There are reasons that my son calls me an old hippy! For one thing, since he was a little boy his home has been filled with a vast collection of drums , feathers, crystals and strangers wandering in and out at all strange times of the day in search of soothing reiki and soul retrievals. His early years were spent traveling with his father and me to a lovely retreat center in the forests of Southern Ohio to a place called Lotus Lodge which is run by a lovely woman named LaWanna Rine. Lotus Lodge was the first place that I ever came to understand how fragrance and healing were inextricably linked. LaWanna is a wonderful old soul who is gifted with a profound knowledge of herbs, essential oils and all of their properties. She believes profoundly in the existence of many Ascended Masters and she dresses everyday in a rainbow of beautiful colors.... she will never wear black. She has the most amazing collection of costume jewelry that I have ever seen and is never without at least 10 pieces of it. She is without a doubt the most gorgeous 85 year old woman that I’ve ever seen, she only looks to be about 70. She is filled with songs and the most amazing energy that carries her up her hills for long walks with her dogs everyday. She always smells wonderful, covered with the herbs and oils that are her allies. She’s sophisticated and utterly luminous at the same time. For the sake of many of the old hipsters who may be lurking here, meeting her for the first time is a bit like meeting your fairy godmother while you’re tripping. I’m sure that anyone my age will know exactly what I mean! Did I mention that she has crystals everywhere the size of boulders?
Walking into Lotus Lodge for the first time is a purely pleasurable assault on the senses. There is always a fire in the woodstove and a pot of fresh herbal tea simmering in the kitchen. LaWanna’s always baking something wonderful too, gluten free and vegan. After many hugs , she looks at you and assesses what you need. Most often, it’s an essential oil and hot stone massage in her wonderful treatment room with Enya playing and plenty of time to relax. Sometimes, she will draw you a warm bath with candlelight in her old clawfoot tub, to which she will have added epson salts, oils and the fresh tinctures that she makes from plants that she grows and uses for their healing properties. One beautful summers day she brought her massage table out onto her vast porch which overlooks the artesian spring and her beautiful woods. When I asked what I was supposed to do, she laughed , told me to take my clothes off and she proceeded to give me a massage with the most wonderfully fresh watermelon pulp . Then she rinsed it all off with warm herbal water and used her special blend of almond oil and essential oils to finish. To say that I was in heaven is nothing short of an understatement.
Whatever she chooses for you that day is exactly what you need and you always leave refreshed , filled with optimism and plenty of treats! Almost everything that I’ve learned over the years about healing and herbalism I learned from her…she remains to this day one of my greatest teachers. I’ve recently reconnected with LaWanna after a couple of years and walked into her lodge to find an amazing vegetarian brunch waiting for me and the lady herself hard at work at her desk with papers flying all around in typical LaWanna fashion. “I’ve got so much to share…I can’t stop writing! Do you think that you could help me get it out to world on the internet?”. So I’ve created her very own own category here at the Windesphere Witch called “Love Letters from Lotus Lodge” and you’ll occasionally see one from her. It will be flowery and abundant just like the lady herself and full of her native wisdom and if you find yourself intrigued LaWanna can be reached to schedule an appointment at 330-878-7379.