Cabana - Sweat Lodge

The ​Purification Lodge is a sacred place where we clean our bodies, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical and release anything that is ready to be released that is no longer serving us. It is a place for  dreaming new visions and re-programming ourselves, reclaiming original imprints of ourselves, blessing and healing hearts, bodies and minds. This is an ancient ritual that taps into the  ancestral wisdom of our grandparents, the human ones and the elements: fire, earth, water, air. We enter the womb of the Great Mother to be re-born again. In that sense it is both womb and tomb, and symbolises the cycles of life, death and rebirth.

The Cabana is also referred to as Grandmother Spider, who works on the web of healing, weaving the threads of our destiny and unites us. She is very generous to those who are open to receiving and going through the portal of possibilities that she opens for us in our bodies, hearts, minds and souls.

Keef is an initiates of the Brazilian shaman and psychologist XamAM - Alba Maria  from Terra Mirim, Brazil. The cabana is therefore deeply aligned with this lineage and is part of the path of the Mother Goddess and the 4 Elements.​


Movement Medicine

Movement Medicine is a body based movement meditation practice that will reconnect you to the wisdom of living from the heart, the joy of knowing who you are and the satisfaction of making your unique contribution to life. It will deepen your connection to yourself, your creativity and the integrity and guidance of your own soul. During the year-long programme you will have the opportunity to address what is calling for attention in your life - in your body-heart-mind-soul and your past-present-future.


"Movement Medicine is shamanic medicine for our times. It gives us direct, embodied experience of the dance of life that’s going on inside us and all around us. As a species, we face enormous challenges right now that we see as arising from the story of separation; separation between body and spirit, between individuals and nations, between the human world and the web of life we are part of and depend upon. Simply put, Movement Medicine reconnects us, deepening our capacity for empathy and compassionate being and action. Since prehistory, dance, song and ritual-making have played an important role in the human community. Movement Medicine is a contemporary expression of this inheritance. It marries ancient and modern wisdom, and supports you to experience the transformative power of your own potential in co-creative community.” Susannah and Ya'acov Darling Kahn - Co-Founders of The School of Movement Medicine

S.E.E.R Process ~  Systemic Essential Energy Retrieval

The SEER Process is rooted in the ancient shamanic art of soul retrieval. It is a powerful and effective tool for cleaning up the roots of your personal and ancestral history and retrieving your own life energy from it.  It is designed to give the responsibility and the power back to practitioners to enable them to do this work on their own. It is an excellent preparation for Phoenix and other advanced Movement Medicine processes, immersions and training.

“Our perception of life is shaped by our past experiences and by the meaning we make from them about ourselves, about each other and about life. These stories have become so much part of the fabric of our everyday lives that we don’t even notice them. They are held in place by memory and we are experts at focusing on all the evidence in the present to repeatedly reconfirm our stories about how life is. This is good news. Why? Because we are naturally creative beings who are capable of changing the stories we tell, once we have become conscious of them. When the dancer inside us has access to this storehouse of creativity we become capable of reshaping and bringing healing and transformation to any experience.

The intention is to consciously write the next chapters of your own personal and ancestral stories through intensive Movement Medicine practice. You will continually find ways to acknowledge your challenges and your wounds, and keep moving through them into a place where you are strengthened by your experiences, not weakened by them. Your history will then become a resource rather than an excuse. The SEER process releases energy from where it may be locked up in the undigested stories of our pasts so that it is available to us in the present and so makes the crucial difference in our ability to dream and manifest the lives we came here to live” YaAcov Darling Kahn, co-founder of The School of Movement Medicine

CHAMBERS OF THE HEART movement & council


Throughout our time together we will work with the Movement Medicine ‘Animal Intelligence and the Chambers of the Heart’ map. We will engage with this as a model for our sharing circles to feel what needs to be felt and express what needs to be expressed in a safe, non-judgemental space, where we can witness and be witnessed in the emergent emotional landscapes of our heart. We will dive deeper into these contemplations in our wanderings on the land, our Wild Awakening Night Vigil, in the Cabana -sweat lodge and in ritualised movement practices.

  • Chamber of Awakening / Fear
  • Chamber of Surrender / Sorrow
  • Chamber of Integrity / Anger
  • Chamber of Gratitude / Joy
  • Chamber of Grace / Compassion

Natural Soul ReSourcing

In addition to cultivating your own personal Movement Medicine practice as a soul resource for everyday living, you will be invited to do plenty of self-reflection, wholeness resourcing practices, explore ‘deepening’ invitations and wander in, or rather - commune with nature frequently. It is your soul-centring journey of wholeness and self-healing and it is entirely up to you how deep, down and dirty you choose to go.


Shamanic Dynamics

There are a multitude of dynamic practices that are in the shamanic universe. Many are traditional and continue along specific cultural lineages and many are emergent and contemporary. Within Awakening The Wild our shamanic offerings have emerged from three distinct sources and two primary lineages. The first source and lineage is rooted in our initiatory training with XamAM - Alba Maria - from Terra Mirim, Brazil and are part of the lineage of The Mother Goddess. The second source and lineage is rooted in The School of Movement Medicine; especially for Keef who was a first generation apprentice and is now a Senior Teacher. Other contributory threads  come from other teachers and sources such as the indigenous Amazonian Huni Kuin tribe. The third source is through direct experience - channelling - and emergent inspiration. The dynamics that incarnate through this source are mysterious, spontaneous and intuitively manifested in the moment. Whilst their source is mysterious, the efficacy and congruency of these dynamics are rooted in nature and in our carefully cultivated integrity and commitment to a our duty of care for ourselves, our community and all of life.


Burial Ceremonies - Dancing with Death

There are many ceremonies across time, space and culture that invite a deep self reflective engagement with the reality of our mortality as sentient beings. The Burial Ceremony is one such initiation.
- It is as much an initiation into life as it is a deep conversation with death.
- It is as much a deepening into the wild embrace of Mother Earth as it is a surrender to the inevitability of our mortal demise.
- It is as much the opening of a portal to love and ecstasy as it is an opportunity to fully feel and express our embodied grief and human suffering.

It is an opportunity for recapitulation, a chance to revisit and clean up your personal history. Essentially, recapitulation is the process of reclaiming energy that is locked up in past events and interactions; to find peace, acceptance, forgiveness; to take responsibility and offer apology, gratitude and prayers for all beings everywhere.
Ultimately it is an invitation to fully say YES to this one precious life and an invocation of Death specifically as an ally, a benevolent friend.
In simple, practical terms:  we will dig our own graves and spend the night in deep conversation with life-death-rebirth in the womb-tomb of mother earth.  As with all Awakening The Wild practices, processes and ceremonies we work with The Arc of Integrity - preparation, process and integration.

“To you, o life,  I say YES. In the face of death: YES YES.                                      I am ALIVE, I am blessed with consciousness and love and choice                    And I choose LIFE and LOVE – Yes Yes Yes.
Today dear friend, you might die or tomorrow or next year or ten.                 One day certainly, so whilst you’re alive – choose life, choose love, say YES
Death is the ultimate vitaliser and awareness of death, acceptance of death, knowing that you will meet yours sooner or later, timely or otherwise,           can cause everything to sharpen, to shine, to shimmer with aliveness -           if you allow it
Knowing that death can come at any moment shows us our fragility,             our miraculous here-nowness, the preciousness of life                                       and leaves us with a choice: to fear the loss of life or                                           to Love Love LOVE the life that is and LIVE IT NOW”
K.Wesolowski-Miles (a fragment from O DEATH)

Preparation

Preparation begins as soon as you decide to embark on this soul journey. It has many layers. Including:

  • Physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual resourcing.

Individually we will contemplate, reflect, write, spend time in nature and explore what we need to be able to fully step though this initiation portal.  As a group we will utilise the ReSourcing practices of Movement Medicine to discover and strengthen the tools of embodiment, intention and prayerful presence.
We will engage in many exercises individually, in dyads/triads and as a circle to deepen our self enquiry, to clarify our intentions, to explore the questions ‘What is asking to be felt? What is asking to be expressed? What is asking to die? What is asking to be born?’ We will write our own eulogies and dream into what is most important to us in this life. What are our priorities?

  • Practical and logistical. We will come to the immersion prepared; with all the tools and materials we need to prepare our grave temples

Process / Ceremony

  • The ceremonial journey deepens through the process of ‘digging your grave as a meditation on mortality’
  • Attend our own funerals
  • Enter the grave to dream and pray in conversation with Death as a Benevolent Friend, recapitulate and surrender into the embrace of Mother Earth.

Integration

  • We will have plenty of space and time to reflect alone in nature and to share in a circle. And we will dance the medicine into our skin, muscles and bones.
  • We spend time to vision the next steps on our YES TO LIFE path
  • We will commune with the womb-tomb of the the Cabana Sweat Lodge to cleanse and purify and open our pores and portals of possibility; rebirthing into life

Here is a beautiful personal postcard from the other side of the Burial Ceremony performed as part of our signature Dancing with Death immersion.


“ Last weekend I spent the weekend in Wales diving deep into what it means to die. To welcome death as a benevolent friend. We danced, grieved, cried, laughed all while being held so beautifully by Pachamama. We sat with many powerful plants, the waters, the medicine of movement and the lineage of @xamamalbamaria @terramirim. There was a lot to take away, many insights into death. Which also I found meant many insights into life. As I now see life is the ceremony for death.
If there are any parts of myself saying no to death, then I also realise there are parts of me saying no to life. It’s so interesting to see the death we are all facing in our individual lives, in the ancestral lines, in the societal constructs. In this time of great change and remembrance.
What I learned from digging and spending a night in my own grave was the following.
-Death is an old friend
-To live fully we must embrace death fully
-Choose your truth in its entirety over that of the ‘normal’ worldly path
-I do not need to hold anything, as I am held by pachamama
-Surrender and letting go can be found in the breath
-I do not want any parts of me to die, but to instead integrate them fully with love
-I am here to hold people through their loss and pain, therefore have much more work to do with grief and the heart
-We have so many resources to call upon in the unseen realms to support us at any time
So much love and gratitude to @awakeningthewild for holding this powerful journey ” Joshua Swords

Wild Nature Vision Immersions

Time alone in the wild, looking into the mirror of nature and the mirror of one’s own nature as nature has been practised in a multitude of ways across time, geography and culture arguably ever since the first emergence of self-awareness in human beings.

Communion with all of life - animals, plants, minerals, the elements, the stars, sun and moon- away from the day-to-day disturbance and distraction of other human beings and human culture - has long been recognised as essential medicine on the path of healing, wholing, developmental passage rites, initiation and self realisation. It is often seen as essential for the health of the individual, community and the particular ecosystem in which we live.

For the WILD NATURE VISION IMMERSION we spend between 12 and 24 hours, in deep prayer and contemplation, solo, in a special place that calls to us in the magical woodlands - from sunset to sunrise, sunrise to sunset, sunset to sunset or sunrise to sunrise. Whilst this practice is closely related to Vision Quest, it is not a Vision Quest as such, which usually takes place over several days and nights and is a powerful medicine in its own right. It is certainly inspired by our multiple immersions in Vision Quest on our personal journeys. It also has a fasting element to it.

It is a powerful introduction to this type of practice and in our experience is likely to be both challenging, charming and revelatory about the landscape of our psyches, souls and the mystical ancient lands that hold us for this precious immersion.


Teacher Plants, Animals and other Natural Allies

In all ‘shamanic’ traditions around the world there is a deep understanding of and alliance with nature and all of life. The inextricable interconnection and interdependence of life is a known reality.  Whilst there a many idiosyncratic stories, cosmologies and practices that are culturally specific, all nature-based spiritual rituals and ceremonies understand the interweave between the human heart- body-mind-soul-spirit and the ‘spirits of nature’; whether literally, metaphorically or in imaginal realms communication through symbolism - dreams, omens -  direct physical interactions or other means between humans and the rest of nature is an essential source of  experiential wisdom within shamanism. Most traditions talk of the ‘spirits’ of nature, be it the primary elements, as in the spirit of water, or specific plants, animals, minerals, places and so on. These ‘spirits’ are beings that we as humans are consciously or unconsciously in relationship with all the time. Shamanism invites us to bring conscious awareness and responsibility to our active participation in and cultivation of those relationships. Hence, we may come to know certain plants, animals and other ‘spirits’ as allies, guides, teachers. For example, plant medicines are often seen as a teacher plants or curative ‘doctor’ plants that open our consciousness to new dimensions of awareness and self knowledge and we may or may not comune with that plant in ceremony. Likewise, a  particular animal that we have a relationship with  may be seen as a power animal. A particular location - an ancient tree, a hillside boulder, a waterfall- may become a power spot for us that we have a reciprocal relationship with.


Community Medicine Circles - sharing, witnessing

A primary resource and arguably the most potent medicine is community. In these Community Medicine Circles, we will have the opportunity to share our process to be witnessed and to witness each other. The invitation is always - What is asking to be felt? What is asking to be expressed? What is asking to die and what is asking to be born? The material you bring is whatever is emergent, whatever is hot. It may explicitly relate to the practices and processes we are exploring together or it may have a wider lens regarding what is alive for you in your life.


Wild Soul Mentoring

The primary focus of Wild Soul Mentoring is 3 fold - ‘soul revelation’, ‘soul retrieval’ and ‘soul cultivation’. It is all about creative energetic evolution through deep imaginal journeying, Movement Medicine, self-enquiry and feedback with fierce compassion.

The ‘soul revelation’ piece is about learning to listen to and feel deeper into all that is asking to be felt, expressed, alchemised, dreamed and realised from the depth of our being human.

The ‘soul retrieval’ part is about releasing and harvesting potential life energy, power and creativity that is locked up in our conditioned stories about ourselves, the world and all of life. The gifts in our wounds, the gold in our suffering.

The ‘soul cultivation’ aspect is about stepping through portals of possibility and awakening potential within us. It is about developing and embedding practices, processes, rituals, ceremonies and stories into our moment-to-moment, day-to-day life that weave golden threads of remembrance and incarnation into our being.

Primarily this ‘remembrance’ is the recognition that we have, and have always had, a vast reservoir of resourcing, creativity, vitality and medicine available to us in any given moment that can nourish us through the inevitable cycles, waves and spirals that make up the terrain of personal path. The ‘incarnation’ part is about active participation with this as love-in-action in all of our roles and relationships. It is perfectly practical and intended as a tool kit - or medicine bag - for living a more fulfilling life where the mundane and sublime are interwoven and we develop the skills for sustainable, nourishing and abundantly meaning full relationships with all aspects of our self, others, community, ancestors, spirit, soul and all of life.