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Herstory

This event has a long and rich herstory.

1988: A group of seven women called the Flying Turtles, following the guidance of one woman’s vision, divided up the tasks and planned the first Women’s Summer Solstice gathering. 75 women attended the retreat at Chinook Learning Center on Whidbey Island, participating in rituals, workshops and the healing tradition of the sweat lodge.

1989: 200 women attended the second gathering!

1992: The original seven women gave  the gathering to the community in the closing day Giveaway ceremony, hoping someone else would now take up the task of continuing it for the women’s community.  A single woman took on the goal of planning the event for everyone else. In recognition of her commitment to the community as a whole, the Turtles presented her with a gourd containing earth from the grounds. It was a daunting venture to say the least, but she spent the next year making Solstice 1993 happen.

1993: She had a dream in which she learned that the gourd held the vision of the gathering, and so she formally named the gourd “She Who Holds the Vision” or simply “SheWho.” A group of women stepped forward to help her plan the next year.  The new group of women added their own tradition of choosing themes for each year’s celebration.

1996: After 3 years, all but one of these women were exhausted with their efforts to keep the gathering going and they passed  the gathering back to the community to keep it going. A small, 5-year-old girl, who had attended for each year of her life, insisted Solstice must go on and volunteered to take charge. Inspired by the child’s courage, several women stepped forward to help her.

1998: Recognizing the need for a different and sustainable leadership structure, members of the community were asked to participate more fully in the weekend event, from moving wood to building altars to cleaning up after the celebration. Another beautiful and momentous event happened in this year as well. A small girl, who had come to Solstice when it first began and had attended each year since, was honored for her passage into womanhood during the Theatre of the Goddess menarche ceremony. She represented the first child of our community who has been raised in the Goddess tradition and honored all her life for her femininity.

2001: We moved to a different location to allow more flexibility in scheduling around other June events, such as Father’s Day and Pride.  This change in venue also allowed us to begin providing all meals for attendees.

2002: 153 women and children attended our 15th gathering, where we participated in a world peace prayer honoring those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, and those who continue to live and strive for peace between nations.

2012:  We celebrated our 25th anniversary with a massive gathering of 220 participants with the theme of Illumination.

2013:  A time of challenge around diversity in our community, our event had a “dark moon” year. A few women remained on the council and were left with the decision to let the gathering come to an end.

2014: Calling our Circle Together. Once again, Spirit called out to one soul and she answered. A small council was re-birthed and they brought the women together again.

2015: Nurturing the Garden of Our Sisterhood

2016: As I Am

2017: Sister Soup; Filling Our Sacred Bowl

2018: TBA