Weyrd Women: Forge Your Mythic Path
Sunday September 16 to Friday, September 21
Facilitated by Meghan Gardner and Leigh Melander, PhD
Are you tired of repeating the same old stories in your life?
Join us for Weyrd Women, a week of mythical exploration in the Catskill mountains, as we find our fire and author our own power. It’s time to break open and breathe life into your story. To grab it with both hands and make it yours. Come and take the first step of your journey…
Become the hero – and the author – of your own story.
We all live in a weave of stories – our own and those of the culture and communities around us. Far too often, we can find ourselves living into the stories that we come to expect, and the world expects from us. Our lives become about what it is we’re supposed to do, rather that what we really want to do. Women walk this path in a particular way, as we dance the tightrope of our goals and responsibilities. We can become smaller than we really are. And we get stuck, uncertain how to find our way back to the grandness of our deep dreams.
Come with us to break those stories open. To go deep into your sense of what is and what can be. And to find the courage and clarity to remember your own particular delights and power.
Weyrd Women is five days of imaginal play, of laughter, adventure, myth, a quest or two, making and exploring masks, writing, thinking, dreaming, meetings with archetypal creatures who will help us find our own uniqueness…all in celebration of the superb weirdness that allows us to find – and claim – our passions and flout all of the ‘gottadoes’ that can turn our lives into an unsatisfying echo of what we want them to be.
Who is it you really want to be?
A Word about Weyrd and Weyrd Women…
We claim our weirdness! When we step into our own power, we are all a bit odd. A little uncanny. But the power of that weirdness is the power that comes when we claim our own stories, and look back to the roots of the word. For the Ango-Saxons, it was about fate. Destiny. About the bending and turning of possibility. And ultimately, about hope.
We are the Weyrd Sisters. The Women of Weyrd. Join us in weyrdness!
Workshop Fee: $675 if you book by August 16, 2018. After that, $820.
Includes all programming, materials and meals.
Spillian offers eight delightful rooms. You can learn more about them here and make your choice on the registration page.
About Leigh Melander
Leigh Melander, PhD, has an eclectic background in the arts as well as consulting in strategic planning, outreach and marketing, and event planning for over 20 years. She has performed and taught internationally as a speaker, actor, dancer, singer, and harpist. Her undergraduate degree is in performance, literature, and history from Penn State, and she studied writing by invitation with Nobel Poet Laureate Derek Walcott at Boston University.
She has a doctorate in cultural mythology and psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and wrote her dissertation on frivolity as an entry into imagination. She has published articles in Spring Journal, The Routledge International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies, The Mythology CD-ROM, and has appeared in various media outlets, including the History Channel, as a mythology expert. For four years she has hosted a weekly radio show on an NPR affiliate (now morphing into a podcast): Myth America, an exploration into how myth shapes our sense of identity and has served as the Vice President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation Board of Directors for over five years and as the editor of their weekly essay MythBlast series for two.
In 2013, Leigh and her husband opened Spillian, a Catskills NY historic lodge and retreat center offering world-class workshops and events, working with creatives from around the world to dream forward programs that inspire imagination. Leigh also works as a coach and faciliator for individuals and groups, helping them to imagine and leap into their most creative ideas for work and life. Her book, Just That Side of Crazy: Soul Rules to Guide Your Wild Idea to Life, is scheduled for release in 2019.
About Meghan Gardner
Meghan Gardner is the founder of Guard Up, Inc., and educational adventure company that specializes in live, interactive events where participants play a character of their own design and engage in a story that changes according to their decisions. She and her team developed cutting-edge STEM programs such as Wizards & Warriors Camp and Zombie Summer Camp.
Meghan has also lectured at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for years and has been contracted by The Princeton Review to set up a series of STEM summer camps in Asia. Her passion for exploring the different ways that stories can be used to educate and uncover aspects of a person’s role in the larger myth has inspired her to co-develop programs that explore important topics such as death, loss, spirituality, and more.
When you drive up the long driveway into Spillian, the work-a-day world falls back and you discover a place that shimmers between the dreams of old-world elegance in the woods and the most visionary ideas about where we can all go next.
At Spillian, our mission is to help people imagine past what they think is possible. The estate itself helps people do that. The heart of the property is the 8,000 square foot mansion is the last remaining house built by the Fleischmanns Yeast family as one of seven in their 19th Century glamorous Catskills summer compound. With unique, historic floral and scenic murals painted directly on the clear pine paneled walls, eight gracious and whimsical bedrooms, a dining table that invites great feasts and great conversations, the mansion presides on the hill, embracing guests and evoking the graciousness of the Victorian Catskills.
The house is banked by what we’ve dubbed The Heartwood — a mixed wood forest with hemlock, sugar maple, white pine, birch, and more, etched with paths rebuilt from old carriage roads, and filled with half-forgotten remnants of other mansions. The forest sings with wind in the evergreens, with the cry of a hawk circling on updrafts from the valley floor, and with the concert flute of the hermit thrush. Deer visit the pond most mornings, and the hillside is ablaze with trillium and dutchman’s breeches in the spring. A 19th Century gazebo welcomes visitors, and the deep porch is the perfect place to sit and think big thoughts — or perhaps nothing at all.
In the Spillian Meadow, a clearing remaining where one of the other grand houses once stood, sits a fire pit and a stone-walled, stone terraced stage, with a magically hanging chandelier and trees sculpted with light, and a superb rustic pavilion that serves as a place to find drinks during gatherings. Up the hill a ways, another clearing awaits — this a remnant of a Fleischmanns family tennis court — now a gorgeous glade with a stacked stone wall, perfect for outdoor classes and moments of reflection. Spillian has eight whimsical bedrooms, an innovative kitchen that works with all of the local farmers and food producers, a bar stocked with local beers, ciders, and spirits, and staff who delight in delighting our guests.