A House Divided

Goddess Festival seeks unity through ritual


Catherine Williams characterizes her country and community as "divided" and says "things feel deeply unbalanced."

File Photo / ANDY SHUPE A goddess figurine hangs on display during a previous Goddess Festival.

"The rights of women; racial and religious minorities; low-income individuals; freedom of speech and of the press; even the planet that sustains us, all are facing potential threats and uncertain futures," she says. "Many people are trying to figure out how to handle this fear and anxiety in a positive way. The Goddess Festival is an attempt to counter the anger, bigotry and division with understanding, compassion and community."


Goddess Festival

Healing Ritual

WHEN — 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE — Unity of Fayetteville, 4880 W. Wedington Drive

COST — Free

INFO — Visit goddessfestival.com for a full program schedule

Now in its ninth year, the Fayetteville-based event is described as "a 10-day celebration of the feminine divine." Beginning today, the schedule created by a volunteer "Planning Circle" will offer concerts, workshops, a craft fair and rituals -- one a tradition celebrating the Spring Equinox and the other a new one focused on healing. Seven healers, all with different faiths and practices, will come together Wednesday evening to "release what is no longer serving us as individuals and collectively; fill our hearts, minds and bodies with sacred and holy nourishment, clarity, hope and love; celebrate the beauty, joy and purpose of our soul's journey and give witness to the beauty in each other; and integrate our experience with care and intention to embody our insights, wisdom and wholeness."

Joy Caffrey, who has been an energy medicine practitioner for more than 20 years, is one of the healers who created the ritual.

"In the last several months, because of the political climate, I recognized the need to use my skills to heal the divide in our country, in our communities, under our roofs and in our own hearts," she says. "Proactively contributing to this ritual is one way that I can actively contribute to foster love and healing."

Caffrey says she will open the ritual by "creating a safe and sacred space" and calling the seven directions. With Holly Attaway, she'll lead the release, then Matthew Gibbons will "use his healing gifts to fill those participating with spiritual nourishment." Bonnie O'Boyle will "lead us through a celebration of our experience, of life, of each other," and Caffrey will "offer guidance on integrating the experience into our everyday lives."

"People attending can engage, observe and experience the energy in the room. They can trust their own intuition in how to best be present," she says. "There is no right or wrong way to be."

-- Becca Martin-Brown


NAN What's Up on 03/17/2017

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