Center for Shamanic Studies
are in the season of the shortest days, where the light is furthest
away, and all roots and seeds are resting in the Earth’s dark embrace.
In just a few weeks we will reach the turning point of the Sun, Winter
Solstice - and Christmas.
now-a-days means a lot of rushing around, planning ten things at a
time, seeing as many friends and family as possible - and buying presents,
preferably the latest this or that. But what is our Solstice-Yule
celebration really about? What is the power and heart
of this our biggest seasonal feast? If you want new inspiration for
your own solstice ritual or Christmas tradition, it is worthwhile
to (re-)turn to the roots of this feast in nature and history. Let’s
have a quick look:
Solstice is the new year of the Sun. In Northern traditions of old,
Solstice-Yule-New Year were celebrated as one and the same holiday
lasting several days. Mostly due to a looong and complicated story
of imprecise calendars, the dates and the celebrations became separated
from each other. The pre-Christian Yule was first and foremost about
fruitfulness, and about the transition from the old Sun year to
the new. At this magic threshold of the longest night, life in Nature
rests. And we humans are in harmony with nature if we ourselves
take a holy-day, a rest from work.
ritual focus of the old Nordic Yule was the ceremonial drinking of
beer while stating your wishes for the New Year. The traditional wish
is for “árs ok fridar”, meaning “for Good Year and Peace” - “árs”
meaning both year, harvest, fertility.
So the foundation
of our Solstice-Yule-New Year feast is about rest, fruitfulness, and
presents, peace and plenty.
It is becoming more and more common that people give each other experience-presents,
instead of physical packages, and sometimes we have participants on
our courses who were “given the course” as a present. But is it a
good idea at all to give a shamanic workshop as a gift? In our
experience it is important that the receiver of the gift course really
wants to go on the course and has enthusiastically wished for it.
So, in short, yes, you can wish
to get a workshop as a gift. And you can give a workshop as
a gift to someone who has explicitly wished for. But if you think
that Aunt Agatha really needs this basic introduction to shamanism,
why not ask her first?
recent times, the commercialization of Christmas has expanded so that
it is taking the focus away from the meaning of the hallowed Solstice-Yule.
Many of us would
like to remove ourselves from the money and resource devouring gift-giving
madness which consumes the western world at Christmas time. There
are alternatives, inspired by the old toasting wish “for A Good Year
and Peace”, for example giving goats to people in Africa in the name
of the one you wish to honor, having trees planted to reclaim desert,
or simply making something yourself to honor your loved ones. And
yes, if Aunt Agatha really wants a basic workshop, we want to meet
UPCOMING COURSES IN ENGLAND
The next Basic Workshop will be in London February 29th-
March 2nd taught by Jonathan
Moon Seidr is
a new course, held April 16 - 20 at Poulstone court in
Herefordshire under the full moon. Our course purpose will be to learn
to work with power, using both moon magic and
seidr craft. Annette is exited to do this course,
taking a new step in combining
ancient magic skills for modern
apprentices of shamanism.
NEXT COURSES IN SCANDINAVIA
The first Basic Course is in Copenhagen, February
29 - March 2
Next comes Spirit voice: Shamanic singing in Copenhagen,
March 28 - 30
we have a brand new
lead by Annette,
and Ceremony Workshop, May
14 - 18 at Ĺsbacka, Southern Sweden.
More and more people
contact us with requests like this. ”Can you /Please help me make
a new meaningful ritual for my wedding? A ritual which suits my relationship
to nature and the spirits. One we can do in my own family and circle
of friends?” We
experience a growing demand from people wanting new genuine rituals
to celebrate the big events of life. Often, people even ask us
to perform or lead the ceremony, like weddings, a child’s welcome to
this world, a coming-of -age ritual, or a funeral. Ceremonies
that embrace nature, honor the powers and spirits, and are tailor-made
for people’s own network. To
this end we proudly present this new workshop, in the wish that more
people get the tools for receiving new rituals themselves, as well as
the courage to lead them in their own community.
On a dark, cold night
A fire burns brighter
And warms to the Heart
For a Good New Year and Peace
From us at Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies
Center for Shamanic Studies
NEW COURSE CALENDAR
You can now see all the new courses and events for the rest of the
year and well into next year under Courses here.
We have also just sent out by earth mail a big load
of new course brochures for the winter season. If you wish to receive
our paper course brochures twice a year, please send us a e-mail
about it with your name and earth-address including country.
We think there are some exiting new things to tell you more about:
CLEARING IN THE FOREST
Åsbacka our course and retreat center in Southern Sweden
is now up and running. During Spring and Summer many of our
students have helped to make this possible, especially during a
terrific Shamanic Work Party in late May and June. A big, heartfelt
Thank You to all of you, who helped us so generously! All though
there will still be a lot to do, we are now ready for doing courses
and retreats in this wonderful place in the forest, just two hours
Northeast of Copenhagen. We look forward to seeing you there and
sharing with you the magic of the forest and hills.
COURSES IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND
The next Basic course will be in London October 26-28. Please contact
The advanced courses of the autumn are:
Counseling Traning 1, October 15-21 in Ireland.
This is an excellent course for those who wish to practise shamanic
counselling, as well as those who are interested in deepening their
ability to get to the core of their journeys and other shamanic
Death and Life 1 will be held Oct. 31 Nov. 4, at Poulstone
Court in Herefordshire. What at perfect way to celebrate Halloween!
Traditionally the Hallowed Eve serves as a port between the land
of the living and the land of the dead, opening the communication
between the two worlds, thus also benefiting the shamanic work,
we intend to do on this course. And even if the topic at first may
seem a bit frightening, those who have experienced the course comment
how it enhances their celebration of Life.
Seidr in the Swedish forest at Autumn Equinox
At Åsbacka, September 19-23, we will be an international group
doing seidr training together in the Nordic nature. Doing seidr
together in the circle or alone in the woods strengthens our spiritual
connection to nature here and now; and the staff and the song expand
our range of shamanic skills give us more tools to choose
from in our shamanic practice.The group has maximum 16 participants,
and there are still a few places left. This is not a course Annette
does every year, so if your dream is to learn about seidr, take
your chance now.
Spring Moon Seidr
Already now we want to say a few words about this new course in
England next April. How does it differ from the autumn seidr course
in Sweden? On this spring course our purpose is not to study seidr
as such. The purpose is rather to learn to work with power, using
both moon magic and seidr craft in combination. Needless to say,
the two courses will supplement each other beautifully.
We look forward to meeting you on the courses
whether it be in the forest or in the city, in Scandinavia or Ireland
In the meantime we hope you enjoy beautiful last days of Summer
and early Autumn.
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came and almost knocked us over
being so busy with turning into Summer.
The season for collecting herbs is already in full bloom
Master of the Forest is calling
For those of you who would like to gather herbs for your own incense
it is high time to go out and collect Woodruff (galium odoratum or
asperula odorata). It is always an important part of Annettes
incense, so many of you know it from the workshops and treasure it
already. The loveliest little herb, with tiny white flowers, who likes
to grow along paths in leafy forests, for example, beech. Traditionally
it is picked around Beltane / May Eve, but you can still do it now.
For you in Germany it is called Waldmeister meaning Master
of the Forest. The Dutch call it Lieve Vrouen Bedstrou as far
as I remember (bedstraw of our Lady). In Swedish it is something like
Myskmädre. Both its power and its sweetness is related to that
of sweetgrass used by Native Americans. Local English names like Kiss-me-quick
and Sweetheart attest to some of its magic abilities.
So just grab a herb book and get out in the forest.
We are getting ready for the Shamanic Work Fest at Åsbacka May
25 to June 7, and the interest has been so great that we have now
people on waiting list. We are very thankful and exited about this.
next Basic Course in Scandinavia is July 19-22 at Tokalynga in Sweden.
This Basic in Tokalynga is now one day longer than earlier to allow
for work in the surrounding beautiful nature. It can be taken alone,
or you can take the opportunity of the year to make it into a long
shamanic summer event since the Basic is followed by Shamanic Dance
and Ritual July 24- 29 at the same course place.
are still a few remaining places on the Into The Journey course in
Glastonbury, England, June 15-17 taught by Jonathan. The main emphasis
of this course is to deepen journeying skills and trust in ones
own shamanic experiences, and to discover new ways for helping others
and ourselves in our daily lives. Much of the work will be done in
the spirit middle world.
in Rune Song August 24-26 in Copenhagen in English
Runic singing or Runolaulo is one of the old Nordic song traditions.
Native to Finland and the other Baltic lands, it stretches back about
a thousand years and has a pronounced magic side. As opposed to other
related traditions of galdar and the seidr chants of the North, it
is still alive and very active.
feels strongly that the hypnotic monotony, the whole spirit of the
runesong has much in common with a good seidr song, and therefore
it can teach us a lot about the chanting of the seidrsongs and galdar,
through our blood so to speak. It is part of that deep well from which
we can also draw our new shamanic songs, including those for seidr
and healing. Now Lars C. E. Larsen an enthusiastic student
of seidr has taken the initiative to invite Finnish runesinger
Anita Lehtola Tollin to Copenhagen to do a workshop in runesinging.
It is a great chance to train and inspire your shamanic singing and
we recommend it highly as a supplement for our seidr and song courses
in general. Also, it is fine pre-training for Annettes upcoming
seidr course at Åsbacka in Sweden Sept 19-23. See more about
the seidr course at our workshop program here. To learn more about
the Runesong course or to sign up contact Lars at firstname.lastname@example.org
May Summer bless you with all its glory
and the light Summer Nights show the way
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we are, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
The Soul stretches, slowly awakening to longer days, the time of
new growth. This Spring we too are moving in new directions.
Basic evening course in shamanism in London
Shenoah Taylor, who manages Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies
in UK, and co-teaches with Jonathan on many of the UK workshops, is
teaching a basic course in London done as a series of evening workshops,
together with David Scott. This is a new format not previously offered,
primarily for those who have difficulty setting aside a whole weekend.
Read more on Shenoahs website here
Shamanic Work Fest in Sweden in early summer
An entirely new undertaking for us is the Shamanic Work Fest at Åsbacka
May 25-June 6th. We invite you who have been on our courses to join
us for a working and shamanic gathering at our beautiful new place of
retreat and learning in the forests of Southern Sweden. Although
the place is in fine shape, there are some changes and restorative work
we would like to make. Some of you have visited there already and helped
out, and several people have suggested a painting party,
and thats what we are going to do, but it wont only be painting.
We will be also doing some building up and tearing down, singing, gardening,
washing up, shamanic journeying, dancing, cutting firewood, walking
in the woods, being alone and being with friends, finding power-places,
ceremonies in the circle, and, of course, painting.We have never tried
anything like this before, and so we are feeling our way forward. Our
intention is to combine practical, physical work with shamanic practice,
while enjoying life together.
THE NEW SPRING AND SUMMER COURSES
We have just sent out the new course brochures for the coming seasons.
A big Thank You to those of you who volunteered to distribute a handful!
At the same time we have also put all the new courses and other events
we are offering until late autumn on the website.
WORKSHOPS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
The first Basic Course in England will be March 16-18 in London. There
are still some places free. If you cant wait till then, Liam Glenane
teaches an Introductory Course Feb 24-25 in Ireland. Liam assists Jonathan
on courses in Ireland. To learn more about Liams courses, please
contact him at email@example.com
The workshop on Shamanic Healing March 21 25 in Herefordshire seems
to really be a hit. As we write it is full with 17 people on the waiting
list. If you hoped to sign up, do not despair: Jonathan will do it again
next year. In the meantime you can strengthen your practice and thereby
your healing work, and a perfect boost for this is the course Into the
Journey. In June, Jonathan will be making a return to Glastonbury to
teach Into the Journey. This is one our favorite courses. No matter
where you wish to go with your shamanic work, no matter where you are
on your path, this course will strengthen the base from which you work.
Annette will be teaching it in November in Denmark.
COURSES IN SWEDEN
Apart from the painting party at Åsbacka we will be
doing four courses in Sweden this summer and harvest. True to tradition
Jonathan will do two summer courses at Tokalynga in Halland, July 19-29.
First a Basic Course, this year a day longer than usual, followed by
Shamanic Dance and Ritual. In August, there will be a Shamanic Counseling
1 training taught by Jonathan and Kirsten Slots at beautiful Väddö,
north of Stockholm. This course is limited to twelve participants. The
venue and setting are exceptional, as is the food! In September, right
at autumn equinox Annette will be teaching Seidr Roots of Nordic
Shamanism for the first time in Scandinavia in English, giving non-Scandinavian
speakers a chance to work with seidr on the land from which it sprung.
The course will be held at Åsbacka and in the outstanding nature
there. Annette understands and practises seidr as an advanced shamanic
discipline. To participate it is therefore important that you are experienced
in you practise and journeying. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact
Annette well in advance of the course like today so we
can design a training preparation for you, if appropriate.
We hope to see you soon and wish you a Spring-time of
Good health and Peace
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