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ABOUT JONATHAN

Alfeørn  ZARA WALDEBÄCK

 -- PERSONAL PATH --

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There has always been a thread. Even in the beginning, when I often didn't feel at home in the world, there was a connection to Life as sacred, miraculous and joyful. A sense of soul. Looking back, I see now that the Spirits were always here, by my side.

Originally from Sweden, I made a decision as a child to move to London and spent nearly 30 years in the UK.  After a long healing process, it was time to go home. The land of my birth called me and I longed to touch my feet to its soil. In 2007 Jonathan and I moved to Åsbacka in southern Sweden, where we built up our healing retreat center and live and work together.

I have been teaching and holding Circles since 2010. I began by arranging courses and assisting with Jonathan, and after a while we evolved into co-teaching. When I teach, I feel a commitment to the people who come; to the Circle as a whole; and to the Spirits who guide us. Every time I teach, I learn more. It is a never-ending story and a lifelong path. One of the joys is seeing people re-connect to Life, remembering again that they are a part of the World - feeling not alone, but related.

The word Inspiration is filled with Spirit. All my life I have had a love of story and it has been my constant companion. In younger days I was a writer and filmmaker. For 15 years I directed films, taught screenwriting at London universities, and wrote books on writing (Writing for the Screen and The Creative Screenwriter). I feel a strong kinship between story and shamanism and they are deeply intertwined within me. To me, Stories are alive and when I write, my job is to listen and bring it into being. The story does not serve me, I serve the Story. I have held workshops on shamanism for writers, presented conference papers on the shamanic journey as story, and developed techniques for animate storytelling. I teach Stories of Nature courses and work as a creative coach. Story has helped me to better understand the language of the Spirits, and is an essential healing tool for me.

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In 2008 I was an integral part of setting up the International Shamanic Community (ISC) and have been helping it to run ever since. In shamanic networks, I learn more about what it means to be together. When we sit in Circle with a shared intention, so much is possible. It has taught me the importance of support, and the Power of the Fire at the Center.

Deep in my heart is the question: what can shamanic practice offer the Earth? In these challenging and demanding times, it feels more important than ever to listen to the voice of more-than-human nature. Movements like Earth Rights and Ending Ecocide are part of my spiritual path and a greater healing whole. I love to work with ceremony, creativity and sacred action as agents for change. This echoes through my Web of Life work, facilitating systemic constellations from an animistic perspective. All that I do - whether with Story, Song, Nature, Healing or Webs – keeps the Spirits and the Living World at its heart.

I am grateful to indigenous people across the world who find ways to keep ancient Traditional Ecological Knowledge alive and generously share it further. I am thankful for the many perspectives that contribute to re-rooting us in the Earth. I keep learning more about what it can mean to be a good ally and am inspired by the guidelines of the Honourable Harvest as a way to live.

When working with the Spirits, we often recommend “taking an active but non-controlling role”. I enjoy doing the same in Life: Letting my path unfold, allowing the Spirits to lead, as I stay present, open and connected.

I want to live in a world that recognizes and rejoices in Life as Sacred. I want to live in a world that values body and soul, matter and spirit. To live in a way that helps me remember. To live in partnership, always trusting the Spirits that whatever happens, they are here.

Contact Zara via email courses@asbacka.org or via ÅSBACKA FACEBOOK
Address: Åsbacka, Byggetsrundan 293, 266 95 Munka Ljungby, Sweden

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