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Exploring Ritual


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Course dates: 
Monday, 6 March, 2017 to Friday, 10 March, 2017

With Colin Campbell and Carolyn Hillyer

Join us for this week in which we explore RITUAL – the theory, the practice and the experience.

As part of our postgraduate programme in Ecology and Spirituality, yet open to all as a one week course, we bring together two wonderful teachers from different indigenous traditions – Colin Campbell from South Africa and Carolyn Hillyer from the British Isles.

During the week we will be spending some time in the classroom, some solo time in natural landscapes around the College, some time in preparation of ritual objects and food and some time in deep vigil and ceremony in a roundhouse on the wild moor.

Part of our quest for this week, in addition to understanding the nature of ritual in two different traditions and for ourselves personally, will be to be unravel our own ancestral trail, lay out the bones of ancient memory, extend a root that can be placed into the wild landscape and locate our own untamed stories.

This will be deeply experiential – no previous experience required.             


Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell grew up in rural southeastern Botswana, the son of a renowned anthropologist and a creative healing mother. He is currently a practitioner of traditional African medicine, based in Cape Town, South Africa and the UK. He receives clients from all over the world, and facilitates international group processes relating to natural law, transformation, healing & personal power, sacred sites, and cross-cultural cosmology.

His work bridges major world cities with ancestral homelands and forgotten wilderness, taking him from the Amazon Basin to Los Angeles, the sacred sites of Venda to the urban grit of Johannesburg, and remote Ethiopia to the City of London. Colin co-founded and co-runs a training school in Botswana for traditional doctors and sangomas with his brother Niall Campbell. He is also a lifelong artist and musician, his style once again bridging the traditional with the contemporary, the timeless with the timely, and the sounds of the sacred with the lyricism of electric rocking funk.

Carolyn Hillyer

Carolyn Hillyer is a renowned artist, musician, writer, drum maker and workshop teacher of thirty years standing, who lives and works on an ancient farmstead amid the wild hills of Dartmoor, southwest England. She sings of ancient spirit and hidden memory, and has released 14 music albums (solo projects and collaborations). She write about ancestral roots and the deep experience of women in the weaving of courageous life paths; her books include Sacred House: Where Women Weave Words into the Earth and, more recently, Weavers’ Oracle: Journey Cards and Travel Guide. She paints life-size images of archetypal and mythological women, which are regularly exhibited as large shrine installations. For many years she has been creating (and teaching the making of) traditional skin drums using the hides of deer, wild horse, reindeer and salmon. The ceremonial neolithic-style roundhouse built at their farm with her husband and musical partner (the composer Nigel Shaw), is the focal point for her work around the deep ancestry of the British Isles. Carolyn travels widely with her work, most recently to Arctic Siberia’s frozen edge, the northwest Pacific ocean rim and the Negev Desert’s burning heart. Dartmoor, however, continues through long decades to be her profound source of inspiration.

£ 695.00
Course fees include all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday to Friday afternoon, and includes four nights private accommodation and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. This course is expected to be based in the elegant surrounds of the Elmhirst Centre at Dartington Hall.