Nature-based programs, transformative events, private and group session counseling, courses, workshops, and retreats
Strengthening connections to nature
Community building and healing
This course centers on an aspect of nature every two weeks. We will explore how this particular aspect of nature reflects Spirit's action in one's particular life journey. We will connect with the healing of Spirit, and the gift of Spirit's nature-based teachings of change, abundance, limits, and potential.
We will use imagination to enter the enchanted reality of real communion with Nature. We will explore our dreams which suggest a longing and perhaps even grief at one's distance from Wild Nature - our own wild nature, and that of Mother Earth.
Walking the trails along the river, ceremony, and arts and crafts projects will be incorporated into the process.
Limited to 8 participants. Non-denominational. $15 per 90 minute session. NEW COURSES ARE ONGOING. Earth Circle participants meet every other Sunday (6 sessions). Refreshments will be served. Interested participants: Contact Victoria Moore at (434) 760-1822 to register.
Participants are invited to share ideas and discuss issues of concern in an inclusive, compassionate, life-affirming community. This resilient community creates hopeful possibilities arising through our collaboration and reciprocity with others.
Guest Speaker: TBA
Please come and enjoy this free event!
DATE: First Sundays
TIME: 3 PM
"Our original instructions are to listen to that cloud floating by and the wind blowing by. That's poetry and prose in English but it is 'wakahan' in Lakota--it means to consciously apply mystery to everything--everything is alive and has its own consciousness."
by Tiokasin Ghosthorse Sundancer, Lakota Nation
2023 SUMMER SOLSTICE and MIDSUMMER CELEBRATION OF GRATITUDE - Sunday, June 25 at 3:00 PM
We are looking forward to this year’s celebration of the Summer Solstice at the Wild Blue Heron Center. Although the Summer Solstice is on Wednesday, June 21th, we invite all lovers of nature and seasonal celebrations to join us on Sunday, June 25th at 3:00 PM. We always celebrate on the Sunday nearest to the actual day of a seasonal celebration. As always, bring food or drink to share if you are able to do so. This year’s theme will be gratitude.
The June Solstice is associated with change, nature, and gratitude for growing and fruiting crops. We are not only honoring our dependence on the physical Sun, but we also honor the spiritual fire within each of us. When we celebrate the Summer Solstice, we focus on the power and energy of the Sun—the source of warmth and light around the world. We celebrate the fullness of life. We take the time to raise energy to regenerate abundance within and without, and to manifest our dreams. We tap into something eternal.
In this celebration and ceremony, fire plays a prominent role. We will have a grand bonfire at our center at our fire circle near the river. The element of fire is the most easily seen and immediately felt element of transformation. The use of fires, as well as providing magical aid to the sun, were also used to drive out evil, and to bring fertility and prosperity to humans, crops, and herds. The Celts would light hilltop bonfires from sunset the night before Midsummer until sunset the next day. Around these flames, festivities would take place. It was a time to honor the space between Earth and the Heavens. The Druids marked three days before the solstice, and three days afterward. The Irish also celebrated Midsummer with lighting bonfires.
Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way. The Sun reaches its zenith in the sky, and it is the longest day of the year. It is the point at which the Sun seems to “just hang there without moving”. The word “solstice” is from the Latin word—Solstitium, which literally translates to “Sun stands still”. In ancient times, the Summer Solstice was used to organize calendars, and as a marker to figure out when to plant and harvest crops. This was because of the Sun reaching its highest point in the sky-- its northernmost position.
The word “bonfire” is a word from the 1550’s, meaning a fire in open air in which bones were burned. Native Americans held ritual dances at this time to honor the Sun. The Lakota Sioux had a ritual in which they cut and raised a tree that was considered a visible connection between the Heavens and Earth. They also set up teepees in a circle to represent the Cosmos. There are thousands of ancient sites created around solstices and equinoxes that were built to honor our connection to the Sun as the ultimate source of our light.
The Sun passes over us each day in the never-ending circle of light. Although the Sun gives its light and power to each of us, it is never diminished by the sharing of that energy. We look forward to sharing that energy with you to warm and rejuvenate us. If you wish, wear a hat or a costume which you think fits the season. Bring a musical instrument, or sing us a song!
WILD BLUE HERON CENTER
Naturalist E.O. Wilson wrote, “There can be no purpose more inspiring than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.”
The Wild Blue Heron Center is a small plot of land, dotted here and there with large boulders, covered with lichens and moss, and small caves along the river. The animals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, and trees bring it all to life. The blue heron flies past us as he often has done in the last twenty-three plus years we have been here on this land. He sometimes has a mate, and an off-spring--a small bird that looks more like a stick-figure than the magnificent bird he will become. An eagle was here with his mate two summers ago. I have never experienced a more impressive bird. The huge bird perched close to me on a large branch of a nearby tree. He did not move, as he was stalwartly protecting his mate.
Hawks, Wild Turkeys, Owls, Ravens, Finches, Cardinals, and Blue jays fly back and forth and perch on branches. Geese build nests of plants lined with feather down for their new goslings. The Wild Blue Heron dips his beak into the river for minnows.
The fox family returns in the warm seasons, with two or three small red kits cavorting and jumping over and over each other in total joy. Bear came last summer, staying here all summer for the first time. Perhaps this young male did not want to show himself before. Perhaps the other adults who lumbered across the land in years past now know that they are safe with us. Sometimes there are beavers in the little river.
Puma was here a few years ago for two months. The Puma who “doesn’t exist” say the wildlife directors. But there will be a fee if we bother the puma, they say. A beautiful and graceful large cat, kind to other resident dogs and cats.
Bobcats and coyotes prance and wander at night along the riverbank, and on Appleberry Mountain stretching above the river.
The deer clan has always lived here. Elusive, and yet not, as we get to know them. Radha, my long-time female deer, graces us with her two spotted fawns each year, as she parades them all around the land. We smile and watch them with pleasure as the little ones run and jump.
We have planted fruit trees over the years, some more successful than others. Looking forward to planting nut trees this spring, and milkweed for the Monarch butterflies. Many plantings of wonderful raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes planted over the years burst with color and taste in the Spring, and all manner of flowering bushes and flowers trumpet their beauty. Ah, Virginia. Soil that is sometimes more clay than tillable. But with love we improve the soil each year. Our little Shangri-la. A quiet place to share. A place in which to ponder and meditate.
A place to share our gardens with neighbors. A greenhouse that was built last year out of old greenhouse parts—a community effort to piece it together, a bit unwieldy, but serviceable.
Great bulbous tomatoes, and peppers, beans, and squashes. The South’s resplendent cornucopia. The Concord grape arbor-- Only a few years old. How lovely to watch the grapevines grow and expand.
We pull out invasive species here at our center, and replant native flowers and trees. Although I must say, we haven’t been able to uproot the few mimosas trees with their ethereal pink and white blossoms in the Spring. Their beauty is so mesmerizing.
Bringing in friends and family to can local peaches, tomatoes, our blueberries, and figs from our fig trees. Community is the answer to everything. Most important is the love and trust that grows from community..
Virginia is known for its dogwood trees—our state tree. There used to be wild ones everywhere—pink and white trees swirling in the wind on the hills and mountains like ballet dancers in tutus--- filling the land with their dainty beauty. Then there was a blight, and many died. But they have begun to come back! A necessary part of our landscape. It had felt like we were unclothed. But they have returned! Hallelujah!!
We used to have chestnut trees here in Virginia filling the mountains with beauty and food. Most died years ago before my time. But hybrid trees are beginning to fill the mountainsides again. This tree that was a symbol of plentitude for so many years has returned. Not the same, but with food for both animals and people, and deep roots dreaming of creating new trees in the future.
The animals, the birds, the insects, the reptiles, the plants, and trees, share the horn of plenty on this land. We welcome them as brothers and sisters. Mother Earth thinks differently than we do. She thinks in the Creator’s time, not human time. The Elders teach that creation is like a drum. What is struck in one place is felt in every other place. Therefore, it is good to sit and watch and listen to the animals and the other more-than-humans. Respect them. They are good. They come with the Creator’s knowledge. They have much to teach us.
We grow in the understanding that the Earth is made of connections and relationships. The rest of creation came first. It is our task as humans to find our place among the other creations of the Earth. Restoring land without restoring relationship is an empty exercise. It is relationship that will endure, and relationship that will sustain the restored land. As we care for the land, it can once again care for us.
We try to live here at the Wild Blue Heron Center as if everything matters, because it does.
Victoria Moore, LPC, Founder and Director Wild Blue Heron Center
Licensed Professional Counselor; Psychological and Educational Consultant
Dean of Students - Ubiquity University
Certified Eco-Spiritual Mentor; Certified Grief Counseling Specialist
Remember to experience the miraculous beauty of Mother Earth all around us.
These are challenging times, and yet times of immeasurable opportunity.
These are times when we discover that we are together more than we ever imagined.
These are times when the Beloved Creator calls us beyond what we have known about ourselves and life itself.
Feel the tie that binds our hearts in Conscious Love.
Invite healing for those who suffer and for yourselves.
Remember to sing, dance, and to laugh. Laughter is the harmony of the heart.
May your connections bring harmony, beauty, and balance to you and your circle of beings.
In the name of all that is Sacred, in the spirit of our ancestors, and in the name of peace and tranquility, bring the circle of love and light to humanity, Mother Earth, and the more-than-humans.
May you be a light for someone else. We do not know what is around the corner, but we are resilient. We can adjust and look for the positive new life that is awaiting us. It is the perfect moment to seek your path to healing and evolutionary change.
Our simplest thought or action, the decisions we make each day, and how we see and relate to the world, can be incredibly significant and have a profound impact on the lives of those around us, as well as the world at large. The Earth and everything on it is bound by an invisible connection between people, animals, plants, the air, the water, and the soil. Staying conscious of the interconnection between all things can help you think of your choices and your life in terms of the broader affects you may be creating. We are powerful enough that what we do and say can reverberate through the lives of those we may never meet. Understanding that you are intimately connected with all things and understanding your power to affect our world can be a step toward living more consciously.
CEREMONY and RITUAL
I believe that all healing is spiritual healing--for ourselves, for our relationships with each other, and for our relationship with Mother Earth. We must make ourselves available to God/Goddess/the Creator and to the spiritual realm to be healed. A long time ago, in medieval times, the touch of an Angel restored health. Ceremony and ritual can provide the means of making ourselves available for that touch.
Ceremony is a process in which the human capacity for Sacred feeling and reverence is given form and expression. Here at the center, we walk down to the river. We contemplate the flow of life. A river sings a Holy song, expressing the mysterious truth that we are a river--change and flow. We build a Sacred fire at the fire circle at the river. We gather our spirits in connection and cohesion.
1. Trauma, Wounds, and Wholeness - A Journey of Healing & Awareness
2. Grief, Loss, and Healing
In our groups we will emphasize storytelling--sharing stories of lives and losses, learning from each other, sharing the pain of another's heart, and the inspiration from each other's epiphanies. We create a comforting secure mode through our common humanity. Everywhere, everyone gravitates to a shared secure space.
All groups will be held at the Wild Blue Heron Center, overlooking the Hardware River; 15 miles from Charlottesville, 10 miles from Scottsville, and 5 miles from Crossroads Store Rt. 29 South on historic Plank Road.
The facilitator will be Victoria Moore, LPC. Ms. Moore has facilitated many counseling groups over the course of her career.
Call for details and registration.
All groups will be held in-person at the Wild Blue Heron Center.
$25 per in-person session. Groups capped at six participants.
"THRIVING IN YOUR THIRD ACT: Women Finding Fire and Fulfillment After 50"
The life experiences you've navigated, the paths you've pioneered, the work you've done in the world, is only the beginning - a launch pad into an inspiring "third act", where you give and receive in equal parts, enriching the lives of others and making a difference in everything you do. You will be inspired to walk freshly in new ways, both for yourself and for others.
"GRIEF, LOSS, & GRATITUDE"
You will explore the interwoven bond between grief and gratitude, sorrow, and intimacy. The use of art, poetry, and writing will expand your connections and understandings. You will also create tactile forms of honoring your ancestors and loved ones. These tools, as well as ceremony, will aid in the transformation of grief, allowing you to live and love more fully.
"THE ELDER/SAGE as TRANSFORMER of SELF and SOCIETY"
As you embrace a future filled with exciting new opportunities for personal growth, you will become a sage, an active and responsible elder, whose efforts help heal the family, the community, and the planet. A sage is the important role of wisdom keeper and guide - the crowning achievement of a lifetime. A time of life embraced with dignity, grace, wisdom, and unlimited generativity.
"POWER, PURPOSE, & AUTHENTICITY"
You will learn to fully own your own stories as you move into your present and future with courage and authenticity. You will be invited to open the covers of your life, to find the marvels inside. You will explore your life as an ongoing narrative, discovering the personal mythologies unconsciously lived, break free of them, and consciously create your own personal future. You will become artful in the way of the inner landscape, learning to help yourself and others reach expanded potential through your ideas, aspirations, and wishes. You will connect more deeply with yourself and others, getting to the core of who you are, embracing yourself, and trusting in your wholeness.
"THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE LABYRINTH: A PATHWAY TO THE WISDOM CULTURE"
Walking the Labyrinth quiets the mind, opens the heart and grounds the body. The Labyrinth is a mirror of the soul that reflects back to us where we are on our journeys. The Labyrinth opens the door to self-reflection and allows us to comprehend and release the psycho-spiritual issues that need clearing. In this course, you will learn the history and archetypal meaning of the Labyrinth and how it addresses our spiritual needs from an inclusive perspective. We will explore the feminine principle and why it is so central to healing Western dualism. You will learn the ancient meditative practice of walking the Labyrinth to help you nurture the innate embodied wisdom we all have access to. When we walk the Labyrinth, our intuition and imagination are open and available both to us and to our community in new and profound ways.
Each course will consist of six sessions. Each session will last 90 minutes. The number of participants per class will be capped at 10. The fee is $15 per course session. Walking the trails and the river, as well as art, poetry, writing, and ceremony will be incorporated in the process. Refreshments will be served.
Before the beginning of a course, a recommended, but not required, book list will be sent to enrolled participants. Hand-outs will be provided at course meetings.
Call for details and registration. In-person courses begin TBA.
Counselor; Teacher; Psychological and Educational Consultant;
Certified Grief Counseling Specialist; Certified Eco-Spiritual Mentor
By appointment only
4645 Diggs Mill Ln, North Garden, Virginia 22959, United States