This event was held in London over the weekend of 11th and 12th June 2016. With an impressive array of speakers, we were taken on a journey from the Druidic Tradition of England, through the ice and snow of the North, through the winds of many directions, through Shamanic journeying to the lower, middle and upper worlds as well as other adventures. We finally we had an Irish ‘home coming’ to help us to connect with our true selves. The weekend had an abundance of both ideas and experiential exercises.
Below are my highlights. I know that other people had different highlights so this is my personal response. To see the full programme of all of the speakers go to:
Whilst we may count ourselves as “Earth citizens” which is an evolutionary step on the human journey, paradoxically we often want to develop roots to connect ourselves with our own land. We live in a magical landscape and we can learn to connect with the energies around us. He spoke of 3 groves:
- Grove of the Bard. This is a place where we can come back to our centre and learn. When we do a shamanic journey, we don’t only ‘go there and come back’, we are also inviting other beings and things (land, trees, animals, plants etc) into our world. In this grove we are learning how to reach our potential and to sing our own unique song.
- Grove of the Druid. Here there is ceremony, initiation and cultivating wisdom. We need to be open so that we can absorb new things.
- Grove of the Ovates. Behind the solidity of natural world, there is a whole world of energies. We can go there if we are sufficiently grounded in the natural world. When we go on a physical journey we need a map, and so when we go into the other world, we need help and mentorship too.
Philip then led us on a shamanic journey, helping each of us to find our own sacred place.
Picture of the talk drawn by Yannick Dubois.
Caitlin spoke about winds and how they affect us. She spoke of a 12 wind system which is used across Europe: North, South, East and West and points in-between each of these directions. Each wind has its own way of behaving and can have a different effect and meaning in different geographical locations. So, a North wind in England may have a different effect and meaning from a North wind in Spain.
Caitlin led us through an experiential exercise to help us to connect with the wind of our birth. She spoke of the need to harmonise our souls, to listen to the winds within us and to call on their power. I found the exercise quite moving as I made steps to enter into my own power.
Picture of the talk drawn by Yannick Dubois.
Carolyn lives in Dartmoor and she spoke of connecting with our ancestors. She then took us on a journey (based on her experience) to meet the Nenets people of northern arctic Russia. She did not deliver a talk so much but used storytelling, mythology and song to help transport us into the icy world of the north and learn from its wisdom. Afterwards, I felt connected with this world of the north and its transformative effects.
She also spoke of the effects of climate change on the indigenous Nenets people; where due to changing conditions, the reindeer could not feed properly and have died so that the local people have no food source.
Sandra studied with First Nation’s people for over 10 years and learnt from their Shamanic traditions. She led us through a process to help us to connect with our own dream world.
As part of a dream exercise, we were invited to enter into an awakened dream where we could be taken to either the lower world (Jung called this the sub conscious) where the dream animal we meet is the snake. We could go into the middle world (Jung called this the conscious) where we meet the jaguar. Or into the upper world (Jung called this the super conscious) where we meet the hummingbird, condor or eagle.
Sandra knew her mythology very well and helped interpret people’s images and dreams as they came up. She was also very well grounded and experienced in shamanistic traditions which gave me confidence in her work.
This was very useful in helping me to reimagine myself and draw from my inner imaginative wisdom. In my experience, this kind of work is generally missing in mainstream spiritual traditions and so it can be important in helping people to connect with untapped inner resources.
John comes from Ireland and he spoke about the healing work that he does. He spoke of our need for myths – reminding us of Joseph Campbell’s words that we need soul stories.
He said that we need to experience our own indigenous nature so that we can came ‘come home’ to our true selves. He reminded us that we need to go beyond our ‘stuck stories’ and that which has broken us. Sometimes we need new stories to help us to heal.
He used storytelling in an experiential exercise to help us to ‘come home to ourselves’. All of his delivery was done with humour, understanding, warm-heartedness and humility which helped me to relax and open my heart to the work he was doing. Wonderful.
I came away from the weekend having gone on my own journey of healing. And being with likeminded people is always helpful in knowing that I am not alone in my quest.
Ian Mowll at the GreenSpirit Stall at the event.
I am looking forward to future Shamanic Lands events. If you want to be put on the eNewsletter to hear about them, go to www.theshamaniclands.com/index.html or sign-up for the GreenSpirit eNewsletter at www.greenspirit.org.uk/html/email.shtml