SINGLE WORKSHOP Nourished by Winter: Darkness, Kidney Energy and The Water Element

A collaboration with Sarah Byrden and Liz Koch
Dec 2nd
9:00 – 11:30 AM MST via ZOOM
**A Recording of this workshop will be available to all registrants for 48 hours.

6 WEEK DEPTH SERIES Into the Belly of the Dark: The Death Goddess of Winter

Thursday evenings via ZOOM
December 7th – January 11
5:00 – 7:00 PM MST – *intentionally during evening darkness
**A recording of each session will be available to all registrants for 48 hours.

25 HR VIRTUAL RETREAT Pause, Exhale and Quiet

4 pm MST on December 8th – 5 pm MST on December 9th
Practices @ 4:00-5:30 PM MST on Friday, 9:00-10:30 AM MST on Saturday, closing session from 4:00-5:00 MST on Saturday)
**Sessions will be recorded and available for 48 hrs.

Unlimited spots available at full price. 5 spots available at a 10% discount. 5 spots available at a 20% discount. 3 spots available at a 40% discount. See my SLIDING EQUITY SCALE page for details and discount codes. Payment plans ( 4 bi-weekly installments) available to all at check out.

These transformative offerings will support and nourish our passage into the dazzling darkness of Winter, the womb of our deepest home and Source.

The richness and resource that we long for resides in this Yin time- it is the only cycle that holds the possibility for the replenishment we need. Winter is the deepest Yin time, a call toward that which resides inside, underneath, behind and below. Toward the rich dark soil and primordial underbelly of all life. Toward a pulsing and magnetic darkness and center. This is where we must turn for the replenishment and wisdom that can feed us. To allow ourselves to return here is a homecoming.

I have come to learn that many of us harbor a secret dread of Winter. We are often terrified of this phase in the great wheel of cycles -this time of apparent death, true quiet, and fallowness. We can resist it at all costs. Instead of drinking in its gifts, we crash into an exhaustion, depression, anxiety, loneliness and isolation, fear of this darkness. We are unable to drop into stillness because we are pushed and pulled toward living in “perpetual summer”. Many of us spend Winter in a manic attempt to skip it altogether- simultaneously clinging to a Summer that has passed, while desperately trying to jump ahead to a Spring that is not here, nor possible at all without Winter. 

One of the reasons Winter can be daunting for us is because we end up incubating a kind of suffocation and over-fullness from the year rather than incubating a clear space and the quiet, peace and stillness that is here and is central to our health and nourishment, both on a physical and soul level.

Winter is nature’s long and incubating pause. We all need this Winter.

In Chinese Medicine, Winter is ruled by the Water Element and governs the Kidneys, an organ system that houses our deepest energy, the health of our adrenals, ancestry, dreams we were born to bring to bear, our “bone knowing” and instinctual wisdom, our sexual energy and compass of desire. When our Kidneys become depleted, we manifest fear, loss of energy, disconnection to wisdom and a lack of faith in life itself.

Winter is a time for gestating and nourishing. It is a time for stillness, reflection, surrender, and soul-nourishing time in the origin point of all of life. There is, in Mary Oliver’s words, a “dazzling darkness” inside of Winter that offers us deep nourishment and resource.

These offerings will offer teachings and physical practices (archetypal qigong and primal movement) to feed our honest transition into Winter.


THE STAND ALONE WORKSHOP ON DECEMBER 2 is a creative movement collaboration with Sarah Byrden and Liz Koch. Archetypal Qigong, Primal and Fluid Movement. The confluence of our two bodies of work creates a unique alchemy and synergy. You will leave this workshop with greater coherence, resilience, and sustenance. REGISTER

INTO THE BELLY OF THE DARK, A 6-WEEK SERIES with Sarah is a depth-series and will be a steady touchstone of nourishment and community in this descent into Winter. A weekly mini-home-retreat, we turn to story, archetypal qigong and primal gesture and for a journey that will carry us into the deepest darkness of the year and across the threshold of the New Year. This series is a boat crafted to bring us into intimate contact with the deep waters of our life force, with the solace and quiet of night, the nourishment of darkness, Kidney Energy and the Water Element. REGISTER

PAUSE, EXHALE and QUIET-A 25 VIRTUAL RETREAT is a dedicated space for personal retreat as we enter the heart of Winter, near the end of the year and before we dive into the flurry of the holidays. What would nourish and delight you? The shape and contents of this retreat is entirely up to you. Perhaps it will be one of silence, solitude and rest. Maybe you’d like to hit the trails or meander around town, meet a friend for a meal, read a book in a coffee shop, go to the movie you’ve been wanting to see. The only request / guideline for the retreat  is a commitment to refrain from digital communication and screen time, save for the practices that will be offered.  This is a time to return to a more natural personal rhythm, to hear one’s own inner voice, to pause, exhale and tend oneself by following your deeper impulses toward pleasure and nourishment. This 25 hour retreat  will be framed by 3 practice times (one to open the retreat on Friday, one on Saturday morning to bring you into your day, and a closing session on Saturday evening), designed not to “teach”, but simply to offer nourishing practices that will bring you more deeply into the medicine of this time. Short words will be invited to open and close the retreat, but Saturday morning’s session will be offered without any request for engagement or words. REGISTER

A few more words on the 6-week series:
As we walk toward and through the Winter Solstice, this series is not a celebration of the return of the light- It is a celebration of the necessity of the dark. The quiet, rest, pulsing life force, chthonic power and black soil of Winter and the Water Element is the food that we need. It is the antidote to our exhaustion, overextension, loss of inspiration and hope. It is the answer to our deepest longing as animal bodies in need of deep restoration and a return to right-cycle.
The Cailleach, or “Veiled One,” in Celtic mythology was a goddess who ruled over storms and Winter. As the old “veiled woman”, she was both creator and destroyer, the maker of landscape, the queen of the night, ensuring that daytime and Summer did not flourish when it was time for Winter and night.
Winter herself is a powerful mother of death, fallow fields, destruction, darkness, dormancy, and therefore our mother of creation too.

Please note : Sarah Byrden no longer operates under the designation of “MogaDao Teacher”, teaches in association with MogaDao, nor represents or endorses MogaDao as a name, tradition or entity in any way. She no longer endorses Zhenan Dao/ Zhenevere Sophia Dao as a teacher or guide.