Caitlin Matthews is acknowledged as an authority on Celtic wisdom and the ancestral shamanic traditions of Britain. Born of British and Irish parents, she has explored the ancestral heritage of these beautiful islands, finding practical ways that help us maintain our respect for the land and forebears, as well as clearing the way for our descendants. She continues to teach these shamanic healing ways worldwide using the widest range of storytelling, song and practical wisdom. She is the author of over 50 books including Singing the Soul Back Home, Celtic Devotional and King Arthur’s Raid on the Underworld.
Caitlin is also a Celtic Shaman in her own right. This will be Caitlin’s first presentation in Canada and we are most honoured that she can join us. www.hallowquest.org.uk
Armand DeGrenier, Nova Scotia
I have been guided in spiritual practice in this incarnation following the instructions of the pre-birth council of coherence … after meeting and studying the path of “Core Shamanism” with Michael and Sandra Harner in the early 1980’s, I began experiencing a series of co-incidences that could be best described as emanations from “non-ordinary realms” … these moments of awakenings have been like a map of a path of guidance which continues to unfold to this day … in the late 1990’s, after being curious about DNA-genealogy, I was drawn to Font-de-Gaume in the Dordogne region of south western France where I experienced a profound heart connection with the lineage of the ancient cave painters …
thus the 10,000 year old roots of my shamanic path became clear ! I am heartfully indebted to the many teachers, family, friends, sisters and brothers on the path I have met over the years … in particular when I review my sacred walk, i think back to the 1970’s and humbly honour the teachings freely gifted to me by Manitonquat (Medicine Story) of the Wampanoag nation in Massachusetts and more recently am sincerely beyond grateful for the guidance and sharing of tio (uncle) don Caesario, donna Maria, don Augustin and don Rojellio of the Secoya people of Ecuador and to sobrino (nephew) Jonathan Miller, at guaria de osa retreat centre in costa rica, ethnobotanist, inter-cultural guide and rainforest protector-activist for our shared vision of (inter)planetary wholeness.
Martha Lucier, Ontario
“As I rekindle the indigenous spirit within myself I connect to my sacred roots listening to the voices of the ancestors while honouring my connection to the web of life. As a living prayer, I am both the weaver and the web and invite others to join me in igniting the flame as we return to the sacred fire. As global citizens we are all one tribe indigenous to the earth. Let us find ourselves together in one circle of deep peace dancing barefoot upon Earth Mother.”
Martha is co-founder of Northern Edge Algonquin Retreat Centre along with her husband Todd Lucier. Their mission is the promote peace on the planet through providing experiences in nature that help us rediscover ourselves, empower other’s and heal the earth.
Martha is a practitioner of Core Shamanism based on the work of Michael Harner, founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. She has completed the F.S.S. 3 year program as well as a shamanic teacher training with Sandra Ingerman and is a member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners.
Martha’s work as a teacher and healer is infused with her deep love of mother earth and desire to empower others to discover the gifts they came to the world to manifest. Martha conducts regular Basic Shamanism Retreats and offers a 2 year training in Advanced Shamanism each year at the Edge. Vision Questing in Algonquin Park is where Martha feels most alive!
Highlights of Martha’s shamanism training experience include workshop facilitation and orchestrating the closing ceremony for a gathering of over 200 participants at Findhorn, Scotland in 2002 and leading an opening ritual and workshops for Peace in Education Conference in Budapest, Hungary in 2004
Nancy “Dancing Light” Sherwood, Nova Scotia, www.travellersjoy.ca
Co-founder of the ten year experiment in collective shamanic living that was EarthSea Shamanic Ecovillage, Nancy’s inspired and inspiring projects continue to be on the cutting edge of shamanic practice in Nova Scotia, including: spirit pilgrimages to many lands, many ancestors; assisting both First Nations people and Celtic people in their spiritual reclamation efforts; helping individuals reconnect to the land and re-collect their soul essence; establishing a Mandala of Peace through shamanic dance training; and most recently, creating a traveling spiritual banquet in Nova Scotia called A Sense of Place, that honours and celebrates exceptional appropriate stewardship of land, while calling forth and interacting with the life-enhancing essences of the land itself.
Nancy co-founded EarthSea Interpretations Unlimited and the Nova Scotia Shamanic Grandmother’s Council and is a sweat lodge leader and practicing shaman.
Theresa Thomas and Sula Paris , Nova Scotia.
Sula Paris and Theresa Thomas carry the medicine and spiritual traditions of the Dagara people of Burkino Faso, West Africa. Both are initiates of Malidoma Some´, shaman elder and a well known and respected teacher of those traditions. www.malidoma.com/
Born in Vancouver, B.C., Theresa connected with Nature in her youth. Faced with a debilitating illness in the early ‘90’s, Theresa’s healing journey spanned many modalities and practices, including several years of studying and assisting Sandy Levey-Lunden, teacher of deep personal courses based on the principles of A Course in Miracles. Theresa’s introduction to the East Coast Village in 2005 was a profound connection to community, which led to a deep joining to her ancestors and a commitment to the work of Malidoma to bring the teachings of the Dagara Tribe to the west. Theresa was initiated as an elder in 2006 and recently completed the Indigenous Ancestral Spirit Technology trainings. In 2008, Theresa co-facilitated the first Sisters of the Gates gathering, which is expanding to include a Nova Scotia event in 2009.
Sula Cindy Paris
Native of Truro, Nova Scotia, Sula lived in an intentional shamanic community for three years before joining the East Coast Village, a group dedicated to bringing the Dagara wisdom and technology to the west. Over the past eight years, Sula developed the Ancestor Speak Divination cards, traveled to Dano, Africa (home of the Dagara Tribe), assisted in many trainings including hosting Malidoma in North Carolina and volunteering for the year-long training in Harlem, as well as bringing Dagara ceremony to Youth On Purpose. In 2008, Sula co-facilitated the first Sisters of the Gates gathering, which is expanding to include a Nova Scotia event in 2009. Recently, Sula’s medicine work has elevated through the creation of sacred soap stones, which have brought transformation and healing to many people.
Nova Poirier is a shamanic healer living in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. She has worked in the helping and healing profession for the past 18 years. She is a graduate of the 3 year program in advanced shamanic training through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies where she was fortunate to train under renowned teacher Michael Harner and she has worked with other masters in the field. She also holds a degree in psychology and extensive training in psychosynthesis, a psycho/spiritual approach to healing. In addition to her healing practice, Nova has been leading nature based spiritual retreats and shamanic workshops for 10 years. She and her partner Billy MacDonald run Redtail Nature Awareness, a nature education center dedicated to helping people come into a deeper relationship with the natural world.
Louise was introduced to the Native traditions as a child by a friend, Jean Juneau, who had been adopted by the Mohawks from the Kanesatake reservation. In 1992, she was introduced to core shamanism by Noëlle and Claude Poncelet from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS) in Montreal. She participated in all the advanced workshops that were given in Québec since then. She is now a member of the healing circle in Montreal and works as translator for most of the workshops given by the FSS in Montreal.
She followed the teachings of Grandfather William Commanda from Maniwaki, the spiritual leader of all North American Natives and also teachings from pipe carriers and grandmothers from the Algonquin, Atikamek and Mi’kmaq traditions. And the path never ends… She recently found out that she could call herself Algonquin metis, having an Algonquin ancestor (Weskarini).
People come to her for spiritual healing (Soul retrieval, extraction, psychopomp or depossession), for divination as well as for ceremonies such as sweat lodges (Algonquin tradition), marriages, welcommings for a new born, first step, and other passages of life.
Louise also works as a teacher in prebirth classes with hypnosis teaching couples how to give birth naturally in joy, comfort and awareness.
She also works as a naturotherapist with Biologie totale, hypnosis and other methods the spirits have put on her path. As a therapist, she is an active member of a group called L’Odyssée, le voyage d’une naissance, a group of women therapists around birth and rebirth.
Louise is a journalist/writer and is still collaborating regularely to a global health magazine in Québec, Vitalité Québec Mag (since the second edition in1997). She is very concerned by personnal health as well as the planet’s health, her heart being tied together with Mother Earth’s.
Louise lives in the Easterntowships area in Québec.
Leila Bruno, Wyoming, USA
Leila Bruno has an undergraduate degree in ecology and a Masters in English. She helped to set the statewide system of rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters in Wyoming in the 1970’s and co-founded a non-profit environmental group in Wyoming in 1980’s — this group is still working to protect habitats for endangered species. She lived in Buddhist dharma centers from 1999-2006, working as a coordinator, shrine-keeper, householder and meditation instructor. During a break from retreat centre work in 2004-05, she coordinated a statewide history project and edited and published the book, Ahead of Their Time: Wyoming Voices for Wilderness. In 2008 she spent time in the Amazon rainforest with the Achuar people’s of Ecuador. Currently she is living in Boulder, CO and travels widely as a facilitator for the Awaking The Dreamer symposium, (AWAKENING the DREAMER, CHANGING the DREAM of the NORTH), an initiative of the Pachamama Alliance.
Carla “Dancing Rainbow Dragon” Silver, Riversong Keep, Nova Scotia
Carla rekindled her relationship to Creator and Mother Earth through the ancestral wisdom teachings of Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo, and inter-wove these Peace Keeping ways with a degree in Environmental planning. She pledged to walk in beauty, to cultivate right relationship and to live in harmony with all beings during her first vision quest some twenty years ago. Her earth walk brought her to the intentional shamanic eco-village of Earth Sea, to live and study with her life long Teacher Nancy “Dancing Light” Sherwood. Carla is a carrier of Women’s Medicine and receives guidance through the divine feminine ways of the Celestial Grandmothers.
As an Earth Keeper she practices land stewardship with her partner at River Song Keep, a biodynamic farm, shamanic studies and experiential learning center in Chester Grant, Nova Scotia. Life at River Song evolves around the practices of honoring ancestral holy days and the celestial ceremonial wheel. As a long time student of Tom Brown Jr’s School of Tracking, Nature Awareness and Wilderness Survival and, Vision Quest Protector through the Earth Heart Institute of Vision and Healing, Carla offers nature based experiences and shamanic healing to individuals and groups. Carla is a Sweat Lodge Keeper and is a member of the Shamanic Grandmothers Council of Nova Scotia, Nova Quest Medicine Drum Society and the South Shore Meditation Center of Shambhala International. Carla owns and operates Shamanic Pathways Nova Scotia.
Nine years ago while enjoying a picnic on a special island off Riverport, NS, she received a calling from the Spirit World. Following this calling and teachings from Elder Charlie Labrador and Elder Rose Morris, Ellen took up the practices of Mi’kmaq ceremonies and traditions. She is very proud of her culture and heritage, shares with others, and is open to new learning with other cultures and traditions. She has been chosen to represent the Mi’kmaq as Elder in the community. She is chosen by the Spirit World to be protector of our ancestors and was given the Ancestor Bundle at a Give Away Ceremony in Gold River.
Ellen is the founder and president of the Mi’kmaq Burial Ground Research and Restoration Association. The mandate of this association is to work with land owners to research, protect and restore abandoned/ancient Mi’kmaq or Mi’kmaq mixed i.e.: Acadian, Irish, English burial sites. To date, the association has restored, erected and dedicated monuments in Bridgewater, Petite Riviere and Indian Point, Lunenburg County,NS. She also travels to Micous Island in St. Margaret’s Bay to work with youth.
Ellen is founder and coordinator of the Annual Mi’kmaq/Acadian Festival at Fort Point, Lahave. It is held the third weekend in August, (festival dates this year, August 21 &22). During the festival, she conducts ceremonies at the ancient burial site in Petite Riviere.
A Board Director and Mi’kmaq representative to the Lunenburg County Historical Society, Ellen designed the Mi’kmaq Village, artifact display and Mi’kmaq Resource Library at Fort Point Museum in Lahave, NS, and assisted with the Mi’kmaq Fisheries display at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
Ellen is writing a book ” All About Granny” in which she shares stories of her childhood and culture.