn when you let go of your expectations and play!