Soul Sanctuary Testimonials
When I first heard about Soul Sanctuary, I had no intention of going, and I deleted every email marked “Soul Sanctuary” without reading it. I thought—Nope, nope, NOPE, don’t want it, don’t need it, can’t afford it, period. The intervening years between Soul Fire (2016) and Soul Sanctuary had been HARD—crying-in-my-bed-every-day-for-three-years hard. I could not muster the enthusiasm, let alone the strength and energy to even think about making the 3,000 mile trip. I told myself: I’ve already done this. I’ve already checked that box. And I could not see the value of doing something I thought I had already done.
Then Sera sent a last call email, and I felt compelled to open it. As I read it, the hair stood up on my arms and the back of my neck, electricity shot up and down my spine, and there was only one word on my lips and in my mind in big, block letters: FUCK. I’d been summoned, and I knew it. I did not want to go. I did not plan to go. And my human self slept while my Soul got busy signing me up and writing the application letter, then making the travel arrangements. My human self made the trip very reluctantly. And it really was—no shit—The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me, and it was also absolutely nothing like anything I have ever done, including Soul Fire.
Words really fail. Sera is a Soul Whisperer. She knows how to build a container, golden threads weaving souls and humans and the land and our experiences into something mind-blowingly bigger than the sum of its parts, into something alive and dynamic and organic and exquisite and perfect and just fucking get-down-on-your-knees humbling.
During my time at Bend of Ivy, I allowed myself to be completely stripped and pared back to my essence—which was not pain free or comfortable--and an authenticity I had never known came to the fore. I was also plugged back into Life, experiencing the ecstasy of the smallest pleasures. My time there ended with a Big Bang on the last day, alone in the pavilion. I was literally reborn, and I rose up from a rocking fetal position on the floor to reclaim my power and my sovereignty, and I circled the inside of the pavilion, round and round, feeling my sisters with me—past, present, and future--stomping my feet, shouting, and slamming what I was embodying into the floor, into the Earth, into the Universe, with the handle of a magical broom, anchoring it for all. So. That is there, waiting for you, along with all of the other sisters’ potent gifts that they anchored there in the pavilion, on that land, in that river. Each and every one of us, in our own unique ways, came into our sovereignty, our power, and embodied our Souls. Our Souls did not fuck around--we experienced some pretty heavy duty, powerful, transformative Magic.
It is there. It is Real. And it waits for you.
The Soul Sisters: each and every one of them reflected back to me the Truth of who I am; each and every one of them unlocked a door inside me so that I could be free; each and every one of them gave me gifts that forever touched and changed me; each and every one of them—with their beauty and courage and strength—forever stamped my Heart. They have become a valuable part of my life, the thrust behind me, a net of support and love.
And Sera, Jesus, what can I even say??? She is a catalyst, an alchemist, tenderly fierce and gentle, sometimes ferocious, always, always in integrity, with a Heart as big as the Universe. She gives SO MUCH of herself. She has given me gifts that registered and gifts that pop up out of a treasure chest of gifts that I didn’t even know were there. My life has totally flipped upside down in the best possible way because of Soul Sanctuary. It has given me an undeniable, solid sense of—I am fucking AMAZING, and the world is a better place because I am in it. This does not come from arrogance but from knowing my true worth and value as a Soul inhabiting a body on this planet at this time.
What does all this mean for you? Will Soul Sanctuary make your dreams come true? Will it give you inner peace and a better life and rain down cash and prizes? NO, but it will give you EXACTLY what you need and what you are ready for. If you are meant to be there, make no mistake, your Soul will let you know, and if need be, blast through your resistance and find a way to get you there.
From my Soul to yours:
Remember who we are.
Remember what we did, felt, said.
Remember all we let fall away.
Remember all the paradigms we slayed.
Remember all we reclaimed.
Remember how Real we were.
Remember how Real we are.
Remember the power of the broom and the pussy and the sisterhood and the circle and the Love.
Remember the Truth.
First off, Soul Sanctuary was an absolutely Gift of a Lifetime from my Soul to me. I kept resisting the deep knowing that I should apply, but the messages kept getting louder and more obvious until I got the proverbial 2 x 4 to the head that showed me that I was being stubborn and unwilling to receive (my car gas tank door actually got broken in the closed position and I couldn't put gas in my car or continue to drive until it got fixed and was able to receive fuel.) Okay, okay, I got it. I will receive this gift. I will go. I will make it happen somehow.
Since I saw this retreat as a holy gift from my Soul to me, I arrived with a deep sense of surrender. And the women who attended BROUGHT IT from Day 1. If SoulFire started at level 1 and finished at level 10, Soul Sanctuary seemed to start at level 10 and just continued upward from there. Deep grace, deep surrender, deep embracing of all that is, deep Love, deep healing, deep gratitude, deep Knowing. It was a playful, luscious, nourishing week for me, but that doesn't mean I wasn't challenged at all my edges that were ready for growth. It was Transformative, mind-shattering, finding the gate to the portal and realizing that I was inside it all along. I am at Home in this body. And that is the Gift of a Lifetime.
Where Soul Fire ignited my soul's blazing truth, Soul Sanctuary anchored this truth in my body. Soul Fire had been such a profound and life-changing experience that I was nervous about attending Soul Sanctuary. I didn't know if I was ready to handle more depth, more intensity, more tears or more changes. On the first day of the retreat, Sera gently reminded us that the title of the retreat included the word SANCTUARY. And this is exactly what it was. Sera held space for my soul to gently have her way with me. I felt (and feel) my soul in my body in ways that I never have before. What emerged in the group space that we created goes beyond words, but I feel it deeply within myself. This retreat was so grounded, so organic, and so real. I feel like I am finally landing in my body and able to inhabit my sacred, sovereign space on this planet. Soul Sanctuary was an absolute gift that is continuing to unfold for me in the weeks and months following the retreat.
Since Soul Fire I had been deeply immersed in the beauty-full and most challenging journey of remembering and embodying my Soul. After a period of navigating all the waves that this process entails, I felt a deep need for Sanctuary. Had no idea what that actually meant, just that it was calling for me. Short after that Sera shared Her new sacred offering - Soul Sanctuary. I knew I had to be there and yet I still moved through some layers of doubt, fear, resistance before taking the leap. After all, I could sense something big coming my way.
And it was indeed. Big. Profound.
In Soul Sanctuary I healed one of the biggest wounds that I feel has kept me from my Soul and from Life. I moved through the wound so to find True Freedom and Real Sovereignty in trusting myself. As magnificent as that may sound (and it is), it was messy, raw and painful. I know I could not have done it in such a powerful and empowering way if not held in a space full of scarlet red LOVE. And that is for me the meaning of Sanctuary - a place that can hold it all trough, for, and in LOVE. A place that fully honors Life.
That is what I found in Soul Sanctuary, this sacred, most needed, natural and miraculous space. Found it through the gorgeous women that are my sisters, through the magical Land, through the nourishing food, trough Sera’s presence and devotion - to her Lady, to all Souls and to LOVE - and through my own Soul. And nothing compares to being Home.
So...if you feel the call...trust yourself!
Danced to the heartbeat of Mama Earth
A gathering of a long lost sisterhood
Reunited in Love
In service of True Love
We breathed. We moved. We laughed. We cried. We screamed into the Abyss. We danced our stories. Stomped our Truths. Shared our gifts. Wept our pain. We went deep down to the bones of it all. Embraced lost fragments. Absorbed into our tissues parts of the past that previously felt too difficult to embody. We dared to show up as human. Messy. Complicated. Beautiful. Sharing what once felt too raw and vulnerable. Transforming pain into wisdom. Into Life. Into Love. Although, it was always Love. From the very beginning and until the very end.
Answering the call of our Souls
We arrived with a Knowing
That this would be a Holy Re-membering
There was a new found willingness to Be in my pain. Embody it. Allow it to flow through me. Sob into the truth of it all. And my Soul held me. Softly but so solid. And from the embodiment of the pain unfolded the embodiment of pleasure. Pleasure I had denied myself for lifetimes. Surging through me. And for once, I was in my Body enough to feel the full depths of it. And being in my Body felt so so safe. And soft. And powerful beyond words.
Breathing Life back into my Body
I realized She has always held me
Always had my back
Always told me absolute Truth
This gathering of embodied souls was sanctuary. And I am forever grateful that I listened and showed up when I was called. My sisters, who I have known for lifetimes, each brought their own unique gifts. Each of us necessary for the magic. Each making the space so safe and full of Love. Kristine grounding the space with her gracious, steady Mountain energy. Sera leading us with such power and such tenderness. Her dedication to True Love inspiring each of us to drop in deeper. To connection with our Souls. To connection with each other. Connection with Mama Earth. Life and Love. Each individual transformation was an honour to witness, but so to was the collective birthing of Love.
Love was incarnating into flesh
As each of us breathed back in that which was left behind long ago
Witnessing the birth of so many Souls into bodies was such a gift. More of me is here now. And I feel alive. But, it hasn’t all been comfortable. At Soul Sanctuary I found safety being embodied. In. My. Body. And since coming home, that has meant healing a lot of old wounds through my body, in a way that I hadn’t been able to before. I have been angry. And frustrated. And full of rage. Old ancient, Holy rage. Rage that is finally safe to feel and to release. And under the rage is an ocean of grief. But, I have also experienced pleasure and passion and delight more fully as well. All of it! The pleasure and the pain. And I feel Whole. And Real. And Human. And Divine. And Alive. And by choosing to embody Love, I have become more fully in love with Life.
Listen to your Souls my dear sisters. You will Know. If Sanctuary is calling. Listen. Showing up in the Truth of it all can be fucking hard. But it is also so so beautiful. And I've got the bravest, most amazing sisters holding me up when Life gets hard. Doing the work alongside of me. Bravely being souls in human bodies. And I feel less alone. And more in Love. And ever so grateful.
With so much Love, and with all of my Soul,
It’s a bit challenging to describe my experience at Soul Sanctuary. For how do you put into words that which can’t really be described with our finite language? While at Soul Sanctuary I had a dream that was only a few sentences long, ”The message is that there is so much more going on than we can possibly see or imagine in the Soul Realm. So much more is happening! It is astonishing!!!”
I will be honest, my life has been in a bit of upheaval both before and after Soul Sanctuary. There are no words to describe what I felt in my heart when I saw my fellow Soulfire 2015 ladies again. To witness their journey and growth this time around was amazing. To meet other Soul Fire women from other years was absolutely Divine.
I feel that you have to be really committed to your Soul to come back for round two of Sera’s Soul work. I knew that as I sat in the first circle surrounded by some strangers, that I was home and with my tribe. I could feel the level of commitment each of these women had made to their Soul. That made it incredibly safe for me to do the work I needed to do in that circle.
If what you are looking for is a retreat where there is a lot of easy and relaxing time and everything stays safely in the love and light realm, then this is not the retreat for you. If you wanna get to know your Soul in a much deeper way and are ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish that union, this is what you are looking for.
Soul Sanctuary was a deepening of the work that was started at SoulFire. Sera’s growth as a facilitator of each of our processes has also grown deeper. Her willingness to get in there and do the nitty-gritty work with each of our Souls was powerful and beautiful. She is a true Soul Whisperer. The opportunity to sit in a circle and receive those sacred mirrors from each of the women in that circle will be with me for the rest of my lives:)
I had the whole list of reasons why I couldn’t go to Soul Sanctuary. My Soul then told me I couldn’t afford NOT to go. So I’m still paying it off and will be for a few more months but it was absolutely the right choice for me. Now I have a whole new circle of women friends devoted to embodying their Soul. That is such a profound blessing for me. Our planet desperately needs so many more of us. I hope you will answer the call.
- Jane H.
For me, Soul Fire was life changing and Soul Sanctuary went beyond. There was indeed unspeakable magic from us having done this before and being ready for more. Each person's courage and honesty fostered more courage and honesty for everyone. What was amazing to me was that as each person brought a difficult issue of theirs to the circle after soul time, we all got to participate in their healing and witness their transformation in action. Each soul sister's issue was to a degree, every soul sister's issue. We all got the healing along side that soul sister. These were universal female issues and we covered the main ones one by one. Each time, I/we were in awe of what just happened. We each were needed in the group and we got to know each other more intimately than at Soul Fire. I couldn't have healed my issue without the power of the remarkably cohesive group.
Soul Sanctuary, as I had hoped and needed, involved a little less fire and a lot more rest. As comforting as it was to burn beside each other in our original retreat, it is ever so fortifying and heart-mending to Rest with and in each other. A few times throughout the week I kinda felt like I was in that magical Maxfield Parrish painting “Daybreak”... I laugh, but only cuz it’s true.
It wasn’t anybody’s first rodeo so we all showed up ready to ride; and for many of us, to integrate and heal the pain of still often feeling shattered and disconnected from soulself even after the powerful initiation that was SoulFire. Being able to acknowledge and name the “In & Out” process that seems to be a natural part of embodying soul, also helped me accept it.
It occurred to me that with each re-gathering, each new layer of this soul-devoted Red-fluent community of women, the magnifying glass gets stronger and we go even deeper- like there’s a natural evolution wanting to happen- each woman and her soul becomes increasingly adept at allowing and co-conducting a seamless flow of healing, communion, ancient re-membering, and cathartic Re-Wilding fun. I plan to stick around to see where this is taking us.
Only in hindsight do I understand how the months leading up to Soul Sanctuary were hinting at what would eventually go down…
Down into the Earth.
Down into our bones.
Down like honey,
dripping from the comb.
A huge act of love and generosity made it possible for me to attend, and while I hesitated and wondered if this was truly a space in which I belonged, I could feel a subtle, gravitational force pulling me there. Little did I know that I would be dropping out of my daily life and into a homecoming surprise party. If the time is yours, your soul-body will carry you home. Home to gather, to rest, to recover, to celebrate, to honor, to sense, to scream, to laugh, to cry, to dance, to crawl, to hum, to get naked, to touch nature, but most of all to just be(e)…You.
If Soul Fire is a taste of soul, Soul Sanctuary invites you to the table for five-course meal with your soul. Soul Sanctuary created the space for me to get to know my soul that much more. Soul Sanctuary also reminded me that I am not alone in this journey, that each of us carry our own medicine and have so much to learn from each other. Soul Sanctuary was healing, raw, real, and filled with so much love. It was pure magic. It’s the type of magic that can only be created when women feel safe to fully show up, bare their souls, and know that they will be completely and fully embraced and loved for who they are. Soul Sanctuary, Soul Fire, and Sera’s work has changed my life, and I am beyond grateful.
Right after Soul Fire my connection with my Soul was vivid, alive, powerful. Big healings occurring with Her influence. And even 5 years later my Soul’s presence in my life continues to be a great gift. So I was immensely curious to find out what could happen if I immersed myself in Soul realm with Sera again along with other women who had gone through Soul Fire. None of us knew. (Well, our Souls probably did!)
What became immediately clear was that we had a kinship together no matter what year we’d done Soul Fire. And all of us were struggling to remember to prioritize Soul in the midst of daily life. To trust and ask and invite and validate our Souls. Especially when voices of the culture, our friends, family, colleagues got louder than Her voice. And the moment we were in the space together (and in the Space together) our access to Soul guidance, Soul truth, Soul love… all went off the charts!
The resonance from one to the other astonished us all. I know I had a huge release from a long-held (lifetimes!) imprisoning belief/fear that could never have happened without this powerhouse circle of Souls gathered in service to Soul. Each woman’s experiences still live in me and are bolstering my heart as I navigate what’s next in the aftermath of unexpected heart surgery. The bonds of love that were created at Soul Sanctuary feel permanent and vital to me. I can hardly wait to come back together with Soul Fire women again any chance I get!
You thought you needed to protect everyone—but look! Here, everyone gets to be just who they are inside themselves and that’s enough. That’s the greatest protection there is around. So, Knight, put down your sword and enjoy a day off. This planet wasn’t just made for battles, but for gardens and for growth. Here, in Soul Sanctuary, you get a week-long Saturday afternoon, no Mondays in sight. And you get to take it off with all the other Ladies, just being as much themselves. Look. At. Dat. By holding space each for ourselves, we all get to hold each other, and be more fully who we are. That’s what’s so good about not being alone. It’s, in fact, a big part of what you came here for ;). Let’s all of us, make love happen again, together. It ain’t for wimps! But the flowers are to die for. And the buzzing bees and the singing in the woods. Our bodies, sitting next to one another—that’s the point! In spite of all the vastness out there, our planet and us on it, like this only once, together.
- Anne and her Soul
This morning, I was remembering/feeling the Ritual we did at Soul Sanctuary so strongly. That was the most powerful thing I experienced. I get emotional every time I think about it. After Soul Sanctuary, when friends would ask "So, how was it?", I responded with the usual. "it was powerful, life changing and all that (so hard to answer that) but I remembered a couple of times answering that something got anchored. And I would have this realization (and not just intellectually): "Holy shit, I got anchored!" For real. It's been that way ever since that week. I feel different, it's subtle and not subtle at all. I've been feeling a steadiness and grounding that I have never felt before. And I feel safe in a way that I've never felt. And of course, still dealing with all my shit but more lovingly and there's a different quality to the holding.
I've been getting these past few months how much my Soul and my ancestors want me to put myself and my (evolving) work out there and allow myself to be seen/heard, which is one of the scariest things for me. And I'm doing it...slowly and as lovingly and authentically as I can. It's so layered and complicated and I'm trying to listen and take the next step and support myself and all that. It's been good and also scary as fuck. Such a journey being a human!
Thank you so so much, Sera. With all of my heart. The time at Soul Sanctuary was tremendous. I miss you, I miss the women and the land. I still feel the river and remember singing and making offerings to her and the land.
Soul Sanctuary was the best gift I’ve ever given myself.
At Soul Fire, my soul was uncaged in an epic burst of power and grief. At Soul Sanctuary, my soul came back home.
Soul Sanctuary was both exactly what I craved and expected (MORE sisterhood, MORE depth, MORE of Sera’s gifts, MORE of Deva’s food and Christa’s healing, MORE nature, MORE vulnerability, MORE of me), and it was also a total fucking wild card.
While I did get a lot from the solitary soul time, it wasn’t what I expected to get. My inner experience was full of struggle and self doubt for most of the week, until I finally surrendered. Once I was able to release expectations (I kept demanding breakthroughs of myself), I sunk into a beautiful, subtle, quiet experience of the most profound trust. My very tender lesson in trusting my soul at Soul Sanctuary and loving myself as I am has sparked a tidal wave of inner changes since I’ve been home.
BUT...my sisters...you guys...the group dynamic at Soul Sanctuary KNOCKED ME OUT. These women signed up to GO THERE...TWICE...so we fucking WENT THERE together. The level of space-holding, trust, weirdness, and powerful love we built up in that space is going to change the world.
Witnessing and co-creating the group sessions and rituals at Soul Sanctuary was one of the most profound honors of my life. It was life-changing to be part of Sera’s intuitive organic soul work as she created a space where all of our souls could freely weave a special type of magic.
Some seriously wild shit went down at Soul Sanctuary, y’all.
I can’t explain it, but those group sessions will be forever imprinted in my soul’s memory.
Furthermore, the bond of sisterhood we cultivated at Soul Sanctuary is rock solid. These are women who wanted more and FULLY showed up. We have been in very close touch since the retreat, and their support and sisterhood feels deep and everlasting.
[A little side note that, for me, re-entry and integration after Soul Sanctuary was 20 times easier than after Soul Fire. I was stronger in my core and had more support. After Soul Fire I felt uncaged, unhinged, and shell-shocked, like a wild animal in the city. Leaving Soul Sanctuary was more like the feeling when you don’t want to get out of the warm bubble bath on a winter day.]
Because of these two retreats, I am finally living for myself. I am taking crazy-brave leaps. I am following my deepest longings. I am shedding my bullshit. I am breaking lifelong destructive patterns. I'm writing a memoir. I feel loved and held by myself first, and then by my sisters and all the life on this planet.
We must keep gathering like this. Showing up. Doing the work. Going within and being there for each other. The sisterhood Sera is building through these retreats is one of the biggest honors of my life. We are already making HUGE change in the world already, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Sign me up! You sign up! I want to keep going deeper with all of you and with Sera. I feel like I can do anything with this sacred container of support and this powerful fucking community of astounding women. I can’t wait to meet more of you. THIS is how we do it. THIS is how we change the world.