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Shamanism, Peace and Power


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Course dates: 
Monday, 7 March, 2016 to Friday, 11 March, 2016
Shamanism, Peace and Power short course at Schumacher College

With Jonathan Horwitz and Zara Waldeback

Peace and Power are not always considered as naturally in harmony with each other. But they are both essential to life, and there is much to be learned from bringing them together. What kind of peace is it we yearn for – inner or outer? How do we want to be able to relate to power in our lives? Is it possible to have a peaceful relationship to power, and to exercise power in a way that brings peace?

Shamanism is a spiritual practice that gives us the power to walk through life. Power is at the core of the shaman's work, it is the shaman’s ability to call power which brings healing from the Spirits. Power is also at the centre of much of our lives. In the shamanic worldview there are two kinds of power – “kraft” and “makt”, controlling power or power that flows through us as lifeforce. How do we deal, or not deal, with power in our lives? How do we leak power? How can we restore it? And why are so many people afraid of it?

During this week we will work with power to learn how to receive it and use it, rather than be controlled by it. A good place to start is by working with the power of peace. Peace is one of the most powerful forces to be found, and it teaches us to carry power and use it appropriately. From a shamanic perspective it could be said that peace is the ‘operating system’ of power, and that power without peace is no power at all. Working in a balance of peace and power can bring deep healing and shift our way of relating to the world. Our tools will be drum journeying, meditation, singing, and working in nature. We will explore the dance of peace and power and what teachings and gifts their relationship has to offer.

NB: Participants must have completed an introductory course in Shamanism or agreed equivalent, so you know how to undertake a shamanic journey and have good contact with at least one Spirit Helper. 


Jonathan Horwitz

Jonathan Horwitz has been working with shamanism since 1972. From 1984 to 1993 he worked as a teacher and field researcher at the Foundation for Shamanic Studies with Michael Harner. In 1986, he founded the Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies ( together with Annette Høst and has been teaching internationally ever since. Jonathan sees shamanism as a spiritual path and his main focus today is shamanic healing, spiritual ecology and shamanic community work, and how these three aspects can work together for the future of the Earth. He has a master's degree in anthropology, contributes regularly to Sacred Hoop magazine and is European Editor of Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. This will be his sixth time teaching at Schumacher College.

Zara Waldebäck

Zara Waldebäck has been working with shamanism for over 10 years and co-teaching workshops with Jonathan since 2010. She has a special interest in ceremony and working with Nature in a healing way. She is also a writer and teacher of creativity, and has 20 years experience as a screenwriter, script coach and university lecturer. Zara has run courses on shamanism for writers, presented papers on the shamanic journey as story, and written two books on screenwriting - "Writing for the Screen" (2008) and "The Creative Screenwriter" (2012). She has also collaborated with psychologists to explore story in healing and therapeutic contexts, developed techniques for spontaneous storytelling, and researched the connection between shamanism and story.

Together, Jonathan and Zara run the spiritual retreat center Åsbacka ( in the woods of southern Sweden, where they hold courses and offer shamanic healing, guidance and spiritual mentoring. They teach all over Europe, including England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Italy, Hungary and Russia. The heart of their practice is shamanism as a spiritual path, finding healing in all they do, and working with the Spirits in a way that invites power, presence, joy and responsibility.

£ 720.00
Course fees include simple 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.