• Cottage in the Woods

    As the air turns cold and the days darken, we invite you to warm yourself around a hearth of ancestral wisdom and community. This year, we return to the Cottage in the Woods, this time guided by the light and shadow of the moon herself. From the Hebrew months of Tevet to Adar II, we will follow the moon through the winter months, from hibernation to celebration.

    By the Light of the Moon...

    This winter, our online gatherings will accompany the moon from full to new, to full again, until we're in sight of the spring. Our new moon circles will weave reflective moments and ancestral wisdom. Our full moon circles will be tapestries of song and celebration.
    Though the winter chill may seem neverending, the moon above reminds us that we move through time. We witness her wax and wane, just as we wax and wane, turning outwards and inwards with her cycles.

    What is the Cottage in the Woods?

    Follow down to the winding path, through the trees, to the other side of the clearing. There, a cottage glows with the warmth of a lit fire, and the smells of delicious cookery and healing tinctures waft through the air. You step through the doorway, where a cup of tea awaits, along with people of all ages and genders, who welcome you into their circle, as one of their own. Throughout the winter you sing and share stories, soak up ancestral wisdom and carve out quiet moments of reflection… From moon to moon, we hold each other, turning inwards and outwards with the seasons.

     

    The Cottage in the Woods is the name we give to our online Winter gatherings. We love the image, as it conveys the warmth, cosiness and homeyness that many of us crave this time of year. The Cottage in the Woods weaves together nourishment for the heart, mind, body and soul.

     

    What are the dates and when can I book? 

    At the moment we are taking bookings from those who wish to be 'cottage residents' - that is, those plan to join us for all the dates we are meeting (you can find these dates below, in the detailed description).

    At a later date, we will be opening up bookings for individual events, but for full moon gatherings only.

    What is the cost?

    Cost is on a sliding scale from £70-200 depending on your own assessment of your current financial situation. Whilst we depend on your financial support for our livelihoods, we also wish to welcome those who are struggling financially. If you cannot afford the Low / No Wage rate, you may apply for a bursary; we aim to provide assistance to those who need it. Please do not apply for a bursary unless it would otherwise be impossible for you to attend. 100% refunds are available before December 15. After that refunds are at the discretion of Yelala and available on a case by case basis only.

     

    Who is this for?

    We are based in the United Kingdom and our primary focus is nurturing Earth-based, feminist, femme-honouring Jewish community where we are. However, the majority of our offerings are online, and so we welcome guests from other time zones.

     

    Cottage in the Woods is open to people of all genders, sexual orientations, races, abilities, ages, and life experiences. We are rooted in Jewish practice, and welcome Jews, Allies, and anyone curious about walking a Jewish path. No special knowledge is required to participate. However, we are not experienced mental health practitioners so if you have complex mental health needs, we ask that you seek professional support before deciding whether to join us.

  • Cottage in the Woods in detail

    all sessions take place on Zoom from 19.00-20.30 UK Time

    TEVET: Sanctifying the Dark

    Full Moon Circle - Sunday 19 December 2021

    With song and ceremony, we will celebrate the dark. We will tell tales of the Winter Solstice in Jewish tradition, and mark the darkest time of the year with a Jewishly rooted ritual that marks the transition to

    the return of the light.

     

    SHEVAT: Growing with Nature

    New Moon Circle (Rosh Chodesh) - Tuesday 4 January 2022

    Beneath the chilled earth, growth begins. Join us to gather in the herbal wisdom of our Jewish ancestors, and bring home some Jewish plant magic of your own. We will also learn the Jewish practice of Kiddush Levana, blessing the New Moon in her time.

     

    Full Moon Circle - Tu Bishvat Seder - Sunday 16 January 2022

    In the middle ages, the kabbalists - Jewish mystics - devised a festive meal to celebrate the New Year of the Trees and journey through the four kabbalist worlds (layers of existence). We invite you to a Tu Bishvat seder Yelala-style, with song, sacred foods and storytelling, rejoicing in the Earth’s produce as she begins to wake up from her slumber.

     

     

    ADAR I: Personal Resilience

    New Moon Circle - Tuesday 1 February 2022

    This year, the Hebrew year is pregnant - yes, that’s what the Jewish leap year is called! A pregnant year! This means we get two months of Adar. The first Adar hosts a little known festival, Purim Katan - “Little Purim.” Purim Katan is a festival of personal deliverances, which has been celebrated in Jewish communities around the world, honouring each community’s own story of oppression and survival. This New Moon, we will gather to reflect on our personal deliverances, our own stories of struggle and resilience. A quiet, tender, gently thoughtful space.

     

    Full Moon Circle - Purim Katan Celebration - Tuesday 15 February 2022

    A festive celebration of our own deliverances and resilience. Expect songs, stories and gratitudes, honouring the ways in which each of us has our own Purim story.

     

    ADAR II: Communal Resilience & Sacred Foolery

    New Moon Circle - Wednesday 2 March, 2022

    We gather to learn ancestral customs of resilience and Jewish wisdom of sacred foolery. We will seek inwards for our own sacred fool and the places within ourselves that could use the loosening energy of the holy trickster.

     

    Full Moon Circle - Purim Celebration - Wednesday 16 March, 2022

    Having kindled our own sacred fools, we join together in the communal festival of sacred foolery! We will embody the joyful, life-affirming energy of Purim, celebrate the heroines Vashti and Esther, and rejoice that finally spring is here

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