Magic, Medicine and Myth


This retreat is a return to your deep reality: an opportunity to reconnect to that wild part of you that knows. There’s a word they use in Scotland, ‘ken’, which means something between knowledge and understanding: it speaks to your wider intuitive self; your instinctual self; your deepest self. Come feel the kenning and know that once felt, it never leaves. Magic, medicine and myth, it’s right here. Facilitated by Vanessa Chakour and Ancel Mitchell, this healing experience will be held at the appropriately named Loch Awe. We’ll visit Standing Stones and Neolithic ‘womb’ tombs, the strongholds of kings, ancient mysterious sacred sites and ancient wells, all the while bathed in intensely beautiful landscape. An unforgettable experience. Price is $1845 or approximately £1400 includes all meals and accommodation. EXPERIENCE Daily movement & meditation practices European herbalism in folklore, magic, healing & ritual Creative writing, journaling and storytelling Hikes & Excursions Earth Ally & Meditation Work Work with the elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether Plant Medicine and wildcrafting Time for reflection and sharing Sacred Fire Ceremony Delicious Organic Meals Outdoor Bathing, Sauna & Hot Tub Immersion in Nature You'll stay at the beautiful ecoYoga Centre Learn more here - ITINERARY: June 29th – Getting settled & arrival dinner EACH MORNING: We wake in silence before our morning movement & meditation practice. This is your time to journal, tune in or simply get more rest. Our morning practice revolves around our theme, so we begin our day aligned in mind/body/spirit/soul. Earth: Grounding & Growth Getting to know the land where we are. The West of Scotland is one of the oldest land masses in the world and we can feel the ancient life beneath our feet. Here we stand on the back of the great mother, admiring her glacial curves and appreciating her exposed beauty. Exploring our relationship to our bodies & the body of the earth through movement, meditation & creative writing. Root medicines. Earth Ally work. Grounding meals in house. Free time for self reflection. Water: Cleansing & Flow Here, we are never far from water. We’ll hike between loch and sea, between sweet and salt water, appreciating always the flow and communication that water brings. Until the 19th Century people used water to move through this landscape: it was transport, community, livelihood and life. We can experience the beauty of this soft water through the dynamic, babbling brooks to the passive reflective waters of the lochs. Water medicines. Letting go. Creative writing exercises. Wildcrafting. Fire: Passion & Purification To the Ancients, fire meant life; ceremonies centered around it, the hearth fire never went out and embers were carried and gifted on journeys. In prehistoric forts and ceremonial centers we’ll look deep into the magic and perhaps even smell the smoke from their altars. Bonfire & Sacred Fire Ceremony. Magic, transformation Air: Movement & Breath Nodding foxglove and swaying broom, rustling reeds and the sombre music of oaklands: there is a stillness in Nature that encompasses the movement of air, a quietness which embraces the lonely sound of the peewee and the plip of a seal breaking surface water. Today through our breath we shall become one with the beings around us, both seen and unseen. The air here is damp and gentle, embracing, drawing us out and in to the land. Ether: Vision & Space The magic is palpable, in our journey we have come close to the Ancients, we have touched and been touched by Nature and we have experienced ourselves as stories and storytellers. We are capable of standing between the known and unknown. Today we shall seek out a special place, a portal between the worlds of water and air. We shall go to the very brink and see ourselves reflected there. Departures A last soak in the waters of the EcoYoga Center, a farewell walk by the loch or through the woods, an ending circle. TRAVEL INFORMATION: Fly into the Glasgow Airport. We recommend arriving a day or two early in Glasgow to get settled. You would then take a beautiful bus ride to Lochgilphead where you’ll be picked up. We will send more details upon registration and can offer lodging and experience suggestions if you’re planning an extended stay in Scotland. Click HERE for our retreat terms & policies. Travel to and from the retreat is not included in the rate. YOUR GUIDES: Ancel Mitchell was born and raised in Scotland and has lived in England, the US and currently lives in Costa Rica. Her deep connection to nature and sense of place feeds her creativity and curiosity which push her ever deeper into exploring the natural environment. A waldorf educator for over 20 years, Ancel delights in bringing new and different perspectives into her teaching, making her classes rich, fresh and fun. Bouyed along by a sense of magic and an ability to consciously listen she holds space for story: “Stories hold us, they rock us to sleep in their arms, they allow us to venture forth into territory we fear, they have our back when the terrain gets rough. Through story we can meet ourselves anywhere, we can find ourselves at home anywhere. Stories connect our inner and outer selves, they are our two way bridge to nature, and home.” Ancel teaches plant ally and western herbalism on Sacred Warrior Costa Rican retreats. When she’s not teaching she’s enjoying working with plants and animals, making medicines and chocolate and enjoying her farm. Vanessa Chakour is the founder of Sacred Warrior whose mission is to deepen relationship with ourselves and the living earth. The concept and method of teaching evolved out of her journey of healing and teaching as an herbalist, artist, activist, meditation teacher, former pro boxer & trainer. With connection to Nature as Self at its core, Vanessa’s unique blend of sensitive awareness and deep ecology plus over twenty years of inner work and refining her skills, creates an opportunity to experience the “inner wild”. Having lived her adult life in New York City, Vanessa is familiar with the disconnect so many feel from the natural world. It’s this that drives her work: helping others to understand that they are not alone, or apart from Life. Her work, from holistic training to herbal apprenticeships to retreats focuses on reconnection. A spokeswoman for nature, Vanessa works as mediator and match-maker, helping people form one on one relationships with plants or animals, building bridges and creating bonds. It’s these small understandings and relationships which develop that create eco-defenders and sacred warriors: so necessary at this time. Learn more about Vanessa and her journey HERE

Sat June 29, 2019
To: Thu - July 4, 2019
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