The Holy Women Icons Project
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Radical Rejuvenation + Spiritual Sustenance

Holy Woman Within: A New Year’s Retreat for Spiritual Creatives

December 31, 2019 - January 4, 2020

 For spiritual seekers and teachers

For dreamer and do-ers

For leaders and healers, students and social workers, teachers and therapists, coaches and clergy, entrepreneurs and artists (and more!)

For the people doing the work to heal our world

For the radical women doing their work

through the lens of justice

For YOU.

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Holy Woman Within: A New Year’s Retreat for Spiritual Creatives

Get the radical rejuvenation + spiritual sustenance you need to do your work in the world.

Your 5 day Retreat in Hawaii  is about crossing the threshold into the next chapter of your life with intention -- and then having the practices you need to sustain and manifest that intention in the world.

Join this intimate, creative 5-day eco-retreat in Hawaii so that you can:

  • Start this New Year with deliberate intention AND have the practices you need to sustain and realize those intentions…

  • Be restored and rested (no violent 5am wake-up calls or grueling itineraries)

  • Have the space and time you need to turn inward and reflect

  • Be immersed in a gathering of like-minded, radical, spiritual women who get it

  • Drop into your creativity and self-expression

  • Experiment with joyous self-care practices and ritual that will sustain you when you’re home

Take time out to tend your spirit and your dreams…

...and then re-emerge feeling rejuvenated, inspired, and empowered.

Create. Sustain. Empower.

That’s the purpose of this 5-day New Years Retreat, and that’s the purpose of our organization, The Holy Women Icons Project. We’re the hosts of your 5-day retreat.


About The Holy Women Icons Project

The Holy Women Icons Project is a non-profit retreat center in Hawai’i founded and led by Rev Dr. Angela Yarber and Dr. Elizabeth Lee.

Both of us have academic backgrounds considering The Big Questions -- you know: What’s the meaning of life? and How do we achieve justice and human flourishing? -- AND we do that work in an integrated way, through spiritual practice, embodiment exercises, and ritual.

All of our work as queer women and leaders is informed by our intersectional feminist beliefs and our eco-feminist commitments.


Your Retreat Hosts


Hi! I’m Angela. I have a Ph.D. in Art and Religion; am a multi-media artist (painting, writing, dance); and am the author of seven books that address the intersections among gender/sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the arts. As an ordained, queer clergywoman, I served local churches for fourteen years and  taught graduate and undergraduate students since 2006.

Hi! I’m Elizabeth. I hold a Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory and have taught ethics, philosophy, and religion.

Together, and as an organization, we create art and offer retreats & 1:1 coaching to elevate, celebrate and fortify the radical holy women tending and shaping our world.

Women like you.

We’re here to help keep you going.




 Here’s where we’re going, together:

The Akuaha Healing Center on the Big Island of Hawai’i

Your 5-day Holy Woman Within: A New Year’s Retreat for Spiritual Creatives takes place on the grounds of the Akuahā Volcano eco-village in Hawai’i.

Akuaha is an eco-retreat center owned by Darshan Mendoza, an intersectional Queer Filipino woman who is an energy medicine practitioner and body worker.

“Akuaha is located in Volcano, Hawai’i on seven acres in the rainforests of Mauna Loa, atop lava tubes and across from the Kīlauea and Halema’uma’u Craters.

Our intention is to create an environment for people to reconnect to this Earth and themselves in a whole new level and to inspire them to share their gifts and wisdom with the world.

From our different healing modalities that we offer, to the workshops and retreats we host and the simple and harmonic way we co-exist with nature, we hope that our guests leave rejuvenated, inspired and aligned to being the change they want to see in this rapidly evolving world. We look forward to meeting all those called to this land.”



The Details 

Your 5-day retreat includes:

  • All activities and workshops

  • All Meals (plant-based healthy meals)

  • Accomodations (Shared; or upgrade to single or double rooms) at Akuahua

Not included:

  • Flights

  • Local transportation to and from from the Hilo airport and retreat center

What You’ll Practice:

REST. Did we mention rest?

This is NOT an intense yoga/meditation retreat where you have to get up at 5AM every day or push your body to its limits.

This is about renewal and rejuvenation.

You’ll practice lavish self-care rituals that affirm and validate you while simultaneously acknowledging the systems that don't allow you to do that in your everyday life.

You’ll be going to meditation, creativity and creative movement workshops so you can turn inward and express your vision.

You’ll go exploring and make pilgrammages...while being nurtured and fed and cared-for, gently.

This is not about doing as much as you can.

This is about tending your spirit so that you can return to your life and your work rested, refueled and GALVANIZED.




Click on a date to expand the schedule.

December 31 ↓

3-3:30 Arrive and Check in

3:30-5:30 Welcome, Opening Ritual, Guided Painting, Getting to Know You

5:30-6 Guided journaling

6-7:30 Dinner

7:30-8 Break

8-9:30 Releasing the old year ritual; Yoga; Guided Painting

Optional guided journaling before bed

Optional silent meditation 11:30pm-12:01am to bring in the New Year

January 1 ↓

7:00-9:30 Breakfast Available

7:30-8:15 Optional morning Empower Hour Fitness

8:45-9:15 Option morning silent meditation

9:30-11:30 Morning Ritual, Guided Painting, Movement Meditation, Guided Journaling

11:30-12 Break

12-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2 Break

2-4 Guided Painting, Guided Journaling, Group Work

4-6 Free Time (pool, labyrinth, coloring, nap, etc.)

6-7:30 Dinner

7:30-8 Break

8-9:30 Guided Painting; Yoga

Optional guided journaling before bed

January 2 ↓

7:00-9:30 Breakfast Available

7:30-8:15 Optional morning Empower Hour Fitness

8:45-9:15 Option morning silent meditation

9:30-11:15 Morning Ritual, Guided Painting, Movement Meditation

11:30-12:30 Lunch

12:30-1 Pack up for Pilgrimage

1-6 Studio Pilgrimage, Self Exploration and Journaling at Maku’u Point

6-7:30 Dinner

7:30-8 Break

8-9:30 Guided Painting; Yoga

Optional guided journaling before bed

January 3 ↓

7:00-9:30 Breakfast Available

7:30-8:15 Optional morning Empower Hour Fitness

8:45-9:15 Option morning silent meditation

9:30-11:30 Morning Ritual, Guided Painting, Movement Meditation, Guided Journaling

11:30-12 Break

12-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2 Break

2-4 Guided Painting, Guided Journaling, Group Work

4-6 Free Time (pool, labyrinth, coloring, nap, etc.)

6-7:30 Dinner

7:30-8 Break

8-9:30 Guided Painting; Yoga

Optional guided journaling before bed

January 4 ↓

7:00-9:30 Breakfast Available

7:30-8:15 Optional morning Empower Hour Fitness

8:45-9:15 Option morning silent meditation

9:30-10:30 Closing Ritual

10:30-11 Pack up and Check out

 Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to see the answer.

Are payment plans available?

Yes. You can pay in monthly installments, or in one payment.

What happens if I have to cancel?

We will be sad to miss you, but we understand life happens. The deposit is non-refundable, but as long as you cancel by December 20, you will receive a refund of everything you’ve paid except the deposit.

What kind of people attend this retreat?

Queer, straight, cis, trans, women, and gender non-binary folks. Parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, artists, attornies, writers, entrepreneurs, and folks from all walks of life. Generally, women who care about social justice, and who often can’t find a traditional spiritual home. There are athiests, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Goddess worshippers, Wiccans, and women who are spiritual, but don’t have a word to describe them. Moms who are exhausted and underappreciated; women in “giving professions” who need a boost; activists who need to recharge; spiritual seekers yearning to connect their souls with their justice work; creative women who want alternative and artsy approaches to spirituality; academics who want to honor their bodies in addition to their minds.

What’s your worldview?

Check out our “about” page. HWIP is a queer intersectionally ecofeminist organization. What do we mean by that? We use the term queer in three intersecting ways. First, is an umbrella for the LGBTQIA+ community. Second, it’s a nod to the academic discipline of queer theory, which seeks to dismantle binaries that bind (male/female, gay/straight, male/female, etc). Third, it harkens back to the dictionary definition of the word “queer,” which means to “transgress” or “intentionally subvert.” We believe, whether one identifies as LGBTQIA+ or not (our leadership does), the values and norms of our world need to be dismantled, subverted, and transgressed so that all may find liberation. Intersectionality refers to the ways we not only want liberation for women, but for all those with intersecting marginalized identities. So, we endeavor to dismantle racism, heterosexism, classism, ageism, ableism, xenophobia, sexism, speciesism, and all those other isms used to discriminate and erase. Finally, ecofeminism is the combination of ecology/sustainability with feminism, as we acknowledge the violence done to “mother earth” by striving to minimize our carbon footprint and treat the earth with respect and honor. You do not have to identify as a queer intersectional ecofeminist to work with us :-)

What does ‘eco-village’ mean?

Akuaha seeks to honor the aina (Hawaiian for land/spirit of the land) with respect and reverence. Akuaha grows some of its own food and offers beautiful, yet simple, lodging accommodations. There are 3 shared bathrooms for all 17 guests, with 3 toilets and 6 shower heads. Meals are shared. There is 1 private room that can sleep one adult or a couple/2 people sharing a Queen bed, 2 sets of double rooms, and a beautiful yurt that sleeps ten people in individual beds. While beautiful, it is not posh or fancy. Read more about Akuaha’s facilities here.

Is there wifi?

Yes. There is wifi available in the common room.

Is there electricity and air-conditioning?

There is electricity. There are plenty of fans, but no air-conditioning. The weather in Volcano is generally cooler than the rest of the island.

How do I get to the retreat center?

Hilo airport is approximately 40 minutes away, and Kona airport is approximately 2 hours away. Shuttles, Uber, and car rentals are available at the airport.

What kind of food is served?

Healthy, delicious, plant-based food. Breakfasts will include oatmeal, fresh local fruit, dried fruits, nut butters, and breads. Lunches will be “aloha bowls,” sometimes called “Buddha bowls,” which include greens, grains, vegetables, seeds or nuts, and a different tasty sauce each day. Dinners vary each evening and will include grains, protein, vegetables, and fruits. Snacks will also be provided. All food is vegan, minimally processed, and local and organic when possible. If you have additional dietary restrictions, please let us know by December 20.

I have a special diet. Can you accommodate it?

Yes. Please let us know by December 20. Because it is a plant-based retreat, we will not serve any meat or dairy.

Can you tell me more about the shared accomodations?

There is a large, circular yurt with 10 beds (single and full) arranged in a circle. Double rooms include two beds. There are 3 bathrooms, including 3 flush toilets. 2 bathrooms have individual showers. One bathroom includes 4 open showerheads. There is also a shared kitchen, common room, ritual yurt, sauna, pool, and grounds.

What if I’m coming with a friend or partner -- are there double rooms available?

Yes. There is one room with a Queen bed that can be shared if friends or a couple desired. And there are 2 sets of rooms with 2 beds.

Are there single rooms available?

There is one single room available for either an individual or 2 people wishing to share a Queen bed.

Do I have to attend every workshop or ritual?

No. There are a couple specifically listed as optional. It is highly recommended that you attend all others.

Can I stay longer?

Communicate directly with Darshan at if you’d like to stay at Akuaha longer than the retreat. If you’re interested in staying at the Holy Women Icons Project’s guest house before or after the retreat, communicate directly with Angela at

Are extra healing or spa services available?

Not during the retreat, but there are plenty available after.

What should I bring with me?

Comfortable clothing (layers as Volcano gets chillier), a raincoat, swimsuit, yoga clothes, pajamas, shoes for navigating multiple terrains, flashlight, reusable water bottle, a good attitude, sunglasses, toiletries, umbrella, shirt or smock you wouldn’t mind paint getting on, an open heart and mind, sunscreen, any necessary medications, camera


 Because you want to start this new year with intention

Because you want this year to be wildly different than any year before it

Because you want to be in the company of inspired, empowered, like-minded women

Because you deserve care, validation, affirmation and rest

Because your creativity is a well-spring from which everything -- including your work --  flows

Because you want to come home with intentional practices and tools

you can use to tend your spirit on a daily basis

and sustain your intention for the rest of the year…

 Because you need to fill your cup…

So that you have something to pour from.

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 Questions? Need more info? Angela is happy to talk with you. Just send her an email.

“Movement, stretching, wisdom, teaching, spirituality, and discussion. I’ve never attended a retreat that engaged so much of myself—mind, heart, soul, and body—in such thoughtful and critical ways.” -Maria, Berkeley, CA

“What makes the Holy Women Icons Project so powerful is that it engages so many senses. The vibrant colors of the art and the stories of the women inspire and remind you to work for justice. And hearing Dr. Yarber speak about them is inspiring, engaging, and even prophetic. She is a truly gifted speaker.” -Lauren, Boone, NC

“Angela is one of the best retreat leaders because she knows that one size does not fill all. She can change her teaching style during her retreat based on the mood and personality types in the room.” -Steve, Atlanta, GA

“Inspiring and empowering are the two words that come to mind after doing a retreat with Angela. In one event, I turned inward to examine myself, got recharged with self-care, and examined unjust power structures. Painting, journaling, thinking, listening, and reflecting with her gives me the energy to keep going in my personal and professional life. -Arie, San Francisco, CA