SSP’s 2023 Conference
TEACHINGS FROM THE LAND:
VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE
September 21-24, 2023
A 4-Day Immersion into
Teachings from the Land: Visible and Invisible
Does your heart yearn to tend and honor the Earth on land that holds ancient energies? Perhaps your soul hears the call to co-create community with others from similar and different traditions? Do you long to stand among international sisters and brothers in sacred circle with your feet firmly planted upon wilderness soil?
The SSP Conference has come to be known internationally as a unique opportunity to learn, share and heal within a shamanic container. Once again, our prestigious speakers will travel from the four corners of America, Europe and beyond. Our theme emanates from the land herself calling us to bring our considerable medicine and co-create together. We will learn, heal, and join in ceremony together while enjoying wonderful food and an extraordinary natural place.
The Conference will include several group ceremonies, most notably will be the Equinox Ceremony on Saturday night which is the day of the Equinox. We will gather together around the outdoor campfire on both Friday and Saturday evenings for ceremony and community.
We invite you to come from your homeland to the pristine landscape of this part of the Midwest, bypassed by glaciers and retaining features of the ancient land. At this conference, we will gather on a secluded expanse of unspoiled wilds in the ‘Driftless’ area of Wisconsin. Bethel Horizons Retreat Center offers us a place of wonder, majesty and mysticism.
This location gifts us a panoramic vista of wild nature to come together for a truly magnificent gathering, the first SSP In-Person Conference since the pandemic. The names of the 7 miles of hiking trails at Bethel Horizons illustrate a glimpse into the splendour of this extraordinary place; Ridge Top, Shooting Star, Rock Ledge and Prairie. The trails are surrounding the Totem campfire and the forest by the pond near sheer cliffs. Bordered by Governor Dodge State Park there are literally miles of trails and lush, abundant forests to explore.
Through its unique natural setting of 548 acres, this year-round, eco-friendly, sustainable, comfortable retreat event center offers delicious meals and overnight accommodations.
For meals we will be treated to breakfast, lunch and dinner during the conference.
For lodging there are five tiers that you can choose from depending on how much privacy and at what cost you want.
People of all shamanic experience levels are heartily welcomed and no previous shamanic experience is needed.
Please click to view the following information before you register:
Please read through the following information to understand your options before you register.
Bethel Horizons Retreat Center
Bethel Horizons Retreat Center is located outside of the town of Dodgeville, Wisconsin in the heart of the Driftless Region. This magnificent property consists of 548 acres and includes 4 retreat buildings and 15 campsites. The landscape includes prairies, meadow, forest, towering cliffs, a pond, stream, springs and abundant wildlife. This property is flanked on two sides by Governor Dodge State Park, the state’s third most popular state park.
As the first in-person conference for SSP since 2019, we chose this site to support our Midwest members, to showcase the beauty of this region, and primarily because this location gives us such excellent opportunities to deepen our connection with the spirit of the natural world. SSP has rented the entire campus of Bethel Horizons for our event and we hope our unique combination of indoor and outdoor activities will make this a memorable and unique experience for all who attend!
Since Bethel Horizons is primarily a retreat center and not styled as a hotel, there are a limited number of bedrooms, most of which are bunk rooms with 3-8 beds per room. Given the limited number of rooms, we are allotting a small amount of reservations for private rooms. Shared rooms will be limited to 2 people so as not to crowd the shared rooms (although if you are coming with a group of friends who want to share together, we can assign a bigger room for your group). There are varying degrees of comfort and access with these rooms. Some buildings provide only shared bathrooms with showers which are located in the hallway–we refer to these as “Rustic”. In other buildings the rooms include a private bathroom and shower. All private rooms available will have a private bathroom.
The conference cost includes your choice of lodging, all presentations and ceremonies plus 8 meals (Thursday dinner, through Sunday Breakfast).
Bethel Horizon will be custom planning our menus to accommodate many food choices and any allergies. Meals will be served buffet style so guests can select the food that meets their needs.
* There are no Non-Food options for the conference – meals are automatically included in the event cost.
Lodging Choices with Tiered Pricing
Each person must register individually, even if they are sharing a room with another person or group.
The conference price variations depend on your lodging choices with most to least expensive options listed below.
- Private Bedroom with private bath. Includes 3 nights lodging, all meals and presentations.
- Shared room (for two people) with private bath. Includes 3 nights lodging, all meals and presentations.
- Rustic shared room (for two people) with shared bathrooms.Includes 3 nights lodging, all meals and presentations.
- Camping option with central shower and bathhouse. 15 sites 2 with RV options. Includes 3 nights at Bethel’s campsite, all meals and presentations.
- Off-Site Commuters Includes all meals and presentations. There are 3 local hotels/motels within 7 miles from the retreat center if you prefer privacy and the amenities of a hotel. There are also numerous vacation rentals in the area as well as camping available at Governor Dodge State Park. If this is an option you choose, we recommend you make early reservations. This is a popular region of the state and books early.
* There are a limited number of rooms available in each category and availability will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis.
Once you confirm your registration we will be sending you a follow-up questionnaire. This questionnaire will include information we need to accommodate your needs and make your stay comfortable. This will include: dietary preference and restrictions, roommate choice/preference, travel information – we will be organizing a shuttle from the Madison, WI Airport (code MSN) to Bethel Horizons, links to local lodging and an assortment of other helpful information to help you plan your visit.
Negative test 24 hours before and bring 2 tests with you to test during the time there if have a case. Home tests are fine. If someone tests positive during the event they will need to leave and we will refund their registration fees for the portion they have to miss. Masks will not be required but you may wear one if you feel more comfortable
Refunds will be issued in full for refund requests received on or before July 15, 2023
After July 15th, 2023 no refunds will be issued except in the case of emergency.
If the event is rescheduled or canceled, all purchases will be refunded in full.
Hotels/motels in dodgeville, wi
AmericInn by Wyndham Dodgeville
3637 WI Hwy-23,
Dodgeville, WI 53533
Pine Ridge Motel
405 County Hwy YZ
Dodgeville, WI 53533
This is a very clean and the most reasonably priced motel in the area
Best Western Dodgeville Inn & Suites
1130 N Johns St,
Dodgeville, WI 53533
Learn more about the event center and this amazing region!
Bethel Horizons: https://www.bethelhorizons.org/
Video about the Driftless Region: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn_DOPumFkU
Governor Dodge State Park: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/govdodge
Dodgeville WI chamber of Commerce site: https://www.dodgeville.com/
Please note these prices are Early Bird Prices, going up to normal on May 15th.
After May 15th, we will have a member and a non-member price that will be higher than the early bird prices.
(early bird price)
♥ 13 total spots
♥ Private room
♥ Private in-room bathroom
♥ Double bed
(early bird price)
♥ 24 total spots
♥ Shared room with one other person
♥ Private in-room bathroom
(early bird price)
♥ Shared room with one other person
♥ Shared bathroom and showers, not in room
(early bird price)
♥ 2 RV sites
♥ central shower and bathhouse
(early bird price)
♥ Food and teachings only
What to Expect
A ceremonial container to guide the entire experience
Inspiring and informative guest presentations
Connection with Community
Evening Fire Ceremonies
Journeys and breakout groups
Many useful shamanic tools and practices
DR. KAREN WARD AND JOHN CANTWELL
Equinox Ceremony: The Healing Spirit of Day & Night in Equality & Balance AND Teachings from the First Ancestors of Ireland
Equinox Ceremony: The Healing Spirit of Day & Night in Equality & Balance.
An Cónocht Fómhair or Fall/Autumn Equinox along with its twin in Spring is the second half of that rare seasonal festival that occurs twice in the calendar year. While there is obviously a replica of balance of day/night, light/dark in both festivals, the Autumn edition brings a sweet spot of equality and balance that prepares us for the ascendency of darkness towards Samhain and Winter Solstice. There is valuable opportunity of ceremony in the stillness and poise of the cosmic balance now. We are called once again into the Triskel, the triple spiral immram (wonder voyage or shamanic journey) that asks for three awakenings. Looking behind we are invited to honour life lived in the now ending ascendency of light (Spring Equinox to Autumn Equinox), we are asked to look forward and honour life to be lived in the soon coming ascendency of dark (Autumn Equinox to Spring Equinox). Thirdly and now, we are invited to enter the sacred pause where ascendency is transformed into the serene balance and equality of Autumn Equinox energies. In ritual we can embody the Triskel immram, facing outwards and inwards, discovering infinity as the destination of both directions. At Autumn Equinox, there can be a rediscovery of a unique breath and consequent powerful vision. There can be recalibration, recovery and preparation simultaneously. Dr Karen Ward and John Cantwell, wife and husband, co-directors of Sli An Chroí Shamanism look forward to sharing the Triskel immram of Autumn Equinox in ways traditional in Ireland and offering an inclusive, participatory and experiential celebration of this special seasonal festival, one that orientates the creation of this great gathering of shamanic practitioners.
Teachings from the First Ancestors of Ireland
In our changing awakening collectives of contemporary shamanic practitioners there is considerable diversity, heritage (or none), concern over appropriation and debate on where we stand in relation to each other. Our stories are immense, complex and nuanced, yet beyond them where does Mother Earth hold the soul stories of the human who today, is in deepest relationship with nature? In Irish mythology there is a sacred remembering of the first woman, Cesair and the first man, Fionntain Mac Bóchra. They arrived to the island as visitors and entered a voyage of innocence, wonder, magic, interaction and connection that gifted them a sanctuary of belonging, of home. The stories of how they stepped from visitor to native hold seminal teachings for the awakening shamanic practitioner in the Irish tradition, yet the stories speak to all humans walking a primal path of visitor to native. Drawing upon storytelling, imagining with inspiration, sacred drama and shapeshifting, ceremony and ritual, Dr Karen Ward and John Cantwell, wife and husband and co-directors of Slí An Chroí Shamanism bring a sharing of the ancient soul seeds for the shamanic human embodied in Cesair and Fionntain. The historical stories of our families and cultures importantly deserve acknowledgement. So too do the soul stories of us in those families and cultures where the ever-opening heart reveals codes of belonging, often not containable in family or cultural histories. Visitor. Native. We can be both. And beyond.
John Cantwell and Dr.Karen Ward are husband and wife, co-founders and directors of Sli An Chroí Shamanism in Ireland. They met during the auspicious week of the Solar Eclipse in August 1999 and share a life of ever deepening connection to the natural world. The ancestral lineage of Shamanism in Ireland, including that of Druidry, is a precious resource for them. Bringing warmth, integrity and gratitude into all of their work is a vital aspect of their vocation. After years of holistic therapy and teaching experiences coupled with shamanic initiations, they both began to hear the palpable call to invite others to awaken to their Celtic soul destiny. Taking a step into the unknown, they first opened their Clinic and School of Irish Celtic Shamanism in 2005 which has grown beyond their wildest dreams. From international travel to sit, equal but different, with indigenous people from around the world, work with a wide variety of individuals, charities and organisations to maintaining a cherished community in Ireland and online. www.slianchroi.ie
THE USHAI AND THE LANGUAGE OF SHAMANISM
The Ushai: The Fifth Element of Unity.
As was taught in ancient Andean wisdom, one can only realize true peace, harmony, and oneness through unity with the four elements and the universe–Pachamama.
A person’s body, according to this sacred knowledge, is similarly divided into four sections, each embodying the virtue of each Element: Earth-(Feminine energy) The feet and legs symbolize the roots and the connection to the earth. Fire-(Masculine energy) The pelvis and sexual area—are associated with vitality, passion, and creativity. Water-(Feminine energy) The inner organs are digestion, lungs, and heart, which show emotional expression. Air–(Masculine energy) The head–signifying the mind, ego, and thoughts.
Shamanic healing intends to reconnect the inner flow between the core magnetic field of the earth, activate the flow between the four elements sections, and reconnect with the Ushai–the Fifth Element above (Non-Gender) that incorporates all their energies essence into one unseen power.
This experiential workshop explores ways to connect with the four elements, understand their medicine, reconnect with our Ushai, and live in its bliss.
The Language of Shamanism – Expand the understanding of shamanic visions
The unique shamanic language is the creative art of poetry. It creates a straightforward narrative using symbols, metaphors, deep knowing, and deciphering the sacred meanings of sounds, colors, feelings, and natural and man-made objects, as all visions come from spirit communications.
Gain and enrich your understanding of your shamanic visions, journeys, plant medicine visions, and dreams. Discover how to decode and translate the shamanic poetic language. This work will help us to be more aware of the differences between dreams and illusions, appreciate the richness of our visions, take decisive actions, and make life’s transformative decisions with broader and deeper awareness.
In this intensive workgroup, we will learn to share our visions, connect the dots, create an action plan, and better communicate it to our self, clients and loved ones.
Itzhak Beery is an international leading shamanic teacher, healer, speaker, community activist, and author of three Amazon bestseller books. He was born in an Israeli Kibbutz. Itzhak has bridged the spiritual and practical wisdom his indigenous and Western teachers entrusted to him. He was initiated into the “Circle of 24 Yachaks of Imbabura” by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and Amazonian Kanamari Pajè in Brazil. Additionally, Itzhak studied with elders and shamans in North and South America, Greenland, Siberia, and Africa. Some of his contemporary teachers are Michael Harner, John Perkins, Hank Wesselman, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, and Tom Cowan. Itzhak is the founder of ShamanPortal.org, The Andes Summit, and co-founder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is also on major global spiritual centers faculties. Itzhak received the ‘Ambassador for Peace Award’ from The Universal Peace Federation and the UN. Itzhakbeery.com
Reconnecting to the Ancestral Homeland AND Explore the Gathering Place of Ancestors
A form of soul loss happens when people leave their homeland. This is especially true for indigenous people who were enslaved or forced off tribal lands. Without the direct connection to the familiar land of their heritage, they lost a source of their power and connection to Spirit. This is true even in cases where ancestors chose to emigrate. Generations later we may not be aware of the sense of loss or even realize that we yearn for energetic connection to our ancestral homeland. We will do a ceremony to honor our ancestral homeland and reconnect with the nurturing and sustenance it offers.
Explore the Gathering Place of Ancestors
The Gathering Place of Ancestors is a location in the Lower World which symbolizes the family energy system. Each family’s Gathering Place is unique to them – reminiscent of the ancestral homeland and with their distinctive connection to the land, the elements, and the helping spirits. Working with the Gathering Place is an effective and safe way to do ancestral healing – for clearing ancestral patterns, retrieving lost pieces of ancestral soul, and celebrating as a family. We will explore the concept of the Gathering Place of Ancestors and identify key features and how they can be used in healing family lineages.
Debra Morrill, BA, has a shamanic healing practice near Baraboo, WI. She specializes in ancestral healing, soul retrieval, and compassionate depossession. She teaches the popular “Energy Essentials for Empaths” series of classes, a one-year ancestral healing program called “The Red Thread,” and a 2.5-year shamanic training program. Her gentle grounded energy creates a safe place for healing. She has been in practice since 2005. Visit www.debramorrill.com for more info.
OPENING CEREMONY AND HEALING WITH SACRED TOBACCO AND SONG
We will open the ceremony and set the container for the weekend with joyful communal noise and prayer. Bring drums, rattles or other sound makers – or we will have a few for borrowing. Dancing, whooping and ebullience are warmly welcomed.
Healing with Sacred Tobacco and Song
We will explore the fundamentals of working with tobacco and singing for cleansing, calling in power, and protection. This presentation is informed by Jaime’s several years of working with Shipibo healers in the Amazon jungle.
Jaime Meyer’s eclectic background includes earning a Masters’ Degree in theology and the arts from United Seminary of the Twin Cities and studies with a variety of shamanic teachers for more than 30 years. He is the President of the Board of Directors of SSP. He is the author of two books, “Healing With Shamanism” and “Drumming The Soul Awake.” Twenty of his plays have been produced in various cities in the USA. He co-founded the first theatre in the world for the Hmong community (a refugee population from Laos and Vietnam) and managed it for ten years, mentoring scores of young Hmong actors and writers. Since 2015 he has been learning from Shipibo masters in the Amazon jungle. Some of his teachers include Jose and Lena Stevens, Tom Cowan, Ailo Gaup, Martin Prechtel and Sandra Ingerman. His website: www.drummingthesoulawake.com
Invitation to Sacred Places
Wild landscapes are filled with mystery and magic. Woven amidst cliffs, meadows, springs and forests are power places, often unseen or unrecognized to those who are not paying attention. Many of these places cloak their magic and medicine unless we approach them with recognition, respect, humility and offerings. In our leisurely stroll, we will explore how to identify these mysterious places. Then we will practice Napayquy (A Peruvian technique of Invitation to a sacred place) followed by sacred stillness. These teachings enable us to communicate and interact with the spirits of the land and build a relationship with them wherever we go.
Ana Larramendi has been a shamanic practitioner since 1989 with a private healing practice in rural, SW Wisconsin. She is a former Vision Quest guide, an initiated mesa carrier in the Inka tradition, and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practice. Ana has studied extensively with teachers from a number of nature traditions including: Tom Brown Jr., Marko Pogaĉnik and indigenous Alto Misayoqs in the Andes. She teaches classes on Shamanic Earth Healing and specializes in teaching nature awareness from a shamanic perspective.
Your sacred voice and sacred song circle
In this experiential workshop we will explore practices and techniques to clear imprinting and blockages to your expression to open the voice, and to allow vibration to flow through. We will also explore how adding the element of song to your practice can bring healing to the body, amplify your prayers, and expand how you share your unique medicine. No singing experience is necessary to attend!
Mediumship with Plant Spirit: Northern European practice of utiseta for modern times.
Growing up with daily access to wild land, I came to understand plant spirits and land spirits in what I thought was my own way. After receiving training in the shamanistic traditions of Northern Europe, I discovered these were the practices of my magical lineage. I finally understood why my scientific study of plants and land felt so flat and devoid of spirit and magic.
Utiseta, is the practice of “sitting-out” and being between realms. Utiseta is
traditionally done outside in nature, although the modern practice can be adapted for indoors. This mediumistic work with plants meets us all a bit differently. We will discuss energetic languaging and why yours is different from mine, even though we are likely receiving similar information. Discovering how we sense differently from one another, eventually can bring us to similar understandings.
In this experiential offering, we will learn the practice of utiseta with several different plant spirits. Jean will provide plant materials for all participants.
Since starting her teaching practice in 2008, Jean Schneider has become nationally known for her trainings in relational Plant Spirit work as well as personal energetic and ancestral tending work. Jean trained as a Völva, in the art of Seidr, and has studied extensively in the shamanistic traditions of Northern Europe. She teaches modern plant utiseta, the practice of “sitting-out” between realms, and psychopomp with Plant Spirit. Jean also regularly works with clinicians and therapists, sharing the art of energetic tending and
ancestral healing. She has degrees in botany, psychology and clinical herbalism.
Along with one-on-one healing sessions, she offers Plant Spirit preparations as well as body supportive plant tonics at her website. Her practice is located in Token Creek, just outside of Madison Wisconsin. www.nativamedica.com
Rev. Cindy Pincus
The Astral Earth and the True Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden has a reputation as a place of guilt, shame, and ultimately divine punishment. But this is a gross mischaracterization of what’s actually going on with our Earth and how we first came into relationship with Her. Come join Rev. Cindy Pincus for this teaching and practical workshop on what the Garden of Eden really is, what our true relationship is to it and the Astral Earth, and how to call up this ancient blueprint to offer shamanic healing to any place on the planet.
Rev. Cindy Pincus is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and student of the Franciscan mystical tradition. She’s served as a Hospice Chaplain in the Denver/Boulder area. Services and trainings include shamanic healings, monthly teachings and workshops, and in-depth online courses in subjects such as shamanic forgiveness practices and energetic boundaries. Her professional training is as a wetlands ecologist, marine biologist, and finally on to theologian. She weaves these subjects together with Buddhist psychology, trauma-based healing theory, and the practice of offering blessing and prayer to support her clients, peers, and colleagues. She has completed the One-year, Basic Practitioner, and Advanced Practitioner Training programs with The Power Path School of Shamanism and blends these tools as a preacher, teacher, and healer. She is a member of Society for Shamanic Practice and is a Community Leader with SSP’s Shamanism Without Borders Program. Her greatest teacher is, of course, the Earth herself and you will often find her in the Colorado Rockies snowshoeing and skiing during the winter, or walking the alpine tundra in the summer. www.kardialumina.com
Weaving the Past and the Present: Therapeutic Psilocybin Services: A New Model Emerges
In January of 2023, a new model for psychedelic therapy emerged in the state of Oregon- one that is fully legal within the state, includes specifically trained and licensed facilitators, and is one that is not only backed by years of scientific studies, but perhaps thousands of years of shamanic ritual. Shamanic cultures around the world have used psychedelics for generations to enhance healing, strengthen community and connect to Spirit. Modern day scientific studies suggest that psychedelics can also improve depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even show significant improvement for people who suffer from addictions. Join me for this exciting discussion, as we weave the past and present use of psychedelics together to see what’s possible in the future of healing with psilocybin, and what the early stages of this model looks like as it plays out in the State of Oregon.
Katy Breunig is a Shamanic Practitioner and one of the first 100 Oregon State Licensed Psilocybin Facilitators (March 2023). She has served as a Board Member for the Society for Shamanic Practice and as a Community Leader for their Shamanism Without Boarders Program. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for over 20 years. With a real love of tending to community, and a passion for supporting others in their healing journey, Katy maintains a private practice in Portland, OR. In October of 2022, Katy began a 6 month intensive training with Innertrek to become a licensed psilocybin facilitator. Katy has completed the Power Path School of Shamanism One Year Shamanic Studies Program as well the Power Path advanced practitioner trainings. She has a Bachleor of Science in Nutrition and a Certificate in Massage Therapy. She has studied with the curanderos of Vera Cruz, the Shibipo of the Amazon and the Huichol of Mexico.
Teachings will go from about 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM Friday and Saturday with a break for lunch and after dinner there will also be an evening program around the fire for each of the three nights. On Thursday, arrival is at 3:00 PM and we will have dinner together at 5:30 PM before the Opening Ceremony that evening. On Sunday, we will have breakfast together before we leave around 11:30 AM. There will be a detailed schedule available in the event portal which will open when we are closer to the conference time.