The Descent & Rising Women’s Retreat 10th – 15th November 2023

The Descent & Rising In Person Retreat

at the Cattle Shed in the beautiful Peak District, UK.


Held by the mythopoetic map of the Inanna-Ereshkigal myth, over 6 days we will dive into myth, poetry, breathwork, movement, rest and creative enquiry. The retreat will feature a mysterium where we submerge in non-verbal space taking away time, technology and words, to enter the underworld of music, poetry and being. My intention is that the retreat will offer the opportunity to move into deeper intimacy with yourself and whatever is ready to emerge, within a supportive circle of women.


“From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below
From the Great Above the goddess opened her ear to the Great Below
From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below”
– Wolkstein and Kramer

It can be difficult to drop down into the next layers of ourselves without support and in the midst of our daily life and responsibilities. When we step into a residential, held space, where the food and daily responsibilites of life are lifted, our body and soul can rest down into what has not had space.

What has not been tended to that really needs your attention?

This container will provide the space to be with that question and allow you to be with YOU. In practical terms that will include around 8+ hours of held space each day and inbetween times for resting, walking, eating, swimming (if you like a cold dip in the UK in November!) and being. From Sunday evening we will enter a 40 hour mysterium.

What is a mysterium?

In the mysterium we enter approx 40 hours of non-verbal space but within a feminine container of music, movement, rest, flow and whatever unfolds for you. It is an utterly unique cocoon that really has to be experienced to be known. We begin with a sound bath and ritual of giving up technology, time pieces and all books, except poetry books and from there we enter non-verbal space. Some people stay and sleep in the communal space, some people choose to sleep in their rooms. We will have a poetry sama and sharing on the second night. Inbetween, you might sleep, rest, dance, write, dream, walk in nature, it really is your time to  be however you need to be, in company, alone or and usually a mixture of the two. If you dare to drop into the arms of the mystery what emerges?

Do I need to have done this kind of work before?

No. This retreat is for seasoned practitioners of this kind of work and it can welcome those who are reasonably new to it. But if you haven’t worked with Carly before she offers a FREE 20 minute zoom call so that you can ask questions and to check that this is the right retreat for you.


The retreat will be held at the stunning Cattleshed nestled into the beautiful Hope Valley UK. It is a 20 minute drive from Sheffield, a 3.5 hour drive from London. You can discover more specifically about the venue HERE. If you are travelling further afield Manchester is the nearest airport and then it is a 1.5 hour trainride direct to Grindleford station from there.

Spaces limited to 16 women only. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Contact Carly to Register Your Interest

£750 sharing a twin room or

£900 for a private room plus £250 per person for food.

£100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your place. Final payment due by August 1st.

To register your interest please email mountaincarly@

Descent & Rising is an Initiation

“This magnificent refuge is inside you.


Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway.

Be bold. Be humble.

Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you.

Ask no permission from the authorities.

Slip away.

Close your eyes and follow your breath

to the still place that leads to the invisible path

 that leads you home.”

~ St Teresa of Avila translated by Mirabai Starr

How does the retreat work?

The heroine’s journey does not happen only in our head, it is a somatic, felt experience and this retreat focuses on becoming more intimate with our bodies, our erotic life force as it moves and whatever expression needs to happen to faciliate that. This retreat will provide a structure for you to let go into and see what emerges from that surrender. All expressions are welcome from the darkest to the brightest, the most animated to the most restful, if you don’t have to try, if you can show up as you are, who are you then?


Carly specialises with working in the landscapes of the emotional, somatic and sacred. So using the Inanna myth as a map, she will craft ceremony and a creative container to explore how the myth is infusing your life and what comes to light out of the dark of that process. What emotions do you easily allow? What emotions are more of an edge for you? You will be invited to explore your emotional body and see where it wants to take you.


We are all embodied creatures but how do we move inside of our own skin. Our body holds our stories. Our bodies remember. This work will invite you to listen to your body, to breathe deeply, to sound if you feel to sound, to speak, to rest, to dance, to grieve, to follow your pleasure, to FEEL. A huge part of Carly’s work is listening to the body. This is one way of listening to the great below. The body has it’s own wisdom, can we open to it?


Myths are not just ancient stories they are alive here and now in your body. You are a walking breathing mythology. How your mythology configures is unique to you and it has archetypal threads that all human experience. The place where you meet with myth is the place where mystery unfolds. Where the unique and the universal commune. And when we touch this place magic and awakening can happen. A women’s circle is a place where all expressions, all ranges of experience are welcome. When we sit together this way, we tend to our personal and collective wounds simultaneously. It’s an amazing thing and one of the most poignant things about being in circle. When women come together this way, new possibilities can emerge.

Meet Your Beholder & Guide Carly Mountain

Carly Mountain is a psychotherapist, a psychosexual somatic therapist, women’s initiatory guide, yoga teacher, breathworker and writer. She brings twenty years of holding and exploring sacred embodied practices. Her new book Descent & Rising: Women’s Stories & the Embodiment of the Inanna Myth explores women’s real lived experiences of descent and rising, and familiarises us with a process of female psycho-spiritual growth often overlooked in patriarchal culture.

Carly specialises in beholding people as they traverse the depths of initiation; both in therapy, breathwork and within courses that support women to remember, reclaim and reconnect with the wisdom encoded in their flesh and bones – the wisdom of the Earth incarnated inside of us. So that we can live a sensual, naturally abundant, erotically inspired life.

Contact Carly To Register Your Interest

Contact to book your place or arrange a FREE zoom call to discuss if this retreat is for you.

Please note: this is not a therapy group. Though Carly is a qualified therapist she is not acting as therapist in this role. She is holding the course as a beholder and sacred space holder.


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Carly MountainThe Descent & Rising Residential Retreat November 2023