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The Circle of Great Mystery Podcast Network

May 28, 2016

Show 21 – Death to Birth Gathering


In this show, Jeff Stockton, and John-Luke Edwards , talk with participants and presenters of ‘Death to Life; A journey of Love’ held during the first week of May, to give us their thoughts, reflections and edge on the Gathering & Conference.

Guillermo Bedregal, A Bolivian revolutionary said this: “To make your love fit, something would have to die in the world.”

Birth contains the journey of death and Death the journey of birth.

For something to come in to being, something else must leave.

It might be thought that Death and Birth are twin lovers, yet in truth they are together the act of love.

It is sung that the soul that does not sing of death is not living and the dead that sing of living cannot be reborn. We gathered together to release fear and sing of our completeness as children of the stars, the spirits, the gods, who sent us to be in the joy of this amazing journey of love.

This was not to be a dirgeful funerary gathering, far more a true celebration love beyond the static points of life and death.

We gathered to make a love that fits; that we may be Warriors of love despite fear.

We explored and took ceremony with the Ancestral Spirits on the improbable and impossible love and we are asked to consider and pray with the journey of that love, devoid of fear and doubt.

A movie of the gathering can be seen at;


On the show we are joined by;


Lauri Shainsky: facilitates connection between spirits, sound and humans through ceremony, her healing practice and coursework in shamanic sound healing. She is committed to people learning that they are not alone, and that they are supported by a council of spirits who orchestrate the perfection of their life’s path. She is moved by the plight of animals on earth and contributes to their healing in whatever way she can. She co-owns and runs a small retreat center (Hidden Lake Retreat) in the foothills of the Cascades, where most of her sound work is done. Lauri is an Associate Healer and Teacher at the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies and Energy Medicine, is the school/community’s ceremonial singer and lodge pourer, an elder and always a Student and Servant of the Divine. Lauri presented the Evening Ceremony, ‘Inner/Outer Frequencies of Love & Death’.


Annie Spencer: a ceremonialist and workshop leader with an Oxford MA and a diploma in Humanistic Psychology, has been running groups and trainings for over 25 years including the groundbreaking Women’s Mysteries courses. Annie has co-founded a number of spiritual and healing initiatives within her community including Openings, the Bath based centre for therapies and group work; the Arcania programme (now The Sacred Trust) which has brought many indigenous teachers to Britain; and her own Hartwell, centre for shamanic and ceremonial ways. Her writing on earth mysteries, women’s mysteries and ceremony can be regularly found in many major publications. More recently, Annie has been developing work with young people: she has worked for ten years on an initiation ceremony in Vermont USA; and co designs camps for teenagers with Circle of Life Rediscovery, bringing earth based spiritual traditions to the youth of today. Annie has been making ceremony for young people’s movement into adulthood; marriages and handfastings; and women’s movement through the menopause for the past ten years. Annie offered ‘Birth, Death and other rites of Passage’ at the Gathering.


Christiana Harle: who has been working with shamanism for nigh on twenty years in Finland. Life has taken her to Tuva where she worked with shamans for two years, continued her late husband’s research on Tuvan culture and shamanism which resulted in a film: In the Arms of Buddha and the Drum. She is an official shaman, red card holding member of Düngür the first Shaman Centre in Tuva. Heimo Lappalainen, Jonathan Horwitz, and Annette Höst were her first human introduction to shamanism. She teaches shamanic healing, gives workshops on birthing, shamanic drums and lectures on Tuvan shamanism in Finland. She is a keeper of Bees and a registered music and breathwork therapist and a Director of the SCGMSS and Elder of Sagh’ic Tire Dhream. Christiana presented“Hive Home – Sacred Flight” at the Gathering.


And drop-in guests who attended the Gathering;

Maevyn Annadale and her son Jacob, from Cloverdale, BC, Canada.

Sharon Erickson, from Nanaimo Vancouver Island BC Canada.

Linda Harper, from Oregon, US.



Follow me’ from the Opening Ceremony

Honey & Holy Water’ from the Honey & Holy Water Evening Ceremony

The Honeyed Road’ from Dark Love and the morning ceremonies

My Heart Forgot’ from the morning ceremonies and the Closing ceremony

Sung by Jeff Stockton.

You can contact Jeff Stockton to acquire the conference songs as a fundraiser for the Children Sponsored by the Society.


Blessed this Hearth’ is from THE WYCHED WOMBE, Carolyn Hillyer’s first solo album for 8 years, and has emerged from four months of winter recording, and four years of creating and shaping the songs.

All her music is available from Seventh Wave Music

Carolyn has recorded ten solo albums and worked on many others. Her early albums, including House of the Weavers and Grandmother Turtle, still occupy an influential place within women’s sacred music, and more recent recordings such as Ice: The Cold Songs, Drum Songs from the Heathen Hills and The Cave of Elders define the essence and edges of her unusual perspective on a mystical and mythological terrain. Her paintings of life-size archetypal spirit women are exhibited as sacred shrine installations, braided together with her songs and totemic hand crafted items. For over 20 years she has been teaching a series of powerful workshop journeys for women that weave together song and chant, ritual drum, rites of passage, intuitive ceremony, ancient initiations, mythological wisdom stories and direct interaction with wild land. Her book Sacred House: Where Women Weave Words into the Earth forms the bones, blood and belly around which many of her workshops are created. She is founder of Thirteen Moons, the international women’s festival on Dartmoor.

10 More Seconds - Kris Schulz - While the City Sleeps Kris' first solo acoustic album. The playing is flawless and the emotion comes through every note. Kris is the greatest guitar teacher on the planet. (Kris is our producer's guitar teacher)

For information on the 2017 Gathering please go to;