Lesssons in Living from our Wild Animal Kin

A 10-week online course live on Zoom. Beginning Monday 19 February 2024 at 19.30 CET

Learn from the spirit of life wisdom brought to us by our fellow animals – wolves and horses, beavers and bears, birds, elephants and whales – and the little creatures that make our world, termites and other insects

The final two sessions in the course will come to you from the Azores, during the spring migration of the blue Whales and the fin whales.

How animals
Build families, work and play together and educate their young
Restore their vitality and balance their energies
Express their love for one another and bond through rituals and cultures
Honour natural leadership
Maintain nature’s living networks for the good of all.

In their dignity, grace and beauty, wild animals reveal the fundamental patterns of connection that unite us humans with the whole of life. This course restores that ancient understanding of the power of animal spirits to our lives. It weaves together life-changing meetings with animals in the wild with the magic of animals in fable and myth, and reveals how the latest field science aligns with our ancestral wisdom on the unity of all. Final sessions in the course will come the Azores, where I will guide groups for the spring migration of the great blue and fin whales.

We bring you rich, immersive presentations on animal lives in the wild, using quality photography and the sounds of nature. Meditative practices quieten the mind and open the heart to the deeper awareness where we connect with the souls of our fellow creatures within ourselves. We give you simple practices to deepen this connection to nature in daily life, with the animals and plants around you. These practices awaken the senses and enhance the flow of energy through our bodies. Break-out spaces allow us to share our experiences of nature with each other.

Session One. Into the Roots. With Bears.

The roots of our human nature grow from the same ground of being as the other animals. Our well-being is nourished by those roots. The lives of brown bears show the importance of dropping into deeper levels of our being, and finding creative renewal through rest and harmony with natural rhythms and cycles.

From the bear mother we learn how to balance our energies through cycles of activity and rest, darkness and light, knowing and unknowing. The mother bear’s inner harmony allows her to know exactly when it is right for her to gestate and give birth to her cubs within the den. The creative power of bonding with our own innate human-animal wisdom is revealed in many indigenous stories of women who marry the bear and have children with them.

Session Two. Families. From Birth to Adulthood. With Elephants.

Female elephants live in families with many generations, raising their children together. Through shared care for the young, the whole family loves, guides and educates the young elephant from birth through childhood into puberty
The matriarch, the oldest female, is honoured for the wisdom she has gained from experience, and her knowledge of the long-term cycles she shares with the landscape. We bring stories from the lives of some of these wonderful female elders. And we look at how elephants maintain the well-being of their natural community – enriching the soil, tending vegetation, shaping watercourses and sources – for the good of the whole. Break-out session to share feelings and experiences from the first nature connection practices.

Session Three. Families. From Adult to Elders. With Elephants.

Older male elephants have a vital role as mentors to male adolescents: they guide them to sexual maturity and adulthood. These elders are loved and respected for their knowledge and life wisdom which has matured through age. Sexual maturity and mating comes relatively late in the lives of male elephants, when they fully embody these qualities. We share stories of meeting imposing male elders in Southern Africa and feeling the power of their presence. We also show the importance of ritual and ceremony in their lives – how elephants share joy and jubilation in their celebrations and grief in cerermonies of remembrance for their dead. Their awareness of life goes beyond the physical; they hold ancestral knowledge of the continuity of life. Break-out session to share feelings and experiences from nature connection practices.

Session Four. Work and Play. With Wolves

Wolves are superbly alive in the present, with acute senses. They enjoy their relationships in their families and create cohesion through play, touch and games. The mated wolf pair, the parents, exercise their authority by maintaining this good feeling for each other in the family. This protects their vitality and alertness and allows them to work and hunt effectively together. as a group.
Wolves are guardians of the integrity and vitality of their natural community – structuring and renewing living networks for the good of all. The demonisation of wolves has blocked our understanding of these dynamic relationships and damaged trust in our own human animal nature. The power of learning from wolves is illustrated in stories of woman and men who live with wolves and receive their guidance, help and healing. Break-out sessions share feelings and experiences of nature connection.

Session Five. Eros. The Joy of Being Alive. With Horses.

In their flowing aliveness, and their beauty, horses share with us the great joy of being alive in a body, connected to our vital energy, moving freely and breathing with the winds. From them, we re-learn how to love and enjoy life, moving in balance and harmony with our own physical nature. We share stories of riding among wild horse families in the Rocky Mountains, meeting the wild stallion bands on horse-back and experiencing their great courtesy. sensitivity and grace.
In myths and fables, horses appear as true friends to the human soul. They willingly join with us, and carry us up through the skies, to higher levels of awareness, and the expansiveness of our own being. Break-out session to share our experiences of nature connection during the week.

I offer two levels for the cost of the Course, with live Zoom sessions, recordings and additional materials
US$250/UK £200/Euro 230.
US$ 180/UK£145/Euro160

Dates and Time: All sessions will be live on Zoom at 19.30 CET/18.30 UK and last around 90 – 100 minutes.
Recordings and supplementary materials sent out afterwards.
The course begins on Monday, February 19 at 19.30 CET
Then on February 26/ March 4/11/18/25 April 1/April 15/April 22
/April 29
Contact us with questions or to book on the course and receive the payment link.

Session Six. Beauty. With Birds. Cranes, Weaver-birds, Macaws and others.

Birds create extraordinary beauty through their songs and dances, their exquisite colours and elegance of form. Their music permeates us, the perfection of their flight continually enlivens the air. Through them, we come to understand the nature of beauty more deeply, as a quality that is fundamental to the arc of evolution. The art of nesting that birds display is a reminder of how we too must protect and nurture our own creative abilities, making our own nesting places in life which allow inspiration, personal creativity and artistic expression to develop. Break-out session for sharing experiences of nature connection during the weeek.

Session Seven. The Elegance of Natural Design. With Beavers, Termites and other master builders.

Beavers use their amazing skills to build structures in accordance with the harmony of natural design; by doing so, they balance flows of energy through the landscape and benefit the natural community. The regenerative powers of natural design are also evident in the termite communities of southern Africa, whose mounds and tunnels construct the very foundations for the diverse life of the vast interior wetland of the Okavango Delta.
These and other animals shape the landscapes of life and build energetic neworks which link the smallest of beings with the largest. Break-out session sharing feelings and experiences of nature connection during the week.

Session Eight. The universal language that is Love.

The original wisdom of all human communities tells us that communication with animals and plants and other beings is completely natural, and part of our birthright. In the spaciousness of love, communication becomes communion: life meets life, consciousness meets consciousness in the unity of all being. Through this profound communion, our relationships with the whales and other animals are expanded. We come to know them beyond physical appearance, in the spaciousnss of love, as they truly are. Break-out Session to share feelings and experiences.

Session Nine. Live from the Azores for the Spring Migration of the Blue Whales and Fin Whales.

Language, Culture and Community Among Great Whales.

The richness of whale cultures and communications reveal the strength of their bonds with each other. Recent field studies show that culture is not unique to human lives, but part of many animal communities. Culture is one of the fundamental ecological powers that structure and maintain the diversity of life. The great whales carry incredible regenerative powers for the ocean: they are not only enriching the flow of nutrients through the sea, but also regenerating the atmosphere.The whales show us how climate can be understood more deeply as the metabolism of the entire breathing planet, working through all beings, together with geological forces. Break-out session to share experiences.

Session Ten: With Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Sperm Whales and Dolphins

Live from the Azores for the Spring Migration. The Breath of Life through the Sea.

We share the energy of renewal coming directly from the spring upwellings through the ocean, and the migration of the great whales through the Azores – with the sea-birds, the dancing leaps of dolphins out of the water and the immense breathing of the blue whales, fin whales, sperm whales and others.

This course is for all who wish to deepen connection and communication with our animal companions, and the natural world. Particularly valuable for teachers and those who wish to inspire children and young people with love for animals; for ecologists and rewilders who want to communicate the great importance of animals, and therapists and healers exploring nature connection for well-being.

Eleanor O’Hanlon has travelled among whales from the Arctic to the Azores; she has learned about wolves and bears from shaman-scientists in Russia, ridden among wild horses in the American Rockies, and been greeted by wild elephants on-foot in Africa. These meetings have brought tremendous gifts of inspiration and guidance, and healing from the wounds of our mind-made separation from the rest of life. Her essays and articles have appeared in many magazines and anthologies and her book Eyes of the Wild won the Nautilus Gold Book Award for nature writing. Eleanor is also trained in enviro-somatic body work and she teaches connection with the natural world through the body, the senses and the breath.

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