Reanimating Ourselves – Contemporary Animism Annual Confluence
Welcome to our Annual Confluence on Contemporary Animism, bringing together a full day of speakers and practitioners. What could be more important for us as human beings in this moment of uncertainty in our world? What could be more revolutionary, evolutionary and pressing, than to remember ourselves as part of nature?
With Sharon Blackie, Chris Bache, Stephan Harding, Andy Letcher, Angharad Wynne, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Philip Shepherd, Naomi Lewis and Colin Campbell – and more to be announced. Expect speakers, conversation, sharing, and embodiment workshops.
Join us for a full and rich day as we focus on the animating force that runs through nature, and through ourselves – that which allows us to connect and communicate with the place we are, the more than human world around us, and with our own sense of belonging and purpose.
This event will be broadcast live and recorded for those in different time zones around the world.
|21st July - 26th February||Contemporary Animism - In the Direction of Beauty||View Details|
Is this for you?
Animism is the belief that we are one small part of a greater intelligent whole and within this whole we all have a crucial part to play. This is a belief shared by our ancestors for thousands of years and with indigenous traditions around the world.
What has become of the alchemists? – the rainmakers, the ancient oracles and voices of the wells, the medieval magicians? They knew that by working with the force of nature, that which resides in the very matter of the universe, in the blades of grass, in the winds that blow, that they could change the world. At this moment of great change for us, as we stand on the very edge of what is possible for the human species, perhaps there is something important we have forgotten. What is it that we have lost that has allowed the great mystery of life on earth to flee from our lives. Where does magic now reside in the world and how can we possibly bring it back?
The Confluence includes a morning Open Session with contributors to include Sharon Blackie, Stephan Harding, Andy Letcher, Angharad Wynne, Tiokasin Ghosthorse and Colin Campbell – and more to be announced. Expect speakers, conversation, sharing, and embodiment workshops.
What would it mean for us to believe again? Join us for this rich day of discussion.
Confluence workshop details
Following lunch there will be an afternoon session of two 90 minute workshops:
Wildness Within, With Philip Shepherd
Pioneering embodiment specialist Philip Shepherd will lead us through gentle, simple and original practices that soften the divisions we unconsciously hold in our bodies. As the body’s intelligence is unlocked, it opens us to nature, to the present moment and to each other.
Wisdom of the Earth Serpent, With Naomi Lewis
Naomi will take us on a short journey of deep imagination to the cave of the Earth Serpent, as we seek guidance, as we explore and expand our human boundaries and their porosity with the animistic and hidden world around us.
Want to learn more about our residential Contemporary Animism course, an apprenticeship into animistic magical practice beginning in July?
With Colin Campbell, Angharad Wynne and special guests
DATE: April 2nd
Times are for London UK. Find times in your local time zone here.
Open Session: 10am – 2pm
- Sharon Blackie
- Colin Campbell
- Stephan Harding
- Andy Letcher
- Tiokasin Ghosthorse
- Angharad Wynne
Lunch Break: 2pm – 3pm
Afternoon Workshops: 3pm – 6pm
- Philip Shepherd
- Naomi Lewis
Online via Zoom. This event will be broadcast live and recorded for those in different time zones around the world.
£85 (low income £65) – Whole Day ticket 10am – 6pm inc afternoon workshops
£45 (low income £25) – Open Session ticket 10am – 2pm
We have a limited number of tickets for people on low incomes. These tickets are self selected, please choose these only if you are not in full employment.
Open Session Speakers
Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer and international teacher whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology. Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today. www.sharonblackie.net
Chris Bache, Ph.D. is professor emeritus in the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University where he taught for 33 years. He is also adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and on the Advisory Board of Grof Legacy Training. Chris’ passion has been the study of the philosophical implications of nonordinary states of consciousness, especially psychedelic states. An award winning teacher and international speaker, Chris has written four books: Lifecycles – a study of reincarnation in light of contemporary consciousness research; Dark Night, Early Dawn – a pioneering work in psychedelic philosophy and collective consciousness; The Living Classroom – an exploration of collective fields of consciousness in teaching; and LSD and the Mind of the Universe – the story of his 20 year journey with LSD.
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.
Angharad 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. 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 Stephan Harding
Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world, and his scientific cast of mind lead him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University. After completing his first degree he returned to Venezuela where he was a field assistant for the Smithsonian Institute, studying mammalian diversity in the rainforest and in the lowland plains. Stephan was appointed Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica, where he lived for two years before becoming a founder member of Schumacher College in 1990. Stephan is author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia. Green Books, and editor of Grow Small, Think Beautiful. Floris Books. He is also the writer and presenter of the documentary film Animate Earth, produced by Angel TV.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse is a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota and has a long history with Indigenous activism and advocacy. Tiokasin is the Founder, Host and Executive Producer of “First Voices Radio” (formerly “First Voices Indigenous Radio”) for the last 27 years in New York City and Seattle/Olympia, Washington. In 2016, he received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize from the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. Other recent recognitions include: Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Fellowship in Music (2016), National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Nominee (2017), Indigenous Music Award Nominee for Best Instrumental Album (2019) and National Native American Hall of Fame Nominee (2018, 2019). He was also awarded New York City’s Peacemaker of the Year in 2013. Tiokasin is a “perfectly flawed human being.”
Dr Andy Letcher
After a brief spell studying physics and astronomy, Andy Letcher completed a degree in Ecology at Sheffield University, then a doctorate in Ecology at Oxford. It was as an eco-activist in the 1990s that he was invited to do a second PhD in the Study of Religion at King Alfred’s College, Winchester. He is especially interested in the tangled and sometimes tortuous relationship between science and spirituality, and in so-called dark green religion. He has written papers on: the distribution of mammals across continents; fairies; mysticism; and psychedelic spirituality. He is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom.
Philip Shepherd is recognized as a leader in the global embodiment movement. He is the creator of The Embodied Present Process™ (TEPP), which he developed over 40 years of teaching embodiment practices, and shares worldwide in both in workshops and Facilitators Trainings. TEPP uniquely combines the two resources necessary for embodiment: effective practices, and a deep understanding of our culture’s blind spots, which tend to keep us in our heads. TEPP is based on Philip’s two books – Radical Wholeness and New Self, New World – which articulate the causes, perils and challenges of our culture’s disembodiment. Philip’s personal journey to embodiment includes cycling alone as a teenager through Europe, the Middle East, Iran, India and Japan; studying classical Japanese Noh Theater; co-founding an interdisciplinary theatre company; writing two internationally produced plays and a television documentary; and playing lead roles on stages in London, New York, Chicago and Toronto. In the non-Covid world, he travels the world sharing workshops and running year-long Facilitators Trainings with his co-director and wife Allyson Woodrooffe. His website and online courses are found at EmbodiedPresent.com, and he has a new book, Deep Fitness, coming out on October 12, 2021, which he co-authored with Andrei Yakovenko.
Naomi is well known world-wide for her love of the dark depths and her understanding of these locations as holy places to be mined and explored for their hidden veins of gold. Her work with this secret architecture over the past 17 years has allowed thousands of students from across the world to access the invisible realms of the ‘other’ they come to explore, and to uncover a clear and compassionate pathway, to profound communion with the sacred. Having worked as the Educational Director of The Sacred Trust for the last 17 years, Naomi also now works with writers, film directors and dancers to visit the ancient origins and practices of performance and re-imagine the telling of story for our contemporary times.