Our Whitsun Adventure

We hit the road well before dawn on Whitsunday, & made our way to Viroqua WI in the heart of the “Driftless” Region. This term, I was told, denotes the absence of ‘glacial drift’ – This distinctive terrain, branded by its steep rugged landscape, is part of the Kickapoo River Valley. A local friend mentioned that it has the largest concentration of cold water streams in the world, which comes from having been bypassed by the last continental glacier, giving the rivers time to carve deeply into the ancient bedrock creating the unique landforms characterized by limestone, dolomite, & gypsum caves, springs & crazy cool sinkholes.

This small town of less than 5000 people is an oasis of Spiritual Science.   We drove straight to the Viroqua Co-op to get our bearings. Then off to “The Turning Place” an Anthroposophical library in the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School, part of the Landmark Center, home of the Youth Initiative High School. The Central Regional Council had one of our annual retreats here when our theme was ‘Speaking with the Stars’, so the space holds fond memories for me.

Coming up the steps we literally ran into Kyle J & his beloved Ashley who drove in from Minneapolis! Those that take the time to read the comments at the bottom of these posts will often see his contributions.  We have been corresponding like this for a good while, but Whitsunday 2022 was the 1st time we actually met in person. Kyle mentioned that the driftless region had come up recently in several conversations; so when he heard I was coming in, he decided to follow the synchronicities & make the trip with Ashley.

What an honor to share a Pentecost experience with all the striving souls who hold sacred space in the region – entrepreneurs, fiber artists, kindergarten teachers, eurythmists, folks working with biodynamics, 3-folding, homeopathy, bio-geometry, Waldorf Education…etc… long time anthroposophers & newbies alike, sitting in community.

We broke bread with KJ & Ashley afterwards & got a chance to really commune. They feel like family.

We settled into our cozy digs at the homestead of long time Waldorf Kindergarten teacher Shannon Landis. I stayed with Shannon back in 2009 when I 1st came to Viroqua to do a 10 day puppetry training with Suzanne Down. Every day I did my meditations in her amazing garden. One afternoon she was doing a prep stir & invited me to join her. It was my very 1st time, & I have been hooked ever since.

Then CG & I started the maiden journey of what became our many nature adventures by hiking in Sidie Hollow, recommended by the local rock shop owner.

Early each morning, after meditation, breakfast & conversation we hit the trails. Kickapoo Valley Reserve was perfect for a misty walk by the river.

After taking in the overlook at Wildcat Mountain State Park, we found Hemlock Trail (my absolute fav.) a fairy land of soft red pine nettles next to caves carved out by the Kickapoo River, winding up the mountain side.

Jacob Hundt founder of Thoreau College invited VelsumVoices of Ancient Futurism, with singers Lucien Dante Lazar & Ultra-Violet Archer to perform as part of their capstone events, so Lucien, who was a guest teacher at the College, & Ultra-Violet were also in town.

We gathered them up after a rehearsal & drove a short distance thru the rolling hills of pastoral farm land to The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse WI, which Angela Foster told me about years ago.

at the shrine, nestled in a staue of a child & an angel protecting the unborn, was a mama Robin & 2 chicks

The grounds feature a half mile meditation trail that winds up a luscious hill dotted with art & sculptures representing aspects of Our Lady. To experience this with Lucien & Ultra made it even more special. On the way back we stopped in Coon Valley to explore the quaint town. We spotted fields of lovely wild flowers on the sides of the road, which Lucien & Ultra went back to harvest the next day, as thank yous for the friends that hosted them.

CG & I found the Hillboro Hill Trail right down the street from Shannon’s place. The winding topography almost got us lost. We eventually followed the laughter of the kids in a little summer camp, & made it back with tired feet.

Outside of town at the Tractor Supply I found a good pair of hiking boots. While making our way we discovered a marvelous local cheese shop – when in Wisconsin this is a must, but we are picky & only wanted raw. They came thru with amazing raw local sheep, goat & buffalo cheese.

In our wanderings we found a charity thrift shop where we got a full set of vintage dishes for $8. Yep, we hit every thrift in the area looking specifically for Gnome statuary. I love a treasure hunt. No Gnomes to be found, but I managed to come home with a few unique gifts.    

Breakfast at the mountain home of Mary Christenson was a delight. So interesting to learn more about her practice of homeopathy, & the bio-geometry taught by Dr. Ibrahim Karim, which a local group has been studying together thruout this time of world crisis.

Then the night of the Velsum show was upon us. A good crowd arrived in joyful anticipation. Mary Spading & Mark Lazar made the trip from Chicago with our professional camera’s to capture the magic. Lucien & Ultra created a numinous atmosphere thru subtle colored lighting & a stage glittering with votives.

Kaysha Siemen

Velsum = Triumphant Wholeness – Their offering: New Nightingale, New Rose (which received its inception spark at the ‘Building the Temple of the Heart’ ASA Conference – incubated & hatched at Angelic Organics Farm)was tailored to align with what was living in that Whitsun moment. Fresh Eurythmic inspired choreography – their voices ever dynamic & power full – a glorious alchemical weaving – bending space/time into a sublime octave of eternal resonance – Opening the portal to the Spiritual World for All to enter – Removing the veil to the New Mysteries, allowing us to trust that a Christic future is possible – & is indeed ever birthing thru The Word that vibrates a Divine Essence in their Speech & Song – Inviting every soul in attendance to join in a dance with their Higher Self – Every heart pulsing with agape – Every larynx vibrating in sympathy. Many wept salutary tears of Joy – The gifts of the Holy Spirit descended, & all rose up to receive what they needed. 

Everyone stayed for the Q&A after the show. It’s always interesting to hear what is living in people, what touched them. There is a longing to honor & participate in the sacred, to be cracked open by the truth of spirit radiating out to them thru these young people. And when they share their insights, the ebb & flow, the interleavening in their artistic process, to receive a glimpse of the inspirations they cultivate, feels like a benediction.  

At the Ice cream social afterward, all were aglow – numerous diverse conversations & sharings flowered forth. I learned from Toby Grotz & Kate Bradley, who hosted Velsum, that they want to create a co-op to build their own power plant off the grid for the whole of Viroqua. Many young people from the College were there, imagining their next steps out in the world. Dr. Paul Grenier, a beautiful human being & amazing chiropractor, invited Ultra to come for an adjustment -So many talented folk engaging their gifts to serve community.

When we were making our way home, on one of the charming farm roads, we found our Gnome – a version of Gandalf if he was the King of the Gnomes. We were also called to find a statue of Christ with the Sacred Heart that also came home with us – the perfect ending to our Whitsun adventure.

May the Whitsun Spirit prevail for us all


translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
After a late Easter there has to be 2 verses this week as we move from the Easter lunar calendar to the ordinary solar one.
I choose to always let v38 be the Christmas verse.

TRINITY – Corpus Christi
Lose Yourself In Light

And when I let my own will go
the coming of the summer’s warmth
will fill my soul and spirit being;
my spirit vision is commanding me
to lose myself in light and ardently
my foresight’s calling: ‘lose yourself
to find your Self’.
Soul Consecration

To summer’s heights
the sun’s majestic being rises;
it takes my human feeling far and wide
and into the sublime, the cosmic harmony
wherein a dawning vision’s intimating faintly,
‘in future you will know:
a holy being felt you now’

10 thoughts on “Our Whitsun Adventure

  1. Hazel, it really was a pleasure to meet you and Chuck. What a wonderful Whitsun, indeed! I’m glad you all had a very eventful (and magical) rest of the week. I must say, the visit sparked me to go on more adventures this past weekend – I live just outside the Driftless (according to this beautiful map) of the Northwest part of it. There is a reserve just south of the twin cities around Spring Lake. At this location, people had lived in caves in the bluffs 8,000 years ago. Also, minutes from there you can find the home, and final resting place, of Igantius Donnelly – who wrote Atlantis: The Antedeluvian World (1882), among other fascinating works.

    I forgot to mention another place, north of LaCross in Fountain City, WI. There, a woman by the name of Kristine Beck founded a place called Kinestone, where she has megalithic stone sculpture garden and a ‘Chapel of Creation’ in which ‘… colorful bottles in the walls depict portions of The Canticle of Creation by Saint Francis of Assisi.’


    Many gems in the Driftless.

    1. Hi Kyle,

      This is the portion I needed to hear from your earlier remarks to me about the permaculture site there in Wisconsin. Kristine Beck from Fountain City. What a wonderful name. You might find it interesting that I often walk through a cemetery which has the same name as the one that Ignatius Donnelly was placed in when he died on January 1, 1901. Calvary Cemetery. It also contains a plague in honor of the Prayer of Saint Francis, which I read every time I go there.

      We all live in a small but large world with synchronistic aspects. Everyone has a purpose and value in this arrangement. It is the personal voice that supports by contributing what it has to say. It is all very good, and even breathtaking. Acknowledgement and recognition is the key. Thanks for being there in Viroqua, and with this further explanation. It helps take everything to a new level.

    2. The heartland is calling to be explored.
      How facinating to find that Ignatius Donnelly has added his energy to that spirit of place.
      I remember reading his Atlantis book when i was a young woman…

  2. Thanks for sharing your adventure….beautiful and delighted to see the Gnome. I am happy you had a loving and full trip. Kent and I might visit that area sometime. I never heard of it and it looks like a sweet place to live. The areas where you went hiking look glorious and filled with life. Have a blessed day.

    1. Yes, the region has a special vitality to it which we gratefully absorbed…
      I forgot to mention the ‘Metaphysical Curiosity’ Bookstore which had many rare books from Karl Konig, Adam Bittleson & Rudolf Steiner in the collection

  3. Thanks Hazel for giving us the perfect visuals and description of your foray. You got to meet Kyle & Ashley, and many others – wow! My favorite was your picture of the robin nesting in the statue – how fitting, and so unusual to see a robin nesting in such an open spot; wonderful vibes knowing it felt secure under the arms of the angel, and in such close vicinity to the form of the child. Hard to make out what the child was holding in her hands? The image of the child brings up many memories.

    1. Yes, that statue is the Guardian Angel in the memorial to the unborn. I stayed there for a long while & took many photos. In the closeup you can see that the child is holding roses

  4. So lovely, Hazel – I loved reading this account of your Whitsun travels, as I do your other posts that so often seem magically in sync with something on my horizon. Now thinking of what kind of a treasure hunt to weave into my upcoming trip to New Orleans…
    I have meant to send along some of the words from the poem I read in Santa Fe, where we met, with the thought that they might possibly be destined to find movement or song one day, in some way……sometimes words seem to want to rise up from the page – who knows? Your description of Velsum is so apt and I was so grateful to be a witness to this experience of beauty beyond beauty…time travel in both directions, truly unforgettable. Thanks again, Tanya
    If you send along your email, I will attach.

    1. Hi Tanya – So great to be on this life journey with you. Thanks for reaching out, I would love to receive your words. You are welcome to share them here for all to see or send to hazel@reverseritual.com

      I’m sure your trip to NOLA will be just the right amount of magic that you need…

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