Join us for a winter solstice celebration to feed the soul and spirit. Rich with opportunities to connect with our hearts and with nature, this sacred and nourishing space will guide you more deeply into your own radiance with the return of the sun! Midwinter has traditionally been a time of ritual, connection, reflection and renewal. Like our ancestors have done throughout the ages, we honor the cycles and the seasons to acknowledge and remember the great web of life that connects us all. Experiencing the longest night opens an opportunity to look into the darkness, greet it, honor it and enjoy it, and then bring forth the light. Winter solstice is an occasion to move from the outer world into our inner world, offering time to feed our spirit and nurture our soul. We will embark on a journey that helps cultivate rest, renewal, inner wisdom and our innate powers to heal.

The retreat will include: Medicinal and delectable herb walks, mead-making (and sharing), awareness games, co-counseling (healing through deep listening), dawn chorus bird sit, connection with yourself, each other and nature, Thai body work and acrobatic play, candlelight dinner, night walks, healing the heart, and a solstice ceremony!


Josh Fox has built a life around the healing powers of plants, people and nature. He has a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine and is a faculty member of Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts and the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. He also teaches through many venues including his own healing practice, Warren Wilson College, earthskills gatherings and private workshops. Find out more about Fox at

Jamie Sparks is a long-time herbalist, body worker, yoga instructor, educator, artist and event organizer. She is excited to bring her knowledge, vision and enthusiasm to the Hostel. Jamie runs an herbal CSA and a massage practice part of the year and teaches at earthskills gatherings the rest of the year. She believes in year-round fun and joy. Find more on Jamie at

Chuck Thomson’s life was changed when he did a month of worktrade at the Hostel in 2007: he was inspired to pursue a more meaningful life full of adventure, passion, skills, forests and tribe. Seven years later, he is site coordinator at four regional earthskills gatherings, organizes several smaller skills gatherings each year, mentors youth through nature connection, and teaches next-level tree climbing, fire management, tracking, animal processing and community leadership.

Ann Delia Turner joins us from Athens, Georgia, where she works to inspire aliveness, creativity and awareness in children and adults through the nature connection programs of Wild Intelligence. She has a passion for inter-species communication and restoring the role of humans as conscious life forms actively participating in a sentient landscape.

COST: There is a sliding scale fee for this event of $100-$150. This includes accommodations at The Hostel for Friday and Saturday night, a vegetarian dinner on both nights, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and 48 hours of celebration!

WHEN: Please prepare to arrive Friday afternoon. Opening circle will convene after dinner on Friday, Dec 19th, and closing circle will conclude by 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec 21st.

BRING: Bring a sense of ceremony, ready-to-eat snacks for Saturday afternoon, songs to share and instruments to play, and an open heart.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff