Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Story, Ritual and the Natural Magic of Place

Story, Ritual and the Natural Magic of Place

Course dates: 
Monday, 28 May, 2018 to Friday, 1 June, 2018
Stone Circle

With Angharad Wynne and Dr Andy Letcher

Can we dream with the Earth, wherever we choose to live?

Join us on a quest to rediscover what remains of our own native tradition - to explore the natural magic of place. The sacred groves and stone circles of our ancestors have long been abandoned but can we rediscover that same profound connection to the spirit place? Can we find ways to make ritual that honours the land but speaks to where we stand now?

At a glance

  • enter into the world of our prehistoric ancestors in the classroom and through experiential learning
  • discover the wisdom of our ancient British stories
  • visit local sacred sites, including a Bronze Age burial and a healing well
  • learn techniques of deep listening
  • work towards building ritual

Summary 

This course brings together two inspirational teachers to provide an ideal introduction for people with a growing interest in ecology and spirituality.

The early peoples of northern Europe were deeply connected to the land through story, myth, language and ritual. Their spiritual practices honoured the spirit of place and worked to maintain and support natural balance. The details of their complex worldviews may be lost to us but still traces remain in the ancient stories and monuments that have somehow survived.

In this short course we will examine these traces, asking how it is that we can use them to forge new ways of relating to each other and the land.  We'll explore ancient ways of listening and understanding and allow the landscape and our intuition to act as our guide.

We’ll use Celtic stories of the Matter of Britain, the early pre-Saxon mythology of the British Isles, as a route back into our earlier pre-Christian beliefs. We’ll visit places designed by our ancestors to honour those who came before, to hold ceremony in the area surrounding Schumacher College.

Through learning, understanding, deep listening and intuition we’ll find the dreaming of this landscape. We’ll discuss how working this way can be beneficial for self, community, and support and encourage a greater sense of guardianship of place.

Importantly, we’ll explore some core principles of working with landscape that students will be able to replicate in whichever corner of the world they come from or choose to work with. We will learn how to dream with the earth, wherever we choose to live.

Angharad Wynne

Angharad Wynne

Angharad Wynne spent much of her youth exploring her Welsh homeland by foot and delving deeply into the western magic, healing and spiritual traditions in order to piece together the lost parts of her own indigenous culture. Connection and dialogue with with nature and landscape is central to her work as is the magic of everyday, the creation for meaningful ceremony for our lives today and sharing the spirituality and mythology of her homeland with others.

A published author and poet, Angharad is also a storyteller who uses story as the starting point for deep enquiry and a source of timeless wisdom and healing. She regularly runs spiritual and creative retreats including the Return to Centre series for women, In the Footsteps of Ancestors, an annual pilgrimage following ‘Songlines’ across the sacred landscapes of Britain, and Dreaming the Land which she co-runs with partner and collaborator, Eric Maddern. She speaks widely about finding ‘the dreaming’ of place; of working with intuition, knowledge and landscape to draw together threads of spiritual practice which are connected and meaningful to and arise from specific geographical and cultural landscapes.

Dr Andy Letcher

Dr Andy Letcher is writer, performer and scholar of religion who began life as an ecologist, completing his D.Phil in Ecology at Oxford University. After a spell as an environmental activist during the 90s, especially during the anti-roads protests, he moved across to the humanities, completing a PhD at King Alfred’s College Winchester. He is an expert on contemporary alternative spiritualities, especially modern Paganism, neo-shamanism and psychedelic spiritualities. A writer known for his critical approach, he is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom and a range of academic papers on subjects as diverse as fairies, animism, folklore, bardism and Druidry. He wrote the companion volume to The English Magic Tarot. A folk musician, he plays English bagpipes and Dark Age lyre, and for ten years fronted psych-folk band, Telling the Bees.

Fee: 
£ 595.00
Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday to Friday and includes private accommodation with shared bathroom. This course will join an elective on Schumacher College's MA Ecology and Spirituality postgraduate programme.