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Middlewick Rose
Pink Roses.jpeg

The Middlewick Rose

Get Ready to Bloom!

Please join us for our very first Middlewick Rose, a safe and creative haven for women hosted by Debra Engle and Julie Cantrell. There is no extra cost for the Week of the Rose. Simply indicate that you want to join at registration, and you will be part of our carefully planned schedule of events, introspection, and exploration.

The Rose by Christina Rossetti (British poet)

The lily has a smooth stalk,

Will never hurt your hand;

But the rose upon her brier

Is lady of the land.

There’s sweetness in an apple tree,

And profit in the corn;

But lady of all beauty

Is a rose upon a thorn.

When with moss and honey

She tips her bending brier,

And half unfolds her glowing heart,

She sets the world on fire.


The symbolism of the rose is everywhere at Middlewick and its surroundings. It calls forth the Divine Feminine, the creative spark within women’s souls, and the flourishing of art and beauty that happens when seeds are planted and tended well.

The rose, too, is the national flower of England and has deep spiritual significance. Mary Magdalene, who is celebrated in Glastonbury, is signified by the rose. And roses of all colors have played important roles in literature, including Arthurian legend.

Within this environment, we’re offering The Middlewick Rose, a week of special programming just for women. There is no extra cost for the Week of the Rose. Simply indicate that you want to join us, and you will be part of our carefully planned schedule of events, introspection, and exploration.

In addition to the activities outlined below, the Middlewick Rose will include gatherings to process and discuss what we’ve seen and experienced, special guided meditations, writing prompts, journaling, and other opportunities to share as a group.

What’s required? An intent to bring more depth to your writing, build a bond of sisterhood within our legendary surroundings—and to “unfold your glowing heart and set the world on fire.”

Here’s how our Middlewick Rose will bloom.

This event will be located on the same 17th century farm as our main retreat, but we’ve carved out one week—Tuesday, October 22 through Saturday, October 26—for our special series of events.

It’s everything you’d want in a gathering of women. A beautiful setting in the English Countryside, extraordinary faculty who are dedicated to creating a safe, intimate experience for you, and opportunities to discover something new so you can leave loving yourself and your writing more than ever.

The Middlewick Rose is part craft, part relaxation, part exploration, and part self-discovery.

On Sunday night, we’ll join everyone from the Middlewick Story Summit at the “Big House” for a traditional “Sunday Roast” with vegetarian options and locally-sourced meats. It should be a lovely early evening for a first welcome to the Middlewick campus.

Because this is a writer-in-residence program, mornings are always reserved for writing. However, it’s amazing what can be accomplished by stretching when you are away from home. So, as part of your residency fee, you can join us for yoga on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.

MONDAY/Welcome to the Week of the Rose

On Monday evening, we'll have the official welcome to The Rose program with a casual gathering and brief introduction, plus some swag especially for our Women of the Rose.

TUESDAY/Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May


Tuesday afternoon we will travel into Glastonbury town and see the sights for the first time. You can either walk with others (about 30 minutes) or you can take the van (8 minutes). There’s much to see and do in town, but we will be gathering roses and other flowers around the vibrant village.

Later in the afternoon, we will stop by St. Margaret’s Chapel, where we will convene amidst the candles and warm the room with our flowers.


After a mezze dinner in the Big House, we will head over to the “Temple” to press our roses. Depending upon how many flowers you gather, you can make several collages as keepsakes not only for yourself but for your loved ones back home.

WEDNESDAY/Meeting Jane Austen and Mary Shelley in Bath

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

—Jane Austen

On Wednesday morning, we'll embark on a delightful journey to the enchanting city of Bath—the historic gem where Jane Austen penned her beloved classics and Mary Shelley conceived the masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Our adventure includes a visit to the Jane Austen Museum, offering us a glimpse into the life of an author whose works have touched our hearts since childhood. Immerse yourself in a bygone era with a charming cosplay activity, dressing in the elegant Regency attire of Austen's time.


The journey continues with a visit to the iconic Royal Crest Hotel, famous as a filming location for the beloved series, Bridgerton. For lunch, we'll savor the culinary delights at The Raven, renowned for its scrumptious homemade pies, catering to both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

Our exploration will also unveil the town's crown jewel, the ancient Roman Baths, a marvel of history and beauty. Join us for a day filled with literary inspiration, historical wonders, and delightful dining.

SATURDAY/ Sound Bath in the “Temple”


O my Love is like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my Love is like the melody

That’s sweetly played in tune.

—Robert Burns

On Saturday, we will have a noon ceremony, where we will collect our dried flower collages from the Temple.

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On Saturday evening, join us in the Temple for a transformative sound bath experience, designed to create a sacred space for shedding societal layers and embracing your authentic self. Sound healing requires no prior meditation experience, making it accessible to everyone.


Sound Healing employs sound, music, and specialized instruments in therapeutic ways, alongside self-reflection techniques, to enhance health and well-being. Rooted in ancient traditions, from Egyptian temples to Celtic songs, sound healing harnesses the profound power of sound for physical and emotional healing.


The two-hour session will be facilitated by Jessika from The Luna Flow.


We will end the week with a circle of reflection and affirmation for all the women in our Middlewick Rose circle.


October 6 to November 16, 2024

THURSDAY/ The Chalice Wells and White Springs of Glastonbury


The Good created us. That which is above all things is the Good.

—Mary Magdalene

Chalice Wells Reduced.jpg

Our journey takes a serene turn, beginning with a morning dedicated to rejuvenation and inspiration.


Following a tranquil start, we will venture into Glastonbury by walking or taking the van. We'll explore the sacred Chalice Wells and White Springs, two sites renowned for their healing waters and spiritual significance. It is also the heart of myth, where the Holy Grail resides. These ancient wells, surrounded by lush gardens and mystical energies, offer a unique opportunity for reflection and connection with nature's profound tranquility.


Our visit to Glastonbury is not just a journey through picturesque landscapes but a pilgrimage to a place of deep historical and spiritual resonance. It's an invitation to draw from the wellspring of peace and inspiration that these sacred sites offer, enriching our journey with moments of contemplation and renewal.


We’ll end the day with a lovely mezze at the Big House and readings of our work before the fire. We will want to get to bed early because (weather permitting) we'll be climbing the Tor before first light.

FRIDAY/ Climbing the Tor


Go within. Hear the story of sunrise from the Sun itself.

If there were no sunrise within, I would have set long ago.

— Rumi


On Friday, our adventure reaches a crescendo with an early morning ascent to the mythical Glastonbury Tor, promising an unforgettable experience that could be a highlight of the Middlewick Rose event and a profound moment in your life.


This pre-dawn journey to one of England's most iconic landmarks allows us to embrace the tranquil beauty of the world at its most serene, as we climb the path to the summit under the stars.


As we ascend the Tor, a natural hill rising dramatically from the flat Somerset Levels, we tread a stone-path steeped in history and legend. The Tor is said to be the Isle of Avalon, a place of ancient mysticism and Arthurian legend, where the veil between worlds is thin. This climb is not just a physical journey but a spiritual pilgrimage, offering a moment to reflect, meditate, and connect with the energy of the earth and the ancestors who walked these lands before us.


Reaching the summit as the first light warms the horizon, we are greeted with a breathtaking panorama of southern England unfurling beneath us. Witnessing the sunrise from this sacred place, we join in a timeless ritual observed by countless generations for at least 5000 years, a moment of unity between the earth, sky, and humanity.


The Tor, with its solitary tower of St. Michael's Church, stands as a beacon of spiritual strength and inspiration, offering a profound sense of peace and connection to all who make the pilgrimage to its peak.


However, it's crucial to acknowledge that this natural pilgrimage, forged by ancient stone steps, cannot accommodate everyone. The absence of vehicular access means that those who are wheelchair-bound or have mobility challenges may find the climb unattainable



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