CIRCLES -- DRUMMING GROUPS -- NETWORKS
We believe that building community is a vital part of working with the Spirits, and with each other as human beings. But through the years we have noticed that many people feel alone or isolated in their shamanic practice. Creating networks based on common Spirit- and Earth-honoring values can help us to learn more about supporting, inspiring and encouraging each other. Being in community can help you to experience the power of the Circle. Here we offer various possibilities to stay connected shamanically beyond courses.
Much of our work takes place in Circle, whether sitting together with other humans, feeling the presence of a Spirit Circle, or acknowledging the Circle of Life that we share with the rest of Creation.
The Circle is one of the most potent forms on the planet. When we sit in Circle, we sit without beginning or end, without bottom or top. The Circle can help to amplify Power. Working in Circle can teach us more about what shamanic community can mean. Circle work is also a powerful peace-making practice and can bring energy into organisations to help them flow better. Nature can teach us about Circles and Cycles and we can ask the Spirits what they want to teach us about this way.
Listen to Jonathan & Zara talk about the “Power of the Circle”
GUIDELINES FOR SHAMANIC CIRCLE WORK
Here are steps that we feel help Circle work to be strong, clear and well held. Feel free to use these guidelines or let them inspire you to create your own.
- Welcome the opportunity to sit in Circle and do the work for the good of the whole
- Know that we are all in this together, with shared intention
- Feel your place in the circle and know you are a unique part of it
- Trust and accept that others are in their place, giving a variety of perspectives. Welcome biodiversity and learn to work with differences
- Try to listen without a need to comment, judge or analyse. Speak honestly with respect and compassion.
- Do not interpret other people’s experiences with the Spirits. Don’t tell them what you think it means, let them find their own understanding.
- Trust and accept that everyone is doing the best they can at this moment
- What is said in the Circle stays in the Circle. Don’t speak about other participants’ experiences outside of the group and never share them on social media.
- Never take or share photos of a circle, group ceremony or joint altar unless you have asked for and received permission
- Welcome personal challenges as a way to go deeper. Ask the Spirits for help and to see the situation from their perspective.
- Trust the unfolding process. Even if you don’t understand, open to where you are. Enjoy the magic of the work
INTERNATIONAL SHAMANIC COMMUNITY (ISC)
Set up in 2008, the ISC is a self-organizing gathering of shamanic practitioners, created by and for people who have completed essential training in shamanic journeying with the SCSS.
Its aim is to help build a sense of community and sustain support and inspiration for practitioners between and beyond workshops. It has a members’ forum, holds regular online meetings and offers a variety of ceremonial events such as Firekeeping, Community Seidr and an annual Winter Feast. It also functions as a long distance Healing Circle, and includes special interest groups such as Shamanic Art and Water Visioning.
The ISC has a dedicated Spirit Guide who advises members about community work. It is an organic dynamic group which constantly evolves in response to members’ needs and wishes. To find out more, including how to join, visit www.shamaniccommunity.org
If you have not yet trained with us but wish to connect with shamanic communities, there are many others across the world. In the USA, we recommend the Society for Shamanic Practitioners (SSP), who hold online activities and opportunities for interaction: https://shamanicpractice.org/
They also offer a regular practice of extending shamanic support for social and earth emergencies, through the Shamanism without Borders global response programme: https://shamanicpractice.org/shamanism-without-borders
Many people support their shamanic practice through journeying circles or ”drumming groups”. Such local circles include both serious training, ceremonial work and having fun. If you want to find out about groups in your area, you can contact us and we will help if we can. Some people meet every month, some meet at seasonal festivals – there are many ways of keeping a drumming group alive and well. If you start a group, please let us know, so we can recommend you to others. On the ISC page you will find a partial list of local shamanic circles, as well as tips and ideas for running your own drumming group: http://www.shamaniccommunity.org/local.html
In the UK the London Open Drumming Group (LODG) is a well-established drumming/journeying group. It works along similar lines to the SCSS and holds monthly meetings, either in London or online. Each meeting is different and offers the opportunity to develop new techniques and deepen connection: http://shenoahtaylor.com/courses/journey-group/
In Denmark, Maria Lisette Jacobsen holds shamanic journey gatherings at special times: https://www.hyldemorshave.dk/product_categories/32836-Trommerejser
Nicolaj Møller has many years experience running drumming circles: http://forbundethed.dk/
If you read Danish, you can read guidelines for how to build a drumming circle in this article: http://shamanism.dk/kredskraft.htm
In Sweden, Rebecca offers occasional meet-ups for experienced shamanic practitioners in the Stockholm area: https://www.shamanism.se/läroväg/träffar-44788979
We may also be able to help you find shamanic community contacts in Ireland, Finland, Hungary, Russia, Italy, France and USA. Please contact us for more information or see the Courses list
Whether part of an organized shamanic community or not, it can be great to gather shamanic friends and hold a seasonal celebration or special event. You may want to arrange a visit to a natural or prehistoric power place, a full moon celebration, or a shared winter feast as a way of exploring shamanic connection and encourage networks.
If you are looking for inspiration, you can always ask the Spirits what is important to mark or celebrate together, or how you can begin to build shamanic community in your area. You can also journey to ask for a Ceremony for a certain time or place, and make it an event to share with others.
You will find more suggestions in our monthly newsletter - sign up below to receive them in your inbox or find inspiration on our Blog.
If you read Danish, you will find ways to work with the Seasons in Annette’s book “Jorden Synger”
Jonathan & Zara’s talk on Giving Thanks to Earth also gives some ideas for ceremonies in nature, either on your own or together with others.