A Wisdom Gathering for Community Space Holders

“We grieve because we live. Our life is a series of griefs. This is the reality of life; nothing is going to remain the same. Every part of our existence is changing.” Ladybird Morgan, RN, MSW

18th - 21st September 2023

This September, we are calling together space holders and community organisers, circle facilitators and wellbeing practitioners to the wild, nurturing land of Devon, UK.   Through ritual, ceremony, circles and workshops we will empower and inspire one another to tend to the grief within ourselves and within our communities.

Grief is Ever-Present

A natural byproduct of the impermanence of life on earth. Each day it seems we are faced with another tragedy, more uncertainty, further destruction. 

Meanwhile, our modern society buries sadness and brushes over loss, instead blindly oriented toward progress and positivity. We find ourselves isolated in our despair as we collectively drown in forbidden sorrow.

It’s easy to understand why grief has been rejected by the over-culture; the feelings it evokes are often unpleasant, overwhelming, fearful and confusing. 

But grief is also powerful. Transformational. Sacred.

Allowing and honouring grief as part of the whole human experience brings us back to our souls. Opens the doors of forgiveness, hope and action. Reconnects us to the astonishing, heartbreaking, magnificent gift of life.

Our ancestors knew how to grieve. 

Although many  have lost our cultural traditions, we still carry this knowledge in our bones: we aren’t meant to go it alone. 

An innate longing urges us to gather and grieve together. 

There is medicine in communal mourning, in naming our grief and being witnessed, held within a compassionate and supportive space.

Our communities need this space. Now.

Gather with Us

Over 3-days and nights, we will gather together in a beautiful setting close to nature and the elements, in comfortable and cosy accommodation.

Peer-to-peer, we will open our hearts and our minds to the holiest of human emotions; we will offer our lived experiences, our gifts and our practices; and we will witness and receive from others. 

Rooted in the principles of circles including self-reliance and self-responsibility, we will share and listen, learn and mourn, integrate and imagine, rest and rejoice. 

Forever connected, we will disperse with confidence to create the gathering and grieving spaces our communities are yearning for.

What to expect

Our time together has been designed with our intention in mind, to empower and inspire one another to tend to the grief within ourselves and within our communities.

  • A comprehensive list of recommended grief resources including books, music, podcasts and films curated by our facilitators, available immediately following registration, to guide your retreat preparation.

  • Comfortable and restorative accommodation in two beautifully converted barns on seven acres of land in the lush countryside of South Devon. The grounds include a river, labyrinth, a wood-burning sauna, fire pits and miles of walking trails.

  • Nourishing, nutritious and flavourful plant-based food featuring the very best of fresh, locally sourced seasonal ingredients, many of which are homegrown by our caterer.

  • A community of like-hearted souls, gifted space holders and compassionate community organizers who are committed to honoring loss and longing, to deepening into their “apprenticeship with sorrow.” 

  • Four onsite facilitators experienced in circle holding and grief tending, completely dedicated throughout the retreat to ensuring your intentions are met, including through one to one interactions.

  • A deeper understanding of grief and the importance of being witnessed in it, as well as ideas, encouragement and confidence to move forward and create these spaces for your community. 

  • Numerous and varied rituals, ceremonies, modalities and brave spaces, both indoors and out, to honor and hold space for grief in ourselves and in others.

  • Free time to rest, read and write, to connect with others and to the land, to enjoy the sauna and to simply be. 

  • An online check-in with facilitators six weeks after the retreat and a supportive group of peers to provide assistance and accountability going forward.

Your Hosts and Lead Facilitators

Kathryn Sullivan and Mitlé Southey

Circle of Life Doula & Space Holder Kathryn Sullivan

By honoring life's natural rhythms and cycles, Kathryn aims to cross every threshold with appreciation and she believes that accepting our mortality allows for more peace and joy every step of the way. Committed to pursuing her truth, Kathryn listens closely to the intuitive guidance within and inspires others to do the same. https://kathrynsullivan.co https://www.instagram.com/kathryn__sullivan/

Founder Circle School Mitlé Southey

I believe in the power of Circle to offer us spaces of collective care and sacred activism, and to contribute meaningfully to our lives and businesses. As the founder of Circle School, I teach internationally and have facilitated circles, retreats and courses since 2016. I bring my unique blend of the practical, ethical and mystical to making the complex simple and creating frameworks that you can adapt for your Circles and your business.

Retreat Schedule

We will gather for morning, afternoon and evening sessions, and three communal meals will be served daily. Both full days also include at least three hours of unscheduled time for rest, reflection, and wandering. Silence will be encouraged between 9pm and 8am. Though we hope you will join us for all activities, everything is optional.

  • Day One

    Welcome to our beautiful retreat centre, Eden Rise! From 5-6pm we’ll settle in and then break bread for the first time together before our opening ceremony. Weather-permitting, we’ll head out to the land at dusk for sacred rituals and intention setting, and end with a sharing circle.

  • Day Two

    A day to hold and honor our personal grief. We will explore the meaning and sources of grief and share our sorrows as we build a shrine together. A variety of other potent yet gentle rituals throughout the day will encourage the exploration and transmutation of our grief, including meditation, cacao and intuitive movement.

  • Day Three

    Today we turn our attention to creating space for grief in our communities. Through visualisation we will meet the spirit of our grief circles and together will examine the practical and emotional elements of hosting such gatherings. You’ll be encouraged to craft and share your next grief circle, incorporating any preferred modalities and rituals. We’ll end the day around the fire with drumming, chanting and ceremony.

  • Day Four

    Our final gathering will begin by tuning in, mind-body-spirit, as we prepare to leave the sacred retreat space and return to our lives outside. For the closing ceremony we’ll turn again to the land to lead us in ritual and reflection. After lunch, we will bid farewell to the grounds and goodbye (for now) to the group. Please plan to depart between 3-5pm.

Our Support Facilitators

Meet Gyan and Yvette

Gyan Gurung

Gyan is an Agent & Steward of Joy, an Artist and a Storyteller. He loves to explore ways we can make a little more room for wonder and whimsy in everyday life. He believes that everyone deserves a safe space where we can soften and unravel. He helps his clients find this within, through inner voice sessions and outside with flower altars and Wholesome Living gatherings.

Yvette Munasinghe

Yvette is a flower therapist, intuitive flower healer, circle holder, and flower reader, working intuitively with the energy of flowers in all that she does, sharing the messages of flowers of guidance and love.

What if?

What if instead of treating our grief as some brutal spirit quest one must pass through to prove our survivability, we treated it as a place, a magic land to visit where our love is so alive and vivid it causes pain until you're more accustomed to the atmospheric pressure of it? Your grief is key to the door, and it is the vast and infinite room beyond that holds all your love and loved ones.

Britt Keehn


Eden Rise, a haven for wellbeing

We are delighted to be partnering with Eden Rise Retreat Centre. Eden Rise consists of two converted barns in the lovely Devon countryside near Totnes. The 200 year old property provides a spacious kitchen/dining area, a large gathering space, simple and comfortable accomodation, underfloor heating throughout the building, a garden, enclosed courtyard garden with campfire, outdoor seating areas, and even a separate sauna facility! We will also have access to the adjoining land for walks, access to the river and a labyrinth. The building runs on solar and green energy suppliers, produces fresh filtered water from the on-site borehole and uses sustainable products.


Twin-room & Partitioned Dorm

The rooms have underfloor heating, and linen, duvets & hot water bottles will be provided. The rooms are cosy and comfortable but this is not a luxury retreat.

Nourishing Food

Dartmoor Larder

We use the very best of fresh, locally sourced seasonal ingredients, many of which are homegrown from our very own allotment. We hold a wealth of experience in producing flavourful plant-based creative dishes to satisfy the hungriest of appetites.

Is this retreat for me?

Please read before registering to join us

  • The Sacred Grief Retreat is not offered as a program or training. Our intention is to facilitate  and guide the gathering in alignment with the principles of circles,  including co-creation and collaboration alongside self-reliance and self-responsibility. 

  • While our personal grief is ever-present and will be held and honoured, the primary purpose of the retreat is to empower and prepare participants to tend to others’ grief within our communities. If you have suffered a recent loss, please use your discernment or speak with Mitlé or Kathryn to determine whether now is the right time for you to attend.

  • If the retreat resonates with you, you are welcome to schedule a chat with either Kathryn or Mitlé to ensure that it is right for you at this time. However, we encourage you to tune inward; if your heart is excited to participate, trust that you’re meant to be there. 


  • How much is the retreat?

    The retreat is £595 on a shared accommodation basis.

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    The registration fee for this Sacred Grief Retreat is non-refundable. Due to the limited number of spaces available and the financial commitments incurred to facilitate the gathering we cannot make any exceptions to this no-refund policy, not even for personal emergencies. We recommend that you take out travel insurance to protect yourself against illness, emergencies and changes in your circumstances. In the unfortunate event you are unable to attend the retreat you may transfer your place to a friend subject to our prior approval of the transfer. If we have to cancel the retreat for any reason then you are entitled to a refund.

  • How do I get to the venue?

    Eden Rise is accessible by car with parking on site and within easy distance of Totnes train station (approx 3.5 hours from London Paddington). The nearest international airport is Bristol and then a train to Totnes. We will provide full directions and details of taxis and lift shares on registration.

  • Is there disability access?

    No, unfortunately Eden Rise does not have disability facilities yet.

  • How many people will be at the retreat?

    There will be a maximum of 14 participants supported by 4 facilitators.

  • Is this retreat for women only?

    No; this retreat is open to all gender identities and all who resonate with our work are invited to join us.

What Others Say

A beautiful Gift

Diana Cruz

Today I opened the doors to grieve whilst Kathryn held sacred space for me in the most profound and alchemical way. And what a beautiful gift! I released, listened, felt, reconnected, cried, transformed. And what I have learnt from Kathryn is that through grief, we can transmute loss into love.

Gracious and Wise

Karen Brody, Founder Daring to Rest Academy

At the Daring to Rest Academy we support women around the world to become rest doulas, to hold space for and to uphold the sanctity of rest. Mitlé provided our rest doulas with a wonderful masterclass on holding space. She is so gracious and wise, with a unique and deep perspective on how to hold space.

Register to Join Us

Thank you for reading this far! We would be honoured and delighted to welcome you to the Sacred Grief Retreat. Kathryn & Mitlé