Old British Ways
Britain is an ancient land. The latest archaeological finds show that people have lived here for the best part of a million years. And all through that time our shamans have been with us although, nowadays, most people have largely forgotten our Old Ways and don’t realise the Old Ones are still here. But they are.
We who follow the old ways have been in hiding for 2000 years, since the Romans and Christians came, so we’re now very good at hiding. One of the reasons people don’t know about us and have forgotten us and the old ways is that we go unnoticed because we don’t look any different from everyone else.
There is a strong body of knowing of the Old Ways in Britain often very well hidden in the stories and song of this land. The trainings I offer enable you to follow the quicksilver pathways of the goddesses Elen of the Ways, we call it Following the Deer Trods.
John Matthews says in The Celtic Shaman (Source) Because it is not an organized religion as such, but rather a spiritual practice, shamanism cuts across all faiths and creeds, reaching deep levels of ancestral memory. As a primal belief system, which precedes established religion, it has its own symbolism and cosmology, inhabited by beings, gods, and totems, who display similar characteristics although they appear in various forms, depending upon their places of origin. I really like this, I feel it’s the best description I’ve seen for a long while.
My people, my family and the elders of the villages where I grew up were of those folk, the hidden folk. We followed the old ways from time out of mind and I still do, and I pass them on to others who come to me.
These two videos are about two of our British shamans, Thomas of Erceldoune (aka Thomas the Rhymer) and the poet Ted Hughes. Both show well how it is to be a British shaman.
Thomas (1220-1298) was a 13th-century Scottish laird and reputed prophet from Earlston, then called Erceldoune, in the Borders. He went off with the Queen of Elfland and returned to the everyday world seven years later with the gift of prophecy and the inability to tell a lie. He made many true prophecies during his life and was called back to fairyland by a milk-white hart and hind. Deer have been guides and leaders across the worlds for millennia both in Britain and throughout the Earth.
Ted Hughes was our poet laureate until his death on Wednesday, 28th October1998. In 1951 Hughes went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge to study English but said, “I spent most of my time reading folklore and Yeats’ poems”. In 1953 he had the fox dream. The restricted structure of the English degree was burning up his spirit (the burned fox), killing him, as the fox tells him. He dropped English to study Archaeology and Anthropology which freed him up to become the inspiring poet that he was. This poem, The Thought Fox, is a beautiful and stunning account of the dream-journey that changed his life and enabled him to become the poet.
The training I offer comes from my long family heritage in the British native tradition and from my own experiences. As well as my family I’ve also worked with wonderful people like Lila Bek, Caitlin & John Matthews, Emma Restall Orr, C Maxwell Cade, Colin Bloy, Hamish Miller, Paul Devereux, John Michell and many others during the 1970s and 80s. And I trained as a transpersonal psychotherapist with Ian Gordon Brown and Barbara Somers in the early 1990s. The work I did with all of these people is woven into the training I now offer along with all the ancient wisdom I was gifted by my family and the old ones of the villages where I grew up.
If this sounds like what you need and want go to the Apprenticeship in the Old Ways, complete the Application form and send it to me. You may also like the various workshops and talks I do and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Warm wishes from between the two lights,
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty – Albert Einstein
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