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I have felt the Spirits with me for most of my life, and began working consciously with shamanism in 2005. Just after I turned 30, my father died, and I had a long-overdue spiritual awakening. Of the different healing practices I tried, shamanism touched me deeply and clearly. It had a powerful effect on my life and I entered into several years of intensive training with different teachers.

Originally from Sweden, I had spent nearly 30 years in the UK, but after receiving healing and soul parts, I knew it was time to go home. I could feel my feet longing to walk the land where I was born. In 2007 I moved to Åsbacka in southern Sweden, to live and work together with Jonathan and build up our healing retreat center.

I spent several years assisting Jonathan and arranging courses. Eventually it was a natural transition to begin co-teaching, and we have been working together since 2010. When I teach, I feel a commitment both to the people who come, to the Circle as a whole, and to the Spirits. Every time I teach, I learn more. It is a neverending story and a lifelong path, full of gifts and surprises. One of the joys for me is seeing people re-connect to life and to their essential self, and remembering again that they are a part of the world - feeling not alone, but connected and related.

The word inspiration is filled with spirit. As a child, I had an innate love of story and it kept growing until I became a writer and a filmmaker. For 15 years I directed a great diversity of films, taught screenwriting and directing at London universities and wrote two books on screenwriting (Writing for the Screen and The Creative Screenwriter). I now feel a strong relationship between story and shamanism. To me stories are magical containers, they are alive and when I write, my job is to listen and bring them into being. I have held workshops on shamanism for writers, presented conference papers on the shamanic journey as story, and developed techniques for animate storytelling. Working with story has helped me to better understand the language of the Spirits, and story has become an essential shamanic tool for me in my personal practice.

In 2008 I took part in setting up the ISC, the International Shamanic Community, and have been helping to run it ever since. Being active in shamanic groups like this, I continually learn more about what it means to live together, with both humans and Spirits. Time and again, I see that when we sit in circle and bring our shared intention to the world, so much more is possible.

This feeling of connection brought me to the question of what a shamanic practice can offer the Earth at this time. I feel that ceremony and sacred action has a strong part to play in the environmental movement and I am continually inspired by and grateful to indigenous people across the world who generously share their ancient Traditional Ecological Knowledge. I want to live in a world that makes room for both body and soul, matter and spirit. I want to live in a way that helps me to remember. I want to live in partnership with the Spirits, trusting that whatever happens, they are always here by my side.

Contact Zara via email or on ÅSBACKA FACEBOOK


** Read more about Jonathan Horwitz
** Read more about Annette Høst
** Read more about the SCSS