Resources >> Audio Video Archive >> Earth Talk Video: Connecting to Life and the Living World with Jonathan Horwitz & Zara Waldeback

Earth Talk Video: Connecting to Life and the Living World with Jonathan Horwitz & Zara Waldeback

The Earth is our Home, but how do we relate to it? How much do we see it, feel it, open to it and hear it? In the shamanic worldview, the Earth is seen as a living, animate being and everything in it is alive and filled with spirit. Many indigenous people know and remember that life is not just made of physical matter but also contains other dimensions. They live their lives fully inhabiting this knowledge.

This way of life does not belong only to the past or faraway places. It is right here and right now. This way of life is not strange or complicated. It is simple and possible to enjoy, every day, wherever we are. We are all indigenous to the Earth.

From a shamanic perspective, current ecological challenges are not only a physical disaster, but can be seen as a spiritual crisis and a symptom of soul loss on a huge scale. It shows us that we have forgotten and lost a deeply essential part of life. It is time to rediscover our connection to both the body and soul of Nature. As we do so, we can hear that the natural world has its own voice, and feel the value it carries.

If we listen to the Earth now, what does it have to tell us? What stories will it share with us to guide us and help us find our way? Join Jonathan Horwitz & Zara Waldeback and learn the shamanic perspective to connect to Life and the Living World.

Jonathan Horwitz

Jonathan 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 fifth time teaching at Schumacher College. 

zara-waldeback teaches Holistic Education and environmental education	Zara Waldebäck

Zara has been working with stories and writing for 20 years, mainly as a screenwriter, script coach and university lecturer. She has collaborated with psychologists to explore story in healing and therapeutic contexts, developed techniques for spontaneous storytelling, and researched links between shamanism and story. She has practised shamanism for 10 years, co-teaching workshops with Jonathan since 2010. Zara has run courses on shamanism and creativity 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). 

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.