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Here you will find all our 2015 newsletters. Click on the links to see other newsletters from:

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WINTER SOLSTICE 2015

HARVESTING THE YEAR THAT HAS BEEN

The Winter Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, and celebrates both the deepest dark and the coming of the light. Solstices and Equinoxes are thresholds - invitations to stop for a moment, to consider what has been, where we are, what is to come. When we pause during these changing times it can lessen feelings of being lost, out of step, or racing too fast. It helps to connect us to what is, right now, and to the power of the season.

The Winter Solstice is an opportunity to take time to revisit the year, and see where it has brought us. Before we step into the new, to take time to sit with what has been. Maybe it was not always what we expected, maybe there were hard times and good, maybe we know where we are now and maybe we don’t… But all of it brings gifts. Sitting in the dusk as darkness falls and, finally, lighting a candle, is a way to bring ourselves fully through the year and arrive at this point, when the Sun stands still.

What do we want to leave behind? What do we want to bring with us? What do we no longer need? What do we want to turn towards? Taking time to be with the Solstice can help us harvest what has been, and turn it into nourishment that will sustain us through the coming months. And as we harvest and become nourished, it is easier to share what we have and what we are.

During the autumn, the Spirits showed us how a part of service is to share the harvest, with a joyful heart that gives without losing. What does service mean to you? How do you want to share your harvest in the year to come? These are questions to walk with as the dark deepens and helps us to see, and as the Sun returns to light our way.

We wish you magical times of healing, inspiration and vision.
- Jonathan & Zara -

 

- UPCOMING COURSES 2016 -

** click on course titles for more info **

As we move into the new year and the light returns, so do our courses. We look forward to further adventures together with you and the Spirits.

The teaching year begins for Jonathan and Zara in England, where they will stay for several weeks during the Spring. As part of their residence at Schumacher College in Devon, UK, they will offer a series of courses in February and March – both the intro course THE SHAMAN’S JOURNEY, 4-6 March, SHAMANISM, PEACE & POWER, 7-11 March, and a brand new course called STORIES OF THE EARTH, 20-24 March (see below). They then travel to Herefordshire where they will teach the rich and rewarding classic SHAMANIC COUNSELLING 1, 5-10 April, helping people to better understand the language of the Spirits and how to receive the deep teachings from drum journeys.

Annette also begins teaching in March with intro course THE SHAMAN’S JOURNEY, 4-6 March, in Denmark, and then SEIDR in England as well as Norway, plus SHAMANISM, DEATH & LIFE in Denmark.

The summer tradition of Tokalynga continues, with the extended 4-day SHAMAN’S JOURNEY, and then SHAMANISM & SPIRITUAL ECOLOGY, a course given to Jonathan from his Spirits many years ago to help humans come into better relations with the world around them. The autumn will bring more offerings, and we will continue to update our website as we go through the year.

- OTHER SHARING -

STORIES OF THE EARTH
This 5 day course is a new offering from Zara and Jonathan, growing out of many years work with nature and story. It is not strictly shamanic, as it does not teach how to journey and find helpers in the Spirit world. But it is deeply inspired by our shamanic work, and will teach how to come into contact with Nature, how to listen and hear what it has to tell us. Story is a powerful way to communicate, and opens us to magic, possibility and imagination. Story can help humans speak with the Earth and share its teachings at this vital time. The course is open to everyone, no previous experience needed. It begins with a Spring Equinox ceremony and will also include a daytrip to an ancient stone circle on Dartmoor. It takes place 20-24 March, at Schumacher College in Devon, UK: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/short-courses/earth-stories

SOLSTICE CELEBRATIONS
Both Jonathan, Zara and Annette are offering Winter Solstice celebrations this year. It is a wonderful time to get together with the Spirits and the rhythms of the Earth, whether you do it on your own or with other humans. You can choose a journey, a ceremony, rattling, singing, dancing or drumming, or a medicine walk – whatever feels right that helps to connect you to this time of year, and the special gifts it has to offer. There are many different traditions to be inspired by, or you can simply ask your Spirits for help to receive the gifts of this time of year and give thanks to the year that has been. For more possible mission formulations, we hope you will find some ideas in “Harvesting the Year that has been”. Whether you do it indoors or outside, in the dark or with light, giving yourself this moment to share with the Earth, will create a threshold experience and help you step into the new.

*** For full information on courses and how to book, see website coursepage ***

 

Jonathan Horwitz can be reached on email jonathan@shamanism.dk or daytime tel (+46) 431 441 220
Annette Høst prefers daytime telephone (+45) 32 54 28 08. Email shamanisme@mail.dk

 

 

 
     
 

HARVEST EQUINOX 2015

CONNECTION

The first birch leaves are yellowing, and soon the cranes will be flying south as Summer seamlessly moves into Autumn. When does the one end and the other begin? It’s different every year, but one day I become aware that the light is changing and I find myself looking back on the warm mornings of July and forward to the cool evenings of October. What did I plant in the Springtime and what am I harvesting now?

At the end of the soul-retrieval course in August I realized that my red thread for the course was connection: connection with the circle, connection with the spirits, connection with all there is. But sometimes it is difficult to feel the connection. When the world around us is ill and it affects us all. The wars, the pollution, the social injustice. The list goes on and on. Most human activity in the world today is clearly dysfunctional. Who is sick – and how does it happen?

People forget that they are connected, even to themselves. Here in the western world we are brought up to succeed, whatever that word may mean, and everyone seems to be battling for their place in the Sun, and we become ill in some way - physical, emotional, or otherwise - it’s about “me”: my stress, my ulcer, my illness.

But is it? Many indigenous peoples living in a traditional way realize that when one person is not well then it has an effect on the entire social fabric. The illnesses we suffer from do not only affect us. They touch our families who must take care of us, our friends who want to help out, our colleagues who have to assume our work loads, and more. The reverse is also true: When the society is ill the people suffer. Because of this awareness the healing ceremonies in traditional societies are not only for the sick. They are opportunities to bring the people back together with the spirits, to repair the net-of-power which connects us all, and to re-establish balance in the community.

The interconnection is clear. As the Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh would say, “We inter-are.” Yet so many ask, “But what can I do?” I feel the first step must be to realize and live our connection, to know that we are not isolated, to constantly remind ourselves that we are all in this together - with all there is - that it’s not about me: it is about us. And here we are.
- Jonathan -

 

- UPCOMING COURSES 2015 & 2016 -

** click on course titles for more info **

Jonathan and Zara will hold one more SHAMANIC PRACTICE WEEKEND at Åsbacka this year, 21-22 Nov. The theme will be “Darkness” and it is a wonderful way to step into Winter and open to the gifts this time of year has to offer. There are only 14 places so please contact Zara if you want to come.

In Denmark, Annette will be teaching a THE SHAMANS JOURNEY introductory course in Århus, 6-8 Nov.

We have now posted our Spring courses for next year on the website and hope they will give you nourishment and inspiration. Jonathan and Zara will teach 3 courses in England: THE SHAMANS JOURNEY, 4-6 March, PEACE & POWER, 7-11 March, and SHAMANIC COUNSELLING 1, 5-10 April. Annette will also be in England to teach SEIDR, 13-17 April, which is a rare opportunity not to be missed.

We will post the rest of our 2016 courses on the website in November, so please check back then to see the whole year’s offering.

 

- OTHER NEWS -

INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN –
In early August, Jonathan was invited to take part in an online Shamanism Summit and focused his talk on shamanism as a spiritual path. The full interview is now available to listen to on our
Library page

NEW HOOP ARTICLE –
Jonathan has written a new article called “Accepting Power – Changing Perception” for Sacred Hoop magazine. It is published in the new issue which is out now and available online: http://sacredhoop.org. A year long PDF subscription costs only £10: http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/Subscribe.html

SCHUMACHER RESIDENCY –
Jonathan and Zara have been invited to
Schumacher College in Devon, UK, for a spiritual residency in Spring 2016. They will teach a range of courses as well as offer ceremony, shamanic guidance and work with the Spirit of the Place. This is an exciting opportunity to engage with a community who care deeply about the Earth and its inhabitants, has dedicated 25 years to sustainable living, and welcomes ways to link Science with Spirit and Story. Read more about the residency here

 

*** For full information on courses and how to book, see website coursepage ***

 

-- BACK TO THE TOP --

 

 

 
     
 

MIDSUMMER 2015

Many people I meet wonder about the meaning or mission of their life, what they can do to make a difference, or to feel their life has value. In the Western world, people and media are often preoccupied with the question "who am I?", as if knowing this will solve all their mysteries and the problems of the world. But from many years of doing shamanic work, I feel there is a more essential and rewarding question: "how do I want to live?"

My Teacher once said to me, “Now that you are alive, you might as well live.” This seemingly small step brought big change. It is such an amazing miracle to be alive. How can we enjoy the gifts it has to offer us? Rather than worry about if we are good enough, why not simply accept the shining light of who we are?

As living beings we are filled with the Power of the Universe, and as people who work with shamanism, we have direct access to that power. We carry it with us with each step, each in-breath and out-breath, each drum-beat of our hearts. This gives both a joy and a wonderful responsibility, and we have the ability to respond to the amazing world around us. Merely by accepting the responsibility of being alive, we shine our light, encouraging others to shine theirs. And this is only the beginning.

We all have so much to offer, and the more we share it, the more vibrant and brilliant it becomes. Let our lights shine as bright as the Midsummer Nights!
- Jonathan -

 

- SUMMER COURSES 2015 -

** click on course titles for more info **

Jonathan and Zara offer a range of courses in summer Sweden, beginning with THE SHAMAN'S JOURNEY, 23-26 July, RHYTHMS OF LIFE, 28 July – 2 Aug, and SOUL RETRIEVAL, 19-23 Aug. At the moment they are all full, but please contact us if you want to be on the waiting list. Sometimes places become free so it is always worth asking.

After this there is SHAMANISM, RESPONSIBILITY AND JOY, 11-13 Sept, in Ireland. This intensive weekend helps to make both you and your practice stronger and vibrant, and inspires you to step further on your path.

In Denmark, Annette and Maria Jacobsen will be teaching a weekend of LEARNING FROM THE PLANTS, 29-30 Aug. Annette will also be offering another SHAMAN'S JOURNEY introductory course, 11-13 Sept. Looking further ahead, Annette has just confirmed that she will be coming to England in April 2016, with the SEIDR course. Please contact shenoah@shenoahtaylor.com for more info.

 

- OTHER NEWS -

AURORA NATURE & SPIRIT FESTIVAL –
Jonathan and Zara will contribute for a second year to the inspiring “Aurora Nature and Spirit Festival” in Italy, 9-12 July. Held in beautiful Tuscany, it brings together a range of international speakers to share ideas and experiences. This year the theme is “The Tree of Life”. Read more about
our sessions here or go direct to the Aurora website for info and booking.

ONLINE SHAMANISM SUMMIT –
Jonathan has been invited to take part in a Shamanism Summit hosted by the Shift Network, 4-6 August. It is a free online event with many different shamanic teachers sharing their experience. More information will be on our
website in July so check back then.

SACRED SITES BOOK –
Our friend and colleague Jörgen I. Eriksson has published a new book together with Jonas Unger called “Heligt Landskap” (Sacred Landscape). It maps out sites all over Sweden, and explores how to work with and relate to such power places. If you understand Swedish, you can find more info here: http://norrshaman.net

 

*** For full information on all courses and how to book, see the website coursepage ***

 

 
     
 


SPRING 2015

The days are getting longer and I feel very excited about the courses and retreats we are offering this year. When I first learned to practice shamanism it was presented to me as a set of techniques that could help me and others. I could see this was a powerful and good way, but gradually I began to sense it was not the whole story. There was more to shamanism than techniques.

It has taken a long time, but shamanism is now the heart and soul of my life. It informs everything I do, whether it is helping others, journeying for myself, or making breakfast, greeting a bus driver or mowing the lawn. I now see shamanism as a spiritual practice that helps to fill our lives with spirit. It shows me that everything is alive and teaches me how to be in relationship - with the Spirits, the Earth, with other beings, and with myself.

The techniques are good and helpful. They are the tools, like the artist’s brushes and paints. But we also need to see and feel how to use those brushes and paints - and how to see the whole painting... If we open to shamanism as a spiritual practice it offers a path which carries us through life and helps us with all we meet. Life is a never-ending process of learning, asking for help, coming to deeper insights, learning more and again asking for help. The opportunities to grow never stop.

This year we are offering many retreats that focus on living a shamanic life rather than learning techniques. For me this is a wonderful opportunity to put our shamanic practice at the heart of our everyday being. Then we will not see shamanism as something separate from who we are, but live it fully and feel it every step of the way.

Jonathan

 

- SPRING COURSES 2015 -
(click on course titles for more info)

Our teaching year begins with Annette’s introduction course THE SHAMAN’S JOURNEY 13-15 March, Copenhagen. After this, Jonathan and Zara hold a SHAMANIC PRACTICE WEEKEND, 11-12 April, at Åsbacka in southern Sweden. The theme is Gratitude and how it relates to living a fuller life and creating a deeper relationship with the Spirits.

After this, Jonathan and Zara go to Schumacher College in Devon, UK, to teach the brand new workshop VOICE OF THE EARTH, 27 April – 8 May. It will be a very special opportunity to explore the relationship between shamanism, story and spiritual ecology, learning how to listen deeply to Nature and live our lives as Earth Ambassadors. Schumacher College has a comprehensive programme of short courses, and this year they are focusing on work especially involved with Spirit and Story, with many inspiring teachers and themes. For more info: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/short-courses/the-elmhirst-programme-soul-spirit-and-story

For those of you who want to travel further, there is a rare visit to Russia, with RETURN TO SPIRIT, 26-30 May. Held at a Buddhist center outside of Moscow, it looks at how we can develop our spiritual path and forge a stronger relationship with our Helpers.

The next introductory course in English will be the extended and residential SHAMAN’S JOURNEY at Tokalynga, southern Sweden, 23-26 July. Tokalynga is also the venue for the nourishing joyful retreat RHYTHMS OF LIFE, 28 July – 2 Aug, which centers on the cycle of giving and receiving, both in life and with the Spirits.

In Denmark, Annette teaches FOREST SEIDR, 13-17 May, in Danish. It takes us into the tradition and craft of Seidr, the old Nordic form of shamanism. Working in nature, combining seidr and forest, it will explore ways of working with power.

- OTHER NEWS -

Jonathan and Zara will contribute for a second year to the inspiring “Aurora Nature and Spirit Festival” in Italy, 9-12 July. Held in beautiful Tuscany, it brings together a range of international speakers to share ideas and experiences. This year the theme is “The Tree of Life” and Zara and Jonathan will offer a talk called “The Ecology of Giving and Receiving” and a workshop on “Living the Tree of Life”. Other ISC members will also be attending – Sally Angel will show her film “Animate Earth”, Shenoah Taylor will teach Spirit Song, and Marie Kvarnström will speak about her experience of science from indigenous people's perspective. You can read more about our sessions here or go direct to the Aurora website for general info and booking: http://www.aurorafestival.it/en/festival-en/

 

*** For full information on all courses and how to book, see the website coursepage ***