For over 20 years, Twobirds Cunningham has taught cross-cultural shamanism in the UK and hundreds of people have found the space to deepen their relationship with shamanism, many becoming practitioners and teachers themselves, as part of an ever-expanding network.
In late 2019, following guidance and inspiration from spirit, Twobirds put out the heartfelt call for a core group of shamanic practitioners to come together to form a Council with the intention of establishing a charity. This call was responded to with enthusiasm on 3rd November 2019 when 26 practitioners from around the UK came together at the Anam Cara Retreat Centre in Inverness to begin the weaving of the vision for the charity. Through shared shamanic practice, we opened consciously to communication and guidance from the spirits, recognising the essential importance of working from a strong foundation of collaboration. Our meeting place also became a chamber of dreams for the night when participants entered into dreamtime together, sharing further wisdom and guidance. The following day we began weaving the dreams into being with the initial creation of a shield to which we all added symbols from our visions. By the time we parted, the intention to find land in which to set up a shamanic centre was alight in the hearts of each of us.
The shoots strengthen
Following this gathering, some Council members began to work on a Vision statement. Aiming always for balance with the spiritual and practical aspects we spent time drawing upon the rebirthing energies of the Midwinter Solstice, using shamanic practice to facilitate communication with our spirit guides. From this, the vision was deepened and it became clear that what was being called for was a shamanic centre, with buildings and land, space for learning, sharing, teaching, ceremony and ‘rewilding’. The commitment has been central from the beginning to work together in a cooperative, consensual way, holding at the core of all we do our respect and love for the Earth and our shared spiritual path.
The establishing of a charity involves vision, commitment and careful, methodical planning; we can happily announce that this process is now complete and we are successfully registered with OSCR (Scottish Charities Register). We have a strong and dedicated Trustee group and an ever-growing support team, both of which are blessed with members who have a wide range of life experiences and skills, these will be brought to bear as we step into the world as ‘Heart of the Wild’.
We have already attained one of our biggest initial goals – this website – which has been a major focus of creativity and intention and we were delighted to see it come to life on 3rd August 2020, exactly nine months after our inaugural gathering on 3rd November 2019. We also have sub-groups working on areas such as fundraising, marketing, developing the Project Plan and investigating possible locations for the centre. We aim to buy land and facilities which will then be cared for by members of Heart of the Wild, including some who will make this their home and work in the furtherance of the centre’s aims.
We are all living through times of global challenge and crisis which hold the opportunities for deep growth, learning and transformation. During these times, Heart of the Wild has grown, from an initial spark of bright new life into a charity forging its way into the world, bringing love, interconnection, compassion and healing. We eagerly await the next stages of the unfolding process and extend a hand in invitation to you to join us on the journey!
Our collective vision is to create a community built with love where shamanic practitioners can live, work and share knowledge of the ancient ways in forms that are appropriate to our times and culture.
We envisage a centre in which we can honour life transitions of the community and individuals and come together in celebration of the cycles of nature.
In addition to being a centre for shamanic practitioners to gather, we will also reach out to the general public, offering healing and learning. A wide programme of workshops is envisaged including cross-cultural shamanic practices, natural arts and crafts, ceremony and celebrations.
The centre will also work to create connections as part of a global shamanic network and will be a beacon of light in the movement for regeneration and reconnection to each other and the planet.
We will work in harmony with the spirits of place to allow the land to reveal its sacred places – tree groves, springs, stones, wild areas and others – and how we can honour these. We will also be guided in the creation of new areas, these may be for; ceremony and healing, such as sweatlodges and medicine wheels; revering the land such as altars and prayer places; and providing for the needs of the community with living spaces, gardens and work spaces. All of this will be created with conscious love and beauty, knowing that, in doing so, we allow spirit to manifest.
We are dedicated to the preservation of indigenous and ancestral wisdom of all cultures across the planet and, as part of this, seek to create a central library of knowledge available to all who need to draw from it.
We will work to honour and restore the true nature-based spiritual practices of our land and hold awareness that we are consciously and respectfully co-creating with the spirits of the land, elemental beings and star beings to restore balance and bring healing. We are aware that, as humans, we are part of the web of creation and honour all spirit beings in all worlds; past, present and future.
In the knowledge that the physical body of land is sacred, we will nurture the earth in ways which encourage re-wilding and biodiversity, preserving the land and the spiritual traditions for future generations.