Summer greetings! Here is news of what's happening in the world of Eco Shamanism - the recent Poetry event in Avebury with Jay Ramsay and Stephen Thomas, the GDPR aftermath, new events coming up in Plant Eco Shamanism and writing from Jane and myself.
The newsletter is changing so that it is not so long and doesn't list all the events. From now on there will only be writings and a clickable list of events to have a look at directly on the website. The newsletter has gradually grown out of an original intention to remind people about the monthly Shamanic Sundays but that is now a tiny fraction of the work that is happening so needs must!
Read on . . .
Avebury before the storm - from the Chapel garden looking out to the stones - Singing Bowl champagne and passing Silbury Hill on the way to Swallowhead Spring.
I have had a quiet month and have been revelling in fine weather. The only event I've been involved with was the two day Poetry & Eco Shamanism workshop in Avebury which had a small group of us searching for poetic (or writing) source in that ancient landscape. We journeying and meditated, wrote and listened, had evening promenades around the human free stones where we were accompanied only by bats. We walked to the liquid source of Swallowhead Spring where a singing bowl was sounded with spring water which turned into champagne and the more adventurous immersed themselves fully in the clear cold waters. As we returned up the Avenue a great storm broke and fully immersed the rest of us . . . we hope to run this magical event next year and I have ordered similar weather.
Thunderstorms and lightning strikes have been a real feature recently. The other day I decided to stand outside in my garden whilst the air flickered with bright bursts of electricity and the sky creaked, groaned and rumbled around me. Then there was a gentle downpour that turned into a hammering outpouring. I let the heavy rain pummel my bare skin (yes, I was in my birthday suit or is that too much information?) and the rain's quality gradually changed from a thumping to an unexpected warm and soft massage, as if I were being kneaded by the sky's outpouring. It was energetically therapeutic in the best electrical sense.
I didn't take a selfie of that experience so here is another picture from Avebury. As the sun set we came across a huge double bract (large fungus) on the Ash tree in the field of the Cove stones which you can see behind. These stones are the largest of all the stones (I think) and the bracts were the largest I've ever seen, seemingly holding the stones in their embrace yet at the same time, mirroring them. Two stones, two bracts - both feeling like vessels or containers for all our poems and words - what an omen!
Moving on to other news. . . the next 2019Eco Shamanism Course/Training and Plant Eco Shamanism Courses are now scheduled and details are up on the website including a donate button for bursaries to assist those on low incomes to attend the Eco Shamanism Training. If you would like to assist someone on this training please do donate either using the buttons or preferably contacting me direct so that donations can be collected without Paypal fees being deducted - every penny will then go into the bursary fund.
There are also a range of tasters and new workshops in the Forest of Dean, Bristol and near Worcester scheduled for the Plant Eco Shamanism work which is run with Freya Davies and details of new work with Jane Embleton . This month I will be at Oak Spirit Gathering in Derbyshire (I believe there might be the odd space available) and giving a talk to the Wyvern Dowsing Society Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire which non members can attend so if you're near by . . .
And I have recently begun an Instagram feed - my photos are arriving slowly via social media - if you use Instagram and would like to see more there is an Instagram button at the bottom of this email or click on this link ecoshamanism and you'll find me.
The GDPR fiasco
That's all from me for now - do scroll down for Jane's writing and a summary of Plant events with Freya.
Events, workshops, tasters, courses etc
in date order
What's happening this year (so far) - anything in blue and underlined is a weblink.
Any questions or enquiries please get in touch.
Over the last few days and weeks I have been spending more and more time walking barefoot in my garden and last night I noticed that my feet were tingling and felt really alive again. Yesterday they had an adventure as I strode into a bog in my new Fit Flops and I had to walk a mile barefoot on field, track and road until I reached the river and washed my feet and shoes. My feet are getting less sensitive to thistle, stone and nettle so I no longer have to look out for every step but still wince once in a while. It is interesting that the word 'sole' sounds like 'soul' and 'heel' sounds like 'heal', my soul, and by extension our land's soul, is healed when I am able to walk barefoot upon our earth.
I had an interesting experience a year ago in Northumberland when once again I strode out into the landscape. I tripped, fell over and felt rather wobbly, not at all my normal sure footed self, and I realised a mis-take so I retraced my steps back to the en-trance to the place I was staying. I introduced myself . . . to place and apologised for my presumption that I could just walk in without doing so and explained who I am and where I came from. Manners are different for peoples and places and I had forgotten mine in my enthusiasm to explore . . . we would not walk into a strangers house without knocking or ringing the doorbell and I am usually very diligent about doing the same when visiting a new landscape. I explained that I was a southerner and that I would try my best but that it is different where I come from but I had good intentions. The land was very forgiving especially as I offered cake and apples and within the week I felt so at home that I was very sad to leave. I had a precious moment with a young Curlew chick that I jolly nearly stepped on . . . we looked into each others' eyes, a moment I will never forget.
This year, in April, I had a rumplestiltskin moment during the Eco Shamanism course I am assisting Mandy on and really hurt my right heel as we were dancing, so much so that it has actually changed the way I walk. I am now walking more lightly, especially on my right foot.
This has been very thought provoking and I noticed that the right heel on my old pair of walking boots was very much more worn than the left. I have made the pair into an object to help me to remember to walk more lightly even when wearing shoes, something that you do naturally when walking barefoot. I have planted them with herbs to remind me that I can get a feel for the flavour of a place through my feet and how much better I feel in myself when I do. Best foot forward as they say . . . Jane
Plant Eco Shamanism / Spirit
Freya is co leading our Plant Eco Shamanism events and is busy harvesting said plants so there is no writing as such in this newsletter but here is a summary of all the events scheduled for the rest of the year and the new course beginning in 2019 . . . and a couple of lovely photos from Freya of plants being harvested by different species.
Tasters, Day Workshops & Course
Thursday 19th July at Ragmans Farm, Forest of Dean, GL17 9PA 2 hour taster from 7 to 9pm
Sunday 9th September at Wild Goose Space, St Werburghs, Bristol, BS2 9YP 3 hour taster 2 to 5pm
Saturday 22nd September at The Fold, Bransford, Worcester, WR6 5BJ Day workshop 10am to 5pm
Saturday 9th February at Millers Farm, Forest of Dean, GL15 4AP Day workshop 10am to 5pm
Course starts - Sat 16 & Sun 17 March at Millers Farm, Forest of Dean, GL15 4AP Year Course (4 seasonal weekends)
Harvesting Hawthorn by human and Rose by bee
If you have any questions feel free to message, ring or email me. If you know someone who might be interested in any of the above please forward this newsletter to them.