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June 2018 Newsletter

Courses and Mentoring Listings June 2018 onwards:


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 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. 
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, Maya Mahn, Sarah Witts Promoting a thriving village culture through a living learning online community that provides members with the opportunity to explore, practise and develop their mentoring skills in a supportive and friendly atmosphere.   Our next series starts on Wednesday 6th June, and there is an opportunity for up to 3 new members to join us in our quest to mutually increase everyones’ mentoring skills.  “I love the opportunity to practice mentoring and being mentored, and to drink from the wisdom of other mentors and mentees! I am amazed at the honesty and clarity all of us are giving” – current member
When and Where: Online, Fortnightly 6-7:30pm (BST) from 6/6/18 – 15/8/18 
Exchange £15/month 
Contact: 07837413202 

1-to-1 Mentoring with David SmartKnight

“I’m very pleased to have asked David to be my mentor. My goal is simply to become the best version of myself that I can be and David helps me with this in bucket loads. I especially value his active listening, empathy and the connection he brings. His questions are always on point and regularly provoke deep searching within myself. I highly recommend David as a mentor.” Nick Beignton, Site & Land Lead, Embercombe
Whereonline or in person SW UK 

Exchange: from £15-45 an hour, by arrangement 
Contact: 07837413202  


Peace-Ability: Introduction to Community Building & Cultural Mentoring  
FacilitatorsDeborah Benham & Root Cuthbertson
LocationLondon, England (near Clapham)
Challenges predictably and naturally arise in all groups, even those with the best intentions. We can reframe these as opportunities to explore different viewpoints, resulting in growth, innovation, & healing. We are part of a historic global movement of change-makers, shifting toward what Charles Eisenstein has called “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.” We offer practical skills to re-design the fabric of our society, so we can “be the change” we wish to see in the world. As we take responsibility for co-mentoring each other, we begin to build peace regeneratively into our workplaces, families, & communities. We’ll explore effective frameworks for social sustainability & best practices from leaders in our movement, using co-creative playful exercises, self-reflection, small group activities, & role-play examples, to gain practical experience. (from the team behind “Designing for Peace” online & Schumacher College courses)
When Sat Jun 9 – Sun Jun 10, 2018
Exchange £30 – 50
Find out more here or email: 40kindsofhoney – at – gmail – dot – com

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

Connecting to Nature, Building the Village
Facilitators: Peter Cow, Miki Dedijer and Rebecca Card 
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

Social Permaculture – Nature Connection and Building the Village  
Facilitators: Peter Cow, Ruth Cory with an international acorn 
Location: Terra Alta, Sintra, Portugal
Design for more connection in your life and work: this week will be a deep and spacious dive exploring 8 Shields practices, village building and social permaculture, with support to bring them into your life, all held in an awesome, wild Atlantic permaculture project.
What if everyone in your village or community knew themselves deeply, and understood how to bring their gifts and genius to the world for the benefit of all. What if everyone was supporting each other to do that, to be their fullest selves? What would that feel like? What would it be like for our children, growing up in a village like that… Social permaculture shares tools, practices and design for effective, connected communities and individuals. It draws on many sources, gathering and sharing good practices, and empowering people to create their own bespoke solutions. It uses the principles we observe in nature and that can be seen in long-term, earth-connected cultures around the world to grow more wholeness in ourselves and to strengthen our communities.
When: 17th -23rd September 2018 
Exchange: 550 euros
Find out more here or contact

Regenerative Culture Repair
FacilitatorsDeborah Benham & Root Cuthbertson with Jon Young via video
LocationFindhorn 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.
When29 Sep – 5 Oct 2018
Exchange £625 – £690 – £750
Find out more here 

Thriving Teams
FacilitatorsDavid SmartKnight, Klaudia Van Gool and guest facilitators
Location: South West UK
A tailored process exploring ways of introducing the 8 Shields framework and Acorn Model to your audience, in order to discover the most highly connected and effective working practices within any team, from the smallest of meetings to the biggest events. “This has been really healing … I feel more whole. Thank you so much” Roxy (Festival organiser)
When By arrangement
Exchange By arrangement
Find out more: 07837413202  

  (Collections of courses and mentorings all in one listing)

Nature Wisdom Events on Dartmoor with Rebecca Card

Midsummer Medicine Walk, July 13 – 15 2018: Is there something that requires your attention? Is there some part of your life that no longer brings you alive and needs releasing? What do you need to mark? More info
Autumn Vision Quest, September 17 – 26 2018: An ancient ceremony to mark a life transition or to uncover your soul’s purpose. More info 

Cultural Emergence Adventures

Cultural Emergence is a toolkit for positive change developed by Jon Young and Looby Macnamara. It brings together Jon’s 8 Shields work, and Looby’s People Permaculture work and emerges something new and exciting.
Activating Cultural Emergence online course with Looby Macnamara is open for enrollments now. More info
Jon will be coming over for the Cultural Emergence summer intensive with Looby, Starhawk and Maddy Harland 26th July – 5th August at Applewood Permaculture Centre in Herefordshire. 
More info


Story-Catcher Project

David SmartKnight
“Thanks David. It’s a bit like playback theatre reading this. Quite powerful actually, illuminating, 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 

Join the Acorn on the Hunger Games camps 

Come get an embodied experience of the 8 Shields by joining the Acorn and staffing on Robin Bowman’s Hunger Games and Mockingjay camps run for teenagers through WildWise. They are the ultimate Trojan Horse of Nature Connection for teens and a rich learning experience to acorn or volunteer on; not to mention a lot of fun. Dates of the Hunger Games camp is August 21-25 and the Mockingjay camp is August 27-31. Run in a beautiful woods near Bristol.

Check out the event here and email: 

Summer sublet in East Devon Co-operative 

Jul 5 – Sep 3, 2018. Bedroom only £320/mo + utilities. Bedroom + small office £360/mo + utilities. Individual or couple, both months preferred, partial possible.  Join a group of five adults, three children, two dogs, and eight hens. We’re looking for like-minded people to join us at a beautiful 4-acre smallholding in East Devon. Our interests are sustainable living, organic food production, land connection, strong and open communication, emotional growth, living peaceably, cooking, yoga, surfing, fishing and many more! We’re a diverse group with varying backgrounds, vocations and skills. For more info, application, and photos click this link!
Contact: 40kindsofhoney – at – gmail – dot – com