communion with the wild
A spiritual ecology retreat designed to give an immersive experience of communion with the wild.
The retreat can be brought to any location and is suitable for people from all backgrounds.
Longing to sink into a deeper relationship with the natural world?
Seeking ways to be of service that emerge from co-creation with Earth?
Looking for powerful techniques to communicate with plants, animals and landscapes?
Keen to learn from those stewarding land in regenerative ways?
Hungry to be in community with people from all backgrounds who share your love of Earth?
Interested to explore more subtle forms of connection with the more than human world?
Ready to work with the land and give something back?
In need of time to replenish and be inspired?
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin"
Indigenous peoples have long held the knowledge of Earth as sacred, animate and intelligent. They have always lived in communication with the wider web of life, both its visible and invisible dimensions, in a way that has been lost in the modern Western world.
In recent years science is catching up with their wisdom, bearing out a worldview in which everything is interconnected in myriad ways. Science now knows that communication systems between and within species of plants, trees and animals are infinitely more sophisticated than previously thought. We know that trees live in community, talking to each other through their roots and through networks of fungal mycelium. We know that all the various squeaks and peeps and body language of meerkats and other mammals form full-bodied conversations about possible dangers and which way to go for food. We know that bees communicate through intricate dances, through vibration and chemical scents, and that they create a ‘hive mind’ that allows them to be highly effective collaborators. And we know that bird language is not just mating calls and alarms, but rather includes many specific messages that are understood by their own species, and also by other animals in their ecosystem.
Science is only just at the beginning of uncovering the other-than-human intelligence that indigenous people have always lived in relationship with. Informed by both these knowledge systems and others, there is now an emerging body of wisdom available that can guide us into a direct experience of how the web of life is constantly in conversation with itself. By tapping into this wisdom, we can learn to be present without imposing a human agenda, and simply listen, eventually being able to hear the voices and perspectives of rivers, trees, birds and stars.
"To be native to a place we must learn to speak its language"
(Robin Wall Kimmerer)
As humanity attempts the herculean task of remaking our civilisation in order to survive climate breakdown, this deeper way of listening to and with Earth and all Her creatures, is much needed. It leads us out of the extractive, human-centric hubris that is at the root of so much harm. It calls us into an attitude of humility, and the possibility of co-creating with the more than human world.
Opening a door to this dimension can be life-changing, revealing a world more magical than we dared to believe. It can weave our spirituality back into a lived relationship with Earth, breathing in a new life force that has the power to turn us away from the illusion of consumerism, back to a profound sense of belonging.
Over the course of the week, we will explore five pathways:
Coming into relationship with land, landscape and the elements
Coming into relationship with plants
Coming into relationship with insects
Coming into relationship with animals
Coming into relationship with the whole web of life, both the seen and unseen.
The retreat draws on guest teachers with expertise in each of these areas. Past retreats have included: Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Pat McCabe, Charlotte du Cann, Jacqueline Freeman and Sicelo Mbatha. The first iteration of this retreat was offered through St Ethelburga's Centre in June 2022.
If you are interested to collaborate on bringing this retreat to your community or co-creating an event together - click the button below!