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What's in a Name? The Origins of House of Honey Aerial Studio & Retreat Center

House of Honey Aerial Studio is a hexagon
The House of Honey Aerial Studio mirrors the sacred shape bees use for their honeycombs

Truth is stranger than fiction. Seriously. Six weeks after my second cesarean, I attended my first aerial silks class. The gymnasium in central Tel Aviv on Maze Street (that ironically translates as ‘what is it?’) smelled like my childhood. It had been years since I spent time in a gymnasium and I felt a sense of wondrous homecoming. The sound of shoes scuffing on the polished wooden floor. The distinct smell of musky plastic. A hint of smelly sock with undertones of scrubbed vinyl. Even the familiar buzz of fluorescent lights brought me back to my past. 

But I was an exhausted 39 year old woman with a newborn at home and leaky boobs, not a spritely young teenager choreographing dance moves for a competition. On the other side of the gym, I saw a group of women standing near the mats. Ten sets of colorful fabric hung from the ceiling. Together they worked together to untie them. I almost walked out. I remember feeling insecure and terrified, but also exhilarated and excited.

Finally. After at least a decade of searching, I had found a class in aerial silks. I could hardly wait to touch the fabric, to wrap it around my body and climb up to the sky. The teacher thought I was slightly crazy. But I insisted. The doctor had clearly told me to wait six weeks. Otherwise I probably would have come sooner 🙂

My first lesson was horrific. I managed to wrap the fabric around my ankles and pull, but I could not get my body to lift. I barely had the strength to grip the silks by the end of an hour, but I kept trying. I insisted that I could learn this. I kept repeating that age is not measured in years but in mental states. 

After three months, I could manage an inversion. Bent legs and jumping along with tons of other bad habits, but I did get my body to flip over itself in the air, my legs in a sort of straddle. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I’ve never felt so proud that I had persevered and not given up. 

Despite a tiny baby girl at home, sleepless nights and the stress of my non-existent writing life at the time, I did not quit. I wanted to. There were times when I thought I should just throw in the towel and leave it to gen Z. But somehow, one or two friends would say a kind word or my teacher would encourage me, and I would make it through the class. I kept going. I almost never missed a lesson. 

daughter Jade was a baby when I started aerial silks
Aerial silks with my daughter Jade on our rooftop in Tel Aviv Tel Aviv

From the moment I laid eyes on the silks, it was love at first sight. So almost a decade later, after dozens of performances and hundreds of hours of classes and practice, an intense teacher training and rigging school, I am opening my aerial retreat center in Portugal.

I chose the name House of Honey because the studio is a hexagon. Reuven, my talented, artistic husband designed the space, ensuring that it can hold 13 points at the same time! A structural engineer gave us the specs from Reuven’s patented design and a professional welder from Germany came to attach the top and bottom parts, fusing metal together at 7 meters on a scaffolding. We called him Superman. 

The first design of the House of Honey Aerial Studio & Retreat Center
From matchsticks to reality, this is how House of Honey Aerial Studio began

But why this shape and why this name? It symbolizes for me the precious work of honey bees, who together create such beauty and sweetness. And of course who fly alone. This is a place that will require the work of many – as it already has to construct it – to succeed. It is a space designed for collaborations, whether it’s in a class or a performance or a retreat. It is a space imbued with the Sacred Flower of Life, two triangles embedded one within the other. It evokes male and female energy and represents the harmony and balance necessary for a happy life.

On the spiritual level, it symbolizes the burial of the old sinful self. Often you see pulpits with six sides for this reason. For me, coming to Portugal after 20 years in Tel Aviv has been a difficult rebirth, a shedding of old patterns and habits that did not serve me. The woman I am today is a phoenix risen from the ashes, and this hexagon embodies this positive change; the shift is absolute and the vision has become, at long last, a reality. 

But six is also Biblical. It recalls the six days of creation. It is the reason why so many pulpits are hexagonal – to recall the preparation for the next life that religion embodies. In Feng Shui, the hexagon signifies higher wisdom and spirituality. Aside from the honeycomb and snowflakes, we find hexagons to be extremely prevalent in the natural world thanks to their efficient use of space and strength.   

The million iterations of House of Honey Aerial Studio & Retreat Center
The original design for the House of Honey Aerial Studio Cover

The hexagon represents completeness and pro-creation and fertility. For all these reasons, I chose the name to evoke the shape. The sacred depths of these six sides are infinite and inspiring. My dream is that it will be a place that merits its significance – both to me personally and to the many people who have helped bring it to fruition. My hope is that it will be a welcoming, sweet place for creation that will bring together aerialists from all over the world for retreats, for classes, for performances and for sacred communion. I envision a place of healing and rejuvenation, a place where people will work hard and push their limits, learning new things about themselves and finding a deeper meaning in their work as aerialists.

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