Storytelling & Herbalism
Join Vanessa Chakour and Ancel Mitchell for a healing adventure in Scotland. Surrounded and held by the beauty and magic of the landscape, we will use story to reconnect to our place in nature. We’ll stay in a magical setting by the appropriately named Loch Awe. Excursions include Dunadd, the crowning place of ancient kings, Fairy Hills, Bluebell Woods & Standing Stones, Sacred Celtic Ceremonial Grounds and intensely beautiful nature. Hiking through some of the most beautiful environments in the UK. Quietness.
Daily movement & meditation practices
European herbalism in folklore, magic, healing & ritual
Creative writing, journaling and storytelling
Daily Hikes & Excursions
Earth Ally & Meditation Work
Work with the elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether
Plant Medicine and wildcrafting
Time for reflection and sharing
Sacred Fire Ceremony
Delicious Organic Meals
Outdoor Bathing, Sauna & Hot Tub
Immersion in nature
We’ll Stay at the Beautiful EcoYoga Centre
Early Registration: $1500 Paid in Full (regular rate $1850)
Deposit to hold space: $500
This is an intimate retreat with just 12 spaces. 2 Remaining.
Register soon to reserve yours. Payment plans are available.
Learn about the EcoYoga Centre’s Outdoor bathing HERE
Thursday – Getting settled & arrival Dinner
We wake in silence before our morning movement & meditation practice. This is your time to journal, tune in or simply get more rest. Our morning practice revolves around our theme, so we begin our day aligned in mind/body/spirit/soul.
Friday – Earth: Grounding & Growth
Getting to know the land where we are. The West of Scotland is one of the oldest land masses in the world and we can feel the ancient life beneath our feet. Here we stand on the back of the great mother, admiring her glacial curves and appreciating her exposed beauty. Exploring our relationship to our bodies & the body of the earth through movement, meditation & creative writing. Root medicines. Earth Ally work. Grounding meals in house. Free time for self reflection.
Saturday – Water: Cleansing & Flow
Here, we are never far from water. We’ll hike between loch and sea, between sweet and salt water, appreciating always the flow and communication that water brings. Until the 19th Century people used water to move through this landscape: it was transport, community, livelihood and life. We can experience the beauty of this soft water through the dynamic, babbling brooks to the passive reflective waters of the lochs. Water medicines. Letting go. Creative writing exercises. Wildcrafting.
Sunday – Fire: Passion & Purification
To the Ancients, fire meant life; ceremonies centered around it, the hearth fire never went out and embers were carried and gifted on journeys. In the prehistoric forts and ceremonial centers we’ll visit we’ll look deep into the magic and perhaps even smell the smoke from their altars. Bonfire & Sacred Fire Ceremony
Monday – Air: Movement & Breath
Nodding bluebells and swaying gorse, rustling reeds and the sombre music of oaklands: there is a stillness in Nature that encompasses the movement of air, a quietness which embraces the lonely sound of the peewee and the plip of a seal breaking surface water. Today through our breath we shall become one with the beings around us, both seen and unseen. The air here is damp and gentle, embracing, drawing us out and in to the land.
Tuesday – Ether: Vision & Space
The magic is palatable, in our journey we have come close to the Ancients, we have touched and been touched by Nature and we have experienced ourselves as stories and storytellers. We are capable of standing between the known and unknown. Today we shall seek out a special place, a portal between the worlds of water and air: the Corryvrecken whirlpool. We shall go to the very brink and see ourselves reflected there.
Wednesday – Departures
A last soak in the waters of the EcoYoga Center, a farewell walk by the loch or through the woods, an ending circle.
ABOUT YOUR TEACHERS:
Ancel Mitchell was born and raised in Scotland and has lived in England, the US and currently lives in Costa Rica. Her deep connection to nature and sense of place feeds her creativity and curiosity which push her ever deeper into exploring the natural environment. A waldorf educator for over 20 years, Ancel delights in bringing new and different perspectives into her teaching, making her classes rich, fresh and fun. Bouyed along by a sense of magic and an ability to consciously listen she holds space for story: “Stories hold us, they rock us to sleep in their arms, they allow us to venture forth into territory we fear, they have our back when the terrain gets rough. Through story we can meet ourselves anywhere, we can find ourselves at home anywhere. Stories connect our inner and outer selves, they are our two way bridge to nature, and home.”
Ancel teaches plant ally and western herbalism on Sacred Warrior Costa Rican retreats. When she’s not teaching she’s enjoying working with plants and animals, making medicines and chocolate and enjoying her farm.
Vanessa Chakour is the founder of Sacred Warrior whose mission is to deepen relationship with ourselves and the living earth. The concept and method of teaching evolved out of her journey of healing and teaching as an herbalist, artist, activist, meditation teacher, former pro boxer & trainer. Vanessa’s approach to herbalism engages meditative practices to access our innate wisdom and ability to communicate with the natural world.“Herbalism is a portal through which we can connect more deeply to ourselves and to nature. When we develop relationship with a plants, they can be powerful partners in deepening relationship with ourselves.” Clients and students explore plant ally work and complimentary practices through movement, meditation and creative exploration. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Vanessa teaches and designs Sacred Warrior experiential workshops, holistic training, and rewilding retreats in partnership with environmental organizations in the US and abroad. Sacred Warrior retreats provide healing adventures that raise funds and awareness for endangered species that share our ecosystem.