The apprenticeship is a journey. It takes you along the path to knowing yourself and that’s a hard and difficult path that turns you inside-out and upside-down, challenging all your current belief systems. By doing this, it enables you to become self-aware … and so aware of and able to talk with all the other worlds around you, seen and unseen. The path requires you to keep taking yourself way out of your comfort zone into places where you know nothing, in order to learn who you are. As Ursula le Guin said, It’s good to have an end to journey to but it’s the journey that matters in the end … hang onto that idea!
The application begins your conversation with me and this helps us both get to know each other, so you know more about what you’re going in for and can choose if what I have is what you want. The actual journey begins at Samhain, 31st Oct but, before then, you get the pre-course notes; they give you the basic exercises on which the old ways are built. The application process ends at Lammas, 31st July, so you so you have at least 3 months to begin to get the exercises into your bones before the first lesson.
Students often find it useful to come and do some work with me, meet and explore me, before they make up their minds to sign on – see 1-1 Work for my rates for this.
The work is both experiential and playful. Otherworld have a great, and often wicked, sense of humour. The work is about immersing yourself in otherworld, learning how to integrate and include everything, everyday life as well, rather than separate yourself from it when you do magical work. In the Old Ways we live in an and/and universe, not either/or.
You get your first lesson in mid-Oct, a couple of weeks before Samhain, to give you time to read it before you begin – there are always pre-course nerves! You then have until Midwinter to do the work. Your report will be about how you see yourself as having changed through doing the work, and you send it in – in a Word doc attached to its own email please – at Midwinter. Not early, you really do need all the season to allow yourself to absorb and digest all that otherworld will give you. It’s important to give the work time to work with you, and to spend time working with it. Our old ways are all about exchange, otherworld (through the work) gives to you, you give back to them, that’s how it works. Your next lesson arrives at Midwinter and you send in your report for that at Imbolc, 1st Feb, and so on round through all 8 seasons.
You work largely alone but I organise a secret Facebook group where you can chat with each other, and me, share your thoughts and questions, and your delights and discoveries. I post there too with things I like that are interesting, I also arrange meetings and other things with you there and, of course, you can ask me questions. Asking questions in the group, rather than individually, helps everyone. There are also several useful Notes on the FB page.
I also include 2-3 visits to my home, as part of the fee, where you can meet each other in the flesh, ask questions and we can do work together. The first visit will be November, then in March before you go to Scotland for the workshop and we try to meet in the summer as well. You can also come individually (or as a group if several of you wish) for extra work, like working through problems and personal issues with me. Student rates are £75 each.
Students often find this old quote from the writer, Arthur Machen, helpful … I shall teach you nothing that you do not know. I shall merely lay aside the wrappings of prejudice and bad logic, and show you the real image which you possess in your soul.
Workshop at Cairnorchies
The 7-day workshop happens in May, in the wilds of Aberdeenshire at my long-term friend and colleague, Fiona’s croft near Mintlaw. It’s twenty minutes’ walk from a recumbent (moon-centred) stone circle whose spirit-of-place works with us – see this video. The circle is at the top of a forest in a very secluded and beautiful place.
You visit and work at ancient sites, walk ancient paths, and sing the streams and rivers. There’s a chambered cairn and hut circles twenty minutes’ walk in the other direction, the Raven Pictish Stone, and more recumbent circles fifteen-minute drives away – the picture at the top of this page is of Aikey Brae, one of the circles we work with. We have a workshop, and a paddock for outdoor work like a fire circle and Maypole. And no noise or light pollution.
Accommodation is in static caravans at Aden Country Park, 4 miles from Cairnorchies. They take 2 people each, in separate bedrooms, and are very comfy. We provide lunch each day at the croft, and we put the makings for breakfasts and suppers in your caravans. There are deer in the park, as well as foxes, hares, rabbits, badgers, pine martens, and red squirrels. Ravens, hawks and falcons fly overhead, owls at night, and the trees and bushes are full of small birds. There’s free internet and some mobile coverage at the park too. It’s a lovely place to do solo walks in the evenings where you can focus on what the land wants to tell you.
You’ll birth your drum during the workshop and enliven it on the final day in a group ritual. The cost of making a 16” red deer drum on an ash hoop is £220. Fiona is a very experienced craftswoman and drum maker, as well as a graduate of Rainbow Warriors; there’s a lot involved in birthing a drum for one of your spirit guides to inhabit and Fiona knows how to help you do this very well.
There’s also the opportunity to work with thread-twining with Fiona’s animals; they’re all tricksters – so very good teachers! Thread-twining is twining your own consciousness thread with that of the animal; of course, you only do it after the animal agrees and they don’t always want to, especially youngsters, so it’s great practice! It teaches you so much about shapeshifting too. If you already have some experience of this, the workshop is a good place to expand on it.
Getting to Cairnorchies is pretty straightforward; head for Aberdeen then follow the satnav for AB42 4LH, Mintlaw. If you don’t drive, there is a good bus from Aberdeen to Peterhead that stops at Mintlaw, or why not make lift-arrangements with one of your fellow students?
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 2018. All rights reserved.
- Students who have done the apprenticeship may be invited to continue onto the 3-year advanced training, Rainbow Warriors.
© Elen Sentier 2018. All rights reserved.