APPLICATIONS for the 2020 entry open on 6th Jan 2020
It’s a good idea to read some of my books before deciding whether to apply. Elen of the Ways is a good place to begin with me, The Celtic Chakras and Trees of the Goddess will also show you a lot about our Old Ways; reading these books may well help you decide if what I have is what you want. You might also find it helpful to sign up for my seasonal newsletter as that will show you more about me too.
As Ursula le Guin said in Left Hand of Darkness, It’s good to have an end to journey to but it’s the journey that matters in the end.
The apprenticeship begins you along a journey, the path to knowing yourself and so to knowing the universe – for this is indeed what the Old Ways teach you. It’s a strange path that turns you inside-out and upside-down, difficult at time because it challenges all your current belief systems and takes you way out of your comfort zone. It’s about learning to reconnect with all the worlds within we which live although we may not realise or know it, all the seen and unseen. Reconnecting introduces you to the realm of the Faer and offers you the opportunity to learn to talk-with and work in partnership with the Faer Folk, the Tylwyth Teg as we call them, as colleagues, co-workers. I liken it to the journey of that of the caterpillar to become the butterfly where all that s/he was dissolves to become Butterfly Soup … then it all re-solves to become a butterfly. This is what can happen for you.
The application process begins on 6th Jan and ends at 31st July.
Completing the application form and sending it to me begins a conversation where we both get to know each other. The process may take a while as we walk and talk together slowly, exploring each other, beginning to get to know each other – this way you can feel into whether what I have is what you want. Some students find it useful, during the application process, to come and do some 1-1 Work with me, meet and explore me face to face, before making up their minds to sign on. Contact me if you’d like to do this.
The work includes eight seasonal lessons, one for each of the 8 seasons of the Celtic year, as well as three weekends and 5-day workshop.
It begins with your application, grows through your work with the pre-course notes then, two weeks before Samhain (31st Oct) you get your first lesson. You work with this for the following 7 weeks and send me your homework by Midwinter (20th Dec).
On Midwinter, you also get Lesson 2; you then work with that for the following 6 weeks until Imbolc (31st Jan) when you send me your homework and get Lesson 3. And so on through the year. Don’t send it early, you really do need all the season to allow yourself to absorb and digest everything otherworld will give you. It’s all about exchange so it’s important to give and spend time working with the work, with otherworld and with yourself.
The eight seasons are made up of the 4 Sun-fests, midwinter, spring equinox, midsummer and autumn equinox: and 4 Earth-fests, Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas. You’ll notice there 7 weeks from an Earth-fest to a Sun-fest, and 6 weeks from a Sun-fest to an Earth-fest.
The lessons are very experiential, about you doing things, exercises and journeys (daydreams we call it) not just reading about them, but there is some reading work too. I ask you to do as much of the work as you can outside. Being physically out there, amongst the wildlife, really makes such a difference, it helps you connect and reconnect with all the non-human world and this helps you reconnect with your spirit-self. All of the denizens of the natural world are our Elders from who we can, and should, learn.
The work is about immersing yourself in otherworld and so is both experiential and playful. Play and laughter are vital parts of the Old Ways and of learning them; otherworld has a great and often wicked sense of humour 😊. Through the year, you learn how to integrate and include all your everyday life into your work with spirit rather than separate yourself from it when you do magical work. The Old Ways is about an and/and universe, inclusiveness, not either/or separation; they want us to be part of them and they want to be part of us, not shut away in a cupboard and taken out at weekends or when we go on a workshop.
Facebook. Although you work largely alone, at the end of the application period, Lammas, each year I organise a secret Facebook group for that year’s apprenticeship. This is a place we can all meet and chat, share thoughts and questions, delights and discoveries. I also post documents on the page to help show you the work and how to do it.
Visits. You fee includes 3 residential weekend group visits to my home so you can meet in the flesh, get to know each other, ask questions and do work together. The first is around the end of November soon after you begin the course; the second around Spring Equinox in March; the third in July around Lammas. We agree dates through the Facebook group; the weekends are residential from Friday evening to Sunday.
Workshop. The 5-day residential workshop happens in May.
You can also book 1-1 work with me, or extra group work if you several of you wish. Student rates are £75 each for 3 hrs.
Venue for Meetings and the Workshop
All the group work is done here at my home in the Stretton Hills, Shropshire. Getting here is very straightforward. Students from Britain can drive easily (Satnav brings you to my door) and/or make car-share arrangements with fellow students; or get the train to Church Stretton or Shrewsbury. Students from abroad can fly into London or Birmingham and then take the train or hire themselves a car, or arrange car-share with fellow students. There’s good internet and mobile coverage here too.
My home, Bryngwyn, is a big old farmhouse, on a hill 500 foot up between the Long Mynd and Wenlock Edge, with magnificent views of some of the most famous Shropshire hills – the Caradoc, the Lawley and the Wrekin. There are walks direct from the door as well as sacred sites all round, including caves, pools, a beautiful stone circle, woods, streams and the wild hills themselves. here’s some of the places you can visit on the workshop and residential weekends …
We also work in my wildlife garden; it asked me to make it as a wheel of the seasons with a dancing lawn, wildflower meadows, pond, trees and native hedging, as well as secluded rose garden and a herb-cum-veg garden. I hope to have a log hive for the bees next spring too.
Fallow and roe deer are in the woods and up on the hills, foxes, hares, rabbits, badgers, stoats, weasels, mice, and we even have pine martens again here in Shropshire. Birds who come to us and fly over are ravens – I’ve seen a Kindness of 9 raves flying together several times and heading for the woods on the Lawley – hawks, including a resident pair of buzzards, falcons, tawny and barn owls, and the trees and hedges full of small songbirds.
And Kellan Cat … she’s the boss! A small, part Siamese, black fairy cat, ex-feral and mother of two; she’s my familiar spirit and often helps with the work 😊
Accommodation: You share two large bedrooms that each sleep 4 and have your own shared bathroom. We use my studio as our workroom, and there is also a small library – as well as books all over the house! – and we sometimes sit in our large living room too.
Food: Breakfast is self-service – Muesli, type-2 raw organic milk, local sourdough bread, butter, local jams and spreads, tea & coffee and fresh herbs from the garden. My husband Paul cooks simple but filling vegetarian suppers, and lunches for when we’re working at home.
These workshops are really valuable for you, they take you deeper into the old ways and help you become more inclusive of spirit as part of the everyday world. I’ve known the people who run them for many years and all come from families and backgrounds of seers and awenyddion (British spirit keepers); Liz and Julie are also Rainbow Warrior graduates.
The Alchemy of Bread-Making with Liz Neagle
Cost £90. 1-day, inclusive of all materials, lunch and delicious sourdough croissants. Join Liz and Andrew in the land of the Dragons, to work with elementals and learn the alchemy of bread-making. You go home with your own loaf. Up to 6 people max.
Shamanic Herbal Work with Julie Wood
Cost £80. 1-day, inclusive of all materials, tea and lovely homemade cake but bring your own lunch. Join Julie with the plants in her magical garden to make a seasonal herbal remedy to take home, and so begin to develop your plant intuition. Up to 6 people max.
Drum Birthing with Suzi Crockford
This costs £210. 1-day, inclusive of all materials, plus a delicious vegetarian lunch and lots of tea and cake. Join Suzi at her magical home in the wilds of Dartmoor to birth your drum. Up to 4 people max.
Students who have done the apprenticeship may continue onto the 3-year advanced training, Rainbow Warriors. We talk about this (if you wish) at the end of the year.
© Elen Sentier 2019. All rights reserved.