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Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.

– Leonard Cohen, Anthem


We are excited to announce a new Marion Woodman Foundation Workshop program.

This workshop celebrates our brokenness, imperfections and cracks revealing that our deepest wounds can be a place where the Self is hidden. Many women today suffer from lacerating self-criticism and isolation, and when looking for mirroring, only the coldness of perfection is reflected back. Perfection always sets the bar higher than we can reach leading to paralysis and disembodiment. In this workshop, we offer another, relational vision to mine the darkness for riches that lay within which have the power to crack images that belong only with the gods and goddesses.

Using the Ancient Greek myth of Athena and Medusa, we will amplify themes that we all must navigate in our lives: the danger of perfection as symbolized by Goddess Athena and the rejection of the shadow as personified by the Medusa. This myth describes the journey every woman must take to face her shadow as well as the necessary steps that can lead to self-love and acceptance.

Inviting creativity back into life brings warmth, hope, and new possibility. We will work and play with each other to humanize perfectionist images from our lives and to find our own embodied way to vitality, presence, and compassion. Through discussion, dream work, movement, voice, art and sacred ritual, we will learn to recognize the spells that hold us in old archaic story lines enabling us to see and reclaim our authentic imperfect selves.

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July 24, 2016 - July 29, 2016
Location: La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, California
Location Description:

La Casa de Maria is an interfaith, non-profit retreat and conference center situated on a  26-acre site of oak woodland, orchards, and gardens. The environment at La Casa is uniquely beautiful and peace giving, making it an ideal place for programs focused on meditation, spirituality, personal growth, community service, environmental awareness, education, and art.

Your address and phone number during the program:
La Casa de Maria, 800 El Bosque Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
805-969-5031 (phone)
805-969-2759 (fax)


33 hours of continuing education units, approved by California State Boards, are offered to MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs. Most US states accept these CEUs. Please check with your state licensing board.


$1,750 for single room; $1,610 for a double room (fee includes 5 nights lodging and meals from dinner July 24-lunch July 29, 2016).

Full payment (or balance due) for the program is due by April 25. If you have paid by credit card, you will be sent a link to pay with our secure online program.

Refund Policy:

If you cancel before April 24, 2016, we will refund your fee less $100. After April 24, 2016 we cannot refund your fee unless we can replace you in the program. We will do our best to do this. If we can replace you (after April 24, 2016), we will refund your fee less $250 plus any charges incurred at the facility. We must have notice of cancellation in writing.

Programs will not be canceled if one of the instructors can't attend. If any instructor is unable to attend, a similarly qualified colleague will substitute. We cannot refund your fee if one of the instructors cannot participate. Once enrolled, if you must transfer to a different program, a $100 transfer fee will be charged.

Release Waiver:

The Marion Woodman Foundation requires that all participants enrolled in a Foundation program sign and return a release waiver before the program begins. The waiver will be emailed to you before the program begins.

Program Details:

The theme of our program is healing from the fragmentation caused by an Addiction to Perfection. To help establish a framework, each day we explore different aspects of the Athena-Medusa myth and look to reflections from Marion Woodman and Jung to help us find our way towards our own new version of Wholeness, rather than Perfection.

Registration is between 4-6 pm on Sunday, July 24. You may check into La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center at 4 pm on Sunday (no later than 7 pm, please). Your rooms are pre-assigned. The first session will begin after dinner the first evening, Sunday, July 24.

The daily agenda is as follows:
Breakfast, 8 am
Morning session, 9 am-noon
Each day we begin by opening the altar, a meditation, lecture, dreams and group discussion which help to provide a psychological and intellectual container

Lunch, 12:00 pm
Afternoon session, 2:30-5:30 pm
We begin with a gentle warm up of the body which flows into experiential exercises that encourage playful embodiment through music, movement and freeing the voice. The last part of the afternoon will leave time for some sort of individual integrative writing or art activity.

Dinner, 6 pm
Evening session, 7-9 pm
Sandplay and expressive art projects derived from participants own process.

The program ends on Friday, July 29 at 1 pm. Lunch on the 29th is included.

For participants traveling long distances, we do advise early arrival when possible, so you can rest and adjust to changing time zones. Although early check in is not available at La Casa de Maria Conference and Retreat Center, there is lodging available nearby. The following are a few options should you arrive in the area early or stay after the program ends:

Best Western Carpinteria Inn
4558 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria
Best Western Carpinteria Inn

The Holiday Inn Express in Carpinteria
5606 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria
Holiday Inn Express Carpinteria

The Montecito Inn
1295 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara
The Montecito Inn

The Coast Village Inn
1188 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara
The Coast Village Inn

You can also check the internet for other choices from seaside to low-cost options.

What to Bring:
Please bring “layers” of casual, comfortable clothing, as the temperatures vary from mid-50 to mid-70 degrees. We suggest you bring a favorite shawl or scarf, as they can create a cozy nest if you’re chilly, and are also sometimes fun to use in movement. Please bring your personal journal.

A flashlight is helpful and good walking shoes are recommended for exploring nearby hiking trails. (Bedding and towels are provided in your room by the conference center.) If you have special art supplies that you prefer to use, please feel free to bring them. (The Marion Woodman Foundation will be providing a variety of art supplies/materials.)

Suggested Reading:

The following books to read are suggested:

Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride: A Psychological Study by Marion Woodman

Conscious Femininity: Interviews with Marion Woodman by Marion Woodman

Books purchased from Amazon.com through the Marion Woodman Foundation website provide a small percentage of the purchase to be donated to the Foundation. (See “Support the Foundation with your purchase through Amazon” search box located on the right side of each page on the MWF website)

Suggested Video to watch:
It is also suggested that you watch the wonderful video Dancing in the Flames with Marion Woodman. The link is Dancing in the Flames

Rooms are comfortable and clean with a bathroom in each room. Bedding and towels are provided by the conference center.

The Conference Center requests that all guests are expected to behave in a manner appropriate to a retreat center, being mindful and respectful of the natural environment, facilities, other groups, guests and staff. We discourage the use of alcohol, although groups may may have a glass of beer or wine in their meeting room prior to a meal. There is no alcohol permitted in any of the common areas, dining room or sleeping rooms.

The food at La Casa de Maria Conference and Retreat Center is served fresh, healthy, varied, tasty and plentiful. Meals are served buffet style in the dining room. There are always vegetarian options. Please be sure you have notified us on your application form if you have any food allergies or diet restrictions that should be forwarded to the kitchen.


Participant List
A participant list (with your name, address, phone number and email address) will be sent out before the program begins. If you choose to not have your contact information listed on this list please contact the MWF Program Office when you register at office@mwoodmanfoundation.org


Passports are required for all international travel to and from the United States.

Travel options to Santa Barbara and La Casa de Maria in Montecito (near Santa Barbara) follow. We suggest you contact each other (from the participant list that will be sent to you) ahead of arrival to arrange a shared taxi cab. This will save on your travel costs. Taxi information is listed below.

La Casa de Maria is located in the small town of Montecito on the southern edge of Santa Barbara. It is 2 miles from Highway 101, approximately 90 miles north of Los Angeles and 90 miles south of San Luis Obispo.

Trip Cancellation Insurance
If traveling by airplane it is highly recommended that you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance. Please have your airline review what the Trip Cancellation Insurance will cover. The Marion Woodman Foundation can not be held liable for costs incurred through participant airline purchases if a program needs to be canceled due to faculty illness/emergency or natural disasters.

Travel by Airplane:
You will probably be able to get the best flight prices/schedules by flying in to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It is an international hub and your flight will probably be cheaper than trying to fly directly to Santa Barbara Airport (although you will have additional transportation expense getting from LAX to Santa Barbara). If you fly in the LAX, you can either take the train, the shuttle bus, or commuter flight to Santa Barbara. Once in Santa Barbara you can take a taxi to La Casa de Maria. Please also note information below about La Casa de Maria staff recommendations about flying in to Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport).


Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
LAX is approximately 100 miles from La Casa de Maria. If you fly in to LAX, you can either take an Amtrak train, shuttle or commuter flight to Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)

Amtrak train travel from LAX to Santa Barbara: You can take the train from the Los Angeles Union Station Train Station near LAX to Santa Barbara. This requires a shuttle from LAX to the train station, which is often a 45 minute-1 hour ride. The train is a nice ride (approximately 2.5 hours) to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles Union Station. The Amtrak train station in Santa Barbara is about 5 miles from La Casa de Maria. A taxi is the best way to travel from the train station to La Casa.

Bus travel from LAX to Santa Barbara: The Santa Barbara Airbus, 805-964-7759, Santa Barbara Airbus, travels from LAX airport to Santa Barbara. The airbus stops at the Mar Monte Hotel (4 miles from La Casa de Maria). A taxi can bring you to La Casa de Maria. Prepaid fares are discounted.

Flying from LAX to Santa Barbara: The commuter flight to Santa Barbara Airport is approximately a 1 hour flight, approximately $250 round trip. Please check the internet for flight information.

Shuttle service from LAX to Santa Barbara: One option is Roadrunner Shuttle & Limousine Service, 800-247-7919, Roadrunner Shuttle Service


Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport)
The staff at La Casa de Maria recommend flying in to Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport) as it is a nice, much smaller airport than LAX and you can take the Amtrak train from the airport to Santa Barbara. The train station is located at the airport within walking distance of the main terminal. There is also a free shuttle to the Amtrak train station.


Santa Barbara Airport
The Santa Barbara Airport is about 15 miles from La Casa de Maria. Taxi and shuttle fares from from $35-40, one way to La Casa, if reservations are made in advance.


Taxi/shuttle services
Shuttle service from LAX to Santa Barbara: One option is Roadrunner Shuttle & Limousine Service, 800-247-7919, Roadrunner Shuttle Service

Taxis services once in Santa Barbara:
Village Cab – 805-698-9820
Checker Cab – 805-966-6666
American Taxi – 805-689-0683 or 805-708-1000

You can also check the internet for shuttle, taxi, Lyft or Uber services


By Car:
Take US Highway 101 to the San Ysidro Road (exit #93) in Montecito. Go 1 mile up San Ysidro Road (toward the mountains) to the 2nd signal light at East Valley Road (Hwy. 192). Turn right. Proceed about 2/10 of a mile until you see El Bosque Road on your left. Turn left and follow El Bosque Road which ends at the entrance to La Casa de Maria. There are signs just inside the main entrance that direct you to the Registration Office (to the right).


For More Information:
If you have questions, please contact:

Marion Woodman Foundation
7110 SW Fir Loop, Suite 250
Portland, OR 97223 USA
Phone: 503-746-5899
Fax: 503-746-6329
Email: office@mwoodmanfoundation.org