A friend just said to me …  I can’t wait to hear how the 3rd years got on…well as much as you feel is ok to say …

I replied …

One of them is particularly good … the sort of woman who knows herself to be the common denominator of her problems … got that  ❓  ❗

The workshop comes at the end of 3 years of hard work, including personal work and continual getting used to working with Otherworld … not as a figment of either imagination or personality but as Reality – which it is. We, the tutors, do much challenging and are quite rough and definitely not PC – Otherworld isn’t so no point in our being  😀 . We began this w/s with a challenge of single-stick (ancient Brit fighting, Like Little John in Robin Hood) in the middle of a clapper bridge on the Barle river on Exmoor. The students have to trick their way around the challenger to get across, answer a question which is deep, not surface stuff. There is, in all the challenges over the 2 wks, the possibility of failing, of not making it. As one student said, “I wake up every morning asking Otherworld and myself, am I going to make it through the challenges today?”. By being able to contemplate the concept of failure she enabled herself to walk through. Does that make sense for you? Holding the idea that you could well fail, knowing it as a possibility, and walking into the unknown.

The 3 yr course and final workshop are not about psycho-babble (although I am a psychotherapist  😀 ), or about models or head-stuff, or imagination, or sub-personalities et al. Otherworld plays a very real and major part in the work and is the final decider of how well everyone (including us, the tutors!) have done. It’s great fun. We’re continually on our toes, dancing between possibilities, learning to dance through changes that can happen from moment to moment. The Land herself is the goddess who holds us and leads us through the process. the weather joins her, producing just the right amount of sun, rain, mist (like walking inside a cloud), storm, wind, clear freezing night skies full of stars … everything we need and at just the right moment. I am always in awe of their ability to know and judge and give us what we need.

It is the most amazing thing to watch the students grow and change, to see them terrified sometimes, and to stand back to allow them space to find their own feet, to see them in tears of joy and sorrow as realisations come, to laugh and dance and drum with them in powerful celebration. I love it, it’s one of the most wonderful things to be privileged to do.

I’m still tired and also still working with one student and catching up on the insights of my two colleagues. It all goes into the cauldron, to stir for another year and a day and to do all over again, new and fresh and different. Wow !!! am I lucky with the job Otherworld has me doing for them   :fire:

Elen Sentier
behind every creative woman there’s usually a rather talented cat

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