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Help Valley Fire Survivors to Heal - Lake County


Help Valley Fire Survivors to Heal

by Tish Levee

Looking for another way to help survivors of the Valley Fire? Help sponsor someone who was devastated by the fire attend a retreat designed to help those who have lost everything mourn their losses and heal—emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually—so they can rebuild what’s been destroyed.

A total of 1,958 structures were destroyed in the fire that swept through southern Lake County and parts of Napa and Sonoma Counties last month, including 1,280 homes and 27 multi-family structures. Of nearly 2,000 structures, 1300 were totally destroyed, and another 700 aren’t safe to return to at this time. People who lived in south Lake County, especially Cobb Mountain, Hidden Valley, Anderson Springs, Harbin Hot Springs, and Middleton are devastated. They are grieving even as the burned out land itself is grieving.

Manar Azreik, the founder of Rhythmical Ecstasy, and a Lake County healer and musician, and her partner, Grief Ritual Guide and transformational up-lifter Sequoia Lyn-James, had spent several months organizing a retreat for early November at Four Springs Seminars in Middleton, “Living as Awakened Beings.” After Manar escaped the fire herself, she realized they needed to change the retreat’s focus to one of helping survivors mourn and heal their losses, so they could rebuild what had been destroyed. Manar and Sequoia changed the name of the retreat to “Transformation by Fire,”and added an additional retreat in late November. Transformation by Fire plans to hold retreats every two months while the community rebuilds, creating a place where people know that they can come for emotional, psychological, and spiritual renewal.There are several opportunities for all who are impacted at any level by the recent fires to come together in this safe space so they can move through the grief they feel not only for their own personal losses, but also for the loss of their beloved community.

The whole community needs to hold the container for this grieving process; the larger community needs to welcome and fund a program for this healing space. Those who have lost everything in the fire need to mourn their losses, but they need any funds they have for basic living costs. So those who are able to do so need to step forward and help sponsor others to attend a healing retreat.

Transformation by Fire takes place the weekend of Nov. 6-8th, and again, Nov. 27-29th, at Four Springs. Sponsors are needed to give up to 50 people scholarships of $500 each, which will cover all their costs, including two nights of lodging, organic meals, and facilitation by certified therapists, healers and shamans—Lorindra Frances, Manar Azreik, Sequoia Lyn-James, Rajyo Markman, Debbie Fier, John Freedom, and R. Lane Hairston.

As a non-profit organization Four Springs has arranged for donations made for any of these retreats to be tax-deductible. This can be done by clicking a link on this website and making a donation via Pay Pal or credit card.

Not only was the town of Middletown almost completely destroyed, but the heart of south Lake County, Harbin Hot Springs, home to 300 people and third largest employer in the county, was ravaged as the fire tore through it, destroying most of its buildings. Miraculously, nearby Four Springs survived the fire, which stopped just one mile away. Harbin and the rest of the community will be physically rebuilt in time; but like most of the damage done by the fire, it will take three to five years to fully recover from the trauma it caused. Transformation by Fire retreats will help people to move through the various stages of recovery so that they can rebuild not only the physical environment but the community itself.

Survivors who wish to attend a retreat can reserve a place by paying $50-100 (sliding scale) registration fee via PayPal to or calling Four Springs Executive Director, Tim Locke at 707-246-1326 with a credit card number or sending a check  to Four Springs, 14598 Sheveland Road Middletown, CA 95461   

For more information, go to  You may also call or text Manar at 415-237-1937.



© copyright Tish Levee, 2015