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.
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.
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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