Following the natural cycle of the year the program is composed of:
- Activities that bring out the archetypal energies of the seasons
- Exploring the human attributes that are activated by connection
- Understanding and fostering healthy leadership
- Nature Connection and embodiment practices
- Insights into the ‘backstage’ of event organising and facilitation
- 8 personal mentoring calls with one of the course facilitators (one after each weekend)
- Peer to peer mentoring and reflection processes
- Authentic sharing and storytelling
- Music and Song
- Connection practices to support wholistic human being
- Inner tracking as the foundation to intact leadership
- A supported solo time in August to journey deeper into yourself and the wild around you
- Grief tending practices
- Access to videos from the 8 Shields 512 Project, with explorations to land this powerfully into your life
- Using 8 Shields tools in groups and organisations
- How to use the ‘flow-learning cycle’ and other facilitation and event design tools
- Peacebuilding tools
- Ceremony (including marking a personal leadership threshold at the ned of the program)
- The new strand ‘Ecological Homecoming‘ will also help you to develop your nature connection practices – connecting you to your place and all its seasons and life more deeply and satisfyingly.
Weekend timings –
Friday: 19.00-21.00* UK/Ireland
Saturday: 10.00-13.30 (with breaks) then 19.00-21.00 UK/Ireland – there will be suggested activities for Saturday afternoon, so keep some spaciousness for that too!
Sunday: 10.00-13.30 (with breaks) UK/Ireland
*On the first weekend in March (the East) we will also have an additional afternoon session on the Friday to help us all land together 16.00-18.00
As well as the weekends below, the course now includes Ecological Homecoming – 16 evening calls plus suggested outdoor activities to deepen your nature connection practices and seasonal awareness.
Here is what we focus on for each weekend in experiential, theoretical, grounded and practical ways
March 17th-19th ~ Spring Equinox Time
This first weekend is about orienting ourselves to the course. This moment of the year, or the wheel as it is called in 8 Shields mapping, is about connecting to beginnings.
Just as the sun rises in the East quadrant each day, we connect to the sunrise in the land and us – it is about starting things well. In the morning we say hello to each other, and that’s what we do during this weekend, creating safety and a full welcome to ourselves and others.
Each weekend explores a different aspect of fostering peace among people, and the ‘peacebuilding’ tool we explore in the East is good communication.
May 12th-14th ~ Lunar Beltaine Time
As the energy of Spring flows to its fullest, with the full dawn chorus and leaves and plants sprouting up all around, the quality of vitality comes forward, reminding us what it is like to be an active eight year old child in the cycle of life.
This weekend is about connecting with our bodies and senses, getting the energy flowing, and removing any blocks so that we can step into our passions and excitement. The peacebuilding tool we explore is about removing any barriers to connection.
June 23rd-25th ~ Summer Solstice Time
Midday midsummer is a place of intensity, commitment and focus.
This weekend is about tracking your inner fire and energy to keep it burning bright, noticing how we can become over-focused which can be associated with this direction.
Peacebuilding tools: creating group agreements and holding accountability.
South-West Summer Landtime
August 13th – with support calls before and afterwards (Lughnasadh Time)
During August, the relaxed holiday time of year, you are invited to have a supported solo time in nature. At this time of year, the birds have quietened down, the plants are drooping and the slower pace of life allows for increased connection and thereby more empathy to emerge.
You can choose to do either a dawn to dusk wander, or a 24 hour overnight solo somewhere near your home. We will have a group call to help you prepare for your time out on the land, and another one to have your story caught afterwards.
Peacebuilding tool: supporting internal peace in the body.
September 15th-17th ~ Autumn Equinox Time
During this weekend we connect with the autumn harvest as the nights start to draw in, reflecting on our experience and learnings from the solo landtime.
We also explore how the West relates to gathering together at the end of the day and season to share stories, food, music and appreciation for each other, supporting and being truly helpful for the thriving of community.
We revisit the peacebuilding tools of good communication.
November 3rd-5th ~ Samhain/Halloween Time
As the dark times of the year come on, we reflect on the past and imagine the future.
Stories of healing, inner work, lineage stories, grief tending and what it means to be a good ancestor are key to this weekend, as the darkness helps us to feel more fully alive in ourselves.
The peacebuilding focus is on deeper personal healing and grief tending.
December 15th-17th ~ Winter Solstice Time
In this direction, the North of the year, at the time of midwinter stillness and short days, we gather to reflect on the bigger picture, the flow of the weekends, the story of the year, and our visions for the year to come.
This shield and time of the year are associated with compassion, elderhood and community leadership.
Peacebuilding – Creating and holding group unity and consensus.
February 9th-11th ~ Imbolc Time
As the land reawakens in fits and starts from the cold and dark of winter, and as the course closes, we explore endings and beginnings.
This last weekend is a time of celebration, honouring, forward planning, ceremony and gratitude.
The peacebuilding tool is about fostering a quiet mind.
All the course dates and timings in one place