TERRA FEMINARUM - Day Retreat for Women

The Sacred Feminine and North Karelia

Joensuu, Finland
Available in Finnish, English and Danish
8 hours
30 spots per experience

What are we going to do

There is a theory that North Karelia might have been a “Terra Feminarum”, “ a land of women” in the ancestral times. This hypothesis has foundation for example in the many place names in North Karelia, that include the word “Louhi”, which means an old mythical and powerful female architype in the traditional epic poetry. The potential matriarchal cultural roots give fascination for our imagination, as we connect with our ancestral lands and divine feminine archetypes. The beauty of the Mother Nature of North Karelia is spreading like a mandala around the sacred mountain of Akka-Koli (“the female Koli mountain”) and the Lake Pielinen.

In this mythical retreat, we meditate the essence of the sacred feminine in connection with the nature of North Karelia. We build our sense of sisterhood and womenhood, and rest in the cyclical nature of the being a woman.

Example of a program:
10.00 Introduction to North Karelia as a mythical “Terra Feminarum”. We start with guidance to natural meditation. The mandala and flower offering of the sacred feminine. We create together beauty from flowers and natural materials, and support gratefulness in our path of life as female.
12.00 Lunch break
13.00 Guided tour in local nature: Finding the natural power places and connecting with nature.
15.00 Coffee / tea break
16.00 Shamanic journey for the sacred feminine with a traditional drum by Helena
17.30 Closing of the retreat and final circle
18.00 Dinner break
20.00 Sauna (possibility to add a sauna ceremony for women)

About Karhun Talo / House of the Bear - the Doer

As the retreat guide serves Helena Karhu, M.Soc.Sc. (with advanced studies in Tourism Science), a North-Karelian shamanic practitioner, culture producer and artist, meditation teacher, and a mother of 9-year-old twins. Helena’s life project is Karhun Talo (House of the Bear), which aims to promote self-awareness through folklore cultures and wisdom traditions. She is born in Joensuu, North Karelia, Finland, and both of her parental lineages have deep roots in North Karelian soil. For the travelers, she wishes to show the beauty and wisdom of her ancestral land and culture, and to invite to rest in nature.

Helena is currently writing a Ph.D. research on Cultural Anthropology on the female Nordic shamans at the University of Eastern Finland. She is a chairwoman of a local association called Pielisen Tietäjäkeskus ry., which aims to promote, strengthen, and live the ancestral wisdom traditions of North Karelia. Helena has about 15 years of experience of meditation and mindfulness practices, and she has guided meditation for groups about 10 years.

Helena has vast international experience, as her international career took her to live over 13 years in Denmark. Besides her long-time residence in Copenhagen, her world journeys have taken her across the Northern and Arctic regions in her quest for life. She has lived in Greenland and in Fairbanks, Alaska. Helena’s passion is to bring forth the light-increasing, co-operative, and empowering aspects of the ancestral practice, where everyone can rest as they are, yet have freedom to become who they are. Helena is known for her inspiring and positive guidance, where simplicity and naturalness of life are the key focus.

“I hope that our retreat time together will bring you closer to the essence of this land, the beauty and balancing strength of North Karelia. The purpose of the retreat is that the effects and practices can be integrated to your home environment and everyday life.
Getting to know the natural power places of this land, you might recognize more of them at your home environment as well. The natural well-being is available to us, where ever we are.” Helena


The retreats are suitable for everybody. The program can be adjusted according to the needs of the each group and individuals.

The guidance languages available are English, Danish, and Finnish.

The day programs can be ordered to any destination within North Karelia. If you need assistance in finding a suitable retreat location, please send a request. We are happy to coordinate and help in finding the most suitable location for your group.

It is possible to make a retreat with additional days. The retreat can be as many days as possible for your group.




Aivan uskomattoman hieno tilaisuus ❤️ En ollut koskaan rummuttanut porukassa, mutta täällä tunnelma vei heti mennessään ja vanhan salin tila oli paikkana täydellinen. Villa Oraksen upea miljöö, ihanat vetäjät ja mikä tietämys 🙏

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