A self-study retreat (starts when you register, move at your own pace, lifetime access)

“We clasp the hands of those who go before us.”
-Wendell Berry

“And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see—or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.”
-Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens


The Christian feasts of All Saints and All Souls on November 1st and 2nd honor the profound legacy of wisdom our ancestors have left to us.  These feasts coincide with the Celtic feast of Samhain which marks the beginning of the dark half of the year in the northern hemisphere and is a festival of the final harvest and remembering the dead.  These moments on the great turning of the year’s wheel is believed to be a “thin place” where the ancestors are especially accessible to us across the veil.

Join us for an online self-study retreat experience welcoming in the gifts of the dark time and honoring the many saints of our heritage.  We will explore the gift of our genetic and spiritual roots and celebrate the coming of the fruitful darkness (in the northern hemisphere) when the seeds of new beginnings are planted.  November is traditionally the month of remembering the dead.  Welcome in the presence of the Communion of Saints who support us in each moment.

Connection to our ancestors can give us a powerful anchor and sense of belonging. We carry stories in our blood.  Honoring them and giving them voice helps us to claim our own stories more fully.

You will be invited to honor this very sacred time through ritual, poetry, art-making, song, and movement.  These will be our tools to grow in awareness of those who walked the earth before us and to listen for the wisdom they offer to our own life circumstances.

Do you long for ways to enter more mindfully into this holy time of year?  Are there stories you would like to remember and honor?

What's Included

Five days each week for three weeks you will receive an email with a link to the day's content. The 6th and 7th days are a time for rest and integration. The materials are in written, audio and video formats which you can read, listen to and watch at any time. You have forever access to the materials in the course.

  • This retreat will be hosted on our easy-to-navigate platform with Ruzuku, a private website with lifetime access to the materials.
  • Content is delivered through reflections, suggested practices, and questions to ponder.
  • Two guided movement videos with Betsey Beckman for Week 1 and 2
  • Two song recordings - one of the "Grandmother Song" by Lorraine Bayes and the other a Litany created by Betsey for this retreat
  • A list of suggested songs about the wisdom of ancestors

Program Fee

Program Fee

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Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

  1. No refunds are provided for online program registrations. Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.
  2. You will have access to all the program materials for the lifetime of this website.
  3. The registration fee is per person; we ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.
  4. All materials presented in our online programs are copyright. Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program.
  5. Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of session that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.
  6. All fees include VAT where applicable.
  7. If you need a payment plan or a more of a scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us. Small group discounts are also available.

Your Guides for the Journey

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
(visit the "About Christine" page for more information)


Betsey Beckmann, MM
Betsey Beckmann is nationally acclaimed as a spirited dancer, storyteller, teacher of SpiritPlay and dancing Spiritual Director. With her extensive repertory of sacred storydances, she is regularly featured as artist/presenter at national conventions as well as local churches. She earned her Masters in Ministry degree from Seattle University, her certificate in Movement Therapy from the Institute for Transformational Movement, and is a certified InterPlay leader. Betsey’s publications include books, recordings, and The Dancing Word series of DVDs on embodied prayer. Find out more about her work at her website: The Dancing Word.