Two Year Shamanic Practitioner/ Healer Training
The principal role of the shaman is that of healer. For millennia, shamans all over the world have undertaken healing on individuals, their communities and the wider environment of which they are a part.
It is the same today; those who walk the shamanic path soon realise that, having received so many blessings and gifts of power from the spirits, there then comes a responsibility to give back, to be of service. And the most time-tested and direct ways of doing this is to allow the spirits to work through us for healing. We then become, as we call in modern terms, the shamanic practitioner.
Cross culturally, from Siberia to South America, Europe to Australia, shamans perceive reality from an animistic perspective which means everything has a life force, or spirit- it is animated. So a rock is alive in the same way as a tree is, in the same way as a human, an an idea, or the ‘spirit of a sickness’ is. The nature of illness is often perceived as being a disease of the spirit, something that is out of balance in the invisible fabric of reality. It is this invisible realm that holds the blueprint for all of reality- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If there are problems in any of these areas, then the root cause of the problem can be found here.
Shamans are masters at altering their consciousness by using trance states to communicate and at times manipulate these invisible forces governing reality, for the health of others. They do this in partnership with spirit helpers or allies, beings that populate the invisible worlds and hold the power to change manifest reality. Once the invisible cause of sickness has been treated, outer symptoms can then organically heal- nature will right itself.
But before anyone would be taught the techniques of healing in traditional cultures, they would first have to be initiated- to connect them with the invisble powers of nature, their ancestors and the helping spirits. Through these initiations they would learn how to contain these powerful, healing energies, to protect themselves and others when working shamancially.
In this unique two year training, we will spend the first year focussing on initiation. This will teach particpants experientially how to connect to the invisible healing powers; to feed, sustain and contain them. This will be done through learning the art of trance work through ceremony, which is the conduit and container for all spiritual energies and immersing ourselves in nature, where the healing powers are strongest.
Participants will undergo a series of challenging, initiatory rites through the Four Seeds Initiations. At the same time, working through the elements, connecting with spirit representatives from each one, and around the ancient tool of the 'Medicine Wheel', a framework will be created that can be used for personal and collective transformation.
To truly understand the nature of illness from a spirit perspective and to be effective in treating it in this way, we have to get to know our own souls intimately. This includes some of the 'negative' or hidden aspects of our being, the wounds and blockages, that we may have spent a lot of time or energy either avoiding or running away from. By healing these important aspects of who we are, or the stories of who we have been that lie behind them, we can free up extraordinary amounts of energy that will help us to become much more effective healers.
This will also help us to recognise and become more attuned to the destructive patterns in others that can lead to soul ill health, for we are only able to recognise and heal pain in others when we have recognised and begun to heal the pain in ourselves.
Thus, this course involves much more than the mere learning of techniques or 'knowledge'. It is designed to assist you in mining the depths of your own souls for exploratory and healing purposes which will be the essence of the work in the first year. In this way, you will be getting clean, thus able to commune with the invisible powers in a more authentic manner.
Working in circle and community assits a lot in this, not only by offering refelctions to your processes, but also by bringing participants into greater trust with each other, helping to heal the all too common heart wounds of modern living. Shamanic healing has always traditionally been practised in community.
A Healing Philosophy
In the second year, we will begin to learn and practise the healing techniques and thus learn the art of becoming a shamanic healer. Training in Ancestral Healing, Pyschopomp work to heal the dead, removal of poisons through Spirit Extraction, Power Retrieval and Soul Retrieval plus other lesser known techniques will all be covered.
We will learn in the second year not just the techniques, but a whole philosophy of what causes sickness and thus how it can be treated. This philosophy is one far removed from our modern perspective on reality, yet with the assistance of the spirits and backed up by the first year's initiations, participants will have the opportunity to be able to transfer this philosophy into practical application, to assist others to find real and effective healing.
We will end the course with a final four day initiation which involves a mini pilgrimage, which is part of a five year project creating a Medicine Wheel on the land of Britain. We will focus on integrating all that has been learnt and send participants out into the world ready to share and ground the power and energy that has been passed onto them by the spirits.
Teachers and Course Framework
One of the advantages of this course is it is run by someone who has fifteen years of experience treating people shamanically on a full time basis. This means the techniques are taught from the experience that comes from having carried out healings on literally thousands of different people, from all walks of life. They are not taught from theory or idealistic principals but from what actually works in the real world. And because this practice is ongoing it means that there is a constant adaptation of these healing techniques to treat very modern diseases that participants will benefit learning from, as the nature of the spirit sickness that is affecting people at different times collectively is constantly changing.
More importantly, we in the west, respond differently to shamanic healing than in traditional cultures where it has been practiced for thousands of years and is culturally embedded, and therefore different methods to ‘open people up to healing’ have to be employed. These, which have been learnt through experience, will all be explored in the second year whilst learning the philosophy behind the healing practices.
During the first and second year there will also be the rare and exciting opportunity to learn and undergo ceremonies with visiting indigenous elders from the Wixarika (Huichol) tribe of Mexico. The Wixarika resisted Spanish incursions and kept their traditions very pure, only begining to share it with Europeans 7 years ago. They are one of only few tribes in Meso-America to have an unbroken lineage going back for many thousand years.
Over the past six years we have built up a strong friendship and connection with several senior Marakame's (shamans), who come to the woods to share ancient ceremony and teachings from their tradition (see the Indigenous Collaboration page here). This is an optional extra to the training.
The course has already been undertaken by many professionals in both mainstream and alternative healing practises to enhance their work. You may however just have a feeling that you are drawn to assist others and want to start that journey, all are welcome as I believe we all have a piece of the puzzle to contribute and when we gather together in community in a held and safe space, the real magic of healing can be experienced and explored. Magic it is then possible to share with the rest of our communities and our loved ones. Because of the nature of the work though, it does mean a very big commitment in terms of time, energy and resources and should only be undertaken by people ready to make that commitment.
Groups are kept to a maximum of sixteen participants to insure a tight community can be formed over the two years and that you receive good attention by myself and a minimum of four more assistants at each meeting. You will also receive personal mentoring by ex students who have gone through the course and understand what you may be experiencing throughout the two years. In between the meetings there will be a lot of practises and rituals to complete, and the expectation of you giving the time and energy needed for these will be high.
Once the two years have been completed alongside reviewed case studies, participants will have the potential, spirit willing, to practice as shamanic healers, having undergone tutelage in the techniques coupled with visceral, practical and initiatory experience into the world of the Shaman.
And for those wishing to go on to deepen and integrate the work much more fully, completing something resembling a traditional apprenticeship, there are now optional 3rd, 4th and 5th years of the training.
Please see the menu for more details of each year.
The training involves four residential meetings of four days in the first year, a non residential bridge weekend at the beginning of the second year followed by four more four day residential meetings.
Because of the nature of the work, we start early and work late (often right through the night to the next day) whenever we are together. So that each four day meeting has an average teaching time of between 45 and 50 hours.
All the work (apart from the mini pilgrimage at the end) is undertaken in private woodlands in Sussex, and we practice out of a yurt.
Cost for each year is £1795, early bird, if booked and paid before 1st January 2020 or £1945 if paid after this date. This includes all food, accommodation (camping in the woods) and training.
There is one bursary space available every year at a greatly reduced rate of £595 per year for someone who hasn't the funds to pay in full. This will be ultimately decided by spirit. People who will be prioritised for the Bursary are firstly, those who aren't in work or are full time students or, secondly in very low paid part time work and who have dependents. If you fit this criteria then we will need a full email with why you want to do the course and also how you fit the criteria.
APRIL/ MAY Thur 30th- Sun 3rd 2020
JUNE Thur 11th- Sun 14th 2020
JULY/ AUGUST Thur 30th- Sun 2nd 2020
SEPTEMBER Thur 17th- 20th 2020