Learn about healing ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse gods and goddesses. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience a western form of empowerment and transformation.
The meditation retreat will cover gods and goddesses such as Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, Hygeia, Freyja, Hathor, Isis, Osiris, Odin, Apollo, Pan, Mercury and young Dionysus.
Odin (Wōden), for whom the day Wednesday was named. Known as a seer and seeker of great knowledge, Odin gave up his eye for wisdom, and in doing so he saw the unity in all things. Chief of the Nordic gods, Odin is a wanderer, patron of rulers and outcasts. His name means frenzied ecstasy. Odin willingly sacrificed himself to himself to gain the communicative power of Runes. Runes are a Germanic alphabet – ancient symbols that can be used to see into the future. Odin has two raven companions, Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory or mind), who bring him information from all over the world. He rides the flying, eight-legged horse Sleipnir, who climbs and gallops across the sky. Together they can “slip” into underworlds (or the subconscious) undetected. Odin is also accompanied by his animal companions or guides, the wolves Geri and Freki, whose names signify ravenous hunger. What howling wolves are ravenous within you, and what can feed them?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote of how important it is ‘to keep the heart awake to love and beauty.’ Love is healing – to feel loved is to feel divine. This very human impulse to love, and be loved, is the honouring of the goddess Aphrodite. In Ancient Greece (and through her counterpart goddess Venus in Ancient Rome) this spiritual love was honoured in a higher form, and many temples were built in her name. These places had an atmosphere which cultivated healing for what weighed on people’s hearts. It is possible to still feel this healing experience now.
It has been said that ‘Justice is a woman satisfied’. Many ancient texts speak of the divine feminine and masculine energy dwelling in people of all genders. To consciously house these energies is to be empowered in wisdom. By integrating what is unknown in our shadow, we can then create a life filled with compassionate understanding. Humans can then empathise more easily with others, and life can contain less suffering. In Ancient Greece, the goddess of wisdom was known as Athena. As a strategist and protector, she was called to help on battlefields. Carved on Athena’s statues are many symbols which explain a path to protecting and healing your heart, body, and mind. All you need is the key.
The ability to protect oneself and provide nourishment resonates with our fundamental survival instinct. Many would say that we need the wisdom of this goddess of the hunt more than ever. As we explore Artemis further, are we ready for her challenge? ‘Stop complaining and start aiming!’ Artemis is the goddess of the forests and mountainous wild lands. A moon goddess, she is a protector in childbirth, of nine year old girls (who were called her “little she bears”) and relieving women’s ill health. Always virginal, she was self-wed, free to roam and be true to herself. To connect with the qualities of Artemis within yourself is to ‘come alive again’ and have sharp, clear mental focus.
Mira Riddiford is a meditation and mindfulness teacher who runs retreats and series in New Zealand. Her online classes have participants joining from North America, Europe and Asia. With more than 20 years of daily practice, Mira has been trained through retreat work, study and apprenticeship in the Namgyal Rinpoche stream of teachings. She has a close ongoing relationship/association with the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre and the Auckland Sphere Group.
Having worked in creative fields, Mira enjoys how mindfulness can enhance the arts, and she is respectful of diversity in all its forms. Mira focuses on the relevance of mindfulness in modern daily living, and how it can help with stress relief, calm and wellbeing. She specialises in making teachings on Western Mysteries, archetypal integration and non-duality available. (There’s no problem if you don’t know what any of that means!) Her contemporary, warm and engaging style breathes life into these meditation teachings.
Mira is passionate about meditation teachings on ancient Gods and Goddesses and how these teachings can work as a map for personal development. You can find out more about her work here: www.westernmysticism.com
For the fifth year running, we are blessed to have the experience of Scottish sculpturist Louise joining us and managing the retreat. Previously the office caretaker at the Wangapeka for a year and half, Louise is a fount of knowledge about the centre. Contact her for any further enquiries about the retreat:
We are grateful for having the wonderfully supportive energy of Nicola assisting Mira on this retreat. Liaising with Louise and Mira, Nicola will be helping with the logistics of the retreat running smoothly.
At the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre we have a holistic understanding of wellbeing for body and mind.
Non member: $599
If using Paypal please add 5% of the total cost and include with your payment to cover Paypal’s fees – many thanks.
To register please fill out our online registration form
*Please consider becoming a Wangapeka member – click here for details.
These figures above include accommodation, food and a nominal contribution towards Mira’s travel costs. They don’t include any dana/donation to Mira for the teachings she will impart. So people from different income brackets can benefit from this retreat, no set fee is put on the teachings. Please give generously according to your means, taking into account Mira has a family to provide for and that meditation teachings are her primary income, you could use as a guide $20 – $60 per day (with the understanding that everyone’s circumstances are different). Please bring cash to pay for the Dana.
“Wow! The meditation retreat with Mira Riddiford was so incredibly powerful & transformational for me. I spent the entire week in my own private hut which allowed me to deeply explore my mind, body & spirit. Meditating on gods, goddesses & tarot card archetypes opened me up to new ways of being. Almost like I could create myself & BE anyway I choose in each moment. I feel like I was reborn. On top of the transformation that was happening inside, I felt immense peace being surrounded by nature on the outside. Mira’s teachings were thoughtful yet playful. Her strong presence, intuition & wisdom created a safe, loving space where everyone’s needs were acknowledged. She is a powerhouse Wonder Woman. A truly amazing retreat to be on.” – L. Hill
“I highly recommend the Western Mysteries series with Mira. Anyone genuinely searching for meaning in life will not be disappointed. This course is so rich with content, thoroughly enjoyable and so much more than an intellectual exercise. Mira took us on a journey of exploration of the fabric of life. Her wealth of practical experience in esoteric study allows these teachings to truly come alive.” – N. Stevens
“The Western Mysteries retreat was a highly supported environment for the exploration and meditation on the Tarot archetypes. Mira’s teaching was thought-provoking and gripping, nurturing the various levels of meditators present. It was an incredible experience to explore the Dharma from this colourful, creative and totally different perspective – with such a gifted, open-minded, modern, tuned-in teacher. I am only beginning to see the effects of the retreat, but am beyond grateful to have been there.” – N. Karneef
“Recently I attended a Western Mysteries retreat taught by Mira Riddiford.
I originally registered hoping for a rest and respite from a busy work life in community healthcare. I was not disappointed and received so much more.
Mira skilfully held space for the diverse retreatants to experience the teachings. These were vibrantly given in a respectful, humorous and supportive way.
They were fascinating teachings, drawing on ancient western wisdom, while also resonating with modern science.
Being a fledgling meditator, discovering meaningful ways to support myself and others was gold. Drawing on thousands of years of collective wisdom has been an unexpected and refreshing experience.
Returning to daily life and facing a particularly challenging situation, I found myself naturally drawing on the rich learning experiences to feel further calm and support.” – S. Hollobon
“The Western Mysticism retreat with Mira Riddiford was a precious opportunity to experience the richness, colour and depth of meditating on archetypes and symbols. As the stillness and silence deepened, I felt I could catch a glimpse of gods and goddesses behind the next tree. The delicious meals provided by the Mystery Kitchen were also very memorable. What a profound gift to study a path exploring the spiritual traditions of my ancestors. A magical week.” – N. Paton
“With an interest in meditation, but being unfamiliar with Buddhist imagery, Mira’s course on Western Mysticism resonated strongly with me. Contemplating together on some of the classical and pagan icons, so embedded in Western culture and heritage, was a powerful means of gaining greater insight. The beauty and tranquillity of the Wangapeka Retreat Centre was a wonderful place to enjoy that.” – J. Leyland
Mira gives personal meditation interviews through Skype
“The High Priestess”
by Lady Frieda Harris.