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Gathering 2023 Information

We will explore the key insights of our spiritual journey-Magic, Meditation, Silence, Journaling and more. Registration will open in mid-July, and more details about the gathering will be available soon. 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:   Monday Oct. 26th  8:30AM to 10AM

On arrival go to the registration area in Alves to pick up your room key, name tag with location assignments on the back and a folder with materials for your perusal. Joan Marker and Carolyn Garbett will be there to provide assistance.  Coffee and breakfast "bites" will be available.

Opening Ceremony

The Gathering begins at 9:45 AM with the OPENING CEREMONY when you will be called to the Chapel by the heart beat of the drum.  Brenda Bledsoe , a local musician, will be playing the flute to welcome you and honor sacred silence as you enter.

SMUDGING AT 9:45 – TO 10:15 AM, with the ceremony continuing to !0:30 am when we  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 there until the Closing Ceremony on Thursday.


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Morning Meditation

Each morning from 8:00-8:30AM a Grandmother will lead a morning meditation.  Consult your schedule for location information.  Watch the bulletin board in the Dining Room for more information and possible spontaneous evening meditations.

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. 

Meeting in Small Circles Each Day

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 resilience as a spiritual practice.  Each day everyone will be asked to share her ideas on each aspect of the talking points, the clearest reminder of the ancient phrophecy: “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 all the Grandmothers at the Gathering who are seventy years old and older. Elders returning to the Gathering will wear their purple shawls to this ceremony.  Grandmothers new or returning to the Gathering who are now seventy years old and older (The Crones) will receive a purple shawl during this ceremony. This Croning Ritual is a rite of passage into an era of greater wisdom, increased freedom, and enhanced personal power.  If you were Croned during a previous ceremony, please bring your sash.

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You Be You

Ecstatic Dance Activity

Rebecca Washburn will host an Ecstatic Dance Event on Saturday evening.


"As humans we carry the memory of dancing and drumming in our blood and bones. As far back as we can trace, these methods of expression have been used to connect us to each other, ourselves, nature, the Universe, our ancestors and those yet to come."

Ecstatic Dance is a safe welcoming space to listen tother 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.

Unlike other forms of dance there is no technique, only willingness to listen to your own body and soul. We begin in a sacred circle of intention setting and connecting. You will be guided in a movement warmup, tuning into the energy of your body. You will then be invited into free form movement and exploration of your own natural rhythm. We end with savasana to integrate this transformative experience.

Memories are made, pictures are taken, and the willingness to enjoy each other as Sacred Beings celebrating life make this night of dancing and movement an integral part of our Gathering.


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. Grandmother Leslie Puckett 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. Contact Joan Marker (251-295-7972 or with any questions in advance of the Gathering.




Dear Grandmothers,

We are thrilled and grateful that you will be attending the 2023 Gulf Coast Grandmothers Gathering. To enhance your Gathering experience please review the following important information.

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

  • The schedule for the Gathering can be found at this link​.  You can access a printable copy on the schedule pageif you prefer.

  • 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 at that ceremony.

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

In mid-September we will share the Small Circle Topic and Talking Points, details about the 'YOU BE YOU" event, the giveaway and more.

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.

  • NEW ON THE LIST: Scissors for the Art with Tamlin workshop

  • Purple shawls (if you have been croned previously)

  • Musical instruments and drums, etc.

  • Shawls for ceremonies and circles

  • Altar item

  • Giveaway gift

  • Fun Night – your resilience attire!

  • Flashlight

  • Bug Spray/Anti-itch cream

  • Rain gear….just in case!

  • Your Circle Way Talking Points if you have printed them for your personal reference in circle.

  • Your piece of costume jewelry to embellish your rainstick art project with if you so choose

  • A snack to share in the hospitality room if you desire



  • Meals are served buffet style and are planned to meet the needs of vegetarians and omnivors.  If        you have additional dietary needs, bring along any special foods that are essential to you

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

  • 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 casual. The weather in Fairhope will likely be warm during the day and bugs will be plentiful (bug repellent).

We hope you enjoy the 2022 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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