Summer and Fall 2018
On May 3 the lava began erupting in the nearby residential neighborhood of Leilani Estates. The following day we experienced a 6.9 earthquake that was then followed by thousands of earthquakes of a lesser magnitude for the following month. To be present with such a force is overwhelming. The lava came within a mile of our home. At one point it seemed to be heading directly towards us but turned and flowed the other way. We were lucky. Many others were not. Over 700 homes were taken by the flow, many friends lost everything. To be so close, to be in the unknown, the uncertainty, required us to completely surrender to whatever was to be. Control is such a concept in our heads when the reality is we have no control over anything. So we let go, we surrendered, we trusted. And we survived. We made it. While the landscape of our nearby area has shifted dramatically, our off-grid neighborhood remans vibrant, healthy, strong. The lava flowed for 94 days.
(These photos copyright by the photographers)
During this time we volunteered at the local shelter to assist the many displaced. We raised thousands of dollars to purchase carports, tents and other needed supplies for those who now found themselves living in a parking lot or grass field. The Red Cross and other international organizations failed to live up to peoples' expectactions. We came in, along with many other kind-hearted souls, to fill in the gaps, to help alleviate some of the pain and sufffering and shock of this new way of life. An LA film-maker friend flew in and shot a 10 minute video that helped bring awareness of what was happening and not happening at the shelter. It had 10,000 hits within a couple days and we believe helped spur a greater response from some of the more influential people in the community and take action. This was the seed for Hawaii Revive, a subset of Global Revive, Victoria's creation of a new pradigm for disaser relief, to approach the problems from another angle, to provide a different type of assistance for those affected by disasters. Check out the website for more information. Still in its infancy as it is a huge project that requires small-planned steps to be viable.
We are in Hawaii usually from December to June and then travel the mainland doing our healing work for the remainder of the year. This year would be no different. So after our June events in northern and southern California we embarked on our annual cross-country journey. From the Pacific Northwest to the mountains of Idaho and Colorado, the urban experience of Chicago, Gray's birthplace, and Pittsburgh, Victoria's hometown, then south to Atlanta and Florida. The jouney quite spectacular. Highlights included a Steelers and Pirates game in Pittsbugh, paddlebarding down the Itchetucknee river of north-central Florida, a boat to Dry Tortuga, paddleboarding with manatees New Smyrna and in the mangroves of the Keys. Florida always continue to be a great experience for us. This year we connected in with new and beautiful people that keep expanding the tribe, while solidifying the relations with those we have known for some time. We are so grateful to do what we do, to meet the people we do, to share in this journey of life, establish deep connections and help in their transformation of healing.
Winter and Spring 2018
Being on our sacred land at CocoWasi on the Big Island is always a blessing and gift. It is a reminder to be grateful, have appreciation and respect for the land itself, the Spirts of the land and those who help us to maintain its beauty and elegance. It takes a lot to live off-grid, to manage the jungle, the abundance of food, the upkeep and balance of the systems and permanent culture of wellness. Our retreats continue to focus on personal growth and the connection to the land. When we create a balance in ourselves, it enables our connection to the land to be more harmonic. Through this alignment we are able to more aptly design, create and bring to life a well-rounded approach to living comfortably and sustainably. Life is a never-ending workshop, here we strive to shed the old patterns so that we may emerge as the best and brightest version of ourselves. In doing that, we become examples to others of the possibilities that are available for a fullfilling and happy life.
Once again, our trip to Peru was a special event with an amazing group of people. We explored the sacred Incan and pre-Incan sites with our dear Q'ero Paqo Brother Basilio and his wife Sabena. This trip always is powerful as we delve into personal growth through sacred despacho ceremony in reverence to Pachamama, the Apus and our owm wishes for our life and those around us. Reuben continued to document our work for his movie with his exceptional eye for detail and together we strenthened our friendships and appreciation for all of the gifts that we each bring forward.
The summer journey continues through northern and southern California, time at the sacred Yuba river and local lakes, time with family and friends, sacred circles and the World Music Fest. We also made a trip to Pittsburgh to connect in with Victoria's family and friends who joined our weekend of healing. We are ramping up for another cross country trip to include Portland, Ketchum, Boulder, Atlanta and north and south Florida befotre we return to Peru to lead a wonderful group into the Sacred Valley and work with the Q'ero paqos .
Our new album Ayllu is currently available on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and others. Like all of our music, the tracks are recorded live in sacred circles and professioally mixed and mastered.
The album cover is a photograph taken by Gray in Hawaii this year (2017) when watching the lava pour into the ocean. This unique image captured the face of Mama Pele, the Sacred Goddess of Fire, facing to the right, as the lava flows down from her eye.
Ayllu (pronounced eye-you) is a quechua term, the language of the Andes and and the most common spoken indigenous language of the modern day. Ayllu represents community, not just immediate and extended family structure but others who represent the building blocks for a healthy and sustainable way of communicating and living. The term was used for this album because the people involved in making the sounds that have been impacting the many people with whom we work.
For more information on this album and the artists involved please visit our Sound page.
The frist track of Ayylu is called Courage and was put to some video of us doing our work a couple years ago. Click here to see it!
We've been back in Hawaii at our sweet little property Coco Wasi in the jungle since December. We've had a variety of gatherings and personal healing sessions with people from the mainland as we continue to delve deep into self-discovery and understanding of our connection to the lands and to each other. The abundance of fruit is overhwleming. We have had a winter of cocunuts and avocados, jackfruit and cacao. Maintaining the land has been fun and playing in the kitchen has been a joy for both of us.
We have hosted gatherings for the community at Christmas and Easter where children run on the lawn and play, adults dance to the great live music and eat the scrumnptious organic and healthy potluck dishes that people make and share. We have also been hosting weekly qi-gong and accupuncture as well as creative movement classes that are open to the community.
This land is sacred and special and it won't be long before we venture back to the mainland to continue the journey. We are fortunate to have good people tending to our place and we know that we will long to be back. In fact, we haven't left yet, but we already miss it. In particular our 4 fantastic cats!
October / November/December
Over Halloween weekend in 2016 in a sacred gathering in Atlanta, Gray had a vision to connect the Q'ero tribe of Peru with the Water Protectors and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Feeling deeply for the situation at Standing Rock, the vision was to raise funds and purchase 1000 munay bracelets, beads of strength and protection and power and love, from the Q'ero paqos of Peru that we have been working with for years. To bring them to Standing Rock and disburse them to the Water Protectors and Tribal Council, to show our solidarity as a people, as all connected to the earth and the ways of nature.
In 24 hours we raised one third of the funds and the rest came in over the remainder of the week. As communications continued in Peru, within a week the bracelets were awaiting us in Miami. The beads came from three Q'ero shamans and their families and gave them an opportunity to let go of their own differences, their own jealousies and fear and come together with a message of support for their native Brothers and Sisters in the north. We left Florida after Thanksgiving and arrived in Bismarck on the cold, stormy night of December 3rd. Along the way, with your contributions, we picked up supplies ito distribute at the camps. We bought more items in the morning and then headed out to the Oceti Sakawan camp along with our brother Reuben, who was fliming the event.
It was amazing. It was the weekend that the Veterans were starting to pour in. The media attention increased. The shooting of water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures had occurred just weeks before. The weather was perfect, cold, but sunny with clear skies. People were everywhere. The camp was incredibly well organized with specific areas for the variety of services whether it be media, food, veterans, first aid, and the slew of clothing and supplies available for winter conditions.
We knew from the beginning that a hand delivery of the bracelets to the Tribal Chief and Council would not occur so we packaged 144 in a beautiful sacred Q'ero cloth, along with a note from us, pictures of the shamans in Peru with the bracelets and their own personal messages and mailed them. We have no idea how or if they were received but we sent them. With the remaining ones we passed them out to people at the camp. Handed them out to people who felt such gratitude and thanks. Some cried. Some said it made their day. One veteran said he couldn't believe the love he felt from all of this as we tied a bracelet around his wrist. Some came back to us, asking to repeat the story of the Q'ero and the bracelets and where they are from etc. It was great fun. We met amazing people. people who had been on the front lines during the periods of violence. People who had left their jobs, their homes and families and been there for months to support the indigenous tribal family.
We were in the circle holding hands with thousands in the camp when the word came through that the pipeline was being halted. We didn't know it it was real or not and we enjoyed hearing the screams of joy as the news spread around the circle. Your contributions brought tears of gratitude and thanks and appreciation by many who received them. Additionally, with your support we were able to bring firewood, propane, food, sleeping bags and more as the camp huddled in for winter.
Although the camp burned and the drilling continued in February 2017, the spirit of what was created at Standing Rock has helped spark political, environmental and social action around the world.
We decided to take a break from our regular autumn Peru trip and went for a three week holiday to Europe. What fun. Beginning and ending in London, we got to visit Gray's high school, The American School of London, and get a tour of the modern and changed facility. We also got to see Gray's various homes that he lived in while walking and exploring the beauty of the big city. In Holland we played in Amsterdam, and got to visit friends in Central Holland as well as visit the litttle town of Heemsted where Gray lived as a child. Italy was a wild ride as we ventu
red through Rome and the Vatican and Coliseum, various sites and museums and restaurants. We had brief stints in Florence and Venice and visited the area of Damanhur and the underground caves. All in all, a fun trip, slightly exhausting, but fun to see old friends, meet new ones and discover new places.
We have had an amazing journey this summer doing our healing work in northern and southern California. Our friend Reuben has been making a documentary about our healing work and the impact it is having on people's lives. It is exciting to have him capturing this all but a little odd at times to be in front of the camera. Our journeys have also taken us to Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York!
February and March 2016
Erika was our single Mom that we brought to Hawaii for our March retreat via group funding and our personal contribution. She had such a powerful journey. Here is her note of appreciation. Thank you to all who helped support her for this transformative journey!
I cannot thank you enough for your support in sending me to Hawaii for such an incredibly healing retreat. Because of you, I was able to take a week to myself, to get sick, to relax into a beautiful healing network of new friends, and to start to learn how to ask for what I need to be truly healthy. Victoria and Gray created an amazing community of people who were all empowered to seek out our highest selves, and to help each other to do the same. Never before have I witnessed near strangers come together in a such a powerful and beautiful way.
I am so grateful for the gift of this week in Hawaii with these people. Beyond the natural beauty of the place, the fiery energy of the island, the mysterious and powerful healing ability of my favorite shamanic duo, it was the cradle of community that I was truly seeking, and found, for one week on the Big Island of Hawaii. I have returned to my “normal” life renewed, refreshed, rested, and inspired to support others, especially my children, as a mirror and reflection of the love and energy that I was a part of in Hawaii. I easily see now how this is the way to heal the world, one cleaned out, trusting soul at a time.
And YES, I got to swim with the dolphins. WOW!!! No words.
Blessings to you all, and thank you again. I hope that you all find a way to experience the peace and healing that I found on this retreat.
In love and gratitude,
Erika Willett Kosina
Our Elemental Hawaii Trips were absolutely amazing with incredible people that were open to shifting, clearing and creating all that they want. Experiences on the boat, seeing the whales, being close with the dolphins, local food, beautiful sites, deep healing, new friendships, joy, tears, laughter. We all experienced so much together that these memories will last forever. Unfortunately I don't have pics from our February retreat available but here is one from our March one.
Happy New Year to you all. Time seems to continue to fly past at greater speeds. This past year has been quite remarkable as we continue to travel and help facilitate deep healing processes with people. We thank all of you who have been a part of our lives, who had had the courage to do some serious work in releasing and letting go of the taumas, the abuse, the dysfunction and all other stored energies that have been limiting and inhibiting. Here is to being free in 2016 and beyond, to being liberated and ready to create and manifest your life exactly as you want. We notice that when people do this important work, they are not only healing themselves but healing their families, their lineages, all the people they come across. It has a ripple effect of which we do not even know the reach. Thank you for trusting us, for being willing and open!
Wishing you the very best in all you do and all you be. With great love and gratitude!!