‘Returning to 4 Legs’
6th Residential Shamanic Conference & Gathering
Squamish BC Canada
Monday 5th- Friday 9th, May 2014
Easter Seals Camp, Squamish, BC, Canada
This conference/gathering was as with all our Gatherings to bring together the Animist/Shamanic Community & Family of all Traditions, and to invite the Clans, Tribes and Families of other countries to come together in Community, in accordance to Sagh’ic Tire Dhream – the Wolven Path Tradition in celebrating the earth, the Stars, the Spirits and the magic of each other and to share our wisdom, our experience, our spirit, our blessings, and our healing.
The Elemental spirits and beings of this world work tirelessly for our healing and return to the Forest; the animals, and environment try to contain us; we have become locusts upon the bosom of our Mother; Máthair Tei.
When the Earth sang to the stars, the song was so powerful it became the Great Tree and as the first star fell, the song was echoed in every tree that sprang form Her belly; She is the Forest, She is the trees, She is the song that calls us home, She is the Mother that weeps for us Her children.
We were called through this Conference & Gathering to be humble again, to be innocent again, to surrender and return to our place within the family that calls to us
As humans we have wandered far from our primal relationship with the Forest; our equal status with all Children of the Forest. We have made ourselves superior; caretakers, overlords, guardians of the earth; we have made the Earth ours, rather than belonging to Her.
Now it is time to be in that primal harmony with our Mothers, The Earth & The Forest, and to return to our primal roots from our prideful walk on two legs and walk in the ancient ways of the innocent Forest Children to be once again aboriginal; of the land.
As a tribal community we have taken our journey which began in:
2012 year 1- ‘Bones of the Ancestors’ was the first step of the 13 month long journey, trial and commitment that the Ancient Ones from the Time Before Time has asked and called for; we called the Ancestors to be with us in our amnesiac struggle.
Then in 2013 year 2 – ‘Return to the Forest’ we opened ourselves to those who already call us ancestors; to be the song for the Descendants.
And now in 2014 year 3, ‘Returning to 4 Legs’, as it was in that ancient time, we came to understand our equality with all the Children of the Earth and to be one with our primal family.
It was a time to surrender and devolve, to release our addiction to the attachments of modernism, inequality, division, and separation as well as our dependence on human technology, especially at the cost of the other Forest Children.
Through Ceremony, ritual and learning, we humans came to know in our hearts that we have no superiority or hierarchy above any other on this sacred earth and that the earth will survive with or without us. In a moment of surrender we gave up our cancerous hold on our Sacred Mother and accept our true place as one child of all the children of all the earth; to be a generous and intergrative part of the Forest, Community and Tribe, To be at Home is to be in a place of sharing and equality.
We gathered not as a judgement of our ignorance but a celebration of our changing and a celebration of our union with our non human kin. We released the three great fears, that of the unknown, that of abandonment and that of being different. In releasing these through the breaking of our hearts and releasing the primal lightning within those hearts, we let go of judgement, that of self and that of others.
This Gathering reflected and celebrated the Tribe, Community, Home and Sharing. This Gathering was both powered and empowered by, with and through love, which poured into the only moment we had; the moment of being together as one family.
It is also our Intention for all presentations in this and all Conferences & Gatherings to raise a consciousness of forgiveness & surrender as part of our commitment to global harmony and the deepening equal relationship between all the children of the Earth and the Spirits. Such is a committed prayer in Spirit to the survival of our planet and in hope for our species.
Participants of this Gathering as with all other Gatherings joined with and supported the Pataxo People of the Brazilian Rainforest in their struggle to reforest their ancestral lands and reclaim the demarcation of those lands, both as an act of communal love for our kindred and a promise for those that will come after.
We sang of Home held in the embrace of Father Fire, who reflected the embrace of the deep love of our opened hearts towards each other and that rippled out to all this we called to in the Homecoming ceremony.
We had sought out the best teachers and ceremonies for this conference who drew us together in the magic of Spirit and the wisdom of the Ancestors. In that drawing together we were all immersed in the harmony of our Mother Forest from whom we came.
We were honoured & blessed by the spirits who sent us all the wisdom & prayers through those teachers who held and tended us in this ceremonial gathering:
Reverend Ceann-Iuil Shaman Christina Pratt; from Oregon; radio presenter of ‘Shamanism Now’ and author of the ‘Encyclopaedia of Shamanism’, Christina is an Initiated Pathfinder Ceann-Iuil and Reverend Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream; the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition and a member of the SSP and a Director of the SCGMSS. She is the one of the Three Women of The Holders of Art-S-Wath. Christina presented ‘Outlaw Shamanism‘ during which we walked that interface between tradition and spirit driven innovation and discovered how to rise to the call of what is needed today. Christina also be co-lead the women in exploring “True Nature of Woman”, and co-faciliated the ‘Homecoming Ceremony‘ with John-Luke Edwards and co-lead ‘Stone Wood & Bone‘, our repeating invocation of the Ancestral Spirits to release us from the attachments of addictive life. She spoke of ‘Lasrachail – Blazing’ and the solar stag in the ‘Fire & Beacon’ morning plenary.
Reverend Ceann-Iuil Jeff Stockton; from Calgary 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 lead a series of early morning meditations, Fiáin sa Chroí, exploring, nurturing and invoking freedom for the overly tamed heart and opening to the Song of the Wild Heart, and facilitated the Evening ceremony ‘Croí Nochta’, he also co-lead the men in exploring ‘True Nature of Man’ and co-lead ‘Stone Wood & Bone‘.
Annie Spencer; a ceremonialist and workshop leader with an Oxford MA and a diploma in Humanistic Psychology, has been running groups and trainings for over 25 years including the groundbreaking Women’s Mysteries courses. Annie has co-founded a number of spiritual and healing initiatives within her community including Openings, the Bath based centre for therapies and group work; the Arcania programme (now The Sacred Trust) which has brought many indigenous teachers to Britain; and her own Hartwell, centre for shamanic and ceremonial ways. Her writing on earth mysteries, women’s mysteries and ceremony can be regularly found in many major publications. More recently, Annie has been developing work with young people: she has worked for ten years on an initiation ceremony in Vermont USA; and co designs camps for teenagers with Circle of Life Rediscovery, bringing earth based spiritual traditions to the youth of today. Annie co-presented with Christiana Harle ‘Gathering of Woman: Spirit Woman made Manifest‘, co-lead the women in exploring “True Nature of Woman” and spoke of ‘Tul – Smooring’ and the lunar sow in the ‘Tending the Fire‘ morning plenary.
Michael Dunning; born in Glasgow Scotland. He was led to an incalculably ancient female yew tree after a near death encounter with a powerful Elemental Tree Spirit in the far north near Thurso. The tree transmitted a form of initiation knowledge and a method of shamanic healing that he has named Yewshamanism – The Essence of the Five Trees Teachings. He understands his initiation as the continuation of an unbroken Tree of life ‘blood’ lineage that has been handed down for thousands of years. In 2009 he founded the Sacred Yew Institute as an educational body to teach the healing practices and to communicate the knowledge of this lineage. Michael teaches throughout the US and in the UK. Michael presented ‘The Ancient Ones of the Animal Clans –Healing from the ‘Red Tree’ for Earth and Man’ in which we learnt the ways of Eo Feasa the ‘Salmon (or tree) of Knowledge’ as the expression of an original gnosis that streams through our blood. Michael also speak of ‘Ad-annai – the spark’ and the dark raven in the ‘Striking the Spark – Kindling‘ morning Plenary.
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil John-Luke Edwards; Presidor of the SCGMSS, and called by Ancestral Spirits to awaken Ceann-Iuil and gather together the family into Sagh’ic Tire Dhream; the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition. John-Luke is a Reverend Ceann-iuil and Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream and sits on the Ordination Gyre of the Tradition, and a licensed Aoghair of the Society, as well as Signatory for the SCGMSS Ministry Denomination. He has begun a series of workshops and interactive groups for men to hunt their hearts. John-Luke told in the ancient way the story of the ‘Ocean of Memories‘, and called the Gathering together every morning through ‘Ad-Annai (kindling), Lasrachail (blazing), Tul (smooring) and Riarachadh (sharing the fire). He also lead the men in exploring ‘True Nature of Man’ and co-lead ‘Stone Wood & Bone‘. He brought the magical offering of the ‘Sagh’ic Tire Dhream Smoke Dream Ritual‘. He and Jeff Stockton spoke of ‘Riarachadh – sharing the fire’ and the forest bear in the ‘Marga; sharing the meal’ morning plenary.
Initiand Geoff Dick & Ceann-Iuil Grant Guindon; co-lead the men in exploring ‘True Nature of Man’, as Hunters of the Tribe Jeff lives in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver and is an Initiand of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream and a committed worker for the Earth & Forest. Within The Tradition Geoff carries the four elemental duties: Fire Guardian, Water Bearer, Wind Walker, 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, and was initiated as Ceann-iuil at this Gathering. Grant, a member of the SCGMSS is an Initiated Ceann-Iuil of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream and also lives in North Vancouver. He carries the the elemental duties: Fire Guardian, Wind Walker, and Night Keeper. He moves through this world learning to embody the wisdom of his ancestors with an intense focus on plant spirit medicine and the knowledge of the plant kingdom. Since early childhood he has had an affinity with the trees, knowing full well the importance they will have in the days to come.
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil Mel Tomlinson; lives in Lions Bay, BC, Canada. She is an artist and ritual tool maker. Mel works with the spirits of the land. Her interests lie in the study of English magick; English history and witchcraft; Nordic history, North European shamanism and shamanism in and around the Arctic circle. Mel is a traditional rural pagan and reveres her ancestors. She leads the Creative Team of the SCGMSS. She is a member & Director of the SCGMSS. She is the one of the Three Women of The Holders of Art-S-Wath. Mel held in great magic the the first evening ceremony ‘Moonrise over The Forest‘ and co-lead ‘Stone Wood & Bone‘.
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil Stephanie Mills; has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest. Her home town of Bellingham, Washington is right next to the Canadian border, which she crosses all the time to get to her Wolven Path Clan! She considers herself a healer through many different expressions. She is a member and Director of the SCGMSS and a licensed Aoghair Minister of the Society. She is the one of the Three Women of The Holders of Art-S-Wath. Stephanie presented ‘Feathered Flight‘ in which we journeyed with the help of the Feathered Ones; the carriers of the song and message and then to carry that relationship into a rippling outward as we continue our ceremony of sharing and continuing our intentions of being bothered into action! Participants of this ceremony became the official smudge bearers for the entire gathering. Stephanie also be co-lead ‘Stone Wood & Bone‘.
Supi (Sue Pennington), has been a practitioner/teacher for over 25 years and offers Acupuncture, Massage, Shamanic Healing, Supervision/Mentoring and Yoga. Her main human shamanic teachers to date have been Sandra Ingerman, Simon Buxton and Naomi Lewis at the Sacred Trust, and Howard and Elsa Malpas along with many others, too numerous to mention, to whom she extends her deep gratitude. Supi presented ‘Walking the Path of Forgiveness‘ in which we understood that the act of forgiving (not to be confused with condoning or forgetting) takes courage. It is ultimately liberating, but does not necessarily lead to reconciliation. Forgiveness is a layered process, not to be rushed. Together we explored the meaning and implications of forgiving
Ceann-Iuil Kat Naslas; is a graduate of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies 3-year program, and is a Sundoor certified Master Firewalk Instructor. She is honoured to serve as one of the Fire Guardians when called upon by her Wolven Path family. She has tended fire for Tepee ceremony, sweat lodge and Vision Quest. She has also gained knowledge from Spirit/Shaman guided pilgrimages to Guatemala and Peru, Greece and England, and participates regularly in SCGMSS & SSP conferences in Canada, US and UK. She leads workshops across North America and co-leads Shamanic pilgrimages to Greece. She is a member of the SCGMSS, a Licensed Aoghair Minister and an Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. Kat through the Story of the death of Fear (the first man) took us into a deep relationship with Aithar Aodh; the Fire Father of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream to touch once again the ‘Hearth Fire of the Kindred‘ – a firewalk ceremony.
Beatrice Simmons; lives in a Swiss mountain valley near the Italian border, where she is working in partnership with the spirits and the power of the land. She runs an atelier for her shaman work, her fragrant consultations and creations as well as the F.M. Alexander Technique. She offers her Shaman services to accompany individuals as well as teaching in groups. She has been taught for many years in the Sufi spirit and tradition. Her real heart home she found in the Shaman work. She has completed the ‘Teacher Training’ and ‘Medicine for the Earth’ with Sandra Ingerman, which is inspiring her work. She is a member of the SSP and the SCGMSS and in this gathering she was Initiated as Ceann-iuil of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream; Wolven Path Lineage Tradition. Beatrice offered ‘If Light is in my heart I will find my way home‘; during which we listened to the secrets of the elements, merging with the elements to learn their qualities & nature, both outside of us and in our own unique way within us. We found the qualities reflected in the fragrances of plants and created a “medicine wheel in a bottle” in the form of a personal perfume helping us to remember the interconnectedness with all Life.
Ceann-Iuil Jordan Farmer; is a member of the SCGMSS and SSP and an Initiated Ceann-Iuil, a licensed Aoghair Minister and Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream; the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition. Jordan co-presented with Shenoah Taylor & Vanessa Davis ‘Our Healing Song‘ – two separate 1 hour healing sessions using the sacred songs that are the interaction between the mundane and the spirit. We learnt to listen with our hearts to each other and to the Forest around us.
Shenoah Taylor; has been working with shamanism as a spiritual path since 1990 and is a shamanic practitioner and teacher. She has worked with many inspiring teachers including Jonathan Horwitz, Myron Eschowsky, Betsy Bergstrom, Sandra Ingerman and Annette Host, who first introduced her to Seidr and working shamanically with song. Shenoah co-facilitates the monthly London Open Drumming Group and is a member of the Core Shamanic Practitioner Circle which offers peer support for shamanic practitioners. Shenoah co-founded Shamanic Voices in 2008 offering introductory and advanced shamanic courses, she has been teaching lone and community seidr for a number of years. Song is the main vehicle in Shenoah’s personal practice. It has woven its way into her work with others. She presented’The Song & The Staff‘. Working with the song and staff, Shenoah offered us powerful and direct connection with the spirits, the wisdom of the land and the ancestors, exploring how Seidr and Seidr inspired work can support modern shamanic practice and help us in our lives. Shenoah’s songs gathered many of the communal ceremonies.
Ceann-Iuil Merina Mohr, is a mixed Media Artist, Photographer, and Ordinand Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream; Wolven Path Lineage Tradition. As an artist she has exhibited works both Canada, US and internationally. Merina has facilitated workshops for both children and adults, from diverse backgrounds, including addictions recovery, disabilities and new Canadians. Merina has found through the journey of ‘inspiration, intuition, and imagination,’ we can all connect. She presented in Sacred Smything ‘The Shamanic Mirror‘ and through its making we learnt how to scry and gain an understanding of how the Mirror will reflect the truth from Spirit to them, eliminating the distractions of the outside worlds.
Kyle Bailey; has been practicing Alchemaic Healing and Soul Retrieval for many years and has studied with Nicki Scully, Linda Star Wolf, and Normandi Ellis. He is the founder of the Spokane Shamanic Summit, Spokane Shamanic Healing Circle and co-founder of Source Centred Focus. Kyle presented ‘Red Fox Shapeshifting for Healing and Alliance’; Shapeshifting is a high speed form of learning. Shapeshifting reconnects human to animal, and human to earth. We may no longer have time to slowly learn at a piecemeal pace. For some of us it is time to deeply transform our dream of life into a spiritual viewpoint.
Ceann-Iuil Robert Murphy; is a practicing shaman and a master shamanic-reiki practitioner and Level 3 reiki practitioner. He has been initiated as a yatchak (shaman) into the Quichuan Path of Light tradition in by Don Esteban Tamayo in Ecuador and a shaman in the Green Path Medicine tradition taught by the late Brazilian shaman, Ipupiara and his wife Claicha, a yatchak in the Peruvian Quechua tradition. He is also initiated into the Brazilian shamanic tradition of the Makunaiman. He is initiated into Sagh’ic Tire Dhream and is a member of the SCGMSS. Rob presented, ‘Shapeshifting through Shamanic Breathwork’, in which concepts of Shapeshifting were taught and experienced with examples from Amazonian and Celtic traditions.
Jan Engels Smith; her training and experiences have been extensive both in the traditional philosophies & metaphysical traditions. She has trained with the Foundation of Shamanic Studies and also with individual shamans. She conducts workshops teaching people about shamanism and learning how to journey for themselves. She is a Shamanic Practitioner, Author, Reiki Master, a Licensed Professional Counsellor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, a Marriage and Family Counsellor and a Hypnotherapist. Jan sadly could not attend due to an accidental injury, however Karen Hefner stepped in for Jan and presented ‘Merging and Embodiment of Nature’ There is no better way to understand our equality with all the children on the Earth than to embody and merge with these sacred ones. To FEEL the oneness with our primal family brings an enlightened awareness and perspective to the interdependence of the sacred web; together we were fully immersed in the interactions and relationships of nature. Karen also supported Kat Naslas with the Firewalk through the tending of Father Fire.
Dr. Lauri Shainsky; 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. Lauri presented ‘The Beheading Game‘ This ceremony came to us by way of Tom Cowan; we honored Tom who has always expressed to Lauri his great happiness in hearing that the ceremony lives on through her, as she has been facilitating this ceremony 1-2 times a year since 2007. The purpose of this ceremony was to provide healing for animals on the planet, while also instilling a sense of the true altruism that comes with being a shaman. This attitude of selfless service is key to our craft, and this ceremony offered an initiation towards its development. Lauri’s voice wove in many of the Gathering Ceremonies.
Alleson Lansel; Peruvian Shamanic Practitioner, Mesa Carrier, Pampamesayoq, & second degree Usui Reiki Master. As founder & resident of her business, SONQO, she provides individual & group shamanic healing & ceremonial services, classes, & workshops in Snohomish, Washington & Canada. Alleson will be co-presenting with her husband John, they have presented at the last 2 BC Conferences and the US Gathering. Alleson & John presented ‘Journey to the Stars’ in which we learnt about dying to the old self and why it is important. Through coaching, we became aware of the need to let go of the hungry ghosts that feed at our table. Through we became aware of that which we were releasing so that we can learn to live in harmony with Pachamama and reclaim our rightful place that is in ayni (right relationship) with all our relations.
Ceann-Iuil Nataraj & Ceann-Iuil Tina Puddister; Tina works as a R.N. in a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit; she has been a nurse for 20 years. Tina is a Certified and practicing Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner and a Cranial Sacral Therapist. She practices out of the Heart Quest Healing Collective in Downtown Vancouver and is a SCGMSS Member. Nataraj works as a Peer Support Worker with the mentally ill and/or substance dependent and aspires to bring healing modalities such as Shamanic Practice and trauma therapy into clinical settings such as the Psychiatric Ward and Transition Care for less acute psychiatric patients. He is a meditation and Ascension teacher and is currently studying to become an Addictions Careworker through McMaster University and is a Director of the SCGMSS. Both are licensed Aoghair Ministers. Nat & Tina presented ‘Cauldron of Surrender and Transformation: A Return to Our Primal Origins‘, by which we came to understand that It is through this reconnection we will surrender and release our attachments that have created this separation from our primal unity with the four leggeds. We bonded with the energy of our primal bodies and explore our ancient ways, awakening the spirit of our primal animals through shapeshifting and creative expression. In this way, we cultivated spiritual harmony and begin to heal our relationship with the Earth and its children in a celebration of gathering and coming together.
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil Christiana Harle; has been working with shamanism for nigh on twenty years in Finland. Life has taken her to Tuva where she worked with 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. Heimo Lappalainen, Jonathan Horwitz, and Annette Höst were her first human introduction to shamanism. She teaches shamanic healing, gives workshops on birthing, shamanic drums and lectures on Tuvan shamanism in Finland. She is a keeper of Bees and a registered music and breathwork therapist and a Director of the SCGMSS and Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. Christiana co-presented with Annie Spencer ‘Gathering of Woman: Spirit Woman made Manifest‘, and co-lead the women in exploring “True Nature of Woman”
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil Manjit Sidhu; has trained to work in a hospice and hospital to be with patients dealing with pain management. Manjit is a proud mother of 2 adult children, works full time in the corporate world, volunteers in a hospice and assists in group healings and rituals with Saghìc Tire Dhream. Born in Malaysia and moved to Canada 40 years ago, Manjit has lived most of that time on the West Coast. Manjit presented ‘Introduction to Shamanic Journey and Shape Shifting on All Fours in the Forest‘. This was an Introduction to basic journey techniques and tips for support during the conference and navigating through the many journeys in the workshops. She provided all attendees with a handout for reference touching on the 3 worlds and how to get there and techniques for support through the week.
Reverend Shaman Rosemary O’Toole lives in Dorset, UK. She is a Shamanic practitioner who has trained extensively over many years with, among others, Simon Buxton and Naomi Lewis of the Sacred Trust and Betsy Bergstrom. Rosemary is a bee keeper and has a deep connection with animals and nature – she trained as a practitioner in Animal Spirit Medicine under the guidance of Naomi Lewis and spent a short time as a student with the San Bushmen in the Kalahari. She is a crafter of sacred ceremonial items, healing tools and ‘medicine’ jewellery. In 2008 she was initiated as Reverend Ceann-Iuil into the Sacred Circle of the Great Mystery Shamanic Society and Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. She offered “Wings of Beauty”, a craft based workshop in which we decorated our own fully outstretched bird wing. The wing became the medium to experience and explore our aspirations, flights of magic, unlock intuitions and potential change. We journeyed to meet our guides and gain information which we need to enhance our lives and, on our return, we wove this information into our Wing by honouring and decorating it ceremonially.
Ceann-Iuil Walter Shepherd; is an Initiated Ceann-Iuil and a licensed Aoghair Minister of the Society. He is also a Director of the SCGMSS. Walter presented ‘Rejuvenation in the Forest‘; through the the story of the time when the Earth sang her lament to the stars and the song was so powerful that it became the Great World Tree and as the first star fell, the song was echoed in every tree that sprang from Her belly. She is the Forest, She is the trees, She is the song that calls us home, She is the Mother that weeps for us Her children. Through story, journey and reflection we will consider ‘being bothered’ about Our Earth Mother. Walter managed all the trials of the technological world that wove through the Gathering.
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil Mary-Jane Richardson; was born & raised in North Vancouver, BC. Was Initiated into Saghìc Tire Dhream; the Wolven Path Lineage Tradition as Ceann-Iuil in 2009 when she received the name “Brigantia of the Morning Dawn”. She works with the land and nature as a landscape gardener; working with Mother Earth is both rewarding & healing and she waits for whatever it is that the spirits open and call her to. Mary Jane presented ‘Human Nature‘; The two main causes of despair in the world are fear and separation. When we awaken to the primal nature within us we come to an awareness that we are never alone; that we have always been part of the natural world. We learnt to hold time still, staying focused in the present and being able to summon the courage to take risks and honor forgiveness.
Ella Hope; 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 2 Conferences. Ella presented ‘The Mother of Wild Animals and the Dance: Our Dance of Return’ In this workshop, we remembered these Instructions, encoded in our cell-memory and bones. We deepened our skills of Ritual Dance, to return as children of the Earth. To do this, we developed four different sections of our shared human Story. The Story unfolded in four parts: 1. creation, 2. union, 3. separation, and 4. return to the Great Mother. We deepened the four parts of the Dance individually, and then at the culmination of the workshop, we danced the Story as one Group, to reconnect and heal through Her once again –to celebrate, and to heal our wounds and Hers.
Nikiah Seeds; 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. Nikiah was Initiated at this Gathering, as Ceann-Iuil; Pathfinder of Saghìc Tire Dhream; the Wolven Path Tradition and cares for the Society`s bee hive. Nikiah created and offered ‘Scrín na Gealaí’ (Moon Shrine) facilitated through the ancestral story of Bearch The First Woman, the creation of the sacred gathering place for Bearch to return her blood by the moon to the men of the tribe and to manifest a sacred tending tent for the women of the Tribe.
Ceann-Iuil Kate M. Merriwether; is an Ordinand Elder, a Fire Guardian and a member of the SCGMSS. She has been involved with a variety of spiritual traditions and crafting traditions from Hinduism and Sewing to Egyptian Mystery Schools and Altar Building. Kate loves to teach and seeks to share knowledge in a fun and educational way. Kate hails from Seattle, WA, USA. She presented ‘The Nurturing of Gar‘ for those who wished and desired a deeper connection with the Male & Female souls, through journey and embodiement.
Reverend Elder Ceann-Iuil Jane Struver; 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. 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 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 is a member and Director of the SCGMSS. Jane presented ‘Balancing Surrender‘ so that we could bring balance to that which has been unwillingly surrendered and needs to be surrendered. This ceremonial workshop started a healing process to address the past to enable the future. So that we could again ‘return to our primal roots from our prideful walk on two legs and walk in the ancient ways of the innocent Forest Children to be once again aboriginal; of the land.’
Richard McConnell; Is the the co-founder of Whole Being Health with Christina Pratt, where he offers acupuncture, Qi-gong, tuina (structural) treatments, and herbal remedies and has been teaching Qi-gong forms and classes since 2002. He has been leading morning Qi-Gong meditation for the past three BC Conferences. Richard gathered and lead the early morning ‘Awakening the Soul Qigong’ sessions.
Reverend Elders Ceann-Iuil Dr Alan and Vanessa Davis; Alan and Vanessa have been using their voices in song their individual ways throughout their life journeys. Alan channels spirit through song in ceremonies with a drum circle in Salt Lake City. Vanessa is enjoying a new relationship with song which is inspired by Sagh-ic Tire Dhream; Wolven Path journeying. Together, they “practice” the principles set out in the workshop on a daily basis. Vanessa completed her practitioner training with Elsa and Howard Malpas in 2001 and was initiated into the Wolven Way in 2008. She is a member of the SCGMSS & SSP. Alan is President of the Society of Shamanic Practitioners and is assistant professor, Univ. of Utah School of Medicine & Rehab., and medical director for Quinney Rehab. Inst. Salt Lake City. Alan is a Director of the SCGMSS & a Reverend Shaman of the Wolven Path Tradition and sits on the ‘Ordination’ gyre of that Tradition. They presented ‘The song that calls us home: opening our hearts to connection through song‘ in which we used song as a means to connect to each other, our helping spirits, our ancestors, descendants and spirits of the land in both ordinary and non ordinary reality. We opened our hearts through song and share song to intimately connect to the spirits of river, the camp, and other beings. Showing through our song that we are indeed part of the whole and are willing to take our place among creation as one with, rather than separate from creation. Vanessa also shared her voice in many other ceremonies throughout the Gathering.
Thilo Merhoff; a resident of Vancouver B.C. and has been facilitating Transformational Breathing and walking his path for many years. His passion is healing through music and ceremony. He bears a strong connection to the land and his ancestors with a strong focus on First Nations beliefs and customs. The greatest lesson Thilo has learned is how you breathe, is how you live your life. Thilo presented ‘Breath of All Beings‘, which took us through the three levels of Transformational Breath, Physical, Mental & Emotional, and Spiritual to deepen our relationship with all the earth and all the global community. Thilo played the didgeridoo to Father Fire and in the trance dances.