Ecstatic Grief: A Community Grief Ritual

With Mikyö Marie Black-Wangmo & Sirena Andrea​

August 29 – September 1
$525-750 Sliding Scale


One of the root words for ecstasy is elation, which is a great joy. In many indigenous cultures around the world grief and joy exist on a continuum. In our grief lies the key to opening to the joyful celebration of life. And in our joyful celebration of life we cultivate the capacity to truly grieve in a way that brings us home to our inborn sense of wholeness and peace.

We live in a grief-heavy culture, land, and world. We have lost much of the traditional wisdom about how to move our sorrow, express our losses, mourn what we loved, or ritually praise the life giving places and relationships that connect us into deeper peace and innate belonging. 

Our tender, wild grief can be a pathway to transform our suffering and reclaim the ecstatic radiance at the center of our human soul. This is your opportunity to remember your capacity for ecstatic celebration in the midst of touching the depths of your grief within a safe container, held by an ancient ritual.

We were never meant to hold grief alone. In fact, we were never meant to hold grief at all! Grief is a living energy that is meant to move through us that we  may open into deeper presence and love. 

A community Grief Ritual Retreat is an opportunity to gather and open together to that which is too much to feel on your own. To experience the love that you are and feel the unavoidable grief involved in being human.

In intact cultures with active grief practices, grieving is a communal activity. 

These rituals create a portal for the members of the community to enter a liminal space to access their love, the presence of helping & healing ancestors, and to release the burden of aloneness: These rituals are engaged regularly at times of:

  • loss

  • death

  • transition

  • unmet needs

  • unfulfilled dreams

  • illness

  • change

  • failure

  • betrayal

  • ancestral traumas

  • environmental change

  • social injustice

  • rupture and violence in our personal relationships, communities, and world.

There is no other way but through. Grief is the price we pay for loving. The opportunity to surrender to love, allow grief to move through our bodies, and alchemize our losses in a community and ritual container is a healing and kind act towards ourselves and the world we live in .

This Ecstatic Grief Ritual revolves around a beautiful co-created grief altar, live drumming, and community singing. Inspired by the grief rituals from the Dagara peoples of Burkino Faso brought to the U.S. by Sobonfu Some, infused with the wisdom of Francis Weller, and lead for many years by practitioners all over California, including Zahava Griss, Dana Schlick, Hannah Idalia, and Mikyö Black-Wangmo.

Our 3 day event includes embodied practices that allow each member of the community to open to their personal relationship with their grief and loving presence. 

These include:

  • Co-create a safe and sacred space in community to honor individual and collective grief and joy

  • Learn about different types of grief and ways to identify how it may be showing up in your life.

  • Expand perspectives on how grief is held in wisdom traditions and indigenous ways.

  • Connect with and express your grief and joy through writing, movement and embodiment, song, and time in nature.

  • Experience the healing power of honoring grief by being witnessed and witnessing others grieving without trying to change, fix or solve the grief process.

  • Open your heart and increase vitality through the liberating energy of forgiveness and embodiment

  • Integration practices such as restorative yoga, breath work, meditation, cultivating joy, and being in nature

  • Communal connection through sharing nourishing food together

  • Opening the pathways for deep connection with the well ancestors and elements

  • Quiet time for reflection and self care

  • Cultivate a renewed intimacy with yourself and recover the aliveness that is awakened from choosing to honour and embrace grief and joy in your daily life. Practices to take back into your daily life for integration and further deepening. 

Come to the grief altar with us and join us as we recover our inherent resiliency, capacity for joy, and ecstasy of being alive!

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Help those with fewer financial resources attend this retreat:

Mikyö Marie Black-Wangmo is a queer, Indigenous Mexicana. She loves to be in wild, natural places, with Northern New Mexico being where she currently lives and is most at home in this world.

With her foundation in the healing and energetic arts, communication, and education she channels her training into facilitating through embodiment, open heartedness, and deep presence.
She began her career in the healing arts in 2003 through becoming a Massage Therapist, Yoga and Meditation teacher, studying Ayurveda, and practicing Tibetan Buddhism. In 2015 she began training in Kung Fu, Daoism, Qigong, and went back to school with a Communication Major. She became a Level 2 Qigong Instructor and began teaching at Cypress Health Institute in Santa Cruz, CA.
Through her connections with her spiritual lineages, indigenous ancestral lineages, her own healing journey, and the elements of the natural world, she tends grief by working with people in one on one Grief Alchemy Sessions, grief focused bodywork, and facilitating grief rituals. With a joyful heart that loves to explore and be intimate with what is hidden in the dark, Mikyö dedicates her lifeforce, time, and energy in service to Great Mother and liberation for all beings.

Sirena Andrea is a Master Storyteller, Ritualist and Trauma Release Breathwork Practitioner supporting clients from around the world to release grief and  live into the next creative chapter of their lives. In addition, Sirena  is an initiated Diviner in the Dagera tradition and brings ancient technology to open paths for participants to connect with their ancestors for love and healing.