Running a retreat on Mount Fuji for the first time is something I will never forget.

The hotel we stayed in was perfect, as we could see the imposing presence of the mountain as we worked. Sometimes he would be totally obscured by clouds, as if he didn’t exist at all, then slowly the clouds would disperse, and he was there in all his magnificence, watching over us.

The mountains are a mixture of beautiful greens, with wild wisteria hanging everywhere, so to see this pure white apex of the perfectly formed triangle of Fuji is a sudden shock, taking one’s breath away completely.

I had to change the schedule somewhat, because on the the first day of level IV we had non-stop rain. Bearing in mind this was a day of the Dark Moon and a solar eclipse it was not surprising. By the evening, however, there were just light showers, and we had our magnificent fire, which the students all loved. I gave their Master level attunements, and told the tale of Cu Chullain and The Morrigan, which seemed appropriate for this Moon phase.

The next day was beautiful. We went fox-walking in the woods, and visited a cave which was formed by a huge fallen tree when Fuji erupted more than a thousand years ago. The lava had hardened around the tree, and as the tree rotted away over time a cavern was formed with an entrance and exit. Inside are stalactites, which look like breasts. The legend says that when a princess entered the cave many hundreds of years ago she came out pregnant, so this underground shrine is dedicated to her. There is an icon of her deep within, just before you take the passage out. A very appropriate exercise for the students taking level IV, which includes the darker Ogham symbols for Elder, Blackthorn and Yew, trees of The Morrigan.








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