Are you longing to ground into your body’s wisdom?
Do the natural cycles, rhythms & patterns of Life speak to you?
Perhaps you’re looking for simple ways to deepen into the truth of your life and connection with self, soul and community that is older, wiser and more expansive than you’re managing to access alone?
Ancient-Future Maps is an offering of community ceremonies & rituals to help anchor us through the 8-fold year of the Solstices, Equinoxes and 4 Gaelic Fire Festivals of Samhuinn, Imbolc, Bealtainn & Lughnasadh.
Cermonies take place in the beautiful workplace of An Sìdhean Sheiling in Cove, located on the coastal threshold of East Lothiand and the Scottish Borders.
Upcoming Ceremony Events
Dates for your diary
Samhuinn Ceremony: Saturday 2nd November 2019
Winter Solstice Ceremony: Saturday 21st December 2019
Imbolc Ceremony: Saturday 1st February 2020
Spring Equinox Ceremony: Saturday 21st March 2020
Bealltainn Ceremony: Saturday 2nd May 2020
Summer Solstice Ceremony: Saturday 20th June 2020
Lughnasadh Ceremony: Saturday 1st August 2020
Autumn Equinox Ceremony: Saturday 26th September 2020
Samhuinn Ceremony: Saturday 31st October 2020
Winter Solstice Ceremony: Saturday 19th December 2020
The next Ancient-Future Maps Ceremony is in...
COST & BOOKING
PRICE PER CEREMONY: £45 waged / £35 unwaged
HOW TO BOOK: Booking will open 4 weeks prior to each upcoming Ceremony and details will be available here on the website and through invitations sent out via the mailing list.
Places are limited and will be available on a first-come basis.
So, if you’d like to be notified when booking for each Ceremony is open and receive your personal invitation, please join the mailing list below.
WHAT IS THE 8 FOLD YEAR?
The 8-fold year – or wheel of the year – tracks the solar cycle events of the Solstices, Equinoxes and the 4 Quarter-Cross points in between known in these lands as the Gaelic Fire Festivals of Samhuinn, Imbolc, Bealltainn and Lughnasadh that are traditionally celebrated and honoured by peoples of Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, and parts of England, Wales and Europe.
Although best know through surviving Druidry and pagan traditions, and closely associated with folklore culture, the marking of the solar cycle is undoubtable older than we can remember.
They have come to be known as contemporary seasonal markers and holidays but underneath our current-day amnesia, the 8 Fold Year offers us a map of cyclical nature and is a cosmic rhythm that can help us deepen our understanding of Life’s innate patterns, and guide us through the thresholds and terrains of initiation, such as:
learning how to let go and die well (Samhuinn), the return to resting and dormancy at source (Winter Solstice), tracking the slow call into new life (Imbolc), the nature of emergence and opening (Spring Equinox), engaging the eros and passion of wild creativity (Bealltainn), manifesting efforts and creative life-force in the world (Summer Solstice), gathering the fruition of labour (Lughnasadh), and learning discernment and maturing skills through the harvesting process (Autumn Equinox).
The map of the 8 fold year helps to reconnect us with the natural world, so that we can begin realising and remembering that the natural world IS this rhythm and cycle, and that we aren’t separate from this but rather we are intrinsically part of this living Web of Life.
Humans have understood and practiced their healthy-placement within the living Web of Life for at least tens of thousands of years and it’s hard to say when and how we began to fracture this vital connection. But we can observe significant changes in human thinking and approach to Life during the Neolithic Revolution (around 4-6000 years ago in the British Isles), which is relatively recent in the context of things.
Throughout this progressive period of moving from nomadic culture to fixed settlements and subsistence farming, the human family began to forget and forgo the reciprocal exchange between the seen and unseen worlds, between human and the other-than-human kind. We slowly stopped honouring the land, agriculture became a growing economic endeavour of ownership, the ideas and practices of patriarchy took root, and we slipped from natural-law abiding cyclical nature into separatist linear progression. Essentially, we began falling out of our true place in the Web of Life.
As we face the increasing fall-out of this kind of fundamental forgetting and separation in contemporary life, one of the first-steps we can engage in getting back into healthy relationship with Life is to acknowledge and honour the comic rhythm of cyclical nature – within our bodies; with the land, with nature and the elements; in the turning of the wheel; with our way-way-back ancestralised kin; by cultivating healthy working reciprocal relationships with the other-than-human world; by deep-listening and observation of the celestial markers; and by re-centralising the wisdom of Soul as a guiding principle and navigational true north.
The 8-fold year offers us a map to reset our understanding of time, cycles, archetypal energies, Life patterns, the true vibrant alive nature of the living world and the intimate soul at the core of all things, which we can lean into to awaken our Ancient-Future memory of what’s been forgotten in this epidemic of cultural and spiritual amnesia and anaesthesia, so aptly known as The Great Forgetting.
Simple community ceremony and ritual practice marking the wheel of the year can help to orientate us as human beings – as these small, intimate micro-patterns of energy within the larger, vaster macro-patterns of universal and cosmic energy.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ANCIENT-FUTURE?
Ancient-Future is a term offered and shared by our very far-back ancestors – those ones who are awake, vibrant, and fully-ancestralised in their care, presence, love, legacy, blessings and on-going work with the world of the living.
I first heard this term when I began tracking ancestral memory in my body and responding to their compassionate yet urgent call through the land and ancient pre-history sites here in Scotland.
Their message was that we need to look back in order to understand how to move forward, and to work with our true and beautiful Ancestral Helping Spirits for the significant healing, realigning, guidance and reconciliation work that is so desperately needed in the world today.
This ancient-wisdom is utterly relevant to the future well-being of human kind and the other-than-human kind within the Web of Life, and is available within our bloodstreams at all times (if we are willing to listen) to help us to choose differently, to choose wisely – not just for the present daily life but in a global context for those who are to come after us.
There is a series of work that I’m understanding to be encapsulated by the term Ancient-Future, which includes but is not confined to:
village-mending through ceremony & ritual practice, regular community grief-tending, individual soul-tending work, hearth-keeping & community-dreaming practice, remembering how to properly tend the gates of birth & death, realigning with cyclical nature & embodied wisdom, and reawakening healthy ancestral practice.
Ancient-Future isn’t my term (I didn’t make this up, it is offered from our unified Ancestral Family to help us understand something deeper), and it’s also used in other cultural and spiritual contexts. But I hope this helps to clarify what I’m referring to when I use it.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CEREMONY & RITUAL?
There are many ways contemporary folks understand and use the titles of Ceremony and Ritual, but I endeavour to apply these terms and their functions from a shamanic/animist/anthropological perspective and my experience of them aligns with those of other cross-cultural practitioners, such as Christina Pratt, who’s concise definitions can be found in her volumes of ‘An Encyclopedia of Shamanism‘:
Both Ritual and Ceremony are designed to engage Spirit in helping human beings, and the essential distinction between the two tools is the intended outcome.
The outcome of Ceremony is known and predictable, while the outcome of Ritual is unknown and unpredictable. But without the connection to the powers of the spirit world, neither is an effective tool for creating change.
Ceremony is primarily a community-making endeavour that is used to restore or reinforce what is already existing, grounding and stabilising us in the right order of things (natural laws) and fortifying us as a practising community. Ceremony creates a downward spiralling energy to the earth, grounding Spirit, Truth and Beauty within the lives of the living. This is why we do Ceremony at the junctures of the 8-fold year – as cyclical nature is part of the natural order that we are grounding ourselves back into.
Ritual is used to change the existing state of affairs and to upset the order of things, creating chaos where necessary and, because of its unknown nature, always comes with an element of risk. Ritual creates an upward spiralling energy that calls to Spirit to change or transform the current status quo. The structures supporting Ritual are repetitive to create a reliable container for the practice, but the actual Ritual Forms engaged within this container are different every time according to what is specifically most needed. We can use Ritual within Ceremony, or as a stand-alone tool, to change or transform the things we find challenging or feel are impossible. Ritual is what we do when nothing else works and it can be used as a petition for grace and transformation.
Simplified, Ceremony is like the local GP or other ways in which we can maintain good health. Ceremony is a repetitive, rhythmic, grounding, stabilising energy that has a downward earth-bound movement into the lives of the human and manifest world.
Ritual is like the surgeon or the precision healer that goes in to heal, transform and rectify particular issues. Ritual is a disruptive, changing, destabilising, uprooting energy that informs and petitions the realms of Spirit to help change the reality of the human and manifest world.
How Ancient-Future Map Ceremonies Can Support You:
Better understand the mechanics of ceremony & ritual and what they do
Deepen your practice through meditation, visualisation, inner journeying & somatic movement
Begin learning simple forms of divination as a process of consultation and diagnosis
Practice working with local herbs & plant essences for healing and guidance
Gain clarity and traction in your personal practice so you can track the true vibrant energies of your Soul and Life
Ground and stabilise through your body wisdom & cyclical nature
Strengthen your relationships with the allies of Life, such as Helping Spirits, Ancestral Guardians, Archetypal Energies, Nature, the Elements, and the Great Spirits of the Land
Explore how animist understanding can support social change and life-thriving activism
Engage simple play & creativity through communal Shrine building
Enjoy connection, sharing and celebration with a community of fellow-practitioners as the vital joy of our human lives!
“I can’t actually tell you how much I appreciate the work you do, and the energetic and spiritual standards you maintain. I see it and deeply appreciate it.“
– Tracy Owens, Samhuinn Ceremony participant
What This Work Is Rooted In
Ethics & Values
Truth - I endeavour to be honest in my practice, work & relationships
Integrity - I do my upmost to walk my talk, so that my actions carry significance and accountability
Inclusivity - everyone is welcome and it's my intention that this work is accessible
Respect - for myself, for life, for each other & this living world
What This Work Is Not
A quick fix - real life issues take time, patience & effective practice/support to unwind
Fantasy-thinking - this work encourages honesty & direct experience, rather than just making it up
For prejudiced folks - it's my intention to hold a safe space for all of our diversities
Perfect - we are all learning & remembering, and this work makes space for that
COST & BOOKING
Price per Ceremony: £45 waged / £35 unwaged
How to book: Booking will open 4 weeks prior to each upcoming Ceremony and details will be available here on this website and through the invitations sent out via the mailing list.
Places are limited and will be available on a first-come basis.
So, iif you’d like to be notified when booking for each Ceremony is open and receive your personal invitation, please join the mailing list below.
Upcoming Ceremony Dates
Your place in our community circle
Preparatory email, including personal practice inspirations to mark the particular 8-fold year juncture
Access to Spotify playlists used in Ceremony (available for 2 months post-ceremony)
Hot vegan soup & fresh bread or a similar light meal as part of our sharing
The experience of being part of a very sweet, vibrant practicing community!
WHO IS THIS WORK FOR?
This is work is open and available to all humans over the age of 18, or 16+ years with parental consent. I’m deeply committed to offering a non-bias space that honours our mutual humanity and therefore the inclusivity of all gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age (other than above stipulations), ability, and religious or spiritual rooting.
You don’t need to have any previous experience of ceremony or ritual, and you’re invited to connect and show up exactly as you are.
REGARDING PHYSICAL ACCESS
Please note that access to our beautiful venue An Sìdhean Sheiling at Cove involves a 5-minute walk from the public car park, including traversing a small grassy embankment of slightly uneven ground and one step up into the Sheiling.
There is currently no ramp or lift for wheelchair access. However, I’m very happy to help you with this if you’re able to bring your own small ramp. Welcome to email me to discuss.
feedback from community attending previous events
FURTHER QUESTIONS, ANSWERS & TERMS
When does booking for each event open?
Booking will open approximately 4 weeks prior to each upcoming Ceremony. Booking and details will be available here on this website and through the invitations send out via the mailing list.
Places are limited and will be available on a first-come basis, so if you’d like to be the first to hear about them and receive a personal invitation from me, welcome to join the mailing list here.
Make sure you check your promotion and junk mail folders if you are signed up but haven’t received news from me in a while!
Where do the Ceremonies take place?
The Ancient-Future Maps Ceremonies currently take place at my Berwickshire workplace of An Sìdhean Sheiling in Cove on the threshold of East Lothian and the Scottish Borders. Set in a beautiful, wild, coastal location, this wooden cabin with verandah holds space for around 8-10 persons. It has heating, electricity, running hot water, a toilet/shower room, open gathering area with a small kitchen, and will soon be installed with a multi-fuel stove for cosy peat and logs fires.
How do I get there?
You will find comprehensive driving directions and public transport travel information from Edinburgh, Glasgow and London via the An Sìdhean Sheiling page. There is free public parking 5 minutes walk from the Sheiling.
What else is available in this area?
The village of Cove is perched atop the cliffs on a wild and dynamic conservation coastline of the North Sea, which is a wonder to behold of working fisherfolk, geological beauty and ancient smugglers caves – much-loved by wild swimmers, snorkelers and surfers.
And just along the road is a headland that is considered the birthplace of modern Geology through Hutton’s Unconformity, known as Siccar Point.
The Southern Upland Way, Scotland’s first coast-to-coast walking path, passes through Cove and Cockburnspath also (handy if you’d like to walk over from Portpatrick!).
Nearby is Pease Dean Scottish Wildlife Reserve – is a beautiful, ancient semi-natural woodland dating back to the end of the last ice age. Ferns, mosses and liverworts thrive in these moist, sheltered deans. In spring and summer, the woodland floor is cloaked with a bluebell, primrose and wood anemone blanket. Butterflies, including speckled wood, roe deer, otters, bats and song thrush are drawn to these displays.
I highly recommend incorporating any of these places as part of your visit, and if you can, make a day of it!
What if I can't afford this?
Financial exchange for the Ancient-Future Maps Ceremonies is purposely kept low to allow accessibility whilst bearing in mind that ceremony expenses and overheads need to be covered and also to allow me to make a small living out of offering this work. Sometimes ceremony prices increase if I’m using specialise herbal preparations that creates additional costs.
I encourage folks to pay according to whether they are waged or unwaged. If you find that the unwaged fee is beyond your financial reach, please send me an email directly so we can discuss other forms of gift exchange.
Refund and Cancellation Policy
Your place is booked by full payment only. Once I have received this, your Ceremony place will be confirmed.
Cancellation of your place up to seven days prior to Ceremony will allow you a refund minus a £10 admin fee.
If you cancel your place seven days or less prior to Ceremony start, there is strictly no refunds.
You can read more on the Booking & Cancellation Terms page.