Taino Woods Update – March 2023

Mabrika Itaino!

The Caney Ceremony of the Spring Equinox:

With the Spring Equinox this March, we want to wish you all a Happy Taino New Year! A marking of Birth Time in the yearly cycle when the length of the day is equal to the length of the night, here is a snippet of when The Cosmic Matriarch Ata Bey gives birth to the solar cycle, Yoka Hu:

… The Cosmic Matriarch Ata Bey gives birth to her son, Yoka Hu, in the form of the Spring Sun and the gentle rains of this time of year…

The Equinox Ceremony is primarily a woman’s ritual. Whenever possible, it should be led by a female behike, and a woman chosen from the participants of a Caney ceremony to represent Ata Bey and crowned with the headdress of the Cosmic Matriarch…

To read the full story and learn more about the specific dances, offerings, and rituals of this ceremony, visit: Caney Circle: The Equinox. (Thank you, Behike Miguel!)

Purification Lodges:

Here is our list of dates for our Spring Purification Lodges: 

  • 3/25/23: Spring Equinox Purification Lodge
    • *Tentative date due to possible weather forecast*
  • 4/8/23: Full Pink Moon Purification Lodge with Nancy Eagle Spirit Woman – Our First Full Moon of Spring 2023!
    • *Nancy Eagle Spirit Woman, our Taino sister, is blessing us with her presence and prayer again this year!
  • 4/29/23: 10 AM – 5 PM: Medicine Drum Birthing Ceremony with DRUMDOULA Mia
  • 5/6/23: Flower Full Moon Purification Lodge
  • 5/20/23: Strawberry New Moon Purification Lodge
  • 5/26/23 – 5/29/23: Friends Outside Retreat
    • *Registration for this retreat will go out at a later time*
  • 6/3/23: Strawberry Full Moon – A Night Purification Lodge

We are trying something a little different this year. The registration for the sweat lodges will remain open until one week prior to the ceremony. For example: for the March 25th lodge, registration for the ceremony will close on March 18th. Setting a registration deadline allows for us to better prepare the land and the ceremony in order to best serve the community. 

For now, registration works the same way. Email us at tainowoodsny@gmail.com to express your interest and receive all of the important information to prepare for this sacred, traditional, indigenous ceremony. 

(And be on the lookout in the weeks to come for our new Sweat Lodge Coordinators!)

Drum and Song Tekina Circle:

This weekend Friday March 3rd through Sunday March 5th, our Drum and Song Tekina Circle will gather and practice in-person at Taino Woods Sanctuary. Overnight stay is available. 

If you can’t make it this weekend, we are looking for community members who wish to learn the songs and drumming of our indigenous relatives, Caribbean and international alike. We learn and practice Taino words, songs, and prayers to share at our ceremonies, purification lodges, and danzas. 

Gathering in community to drum and sing is an ancient practice for many groups of people throughout history and the world. It connects us with higher vibrations; to contact and communicate with our ancestors and Creator. 

“It allows us to release, receive, rebirth, reset, recharge, tap in, tune in, and truly turn up! The ultimate feel-good boost we are all seeking to remember!”, as Chantel says.  

Our Tekina Circle meets once a month via Zoom to practice as a group; and we are in weekly communication through a live chat. This group is completely free; and we would love it if you would join us in this sacred and special community space. 

To learn more about this beautiful group and become a member, email us: tainowoodsny@gmail.com

Drum Birthing Ceremony: 

Taino Woods Sanctuary is hosting a Medicine Drum Birthing Ceremony on Saturday April 29th 2023 with DRUMDOULA Mia. Committed to providing people with the indigenous ceremony of birthing a drum, DRUMDOULA Mia harvests and gathers the natural materials needed to build the drum and blesses the sacred materials in accordance with her traditional drumdoula training. 

This event will surely be a life-changing experience for novice and experienced tekinas alike. 

Sign up to experience the magic of birthing your own medicine drum here: Medicine Drum Birthing Ceremony — DRUMDOULA

Registration will remain open until Saturday April 22nd 2023. Space is limited to 18 seats.

Drum Build for Kids:

For parents/caretakers wanting to participate in the drum birthing experience with DRUMDOULA Mia, we are offering a drum building workshop for their children! 

Our youngest community members can create their own drums at Taino Woods Sanctuary while their parents/caretakers are birthing their own. This workshop will also include a nature hike throughout the Land and other kid-friendly activities. 

To register your child, please email: jesseniapaulino7@gmail.com

Fire Keeper Apprenticeship:

Interested in learning about the sacred and indigenous ceremony of the inipi lodge? 

Have you attended a purification lodge before, and want to take a more active role in the ceremony? 

Our Fire Keeper Apprenticeship is starting up again! 

Our fire keeper apprenticeship is an intimate training program in the traditional ways of our indigenous purification lodges. Apprentices will learn about the sacred elements of the lodge which include the physical materials that make up the lodge, the fire keeping, and the stone catching, just to name a few; as well as the symbolical principles of how to hold a safe, supportive, and loving space of healing for others. 

This program requires that apprentices participate in at least seven purification lodges through to the end of this year as well as join on volunteer weekends as we continuously care for the Land. The registration fee for this program is $300. 

If you are seeking to learn more about this ancient and beautiful ceremony, email us at: Tainowoodsny@gmail.com.

Calling All Land Stewards:

Taino Woods Sanctuary is starting a community garden! 

We are seeking volunteers who have experience in personal or community gardening – starting Saturday April 1st. We are interested in creating garden beds to host an incredible variety of fruit and vegetable seeds. And a small group of seasoned gardeners and volunteers who can help us to grow this fresh produce for the community will surely strengthen our relationship with Ata Bey and Yoka Hu as we enter into this Spring Equinox in the weeks ahead. 

If you have experience and interest in sharing your expertise with us, email us: tainowoodsny@gmail.com. (We could use the help!) 

Men’s Circle Facilitators:

Over this Winter Season, we have been reflecting on how Taino Woods Sanctuary is serving our community members; where we can improve; and what we are really proud of. 

We would like to create a Men’s Circle. To bring about more balance to Taino Woods Sanctuary, we are seeking those who wish to facilitate a Men’s Circle which would include organizing group meetings (in-person and remotely) as well as retreats that can be hosted at Taino Woods Sanctuary. 

If you are interested, or have any recommendations, please email us: tainowoodsny@gmail.com

Happy Taino New Year, familia! 

Han Hankatu, AHO!