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Elemental, Mythic & Ritual Literacy
Bridging
Wild Genius and Community 

A Teaching Healing Initiation Hut

Map, Compass, and Practice in the Realm of the Sacred

The Modern Trouble:

A poisonous storm—feelings of exile, confused purpose, overwhelming grief and disintegrated lineages—forcing an endless, ineffective, crisis of reaction.

The Indigenous Remedy:

A personal and cultural revivalof discerning intimacy, initiated purpose, emotional expression, ancestral support and response-ability to our time.

Medicine Without an Expiry Date:

An ancient map:  The Elements

An unlikely compass:  Myth

A storm worthy practice:  Ritual

As if we might really be "All Relations."

View this complete site properly on a desktop version.

 

5 Journeys (What is offered here):

 

Advanced Work

GATEKEEPER

Americas | AUS

Apprenticeship

in

Ritual Leadership

Weekly Zoom + 1 on 1
Cohort maximum 20
Limited Travel

$200-$300 CAD/m
$165-250 USD/m
Immersion | Initiation

 

Intermediate Work

 

MYTHTELLER

Europe | Americas

Mentorship

in

Story & Myth

Monthly Zoom + 1 on 1
Cohort maximum 20
Limited Travel

€285 EURO 3 months
$425 CAD / 3 months
Ancient | Emergent

 

All Levels Welcome

RITUALS

Europe | CA | AUS

Gatherings

for

Healing & Village

Residential
Evening, Day, Weekend
In person, Residential

Tuition varies
Experiential | Healing
Food & Accommodation

 

All Levels Welcome

 

WORKSHOPS

Everywhere

5 Week Courses

with

Mentoring Guide

5weeks x 2 hour Zoom
Cohorts maximum 20
At Home

$250 CAD equivalent
€170 EURO
Practical | Support

 

Beginner Suitable

RESEARCHER

Everywhere

Independent

and

Self Guided

Independent Study
5 Weeks Online
Free—Limited support

~ 2 hours per week
GIFT
Introduction | Elements

5 Elements Medicine (Map of Trials and Blessings): The Grit, The Grace & The Guile

 

EARTH

Boundaries

&

Welcoming

Intimacy

 

MINERAL

 

Separation

&

Life Purpose

Initiation

 

WATER

Grief Listening

&

Praise Talk

Reconnection

 

FIRE

Injured Lineage

&

Mythic Allies

Intuition

 

NATURE

Reaction

&

Response

Eco-logic

Greeting (a courteous welcome and short introduction to this work):

GREETING

Glad you dropped by!  You probably want to see if this is relevant to you. Then you’ll want to check out the credibility and the value of the work. I've done my best to answer those questions immediately. Your next best step should feel right and also suit your own sense of style.

 

If you feel this calling you in a good way, welcome.

 

If you decide something else is closer to your needs, I wish you the best, safety on the road, strong allies, long days.

In this section:
  • Is this the Journey that brought you Here?
  • Keep Going. Your work is Needed
  • The World, and our Lives, are Burning
  • What People Say about the Facilitator

Is this the Journey that brought you Here?

Healing has many facets. We know that it is related to our emotions, community, spirit, embodiment, ancestors, nature. Are you at the point of wanting a context that includes it all? One that will speak to the Grit as well as the Grace? One that reconnects you to the natural wisdom and guile of your indigenous soul? One that demands including the "Other-than-Human"?

We were never meant to travel this journey alone.

Do you have the sensitive heart of an artist? Maybe you have been the black sheep, living on the edge. You have managed to escape being completely taken over by the modern world. You know something is desperately, fundamentally, wrong with the way humanity has been destroying the complexity of the world. You have worked on healing enough to understand that there are layers.

 

At first, it was perhaps to help yourself. But your exploration didn't stop there. It became a path. You read more books, took more courses, started piecing modalities together in your own understanding. Maybe you are now teaching. Even so, no matter your human age, you are headed toward leadership, Eldership.

 

For you, the path is not the good work of activism, or a specialization in permaculture, or the dream of green technologies. Your path is the activism of healing. Your path is the permaculture of resilient culture. Your path is the green technology of ritual. Your path is the work of the soul, maybe through ritual.

This much we know . . . might be true.

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Randy Jones, Author of
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Medicine Without

an Expiry Date:

Indigenous Remedy for Modern Trouble

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Keep Going. Your Work is Needed in the World.

Wherever you have arrived from, whatever you have been through, I know the road has been hard. Wherever you are going, there will be challenges ahead.

Be one of the "mad ones" as Jack Kerouac said, full of passion, willing to live. William Stafford admonished:

"It is important that awake people be awake . . .

the darkness around us is deep."

Thank you for doing what it took for you to arrive at this place and time to converse around Grit and Grace.

On the site, you'll find much to consider:

 

For a full introduction, continue reading this page.

Quick facts and figures about our programs here

Free excerpts from my book Résumé | Book

Free introductory course about ritual, cosmology, and mythic imagination begin here

Testimonials here

 

NAVIGATION

 

View the site best on a desktop or laptop.

Main pages through the top menu.

Page sections through footer menu (desk top only).

Site Map is located here

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Keep Going. Your work is needed in the world.

If you feel this might be your gang  . . . welcome, read on.

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The world, and our lives, are burning.

Myth instructs us that there are two types of water to apply to calm inferno—the waters of death and the waters of life. These are the spiritual Grit and Grace required in this time. They are needed medicines in this time.

The unhealed trauma of previous generations is passed down when the waters of death are not applied through grieving. Unexpressed grief becomes hungry ghosts that devour nature and culture. The waters of life evaporate too. It calls for some Guile to retrieve those waters.

Each generation, medicine-carriers quest and retrieve all of the age old medicines of culture and dispense them during wild and embodied ritual—a practice that bring humans into conversation with cosmology and mythology for a moment.

  • Indigenous Cosmology provides our Map.

  • Mythic Imagination is our life saving Compass.

  • Ritual is our ongoing conversation and Practice.

The Wild is a given—you are made of that. You have a Genius—your own peculiarity. The  storms of the times call for a robust container—wild ritual—nice ceremony won't do the job of the healing that needs to be done.

 

Medicine carriers get trained to withstand the wind—one foot in the trouble, one in the blessings, map held close, an eye on the compass. They know fortitude.

 

Time again for the rituals that make life jump up alive.

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What People Say About the Facilitator

One of the most brilliant healers I know trustworthy he can articulate the heartbeat of the Holy haven't laughed that long or hard in a long time the most interesting divination session I have ever attended a guide through the wild spaces reminded me of my wild expressive ability a unique and astounding ability to conceptualize and organize free-flowing ideas the Listener and the Translator stands onside with the natural authority of elemental forces wisdom humor experience and compassion shares his own expression my authentic power and natural intelligence are coming online an expert at guiding others through their confusing experiences of grief anger ecstasy and the whole array of human emotion.

PRINCIPLES

Wild Genius | Welcome | Orientation

In brief:

Conditions of modernity create systemic illnesses of the soul. They present in various ways. Feeling out of place, not in touch with life purpose,, an overwhelm of grief, feeling unsupported, reacting without responding—all of these are disorienting. This section introduces the rationale for working with the ancient methods of cosmology, myth, and ritual, as a healing balm for creating coming home, finding purpose, nourishing praise, reliable support, response-ability.

In this section—Key Principles of the Point of View here:
  • Map of the Elements: Grit, Grace and Guile
  • Compass of Myth and Story: Direction Finding
  • Practice  of Ritual "Technology of Community"
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Map of the Elements: Grit, Grace and Guile

A cosmology is a world view, a way of seeing that includes both the tangible and the intangible. The many human versions of cosmology are a human inheritance. Indigenous cosmologies can assist us with sources of timeless wisdom through a body of knowledge. In the West African cosmology shared by the Dagara people, Elements define the mythic cosmology.

 

The Dagara, through ritual work, find healing instructions hidden in Earth, Stone & Bone, Water, Fire and Nature herself. Through ritual, they engage in a living conversation between "This world" and "The Other World," what we could also call archetype or the mythic.

​The teachings associated with the Eldership of the elements are traditional, yet get renewed with the experience of each generation. The people currently alive face the task of rediscovering how to relate to the cosmos. The indigenous perspective is that this relating is a life long series of initiatory transformational journeys. Ritual ties personal transformation or healing to culture and nature, to community and cosmos.

The Dagara model of cosmos, like many indigenous cosmologies, see Elements as Elders, due to their reliable consistency in identity. "Olders" in the human community only become "Elders" to the degree that they inhabit their full authenticity. To listen to the elements is to study qualities which we ourselves long for. They can guide us.

This idea of looking at the GRIT—the gauntlets, the trouble— is a bedrock principle of this work. We are not spiritually bypassing. That is non-negotiable, and it is a tough pull. The Elements have instruction on grit.

That is the grit side. On the side of GRACE—love, humor, and furious dancing. As Martín Prechtel says, "You won't necessarily look better, but you'll feel more alive." Again, there are teachings about grace within Elements.

Implied is a relationship with GUILE, etymology sourced in the Proto Indo European concept of consecrated, holy and with its affinity for the Trickster Wisdom traditions. Guile is the old wisdom of crafty intelligence and the principles of the liminal between the grit and the grace. Principles like intimacy, intuition, reconnection, ecology or eco-logic, and initiation can be gleaned from the Elements.

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Compass of Myth and Story: Direction finding

It has been said that a myth tells the truth without the use of facts. We can see this in a particular Grimm's myth which speaks of the trials of exile, apprenticeship and return. The  trials in the myth are not specifically accurate facts, but they are staunchly honest about effects of such a tour of trouble on the soul. The same can be said for the impact of an apprenticeship. Exile gets your hands dirty, the Return should reveal your royalty.

Myth notices the raggedness that comes from hard work in exile. There are moments, we know, of unspeakable lostness. No matter how fantastic the details of this myth, or another, there is a sense we are being told the truth about the Grit for once. And with certain "uncertain approaches" to the wisdom of the myth, we also hear about Grace, and how to find it, and what it truly is. Somehow, the myths already knew the truth of these matters, as is said "5000 years ago."

 

The return from initiation, apparently, has always been a challenge. Indigenous cultures spend heavily into the ritual of return. Not so in modernity, where the one returning is just likely to be ignored. Not only in extreme cases like those of war veterans or refugees, but in experiences much more common as well.

The particular myth I have in mind is surprisingly applicable even now. To avoid the death of un-recognition, (the most horrifying death in tribal cultures), the returning initiate is advised to claim BOTH the ragged dirtiness caused by the work of the exile AND the sovereign quality of the completed apprenticeship. Myth gives witnessing and confirmation. The "Elder-like" qualities of myth are a healing balm in a time when the very idea of Eldership is at risk. They are a confirmation of the necessity of guile, and wise to its pitfalls.

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Practice of Ritual: "Technology of Community"

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West African Elder and shaman Malidoma Somé calls ritual the "Technology of Community." He notes that the modern idea of community has shrunk, excluding the participation of nature and ancestors as guiding forces. Ritual is a set of knowledges and practices to re-include the "Other-than-Human" in our affairs. Ritual can be the craft we are traveling on toward community.

 

The modern world places human interests top. Worse still, the idea of "human" has dwindled to the idea of  "individual." But the tribal sense of community worldwide recognizes that it "takes a village." And that is done through ritual, momentarily connecting the mundane and the sacred. Ritual is a way of healing that views the person as more than a machine.

Like Jazz, ritual is improvisational, yet works with principles of composition. Just as architecture provides home for the physical, ritual provides a home for the spirit. Like architecture, it is both an art and a science, bound in time and place, always is subject to the test of practicality. Like Jazz, or architecture, there is training and practice involved in doing it well. Ritual can never be pre scripted with perfectly guaranteed outcomes.​

The combination of a wide misuse of power and the loss of initiatory rituals creates the rebellion against power structures and the idea of authority itself. Ritual literacy seeks to address this lopsided understanding by insisting upon an education in the troubles of boundaries, initiation, grief, injured lineage, and reactivity. By its nature, it also deepens gratitude for welcome, life purpose, praise, our mythic allies and strengthens capacity for response-ability to broaden our native biological ability to react.

 

5 JOURNEYS

Wild Genius | Welcome | 5 Journeys

In brief:

I am passionate about Ritual Literacy. I love the mystery, wonder, challenges and blessings that emerge from working with the Other World and people. Calling forth voices of grit, grace, and guile is my medicine. Here is overviews of 5 levels of programming that can be reviewed "at a glance" to see if you will delve deeper.

In this section—See the Quick Facts & Figures about programs:
  • GATEKEEPER ritual leadership apprenticeship
  • MYTHTELLER storytelling mentorship
  • RITUAL gatherings for healing and village)
  • WORKSHOP 5 week mentored courses
  • RESEARCHER free independent study course

"Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now."

Maya Angelou
 

GATEKEEPER ritual leadership apprenticeship

An initiation, an expedition, a trial through ritual to forge leaders with the kind of Eldership able to find the lost waters of life and death, and deliver them to community.

Features: Weekly Zoom calls, 1 on 1 coaching, membership in our private online working studio, and reduced cost for in person events. Spots Available now.

Admission by application.  Group is limited to 20. 

Cost is sliding scale $200 to $300 CAD per month.
Timing suitable for North America & Australia.

Reviews from current Apprentices
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"Not for the faint of Heart . . ."

 

MYTHTELLER storytelling mentorship

A Mythteller works with the deep forces of healing and cultural instruction hidden within old myth to recognize prescription for ritual action for individuals and groups.

Features: Monthly Zoom calls, monthly 1 on 1 coaching, membership in our private online working studio, and reduced cost for in person events. Begins July 26 | 2021
 

Open admission.  Group is limited to 20. 

Cost for each 3 month semester is €285 Euro | $425 CAD
Timing is suitable for Europe & North America.

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"A word of Skill,

. . . the Silence of Things Secret"

RITUAL gatherings for healing and village

In person rituals guided by the 5 elements cosmology and myth, for healing around boundaries, initiation, grief, lineage and reactive patterns. Poetry, song, drum, dance.

Features:  Evening | full day | full weekend | 4 day.

Full day events include food or BYOL. Currently on hold.

Weekends incl. | gourmet food | simple accommodation.


Open Admission. Group size usually 15 to 40. 

Evening event $40 CAD | One day $150 CAD

Weekend $650 CAD | $450 CAD scholarship rate

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Gatherings for

Teaching, Healing & Initiation

 

WORKSHOP 5 week mentored courses

Mentored online courses are a soulful way to meet people of depth and heart, while being welcomed into the waters of ritual and medicine work for practical outcomes.

 

Features: 5 Weekly 2 hour Zoom calls, facilitation by mentor, workbooks, and  a one year membership in our private moderated online platform. Start November 2021.

Open admission.  Groups are limited to 20. 

Cost per course $250 AUD | $250 CAD | €170 EURO
Scheduled for Australia | Europe | North America.

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RESEARCHER free independent study course

This online pdf and video course introduces working with the 5 elements through study and small assignments for practical learning through experience.

 

Features:  Online component on this site, printable pdf workbooks, curated video material, assignments.

Optional online support, or may be done without email.

Open admission.  Independent Study

FREE of charge. Available June 1 | 2021
Worldwide | Self paced |Approximately 10 hours

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CONNECT

Wild Genius | Welcome | Connect
In this section:
  • Contact Form
  • Booking Form

Send a message.

 

Fortune favours the bold.

“Anything you are ashamed to have the postmaster or postmistress read, and therefore seal up, is known as first-class matter. Also, postal cards, where you're only allowed to argue on one side. If you think your letter should travel slowly, invest ten cents in a Special Delivery Stamp. This will insure a nice, leisurely journey, lasting from one to two days longer than by the cheap two-cent route.”

Charles Wayland Towne