‘If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees………..
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
from The Vision by Wendell Berry
Rebecca Card

Rebecca works as a Guide, Facilitator and Ceremonialist of Nature-based Wisdom, Cultural Healing and Soul Initiation. She is trained in the 8 Shields lineage of Apache Scout and Shaman, Grandfather Stalking Wolf, and is involved with the 8 Shields, UK as a Village Builder, working at a regional and national level, and has organized and facilitated on a number of 8 Shields programs.

Rebecca is training to be a Wild Mind Guide with Animas Valley Institute and trained as a Wilderness Rites Guide with the School of Lost Borders. She is also a qualified and experienced Yoga teacher, Meditation Instructor and Somatic Movement facilitator. Her encounters with the other-than-human world and the tracking of the soul’s journey inspire her poetry writing. Rebecca holds grief tending ceremonies and is deeply passionate about reclaiming the indigenous roots of her people and her land in order to create empowered, grounded, and authentic ceremonies.

She believes in the power of ‘the village’ and sitting in circle for deep healing and honest connection. Her passion is in re~membering Wholeness and finding creative ways to explore that. Her joy is in dancing, weaving, dream work, being with the birds and the land and spending time nurturing deeply fulfilling connections.

Find out more about Rebecca’s offerings: http://naturewisdom.life/

Peter Cow

Above smiley medium

A heartfelt facilitator and culture designer, Peter has been involved with 8 Shields programmes and events since 2011. He’s on the team setting up the UK 8 Shields ‘Nature Culture Network’ a​nd runs 8 Shields introductory weekends and events around the UK and Europe. He has been on the staff for the 8 Shields Institute’s ‘Regenerating Nature Connected Communities’ online course, and since 2017 he has been one fo the lead organisers for the UK Art of Mentoring camps.

Peter has been teaching and facilitating Permaculture courses since 2007, specialising in ‘People Permaculture’ (social and personal regenerative design). He co-creates immersive and empowering learning experiences that connect people more deeply to nature, themselves and their community.

Back in 2000, Peter co-founded Steward Community Woodland, a sustainable woodland community in Devon. He lived, designed, learned and played there in deep collaboration with the land and people for 7 years. Peter now lives on a farm in South Dartmoor, where he enjoys wild running, cold swimming, listening to birdsong and singing to himself.


I feel that being a participant in Bringing it Home
and being around you and other wonderful facilitators
since I began participating in 8 Shields events has
already given me some keys and skills and I have some
ideas of how I could support a group and individual’s
knowledge, intuition and wisdom to come forth and
grow in their awareness.
Upon reflection I realised I had come to really
appreciate your way of eliciting the knowledge of
participants, perhaps more in a popular education
kind of model, or Coyote mentoring model… And how
it has allowed me, and others I imagine, to learn
through feeling validated and solidified in my knowing
while acquiring new pieces and opportunities to reflect.

So thank you for this!

~ Jessica Wallace, participant Bringing it Home 2018-2019

Guest Facilitators and Elders

Peter and Rebecca will be joined by an elder at each weekend, and a different expert guest facilitator will bring their experience and passions to each weekend apart from the September Vigil.

Sky Maria Buitenhuis

Sky Maria Buitenhuis has extensive experience supporting people to deepen their connection to nature, including our own inner nature as part of the larger natural landscape. She has worked as a facilitator for a variety of different programs as well as developing her own workshops and trainings.  She is the co-founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, and a co-fouder of the Global Institute of Forest Therapy. As a nature connection guide, Sky draws on her trainings as a Work-That-Re-Connects (as founded by Joanna Macy) and an 8-Shields facilitator, as well as many other influences and  her own on-going personal journey of remembering her natural state of being.

Sky’s passion is to offer people the experience of ‘coming home’, that is remembering  that as a human we are embedded in this complex and  infinitely diverse web of life on our beautiful planet Earth.  She is deeply moved and nourished by supporting and witnessing others having this embodied, innately human, experience of returning home to wholeness.

Sky will be welcoming us all to the East and South East weekend in April.

Amy Downing

amy pic

Amy grew up in an old watermill and pottery in North Wales that her parents turned into a trout farm. Her dad taught her about trees and woodland plants, her mum taught her about compost and vegetables and her little brother taught her how much fun it is to hunt for eels in the mill race mud. The Afon Seiont, the river that runs through the mill, has taught her more than she ever read in any book. Cynefin is her favourite Welsh word – it roughly translates as the place where you feel most deeply at home, whole, connected, alive and with a sense of belonging.

She spends most of her time helping folk find their way home to their own Cynefin, be that inside themselves, in community or in nature. To this end she is a mentor, counsellor and facilitator, community builder and activist, traditional craftswoman, herbalist and deep nature educator, song carrier and ritual holder. She works with little ones to elders and everyone in between, and has been involved with 8 Shields events since they first came to the UK and has had staffing roles at the UK Art of Mentoring camps every year since.

Things that make her happy include; wood smoke from a sweet fire, swimming in any water that isn’t a swimming pool, heartfelt communication, joyfully muddy feet and satisfyingly messy hair, treasure finding and spinning wool, a new song and a good story. She loves being outside with anyone, but especially the children in her life who help her both lose herself and find her way properly home.

Amy will be helping us focus in, and then nourish ourselves on the South and South West weekend in June.

Root Cuthbertson

Root loves dancing, music, poetry, public libraries, matching needs with resources, monofloral honeys, generously inclusive humor, and stories about healing and hope. He spent nine summers as a youth at an 8-week overnight camp near Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire; and ten years as a young adult in housing and dining co-operatives. He has travelled to live and work at ecovillages and sustainability projects like Lost Valley Education CenterPachamamaWind SpiritD Acres permaculture farm, and Rowe Camp and Conference Center. He holds an M.A. in Environmental Education, and is a former curriculum designer for Global Ecovillage NetworkFindhorn College, and The Newbold Trust. He is a certified trainer in Gaia Education eco-social design, and has co-led courses at Schumacher College, in Spain, and in Thailand on regenerative cultures and cultural mentoring.

He attended the California Art of Mentoring camp in 2016, and since 2017 has staffed the adult program at the Vermont Art of Mentoring camp. He is part of two teams: a UK-based one offering weekend programs introducing 8 Shields; and a New-England-based one combining 8 Shields with social change practices.  He co-ordinates the online courses: “Introduction to Regenerative Community Building,” “Designing for Peace,” and “Pathways to Village Building.”  With his wife Deborah Benham, he is currently developing new courses for 8 Shields Institute and co-authoring a new book with Jon Young

Root will be gathering us in and taking us deeper on the West and North West weekend in October.

Klaudia van Gool

Klaudia has followed a nature inspired path of work, whilst gathering a wide variety of tools and techniques to help bring about a connected, regenerative world.

She works with organisations, groups and individuals, using permaculture, environmental management, coaching, facilitation, deep nature connection and ceremony.

She is and eco-facilitator of women’s deep nature camps / days, community design, fire skills, plant connection, 8 Shields workshops and camps and is interested in wild foods & medicines, gardening and exploring ceremony.

Klaudia will be celebrating and closing the course well with us on the North and North East weekend in January 2021.

Visit Klaudia’s website

Lynda Benham – our yearlong Elder


Lynda grew up in Somerset, taking long walks with her Dad and falling in love especially with wildflowers, animals and birds. She is now back in the South West, in East Devon, after some years in the north of Scotland. Due to an ankle injury, she now walks less but loves just as much.

At the age of about 10, Lynda decided that lasting change needed to happen from the inside out, by helping people to understand themselves and others better. She has a degree in Psychology – which was about ‘rats and stats’ rather than people and pretty irrelevant to her final 30 year career as a free-lance management and personal development consultant/trainer, group/team facilitator, mentor and life coach.

 At the age of 64 she attended the Art of Mentoring camp in 2011, (and every one in the UK since), where she was inspired by Jon Young’s emphasis on the importance of elders in creating healthy cultures. As a result she initiated an Elders Group (in Scotland) which has now been meeting for over 5 years. She is still very committed to inner tracking which has been fed by many streams, including Buddhist teachings and psychology, Insight Meditation practice and occasional long silent retreats.

In her Elder role, Lynda holds a loving, non-judgemental space for anyone who needs it, and a willingness to offer both supportive and challenging reflections in service to people freeing themselves from ‘old stories’ that no longer serve them and can stop them showing up as their best selves.