No doubt 2020 brought about unprecedented changes in many of our lives. However you view it, COVID-19 was a big disrupter. We are following Divine guidance to continue to offer plant medicine ceremonies, with some alterations in how we conduct our retreats. Below are some of the precautions we are taking to keep you safe during your ceremony retreat here at Great Spirit Farm. Unfortunately, this has become a divisive topic, and we are committed to encouraging unity and respect during these challenging times by providing increased safety precautions, balanced with the freedom to choose what is right for you.
Here’s what were doing to keep everyone safe:
First, our private ceremonies are very small gatherings of 10 or less people. We’ve always believed this is best. And still do, especially now.
All participants will be questioned regarding health status and asked to self-screen prior to attending ceremony. Members who’ve had symptoms of COVID, fever or a cold in the last two weeks, or who may have been in known contact with a carrier of COVID-19, are asked to postpone their retreat. All deposits and donations made will be transferred to a more appropriate retreat date without question.
Our retreat center is 20 acres of clean forest. There is plenty of room to allow space between participants. During ceremony, a minimum of 10 feet between participants has always been mandatory, and the size of our ceremony circle makes this easy to achieve. Outdoor seating for meals with 6 feet of distance is provided. Indoor seating around our kitchen table is also available for those who want to feel more connected.
We use multiple individual cups that are thoroughly sanitized between ceremonies to serve our sacraments. You are the only person who’ll drink from your cup, if that is your preference. The shared traditional sacrament cup is available, as well.
We will always have plenty of buckets so each person has their own. Additionally, we are thoroughly sanitizing all buckets between ceremonies.
We wipe all shared surfaces and restrooms with disinfectant prior to members arrival, and daily during retreats.
Hand sanitizer is plentiful.
We’ve added paper towels to each hand washing area, in addition to clean hand towels. We strive toward zero waste, though we have a long way to go.
For participants who want to use rapé, we will dip our applicator tips in alcohol after each use and again before administering to a participant, and wipe them thoroughly.
Staff will wash hands frequently.
We do not enforce a mask policy, however you are welcome to wear one. If you would like us to use one when we are within 6 feet of you, please feel encouraged to make your preferences known and we will honor them.
And we understand that all this may still not be enough. These precautions will not identify infected people who are asymptomatic. When you attend retreat, let us know if you have additional precautions you’d like us to take with you. We trust you to make the best choices for yourself, and we trust the Divine plan for each of us, and the Earth. Trusting in a Divine order to life allows peace to reside within us. And that is good for the individual and global immune system.
You and your healing are our purpose. As your plant-medicine church, we’re committed to being available for healing ceremonies while balancing the public’s health interests. Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns, requests or suggestions. Blessings!