2014 – Bones of Fire
2nd SCGMSS Residential US Shamanic Gathering
October 22nd – 26th 2014
Samish Island Camp
Bow Washington USA
There was a time when we lived in a harmony with creation, The Great Forest and all Her Children. We were an equal part of the wonder of the Divine’s experience of creation. As the tide ebbed and flowed so they were part of the sea, as the sun set and rose they were part of the day, as seasons came, danced and left and they were part of the turning of the Great Wheel of Time.
The turning of The Great Wheel of Seasons was the inevitability of nature; the interplay between dark and light, death and life.
The beginning for the Ancestors was always in the dark;
The One Above created from darkness, the baby is born from the darkness of the womb, the sun rises from the darkness of the sky, and new growth springs from the darkness of Winter. This was the wisdom that we carried; nothing in life for we were life, connected to all.
And yet we have become detached from the Wheel, our dead wander unrequited by clinical and cursory funerary rites; dismissed from partaking in the journey that we selfishly guard and control.
We have forgotten that we are the transient pathway between the Ancestors and the Descendants; that we ourselves are in the same breath both Ancestor and Descendant. By neglecting and dismissing our dead, we dishonour ourselves and staunch the flow of the two rivers, blood and breath that could, should maybe not, dream the Descendants into being. We have been remiss in celebrating the Ancestors that sing to and call us to sing to the ones to come.
And in this we have burdened ourselves with the trappings of false security and lost our way home.
This Gathering is for us to mark the beginning of the season of the dark nights and winter snows; the moments breath between the end and the beginning as the Moon of Farewell flows into the Moon of the Dead. This is the time of planting, not just seed but new ideas, this is the time for communing, being together, telling stories, and remembering to facilitate the new. This will be a time to cut away the unnecessary, pruning, culling, cleaning – to set the bones of our dead down; a rejoicing of the living and the dead as they journey onwards.
This is the time of Seed Fall, of the Salmon rising and the First Fires
The First Fires, the Bone Fires, these were the fires that were lit to burn the carcasses and the chaff of the harvest that could not be contained or used. These fires were lit to call the community together so that together they could share the minimum of requirements to survive the darkness of winter. Only that which would serve that survival, provide a resource for the Spring planting and maintain a tradition for the descendants was taken into the huts of the Ancestors. All else was condemned to the Bone Fire.
These First Fires were signs of commitment and trust, of surrender and hope. These First Fires were the celebration of death from which comes life and the renewal that comes from that celebration.
These First Fires were the beacons that called the community together; it is in the gathering of community that souls are healed into truth.
As that community of healing we prepare to put old and unnecessary burdens down; to commune with others and our selves; to seek out our wisdom; to return to our inner home; to light the first fire of our commitment to a new beginning.
In this Gathering we mark the passing of the toil and sacrifice of the year gone past; the salmon begin their journey home; the dead move through the veil to their destiny
In this Gathering we bring our dead home; we lay to rest the bones of our Ancestors.
This is a journey of community, a journey of trust in each other to hold our secrets; a journey with our ancestors, towards the spring that brings the descendants; a journey to the song of truth before it was overlaid with doubt and fear.
This Gathering is a celebration of the sacred dance of death and life.
Participants of this Gathering as with all other Gatherings join with and support the Pataxo People of the Brazilian Rainforest in their struggle to reforest their ancestral lands and reclaim the demarcation of those lands.
The conference will be a full 4 days, with workshops, labyrinth and ceremonies to guide and transport all gathered in this journey of our ancient souls.
We have called teachers to come and share their wisdom and enthusiasm for this work, so that we can have a full and rich choice of experiences for the Gathering and who will draw us together in the magic of Spirit and the wisdom of the Ancestors in our journey through the darkness of death and renewal towards the time of the Descendants.
Jeff Stockton: from Calgary, Alberta, is a Shamanic practitioner in the Celtic tradition. His studies and training in the shamanic realm began in 1996 on the strings of the Celtic harp, and inform and nourish his work in the wider world. In addition to his work in the Shamanic realm, Jeff weaves song and story on the strings of the harp in performance and recorded works. He is a Director of the SCGMSS and Reverend Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream; the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition, and a Licensed Aoghair Minister of the Society.
Jeff will be leading the early morning meditations ‘Mian Geimhridh’ which will be a time to gather in the early morning hours, and to wrap the heart in both its own song, and the wisdom of the turning of the seasons; for the Winter season and the Winter mantle worn by Mathair Tei hold Her original longing, and the way She called each of us down from the stars. He will also lead the Gathering in the Evening Ceremony, “An Chrois Ar Las – The Heart Aflame”. At the time of the First Fires, there is much to which we need attend. But it is the ongoing fire of the Heart that holds and carries the spark – the light, the true beacon to those who have come before – and to those on tomorrow’s shore. What happens when the Heart is layered in burdens of its own? The first fire that needs to be kindled is to set the heart set aflame… to clear its beacon once more, to hear its song once more. An evening ceremony of song, story and dance to blaze the heart’s desire, and honour the wisdom of this turning of the Great Wheel.
Katalin Koda: will be presenting ‘Fire of The Goddess; The Dead Nourish the Living’. This will be for women only and brings the story and art of Pele, the fire goddess of Hawai’i as the inspiration. This workshop uses four essential shamanic tools based on her book, Fire of the Goddess, to unlock inner transformation through power and fierce compassion; ~breath and body awareness ~ reclaiming Goddess archetypes ~exploring the power of myth ~ ceremony creation.
Author of several titles including “Fire of the Goddess” and “Sacred Path of Reiki,” Katalin Koda is a passionate explorer and life artist. Inspired by fifteen years of living in India and Hawai’i she is a dedicated student of earth stories and myths and practitioner of women’s mysteries. Her work includes shamanic healing, storytelling, ceremony, and visionary artistic expression with a multi-media approach. She has been practicing as a Reiki Master, intuitive and Tarot reader for the last eighteen years. . She is a certified Shamanic Practitioner and Circle member of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies with Michael Harner. Her current healing work includes spiritual mentoring and ceremonial design to help clients through transformative life journeys and deep soul level healing. Katalin is the founder of Fire of the Goddess Retreats and Ceremonies, which honor the divine feminine and illuminate women’s brilliant potentials to affect community and global change.
Jordan Farmer: will be offering ‘Spirit of the Land‘; a simple ceremony of prayers for the land through a drumming to connect with and honour the spirits of this place with the placing of grain offerings at sacred places in the landscape that we are each drawn to as we wander individually for a time. We will listen to that land, learn its story, sing into its small places of beauty, pray for its protection, hear its stories and wisdom, and honour the gift of this place. We will open the hearts of those who come to that land now and always, setting an intention for healing and harmony with the land for all those who come there to be healed, to be restored, to be still and open.
Jordan is an Initiated Pathfinder Shaman and is an Ordained Elder of the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition, holding the position of Recorder. She is a member of the Sacred Circle of the Great Mystery Shamanic Society and the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. Her connection to the sacredness of the land and unity of the community inspires her and through her ceremony she hopes to inspire us all.
Kate Merriwether Lynch: is an Ordinand Elder Ceann-Iuil of the Sagh’ic-Tire Dhream. Within her tradition, she is a Fire Guardian (one who tends sacred fires) and a Wind Walker (a sacred story teller and diviner). Her primary practice is located in Seattle, WA, USA.
Kate will be presenting ‘The Nurturing Heart of Gar’ which will be sacred and interactive telling of the love of Gar for Cearlin; a story to explore the natures of nurturing and receiving of the male and female souls.
Nikiah Seeds; Will be guiding participants in the witnessing of the oral tradition of the story of ‘Inanna’, goddess of heaven and earth and her sister Ereshkigal goddess of the underworld. Through journey to our own underworlds we seek to uncover any self created shadows that are calling for attention. Whatever no longer serves will be uncovered and shared in ceremony and then offered to the fire in a releasing.
Nikiah is an initiated Ceann-iuil of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream and has been working in the realm of woman’s spirituality and healing for the past 14 years. As a sacred beekeeper Nikiah has been working with the bees both shamanically and as holistically as possible, and is currently working on developing curriculum with the Collage of the Melissae. Nikiah is also a co-author of the book Moon Mysteries – Reclaiming Woman’s Menstrual Wisdom, and an Ordained Spiritual Minister. Since 2006 Nikiah has been a devout student of shamanism and this deeply informs her work as a ceremonialist and priestess.
Rob Murphy: will be presenting ‘The Soul’s & the Ancestors’ Covenant: A Journey of Rebirth‘.
Rob is a member of the SCGMSS & Ceann-Iùil of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream and has begun his journey to Eldership in that Tradition. He is attuned as a master shamanic-reiki practitioner & Level 3 reiki practitioner, has been initiated as a Yatchak into the Quichuan Path of Light tradition by Don Esteban Tamayo in Ecuador & is a shaman in the Green Path Medicine tradition taught by the late Brazilian shaman, Ipupiara & his wife Claicha, of the Peruvian Quechua tradition.
Ella Hope: will be sharing an evening ceremony called “Long-term Ritual Practice with the Land: The Bones of Initiation & Tending the Fire of Shamanic Activism”. Through long-term, reciprocal Practice, there is then the foundation to tend the Fires of Shamanic Activism, based on the Elemental Ethics of Peace, Love, and Healing; this involves subtle, inter-dimensional collaboration with the Unseen.
Ella is born of Irish-Danu lineage and is a workshop facilitator, multi-media presenter, and author of three 500-page textbooks on self-healing/shamanic practices with nature. The subject-matter of her textbooks are drawn from her 26 years on the shamanic path, marked by waves of initiatory experience, tempered with extensive training with both indigenous and modern-style shamanic teachers. Her textbook titles are: Healing Through Nature: A Self-Healing Practice and Reference Guide. Volume I and II, and Initiation: Teachings of the Forest. She is a classically-trained modern dancer/ Ritual Dance Artist at festivals; co-creator of shamanic photographic gallery collections; and owner-manager of an Eco-Center in Washington State. She is a member of the SCGMSS and has presneted at the last 3 BC Conferences.
Kat Naslas: is a graduate of the FSS 3-year program in Advanced Shamanic Studies, a Journey to the Heart certified Trance-Dance facilitator, a Sundoor Master Firewalk Instructor, and Ceann-Iùil and Inducted Seanair of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. She brings her shamanic knowledge to her Empowerment workshops. Her passion lies in creating partnership with Compassionate Spirit helpers to facilitate and hold safe, sacred space for people to experience their incredible human potential. She is a member of the SSP and SCGMSS and a Fire Guardian of the Tradition.
Kat will be calling us to surrender to the ‘Ancestral Winds’ through Trance dance.
John-Luke Edwards: is the Presidor of the SCGMSS and a member of the SSP. He is a Dr. of both Transpersonal Psychology and Parapsychology and has studied and apprenticed with many psychology and shamanic teachers. He calls to apprenticeship awakening Ceann-iùil in BC Canada, USA and remotely in the UK & Europe. He leads the Seanair in researching and re-instigating the animist Lineage Tradition of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. John-Luke sits on the Ordination Gyre of the Tradition and the Aoghair Ministerial Forum. He works privately with individual and group lamenters in Shamanic intervention and soul remembering through animistic and ancestral intervening, runs men’s groups and workshops which explore the concept of separation and isolation referred to as ‘sin’.
He will be calling the Gathering together in the Fire Ceremony ‘Called to the Hearth‘ and leading the community call to Ancestral morning prayer. He will be presenting ‘The Caterpillar Walk‘, a participatory journey through grief and beyond told in animal story.
Jane Struver: will call participants on a series of guided journeys. Throughout this process they will be guided into situations that put them right in the middle of where they are ‘Stuck in Life‘. Jane will open a spirit led exploration of the qualities of that ‘stickiness’ and our addiction to it. Together we will call the spirits to show us this snapshot of life with its repeating harmful patterns over and over again, until finally soul frustration builds and there is that light bulb moment. Then in celebration we will be released, and asked to walk free.
Jane grew up in a small village in Essex, on a smallholding in the middle of nowhere. She spent much of her time in the surrounding fields and woods, happiest when covered in mud from some adventure! Nature held great healing for Jane; she found a gentleness here that was not apparent elsewhere. Close to spirit in these early years she was often aware of something around her that had no name and no form, yet allowed flashes of a different world. As she got older other pursuits took precedence and the treasured times in nature became just a childhood memory. However in 2004 these childhood encounters were given new life as Jane witnessed her mum’s last breath. At this moment the room filled with an incredible energy and Jane was transported back in time to those childhood memories. Her mum’s death had brought new life to Jane and placed her firmly on the road to Shamanism, which today continues to challenge and delight her, however not necessarily in equal measure! She is a member of the SSP and a Director of the SCGMSS, the Chair of the UK Chapter, a Licensed Aoghair and an ordained Elder of the Sagh’ic Tire Dhream.
Nataraj: will be presenting a ceremony called ‘Elemental Bones‘ which will follow the Ancestral journey to the Dark Mountains of the North; the realm of Bran the Raven. In order to make this journey safely, the Tribe would need to shed, to let go of that which no longer served them and would only slow them down or hold them back from reaching their destination. It is in this spirit that we meet with the Elemental Beasts of the North and the East. We will journey to Bran to find that which needs surrender, for he sees all. And , looking forward, we will connect with the essence of Damh the Stag to create the fire bundle in which to surrender and set ablaze that which has been discovered, allowing us to move forward.
Nataraj works as a Peer Support Worker with the mentally ill and/or substance dependent in group settings as a mentor and guide sharing his lived experience with these challenges. He is a meditation and Ascension teacher and has currently completed his studies as an Addictions Careworker through McMaster University. He is an Initiated Ceann-Iuil Wolven Path Tradition and has begun his journey to Eldership within that Tradition. He is a Director of the Sacred Circle of the Great Mystery Shamanic Society’s Board of Primes for British Columbia.
Alleson & John Lansel: will be offering ‘Siwar Q’enti’, when we will sit with our ancestors, and work within the domain of the Great Mystery and the archetype Siwar Q’enti, mythical hummingbird. This is a dance within the sacred spiral where time ceases to exist. Together we will experience guided journey work tracking for two of our personal ancestors that inform us. With ritual and sacred play we will create personal mandalas and merge with the archetypal wisdom of Amaru, serpent energy; shedding those things that no longer serve us. With the archetypal energy of Apuchin, condor / eagle, we will discover a new way to walk in the world in relationship to the gifts of our ancestors and the potential of those gifts living within us; unfolding and nurturing a new way that is in balance; right relationship.
Alleson Lansel, RN is a Peruvian shamanic practitioner; carrying the titles of Pampamesayoq & Mesa Carrier in her tradition. She is also a 2nd degree Usui Reiki Master. As founder & president of her business, SONQO, she provides shamanic healing & ceremonial services, classes & workshops both locally & internationally. She is a graduate of the Wiracocha Institute Center for Spirit & Consciousness founded by Dr. Mary Blankenship & is certified in Washington as a minister, spiritual healer, & earth steward through the International Assembly of S.H.E.S.
Lauri Shainsky: will be conducting the ceremony of ‘The Hollow Bone’. This will be a very experiential, personal teaching by their helping spirits about where or how the “bone” or conduit that they are may be impeded from full expression, and a very loving clearing out of these impediments and blockages, and replacement with a deeper sense of clarity and empowerment. The more we can filter personalities and egoic constructs out of the transmission of power and wisdom as it comes through us, the more effective and accurate our healing, communication and teaching will be. This ceremony presents a process for assisting us with this process of “becoming the hollow bone”, as well as helping to temper the bone– making it stronger. This hollowing helps us with our relationships in Community, Clan, Tribe, Family—being able to speak (or SING!) what is needed, what is The Truth. It helps us with our health and well-being as we journey through the darkness and to renewal, with the purest of healing energy and information (power and wisdom). Being the “hollowest bone” we can enlivens our interconnectedness to ALL THAT IS.
Lauri is a Shamanic Sound Healer, with a thriving practice in Eagle Creek, OR. She teaches Sound Healing for LightSong School of Shamanic Studies & Energy Medicine, and is an elder Council Member for the School. Lauri carries a bundle of traditional ceremonial songs, which she sings with her shamanic community and her extended Lakota family. She honors her teachers Jan Engels-Smith, Tom Cowan, Michael and Sandra Harner, Tom Kenyon, Betsy Bergstrom, Paul Ghosthorse, and is grateful to the council of compassionate spirits who grace her life. All contribute to assisting her with her mission–to serve others and the Earth through transformative experiences with Spirit and nature.
Christiana has been working with shamanism for 20 years in Finland. She worked with Tuvan shamans for two years, continued her late husband’s research on Tuvan culture and shamanism which resulted in a film: In the Arms of Buddha and the Drum. She is an official shaman, red card holding member of Düngür the first Shaman Centre in Tuva. She has studied and worked with Heimo Lappalainen (decs.), Jonathan Horwitz, Annette Höst & Naomi Lewis. She is one of the original founders of the Shamanic Centre of Finland. She has been teaching shamanic healing, giving workshops on birthing shamanic drums, lecturing on Tuvan shamanism in Finland and abroad for years. She is an initiated Pathfinder of the WPT and an Elder of that same Tradition. She is a keeper of Bees, registered music therapist, soon-to-be breathwork therapist, and gatherer of plants, mushrooms, berries and lives on a small farm with Honey Heikki, one of her sons.
Stephanie Mills & Geoff Dick: will be conducting a ceremony and Psychopomp around the local recent deceased or others that may wish to pass, to offer relief for their descendants and the living. The ceremony will offer a Psychompomp conducted in the Sagh’ic Tire Dhream (Wolven Path Lineage Tradition) and a teaching for those who have never witnessed this sacred ceremony. This will also be an opportunity to partake in a profound healing of the local land and her children.
Rev. Elder Pathfinder Stephanie Mills is Ordained within the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition. She is on the Board and is the Treasurer of the Sacred Circle of the Great Mystery Shamanic Society and has also worked within the Society to help form the USA Chapter of the SCGMSS. Stephanie lives in Bellingham, WA.
Geoff Dick is an initiated Ceann-Iuil of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. Within The Tradition Geoff carries the three elemental duties: Fire Guardian, Water Bearer, and Earth Stander. Geoff believes that he is a dancer in the shadows and believes we should all dance with shadows rather than they dance with us. He describes himself as a child of the forest and spends much time gathering the discarded garbage of humans that desacralise the sacred forest and is working on approaching tobacco companies to bring awareness to smokers regarding discarded cigarette stubs. He is a member of the SCGMSS