Eco Shamanism Newsletter

April 2018
There is hope
Tulip spider
I have to admit to having a bit of a meltdown recently. There have been quite a lot of 'what's the point' moments, some hard truth moments and some severe questioning moments that go a little like this . . . nothing will change, I am too small a cog in too big a wheel. 

I know this despair. It comes out of the blue when change is imminent although that thought or knowledge never seems to come to the rescue or have any meaning when you're grovelling about in the depths. Other contributing factors were an unsatisfactory course I attended; 8 dead frogs in my pond frozen to death by ice; a rebuffing from someone saying  "when it comes down to it we're all just biological matter, nothing else". This reductionist view simply and divisively quashes hope, belonging and interconnectivity with all beings and saddens me.

Yet here is change, new and incomplete, and I'm thankful that the despair didn't drag on. It has, or I have, turned a corner and I see now that my despair always happens before an unleashing of perception. I had felt stuck, trapped in my own terminology, framed by conceptions that were no longer perceptions, at the end of the road. Well of course the end of the road doesn't mean the end, it means that I have to change direction, or step onto a different road or change vehicles.

One of my Eco Shamanism students recently wrote the following and it encapsulates how the framing and entrapment are shifting and reveals a wider view, a panorama of possibility and a freedom from an ideological cage.

"With eco-shamanism I think you have created something quite unique and I have a sense that although it appears to be about the Earth, it is not really – it’s about everything, it’s about truth, and Earth is how we experience that because we are human."

Suddenly the words Eco Shamanism are not enough, they are terminology. My desire, my passion goes beyond the words. I seek the truth that is our Earth, the only thing we can be, the only thing we are. We are matter and we are soul and as we have souls, then so does our Earth. In my world that is my truth.

Eco Shamanism is two words that mean different things to different people. It may be that the words change. For now I will continue with my passion and desire for our Earth as a living soul and revel in this opportunity of being one of Earth's cogs too - along with the new spider species I found in my tulips last week, when the Sun shone briefly . . . and today I found fresh frogspawn in my pond and the Sun ringing the a pure blue sky bell. All is not lost after all!
Moving on . . . the next Eco Shamanism Course/Training is starting at Ragmans Farm in Gloucestershire in two weeks time and there are still some spaces available. I am keen for the course to fill so am keeping the early bird price in place for anyone on the newsletter mailing list - this is your last chance to sign up. There won't be another one until next year. Here are some details . . . 
Eco Shamanism Course / Training
Becoming one with our Earth
"I love the course!! Such great things and shifts have occurred as a result of committing to it."  Previous student

Follow the course as a personal journey or study for a Certificate to become an Eco Shamanic Practitioner 
starts April 19th 2018 at Ragmans Farm, Gloucestershire, GL17 9PA
6 long weekends over 15 months
Fees kept to early bird rate for those reading this newsletter - £1500 includes all tuition, accommodation and meals.

A series of long weekends from April 2018 to July 2019 studying the contemporary areas of shamanism with an emphasis on eco reciprocity. You will  be embarking on your own personal eco shamanic journey within a community of like minded beings (and the more than human world) whilst also learning all the major shamanic healing techniques including the new Eco Mapping/Healing technique.
Lichen and Pennywort say this way to the Eco Shamanism Course! 
Click on the photo to go to the page.
General information - as some of you know this course/training is a little different to most shamanic practitioner courses in that it is intrinsically linked to deep ecology, or the way we perceive our Earth. Apart from learning core shamanic practises such as soul retrieval and energetic medicine techniques participants will be learning how to help use these practises with the 'more than human world'. The new Eco Mapping and Embodying techniques - taking humans out into nature in order to heal their spirits using perception and perspective techniques - will be taught as part of the course. A major element of the training is about bringing our perceptions and life practises into line with our spirit in the Middle World, here where we live in our carnate form. Our visceral senses will be investigated in line with our spirit sense, of the here and now, and we will explore the nature of place and space to become reconnected and re-enabled in our sense of individual and collective power as agents of change.
The elements of earth, air, water and fire will be explored together with our six sense (spirit being our sixth sense). There will also be an introduction to the Celtic Festivals, Lunar Phases and Labyrinth work.
This training is organised to allow people to study for an optional Certificate which is extra in terms of cost. Those who would like to do the course as a means of self, or earthly, exploration do not need to cover the Certificate expenses. You need to know how to journey shamanically to participate in this course - if you can already journey that's fine, if not you can spend a day with me learning on a one to one basis.

Details of the April course at Ragmans Farm - please click here - or if you'd like to know more please email me.

Rainbows as portents and portals
news from Jane Embleton

The day before the Usk pilgrimage Mandy and I went to visit the venue in the Quantock hills where we are running Our Listening Landscape workshop. We met a magnificant oak tree, unassuming until we get up close and then just amazingly vast, the largest oak I have ever met. We set off and decided to cross the new Severn Bridge and as we approached we were greeted by a vibrant double rainbow on the Wales side which felt very auspicious. As we got about half way across the bridge I noticed that the rainbow was following us on the road and that it appeared to be on the side of the car and then suddenly it was behind us, not in front! It felt good but not especially important and we continued on joking that we had just passed under a rainbow.

That evening we had serious doubts about whether to continue with the pilgrimage, there were severe weather warnings so we sat tight and decided to make a decision in the morning. We woke up realising the significance of the rainbow event which had happened as we were crossing the River Severn. We were on a bridge and then passed under the rainbow bridge. We had, of course, worked with the Severn with many others from across the globe last year and as there were so many associations with rainbow warriors and rainbow bridges we were emboldened and decided to go ahead. The magnificent rainbow was definitely a portent that all would be well. 

The pilgrimage was unique, bitterly cold, beautiful and powerful. We had castles, battle grounds, prisons, tunnels, a tumble down Priory and some spectacular river birds called Goosanders (also known as Mergansers) that dived in and out of the Usk and gave a fine display. As fish eaters it shows that the Usk River is really quite healthy. 

In the old railway tunnel at Usk, Goosander or Common Merganser (photo: Frank Schulenburg) and a most magnificent goat at Usk Castle.

The significant thing for me was that there were eight of us, four from one side of the rainbow bridge and four from the other, it was all very symetrical and balanced, we even had a couple from each side. What I noticed, although Mandy had already realised a while back, was that the River Usk is a mirror to the Rivers Tone and Parrott with which I work in Somerset. Not so long ago these places were much more connected with the use of boats and the tides to get around the land. A skilled sailor would get from Bridgwater to Caerleon in a fraction of the time it would take by horse and carriage. Coal from Wales was transported almost to Taunton up the River Tone using the tidal forces and during our River Tone pilgrimage last July we camped in a place called Coalharbour very close to Taunton. Sadly tidal forces have been curtailed now due to flood defences and part of our work was to carry the energy of the sea upstream again as the boats did in the past.

Each time I do these walks I get a wider perception about this land of ours and how our rivers connected us and that our work to connect us back to our rivers has its place within wider ecology and Eco Shamanism.

We're now looking at two more pilgrimages in August and September where we take the energy of the sea up the River Usk to help heal and energise the land further upstream. Click here for more information about these.


Echoing green, grey and yellow - Avebury before a storm

Echoing Green - Poetry and Eco Shamanism
with Jay Ramsay and Mandy Pullen

Sunday 20th & Monday 21st May
(Sun 10am - 5.30pm Mon 10am - 4pm)
£85 Sun & Mon (Sun only £65)
Avebury (venue to be confirmed)
click on the photo above to book on the website
I'm excited to say that I am collaborating with poet Jay Ramsay in May on a two day workshop entitled Echoing Green - Poetry and Eco Shamanism. And just as exciting is that this event is happening in Avebury where the land has sacred and ancient human language in the form of stone circles, avenues, barrows and mounds. We will be concentrating on how poems come from 'source' or 'essence' so will be reading out of the 'book of nature' to shape our poetic language. Stephen Thomas of Gatekeeper fame is admirably at the helm and helping us steer our ship into an Avebury port with all the practicalities . . . venue is currently being confirmed as original venue has emergency maintenance booked!
Plant Eco Shamanism / Spirit
Freya Davies

Freya is co leading our Plant Eco Shamanism workshops and course in 2018,
specifically in the vein of Plant Perception and Resonance.
Our new Plant Eco Shamanism Course has now begun! Seven plant lovers joined Mandy and I at Millers Farm for a weekend of plant exploration and connection. We worked with emergence and the energies of water. Over the weekend we journeyed with Nettle and made spring tonics harnessing the power of the mighty Nettle. In the dark of Earth Hour we held a ceremony with the gentle Primrose at its heart; opening and unlocking secrets and visions for the year ahead. We even had time in the sunshine with the glorious emergent Daffodils and met with the spirit of the Well which brought up shards of light and fire!

The hedgerows and woodland floors are about to explode with spring greens, early leaves and flowers, I'm particularly looking forward to the beech trees and the bluebells and getting out with my basket to gather the delights of the season!
There will be more Plant Eco Shamanism events, tasters and day workshops later in the year, news of which will arrive in the the next newsletter or two. 

Clockwise from top: ready to burst Pear tree buds this year, Pear tree blossom this time last year, bathing with Millers Farm Daffodils on the new Plant Eco Shamanism course
Shamanic Sundays - 8th April
Shamanic Sundays - 8th April at Millers Farm in the Forest of Dean. All are welcome including beginners - click on the drum photo below to go to the webpage. PLEASE NOTE - we occasionally get a bit full so if you want to secure your place please book on the website - click on the drum photo below and it will take you straight to the page!
10.30am - 1pm at Millers Farm nr Blakeney GL15 4AP

There will be tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit and this is included in the cost of £8. A selection of beeswax spirit candles will be available for sale . . . please bring a mat, blanket, eye cover and pen and paper. Directions to Millers Farm can be sent out on request. Email me if you'd like more information.
Eco Shamanism Workshop
Saturday 30th June 2018  10am - 5pm
(£55 after 16th June)
Isbourne Centre, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 1TH

and / or

Saturday 6th October 2018  10am - 5pm
(includes soup and bread lunch)
£40 concessions - please ask
Millers Farm, Blakeney, Glos, GL15 4AP

click on the photo below for booking details of both events
Day workshops introducing Eco Shamanism - a standalone workshop which will also give you a flavour of the Eco Shamanism Course/Training. You will need to bring an eye cover, notebook and pen and a blanket and we will be going outside at some point during the day. There is more information on the website - click on the photo below and it will take you to the relevant page. 
Clouds in tree bark
Introduction to Shamanism Workshop
Saturday 13th October 2018  10am - 5pm
(£55 after 29th September)
Isbourne Centre, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 1TH
click on the photo below for booking details
Learn the Shaman's Journey
A workshop designed to introduce beginners to the art of shamanic journeying together with ceremony, ritual, the shaman's drum and map and how to retrieve a power animal. Once you are able to journey the world of spirit becomes an open book! 
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.
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.
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