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Posts below extend back to the launch of Pele’s Fire in 2015, so if any of the content sparks nostalgia for pre-pandemic travel and community you will likely find a note that it comes from the archives.

Bhanu’s Dream

Bhanu’s Dream

“I dreamed last night I came to a clearing in a forest… Have you ever taken a dream, or an image or a question, for a walk? I think the dream is about the coming weekend, about the part of my brain, my own survival system, that is trying to work out what “sacred” means in the context of our disciplinary field, “creative writing.” It is a place where we can bring what we cannot carry in our own bodies anymore. As I write these words, something that did not happen in the dream, but which is happening now, I can see the radical others — human, animal, and from the other world — who are stepping now, out of the trees. It’s by writing that I discover something that the dream did not show: a community of witnesses, of all of the others carrying their own vials, their own inherited forms of time, walking, right now, or by other means, towards this place.”

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Rituals of Release

Rituals of Release

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of shouldering all the burdens, fighting all the battles, and feeling so stuck in the process. Thankfully, the Nine of Birds calls for rituals of mourning and release. This card, of course, is the Star’s shadow self, and a great plug for our intensive, creative, restorative gathering coming up on October 24-25th: The Grove. Four teachers and ten hours of rituals and techniques to clear away, reach for, and gather what you need.

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Welcome!

Welcome!

What is the Two Trees Writers Collective? We are established writers and teachers, united by our intuitive approaches and inspired by unconventional ways of nurturing writers and creatives in their own development and growth. We are a community that has every individual’s needs and processes at its root. Collectively, we have decades of experience working with master’s degree candidates, which means we can go anywhere with you: deep into the craft and language of your manuscript or deep into your process and your writer’s soul.

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Awakening! Tarot for Writers

Awakening! Tarot for Writers

If you are interested in using the Tarot to communicate with your muse, here is an example of how you can use it to offer a message for your writing life, process, and work. This post comes from a limited-series Tarot feature I published on She Writes a while ago.  Here, I’m working with the Shining Tribe deck, created by renowned Tarot scholar Rachel Pollack* who taught me that the Tarot “is a vehicle to remind yourself of what you already know." It's perfect for writers, and it's the deck I use for the Tarot for Writers readings I offer with Two Trees. One of the simplest ways to work with...

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Art As Activism

Art As Activism

This interview with Reiko was originally published on the Women Authoring Change blog for Hedgebrook, an amazing retreat for women writers. In their own words, "Our mission is to support visionary women writers whose stories shape our culture now and for generations to come. Our core purpose is equality for women’s voices to help achieve a just and peaceful world."   Hedgebrook: Tell us about your work as a writer—do you write in multiple genres/forms? Reiko: Sadly, yes. I’m a self-taught writer, so every time I write a book, I have to teach myself to write all over again, and it’s not a...

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On the Art of Waiting for Writing

On the Art of Waiting for Writing

Recently, Beth Kephart asked me to talk about my writing process and rituals, and writer's block. She shared my answers in her Junctures newsletter. Reading over them now, I find myself wishing to be in that other country: writing. To capture what is coming through in the dark.  And you?  It's been a hard post-election year for the country, and a hard 2016 for many of us.  What does your 2017 look like?  How will you find a way to declare yourself ready for writing? From the interview: I don’t write every day. I don’t write every week even. I wish I did. I write long books with worlds to...

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Dear Writers

Dear Writers

Dear Writers, I’m guessing that, for the majority of you, your first desire to write was a way to express an emotion that you were having difficulty feeling or understanding. Or it might have been an early attempt to document, to explore the world in which you lived. But then you grow up and reality kicks in big time, and reality can be an obstacle to working with your imagination.  It can mess with your mind. If you’re not careful it can catch you with your guard down and say things like: Oh please, you think your little poem is going to change the plight of people living as refugees? You...

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Elena, Bhanu and Reiko: A Conversation

Elena, Bhanu and Reiko: A Conversation

This conversation was made possibleby one of our founding Pele's Fire participants, Heather Leah Huddleston “…for me, the word ‘core’ feels like I am in partnership with my work…” ~ Elena Georgiou Pele’s Fire was birthed from the very core—hearts, minds, passions, and desires—of three women: Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Elena Georgiou and Bhanu Kapil.  Joined by Black Belt Nia instructor Susan Tate, who will incorporate daily creative movement classes, including Nia, these mentors make Pele’s Fire the retreat to access, to transmute, to move and write from the core of the body, from the very core of...

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The Three (21st Century) Rs

The Three (21st Century) Rs

Every year, I take a week off. Ostensibly, it’s a vacation in Cape Cod, but it always turns into a mini writing retreat. I unplug; and once I’ve done so, what happens? I Read. I wRite. I Relax. Why is it that relaxation in the 21st century feels like a luxury? In my childhood, adults didn’t have to decide to relax. They just did it; exhaustion forced relaxation on them. My family didn’t need to go to Fine Dining Establishments (FDE) to prove they were doing The Third R. In fact, we only did the FDEs on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. The rest of the time we made Sunday...

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Don’t Write?!

Don’t Write?!

I’ve been thinking a lot about being a writer in this world. Not about the need to raise our diverse voices, or to break down the barriers that keep too many of us silent; not about the role of writers to expand our collective understanding of what it means to be human. I’ve been thinking about the opposite: about how our current culture is strangling art, and how we are letting it. You’ve been reading, surely, about authors’ declining income, about our paltry sales figures (even for prize winners). You’ve quite likely read suggestions on the Internet for “making a living” as a writer. But...

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Notes on Hybrid Forms

Notes on Hybrid Forms

by Bhanu Kapil A few years ago, as part of my on-going research for a creative writing seminar I was teaching at Naropa University, The Hybrid, I spoke with a "Mad Scientist"; actually, I met him as part of my on-going attempt to be the mother of a son in love with volcanoes. We were at the local science museum, where Dr. Warnock was giving a demonstration [he had an unkempt, patched together, clearly home-made "time machine"] on the birth of volcanoes, which was followed up with 3-D chalk, scissors, and actually building one. A volcano. After the presentation, my son was the only one at the...

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Rock The Casbah (Redux)

Rock The Casbah (Redux)

First: Take a large breath. Do you know that moment when you are in your Bootcamp exercise class, trying not to look totally decrepit as you struggle to find the right form when the trainer commands that you do endless burpees and then the music changes to The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah,” but it isn’t The (actual) Clash but some session musicians that have been paid to convert Punk into Disco so that gyms across America can use the song as a workout track, and suddenly you plunge into a profound sadness when you realize that the music of your youth—the music that spoke about revolution, that...

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The Gifts of Retreat

The Gifts of Retreat

It’s 94 degrees in Brooklyn, and I am writing in a pair of blue cashmere fingerless gloves. They are a gift from a dear friend – crafted from recycled goodness, and sent from Canada. They are also a shared talisman that connects me to my tribe: a group of women who inspire me, recognize me, support me, and challenge me. Women writers. We found each other in retreat. At Hedgebrook, an oasis for women writers on Whidbey Island, famous for its radical hospitality. Hedgebrook is the only retreat I have ever been to, though, as I write this, I am poised to announce a new, week-long retreat in...

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