Welcome and thank you for taking some time to read a little bit more about who I am and why I do what I do.
My name is Annu Tara and as you may know, I’m a mentor, writer, ritual artist, bodyworker and ceremonial guide. But first and foremost I consider myself a practitioner of Embodying Truth.
I’m a white-appearing, mostly cis-gendered (she/they), mid-life woman and mother currently deepening my life, well-being and creativity in the tiny hamlet of Cove in the rural Scottish Borders.
I grew up in a healing centre in the North-East Highlands of Scotland in a small coastal village on the outskirts of Tain, Ross-shire.
My recent ancestry is a weave of mostly Scottish/Pict, Orcadian, Norse, Icelandic, English, Irish and a smattering of French and German, pointing back to the Central Asian Haplogroup K1 (Motherline).
My early-years experience was deeply animistic and I preferred to spend most of my time in nature engaging the other-than-human and elemental worlds. I began spontaneously creating ritual as a child, and I was absolutely absorbed in the plant, earth and elemental realms and all they were teaching me. A continuum reality that holds to this day.
It took many years to understand that I had inherited a wonderful set of ancestral keys in healing, herbology, ritual and ceremony from my mother’s matrilineal line and this has become the primary source of learning about these ways, along with the direct wisdom of my body.
I left my family home at the young age of 13 and moved to Edinburgh to complete my secondary education at the Rudolf Steiner School. However, my innate heretical nature and restless spirit resulted in my leaving a couple of years later. I chose instead to received formal training in Holistic Bodywork and spent some years living and working in Australia and then South Africa.
On my return to Scotland (now with a beautiful daughter alongside), I studied Social Anthropology specialising in Indigenous Religions and Shamanism. On leaving Edinburgh University, I met with a Brazilian shaman here in Scotland and supported her and her partner for the next 3 years in establishing the Edinburgh Shamanic Centre.
I continued my apprenticeship in Hawai’i where I learned deeper about Ceremony as a Planetary Offering and became a teacher-facilitator of sacred dance and energy work, which I shared in Germany, Denmark, Russia, Spain, UK, Peru and Bolivia. I also helped co-found a teacher-training program for this work, whilst home-educating my daughter, which was a challenging but worthwhile endeavour.
I returned to Scotland in 2009 and furthered my learning in working with plants for medicinal healing, as well as training in aspects of Tantsu (the land-based version of Watsu -Water Shiatsu).
In 2011, I started my own business offering bodywork, mentoring and community ceremonies, including founding The Yin Tent: Maps of Feminine Practice and the Alchemical Chocolate Practitioner Training – the first of its kind in creating a comprehensive, experiential training for working with cacao as an entheogenic healing guide and plant teacher.
In 2012, I met and began working closely with teacher and beloved friend Aisha Salem, who supported me through an awakening, life-altering two-year retreat, first based in Denmark and then in an off-grid location in the mountains of Southern Spain.
At the end of 2016, as part of my process of literally and metaphorically ‘coming down off the mountain’ and entering the belly of life again, I spent some time in the vibrant metropolis of London, which proved to be the perfect catalyst to help me re-engage and get my life moving.
But the deep ancestral call of Scotland summoned my bones home, and I returned to these lands in the summer of 2017. In the autumn of that year, I launched a year-long online program with my dear friend, artist and practitioner-peer, Julie Gibbons, called Homecoming: return home to self, encompassing a journey of soulful enquiry, ceremony and embodied practice tracking the 8 fold year.
Following this, I helped organise the inaugural visit of Stephen Jenkinson & Gregory Hoskins’ Nights of Grief & Mystery to Scotland, which initiated an on-going offering of Grief Tending work within the local community.
I am currently studying and practicing with Christina Pratt in Shadow Transformation Protocol, Energy Body Mastery, Energy Body Clearing, and Ancestral Healing.
I’ve been on a profound quest since returning to these lands to better understand the intersecting themes of belonging, place, land, body, heritage, ancestry, soul, memory, healing, ceremony, ritual and the living vibrancy of the other-than-human realms in context of a contemporary Western European world that is death-phobic, grief-illiterate, trauma-congested, spiritually and culturally-amnesiac, economically, environmentally and socially injustice, and struggling to orientate itself in life-thriving ways.
My current work and life reflect this ongoing exploration.
I’m also a supporter of Scottish Independence, have a passion for eclectic music, and love to play with clay and make pottery when I’m not puttering around in the garden.