A holistic exploration at Opus 40

Photo by Dion Ogust

Photo by Dion Ogust

You can hardly turn around in the Hudson Valley without bumping into another health-focused festival. Relatively rare are the ones that add psychic healers and mystical music to the mix, especially in as otherworldly and dramatic a setting as Opus 40 in High Woods.

“There is a growing awareness among people that there is so much more to their health than the physical, than what we can see with our five senses,” says healer Lorry Salluzzi. She’s organizing for the June 14 festival, now in its second year. “Our lives are centered in spirit,” she adds, “and that is the starting point when we think of health and wellness.”

Many of us locals know that Saugerties’ Opus 40 was created by lawyer-turned-ministry student-turned-actor-turned-sculptor Harvey Fite. Inspired by Mayan building techniques he saw in Honduras and the beauty and strength of Ulster County bluestone, Fite made an outdoor gallery of sculptures of human forms connected by walkways to signify world peace and reconciliation. Eventually, throughout the decades of his life, Opus 40 evolved into a giant abstract work of self-expression.

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After 37 years of work on the structure, Fite died in 1976 at age 72 from an accidental fall at the quarry. Since 2001, Opus 40 has been on the National Register of Historic Places.

Salluzzi found the spot’s inherent ability to uplift a fitting setting for a fest celebrating body and spirit. This year, she’s increased the number of practitioners of healing and spiritual disciplines.

Body Central of Red Hook, owned by chiropractor Dr. Emily Bobson, is sponsoring an event offering chiropractic, massage and body work. Also on hand, in some cases for a small additional fee, will be services from local healers, including MPS therapy (needleless acupuncture), sound therapy, nutritional counselor Lainy Reicher, “hypnosis plus” practitioner Peter Blum, eight practitioners of reiki, at least three massage therapists and a craniosacral therapist. You will also encounter healing words/healing touch, meditation and yoga for children, yoga and gong wash, four psychics, and tarot, astrology and numerology readers. Dr. Beth Gershuny, founder and president of the newly opened Izlind Wellness Center & Institute in Rhinebeck, will be on hand, as will spiritual channeler and author Valerie Stiehl and feathersmith Bern Richards.

The atmosphere will be enhanced with exotic and soul-soothing mood music from Catskill Mountain Gamelan, playing Sundanese music. The instruments can include string instruments (bowed or plucked), xylophone, flute, voice, gongs, drums and more. The style of music, traditionally played at events celebrating major life transitions in West Java, is becoming better known worldwide.

Food options will include vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free selections. Vendors will be selling Native Circle and Native American crafts.

The festival runs from noon until 5 p.m., with admission $10 for adults, $7 for students and $3 for children twelve and under. “This is a fun, family event,” says Salluzzi.

Find Opus 40 at 50 Fite Road (off Route 212) in Saugerties. Reach Salluzzi for information on the festival at Lorrysalluzzi@gmail.com or 516-708-5213. This site also offers additional information: www.opus40.org/events-at-opus40/holistic-psychic-and-music-festival.