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Read the whole August/September 2018 Newsletter

Or look below for upcoming events, mentorings and offerings from our network


Animal Communication and Nature Connection

: Jacqueline Buckingham and Leslie Downie
Location: The Salisbury Centre, Edinburgh
Explore the world of Interspecies Communication and learn the basic skills in this comprehensive weekend workshop. Reconnect with your innate telepathic abilities and deepen your connection with the more-than-human world.
During the weekend you will discover your own unique way of receiving and sending telepathic communication, and explore the variety of applications of this work including understanding behavioural issues and identifying physical symptoms. Through listening and noticing subtle information there is greater mutual understanding leading to a more harmonious relationship with our animal companions.
This is an intensive weekend version of the weeklong program that Jacqueline and Lesley offer at Findhorn, and runs from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. To book at the special discounted price for the 8Shields/Art of Mentoring community members, please email Jacqueline (details below) letting her know where you heard about the workshop.
When: 17-19 August
Exchange:(£175) £140 discounted price for 8 Shields/AoM community
Find out more here or book here or email

Women’s Wilderness Solo

Facilitators: Lien De Coster and Tsilia Piran
Location: West coast of Sweden
Come and join our intergenerational circle of women on the land. A wilderness solo is a contemporary translation of the ancient ritual of the vision quest. We gather in our base camp at the edge of the forest and the lake. This is an old power place, known as Äskatorp, which means as much as ‘the place for invocation’. From there you will go out for three days and nights of sacred alone time.
When: 28/08/2018 to 05/09/2018
Exchange:1025 euro
Find out more here or email

Working with Fire

Facilitator: Klaudia van Gool
Location: Woodland Play Centre, Quantock Hills, Somerset
A day of deep discovery of the magic and practice of fire. Starting with practical the basics of what type of kindling and wood – you will learn how to light the fire with matches, steel spark and bow-drill and how to keep it going. We will also deepen our connection with Fire as an ally.
When: 3rd September
Exchange:£75-full, £50-concession
Find out more here or email 07816841129

Connecting to Nature, Building the Village

Facilitators: Peter Cow, Miki Dedijer, Rebecca Card, Pontus Dowchan and Lien De Coster
Location: Kosters Tradgardar, Sweden
The first 8 Shields intro in Sweden! Do you long for a deeper connection with yourself, with your community and with the wild world around? Are you looking for a more profound sense of belonging to yourself, your family and your community? Do you dream of living in a nurturing village where everyone has a close, vibrant relationship to earth? This weekend we journey through the universal map of the 8 Shields, deepening our relationships and sense of belonging through powerful experiential practices. We introduce you to a bundle of tools and processes that open your heart and your mind, awakening your pathways of connection.
When: 7th-9th September
Exchange: 3000SEK before 1st July, 3400SEK afterwards (300SEK reduction available for camping)
Find out more here or contact

Following Nature’s Path Towards Authentic Leadership

Facilitators:  Jon Young & Deborah Benham with Saci Lloyd
Location:  Schumacher College, Devon England
Bring all your gifts alive; become part of a global community of creative & engaged change-makers. Learn powerful techniques to access your creative gifts & talent for authentic leadership. We are all creative beings with unique gifts that our communities need. When we are in deep relationship with other people, the natural world, & our inner dimensions, we flourish neurobiologically. The pathway to a meaningful life is expressing our gifts, & helping others do the same. Though we may be plagued by self-doubting fear, we can empower our potential to become co-creators of a positive future. We offer an elegantly simple set of principles and practical tools to restore lost connections, nourishing deeply nature-connected & creative individuals, organisations, and communities around the world. We’ll introduce universal cultural elements, share success stories from our global community, & be inspired by incredible storytellers from different backgrounds.
When: 10 Sep til 14 Sep 2018
Exchange: £795
Find out more here

Regenerating naturally connected communities – supporting health, well-being and empowerment through culture repair – an Introduction

 Jon Young and Adele Clarke
Location: Fife, Scotland
This workshop offers a fantastic opportunity to join us on the beautiful, historical Falkland Estate for a 2-day exploration with founder of the 8 Shields movement; Jon Young as he brings his 35+ years of experience and insights in community building to the Scottish context. We will explore the possibilities for paradigm and legislative shift occurring in Scotland, and examine the potential of the 8 Shields methodology to be supportive in ensuring real change and progress can be made in repairing nature and place-based community.
When: 15th/16th September: 10 am – 4 pm each day. Places are limited.
Exchange: £150 including simple vegetarian lunch
Find out more and book a place here and contact for further details and enquiries about low waged/concessions price of £120 or the limited number of bursaries/exchanges available.

Autumn Vision Quest

Facilitators: Rebecca Card and Lucy Voelcker
Location: Dartmoor, Devon, UK
An ancient ceremony to mark a life transition or to uncover your soul’s purpose. This ceremony will take place in wild nature to support ensoulment and a home-coming to take place.
Are you at a point in your life where you feel like change needs to occur but you’re not sure what that be? Do you feel that you need to receive guidance from the other-than-human realm in order to uncover your soul identity to take back as a gift to your people? Is there something you need to let go of in order for the next step in your life to happen?
This initiation journey is over 4 days and involves fasting and solo time with the land and Mystery. The days prior and post the ceremony are for preparation and sharing stories.
Please note that an application process is necessary before making a booking and payment.
When: 17th -26th September
Exchange: £650
Contact: 07960 520128
Find out more here

Regenerative Culture Repair

Facilitators: Deborah Benham & Root Cuthbertson with Jon Young via video
Location: Findhorn College, Northeast Scotland
Re-Villaging in human & natural communities. To empower ourselves, to consciously design a positive future, & to address the complex crises of our times, we need a new (or very old) understanding of culture. We define culture as the practices & processes which create Connection: individuals to meaning & purpose, to each other, and to their place in the web of life. Neurobiologically humans are hardwired to seek Connection, so westerners *can* re-member what traditional cultures have known for years. By applying ancient social technologies based on nature, we can build Connection back in to western society. We call this process Culture Repair. Often cultures have been wounded by oppression or deliberate deconstruction, replaced by stuck societal habits. We present a set of ergonomic design principles to re-harmonize natural & human communities. Come explore these with us, to consciously re-design culture in homes, schools, communities, workplaces, & social settings.
When: 29 Sep – 5 Oct 2018
Exchange:  £625 – £690 – £750
Find out more and book here 

Nature Culture Regeneration – An Introduction to the 8 Shields and the Art of Mentoring

Facilitators: Peter Cow, Rebecca Card, David SmartKnight, Klaudia van Gool and a full acorn
Location: Moretonhampstead, Devon, UK
An experiential weekend for adults, introducing the wisdom of the 8 Shields through nature connection and culture creation, inspired by practices observed in healthy, earth-based cultures around the world.
There will be two simultaneous programs for adults:
‘The Village’ is for first-time participants. Through embodying many regenerative, nature-based practices, participants will journey through the 8 Shields cycle and explore how we can re-member ‘the village’ and how we can live in Wholeness with ourselves, the communities we are part of, and the global community of all species.
‘The Return’ is for participants who have already been on ‘The Village’ or an AoM Ring 1. Returnees will experience living at the edge of the village and exploring the wild individually and in tribe.
When: 19-21 Oct 2018
Exchange:  £170-£200-£230
Facebook page  Booking link



Hearth in the Edgelands: 8 Shields Mentoring
Facilitator: Amy Downing 
Location: Skype, phone or in person in north east Scotland 8 Shields rooted mentoring for personal growth, inner tracking and wholehearted living. I’m an experienced mentor with a full basket of skills and techniques that enable me to meet you where you’re at, support you to track your patterns, tend to old wounds and lean into your edges. My intention is to help you feel skilled up and empowered to live wholeheartedly. I have a deep lived understanding of the 8 Shields model and extensive experience using it in many different contexts: facilitating for individuals, couples and communities including holding a variety of staff roles at all the UK AoM camps. I am a skilled mentor, counsellor and facilitator, community builder, ritual holder and song carrier. I also specialise in peacemaking and grief work. I often use deep nature connection practices and ancestral crafts in my mentoring. I am a herbalist and forager. 
When: I offer regular weekly/fortnightly sessions and residential intensives for individuals and couples, adults and children. I also can anchor you for a specific event or training. 
Exchange: Sliding scale £20-£60/hr. I’m open to part-exchanges of things other than money. Shortest sessions are 1.5hrs. Free 1/2hr taster/intro session.
Find out more: – 07786 068057

Mentoring in Village Building

Facilitator: Deborah Benham 
Location: Online/Telephone 
Info: 1-2-1 mentoring in Village Building, culture repair and peacemaking, to support individuals and the groups they live or work with. Weaving together 8 Shields, social permaculture and Sociocracy (consent based decision making) combined with 12yrs experience in supporting healthy group systems. My background in wildlife conservation and environmental education led to the realisation that to live in harmony with nature requires redesigning our current global ‘western’ paradigm. For the last decade I’ve collected design tools which support positive culture; building foundations for personal peace and thriving group systems, in service to people and nature. I am Coordinator of the Village Builders programme online (8S Institute) and have been involved in 8 Shields, Gaia Education and Sociocracy training for 8 years. I also offer consultancy, training and facilitation services. If you are interested in this kind of mentoring, please contact me to arrange a free 30 minute introductory session. 
When: Ongoing 
Exchange: £30-£70 per/hr depending on income.
Find out more: 07590 832919 

Peter Cow – Personal Mentoring and Acorn Leadership Mentoring

Have you been inspired by the Acorn and are interested in bringing it into your work or events? Peter has 5 years of experience running events and teams using the Acorn model, and can support you if you want to explore how it can invigorate, empower and bring more wholistic holding to your work and organisations. Peter is a Social Permaculture teacher and a graduate of the ‘Art of Mentoring Leadership’ program in the US, and he ‘Norths’ many events each year using the Acorn model, including being Event North for last year’s Art of Mentoring Camp in Devon). He is passionate about how the Acorn can bring workplaces and events to life in a richer, more connected, more satisfying way. Peter also offers general personal mentoring and anchoring: to anchor you around a specific project, or to bring 8 Shields practices more strongly into your life, or to help develop the 8 Attributes more deeply in yourself. He also offers general mentoring to help you understand and unleash your gifts and vision.
Location: Online or in Devon 
Exchange: £30-£60/hour depending on income, and non-financial exchanges are also possible. Contact me for a free 30 minute exploration session. 
Find out more:

Peer Mentoring Club
Facilitators:David SmartKnight, Klaudia van Gool, Sarah Witts, Maya Mahn
In order to build a culture of mentoring in a society with no current framework, for it, it becomes necessary for some people to pioneer by stepping into the role of mentor, despite their lack of experience.
The purpose of the Peer Mentoring Club is to create a safe, supportive, friendly environment for such pioneers to experiment with each other, grow their own skills, gather resources and experience themselves as mentors, whilst also being mentored, on their journey to fulfilling their potential.
When and Where: The club meets online once a fortnight, on alternate Wednesday evenings from 6-7:30pm (UK time). Meetings follow a natural flow model developed by the 8 Shields Institute
Exchange:  £15/month
Contact: 07837413202



Story-Catcher Project

David SmartKnight
“Thanks David. It’s a bit like playback theatre reading this. Quite powerful actually, illumi
nating, a helpful reflection and perspective. Something useful to consider as a service in itself!” Adrian Leaman
Recognizing that a society without mentors forces each generation to repeat the lessons of their forebears, the Story Catcher Project captures and collates those real-life “ah-ha” moments of learning and transformation, bringing them alive and presenting them in a way that fosters mentoring relationships, so we each can learn from each other. If you have a story (Hint – if you are alive, you will have several!!), I would love to speak with you – and in return you can expect to deepen your understanding of your own story.
“Thanks for editing my story. I absolutely like it this way. Thanks again for your additional questions – they really helped to make the story more nourishing.” Thoralf Rumswinkel
Online or in person (SW UK), by arrangement. 

Exchange: Your story in exchange for Deep Listening and Mentoring 
Contact: 07837413202

Read the whole August/September 2018 Newsletter

Sign up here to stay in touch via our bi-monthly ‘8 Shields in the UK’ newsletter.