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Midsummer Pilgrimage & Vigil

17 – 21 July 2023

in the Lake District

With Colin Campbell, Angharad Wynne, Sharon Blackie, Sicelo Mbatha and Rachel Fleming

Lake District
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Course Structure

Please note that this is also the first residential of our Contemporary Animism Apprenticeship. There will be an opportunity to join for the full year on completion of this week.

Residential Apprenticeship

17 – 21 July 2023

Arrive 1pm 17 July
Depart 3pm 21 July

Location: We spend our residential time together at a beautiful venue on the shores of Loweswater in the English Lake District in single or shared accommodation, fully chef-catered with a plant-based menu.

Fee: Residential £625 

We are able to offer a limited number of places for camping (bring your own tent) at £440. 

If you are not able to attend for financial reasons, we do have a small bursary pot that allows for people to come who would not otherwise be able to. To apply for a bursary please fill in the application form.

An Invitation

Join us at the height of summer in the wild hills of Cumbria for five days of ceremony and pilgrimage along the old ways, and an overnight vigil of surrender to silence before we sing up the sun.

Both pilgrimage and vigil are magical rites – they open the gates to the ineffable, a space of yielding, of surrender to the awesome.

Our pilgrimage will be into the hills and mountains surrounding Loweswater in Cumbria, a place of ancient paths, ancestral places, wild beauty and deep myth. Guided practices will support a deepening of connection to the sacred land, to nature and all creation, and our days in the hills will be woven with ceremony, story, reflective and creative responses and offerings. We will cover 8-9 miles a day for two days, in manageable sections, though the ground may be rough at times and uneven.

As part of our pilgrimage, we will spend one night on the land in vigil, sitting with the shadows of ancestors, stretching back along silvered DNA strands, connecting us with all those who have done the same across the ages of humanity. Things that were ordinary may no longer seem so, as we commune with a night and it’s fathomless wisdom, with all its tides, hoots and howls.

On this magical journey we will enter liminal space – a waking dream-state in which myth and symbol speak eloquently and the logos of the everyday loses its hold, and seems utterly brash and insubstantial. In this depth, if we are ready, we might touch truth – maybe only momentarily – about how It is: the very nature of life, creation, and therefore who and what we human beings are. This is the pool in which poets swim, a space of yielding, of surrender to the awesome, a time when heart shuddering prayers are born, shattering realisations warm our shoulders like invisible cloaks, and lives transform.

Whatever you hold sacred, wherever you see beauty, to whomever you are in service, this is a chance to explore and deepen your relationship.


Lake District
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Your Guides

The lead guides of this apprenticeship are Colin Campbell, Angharad Wynne and Rachel Fleming.

Colin works with the wisdom traditions of South Africa, specifically those that are based on our relationships with the ancestors and spirits of nature. He looks at where these ancient indigenous practices collide and coalesce with the knowledge and belief systems of the west.

Angharad teaches from the old Brythonic tradition of the British Isles, the spirit ways of the ancestors of this land, and how we can recover and remember them to help us restore balance in ourselves and with the world around us.

Rachel has worked with animist education for many years, designing and delivering educational programmes for Schumacher College, University of Wales Trinity St Davids, Lampeter and Embercombe, with a focus on the meeting point between ecology and ‘spirituality’.

They will be joined by leading practitioners from around the world and you, as you bring your own experiences and explorations to share.

Sharon Blackie

Sharon Blackie

Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer and international teacher whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology. Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today. www.sharonblackie.net


Sicelo Mbatha

Sicelo Mbatha

Sicelo is a wilderness guide who shares lessons learnt from a lifetime’s intimate association with Africa’s wildest nature through his organisation Umkhiwane Sacred Pathways. Drawing from his Zulu culture and his own yearning to better understand human’s relationship to nature, Sicelo has forged a new path, disrupting the conventional approach to nature with an immersive, respectful and transformative way of being in the wilderness.