Ecopsychology, Environmental and Art Therapy in practice.
We are really looking forward to Ian Siddons Heginworth coming to run a 2 day workshop for us in March ‘Exploring the Natural World and the Feeling Self – Alchemical Ash’, an ecopsychology and practical therapeutic training. Ian is a highly experienced and creative practitioner who is both insightful and accessible.
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I have owned his book ‘Environmental Arts therapy and the Tree of Life’ for many years, and am forever impressed by the depth and breadth of how his writing links our psychology with nature, and in particular the Celtic wisdom of the trees.
For those of us who work with nature as a source of healing, learning, creativity and inspiration, these days will lead us to understanding how our true selves are intimately entwined and connected to Nature and her cycles. Ecopsychology, art and environmental experiences are therapeutic. From the physical experience, the absorption of plant hormones that lower our cortisol, to emotional and psychological experiences that are supported and unravelled through nature’s language of metaphor.
About the Workshops
The training will apply the therapeutic use of natural materials, natural locations, natural themes and natural cycles and promises practical ecopsychology where we can explore our difficulties and let nature transform them. At Circle of Life we offer transformational programmes and approaches that draw on old and new wisdom and all of us are willing to learn more about how nature’s gifts can help us to ‘be’ in life, and live in a connected and fulfilling way. We also know that exploring our ‘shadow’ (See our course in April – Nature Play & The Therapeutic Space) and feelings are necessary to be mentally well and enable us to transform and change. Our work with all ages and background in nature repeatedly shows us the power of nature for long lasting well-being.
Ian’s fine work explores our masculine (the active and outward parts of ourselves) and the feminine (the feeling, inward part of ourselves that receives form the world). It offers us a way to reconsider our daily life as the year turns around through the months and seasons. It shows us how we can reconnect to the disowned parts of ourselves that are the compost of our health.
As a Forest School trainer and group facilitator, I hope to integrate the practical knowledge of working and offering activities through the year, with the psychological benefits that nature and these methods affords us.
Ogham Tree Alphabet
This intimate relationship with the living world was not unusual for our ancestors. Trees have always been of paramount importance. There is enormous cultural and medicinal value of the trees. For us in the West, our Celtic ancestors lived in a forested land and a secret form of written language was called the Ogham. The earliest known form of Ogham was the Tree Ogham or Celtic Tree Alphabet. Each letter was associated with a name of a tree. The Celtic year had thirteen months with each month associated with a tree.
“Each month has offered us the Tree of Life in a different guise” Ian Siddons Heginworth.
Exploring the Natural World and the Feeling Self – Alchemical Ash
The first of two workshops will be held over the Spring Equinox and focus on the Ash – Alchemical Ash. In ancient Britain the Ash was associated with rebirth and new life. The beginning of March is the time of year when we feel the promise of Spring and we long for it’s arrival, but winter is still here. By the end of March, it will have arrived!
Exploring the Natural World and the Feeling Self – Suffocating Ivy
The second in Autumn, ‘Suffocating Ivy’ – associated with death as well as life, as the female body gives life, so woman brings death. “September comes and the night creeps in… Even before the leaves start yellowing we know autumn is here….Life is beginning to pull inwards.” For the Celts, the ivy is considered the strongest of trees because it can choke and kill anything it grows on, even the great Oak. The Ivy can help us to meet that which blocks our path to freedom.
If you would like to find out more about our ecopsychology and practical therapeutic trainings with Ian please visit our website.
We look forward to meeting you under the trees at Mill Wood finding our freedom, love, innocence and renewal but perhaps not before we meet our loss and feelings felt too by our heart.
Marina Robb – Director, Circle of Life Rediscovery
ANON: Poem found in the Plough Inn, Myddfai, Dyfed, 1998
“Beechwood fires are bright and clear, If the logs are kept a year. Chestnut’s only good they say, If for long laid away. Make a fire of Elder tree, Death within your house shall be. But ash new or ash old, Is fit for a queen with a crown of gold.
Birch and fir logs burn to fast, Blaze up bright and do not last. It is by the Irish said, Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread, Elm wood burns like churchyard mould, E’en the flames are cold. But ash green or ash brown, Is fit for a queen with a golden crown.
Poplar gives a bitter smoke, Fills your eyes and makes you choke, Applewood will scent your room, With an incense-like perfume. Oaken logs if dry and old, Keep away the winter’s cold. But ash new or ash old, Is fit for a queen with a crown of gold”.
Ian is a leading practitioner, innovator and teacher of environmental arts therapy, a practical ecopsychologist, Author of ‘Environmental Arts Therapy and the Tree of Life’.
Please see his website for more information.
Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.
Tel: 01273 814226