Daytime: Workshops + Events
This part of the gathering is for woman, by woman. A day for maidens, mothers and elders to guide, share and create magic with their unique offerings. We gather to return; to return to sisterhood, to return to sharing and to return to remember.
Bronwyn Bancroft - Welcome & Smoking Ceremony
Bio: Bronwyn Bancroft is a Djanbun clan member of the Bundjalung Nation.
She will be Welcoming us to her Land and Acknowledging her ancestors and the ancestors of the land in which we will gather.
Bronwyn is a passionate Indigenous women, who culture has fuelled her creation as one of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists.
Collections that have acquired her work are; National Gallery of Australia, Macquarie University, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, State Library of New South Wales, State Library of Victoria, Australian Museum and Artbank, as well as in overseas collections such as Newark Museum USA, Prime Minister of Turkey, The Kelton Foundation USA, Volkerkunde Museum, Germany and Westpac USA.
STEPHANIE GOSHAWK -ARCHERY
Bio: Stephanie’s ancestors, The Goshawks of the Sherwood forest, were cobblers and dated back to the 1700. It's no surprise that when she feels into her past life persons, she feels so connected to her current journey and why she is the way she is. Spirit and the ancestors seem to guide her towards living on the land with her animals.
Workshop:When focus and concentration are applied to the act of shooting a bow, archery becomes a moving meditation.
The simple goal of hitting a target provides something tangible to focus on, allowing your mind to withdraw from the noise and distractions of everyday life. Archery, takes time to master and I am always learning too. I look forward to share this art form with you at the winter returning gathering.
heidi holland- pole priestess
Bio: Heidi Holland is a self taught pole dance instructor and performer who has been practicing for 13 years. Heidi has taught at festivals, hens nights, gyms, and offers private lessons. Heidi has performed with some of the headlining bands at many of the biggest festivals in Australia.
She believes in empowering women to master their bodies, and own their sexuality.
Workshop:This pole priestess taster course is designed to ignite your inner sensuality and build your confidence. As woman we all have these currents running through us, our sexual energy is our energy of creation and our creation energy or creativity is our inner child. In our everyday lives most have very little space to tap into and express this energy. At some point in most woman’s lives when they have celebrated this aspect of themselves through the way they dress/dance/walk/act they have been met with unwanted attention or shaming from both men and woman.
This course is about recognising that moment we made ourselves small, and coaxing her out again, about holding space and being seen, for exploring our fierce and sweet nature, to remember how our bodies want to move, for allowing and empowering, and most of all to just be free to be you.
Gaurima Grace - Women's Wheel and Walking a path to Elderhood
Bio: Gauri Ma's passion is the living an authentic life in harmony with nature. As a yoga teacher for over 25 years she has focused her teaching to supporting women through the major transition of life. Blending her teaching with Art Therapy and training in psychotherapy Gauri Ma offers a rich and unique teaching to women of all ages.
Now in her maga years Gauri Ma expresses the power of the queen, the alchemist and the guardian: a feminine leader for the coming age.
Workshop: An Exploration through movement, meditation and discussion of the major archetypes of a woman's life and how they show up in both their luminous and shadow form to walk with us as we mature towards Elderhood.
Karlyn Boyter- Erotic Enlightenment
Bio: With over 20 years experience in the healing arts, Karlyn weaves together multiple modalities to offer truly transformative experiences for people, including Breathwork, Yoni Mapping, Yoga, Tantric Bodywork, Meditation, Sacred Sexuality and Conscious Birth.
By empowering, assisting and inspiring people to heal and become more embodied, she supports others to consciously create the life they love ~ their own unique elixir of life.
Workshop:Discover how erotic energy can be transformed into spiritual practice through archetypal dance, breath work, embodiment practices and partner connection.
When we connect with our sexual energy we are in direct contact with pure life-force and the vitality that comes with it. A powerful force, when used with awareness and reverence, has the ability to create deep and lasting changes to our relationship with ourselves, our sensual expression and the world around us.
In this workshop we will make contact with this pure life force and activate it within our beings (body and mind) and integrate it as a means of support on your path to greater health and well being.
Kim Tait- Weaving Connections
Bio: Kim Tait is the founder of Weaving Connections who brings twenty years of weaving and facilitating experience and expertise to her workshops and events. Initially learning weaving through connections to Indigenous weavers of North Queensland, Kim is passion driven to learn about the fibres and techniques used throughout the ages, throughout the world to create useful, practical and beautiful items.
She holds a deep respect of traditional cultures and the natural environment, has six grown children.
Kim married into an Aboriginal family almost 30 years ago and has a warm and loving relationship within that family and into the extended community of the Northern rivers area of New South Wales.
Kim holds a Diploma of Counselling and weaves personal reflection and development opportunities into her workshops with women in a relaxed and safe environment.
In addition, Kim creates sculptural wearable arts, and accepts orders for one-off commissioned articles.
Workshop :Weaving is a global activity which connects us to the natural environment, identifies us and unites us. The ancient skills and knowledge of styles and techniques whisper stories of cultural heritage as they pass from generation to generation.
Through the rhythmic meditative process of weaving you may discover a “groundedness” which opens the pathway for contemplative self reflection and greater understand of self, the world and self in the world.
Medicine bag weaving
During this workshop, within an elemental circle, Kim will take you through a quiet process of self reflection to weave yourself a medicine bag created with healing intention and filled with medicinal and symbolic gifts from the Earth.
Paula Gusmao- Maculelê Workshop
Maculelê is a tribal dance performed by two people or more with the use of sticks and sometimes machetes paced by the drum beats and traditional songs.
It has been formerly known as Maculelê from the years of 1940 by Mestre Popó, a Capoeira Master from the Bahia town of Santo Amaro, however, it is believed that this type of war-like dance has been introduced to Brazil since the 18th century.
Maculelê brings out the wild side in us. Its moves and sounds communicate courage and self-expression promoting collaboration, connectedness and empowerment.
In this workshop, we will learn the simple steps of Maculelê by exercising listening to the rhythm and moving in pace with the drumbeat. We aim to create our own Maculelê circle and bring out ancestral warrior energy.
I was introduced to Maculelê many years ago as part of my Capoeira (Afro Brazilian martial art) studies back in Brazil. I am honoured by the opportunity to showcase this historical practice at The Returning Festival.
Batala Project -Samba Reggae wORKSHOP
Bio: Batala Project is an Afro-Brazilian percussion group that plays a rhythm from the state of Bahia, Brazil, known as Samba reggae. In Australia, it was created in 2016, in Byron Bay, NSW by Priscila Rios and Meninas da Lua and Brazilian local community in the Byron Shire. Batala Byron Bay drumming and dancing workshop It's a fun way to learn Afro Bahia Brazil dancing steps and about afro brazilian mythology.
Rosamund Antaw- Tree Qi - Movement Meditation
Bio: Rosamund’s professional background is a mix of education, management and business. Her personal passions are rooted in the study of Daoism, the practise of Qigong and Wu Tao and reclaiming an authentic womanhood. She is licensed Wu Tao dance instructor, a QiGong practitioner and she has also assisted in mother daughter circles and rites of passage for women.
Workshop:How do we let our forceful, dynamic energies flow freely and with love? How do we balance our drive for purpose and change with the stillness of wisdom and essence?
Where do we find the energy to cultivate our unique expression while staying connected and committed to our families and communities?
The trees have much to teach us. In this workshop we will delve in to discovering how the season of Spring, with its upward movement and the vital yang energy of wood, brings the biospheric opportunity for our bodies to learn to harmonise our yin and yang through mirroring nature and through deep connection with trees.
We will share a combination of acupressure massage, meridian stretches, movement meditation and qi gong to deepen our relationship to this creative dynamic. We learn from the element of wood, the expression of the tree, how we might integrate the balance of stillness in movement, delight in our own unique expression and rest in the wisdom of natural interdependence.
Kobi -Weed foraging
Bio: Kobi is a regenerative forager, permaculturist, and educator combining practices of community, ecopsychotherapy, wild craft, food as medicine and simple living. Her intention is to share and inspire wonder, love, respect and trust for our natural, wild world - 'As within, so without' - in connection to everything.
Kobi’s background is in permaculture homesteading and wild food foraging from childhood, Shamanic Womancraft, soil ecology, self-sufficiency, herbalism, and has been a student of Psychotherapy and Naturopathy.
Workshop: Kobi teaches about bio-individuality and the power of nutrient dense edible ‘weeds’ and wild foods. She believes that it is possible for us to live a modern, symbiotic, harmonious life with nature and each other if we practice sensory presence, attunement and surrender.
Oni blecher -Poetic Manifesto; Writing from the Womb
Bio: Oni has traversed many realms of the BodyMind. Uses hands through the healing arts of Visionary Craniosacral Work, Arvigo Mayan abdominal massage, myofascial release and urogenital osteopathy. Studied midwifery and has assisted many women in the antenatal, birth and postnatal periods. Facilitated village postnatal support groups and birth keepers circles.
Educated on Yoni steaming, womb connection and bathing ritual on womens retreats. Practices and teaches Agnihotra, an ancient Vedic sunrise and sunset purification fire science.
On the Board and radio host for PBB Media- Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond Media.
She also Runs The Temple of Words, a monthly poetry gatherings in Byron Bay, Sydney and coming soon to Melbourne. Writes poetry prolifically
Passionate about connecting the intuitive body with confident and self assured expression for constant change, transmutation and transformation.
Workshop: We all know about the gut brain, the heart brain and the brain brain but what about our womb brain. Fully united, what do these centres want to tell us ? We can find out through an embodied writing practice.
Join me at The Returning to create your own poetic manifesto by writing from the womb. During these times on Earth, it is important to represent, advocate for and be an activist of our own personal truths. What are yours ? And does your whole body agree ? In this workshop, we will tune into and write from the voices of our body. We will do a series of writing exercises leading up to writing a poem, a personal manifesto of truth.
We will connect to an oft hushed but always strong, true and grounded voice- the voice of the womb. She may surprise you. Let your womb centre be the leading voice to your heart, gut, brain and lets write our own manifestos of embodied truth and embodied power. Lets write from the Womb.
Orly Miller - What are Emotions? - How To Feel Your Feelings
Bio: Orly Miller is a registered psychologist with experience and passion for working with mindfulness techniques to enhance self-awareness and overall wellbeing. She is committed to creating a safe space for people to explore inner processes to encourage clarity, growth and holistic wellness. Her training is based in ancient Buddhist mindfulness teachings and evidence-based psychological practice.
Workshop : What are emotions? How do we experience emotions? How do emotions interact with our thoughts, speech and behaviour? How do emotions affect our overall wellbeing? In this workshop we will address these questions and learn how to bring mindful awareness to the experience of processing emotions and shift our relationship with our emotions to one of clarity, acceptance and nurturing.
ZEnith Virago - deathwalking
Bio: Chelsea Storm is a singer/songwriter, vocal coach, somatic psychotherapist and wilderness guide who is passionate about empowering people to reconnect with their most unique and embodied voice. Her own voice journey lead her to discover the immense healing power of the voice, which inspires her to share the work of reclaiming our voice as our own healer, a tool for full creative expression, and a voice for social and global change. After studying psychology, she travelled around the world training with teachers in voice work and sound healing, learning shamanic/earth-based/wilderness work from the Lakota and Quechuan traditions, which lies at the heart of all that she offers.
Workshop: Chelsea’s Wild Song Vocal Journeys gently guide each individual into their fullest, most liberated expression of the voice, awakening the remembrance that song is prayer and that the voice is a potent ancient healing tool. At this poignant time globally, we are being called to step forward and raise our voices. This starts at the most intimate level with our relationship with our self/voice. These ceremonies are an opportunity to meet with our unique voice, so we may unlock our most inner human expression that is wildly creative and powerful. We use foundational embodiment practices to connect the body with the spirit of the voice, so we can move beyond the mind and begin to build trust in letting our voices go. With the magic of sound and song, I will guide us to express from this place of connection, where we can effortlessly shift and release any fears and limiting ideas we may hold around singing and expressing ourselves fully.
Azayliah rose -earth mandalas
Bio: Azayliah is committed to fostering & preserving the membership of the human & natural world through embodiment & creative inspiration. She rejoices in her passion for union through communing with the subtle realms & holds a sacred space for others to deeply listen access and embody this also. Studied at the school of shamanic womenscraft with jane hardwick collings & sacred seed with Adya & Velan her creative grace & earth loving advocacy has lead her to peacefully weaving prayer through the tangible gateway of the earth alter.
Workshop:The workshop creates an opportunity for individuals to drop into their innate intellegence & connection to the elements, plants, minerals, animals & spirit through foraging & making offerings. Honouring & strengthening our relations through recepriocity with our environment for individual & collective unity.