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Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies

asbacka winter


We 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.
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:

Winter 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.

The 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 peace.
About 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?
In 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 her!





The next Basic Workshop will be in London February 29th- March 2nd taught by Jonathan and Shenoah.


Spring 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.





The first  Basic Course is in Copenhagen, February 29 - March 2


Next comes Spirit voice: Shamanic singing in Copenhagen, March 28 - 30


Then we have a brand new course lead by Annette, The Ritual 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








Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies


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:

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.

The next Basic course will be in London October 26-28. Please contact Shenoah Taylor.
The advanced courses of the autumn are:

Shamanic 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 experiences.

Shamanism, 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 and England.
In the meantime we hope you enjoy beautiful last days of Summer and early Autumn.









Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies


Spring came and almost knocked us over
being so busy with turning into Summer.
The season for collecting herbs is already in full bloom


The 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 Annette’s 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.

The 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.

There 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 one’s 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.

Workshop 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.

Annette 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 Annette’s 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

May Summer bless you with all its glory
and the light Summer Nights show the way



oak leavesoakleaf





Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies

Here 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 that’s what we are going to do, but it won’t 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.

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.


The first Basic Course in England will be March 16-18 in London. There are still some places free. If you can’t 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 Liam’s courses, please contact him at

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.

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