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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Morning Star 1

 Around 4 PM June 24, 2010 a ferocious storm came up quickly.  There was a complete white out with sideways rain, hail and wind that blew over an oak tree.  It struck our Morning Star's head and she was knocked to the ground unconscious, her arms still at her side when the paramedics arrived.  We got word that her body stopped breathing at the Cooper Trauma Center in Camden, NJ around 8 PM that same night.

Our 3rd Annual Healing Retreat in the Pines was held at the Goshen Pond Campground in Shamong New Jersey June 24-27, 2010.  We began the morning with an invocation and welcome meditation led by Morning Star.  She had been at this location since last Friday when we set up camp for our Holistic Retreat in the Pines for families with Autism.  We camped for 3 days with horses and assisted one another in growing and learning.

This is Morning Star in the background working on cleaning a fawn's skin that was found just on the way to the Retreat.  In the Foreground is Pablo the Pony who is working miracles in the life of Thomas a newly adopted 11 year old boy!  And Goudie to Morning Stars left.  Goudie is a little 2 year old wire haired dachshund who LOVES Morning Star!  To the right is a photo of Summer and Below a photo of Pegasa and St. Gomer carrying Carrie and Morning Star.

The horses are wearing fly screens to keep the bugs; who were only present on the trail, out of their eyes.

Of course Morning Star shared with the families at the Retreat for Families with Autism, her new snake on a stick and her fox and other treasures.

  We happily shared meals together prepared by Butch and Donald on their camp fire and sang the "Bear" call and response song that Morning Star so loves.  We played in Atsion Lake, took out the canoes and kayaks.

Morning Star Playing her flute.

 In this photo of Butch (below) and his chuckwagon, the boys are packing up to move up the hill where Morning Star has been camped and preparing the space for our 3rd annual Healing Retreat in the Pines just after the solstice and to include the full moon on the 26th.

As we followed the signs to the Healing Retreat in the Pines,only now, newly named the Morning Star Retreat ~ Excitement built for all of the special things that were to happen at this years retreat......
          The White Deer on our banner is a doe that lives in a mixed herd just around the Super Military Bases of Ft. Dix - Maguire AFB and Lakehurst Naval Air Station.  If you know the symbolism of the white deer, you can imagine our gratitude when a newly hit white buck was found on the morning of the solstice and Donald (Gentle Bear) promptly carried it to Morning Star.  This ultimate symbol of Peace became the poster child for this years retreat a few months ago.

 For the Chicksaw people, the white deer is the favored material for a wedding dress. This deer is not albino but white.  I found other herds of white deer living on another military base in NY. Ted Andrews in "  Animal Speak"  notes deer as Gentleness and Innocence - Gently luring to New Adventure.  Deer are native to every country on Earth except Australia. If a deer has entered into your life look for new perceptions and degrees of new perceptions for as much as the next 5 years. This white buck was quite young with only small nubby antlers. There is reference as very significant to the fawn staying exclusively with its mother only and nursing often with no other visitors other than the father, linking the child more closely to her family, to protect the newborn to subtle outside influences of energy.  When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with yourself and others.  A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born.  There is gong to be a gentle, enticing lure of new adventures.  ask yourself important questions.  Are you trying to force things?  Are others?  Are you being too critical and uncaring of yourself?  When deer show up there is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you. 

All campers and visitors entered under the Welcome Banner.  Our first gathering was a welcome and invocation with everyone lead by Morning Star.  We all picked an animal druid card and shared the reading.  The way we did it is one person shuffles, the next picks for the next person.  As is turned out, Morning Star picked the Water Dragon for me and the Owl was picked for her.  There were 8 of us in the circle 10 total cards were drawn that morning.

Passion, Depth, Connection

(There are no direct or indirect correlations.)
Detachment, Wisdom, Change

The Mystery of Magic, Omens, Silent Wisdom, Vision in the Night
Then Morning Star prayed that we walk softly on the land and that the land care for us during our Healing Retreat.  She asked that we take only pictures and leave only footprints. She asked that the bugs conduct their lives happily outside of our camp and she thanked all the life around us for the deer and the experiences we are about to have.  There was likely more said, but this is as I remember it.  The she began to play the Shruti and sing, truly in an ethereal way, like an angel. In this next photo is Ron a loving friend and music man. and he's playing the Shruti that he left with Morning Star all week to play
and practice an accompaniment for our closing Ceremony on Sunday The Oneness Blessing.  And she was making great progress.  She loved this box and immediately as Ron entered camp, her first words to him were what do I need to trade you for this box!  If you don't know, it's a harmonium and originated in India as an instrument to chant with.  Oh, and that is Morning Star's tent in the background. She bought it last summer when she was with us and I know she loved it.  Just as the storm was coming up, she was trying to catch it from blowing away.

After we all shared our first meal of the retreat, our first two workshops commenced; Pinelands ecology with Ranger Smith ( left is a picture of Butch and I  walking with everyone) and Morning Star's drum making workshop.
And here is the rest of our group. That's Terry on the left next to her husband

Ranger Smith. Terry along with Yvette held Morning Star while it rained and we waited for the ambulances to arrive.   Karen and Ginger are next.  These two ladies followed the ambulance to Cooper Medical Center in Camden where Morning Star eventually passed.  They were the voices that connected us to what was happening.  Next is Belinda,Retreat organizer and master of all things money and Butch famous for creating amazing food over an open fire all  much loved friends of Morning Star.  It rained so much in such a short time,  after climbing out from under the fallen tree himself, Butch was digging trenches with baking pans to move the water away from the ladies holding our Morning Star.  
We found turtle eggs and carnivorous plants, played in the water and enjoyed the many berries, water flowers and birds that joined us. We learned about the pitch pine, the red oak, the white oak, the cedars, the need for forest fires for the pine barrens to survive.   When we returned to camp I took a few photos and found drum birthing in full swing. 

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