Embercombe Online Events
Register to join us for regular Embercombe Online ceremony, stories, conversation and song around our virtual Children’s Fire as we connect online together.
Dates and Times: 6pm or 7pm Wednesday
Webinars will be streamed live on the Embercombe Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Embercombe/
(this is a public event so you can watch the live stream without a Facebook account)
Embercombe Online Community Circles
Register to join us for regular Embercombe Online community singing, sharing and story circles as we connect online together.
Dates and Times: 5pm Friday
If enjoyed our offerings and you are able to help, please help us to support those people who’s income has been interrupted by current events with bursary places on our future programmes.
You can donate here.
Around the Children’s Fire
We find ourselves in extraordinary times, many of us in separation from the things we hold dear, our loved ones, our communities and from the wild world of nature just as the signs of spring and new life are upon us.
At Embercombe we believe that a beautiful world is one of connection and embodiment – with our feet on the earth, with thriving life and the natural world in balance around us, in community with each other around the Children’s Fire and in touch with whatever it is within ourselves that gives us purpose and joy.
So we take a pause at the cross-roads, in the gap between one world and the next, to breathe deeply, to check our navigation, to ask how we can be of service to a more beautiful world at this difficult time.
Welcome, sit with us, as a community of representative’s of the Children’s Fire.
Review Past Sessions
If you missed a broadcast you can review it here:
15th April 2020 – Tending the Thresholds with Angharad Wynne
3rd April 2020 – Around the Children’s Fire with Mac Macartney
13th May Conscious Evolution with Manda Scott
10th April 2020 – Circles of Prayer with Mac Macartney and Fiona Shaw
In 1999 Mac founded Embercombe. At which time he was also the founder and CEO of a leadership consultancy for corporate executives operating internationally between 1989-2005. Over a period of twenty years Mac was mentored and coached by a group of Native American teachers. During this training and ever since he has attempted to bring two worlds together – an ancient world view that emphasises relationship, interdependence, and reverence for life with the huge challenges and equally huge opportunities of the 21st Century. You can find out more about Mac’s work here.
Manda Scott is a novelist, smallholder, shamanic teacher and – soon – podcaster. Her Boudica: Dreaming books both grew out of and informed her shamanic dreaming practice and were the start of a fifteen year journey of teaching small groups. Now, as we near the biggest crisis in our evolutionary history, she is focussing more on how to bring the birthright of shamanic dreaming to wider groups of people and combine it with the explosion in cognitive neuroscience that is teaching us how to shape the structures of our minds. Her belief is that we can make the next evolutionary step consciously, but that we will need to know how to ask for help of the Heart Mind of the Universe – and that we need to get to grips with this as a matter of urgency. Yesterday would be good. Today will do. Tomorrow might be too late.
I’ve known about Embercombe since Spring 2008 when I was introduced by friends whose children were part of a Steiner school residential. I loved what I found, how Embercombe’s core mission is to grow people, and to strengthen connection to where and how we live, and I felt inspired to bring another strand of work in addition to the already brilliant education work: to specifically and directly support parents with the challenges of parenting, and thereby acknowledge the place of conscious parenting in cutting edge activism.
With the support of others, I devised our Grow the Grown Ups programme, a residential family week specifically developed to support parents of young children into authentic realistic conscious parenting, valuing our connection to ourselves, to each other and to our environment.
Anna Cole, PhD, was born in the UK and emigrated as a child with her family to Australia. In 2001 she returned to live in the UK with her London-born husband. Anna has taught at Universities in Sydney, London and Brighton and worked as a consultant historian and co-writer of a documentary film recording Indigenous Australian women’s urban culture, short-listed for a United Nations Media Peace Award (November Films, 2010).
Since the birth of her daughter in 2004 and her son in 2006, Anna has focused much of her research and practice on the “emotional ultra-marathon—as Patty Wipfler calls it—of parenting”. Anna is deeply inspired by the Parenting by Connection approach and its gentle and effective way of marrying insights from recent neuroscience with over thirty years of practical, compassionate experience in listening to and supporting children and parents.
In January 2013, Anna became the first certified Parenting by Connection Instructor in the UK and runs in-person Building Emotional Understanding classes in the London, Brighton, and South East area. She has a particular interest in sharing the Parenting by Connection approach with economically disadvantaged inner-city London communities and with building wide-spread support for parents.
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.
Dr Stephan Harding
Stephan was born in Venezuela in 1953, and came to England at the age of six with his father and housekeeper, with whom he spoke Spanish (his mother tongue). 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.
The College’s first teacher was James Lovelock, with whom Stephan has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration that lead to their joint appointment as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo. At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.
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.
Culture activist, teacher, author ~ Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, co-founded the school with Nathalie Roy in 2010, convening semi-annually in Deacon, Ontario, and in northern Europe. He has Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work). Apprenticed to a master storyteller when a young man, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is former programme director in a major Canadian hospital, former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school. He is also a sculptor, traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture. Since co-founding Nights of Grief and Mystery with Gregory Hoskins in 2015, he has toured this musical/tent show revival/storytelling/ceremony of a show across North America, U.K. and Europe and Australia and New Zealand.
He is the author of Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (2018), the award-winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions (a live teaching from 2013), How it All Could Be: A workbook for dying people and those who love them (2009), Angel and Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life – (a live teaching from 2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002). He is contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007).
Stephen Jenkinson is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker (National Film Board of Canada, 2008, dir. Tim Wilson), a portrait of his work with dying people, and Lost Nation Road, a shorter documentary on the crafting of the Nights of Grief and Mystery tours (2019, dir. Ian Mackenzie).
Helen Yeomans composes for & directs the performance choir Glorious Chorus in South Devon. Helen is also the creator of the One World show, an original piece of choral theatre focusing on the crossroads at which we currently stand. First shown in the SW this show has been performed to sell-out audiences in Hull in 2017 and London in 2019. Helen also runs workshops around the country, teaches at voice camps and runs singing holidays abroad where she teaches a broad selection of songs including her own original compositions. She also writes to commission, most recently for the Hull Freedom Chorus mass choir. In 2015 Helen won the UK Songwriting Contest gospel category award.
Helen also runs the highly popular Thula Mama singing group for mothers and babies, with franchised groups around the UK.
Chris founded and currently directs WildWise, an outdoor education and training organisation in 1999, after many years working as an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust. With a professional background in the theatre, a qualification in drama-therapy and a career in environmental education he uses every creative means at his disposal to encourage people to enjoy and value the natural world on courses he facilitates in the UK and abroad. He has worked with and been profoundly influenced by Ray Mears, Bill Plotkin, Joanna Macy, David Whyte amongst very many others. He is a course facilitator at Schumacher College, Devon, where he also directs the Call of the Wild Foundation year-programme. He is also known as a professional storyteller (aka ‘Spindle Wayfarer’), and is the co-founder and Artistic Director for both the Westcountry and Oxford Storytelling Festivals. He is also a theatre ensemble teacher for the International Schools Theatre Association.
Chris is married with 4 children and lives in enchantment on the edge of the Dartington’s forest with his astonishing dog ‘Dexter’…..
Max started her professional life as a youth and community worker and then worked for adecade as an academic at the University of Hull, where her research and teaching focused on radical, democratic and student-led education. She co-founded the Freedom to Learn Project (www.freedomtolearnproject.com) and travelled the world looking for the best ways to educate children and young people. Through this, she started to encounter wild education, wild pedagogy, rewilding and deep nature connection. Her own personal rewilding adventure began at this point.
Like Max, the main character from the children’s book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, Max has been on an epic personal adventure into the wild, and through encountering wild creatures and wild people and wild places, she started to see life radically differently. She now lives in Devon and is excited about any opportunities to explore what rewilding means, and how to rewild people and places.
Max recently published a book called Reclaiming Freedom in Education (2019, Routledge). Her next book, co-authored with Daniel Ford, will focus on Rewilding Education and will incorporate rich personal stories alongside research with young people who have had immersive wild experiences.
In her wild time, Max loves to walk, climb mountains, sit still, listen to the birds and tell stories.
Alan Watson Featherstone
In 1986 Alan founded the award-winning conservation charity, Trees for Life, which works to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands. It has become the leading organisation working to restore the Caledonian Forest in Scotland and took on ownership of the 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston as its flagship project for native woodland recovery.
Through his work with Trees for Life, he has helped to provide the inspiration for other ecological restoration projects in the Scottish Borders, on Dartmoor in England and for the creation of the Yendegaia National Park in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. He also founded the Restoring the Earth project, to promote the restoration of the planet’s degraded ecosystems as the most important task for humanity in the 21st century. He is one of our country’s most inspiring rewilding pioneers.
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
David Abram – cultural ecologist, geophilosopher, and performance artist – is the author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology (Pantheon, 2010), and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (Vintage, 1997). Hailed as “revolutionary” by the Los Angeles Times, as “daring” and “truly original” by Science, David’s work has been instrumental in catalyzing the emergence of several new disciplines, including the burgeoning field of ecopsychology. His essays on the cultural causes and consequences of environmental disarray are published in numerous magazines, scholarly journals, and anthologies. A recipient of the international Lannan Literary Award, as well as fellowships from the Rockefeller and the Watson Foundations, in 2014 he was elected a Fellow of Schumacher College. In the same year, David held the honorary Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and Ecology at the University of Oslo.
Dr. Abram’s work engages the ecological depths of the imagination, exploring the ways in which sensory perception, poetics, and wonder inform the relation between the human body and the breathing earth. His philosophical craft is profoundly informed by the European tradition of phenomenology (in particular, by the work of the French phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty) and by his fieldwork with indigenous peoples in southeast Asia and North America. Abram’s writing has been nourished by his friendships with the archetypal psychologist James Hillman, the Gaian biologist Lynn Margulis and the radical social critic, Ivan Illich — as well as by his esteem for the American poet Gary Snyder and the farmer and novelist Wendell Berry. Abram’s ideas have often been discussed and debated (sometimes heatedly) within the pages of various academic journals, including Environmental Ethics and the Journal of Environmental Philosophy.
Creative Director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE), David lives with wife and two children in the foothills of the southern Rockies.
You can find David’s list of upcoming speaking engagements here.
Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, conservationist, song collector, award winning promoter, broadcaster and activist Sam Lee plays a unique role in the British music scene. A highly inventive and original singer, folk song interpreter, a passionate conservationist, committed song collector and a successful creator of live events. Alongside his organisation The Nest Collective and fellow collaborators Sam has shaken up the live music scene breaking the boundaries between folk and contemporary music and the assumed place and way folksong is heard. He’s injected a renewed passion into this old material, helping to develop its ecosystem by not only inviting in a new listenership but also interrogating what the messages in these old songs hold for us today. With his forthcoming album, Old Wow, he’s summonsed up a truly compelling and emotional album that takes his work to yet another level.
Carolyn Hillyer & Nigel Shaw
Carolyn & Nigel are renowned musicians & artists who live and work on a thousand-year old farm in the ancient belly of Dartmoor, a mist-veiled landscape of wild hills, peat bogs and heather moors in the south-west of England. The inspiration for all their work is drawn from the raw beauty, untamed spirit and primordial memory of this ancestral land. Their creative output includes music albums and concerts, books and workshops, paintings and art installations, traditional flute and drum making. They have built a large Neolithic-style roundhouse at their farm, a ceremonial ancestor house created from granite, oak and grass/reed thatch, which sits at the heart of the teaching circles and gatherings they host on their land. Their recorded albums and live performances form a mystical weave of ancient instruments, wild songs and tender music, using wooden flutes, clay & tin whistles, overtone flutes, piano, small pipes, dulcimer, Jura guitar, cello, many types of hand drums and percussion. For 25 years they have been making many of their own instruments, as well as regularly teaching flute and drum making workshops on Dartmoor. Nigel carves flutes that carry the songs of these islands, using woods indigenous to Britain, including oak, yew, ash, holly and thorn. Carolyn creates traditional frame drums from skins sourced from the moor and prepared by hand at their farm, primarily red deer, wild horse and salmon. They have travelled across the world with their work, including Australia, USA, Japan, Jamaica, Canada, Central & South America, Siberian Arctic, Russia, throughout Europe and the UK. Their concert tours have carried them from Dartmoor to Scotland, from mountain temple to tundra camp, from festival tent to ritual cave. On their Dartmoor farm they regularly host concert events that have included Rivenstone, a much-loved festival of sacred world music.
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.
Dr Gail Bradbrook has been researching, planning and training for mass civil disobedience since 2010 and is a co-founder of the social movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) which rapidly spread internationally since its launch in October 2018. There are over 200 groups in the UK as well as 375 XR groups in 59 countries. Gail has been arrested three times for acts of civil disobedience, most recently at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and previously at fracking and incinerator sites. She joyfully invites UK citizens to join her in the streets of London to close the city down and has said she is “willing to die” if it would serve to protect the environment, though she has every intention to live a long and courageous life. Gail is a mother of two boys age 11 and 13, and has trained in molecular biophysics. Her talk on the science of the ecological crisis, the psychology of active participation and the need for civil disobedience has gone viral and been part of the inspiration for many to join XR. She is from Yorkshire, the daughter of a coal miner and was recently profiled on Radio 4’s Profile show for her part in instigating a rebellion against the British Government.
Fiona Shaw was initiated into the Red Path in 1997 and carries the altars of the half -moon and temescal. She has been holding ceremonies within this lineage for the last 23 years creating circles and community in United Kingdom, Germany, Israel and Portugal. She is always seeking to interpret these indigenous ways so that they are relevant and congruent to us in these times.
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