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Grandmother Gathering 2023

2023 Gathering Details

Welcome to the 2023 Gathering of the Gulf Coast Grandmothers!

This private web page was made to assist Gathering attendees with easy access to the itinerary, optional activities, and discussion questions during the gathering. We greatly appreciate the 2023 Planning Circle, Bobbi Jo, Kim, Stevi, Mary, Joan, Carolyn and all who shared their hearts.

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Check in:   Thursday Oct. 26th  8:30AM to 10AM

When you arrive at Beckwith on Thursday morning stop in at the Alves Administration Building where you will be welcomed by Grandmothers. This is where you can pick up your name tag and enjoy coffee and a breakfast "bite". 

Opening Ceremony

At 10:00am, we ask all attendees to join us at the chapel as we prepare for the Opening Ceremony  with smudging and the receiving of the Sacred Ashes. Music by "SheFolk" will unite us in rhtyhm and guide us into Sacred Silence before the Opening Ceremony begins at 10:30am.


The Opening Ceremony is our opportunity to invite the Sacred Feminine into our Gathering and place our attention on creating the container of love and connections that will be with us throughout the Gathering.  During this time you will be asked to introduce yourself and to place on the altar the item you brought from home that represents your connection to Spirit.  It will remain on the altar until Sunday's Closing Ceremony.


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Morning Meditations

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings from 8:00-8:30am, a Grandmother will lead a morning meditation in the Alves Center. 

Meeting in Small Circles Each Day

All Grandmothers will have been randomly selected for small groups that will meet in circle in various locations indicated on the back of your name tag on each day of the Gathering.  Consult your schedule for the specific times. The schedule for each day's circle are available to download and print here through this link if you like having a hard copy. The facilitators will have a copy and there will be one to share. 

You are encouraged to wear a shawl of your choosing to your small circles. In circle, we tell our story, honor our own voice, soothe our souls and transform our lives. This year the Grandmothers will each speak in small circle to a series of  talking points about finding wholeness and meeting our shadow.  Each day everyone will be asked to share their ideas on each aspect of the talking points, the clearest reminder of the ancient prophecy: “When the Grandmothers speak, the earth will heal.”  If you have attended previous Gatherings, you are already familiar with the process.


Circle Guidelines

To learn more about the teachings, practices, and global colleagues affiliated with the Circle Way, we encourage you to visit the immensely resourceful Circle Way website. The Circle Way guidelines are the fundamental principles meant to guide each meeting. Many have taken this practice into personal areas for breakthrough communication and mediation between family members or co-workers. The guidelines will be available on site but you may also review and download them here or visit the CIRCLE WAY 's website.

Elder Ceremony

This is the opportunity to honor as Wise Women Elders, those among us whom are now "Crones". For our Gulf Coast Gathering, we recognize as crones all the Grandmothers at the Gathering who are seventy years old and older. Elders who have previously been croned are asked to wear their purple shawls to this ceremony. New or returning Grandmothers yet to be croned at our Gatherings and have reached seventy years old and older will be given a purple shawl during the ceremony. This Croning Ritual is a rite of passage into an era of greater wisdom, increased freedom, and enhanced personal power.

Workshops & Special Times

Along with our planned workshops and activities, we also encourage optional activities such as massage, music, dance, yoga, reiki, card reading, etc. to be offered during the scheduled free time. If you have questions about listing your activity on the bulletin board in the Dining Room, CONTACT Mary Enfinger at for guidance.

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice with Mary Michael

Mary Michael will be offering a workshop entitled Journaling as a Spiritual Practice. Various types of journaling methods will be discussed and after a brief teaching, there will be time for journaling, then sharing with the group if desired.

Sound Bath

On our first evening together we will soak in the full-body meditative experience of a sacred sound bath with Brenda Bledsoe and Rebecca Washburn. Singing bowls can create a powerful, restorative form of self-care, especially while lying down and allowing yourself to be bathed by the reverberating sounds as they echo through your body. Bring a yoga mat, blanket, or towel for the ground if you prefer and plan to lie down.

Fire Ceremony

Friday evening, Leigh Bancroft will host a Fire Drumming Ceremony. Bring your drums, rattles, flutes, tambourines and rain-sticks to participate in an empowering drum circle as we share our spirit and release what no longer serves us. 

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Ecstatic Dance

Ecstatic Dance is a safe welcoming space to listen to the wisdom of your body and explore the creativity of your soul. It is an opportunity to release limiting beliefs and emotional energy that are held in the body and mind and relax into what is present in the moment.

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Our 2023 Gathering's Last Night

You Be You (UBU)

The incredible Donna Lewis will be our MC for the evening.

This year's evening includes ECSTATIC DANCE led by Rebecca Washburn. 

After the dance, THE GRANDMOTHER TALENT SHOW will commence! To express yourself creatively and enjoy the creative expression of others, there will be 10 four-minute performance opportunities. The performances may be solo or in a group, but must be able to be completed in four minutes. 


Contact Mary Enfinger to reserve your spot.

Costumes are welcome but not required.

*Also known as our Grandmother Talent Show, aka Skit Night or our Ceilidh (a social event with singing, dancing, and storytelling from the Scottish and Irish traditions)


The Giveaway

The Giveaway is a time to honor Sacred Giving and Sacred Receiving through an anonymous gift exchange between your small circle members on the last day of meeting together.


The act of Sacred Giving asks us to part with an item we cherish and allow its joy to grace someone else's life. Each circle member's selection of a gift will be guided by Spirit—thus the intention of Sacred Giving and Sacred Receiving is met. Details of this process are linked here.

The Marketplace

We are looking forward to a vibrant Marketplace.  As always, there is limited space available for grandmothers to sell their handcrafted items and curated natural living wares. 

This year we are asking that anyone who is planning to sell in the Marketplace reserve their space IN ADVANCE with Diana Keenan, the Vendors Coordinator.  Contact her at 850-723-0517 or will not be able to guarantee a space without this advance reservation, and space will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  We request that you donate 20% of your sales to our scholarship fund, which provides support as needed to Grandmothers attending future Gatherings


Silent Auction

THIS, ALONG WITH THE VENDORS' SALES, IS THE MAJOR FUNDRAISING ACTIVITY FOR OUR SCHOLARSHIP FUND which provides requested scholarship assistance to some grandmothers to attend the Gathering. You may also find just the thing you have been looking for!!!  We encourage everyone to donate an item or a certificate for your future services to our silent auction. Grandmothers Leslie Puckett and Brenda Badinger will be available in the Dining Room at the Silent Auction Tables to help put out your items and conclude the Auction at the end of the Gathering.



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Dear Grandmothers,

We are thrilled and grateful that you will be attending the 2023 Gulf Coast Grandmothers Gathering. Please review the following important information.

  • When you arrive at Beckwith on Thursday morning, stop at the Alves Administration Building to pick up your name tag and enjoy coffee and a breakfast "bite."

  • The schedule for the Gathering can be found at this link​.

  • Information on optional activities will be available on a bulletin board in the Dining Hall. Optional activities are offered by attending grandmothers and may be scheduled during free time.

  • Smudging will include Sacred Ashes

  • Enjoy the music by "SheFolk" while sitting in Sacred Silence before the Opening Ceremony.

  • Bring an item from home that represents your connection to spirituality (your altar piece) that you will place on the altar during the Opening Ceremony.  You will pick up your altar piece at the Closing Ceremony on the final day.

  • Bring your drums, rattles, tambourines, etc to participate in the drum circle.

  • If you have been Croned at a Grandmothers Gathering, please bring your purple shawl that you received.

  • A special 2023 website will be available online during the Gathering containing all the important documents for the Gathering.


If you have questions or concerns feel free to contact the Planning Circle at or 251-295-7972



Be sure to remember to bring the following important items.

  • Your purple shawl if you an Elder 70 and older and have been Croned in an Elder Ceremony at a prior Gathering.

  • Musical instruments and drums, etc.

  • Shawls for ceremonies and circles.

  • Your Altar item and “ giveaway gift”

  • Your contribution to the Silent Auction

  • Your snack to share in the Hospitality Room

  • Your costume if you plan to “dress up” for the "You Be You" night

  • Flashlight and rain jacket

  • Your Circle Way talking points and the Gathering Schedule if you printed them for your personal use during the Gathering.


  • Meals are served buffet style and are planned to meet the needs of vegetarians, dairy free and omnivores. If you have additional dietary needs, bring along any special foods that are essential for you. Generally the special needs foods are on a separate table.

  • Bring a snack to share for the hospitality room.

  • Respectful quiet is requested from 10 PM until 7 AM each day.

  • We ask that you honor all ceremonies at the Gathering by being prompt and by wearing a shawl.

  • Smoking is not allowed in any of the facilities. Outdoor smoking areas are designated.

  • Bring your own drinking container. Bottled water will not be available. You may bring a small cooler for your room with your choice of beverages. Ice is available in the Alves Coffee area and the dining hall.

  • We ask that alcohol not be consumed until after the evening activities have been concluded.

  • No illegal drugs are allowed by Camp Beckwith.

  • Dress is comfy casual; the weather in Fairhope will likely be in the 70’s during the day the 50’s at night.

  • Bring bug spray and a rain jacket…just in case!

We hope you enjoy the 2023 Gathering of the Gulf Coast Grandmothers!  We look forward to meeting new Grandmothers and seeing familiar faces...


Good to know

Sacred Ashes

Elemental balance of Nature includes Air, Water, Earth, Fire

My understanding is that these ashes are from Sacred ceremonial fires held

some 10,000 years ago. Women tended the fires which provided warmth,

fuel for preparing food and ceremony circles. We know there is evidence

of intentional/useful fire 2 million years ago, so it is believable that these

ashes were saved and passed down over the years.

For our gatherings, GrandMother Chrystal (Donna) Johnson kept the ashes

for 20+ years fallowed by GrandMother Terry Bourne for about 10 yrs and

me for about 10 years now. I understand we all received them at a Give

Away ceremony at a gathering unaware that we were getting them. I feel it

is an honor.

A smudge from the ashes is offered at our gatherings to remember and

honor the GrandMothers who have gone before us. And to acknowledge

they are with us/blessing us during our gathering.

You can accept this blessing at a location of your choice

Third Eye - Wisdom

Throat - Vocalization

Heart - Love

Feet - Dance/Movement

We rest gently on the backs of the generations of GrandMothers who have

gone before us and prepare our backs to hold those going before us

Sacred Ashs
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