Revised August 21, 2008
Workshops & Retreats for 2008
As we move into this new year, I find myself at some turning points in my own shamanic practice and teaching. This will be reflected in where and what I teach this year.
Over the last eighteen years, I have primarily focused on the wide range of shamanic topics referred to as core shamanism. Such shamanism is based on methods and techniques independent of time or place. This independence is part of the attraction and power of this core approach. However, this needs to be balanced by learning the Shaman’s Way that arises from the animating spirits of nature and the edifying qualities of the specific sacred landscape.
Expanding our paradigm allows us to develop shamanic practices that nourish the particular, the specific; this nourishment can then ripple out along the spiritual leylines of our EarthHome. Otherwise, we can forget that we are creatures who are Place-Dependent. We can forget that part of our call is to tend our immediate surroundings and the natural communities we inhabit. Over time, the natural systems, of which we are but a part, begin to languish. How can we nurture the wilderness of our beings and the wilderness for other creatures? How can we nourish what is seeking to thrive in the specifics of Place?
You will see from my 2008 Calendar that I am focusing more on shamanic ways that arose, and still arise, within particular ecosystems on Earth. Attention will be given to the Ancestors of Place who have left their signatures and whose presence is palpable to those who will take time to connect with them. Although the ways may be Place dependent, to have worked with a community of Beings, allows one to draw upon these relationships for help and wisdom at other times and places.
These workshops are also offered in the time-honored tradition of the spiritual seeker or the shaman traveling beyond one’s home to other lands in order to acquire wisdom, resources, and new connections for one’s self and for one’s larger community.
There is real benefit to a core shamanism that is place independent. However, we won’t appreciate the importance of tending Earth unless we fully understand how Place is the Home of certain Beings and Spirits: to take care of those Places is to take care of these Beings, these Spirits, ourselves, and future generations.
On a different note, I have been concerned about the increasing costs of retreat centers for doing this teaching. I prefer to teach in residential settings because it allows the power of Circle to deepen and conversations between sessions can be rich resources for overall learning. Also residential lodging allows us to connect with the Spirits of Place through the waking and the dreaming hours. But that means finding places that are not prohibitive in lodging costs.
Apprenticing to the Spirits and learning shamanism should be accessible to all who are called to, or interested in, this path. The benefits of this Walk have such far reaching consequences for restoring ourselves and our planet to health. With that in mind, I have sought other centers in which to teach this year. The centers I have chosen are less expensive than previous ones and are easily accessible by plane and/or car. This coming Spring and Summer, I will be teaching at a newly opened retreat center in the Santa Cruz area. (Ben Lomond, CA). The center is called “Sacred Earth Retreat” and is ideally suited for small, intimate Circles. Exploring and wandering through the mountain coastal forest there, I realized it provides opportunity to both discover and deepen one’s knowing about aspects of shamanism I consider so critical to walking this path.
In addition to renting less expensive centers and keeping my tuition fees the same, we are able to offer partial scholarships for these workshops due to the generosity of donations received to Shamanic Circles. For those of us needing some support, we can apply for scholarships by contacting Pirkko Miller. For those of us with abundance, please consider making tax-deductible scholarship donations to Shamanic Circles. It is this cycle of giving and receiving that allows us to be a community in which we support one another.
I will continue to work with larger groups, especially in my relationship with the nonprofits, Shamanic Circles and the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. We are currently collaborating on developing a project we call “Shamans without Borders.” More about this will be introduced at this year’s SSP Conference and in communicating with Circles at the Shamanic Circles website (www.shamaniccircles.org)
I continue to partner with Susan Gilliland and Pirkko Miller in my teaching. Pirkko coordinates all my workshops and is the person to contact if you have any questions as well as to register for a workshop. (firstname.lastname@example.org). I feel grateful and blessed to be teaming with them in this work.
I invite those of you who studying shamanism to consider participating in one of these workshops. Not only will there be deepening of your own shamanic understandings but opportunity to gain support for your sharing in the communities in which you live.
May all of us on this path walk the Way of Blessing and leave footprints of gratitude wherever we wander.
Love and blessings,
February 29 to March 1
Medicine Wheel & Shamanism
Tucson AZ (Aravaipa Canyon Ranch}
April 25 to 27
Women Healers: Totemic Body
Earth Retreat Center, Ben Lomond (Santa Cruz County) CA
May 2 to 4
(Medicine of the Coastal Redwood Mountains)
Earth Retreat Center, Ben Lomond (Santa Cruz County) CA.
May 14 to 18
A workshop at the Society for Shamanic Practitioners Conference
Sunrise Springs, Santa Fe, NM
contact: Bonnie Horrigan, email@example.com
Web site: Society for Shamanic Practiioners
July 11 to 13
California Shamanism: Bear Medicine & Bear Doctoring
Earth Retreat Center, Ben Lomond (Santa Cruz County) CA
August 1 to 3
Medicine of the Northeastern Woodlands
Oct. 4 to 5
Shamanism and our Animal Companions: Healing our Kindred Spirits
East Valley Animal Shelter Los Angeles, CA
Carol Proudfoot-Edgar & Dan Jordinelli
Coordinator and Contacts: Pirkko Miller, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Dan Jordinelli: email@example.com