The Isle of Avalon Foundation

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Ancestral Voices – Connecting with your Spirits

African Shamanic weekend workshop/ceremony in the tradition of the Xhosa Sangomas from South Africa.

John LockleyA two day non-residential weekend in Glastonbury with traditionally trained Xhosa Sangoma, medicine man or African Shaman, John Lockley. This workshop is Ceremony 2 from John’s 5 part training “The Way of the Leopard”.

In traditional South African spirituality the term ‘Ancestor’ comes from the word in Xhosa and Zulu ‘Izinyanya’ which means the “The Silent Hidden Ones”. During this weekend we will explore ways of deepening our relationship with our own Izinyanya. We will focus on animal totems or guiding spirits. Do you know these spirits in your life? How do they show themselves to you?

John will lead a ceremony to help deepen our relationship to our Izinyanya. It is believed in South Africa by traditional medicine people that in order for you to connect with the spirits of nature, you need first to connect with your blood ancestors. Our first spiritual lineage is the lineage of our parents. We honour our Ancestors because they have given us the gift of life. As people honour their forebears from an openhearted place, they are gifted with a vision for their life and their destiny or spiritual path becomes clearer.

Course Price

Full price: £120. Concession: £100. Deposit: £40

Course Date

Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th November 2015
12 noon – 8pm / 10am – 4:30pm


Avalon Centre, King Street, Glastonbury, Somerset

On this course you will learn:

  • To connect to your Ancestors via your Mother and Fathers’ lineage
  • How to pray in the Ancient way to rock your world and move your spirit
  • Heartbeat meditation and how to practice mindfulness wherever you are
  • Dynamic meditation, a form of movement practice with live drumming & chanting
  • The Art of Dreaming and how to listen to the voice of intuition within your dreaming
  • The importance of Befriending your Shadow, those parts of yourself that you disown

To connect to your Ancestors via your Mother & Fathers’ lineage

We enter this world through the physical portal of 2 people, namely our Mother and Father. In spiritual traditions worldwide it is imperative for spiritual seekers to start their journey of self discovery with honouring their Mother & Father and the lineages that birthed them. As participants engage with this process from an open hearted and sincere place a greater clarity and sense of direction is achieved. The reason is not hard to fathom, 'life honours life'. As we honour where we come from, so the universe honours us by directing us to finding our 'soul's purpose', direction or life path.

How to pray in the Ancient way to rock your world and move your spirit

The power of prayer should not be underestimated! What is important is how to align your body and your mind while you pray. John will demonstrate how traditional Sangomas have been praying for centuries to bring on visions. To pray correctly we need to open our hearts and humble our spirits. We need to feel the earth beneath our feet, and honour life with each foot step. Our voice is also important. To manifest our spiritual journey we need to use our voice. The spiritual path is about raw authenticity. We discover this through crying, laughing and praying from the deepest parts of ourselves.

Heartbeat meditation and how to practice mindfulness wherever you are

Our heart moves our bodies and is the only organ in the body that connects to our spiritual centre. It forms a clear portal from the physical, material world to the spiritual immaterial world that is boundless and beyond words. For this reason it is important for people to first connect to their physical heart. Through listening to our heart and becoming aware of its unique rhythm, we start to synchronize our spirit with our body. The result of this is greater synchronicity and rhythm in our daily lives. We think about people and then hear from them. Our inner lives start to manifest in the world around us.

Dynamic meditation, a form of movement practice with live drumming & chanting

To feel ones' own heart beat whilst dancing and singing is one of the sweetest experiences any of us can have. This is often achieved through sport. The key here is joy. Joy comes through diving into our heart beats whilst moving and allowing that subtle rhythm to become a bullhorn within our bodies and souls. As we move with an awareness of our hearts and inner landscape, so our practice becomes dynamic and eventually leads us to a place of calmness and joy. People often struggle with silent meditation, complaining about 'too much thinking' and internal chaos. Movement, staying with the awareness of our hearts can facilitate mindfulness, opening us up to deeper and more fulfilling meditation.

The Art of Dreaming and how to listen to the voice of intuition within your dreaming

Our Dreams are a portal to our inner lives, and reflect the subtle nuances of our spiritual life. The language of dreams is the language of art, imagery, metaphor and poetry. To dream well is to listen well, and to appreciate the sometimes chaotic language of our dreams. John will discuss the 3 types of dreams that people experience on a daily basis and also how people can develop their dreaming ability. Our dreaming facility is like a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. The most important question is intention. How dedicated are you to improving your dream life? For this to occur participants need to start a dream journal and regularly write down their dreams.

The importance of Befriending your Shadow, those parts of yourself that you disown

In order for us to transform ourselves we need to accept ourselves. This means accepting our ‘shadow’, those sides of ourselves that we are not comfortable with. They could be irritating habits that we don’t want others to see. They might also be irrational fears or anxieties. We need to look at ourselves without judgement or blame. This is where the work starts.

This weekend workshop will run as a ceremony with a clear beginning and ending. People will start their journey by saying their names and the names of their parents. This will be followed by traditional South African drumming and chanting to welcome in the Ancestral spirits to guide us on our road.

On Saturday afternoon there will be a traditional plant ceremony where each person will place their feet in a plastic washing up bowl filled with plant medicine. This will run as a meditation. The focus of the plant wash is to help cleanse and spiritually protect participants. Most people find these cleanses very moving and powerful on different levels.

NB: As the ceremonial leader I expect people to work on themselves, to concentrate and be mindful. The greater the effort in spiritual practice, the greater the reward. For these reasons, I call my workshops ceremonies. There will be a certain amount of knowledge or practical information which will be disseminated. For instance; information on how to understand your Dreams, how to connect to your Ancestors, the importance of family and lineage etc. People are encouraged to listen and take in what they need to. If they have to make some notes then that is permitted. However, no recording devices are allowed.

Would you like to apply for this course? Simply fill in the form and submit it to us.

Concessions are available to full time students, people over 60 years of age, recipients of Maximum Universal Credit and excluding Mobility Allowance including Disability Allowance. If you are applying online for concessionary rates, you can upload a scan or photo of your benefit entitlement. Alternatively, you can post a photocopy of your benefit to the office with your application form for our records.

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Payment methods

Cheques: payable to Isle of Avalon Foundation Ltd and posted to the office.

Online Bank Transfer: please contact the office for our bank details.

Cash: Do not post cash! Make an appointment to visit our office and settle up with Jo Read, our Office Manager.

Paypal: see below. Please note that there is a £4.00 handling charge for using PayPal.

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