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Here you will find all our 2014 newsletters. Click on the links to see other newsletters from:

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MIDWINTER 2014

Years ago on a workshop in Finland, a friend asked me, “What do you do when you get tired?” “I drink a cup of coffee,” I answered. He smiled. “That’s one possibility,” he said. So I asked him, “What do you do?” He smiled again. “I take a nap.” For me it was a very deep teaching that I often reflect on, especially at this time of year.

In these days before the Winter Solstice, we are at the edge of darkness. And what do we do when it’s dark? We turn on the lights. Well, that’s one possibility. But why not try NOT turning on the lights sometimes?

So often we think of darkness as the “absence of light” rather than see it for what it is. Most of us mainly meet darkness after we turn off a light, and then it feels abrupt, imposing, heavy. But what if you get to know it slowly, gradually, gently… allowing it in so your night vision can develop?

In Sweden there is an old tradition called "kura skymning". It means to sit in peace and presence with the light as it changes from day to dusk to dark. You sit in the darkening, opening to the gifts of the evening, feeling how it is to see in a different way – and when you are ready, you can light a single candle.

This is a different way of relating and connecting to darkness. For those of us who live in places where Wintertime brings more dark than light, it is empowering to try to accept it rather than deny it. The poet Wendell Berry writes:

TO KNOW THE DARK
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

This year, why not give yourself a gift of darkness, and learn to become friends with it. What will you find?

Jonathan

 

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

Here we are, almost at the end of the old year, and beginning to sow the seeds of the new. We hope that 2015 will be full of teachings and blessings for us all, and we offer you a rich and lively mix of courses and retreats.

Annette begins the teaching in March with a Basic course in Denmark, then there is a wealth of work exploring and expanding our relationship with the Earth - Annette’s FOREST SEIDR and LEARNING FROM THE PLANTS, and Jonathan and Zara’s new course VOICE OF THE EARTH, two weeks exploring shamanism, story and spiritual ecology at Schumacher College in the UK.

The summer tradition of Tokalynga continues, with the extended 4-day Basic and a wonderful retreat called RHYTHMS OF LIFE, bringing gratitude, nourishment, balance and fruitfulness to our everyday lives - together with the Spirits.

Jonathan and Zara will also be travelling to Russia with RETURN TO SPIRIT, hold a weekend in Ireland on SHAMANISM, RESPONSIBILITY & JOY, and contribute for a second year to the inspiring Aurora Nature and Spirit Festival in Italy. There is also the classic SOUL RETRIEVAL and two SHAMANIC PRACTICE WEEKENDS at Åsbacka in Sweden.

It has been a full year, taking us to many new places, both in the world and in ourselves. We give thanks to the Earth for supporting us and to the Spirits for guiding us, and to you for sharing joyful meetings and healing moments. We send Winter Blessings to you all, and look forward to New Times ahead

 

*** For full information on all courses and how to book, see the 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 annette@shamanism.dk

 

 

 
     
 

AUTUMN 2014

Today, someone asked me how I feel about Åsbacka, the place where I live. I could feel the answer in my heart before the word came. And when the word came, I said “Home.” As soon as I said it, I knew that I had found a new understanding of “home”.

For me Åsbacka is not only a place to live. Åsbacka is a being – a being with whom I have a relationship. Åsbacka has needs and I have needs. We take care of each other and nourish each other in many ways. We share this space and we live here together.

Here on the kitchen wall at Åsbacka there is a calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hahn given to me by a dear friend. It says: “i have arrived, i am home”. Home happens. It happens when you feel in alignment with where you are in time and space. It can happen anywhere. It doesn’t only have to be where you live – it could be in an airport, at work or in the presence of someone you respect or love. Talking about Åsbacka, I realized that one of the goals I have in life is to feel at home no matter where I am. To know I am at home in myself and at home in the world.

As I walk through the fragrant blooming heather and listen to squirrels harvesting hazelnuts, I am reminded that the Earth is also our home. The Earth has supported us every day of our lives. Now the light changes, evenings darken and the first signs of autumn start to show. I hope you will join me in embracing the Earth as we embrace ourselves, knowing that she takes care of us and we take care of her. Knowing that, wherever we are, we have arrived. We are home.

Jonathan

 

- AUTUMN COURSES -
(click on course titles for more info)

To celebrate the Harvest season, the next SHAMANIC PRACTICE WEEKEND will explore the theme of “Nourishment” and find out more about what feeds our soul. It takes place at Åsbacka, Sweden, 13-14 Sept

After this, Jonathan and Zara bring STEP INTO CHANGE, 25-28 Sept to Torino, Italy. It is a powerful way to work with transformation and new ways of being. The venue is an old monastery with mile-wide views of open countryside. For Italian beginners who need an introduction before coming, Delfina Testa will teach a basic weekend on 13-14 Sept - email Delfina for more information.

Jonathan is teaching two courses in the UK in the autumn – first the introduction course THE SHAMAN’S JOURNEY, 24-26 Oct, London, then SHAMANISM, DEATH AND LIFE, 29 Oct – 2 Nov at Poulstone, Hereford.

Annette will also be in the UK, offering a rare opportunity to learn SEIDR with her, in Devon 1-5 Oct. In Denmark she will be teaching THE SHAMAN’S JOURNEY, 12-14 Sept and SPIRIT VOICE, 24-26 Oct both in Copenhagen, in Danish. Her final course of the year is an introductory workshop near Århus, 21-23 Nov.

 

 
 
     
 

MAY 2014

Walking down by the pond it is so still except for the song of a warbler. Sitting by the water, I thought over the past weeks. It has been busy with four courses in four countries working with some of the faces of power – balance, gratitude, responsibility, joy, and the spirits of nature.

Many people think of power as the power over us, but as we know it is also a surging energy that gives life-force. Power has so many faces and different ways of interacting with our lives: the power of a smile, the power of courage, the power of personal honesty, the power of a thunderstorm, the power of silence by a pond on a Spring evening – the list is without end. The world is filled with power.

To go deeper into our shamanic practice we work with power - because power is there in every moment of our lives. By learning more about power, we learn more about how the Spirits want to help us and what they ask from us. Working with Power is working with Life.

Power is not something you only connect to on a workshop or course. We can also ask the Spirits for help in our everyday lives. We can ask them for the power to be ourselves and, when change comes, for the power to change. This is what Water told me as I sat by the pond and listened.

Jonathan

 

- SUMMER COURSES -
(click on course titles for more info)

Summer is a wonderful season to spend time with the Spirits and the Circle. This year, Jonathan is teaching an extended and residential introduction course THE SHAMANS JOURNEY , 17-20 July, at Tokalynga, Sweden and it creates extra space for working with the Spirits of Nature. The basic course opens doors and brings you into deeper connection - either by meeting your Spirit Helpers for the very first time or by coming back and re-discovering ways to listen more closely. The Spirits have so much to offer.

Both SHAMANIC HEALING, 22-27 July and SHAMANIC COUNSELLING 1, 17-23 Aug, are full but you are always welcome to add your name to the waiting list, as you never know if a place may become free.

The next SHAMANIC PRACTICE WEEKEND at Åsbacka will take place 13-14 Sept, and information about the theme will be on our website in June.

At harvest time, Jonathan and Zara offer STEP INTO CHANGE, 25-28 Sept in Torino, Italy. It is a wonderful way to work with transformation in our lives and new ways of being. The venue is a magnificent old monastery with mile-wide views. Fresh delicious food from the local area helps to make this a nourishing weekend on all levels.

In Denmark, Annette is holding her new extended version of INTO THE JOURNEY, 28 May – 1 June, to help strengthen and clarify your understanding of the language of the Spirits. She is also teaching THE SHAMANS JOURNEY in Danish, 12-14 Sept in Copenhagen.

 

- OTHER NEWS -

Nature & Spirit Conference, Tuscany, Italy
Jonathan and Zara will be giving a talk and workshop on spiritual ecology at the Aurora “Nature and Spirit” conference in Tuscany, Italy, 4-6 July: http://www.aurorafestival.it/en/festival-en/ The festival is organised by Bebetta Campeti, who has studied with Jonathan, and she is offering anyone who is a member of the ISC a discount on the ticket price - contact Bebetta for more information. The conference takes place in beautiful countryside with a range of speakers, including Vandana Shiva.

Shamanism and Cancer article
As part of his work as European editor of A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism, Jonathan asked his long-term student and friend Magda Rohanszky for an article on the use of shamanic counselling in the treatment of cancer patients in Hungary. She has given a fascinating account of her work as a psycho-oncologist and the importance of healing not only the body but also the emotions and the spirit. It is available in the new issue: http://www.shamansociety.org/subscribe.html

New book on Shamanic Art – Gardens of the Soul
Jonathan has written a foreword for Faith Nolton’s beautiful new book “Gardens of the Soul – making sacred and shamanic art”. It is lavishly illustrated with poems, stories and exercises to show Faith’s process of making soul pictures. For more information, see http://soulgardens.co.uk

 

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

 
     
 

FEBRUARY 2014

Here we are.

Walking in the woods today, the Imbolc Sun shining on the snow bringing up a mist of Spring, and it feels like a brand new day, a brand season, a brand new year. The time of hibernation is over. The Earth is waking and, here in the North, the sap is starting to rise up in the trees. The power, the energy is here for us, too. Stand in the Sun with your feet on the Earth and feel yourself a part of this season, this beautiful day - and let the power flow through you.

We are here

Jonathan

 

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

As the growing energy returns, our courses begin again. First is Annette’s Basic THE SHAMANS JOURNEY in Copenhagen, 14-16 March, and after that Jonathan and Zara will hold a SHAMANIC PRACTICE WEEKEND at Åsbacka on the theme of Balance, 5-6 April.

They then go to Ireland and England for two weekend courses: LIVING GRATITUDE, 25-27 April, and SHAMANISM, RESPONSIBILITY & JOY, 2-4 May. These special workshops are meant for those who want to deepen their practice and bring it to life more fully. The May weekend is particularly relevant for our times, helping us to stay awake and be who we truly are, so we can respond to life's challenges with power, enthusiasm and courage.

Later on in the spring, Jonathan teaches the vital and inspiring SPIRITUAL ECOLOGY, 14-18 May in Hungary. This is a rare opportunity to work deeply with Nature in the intriguing and soulful landscape of Lake Balaton. Judit, who arranges the course, speaks excellent English and can give a lot of help with travel plans.

In Denmark, Annette is offering her new extended version of INTO THE JOURNEY, 28 May – 1 June, to help strengthen and clarify your understanding of the language of the Spirits.

Our courses are filling up fast this year, so if you are interested in coming, let us know.

 

- OTHER NEWS -

Nature & Spirit Conference, Tuscany, Italy
Jonathan and Zara will be giving a talk and workshop on spiritual ecology at the Aurora “Nature and Spirit” conference in Tuscany, Italy, 4-6 July: http://www.aurorafestival.it/en/festival-en/ The festival is organised by Bebetta Campeti, who has studied with Jonathan, and she is offering anyone who is a member of the ISC a discount on the ticket price - contact Bebetta for more information. The conference takes place in beautiful countryside with a range of speakers, including Vandana Shiva.

Drummaking Workshop, Finland
Christiana Harle is holding her annual drum-making workshop, "Birthing of a Shaman’s Drum", in North Karelia, Finland 23-29 June. Christiana studied with Jonathan and Annette for many years and her work is also inspired by her extensive practice in Tuva. It will be taught in both English and Finnish. For more information, email Christiana or see the course page on Facebook

Malmö Drumming Group, Sweden
Going to a drumming group is a great way of staying connected and keeping your shamanic practice alive between workshops. In Malmö, Sweden, a new circle started in the autumn and is meeting regularly. They also do nature work. If you know how to journey and are interested in taking part, please contact Åsa Beckman

 

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