Celebrate Our Queer Spiritual Ancestors
Join us October 27, 2023 - October 29, 2023 for Sacred Kin Samhain at Oakwood Retreat Center in Selma, IN. Sacred Kin Samhain is a weekend spiritual retreat for gay and bisexual men. During this time, we will celebrate and honor those queer souls who have gone before us through ritual, drumming, and more. The retreat is open to all spiritual paths, but the primary rituals and events are based on modern Pagan practice.
Honoring Our Queer Ancestors
The idea of Queer Ancestors may seem odd at first. When most people think of ancestry, they naturally think of it in biological terms. As many gay men choose not to have children, the idea of queer ancestors may seem strange. Spiritual ancestry, however, is about honoring those like us, who have gone before us. Many of them struggled as some of us have, and worked to change things in order to make them better for all queer people. Some examples of our queer spiritual ancestors might be:
- Harvey Milk
- Harry Hay
- Larry Kramer
- Oscar Wilde
- Eddie Buczynski
Throughout the weekend, we'll have opportunities to tell the stories of our queer ancestors and honor them with drumming, singing, dancing, and ritual.
For those who wish to have a deeper experience of their queer ancestors, there will be an optional Utisetta on Friday night. Utisetta is from the Norse tradition and involves sitting out in nature at night to commune with the spirits of the ancestors.
On Saturday evening, we'll hold a ritual for our queer ancestors that involves telling our own queer stories and how our ancestors have helped to make our own lives better.
Why "Sacred Kin"?
It's common that people describe the people that they feel most comfortable around as their "tribe". While "tribe" describes the feeling of connection that the queer community needs, as non-indigenous people, it feels like an appropriation. The definition of "kin" is one's family and relations. This feels like an appropriate way to describe the brotherhood of queer men that we seek to create though these retreats. It's also particularly relevant as many queer people face rejection from their biological families and instead create "chosen families" of their nearest and dearest friends. The goal of the Sacred Kinship program and the Sacred Kin retreats is to give gay and bi men the tools to develop the intimacy and connection needed to create strong, loving communities with other gay and bi men. In other words, these retreats provide the opportunity and space to rediscover and reconnect with our gay and bi kin.
What Happens at A Sacred Kin Retreat?
Each retreat is unique based on the interests and needs of the participants. As Samhain is a time to connect with those who have passed beyond, our retreat will emphasize experiences that allow us to honor our queer ancestors and to feel connected to our lost loved ones. Below are some of the things planned and some examples of activities from other retreats. This list is not final and may or may not include items described below.
In addition to the following, the retreat will include workshops on the Sacred Kin process of intimacy and community building.
Utisetta is a Norse tradition of sitting outside to commune with the spirits of you ancestors, and similar to a vision quest.
Gentle Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is a gentle movement practice which uses props to support the body and allow gravity to gently stretch the body. It is paired with meditation.
As the goddess of transitions and the in-between, Hekate speaks to many queer people. The Hekate ritual is a simple ritual honoring her.
Kirtan is a devotional practice of playing instruments, dancing, chanting and singing to the Goddess while making offerings to her.
Drum & Fire Circle
Drumming and dancing around a bonfire is a wonderful way to ecstatically express what is felt in the heart.
The heart circle involves sharing our stories as queer people in a supportive space without judgment or expectation.
Payment plans are available.
We offer a payment plan for all registrations with NO additional fees or charges. Simply add your registrations to your cart and at checkout choose "partial.ly". You may choose how much to put down (10% minimum) and how often to make payments. The full balance must be paid by October 20, 2023. Don't wait! The earlier you commit, the more time you'll have to pay, and the smaller payments will be.
Registration closes Friday, October 20, 2023 at midnight.
Registration includes your lodging at Oakwood Retreat Center for 2 nights and 6 meals (dinner Friday, breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday, breakfast and lunch Sunday). You may choose vegetarian or vegan meals.
The shared room ticket provides you with your own bed in a room shared with others. A private room ticket will give you your own room. Bathrooms are shared.
Snacks will be available. Each guest area includes a coffee/tea center and a refrigerator. If you wish to bring soda or other beverages, you may keep them cool in the fridge.
If you are attending with a spouse or partner and wish to share a bed, please indicate so we can assign rooms properly. Please provide this info even if you are booking a private room.
Rooms include bedding and towel.
About Oakwood Retreat Center
Oakwood Retreat Center is a retreat center in Selma, In. They have been hosting retreats for 21 years. The center features several meeting places, hiking trails including a path that ends at the White River. You can learn more about the site and find directions at their website.
Sacred Kin Samhain is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who identifies as a gay or bisexual man. Please note, that the only requirement is that you identify as a gay or bisexual man. Yes, trans men are absolutely welcome!
Oakwood Retreat Center will provide bedding and towels for your stay. You may wish to bring your own pillow if that will make your more comfortable. Bring comfortable clothing and shoes. If you will be participating in Utisetta, bring a mat or blanket to lie on and warm clothes. We also recommend a yoga mat, if you have. You may also want to bring a mug or water bottle, a journal and something to write with, and any drums or musical instruments. Bring items and photos that you'd like to place upon the Queer Ancestor Altar. You will get your items back at the end of the retreat. Bring an open mind, lots of love, and plenty of joy.
Do not bring friends who have not registered, firearms, fireworks, pets, illegal drugs, or alcohol.
No. Oakwood Retreat Center is not clothing optional. We ask that outside of the bathrooms or your sleeping room, all guests remain clothed. We also feel that some people equate nudity with sex. As this is a retreat focused on building connection and community, we want to not encourage the attendance of those who would be looking for something else.
Wonderful! We do make some space for sharing workshops or events presented by the attendees. Please us our contact form to tell us about your idea. We'll get back to you and let you know if we can fit it into this retreat.
We want to make sure all your questions get answered. Please us our contact form to ask your question. We will get you an answer as soon as possible.
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