Join us in the Heart of the Black Hills.
Bring your heart to the hills to enjoy rituals and educational presentations by Council members and local labyrinth facilitators. We will be together the full day, and lunch is included. The labyrinth is a beacon on the hill that calls our hearts to gather in community and renewal. Register now and join us on this journey of the heart!
Photo credit: Sandi Stembler Ohlen
Driving to Rapid City, SD?
From the East you leave the ancient Appalachians and vast Eastern hardwood forests. Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by extensive farm fields interspersed with industrial cities and quaint villages. At the Mighty Mississippi River pause and consider the flow of water and traffic that keeps this nation on the move. From the breadbasket Heartland you cross at the Missouri River into the High Plains of the Dakotas. The towering Dignity statue at Chamberlain, SD, is worth a stop to take in the expanse of prairie, cultivated fields and sky. Lewis and Clark’s expedition experienced this view when it was wild. After crossing the Missouri, you are in “West River” country. By Wall Drug you will be ready for a stop. And, may even detour through “mako sica” or “les mauvaises terres” better known as The Badlands. Then, you notice on the horizon a faint smudge - The Black Hills!
Driving from the Southeast and South, you angle through Southern cities and forests studded with farms to cross the Mississippi River. You might catch the Mighty in flood stage, which is amazing to witness. And, disconcerting when you have to detour. Be brave and use your updated GPS. Real maps come in handy, too! Then, you notice on the horizon a faint smudge - The Black Hills! You are in for a treat in Hot Springs with the Mammoth Site and Museum. Then, you can choose to course through The Hills themselves or skirt up the east side into Rapid.
Driving from the Southwest, the Rio Grande, Brazos, Arkansas are your landmark rivers. Then, the drive up the Front Range of the Rockies. You must navigate the sprawling metro area from Pueblo in the south to above Greeley in the north. The scenery changes. Enchanting for those who choose to enjoy it. To the east are the seemingly endless short grass prairies. To the west the rugged Rockies that curve away to the west. Then, you notice on the horizon a faint smudge - The Black Hills!
Driving from the West and Northwest remember (to the tune of Over the River and Through the Woods.) “Over the mountains and through the pass to Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, you drive. It’s far to go, the trip feels slow but soon you will arrive! Keep your good heart for you have a good start, in Rapid City you’ll thrive! We’ll see you soon humming this tune as from the West you drive.”
Good connections are through Salt Lake City, UT; Denver, CO; or Minneapolis, MN. Under two hours. Enterprise and Hertz both have rental car presence at the Rapid City airport, which is about a 20 minute drive to the Alex Johnson Hotel and other downtown lodgings. Shuttles are available from the airport to various lodgings.
How to Dress for Time in The Black Hills
“Spring in the prairie comes like a surprise. One minute there’s snow on the ground, the next there’s sun in your eyes.” (Connie Kaldor)
Pack for delightful spring breezes that waft up from the south, and be ready for a “norther” to drop temperatures and snow. Then, the sun comes out again!
High Plains folks are more casual in dress. Typical informal, urban dress is fine. Those who venture into The Hills will want all weather boots, a hat and gloves, a warm coat. It’s always fun to pick up something western at one of the local shops to fit in a bit more.
Lodging in Rapid City area
The Alex Johnson Hotel in the heart of Rapid City is an easy three-block walk to the Emmanuel Episcopal Church where the concurrent workshops will be held. (Renewal Day for Veriditas Trained facilitators and the Qualifying Workshop for labyrinth enthusiasts and those who may be interested in training to become facilitators.)
Veriditas Council has a preferred rate agreement (PRA) with The Alex Johnson until March 22, 2020. Room availability and rates are not guaranteed with a PRA. However, The Alex Johnson staff will work to accommodate those who register later than this date.
Other lodging in Rapid City is plentiful, although further away from the Church. People can choose motels, Airbnbs, and Bed and Breakfasts.
Things to do In Rapid City
Spirit Stones: Twylla Alexander and Karen Kelley presenting.
“Participants will create their own spirit stones, or “touchstones for inspiration and insight” (Catherine Anderson, creator), using images from magazines, labyrinth designs and/or words.” (Catherine Anderson, Veriditas Faculty member, originally created Spirit Stones – & touchstones for inspiration and insight. These can be used as writing prompts, awareness or wonder stones, or symbol stones.” You will have the opportunity to create one or more of your own stones and decide how best to incorporate them in your life and/or labyrinth work. All materials will be supplied.)
Walking Like Trees: Barrie Gibby presenting.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” – John Muir How can we access the portal of tree wisdom into the changing seasons of our lives? What path of the feminine spirit interweaves with branches and roots to invite what is invisible into the light? The Celtic Zodiac identifies our Birth Time as our Tree Time, corresponding 13 tree species to the lunar cycle, the body feminine. In this quarter-moon liminal time, we gather to celebrate our collective odysseys on the curves of the labyrinth, whose quadrants echo the cycles of tree life and our own.
Dreams on the Labyrinth: Chris Farrow-Noble presenting.
Do your dreams influence and inspire you? We’ll visit past dreams and dreamers, learn to record dreams to help our recall, and experience active ways to work with our dreams.... all within the safe, welcoming labyrinth. Bring a favorite dream!
Wisdom of the Black Hills: Paul Campbell presenting.
As a geological feature The Black Hills should be named mountains. These rocks, formed in the time between the dinosaurs’ extinction and the beginning of the most recent ice age, are a small, ancient and isolated mountain range. Some of the oldest mountains in the United States. The Lakota tribes were the recent care takers of this sacred region before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1800s. From the Lakota tradition: “There was a time when the land was sacred, and the ancient ones were as one with it. A time when only the children of the Great Spirit were here to light their fires in these places with no boundaries…”. Much of the Lakota wisdom is close to the Celtic tradition of wisdom and spirit in nature and the land. We will explore the spiritual wisdom of this landscape. It has been a draw from the first Native Americans to modern motorcycle riders. A brief exploration to experience the “Hills” as a sacred connection to creation.
Voices/Fellow Travelers: Kathryn McLean coordinating videos.
Fellow labyrinth facilitators across the country and world share their stories of their labyrinth journeys.
Self-Care: Mary Ann Wamhoff presenting.
Unite the heart energy of the Black Hills with the energy of the labyrinth and our own energy to rebalance and reenergize ourselves as facilitators. Participants will be introduced to Tai Chi Chih and simple yoga movements and practice on the labyrinth.