Using sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible methods, we intend to establish a venue which will allow for both the shamanic community and the wider public to come together for a diverse programme of events including workshops in cross-cultural shamanic practices, natural arts and crafts, healing, ceremony and celebrations.
As care takers of the centre, we intend to work with the land to honour and strengthen biodiversity, natural beauty and ‘rewilding’. Respect for nature is central to our vision and informs all we do; the workshops and events we will hold, the way the centre will develop and the experiences we will offer to all who visit. We recognise that, when we reconnect to the natural world we are able to rediscover balance, strength and health – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We acknowledge the need to return not only to our natural wild selves, but to the wild heart of the land. This vision will be nurtured with deep reverence to our ancestors rekindling their traditions and ancient wisdom.
We are currently exploring avenues of funding to support us in the buying or leasing of land and facilities in the wild, rolling landscape of Scotland. Heart of the Wild is committed to working in an inclusive, consensual way and we have developed our vision through discussion, networking and gathering information from the wider shamanic community. We envisage Heart of the Wild unfolding through a process of sustainable stages:
The initial focus is firmly fixed on the acquisition of facilities to host fully residential workshops and events for 20 participants. This includes the following:
- Workshop venue, accommodation, dining room and living room space.
- Large kitchen to cater for workshop participants.
- Central Library dedicated to collecting indigenous wisdom and supporting students of shamanic practices.
- Two or more treatment rooms for individual therapy and healing sessions.
- Separate accommodation for teachers and residential ground staff.
- Meditation room.
- Simple outdoor venues such as yurts for some of the events.
- Ceremonial area that will include a Sweatlodge Site, Medicine Wheel, Labyrinth and a space for ceremonial fires.
- Open gathering space such as a meadow or lawn area for outdoor activities, celebrations and festive outdoor events.
- A small number of simple retreat huts in private isolated corners of the land that are available to individuals for solitary retreats.
- Establishing an herb and wild medicine garden for education purposes and general use.
- Creating small areas in nature for meditation, quiet contemplation and communion with the land.
- Isolated areas such as woodland which can be used for vision quests, rites of passage, and other activities that require solitary periods in nature.
- Untouched natural areas where wild life can thrive.
With the construction of the centre and establishment of training courses, we would hope to expand the vision to include additional outbuildings to increase capacity of variety of events and number of participants:
- One or more buildings to be used as dedicated art spaces/studios.
- Shop area for selling arts & crafts created in the centre.
- Additional workshop venues including accommodation for participants to allow the centre to run more than one course at a time without compromising privacy and quality of events.
- Building a traditional Celtic roundhouse with a central open fire used for gatherings, council meetings, ceremonies and festivities.
The development of a small community within the grounds of the centre:
- Building ecological off-the-grid housing to allow establishment of a small community to live together and co-run the centre.
This will allow further attributes to be added:
- Vegetable gardens which will provide for both a sustainable residential community and course participants; and will also have educational purposes for workshop participants, visitors and the local community including introductions to permaculture principles, general gardening skills, re-wilding, composting, foraging, plant medicine and cooking.
We see our vision continuing to grow, expand and touch hearts and minds, both in the local community and the wider world. We see ourselves, with so many others, as part of a global network for transformation, healing and mending the human relationship with the earth. We will continue to dream……….