The content and duration of the workshops listed below can be tailored to meet the needs of individuals and groups. Please contact me to let me know your requirements or areas of interest.
Circle of Fire, Circle of Stone
THE SOUL OF CELTIC SHAMANISM
Basic weekend workshop*
This workshop traces the history and cosmology of Celtic shamanism and its applications to life today. The use of Old Gaelic chant, meditation, and the visionary technique of the spirit journey, create the opportunity to make connections with Celtic Deities, spirits of the land, ancestral spirits and spirit guides.
The workshop begins with meditation to guide us into the specific state of spiritual awareness required for all spiritual work, especially the visionary technique of the spirit journey that follows. We will also use chant and movement to experience the Divine within us and outside of us, in this world and the Other, ever more vividly.
Through these techniques and in traditional ceremonies, we discover connections to the Celtic Trinity of God, Goddess, and Creator, the spirits of the land, the spirits of our ancestors, and our own personal spirit guides and totems. Because the Primal Celtic tradition stresses the personal experience of God, and the shamanic techniques at its core have been practiced universally by all faiths, it is compatible with any tradition that celebrates our diversity while acknowledging the unity of Spirit.
* Usually run as a weekend workshop but can be offered as a one day session.
A VOYAGE ON THE OCEAN OF BEING
One day workshop
The ancient Irish tale Immram Maelduin, or the Voyage of Maelduin, gives us a mythic map through life. Maelduin begins his journey as a quest to revenge his father's murder and ends it in the fulfillment of forgiveness and fellowship. In between, he visits a series of islands, each transmitting specific spiritual lessons, and each contributing to his spiritual transformation.
Using the visionary technique of the shamanic journey, along with prayers and chants in the Old Irish of the tale, we journey along with Maelduin, learning from both the myth and from our own experiences of the spiritual islands he passed through. We will learn the lessons of the traditional "three strains" of music, the music of sorrow, the music of joy and the music of trance. We will learn of the stages on the journey where it's possible to get lost in sorrow, joy or arrogance. We will explore the lessons of the Isle of Birds, the Isle of Women, and some of Maelduin's other destinations. Most importantly, we'll learn the lesson and purpose of forgiveness, enabling us to cast off the ropes that hold us to the pier and set our sails for the ocean of being.
THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF THE SACRED
One day workshop
Some religions feel that only saints or the enlightened can have contact with God. What isn't so clear is how we're supposed to become saintly or enlightened without contact with God.
Shamanic experience refreshes and re-visions religious devotion. In fact, all religions are based on shamanic vision, on that moment when someone saw God "not through a glass darkly, but face to face." Christ saw a dove descending upon him, as the voice of God proclaimed him Son. The Holy Prophet, Mohammed, went on a "night journey," where he drew the five times daily prayer from the devotions angels made to God. The very power of these individuals' experiences put many of their students in such awe of them that they felt they couldn't do the same — ironic, because these great teachers kept telling their students, "You are as I am. You can do what I do," and they showed them how. However, over the centuries, many organized religions abandoned the techniques and sensory supports that facilitate contact with the Sacred.
Through the spirit journey, as well as chant, prayer and meditation, we can return to the primal source of all religions, finding a belief based on experience.
This workshop is particularly suitable for interested spiritual organizations and churches to sponsor as a step towards true, inspired, religion — from the Latin religion, that is, linking back to the Sacred. My extensive study of world religions enables me to teach these essential techniques in Christian or other contexts, so long as they respect that there are many roads up the mountain.
Over the Ninth Wave
AN ILLUMINATION OF PRIMAL WESTERN SPIRITUALITY
A week-long retreat
In Celtic myth, the Milesians come over Nine Waves, symbolizing their harmony with the Celtic cosmic structure, to land on the Irish Coast. Their shaman Amergin recited a poem, saying: "I am a wild boar in valor, I am a salmon in water...I am the God who brings fire to the mind." This reflects a Western idea of enlightenment: harmonization of the self with the Sacred, rather than dissolving the self in the Sacred. This harmony inspires action in the world.
In this experiential workshop we explore ways of bringing the Sacred into our daily lives, using the Celtic myths and traditions as our model. Journeying over the nine waves, the spiritual energies of creation, like the energy of the ancestors, of union and of wisdom, we reflect on the qualities each bring to our lives. Our final focus is the energy of sovereignty, and the capacity it gives us to manifest the spiritual truths we've learned through noble action in the world.
Seasonal Workshops and Celebrations
SAMHAIN ~ 31st October
IMBOLC / BRIGANTIA ~ 1st February
BELTANE ~ 1st May
LUGHNASADH ~ 1st August
Music Related Workshop
Celtic Society was bound together in ancient times by loyalty, honour and shared spiritual and ancestral connections. Its harmony was based in the deeply felt connection to the Otherworld, the spiritual aspect of reality. We'll discuss both the sort of society this created, and how we can begin to apply its lessons to our own lives and culture. Through the use of chant and song we can learn to experience for ourselves the harmony and sense of community that was a feature of the Celtic way of life.
Keynote Talks and Lectures
I am able to speak on any facet of Celtic and Western spiritual traditions that suit the focus of a particular conference, gathering or event. Past topics include shamanic healing, the lessons of spiritual crisis, the experience of knowing God, sacred union and finding the truth of your being. Read more here.
Fees for all workshops and events are negotiable depending on location, accommodation and number of participants.
Please contact me to let me know your requirements or areas of interest.