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The Wild Maiden – A Mythic Retreat in the Woods

June 14 @ 4:00 pm - June 16 @ 3:30 pm

An invitation to two day telling of the tale of the Handless Maiden.

Gathering together on the evening of Friday 14th until the afternoon on the 16th June 2024

Once upon a time, a story was told in the heart of the woods.  Once upon a time, people gathered around a fire, and leaned in to listen to words mixed with woodsmoke.  Once upon a time a Wild Maiden walked into the Forest and stepped off the path….

This is not just ‘once upon a time’, this is our time.  Time to do what wanderers and seekers have been doing for millennia, and step into the Forest.  Just as in the old tales, we won’t walk out the same. 

We invite you to a weekend woodland retreat for a two day telling of the tale of the Handless Maiden.  This powerful story of endurance, exile, descent and sovereignty is filled with initiation, and is deeply relevant for people of all ages and especially those wondering what is asked of us in our troubled times.

What part of yourself has been exiled in order to survive in this world? What is calling to be seen, to be given voice, to be heard? What wild longing needs to be witnessed, honoured, and welcomed?

Join us as we follow the journey of the ‘Wild Maiden’, off the beaten track, away from our modern ‘get up and go’ culture, to honour the descents that we go through at initiatory moments in our lives.  We will invoke the art of slow listening, opening our ears to the depth of the old tales, and inviting encounter with the wild woods and the more-than-human world. Our creative practices include poetry, environmental art making, storytelling, image work and solo wandering. There will be cooking over the fire, feasting, random acts of creativity, wild camping and sharing of stories together.  

“In this [story-telling] tradition a story is ‘holy,’ and it is used as medicine. The story is not told to lift you up, to make you feel better, or to entertain you, although all those things can be true. The story is meant to take the spirit into a descent to find something that is lost or missing and to bring it back to consciousness again” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman.

12 places maximum for a wild camping weekend in private woodland in Hampshire.

Email me to book your place: connect@emmacollinscoaching.com or sign up here.

With Rebecca Smart and Emma Collins

Rebecca is a storyteller who works with rites of passage, and is inspired by taking myths into nature.  She has an ear for unearthing the untold stories that need to be shared, and is a deep listener as well as being a compelling and dynamic story teller.  Rebecca continually draws inspiration from the diverse stories encountered in her group work in settings ranging from NHS mental health wards, to businesses, retreats, and the forest – where she works with women and myth.

Emma is a grief whisperer, a hearth tender and a woods woman. She is committed to listening to the signs of our times with an equal measure of grief, tenderness and a willingness to proceed as if needed. In her work with people and the land she weaves together her practices in nonviolent communication, a reverence for deep time myths and the stories of the more than human world and her background in coaching, mentoring and psychotherapeutic counselling.


4pm on the 14th June –  3.30pm on the 16th June 2024


Private woodland near Clanfield, Hampshire, UK.


Sliding scale: £250 – £380 (read more here)


Click here for answers to frequently asked questions and what to bring.


June 14 @ 4:00 pm
June 16 @ 3:30 pm