QUEER 'n' NOW
QUEER 'n' NOW
A Shamanic Yoga & Family Constellations Retreat
for the Queer & Wonderful
Queerceto | TUSCANY
“A week-long transformative gathering in Nature to celebrate the importance of Queer togetherness
& a space for reimagining our individual & collective reality at a time when
the standard notion of ‘normality’ is finally fading out of the collective imagination.
We shall gather in a sacred circle to heal & to celebrate our Queerness
under the guidance of the Unicorn animal spirit.”
Celebrating Life & Community
Yoga, Meditation, Family Constellations,
Sound Journeying, Practices in Nature & Vegan Cooking
This retreat is for all those people (LGBTQI+, BIPOC and different) who do not identify with the heteronormative understanding of reality, irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation.
During this 7 days and 6 nights retreat we shall come together to redefine the very boundaries of reality, our relationship to it, and to one another.
We shall bathe in sound, moonlight and drum beats. We will open the Constellation Field for healing and for reconfiguring our self-imposed patterns and limiting constructs. We shall dance with our Shadow to ancient Tantric healing rituals and open-up our bodies to reveal the invisible bonds that connect us all, always and everywhere. We will cook together and learn to nourish ourselves and others’ bodies and souls. We shall move as one through our individual rhythms and in synch with those of nature.
We shall dig our hands and hearts into the earth of the forest and we shall awaken the evolutionary cellular memory of our body through a new reconnection to the Sea. We will listen to the sounds of nature as we step into silence and embark on an inward healing journey across our own emotional landscapes. We will laugh, run, dance with our queer ancestors, sisters and brothers both human and not. We will celebrate Life.
TIME TO CELEBRATE!
Life & Community
This week-long retreat sets out to honour Queer (counter)culture and give us an empowering and transformative time through individual inquiry and collective sharing of the essence of being Queer in contemporary times.
We will explore how a shared Queer Spirit can help create a better world for ourselves and others at a time when, fortunately, a shared understanding of ‘normality’ is no longer so strong and fixed.
This will be a holistic and experiential retreat in which everyone is invited to be an active participant and co-creator, exploring through Mind, Body and Spirit the radical power of Queerness, within our contemporary culture and in touch with nature.
We will work with body, energy, movement, performance, sounds, ideas, texts, movies. We will practice alone, in pairs, in groups, in complete darkness and in broad day-light, in the sun and under the stars, within the confines of the beautiful yogashala and in the boundless landscape of nature’s wilderness.
We will cook together delicious vegan meals, enjoy film nights and star gazing. We shall take care of one another, creating a loving & safe space for everyone to feel welcomed & respected. A space in which every Queer can belong.
A Queer Practice
The Tantrics spent thousands of years developing sophisticated techniques to awaken the Kundalini-Shakti so that she may tear down the veils of illusion and help us find our authentic selves, learning to dance with Life, rather than fear it, fight it, or control it.
Incidentally, Tantrics too have historically been treated as ‘freaks’ in India by the dominant Vedic and Hindu institutions before the British invaders tried to suppress it altogether because deemed obscene. In its original Tantric form, ‘Yog’ invites us to step out of any predefined notion of ‘being’ and, like a snake, peel off the layers of social norms and projections that lead to self-marginalising fixed identities.
Let’s remember that the word Queer comes from the old English word Wyrd (now spelled ‘weird’), which originally meant fate or personal destiny.
As such, Queer becomes synonymous with self-inquiry.
When framed like this, it is then possible to appreciate how Yoga becomes quintessentially Queer.
With & For Queers
Each person whose sexuality and gender identity does not match the heteronormative expectation of ‘fitting in’ can find embodied trauma, loneliness and deep wounds in themselves. Many of these begin with the family of origin: absent or abusive parents, difficult siblings, oppressive families, difficult childhoods. Each life story is personal and unique.
Family constellations are a wonderful, powerful method for holding space for these dynamics and letting the healing begin, in order to re-write your story and let go of the impact that tragic or heavy events have left in your soul. It is a form of group work and it is centred in a systemic perspective and the understanding that the individual is deeply embedded within, loyal to, and inextricable from, a wider system or field of relations, both ancestral, material, spiritual and ecological.
We will experience Constellation work in its original form (Family Constellation), working from the topics that will arise from the sharing circles, as well as in its applied form (Creative, Ancestral and Archetypal Constellation) at the intersection of artistic acts, creative expression, energy healing and queer-magic rituals. Working with the Unknown will become familiar and revealing.
MAGIC & MYSTICISM
Venturing into other realms
During our time together we will experiment with a rich array of techniques, practices and body-based exercises to find ways to awaken from a condition of unconscious patterns and begin looking at conscious ways of relating to the world in and around us.
Through a combination of body, breath and sound work you will be invited to step into a world of magic where the laws that govern our everyday world do not apply, and where you can experiment with the feeling of being free to dare to reshape yourself and the reality that surrounds you.
Yoga, when rooted in its original Tantric tradition, can take us to places within ourselves we didn’t know existed, and lead us to states of being we couldn’t imagine possible.
It takes us beyond the person we have always identified with, and brings us face to face with the one we really are, could and want to be.
Constellation work, drawing from lineages of ancestral practices, can reveal systemic portals and give us access to other dimensions, where we can learn to interact with energetic healing entities while reconnecting with primordial creative forces. It expands our consciousness and comprehension of how the Universe works, its laws, systems and mechanisms, and invites us to resolve our self-limiting entanglements, be these at a personal, family, karmic or soul level.
Through Yoga and Constellation work, we can derail the binary system on which we travel daily through patterns we might not even be conscious of choosing, and step into a new and boundless cosmology born from our inner and conscious Fire of Creation.
THE UNICORN & THE EQUINOX
Aligning with the rhythms of nature
Throughout history, Unicorns have captured the imaginations of human beings far and wide. The Greeks, Babylonians, and Persians, among others, gave the Unicorn the symbolism and meaning of mysticism, magic, health, and purity.
Because of this creature’s phallic horn, Unicorns have typically been represented as a symbol of Male energy. This is thought to be the reason why King James III chose a Unicorn as Scotland’s national symbol, and why Great Britain’s coat of arms features a Unicorn as a symbol of sovereignty.
However, over time, the Unicorn has come to be associated with more feminine qualities, and certain folk tales have seen Unicorns magically turn into a female human form.
As such, today Unicorns are often employed as a symbol for the sacred marriage and balance between polarities: emotions and logic, day and night, and especially the fusion and transcendence of male and female energies. Thus, the Unicorn could be seen as a symbol of quintessential non-binarism and transgender nature.
The qualities of the Unicorn match perfectly the essence of the Equinox, a time when a rare and perfect balance between day and night can be found and used for accessing wisdom and healing.
Since time immemorial, Yogis, tantrics as well as pagans, have been celebrating and honouring the Equinox in search for this inner and outer balance that can help us experience the transcendence of a polar existence.
It is for this very reason that the retreat will take place over the course of the Autumn Equinox, as a way of aligning with the balancing energies of nature and, through this alignment to its rhythm, find that inner centre of gravity from where polarities can be observes, resolved and transcended in search of an essence that is free from these unconscious self-imposed limitations we experience in our day-to-day life.
A VEGAN GATHERING
The pleasures & benefits of a plant-based diet.
On this inward and outward journey towards authenticity and in our individual and collective exploration of what it means to be Queer, we will look at the human/nature relationship, inquiring into the nature of the relationship tying humans with animals and plants especially. Playful methods part of the Deep Ecology tradition will help us explore this connection and guide us towards finding our own way of understanding and defining that relationship. In doing so we might discover a role we can play in making a difference in the world through our physical, mental and verbal actions.
As part of our journey we will learn about Vegan nutrition and we will prepare together delicious vegan yogic meals to enjoy in the most idyllic setting – a millenary hamlet nested in the national park of Monterufoli-Caselli, on the Etruscan coast of Tuscany – learning to create a diet specific to your everyday needs. You will leave the retreat feeling more healthy and empowered and with a set of great, easy recipes that will keep your mouth watering well after the retreat is over.
Allowing the process to unfold
The programme will be guided by Kim and Matteo and will change daily in accordance with the group’s needs. As a result of following the energy and needs of the group, there will be no detailed and predefined schedule set beforehand. Each day will unfold naturally and in line with what reveals itself as the process itself unfolds. This will ensure that nobody is left out and that we avoid the un-queer approach of one-size-fits-all.
Over the course of the week, we will…
the basics of meditation and practice throughout the day
through a variety of creative techniques.
Yoga in its very original form and intertwine it with other energy work,
like Qigong, shadow work and sound healing.
with family constellation practices and apply these to artistic interventions
and other forms of creative expression.
with nature-based practices outdoors, alone and in pairs,
exploring the power of touch & awakening the senses & primal memories
that transcend our species through a direct connection with the elements.
in nature and with nature, exchanging energy with trees
and learning to embody their wisdom.
together and read to one another the brilliant ideas of great queer thinkers
and enjoy some of the most thought-provoking films and documentaries.
Sun ‘n’ moon bathe,
take trips to the nearby beach, swim in the Mediterranean Sea,
dine over majestic views, and much, much more!
WHO IS THIS RETREAT FOR?
Dedicated to gay, lesbian, trans*, non-binary, BIPOC
and "differently" identifying
The retreat is for anyone who felt ‘different’ in some way for a significant part of their life and would like to connect with like-minded & like-hearted people.
‘Queer’ is not set in stone as a pre-conceived identity but rather it is best embraced in its fluid and broader understanding.
People who feel a connection with the subtle realm, the invisible and other worlds are most welcome to join this gathering.
The retreat is open to anyone comfortable with being in a diverse group of people from all walks of life and sexual orientations.
You will be cared for with much love and, under the guidance of the teachers and through the flow of the process, you will take an active role in participating and co-creating this transformative experience, both for yourself and others.
If you have physical and mental conditions which may require special assistance, please get in touch with us to make sure that we, and the venue, are suitable to meet your needs.
Similarly, if you are taking medication, make sure to let us know about it when making your inquiry as this will help us better understand how to best tailor the work for you.
Kim (he/him) is an investigative researcher and writer, a promoter of anti-specism and a facilitator of Deep Ecology processes who has been on the pathless path of Yoga and meditation for the past 20 years.
Kim discovered Yoga and Vipassana meditation in the early 2000s, during a trip around South East Asia, which brought him onto a spiritual path.
Kim has practised Yoga with many teachers from several modern styles of Yoga (including Iyengar, Astanga, Vinasa, Bikram, Sivananda, Scaravelli, Kundalini, Jivamukti), but in 2012, through a Queer Yoga collective Kim set-up in a deprived neighborhood in Berlin, he was introduced and then initiated by an Indian Siddha yogi into a very different and untainted lineage of Yoga rooted in India’s Tantric and Shamanic wisdom. This meeting, and the following 8 years of intense training, completely revolutionised Kim’s understanding of the nature and applications of Yoga.
Between 2013 and 2015 Kim moved onto an organic estate in Oxfordshire, UK, where he was part of a nascent radical eco-community and, in which, he began running Deep Ecology workshops and yoga retreats. He collaborated with one of the founding figures of the Deep Ecology movement, the American philosopher Joanna Macy.
Kim now runs workshops and retreats in Tuscany, where he presently lives. He incorporates and intertwines elements of Queer theory, Deep Ecology, Tantric Yoga and Vipassana meditation in the gatherings he runs with the objective of leading participants to reconnect with Nature, and their nature, through text, sound, movement, breath, and a heart-to-heart connection with the subtle spheres of the natural world. Kim is very active on animal rights and regularly appears on the news in defence of animals. Kim has just opened the first plant-based restaurant on the coast of Tuscany.
Matteo (they/them/any) is a queer interdisciplinary artist, dance performer and energy healer trained in Family Constellations therapy, who integrates the constellation method in their artistic practice through a queer-ing approach. Their artwork exists between the fields of contemporary performance, opera, installation art and experimental music theatre.
Matteo’s artistic research is informed by consciousness studies, queer studies, system theory, and ecofeminism. Matteo has also more than a decade of experience in psycho-somatic bodywork, and is a certified somatic practitioner of “Rhizoma”, a pioneering program of eco-somatic movement integrated with artistic practices. Trained in systemic constellations (Bert Hellinger) and neural energo-reprogramming (Theta Healing), Matteo regularly hosts healing circles in Berlin and online for people in need.
Neurodivergent since birth with a predisposition for channelling and psychic connections, Matteo’s artistic work operates at the intersection of somatic embodiment, consciousness exploration, paranormal phenomena and radical pleasure biopolitics. Their practice deals with questions of embodiment in relation to consciousness, to sexuality, and to the shaping of social relationships.
Matteo is a raver and an active member of the politically radical Berlin collective LECKEN, a queer-feminist rave platform for bodily consciousness expansion, collective transformation and queer counter-economy.
An Enchanted Location
MAGICAL. BOUCOLIC. RESTORATIVE.
Perched on the rolling green hills of the Val di Cecina, on the edge of Tuscany’s largest regional park, and at the heart of the Etruscan Coast, where many UNESCO world heritage sites can be found, the millenary hamlet of Querceto lies just 20 km away from secluded beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, making it an ideal location both for mountain and beach lovers. International guests can easily reach Querceto by flying into Pisa airport. Alternatively nearby airports include Florence, Bologna and Rome. Both Ryanair and Easyjet fly to Pisa, Bologna or Rome. From any of these airports it is possible to take a train to Cecina, the closest station to the venue. Pick-ups from Cecina station can be organised at a small cost. Accommodation wise, you will lodge in the hamlet’s original and beautifully renovated apartments & houses located in the hamlet’s picturesque square. Apartments include single and twin room bedrooms, most of which have their own en suite bathroom. One-bedroom apartments are also available, for those looking for a more private experience.
A YOGIC VEGAN DIET.
The retreat will be 100% vegan and with plenty of gluten-free options. Veganism is Healing in the Willows‘ understanding of one of the contemporary ways we can apply the yogic concept of Ahimsa (often translated simplistically as “non-violence”), the first observance on the path of Yoga. All the food on the retreat is organic, seasonal and sourced as locally as possible.
Meals will be prepared collectively as part of the process of taking care of each other and with a view of learning the secrets, principles and science of veganism, as well as to create a diet specific to our personal needs. We will explore the connection between veganism and yoga not just from a theoretical point of view, but also from a dietary perspective, learning how food can be part of our yoga practice and either facilitate it or hinder it. We will learn the basics of a sattvic yogic diet and the multiple benefits of Kitcheri, a powerful detoxifier both for the body and the spirit. You will leave the retreat feeling healthier and more empowered, and with a set of great, easy recipes that will keep your mouth watering well after the retreat is over!
Committed to making the retreats available to the widest possible demographic
we offer a range of prices (which include accommodation and full board).
Payment plans can also be arranged, if necessary.
Early Bird Discount
Book by 31st of August and get...
SHARED TWIN ROOM.
(Accommodation & full board
for 7 days & 6 nights)
Price per person.
Two people sharing two single beds.
(Accommodation & full board
for 7 days & 6 nights)
One person in a single or double bed.
Double occupancy: an additional €199.
(Accommodation & full board
for 7 days & 6 nights)
One person in one bedroom apartment.
Double occupancy €999.
If you cannot find affordable flights for the dates of the retreat,
look for the cheapest flights closer to the retreat’s dates and consider arriving early or extending your stay
and visit the nearby cities of Siena, Pisa, or Florence.
Get in touch for more details!
BOOK / INQUIRE.
If you would like to join the retreat
or if you would like to receive more information about the event,
email us at email@example.com
or call us on +39 3298456532
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