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 would it mean for us to believe again?
Welcome to our Annual Confluence on Contemporary Animism, bringing together the many wonderful speakers and practitioners who have contributed to our programme this year.
Join us for a deep dive into animism, talking about and experiencing directly, 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.
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?
Contributors include Sharon Blackie, Stephan Harding, Andy Letcher, Angharad Wynne, Philip Shepherd and Colin Campbell – more to be announced
Expect speakers, conversation, sharing, embodiment workshops …
This event will be broadcast live and recorded for those in different time zones around the world.
Times: 10am – 6pm Friday 26 February 2022 London
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
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 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.
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.
Dr. Stephen 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.
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.
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.