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Beautiful Speech

Learn the Ancient Language of Ritual

Shivam O'Brien storytelling at ritual speech workshop

12th - 15th September 2024

Price: £350          Community Contributors: £240          Concession: £290

Prices include all meals, accommodation and tuition.

If you are a community contributor and would like/need a price reduction, contact Shivam directly at

With SHivam

Learn the speech of the ancients; which is the making and guarding of true culture.


The language of ritual, how to speak at sacred sites, prayer that weaves the holy threads, public speech, heart speech, secret words, commanding words, courting beyond the human with praise that keeps the world alive.


And learn the poetic history of the world.


Language has deteriorated into “bites” of information, a subjugation of nature, of the wild exuberance, ridicule of heartfelt callings, industrial military servitude. Come and learn a tiny bit of the bardic world, known to so many ancient peoples and traditions, where words are magic and call forth the majesty of who and what we are.


In the gorgeous sanctuary of this, the wildest of welsh valleys, join us around this living fire for this autumnal feast.


Cast round, flowered rainbows of the joys and tears of life lived as adventure. Sit with us in the warm lodge, the ancestral place, beneath night crested with stars where old things are remembered and polished anew.

Who is this for?

People who wish explore the roots of world culture, history, poetry, storytelling, literature, ecstatic speech and the power of blessing. And are enquiring enough to explore where the dominant culture went wrong. People who aspire to good public speaking, finding your true voice, having confidence in delivery.


People who aspire to speak in ritual spaces, births, wedding or shamanic arenas.

Those who wish to speak truth. And to speak it extravagantly.


Like the bard of the Fianna in ancient Ireland of whom it was said “he never spoke, but to make truth naked”.


People who visit sacred places and know something should happen, but lack the ancient courtesy and gesture.


People who know somehow that beauty and truth are linked and sense the damage done to language. Few are even aware of this. And to remake the language of the heart.


People who would like to let go of empty concepts and come closer to earth and real living and touch the mystery with their presence and words. Mysterious tears flow when this is accomplished and it cannot be faked.

What you can expect to do


Be guided deep into true literature, and beyond, into the oldest of oral traditions still extant.


Hear the story of the world told in the ancient way. Learn to see vast stretches of history, origin, the beginning of things and to speak of them in a way that makes living now and here rich and deep.


Cut through cultural ignorance and blind spots.


Practise composing along ancient bardic lines that you are ONLY going to learn here.


Practise speaking in exercises that are challenging, informative, secret and fun.



You are going to be relaxing deep into all this around Living Fire.


In this valley there are no pipes or wires. The land is pristine or in places rewilding itself. Re clothed in flowers and untrammelled green mirth. The elements are radiant and raw. The mountains and forests are cut with rock pools and waterfalls in all directions. You will wander here to wash your eyes and see the face of the original unfenced land.


You make a special seat and resting place in our most ritualistic lodge. Being supremely comfortable is part of this training. Not the comfort zone of modern uniform sameness, becoming comfortable with nature in the raw, absorbing inspiration from the living waters and fire. You’ll be bringing a big duvet!


Regular saunas by the waterfall are part of this sensual living. Rugged, soft, rigorous and easy by turns. The elemental world is kept very, very near. The life the body loves!




No one on the British Isles knows ritual and ritual speech like Shivam.


If you have seen him call out the old holy words and spontaneously create magical ritual space then you know what this is and how utterly rare. If you haven’t; you can only guess. This kind of depth, flow, connection, speed, rootedness, word play and magic is almost extinct.


A lost possibility. Shiv has studied liturgy with Tibetan masters and ritual speech with world renowned shamans but says he will not name drop nor spill any of their secrets. He unlocks only his own word hoard and his own passion. Everything in its own place. Well guarded. Sealed.


Those attending must be prepared to earn some trust. Speech is treasure here. It will not be thrown out lightly. Come courteously to this teaching.




Arrive between 4pm - 6.30pm. 

Please make sure to arrive on site at the arrival time. We will ferry you and all your gear in our four wheel drive vehicles down the steep mountain road to the village (if you don't fancy the spectacular mountain footpath). This takes only a few minutes to drive but you will have to load everything into our vehicles with our help. Welcome to the Bhutan of Wales. You can have the full Himalayan adventure without ever leaving Britain.

Please bring all your necessary bedding for you to be warm and comfortable. It can get very cold here at night, even in the summer. Alternatively, we do now offer and optional extra when booking your ticket. For an additional £45, we will provide a duvet, sheets and pillows for your stay.


Spirit Horse Mountain Retreat is set amidst 200 acres of wildest Wales, allowed through the Forest of Dreams (registered charity) to return to its natural, original face.

Things to bring


A full list is sent after booking but will include a science book, a poem you like, a fairy tale you like and lots of comfortable warm clothes and your duvet!

Our Practicalities page  has more information about what to bring. 

Bookings and Cancellations Policy


It is really helpful for us when running courses and events if you book in advance.

If we have to cancel an event, we will provide you a full refund without question.
If you need to cancel your booking, you can carry the value of your booking over to another event (subject to availability) or pay £100 admin fee, unless exceptional circumstances.

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