Grandmother Cherry Sanctuary
Welcome to a Healing Sanctuary in the Forest
The land slopes south, an old growth Grandmother Cherry Tree welcoming you to a forested space for healing, reflection, connection, and community. Trees reaching for the stars, their roots caressing portals and pockets of wonder through an open treescape into the lower depths of the woods. The air flow is magnificent, breathing into the outstretched arms of trees, dancing with the winged friends in the gardens, spreading wisdom over cultivated and wild medicines and beauty. Mountains and hills surround the land, gifting clouds filled with moisture to nourish the trees and plants, spreading carpets of moss along the forest floor. The sun’s brilliance shines rays and rainbows under a dome of light covering the open land and gleaming into hidden places where source water flows from springs in crevices below the Earth. Standing upon the land at Grandmother Cherry Sanctuary invokes a sensation of awareness into one’s soul and emergence into the shared consciousness that exists among all living beings.
Grandmother Cherry Sanctuary is located on Abenaki land, in Plainfield, Vermont, below the western slopes of Spruce Mountain with land lines connecting to the Groton State Forest. The land is stewarded as a space for EmpowR events, sessions, retreats, and building new culture centered in equity and belonging. The sanctuary holds space for remembering our roots and reawakening our magic. Practices on the land support shared learning, unlearning, and relearning to help heal our bodies, relationships with each other, and how we engage with nature as being interdependent with EmpowR’s mission.
READ THE STORY of how a healing sanctuary was called into being by the trees; co-creating a relationship of reciprocity and community building. Prior to 2021, the sanctuary was called the Forest Magic Healing Sanctuary. The name was changed to honor indigenous place name traditions.
The EmpowR community is manifesting ways for the land to become space for intentional community and respite for change makers working towards our shared vision to heal the heart of humanity–and the connection between this vision and how we care for the Earth that sustains our life.
EmpowR recognizes that the sanctuary is located on original Abenaki homeland—land that was colonized by white European ancestors during the genocide of indigenous people of this land. EmpowR land stewards are of white European ancestry and are intentional with acknowledging and speaking this truth and our own practice around decolonizing our hearts and minds and bringing this truth into conversation with EmpowR offerings.
A commitment to reparations is offered by engaging in the following practices:
- Regenerating the land from colonized land management practices by healing the soil, protecting the water, and supporting biodiversity by replanting native plants and medicines.
- Unlearning and relearning from indigenous voices, practicing ancestral healing work, and being students of indigenous mind–as we were all indigenous so somewhere once.
- Listening carefully to the energy of the land to help guide how the sanctuary is cared for.
- Centering equity and belonging with all offerings with accessible offerings and anti-racism practices.
- Holding space for people to listen and re-awaken their sacred relationship with the Earth and the connection to transformative justice.
- Growing and offering medicine from the plants as gifts to those in need and to support the value of reciprocity.
- Exploring how the sanctuary can be a part of cultural easement to allow medicinal plant access to indigenous people.
Invitation to Build Community
Grandmother Cherry Sanctuary is calling in community to co-create a couple of living and respite buildings on the land. Stewarding the sanctuary for future sustainability requires more people and we are navigating ways to create reciprocal care of the land with nourishment for health. Plant medicine is abundant and a community herbalism program is seeking co-creators.
The best way to get involved is to participate in any of the EmpowR offerings to begin to build relationship and explore alignment in culture and values. Please join us at a program or event and sign up to the EmpowR Voice newsletter to stay informed of the latest offerings. Follow EmpowR on Facebook and Instagram to get more connected and engage with our mission.
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