SPIRIT HORSE: One Year Course A Foundation in Ancient Rooted Ways
Ritual, pilgrimage, story, sacred speech, self enquiry, vision quest, tantra, tribal living and "the music of what is" in wildest Wales and Ireland
Welcome! A thousand times welcome; here’s the low down. This course has run since 1994, many times, though all participants and crew should know that it has always developed as Shiv's scope and the Spirit Horse experiment in remaking culture increases and gathers weight.
Nevertheless, in the tradition of these few decades we are delighted to announce with a thousand friendly welcomes once more, may heaven allow us another year of life...
The 2018-2019 One Year Course: A Foundation in Ancient Rooted Ways Courting the ecstatic in life, culture and in our own unfathomable body.
If you have been to Spirit Horse and caught the scent of something wild, smokey, audacious, ancient and rooted, you’ll know that “it” can’t be “explained” and shouldn’t be. This invitation is to a pilgrimage, adventure, dreamtime, gateway, challenge, merry ramble, intense exploration, made in the company of new friends who will regard each other well for decades after for having met and touched soul on such a wild flowery path.
This pilgrimage prayerfully and wildly ventures into the soul memory. It is for understanding the bones of living culture beyond the poverty of the White Man’s world. It’s a reminder of home; in a deep, spiritual, wood-smokey, “mud between the toes”, intelligent, learned and emotionally authentic way. With humility and reverence but not without vitality and panache.
You will encounter, the smell and feel of an ancestral dreamtime, the storied, sophisticated, courteous, ritualistic world that is the bedrock of all pagan, earth loving culture.
On an Enlightenment Intensive, you will face your illusions about yourself and in so raw and real a fashion as to awaken a bliss beyond the body mind identification - who you think you are - and your mind stream will move further out into the ‘Unknown”. You will discover how to allow that to happen by itself. A flash of the supreme may occur, and if you are lucky you chest will be soaked in it!
None of this will make you special, important, or immune to pain; but you may become a real person. There is no certificate at the end; but you might have to burn a few of the ones you already got!
The student asked Dong Shan, ‘Is there a practise for us to follow?” The Master said, “yes there is: when you become a real person”
If you undertake this initiation to completion you will never be the same again. As it says in the Mahabharata: (also part of the course) “if you listen to my story; you’ll be somebody else at the end.”
It will not make you a better person; you are already perfect, but you probably don’t know what you are. It will not make you stronger: you will learn to live with greater vulnerability. It will not make you happier: you will understand living in ecstasy is accepting grief. You won’t feel better about yourself: you will move out beyond personal feeling into a spiritually adult world where that is small stuff. You won’t feel clever or knowledgable: you will realise how little you know and can ever know! But you WILL develop some style! These are important gateways of maturity and not just cool things to say.
More concretely, you’ll go deeply into: Ancient Traditions of Story. Natural Culture: its roots and bones and blessing. Breath: how to move beyond thought/control into feeling/knowing/being Ritual: on a level you won’t find anywhere else in the White Man’s world. Speech: which gives life to the earth, the people and the spirit. Self enquiry/Self realisation: (how far you go is up to you) Pilgrimage: the re-enchantment of the land - and happy wandering! Celtic mystery: and a good few other old traditions too. An exploration, celebration and even consecration of your sexual spiritual self. Vigil and vision quest/night of power. Magnificent poetry and literature - the “lore of the world”. Presence and pleasure in true speaking. Bringing forth your unique gift or contribution to the world. Your true work.
This course is also an initiation and introduction into the tribal world of Spirit Horse. From a year with us you’ll get at least one living, noisy, bantering, tearful, out of control, ecstatic version of tribal community togetherness on a rugged, real, rooted way.
DATES: 6 meetings, or rather 5 meetings of the group and one solitary vigil at the end. And some other ridiculously good and delicious options.
First Weekend Oct 5 - 7 Deep introduction to the voyage ahead with a 'homework' task to be completed in one month Friday evening arrival, finish on Sunday 2pm
Ritual speech and the Poetic History of the World : Thursday evening to Sunday 2pm with a “ homework “ task to be completed in one month
Second Nov 8 - 11 Storytelling and Ancestor Ritual Thursday evening to Sunday 2pm
Third 22-25 November Ritual speech and the Poetic History of the World Thursday evening to Sunday 2pm
Recommend (optional) 6 - 9 December Enlightenment Intensive Self Enquiry Retreat (with a welcomed recommended stay of two day integration/disintegration until Tuesday 11th)
Fourth Date tbc Sweat Lodge & Ritual
Sixth Date tbc 10 day pilgrimage in Shiv's secret land in Ireland
Final September 2019 - any time around equinox 21st. Vigil/ Vision Quest/ Night of Power. By individual arrangement. Secret location. North Wales .
If you can’t make all the dates but still want to do it - talk to us, there may be a way to catch up or do some parts next time.
As a member of the ONE YEAR you are also offered and fiercely encouraged to seize with both hands: Option: August 8 - 12: Sacred Man Sacred Woman at half price! £125. Option: Surrender Tantra / Temple Ritual July 3-7th at half price! £125 Individual counselling with Shiv whenever needed is part of the course. One healing session with Lila Purani half price by arrangement.
Erika Indra will attend most meetings and you will have the benefit of her counsel and guidance and womanly support.
There’s a list of things to read and list of things to watch. Things to collect and start doing now or very soon. These will be sent to you when you send an email confirming your definite interest after which we arrange your payment.
Deadline to sign up: Sept 1st 2018. If there are not sixteen people definite and ready to go by the deadline; we will postpone until autumn next year. On Sept 2nd we will announce whether it is definitely happening or not, but please register your interest as soon as possible. Those of you who confirm will help make this a real thing and not just a possibility.
Payment and conditions of the undertaking: You undertake with a clear promise to pay for and do the entire course at the outset. (If one or two dates are difficult; talk to us) Cost: £1600 total CASH OPTION: £1400 if paid in full on first meeting.
Deposit: £1000 in cash must be made at the first meeting or a standing order (£150 per month) set up 10 days prior to arriving for the first meeting, which you undertake to maintain until the balance is settled. Email us with your clear intention and we will send you bank details.
This payment covers all meals, accommodation, travel, teaching, counselling, support, everything.
For the Irish pilgrimage you have to get yourself to Shiv’s house in Galway, everything else is covered after that. (Cheap flights/shared car etc less than £100 is easy enough) For all other meetings you have to get yourself to Spirit Horse in Wales.
If you want to do it you MUST pay £1000 at the first meeting, or have the standing order set up, showing your commitment to this undertaking. No terms.
Some people ask about work exchange. This is possible, but it is NOT an easy option. Here’s the terms. The £1000 at the outset is not negotiable:
We will grant £300 off if you can commit to working from May 15th to June 15th at Spirit Horse, 2018 or 19 for the entire period, seven days a week, 11am till 8pm which is what Shiv and the building team do every year. (And you’ll learn how to make a house!) And we house and fed you. And then work in the kitchen full time during Cauldron of Plenty (you’ll learn how to cook for 150 people). Simple. If we find out you don’t know how to work - you’ll be asked to pay and the exchange deal cancelled. Ancient conditions of service in warrior bands. If you are bold and willing and daring the world is yours.