Learning to Walk Beautifully on the Earth:
An Experiential Course in Animistic Spirituality
(Sept. 15, 2020 - Feb. 15, 2021)
Cost: $118 / month
or $575 as one-time payment
This is a five-month online course, taught by author, priest, spiritual director, scholar of religion and native Celtic traditions, Brendan Ellis Williams. The course is organized into five themed sections. Each section offers multiple high-quality audio teachings, live online class meetings for Q&A and discussion, a robust practicum portion where students are invited into guided spiritual exercises and rituals, given inspiration and support for deepening their own spiritual practices, a private Facebook Group where students can ask questions of the instructor anytime and connect with their fellow travelers, and more (see below for more details). Topics explored in each of the five sections include:
Session One: Establishing our starting point. Balancing the scales: intellective and spiritual harmony. Defining key terms. Orienting toward the numinous. A moral framework worth inhabiting. Deconstructing the language and ideology of domination. Cultural appropriation and other ethical questions. The Earth Mother: a universal origin.
Session Two: Conscious interbeing in a vast ecology of souls. Spirit communication: a non-exotic introduction. Creating and maintaining relationship. Reciprocity: a gift economy of spirit. Offering and sacrifice: meanings and methods.
Session Three: Plant and animal teachers. Guardian, helper, and totem spirits. Plant and animal spirits in myth and folktale. Tricksters, shamans, cunningmen and wildwomen.
Session Four: The holy dead: understanding and communicating with ancestral teachers. Discerning and healing ancestral wounds and inherited traumas. Gods, Spirits, and Ancestors. Animistic cosmologies.
Session Five: Responsibilities and implications: living as an animist in an immoral, imbalanced, and disconnected society. Ecology and spirit. Animism and other religious expressions. Is an animistic Christianity possible? Animism in native European worldviews. (Re-)Integrating animism with our ancestral and religious inheritances.
Practicum portions of the course will include: Connecting deeply with the Land; creating spirit shrines and icons; daily devotions; making sacred gifts; encountering and developing relationship with a plant spirit in the wild; dream journeying to contact animal spirits and ancestral guides; creating and maintaining an ancestral shrine in the home; cleaning out our lives and making way for more Beauty; finding ways to meaningfully create local impact on the ecosystems around us; exploring the perennial tradition of the wilderness fast; and more.
This is a course that's designed and taught to university standards, but is also accessible to all—not only academically, but spiritually and experientially. It is open to anyone with an interest in animism and Earth-based spirituality, regardless of prior study or experience.
Here's the content you'll receive with this course, accessible to you in perpetuity after registration and payment:
Lifetime access to high-quality audio teachings, invitations to reflection, guided journey meditations, rituals, and other instructions for integrative spiritual practice for each of the five sections of the course: two course teachings per month, and two - three guided spiritual exercises per month
Two live 40 min. video conferences per month for discussion with the instructor
Access to the course's private Facebook Group, where students can discuss the material, find fellowship and support along the way
The opportunity to ask questions of the instructor regarding course material at any time via the same course Facebook Group
Additional curated reference materials, such as articles and videos
A detailed, formal bibliography for reference and further study at the conclusion of the course
A warm welcome to this transformative communal journey of learning and formation! Let us explore together the wild depths and beauties of the living Earth, and engage the holy work of shaping our hearts and lives to more fully embody the values of Life.