updated June 15 2010

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Workshops and Retreats for 2010

A letter regarding teaching & information about the workshops

January 14, 2010

Welcome to Shamanic Realms and to this specific Realm focused on workshops and issues related to my teaching. We are redoing our website with the goal of providing a clear picture of what is available at shamanicvisions.com, and expanding rich shamanic explorations through the Internet.

Here at Shamanic Realms, I will post all information connected with my teaching schedule and my workshops. This includes both description and registration information.

My plan is to use this Shamanic Realms website for articles, graphics, and music that are focused on special shamanic issues I am pursuing as well as those related to the subject of the workshops themselves. For example, in the Bear Cave realm there exists material related to the practice of Bear Medicine. The Sacred Places’ realm is focused on journeys in other countries as well as special places in the US. Our Animal Kindred is devoted to exploring our relationship to our animal companions with whom we share our lives. Although some of this material arose from specific workshops we taught, the information and explorations here stand-alone and are not dependent on someone having taken a workshop.

Since January of 2009, I have been writing a monthly newsletter focused on a range of shamanic topics. Previously such writing has been posted at this site. Now, however, these newsletters will be found at the website of the nonprofit, Shamanic Circles www.shamaniccircles.org). Links to these are also listed on this page. Susan Gilliland has also created soundfiles in which she reads these for those who prefer to listen to the newsletters. You can receive the newsletters directly to your email if you send me your name and email address.

The first section in Shamanic Realms will contain information regarding my teaching and workshop schedule for the current year. I have just begun developing the 2010 schedule and some dates are confirmed with the retreat centers where the workshop will be taught. Other possibilities are in the early planning stage. Periodic updates will be posted here.

Susan Gilliland and I continue to work as a teaching team and our partnership is a source of sheer delight for me. I also think that both the material and the participants’ experiences are served well through our collaboration. Pirkko Miller continues to offer her services in coordinating our workshops. Since Pirkko and I have walked together for almost twenty years, she is able to offer knowledge and wisdom regarding the type of shamanic work we do and the unique ways in which we explore this spiritual path.

If you are interested in any of these workshops, or future ones, I recommend you contact Pirkko as soon as possible.

Most of the workshops take place at retreat centers that are limited in the number of participants that can be accommodated comfortably. However, one can also choose to lodge off-site and there are several reasonably priced motels in the areas near these retreat centers.

During the last two years, I have chosen to limit the size of workshops because I have found that a group between 8 – 12 participants allows for deep, experiential learning over a weekend. I have also included four-day weekends where the focus of the workshop simply needs that one extra day
for integrating our shamanic experiences.

Please Note:
Years of experience have taught me that it is very unwise to decide, months in advance, what will be the focus for some specific weekend. My teaching is focused on the shamanic approach to living in the Present Time – in this Age. From that perspective almost every workshop could be titled “Spirit is Calling us to Tend…”

Then we arrive to Circle and I share the issue we shall be tending. It is information that Susan and I have received from Spirit during months of vigorous listening from a place of service and compassionate hearts. Depending on the topic, we might use ancient methods, or new methods, to pursue this topic with the power of our collective minds, hearts, spirits, all our helpers and the very Land upon which we are gathered. By the time we come to Circle, I have spent weeks, if not months, preparing. We generally arrive with a very full design. At the same time, we are able to toss that design aside if events occur within or outside the Circle (in the larger world) that require our urgent and full attention. This has occurred periodically in the form of earthquakes, fires, and the attack on the Twin Towers. The reason I can trust so fully now is that in each of these instances, the teaching preparations turned out to be unbelievably perfect for the unexpected events that unfolded and impacted us. Maybe the design had to be tossed….however…the preparations done served us beautifully on so many levels.

Another, and different, teaching approach is to have a particular curriculum in which the learning is sequential; the purpose of the teaching plan is that the student will eventually have mastered certain materials and can demonstrate this. With this as the teaching format, then a curriculum can be planned, and announced, years in advance! This is analogous to our standard learning format in schools and universities in which there are 2 year, 3 year, or 4 year programs. This form of teaching is usually referred to as the ‘core shamanic curriculum.’ As one who also studied within this paradigm, I have deep appreciation for the model. To know that folks are continuing to employ this teaching paradigm gives me a comforting sense of an expanding shamanic consciousness within the global village.

As with any educational format, however, the goal is for individuals to then be creative and creators with the knowledge acquired. That is where I view the relationship between these two approaches. The model that I employ requires using that basic shamanic education as a springboard from which to launch for discovering expanded, if not new, ways and methods of understanding urgent issues of the Present Age and developing appropriate shamanic responses to them. These different teaching modalities are not competitive paradigms but collaborative. For many years, I primarily taught the core curriculum.

The approach I use now is how I have been guided to teach. It has required ever-deepening trust from me in my relationship with Spirit. It has required that I continually ‘show up’ to my helping Powers, and that I walk lightly upon Earth so that I don’t get planted too fiercely in some particular direction or paradigm. To be sure, I have no sense of having arrived to a different way of teaching….but I do have a sense of ‘arriving to’ a different way.

I am sharing this with you so anyone interested will have some idea of what to expect in a workshop. Primarily, however, it is to share why the workshops Susan and I will be teaching do not yet have a specific focus that one might use in a title. Last year after our workshop in Philadelphia, I was talking with Gail, the coordinator there, about various possibilities for the following year. I shared my approach to teaching shamanism with Gail and ended by saying that “I would love to feel comfortable with advertising in which there was NOT a title…maybe just the announcement of - A Weekend with Carol Proudfoot & Susan Gilliland – Explorations and Ceremonies with Spirit - .” Gail’s response was: “Do it. I like it.” I thought later that if a Coordinator for one of my workshops was comfortable with that, then maybe I should pursue this more – that is, present my teaching and workshops with advertising that was congruent with the actual form and methods used.

Having said the above, there are some workshops in which the focus is decided. One of these is the SSP (Society for Shamanic Practitioners) and our focus is the “Self in Service – Shamanism without Borders”. This is SSP’s Annual Conference to be held in the Santa Cruz Area Mountains. This new conference marks the beginning of the Society for Shamanic Practitioner's efforts to establish Shamanism Without Borders.

We will explore different shamanic ways of being in service, with a specific focus on healing the trauma within the land, the people and the animals in the local area. During the conference, small groups will visit sites to do healing work. On Saturday, we'll move into working on healing personal trauma. In both cases, participants will learn models and tools to take home and apply to their practice. We will also use the opportunity to talk as a group about the ways in which Shamanism Without Borders can manifest and to share and develop knowledge in this area.

Another specific workshop focus will be tending our Animal Kindred & Companions through shamanic support and healing work in Animal Shelters. This approach to Shelter Animals was first introduced two years ago at an Animal Shelter in Los Angeles. The response of all involved – shelter animals, shelter staff, workshop participants - was quite profound. The evaluations we received made clear that this shamanic work had an important place among the various approaches being used to take care of our wounded and neglected Animal Kin. Definite dates will be posted here by the end of March and the weekends themselves will probably be in mid to late Summer 2010.

Further Information
As of today, January 12, the retreat center in Santa Cruz, has not determined its fees for this year. Those will be posted here by the end of February. Generally, they have raised their fees about $10 a day each year. The cost is based on lodging choice from commuting to cabin, shared multiple spaces to private room. The range of cost can thus be from $300 to $450, which includes lodging, tuition and meals. I have indicated in the calendar below the appropriate individuals to contact for each of these retreats. In general, however, Pirkko Miller can be contacted for information regarding any of these workshops; if she is not coordinating, she can always refer you to the appropriate person.

With the exception of the Women Healer’s Retreat, all workshops are for both men and women.

Here are the dates confirmed thus far:

Workshop Calendar for 2010

updated May 10 2010

May 7 - 9
Women Healer's Annual Retreat - Santa Cruz, CA (Closed)

June 3 - 6
Society for Shamanic Practitioners (SSP) Annual Conference
"Self in Service: Shamanism without Borders"
Soquel/Santa Cruz County, CA
for information & enrollment: www.shamansociety.org

July 19 - 23
Shamanism and Bear Medicine

Taught by Carol Proudfoot-Edgar with Hideki Hamada and Cheryl Ban
see description
Coordinated by Pirkko Miller 

July 29 - August 1
Philadelphia, PA
new click for information
Contact Coordinator: Gail

Sept. 11 – 12
Shamanism & Our ‘Sheltered’ Animal Companions
(Tending our Kindred Spirits)
Los Angeles
new description

Wherever we walk….wherever we are learning…and with whomever
we are gathering, may we walk the BlessingWay….and the Way of Blessing..

Carol Proudfoot-Edgar