At Sacred Spiral Sanctuary in Ethel, you’re welcomed by the beauty of nature and an equally welcoming hostess, Elwin Herman. This southern-born lady offers her charming hospitality and beautiful land as a sanctuary. Through classes, circles, workshops, concerts and family fun events, this is a place to connect and weave community.
Sacred Spiral Sanctuary is a place of joy and celebrations throughout the year. The focus is on storytelling and bringing in traditions from around the world. It’s an incredible place for celebrating events such as weddings and birthdays. “Basically, it’s about a community space where we can embrace each other and grow in mind, body and spirit,” shares Elwin. “That is what it’s really about.”
Each month there is a Drum Circle at Sacred Spiral Sanctuary. The lively drum group sets an intention at the beginning and then shares their week through drumming. “Happy, sad or joyful, they drum to it and everyone raises the energy, so we get that continuous cycle of being able to release stress in a fun way,” says Elwin. “We drum, dance and, sing but incorporate whatever spirit inspires us to do.”
A recent event at the sanctuary was Samhain, Honoring our Ancestors. “We focus primarily on honoring our ancestors because that is what it is really about,” says Elwin. “To open that book again and give time to sit and to remember loved ones and raise a cup and honor them.”
Upcoming events include Conversations with Hecate. Sit for a while and listen to the wisdom of this ancient Goddess. Also, a Full Moon Spiral Gratitude Walk is set for under the light of the full moon. Walk through the healing spiral lit by torches and under the full moon as a way to heal.
A grief workshop is available to support those who have experienced loss, wherever they are in their grief journey. “I think it’s important to listen and to really hear where they are at in their sadness,” says Elwin. Grief is also supported through art therapy.
The sanctuary also offers classes on topics such as mead making, herbal medicine and healing crystals. “Anybody from the community can lead a workshop,” says Elwin. “That’s what the space is for.”
Empowerment workshops are also offered at Sacred Spiral Sanctuary. By writing issues on a board of sheetrock and then using tools to destroy it, participants are able to release repressed emotions. “Usually no one shows you how to deal with your emotions,” says Karla Miles, a student. “It was a big relief because I was able to release some stuff. Coming here changed my life. I was on the maximum dose of antidepressants and I am not depressed anymore from being able to release.”
Elwin offers her own coursework with 21 classes over five years. She has a Ph.D. in Metaphysics and holds certification as a Master Healer and Transformational Therapist and a Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner. She also has a background in teaching. “Really, for me this is about the community and the individuals,” shares Elwin. “I love to be able to teach and to see everything come together.”
Elwin has taken over 100 classes in healing methods and is certified in 26 types. “I continually learn and have been doing this for over 30 years now,” says Elwin. She offers an approach from everything she has ever learned and combined it with her own experiences.
Elwin hopes to offer a place where people can come for healing, support and to learn about who they are. She’s building the loom on which to weave community. “That is the most important thing for me,” says Elwin. “I’m a person of service. That’s when we are happiest, when we are in service of others.”
The sanctuary features a lovely, private healing spiral. “As you go in, it’s in the process that you can release what you no longer need in your life,” says Elwin. “Sit in the middle and go back out and it will give you what you need to go on with your life.”
There is also a main circle, which is the place for community fires. And there are scenic gardens and a barn for group gatherings.
Kids are welcome at Sacred Spiral Sanctuary. There are art and craft events and Elwin hosts a fun summer solstice tradition from her childhood – mashed potato fights. There are campouts with families featuring s’mores, songs and storytelling. The sanctuary also hosts egg hunts, skits and plays, intellectual scavenger hunts, tea parties, and fairy house making parties, offering something for all ages.
Elwin also facilitates the Weaving Pagan Roots class at Centralia College. Featuring a different speaker each month, the class just celebrated its first anniversary. “We really try to incorporate people from the community as much as we can,” says Elwin. “It’s not about one tradition, but embracing community.”
“We have to not look at labels, but look at hearts and weave strong community,” imparts Elwin. “It doesn’t matter who you see as your divine source but that it exists. We are all alone in ourselves really. But you are not alone – there’s a place that you can go where you can foster your heart.”