In February, I published a feature about Serena, the witch with the moniker The Hoodrat Hippie Tarot and the founder of the Witches Weed, Wine & Retreat. I felt a pull toward Serena before I met her in person. Whatever this witch was up to, I wanted to be part of it as there aren’t a plethora of black women witches to share non-judgemental space within the PNW. And, there’s the whole thing about weed and wine attached to the three-day weekend away in place of the stifling hot and frenetic energy of Cruel World in Pasadena, CA. So, I went to Enumclaw,WA. Here’s my account.
After a two and half hour drive North, I was finally at the gate that would grant me access to the majestic hidden house where I’d be spending three nights with witches for roommates. As I entered the gate and unloaded my bags, I could sense I was stepping into another realm, one I had only envisioned… if I happened to experience a reality show, where strangers gathered in an unfamiliar home. However, this was no fundamental reality; no, I had just arrived at the Witches, Weed, Wine & Whatnot Retreat.
It was Friday, May 13th, the full blood moon and eclipse weekend. I usually get nervous when faced with meeting witches who have potentially been practicing their witchcraft for a lot longer than I have, but I already sensed I’d fit in amongst this group. The retreat was advertised as a non-judgmental space and welcomed all. This was a no-gatekeeping gathering. Hell, when I opened the door to the home, I was greeted with, “She’s wearing crocs too!” That turned into a whole Crocs fashion show!
A few witches were hanging out silently in the common room, so I took a moment to pick my room and bed and head out to the back of the home to smoke my rose petal rolled blunt to get my weekend long high started. As I puffed, I took in the scenery. This home sits on acres of land with a natural creek running through and beyond the property. There were gatherings of trees, with a meditation circle hidden behind one patch of woods. Bordering the meadow above the creek were decorative little shacks and pens designed for the happy animals that share the land.
Once I was pleasantly high, Serena our host for the retreat, showed me around the house. I got a more detailed look into the room I chose. It was a boho/farm theme, and I had a hand-crafted, full-size bed all to myself, while my roommates had fabulous windows, lights, and decor in their bunks. Downstairs was another guest room and the space where the artist of the house makes her creations. It was there where the weed bar was set up complete with vibrant strains of flower, pre-rolls, edibles, wax, and fruit-flavored 100 mg THC drinks.
Just outside, on the enormous indoor patio, Serena had set up our craft and workshop space. Ghouls, there were herbs, oils, jewelry, candle, soap, and bath bomb-making supplies, all the ingredients a stoned witch needs! And it if it wasn’t enchanting enough, the giant repurposed windows offered a wide panoramic view of the creek, water wheel, bridge and the resident animals.
I then joined the rest of the group in the common room and settled into intros and conversations. When asked what my name was, I was so stoned that I replied, “Who? What?” We had a laugh, actually quite a few, and engaged in giggly banter about the interior design of the house. The owner has to be a stoner witch because every piece of furniture, decoration, nook, and cranny was meticulously adorned with various home goods, figurines, dolls, dollhouses, fucking garlands! At every turn and every corner there was something artistic to contemplate. It’s a truly magical dwelling that I can only describe as a mash-up of Alice in Underland, The Secret Garden, and Coraline.
As we chatted and got more familiar with each other, I took a moment to take in what was happening. For me, witchcraft, has been a solitary journey. I have only imagined and visualized spending a reasonable amount of time sharing space and holding rituals with like-minded practitioners of magick. Yet, there I was with mostly PNW witches, one is from the east coast, sharing energy and chill vibes. I took in how each witch projected their magic. Like, when I witnessed the way Gab does his meditation before going live on Tik Tok to do readings, when Hannah made sure she picked her numbered ball for our bingo game and when Madellen announced it was 11:11. Wait, that may have been Hannah too. Hey, we were all stoned. Short term memory is non-existent sometimes.
Before the sunset, Serena led us outside to gather on the meditation deck for group ritual. Wrapped in black cloaks, we created a circle of stoned witches. We were all quite lit and super giggly when Serena pointed out that the circle of candles we set before us emulated more of a cloud of smoke than a circle. This was no shape at all. Ha! I often tend to my personal rituals high to reach a more vibrant meditative space. So, setting a protective circle and sharing a collective intention in addition to personal ones was a profound moment in my spiritual journey. I felt safe, comfortable, helpful, and powerful as all fuck. I don’t know about my roommates but, I made sure to reenforce my boundaries, create my own bubble of protection to ensure I didn’t bring anything heavy for my fellow witches to absorb. I was there to release, relax, have fun and blaze. It worked or my roomies did something similar because by then, I was having such a wonderful time!
That first night, I believe it rained a bit. So, after getting into cozy jammies, playing some games and picking out gifts from our host, all by intuition I may add, we were free to do what we wanted for the rest of the night. After I placed my energy into my new Crocs crystals, grinder, smoke wand, book and other goodies. I smoked and drank wine outside while listening to frogs and chatting with my roomies.
I discovered I was in the presence of actual witches, magical folk who trade wares, teach, offer to help heal, and insight, and instruct self-defense.
Oh yes, I got my ass out there and, albeit stoned and cottonmouthy, learned a few basic moves so that if any motherfucker tries to come upon me, they will be less a ballsack and teeth. Serena taught our lessons, and as I observed, I fell in love with all that Serena is. She created this space for her guests, shattering assumptions about stoners being lazy assess and worthless. Serena is a black woman, black belt, published author, tarot reader, runs a business, purveyor of magic, and a beacon for women who smoke to heal and invoke creativity.
The clouds parted, and the sun covered us as we learned our self-defense moves but, returned and teased us with rain. But, not before Madellen, and I had an afternoon coffee and blunt while sitting under the willow tree and listening to the creek. The moments where we took a couple of hours to smoke, chill, vibe or go live helped me to stay grounded in the present. I was able to take in the tranquil moments of serenity, moments I only imagined I’d live to witness.
Later Saturday night, we sipped Prosceco and Pinio Grigio while painting pipes crafted by Hannah. Once finished, I know we ate dinner, maintained our highs and migrated to the crafting room. There were so much to do and I was feeling a fantastic cross fade from the wine, weed and incense filled workroom that it took me a moment to determine what intentions to set with the candles and other crafts I wanted to make. I took a smoke break and found the moon peeking at us behind the clouds. She was so bright she almost fully bathed the land in her light. That’s when it came to me; I would collect a jar of the moon charged stream water and then make a forest scented roll-on perfume, a moon night forest candle and protection candles for my kids. This was the first time making candles so, it was a delight to open the cupboards of the apothecary within me, where I store my limited but useful knowledge of the purposes of herbs and oils.
Sunday was the night of the Deity Dinner and eclipse. I woke up from my wonderful borrowed bed and went back to the creek and under the willow tree to smoke and have coffee. Then, it was right back into the craft room to finish up my projects and cleanse them in smoke. We had breakfast and Serena set up the releasing altar under the covered portion of the terrace. With two candles burning, a jar of bay leafs and cauldron, we were welcome to unblock, release throughout the day.
The rain came to the party so we finished our self-defense class inside. Though I was high, felt my reflexes were slow and dance movement like, I came to the realization that it was very unlikely I would have taken a self-defense class on my own. Being black woman, I have to constantly be aware of my surroundings so, I am grateful I wasn’t worried about what I would look like while learning the moves. I was into it. And I am grateful to have awakened the physical warrior within me. She’s been asleep since high school and welcomed the challenge and motivation to continue memorizing movements to help me be safe.
The Deity Dinner
Despite being a Halloween influencer, I don’t wear costumes very often. I like to think that my everyday attire is shocking enough. But, when I learned there was to be a deity dinner on the last night of the retreat, I was excited to honor Yemaya. The Mother of the Ocean has appeared to me and has been by my side for half a year now. She appeared to me no long after I stood in the ocean and counted the waves that washed over my feet. So, took the Deity Dinner as chance to show her that I look forward to studying Yoruba and other African Orishas.
It was revealed that another guest, the intuitive and beautiful Gabb would be cosplaying his rendition of Oshumare, the crown of Yemaya, the guardian of cycles, transformation and rainbows.
Just before 5 PM, thunder roared across the sky and the rain fell heavily throughout the evening. A little storm wanted to join us, so it did. We took so many pictures, smoked like the goddesses we are and reveled in our magic while releasing all that was not serving us.
Then the time came to close our circle. As I closed my eyes for an indeterminable amount of time, I reflected the moments of pure, natural magic we are capable of, that I am capable of. I watched a beautiful Black man mediate, offer readings to his following and share his light. The connections made were natural, without judegment or gatekeeping. There was enough moments of subtle energy and chill vibes that I was able to reconnect with my artistic side. I attribute the new packages arriving at my door, I mean, my supplies for candle and roll-on perfume making to the unstoppable flow of creativity my weekend roomies shared.
I have always wanted to attend a a retreat for women. A weekend getaway from the multi directional pull of obligations while learning, meditating, creating and indulging in smoking weed for three nights in a row. Oh, yea and wine! Never did I think I’d attend one that had all that encompasses everything I am. I am so grateful to Serena for conjuring up this life-changing retreat. I am grateful to my new friends.
I moved to the PNW to start a new chapter of my life. Not to simply change locations and keep to the same habits and routines. No, I moved here to experience life in the rain, to dwell in forests and manifest my future with humility. With all the experiences I keep having here in the PNW, the ones where I step outside of my comfort zone, (my house) have been the most profound and have produced the most magic. My experience at Witches Weed, Wine & Whatnots charged my spiritual energy with the aid of THC, laughter, shared energy amongst eccentric witches and the beauty only the PNW carries.
Oh, and the wine too!
I am certainly returning to Witches Weed and Wine. The next retreat is in August and at the time of this publishing, there are only five spots available. CLICK HERE for information and to book your space.