The Poison Mother Sacred Art Retreat was my initiation to the spiritual world and to the shamanic artist's way. Imelda Almqvist is a powerful but kind guide into both worlds.
This retreat has been my rite of passage from the wounded child to be an adult: it has been my blessing and my healing.
Recognising the Dark Mother as the most deeper teacher is a discovery that changes your life forever!!”
-Milena Bedin, Vicenza - Italy, http://www.milenabedin.it/
The 2 day sacred art introduction course left me hungry for more with Imelda, the experience of the labyrinth having had a profound effect that continues to be with me unlocking inner secrets and wisdom. This beautiful four day retreat, immersed me yet deeper into a world of non-reality with time warping in all directions! An opportunity to work with the Dark Goddess in whichever unique way she comes to you. Personal ceremony and witnessing each other creating a beautiful spiritual bond shedding tears and sharing laughter, appearing in each other's journeys and dreams. One of my happiest times ever sat in Imelda's garden bathed in sunshine painting the sea of Tiamat! My life will never be the same again!
-Lyn Hill, therapist, West Yorkshire
This course is a 4 -Day Intensive or Retreat for sacred art practitioners in London, in which we drop deeply into the alchemical opus of transmutation on the level of soul.
My stand-alone art retreats are for people who have completed my 2-day Introduction to Sacred Art course as well as for people who have done my sacred art practitioner program and wish to continue working with others in sacred space, in a profoundly spirit-led way.
Profound personal healing occurs in this work - but it is not for the faint-hearted!
Please watch my sacred art video to get a feel for what this invitation from The Poison Mother involves.
Only in exceptional circumstances (say for people flying in from abroad) could I make links available for some on-line introduction sacred art classes I taught to my U.S. group. The person concerned would then need to complete all the tasks set and arrange a (paid) private supervision session with me to discuss progress. -
However, it is preferable by a long stretch to do the introduction course in person, drop deeply into this work and meet kindred spirits!
Describing this work involves finding words for what essentially remains Beyond Words...
I do my best work in my dreams. I think we all do - but not everyone knows it or remembers their dreams.
I am always trying to dissolve the boundary between waking and dreaming so my life is a dream and my dreams shape my life . Authors such as Robert Moss and John Perkins have written beautiful books about dreaming the world into being and actively working with dreams!
This course introduces "The Poison Mother" , an ancient Mistress of Transmutation.She appeared to me in a dream in Sweden in 2016 .It took me a year and a day to fully absorb and "unwrap" her message: to be a human crucible for the mutation of poisons in our world. This art video maps my journey of discovery and shares her invitation with others!
All mythologies and cosmologies have a trickster figure. For many Native American tribes this would be Coyote. As I am of Northern European descent the great trickster teacher in my life is Loki. Loki is forever upsetting the apple cart and he goes too far when causes the death of Balder, the most beautiful (and most loved) young Æsir god, son of Odin and Frigg (we met Frigg earlier as the Divine Mother holding the cosmic spindle and distaff) . The gods decide to tie Loki up to prevent him from causing more harm.
In the poem Lokasenna in the Poetic Edda the Trickster god Loki has been bound by the gods with the guts of his own son Nari. His son Vali has been turned into a wolf. The goddess Skaði fastens a venomous snake over Loki's face, dripping venom but his wife Sigyn looks after him and empties the bowl of poison at regular intervals.However, as it fills she is forced to step away and empty it. During this interval venom drips on Loki and his causes him to writhe so violently that earth quakes shake the entire earth…
We cannot tie up trickster gods forever. We can only keep the forces of chaos and destruction at bay for a time because they play their role in the larger cosmic process.
What we can do is building a fertile working relationship with trickster gods and the forces of chaos that ultimately bring renewal and rebirth!
This is a stand-alone retreat. It does not bring the continuity of a sacred art practitioner training and the same group meeting six times.
Some people will come and go, taking from it what they need. That is fine!
Other people will form strong bonds and decide to stay in touch with each other and perhaps continue to work together once this retreat is over. I will actively encourage this and provide help with certain practical matters (e.g. create a dedicated closed Facebook group - or even web page - if people want this).
It has been my own vision for years to bring people together under the umbrella of a larger Global Sacred Art Network. My long-term dream is that people will connect, share sources, support each other from a place of abundance consciousness and cooperation (not competition and scarcity consciousness).
I am publishing my second book in March 2019. The title is: SACRED ART, A Hollow Bone for Spirit: Where Art Meets Shamanism. I invited sacred students on two continents (Europe and the U.S.) to write contributions for that book about their own process. Many people did and others chose not to because they prefer to stay anonymous and not see their work in print.
My philosophy is that the role of community in art is often under-played and that many (but not all) people do better when they have the support of kindred spirits.
However, as am a profoundly solitary person who frequently locks herself in her cave deep in the forest - I also understand that some people will be lone wolves and not open themselves to this. - I understand that better than you might think!!
Essentially any sacred art network will become what people themselves choose to make it. I will make my skills, connections and resources available but ultimately this can only grow organically.
This sacred art retreat ran in London in July 2018.
An astoundingly talented group of people got together and did life-changing work.
For me this is a dream come true!!
My intention is to organise (at least) two sacred art retreats or intensives a year. For now those will run in London UK. There will also be sacred art intensives in the UK co-taught with Susan Rossi.
I do not know, at this time, when The Poison Mother will run again as my teaching schedule is very full and I am a mother of three teenagers in exam year -I still have not worked out the secret of cloning myself!
I am happy to receive expressions of interest for this workshop (or indeed any workshop) as I always take those into account when I put together my teaching schedule.
In the near future I also intend to create a general Facebook Group dedicated to Sacred Art process, teaching and sharing - for anyone to join. Watch this space!
Imelda Almqvist, Sweden, 17 August 2018
This was a perfectly crafted and balanced workshop delving deeply into shadow work. Imelda has a way of asking questions that are simultaneously personal and collective, that provoke deep journeys and dreaming, that help us know and accept ourselves more completely. There were beautiful, profound moments of celebration, ceremony and witnessing which created a strong bond of community between the participants. I left full of magic, inspiration, an open heart and a surprising degree of personal insight. Imelda is a warm, generous, knowledgeable and skilful teacher. I still have much I want to learn from her.
-Dr Helen Payne, Clinical Psychologist, Wales