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Making Ceremony: A Call and Response


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Course dates: 
Monday, 2 October, 2017 to Friday, 6 October, 2017

With Colin Campbell and Lance

Humanity, planet-wide, has been finding ways to have conversation with the Soil, the Sky the Water, the Mountains, the Trees, the Stones, the Animals, the Stars, with all of this lively and diverse companionship we were placed among, for as long as anyone can remember.

Indeed, before our current beliefs about 'what lives' and 'what has no life', many cultures believed that that there were no divisions - that we are in relationship with everything that exists.

The basis of this relationship is communication - not just between humans, but between humans and other species, mountains, rivers and even beyond the coporal realm to those who no longer physically live among us, our ancestors.

Some peoples have consistently held conversations with the spiritual entities and energies that live on and surround the Earth and that live within the Earth as well. They have a long, millennia long, relationship with this view of creation, with a long experience of trial and error, as well as a long period of developing sensibilities that perceive and participate in what is considered by modern culture to be "subtle" relations.

Much of the primary activity of people who still live ancient cultural ways is to acknowledge and respond to beauty, and to our, humanity's, kinship with the Thriving Life that surrounds us. Some of the deepest conversation and relationship building is held within a formal structure, a structure that has been honed over time as the parties in relationship revealed themselves to each other, and began to carry a shared history of collaboration and co-creation. We might name these conversations, "Ceremony."

In the Lakota tradition the elders always speak of ceremony, "We do this so that the people can live!" From this perspective, holding, keeping and maintaining these relationships through ceremonial conversation then, is necessary for Thriving Life to be present. By examining and by participating in the ceremonial way making of ancient cultures, together we begin to join this ancient conversation. Sometimes conversations long forgotten are resumed, sometimes they are begun for the first time.

Join us as we look at the oldest methods of conversing with the natural world - from North American and South African indigenous perspectives.  What can we learn about our own relationship and conversations with life around us – what is our call and response? In this week we take a look at the elements of ceremony with the practical aspiration of knowing Who we are, Where we are, and How it is, not only for our kind, but for Life in all of its diversity.

We seek to re-collect the practice of making ceremony, in the spirit of commune, both among ourselves as humans and more widely with the rest of the living universe as well. We also look at how practices similar to ceremonial practice in the scientific fields contributed to vision and insight and breakthrough discoveries with practical application.


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.




Lance was born in South Africa and has been living and working in Norway for the last 12 years. His spiritual home is the Findhorn Community in Scotland, where he lived in the 90s. He is a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation and brings its principles and practices into all the work he does. He has known and worked with Colin Campbell for over 20 years. Together they have facilitated wilderness work, ceremonies, rituals and rites of passage for youth at risk.

A huge aspect of Lances work is discovering new ways to bring ceremony back into modern life, making it contemporary and easy to access. He sees ceremony as a way for us to heal and reconnect with ourselves, each other and our environment. In this capacity he has facilitated ceremonies including rites of passage into adulthood, elder-hood, marriage, divorce, birth and death. For him ceremony provides a meaningful way to mark and celebrate the special events and seasons of our lives.

Lance works from the principle that humans are part of natural systems and have an important role to play. These systems exist within us, within groups and are ever present in the world around us, no matter if we are in pristine wilderness or the inner city. Nature does the work and facilitates change. Lance believes his job is to listen closely to nature, allowing her to lead the way. Paying attention to process, Lance believes that life calls to us through our bodies, our movements, our relationships, our altered states, wild places and the complexity of the city. Life sings to us from our dreams and lies waiting – just below the surface – for us to follow its cues and clues.



£ 795.00
Course fees include basic accommodation, 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. We ask you to arrive between 11:30 - 1 on the first day of your course so that the group can begin the experience by dining together. We recommend attending this course as a fully residential participant however for you may choose to book as a non-residential participant. Please call 01803 847237 for more details. This course is part of Schumacher College's Becoming Indigenous Programme.