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Slí An Chroí

“Walking the Pathway of the Heart”

One Day Introduction To Shamanic Practice & Holistic Living

Next Dates: 2nd March, 13th April, 11th May & 6th July 2008

A one day “welcome” to Healing Shamanic Practice and Holistic Living where we will explore the founding wisdom and experience the primary ways that make the shamanic practitioner “a true caretaker” of the self and of the earth itself. By nourishing the sacred in the self, the shamanic practitioner sees and works with the sacredness of all things. For over 50, 000 years shamanism has been the bedrock of all spiritual and healing traditions. Through direct connection to the spirit in Nature, shamanism is simple and profound, beautiful, powerful and magical. Shamanism is not a faith, but a wisdom tradition in which we learn purely from our own, individual and collective, personal experience. It is not a religion and is dogma-free, indeed it supports any existing spiritual practice you may have. So many of us deeply desire for connection to our own ‘soulfulness’ and that of all other living beings in a free and natural way. This is the essence of shamanism.

In the workshop, we will see how the shamanic practitioner views life as an epic adventure to greater and greater health, wisdom and compassion. We will connect with the energies of the earth and rise stronger, gifted with healings for ourselves and others. We will take gentle, early steps into “journeying” with the rattle and drum, an elemental shamanic practice to travel realms beyond ordinary reality. There we will retrieve teachings and guidance and connect with “power animals” and “spirit guides”, allowing us to understand how the shamanic practitioner always walks in the world with tremendous sacred support. We will share a fire ceremony and dance the ecstasy of life itself, the shaman’s dance. We will glimpse the Medicine Wheel, the lifelong path of learning taken by the shamanic practitioner and throughout the day we will see how the ancient wisdom of shamanism inspires true holistic living in today’s world.

John Cantwell & Karen Ward

John and Karen are husband and wife and both are Dubliners. They are trained teachers and for several years have pioneered learning in many subjects. Karen is a Holistic Therapist. She founded the Rhiannon Clinic where she sees clients on an individual basis. She also lectures in the corporate area on matters such as, stress management, nutrition and mind-body-spirit wellbeing. She is the holistic therapist presenter on RTE’s “The Health Squad” and is co-author of the book of the same name. John trained originally as a Physical Education teacher, but went on to forge a long career in professional theatre, TV, film and radio as an actor, director and producer. In the last 10 years he has dedicated himself to coaching and established the renowned Film Actors Studio in 1999. He has always promoted the educational and healing power of the dramatic arts and has established acting schools for young people and supported drama projects for those of less advantage. John also lectures on Men’s Health

In recent years Karen and John immersed themselves in healing shamanic training. As a result they have trained extensively with leading teachers and have travelled extensively for fieldwork with indigenous peoples, giving them a strong shamanic practice. From their native Pre-Celtic and Celtic traditions to that of the Indian traditions of North, Central and in particular South America, they have breadth and depth in the Energy Medicine they offer as healers and teachers in Ireland. They offer individual shamanic healing from the Rhiannon Clinic and they facilitate learning groups and gatherings for ceremony and ritual. John and Karen bring warmth, focus, sincerity and humour to their approach and firmly hold to the principle that we all have awesome capacity for self healing.

Workshop Fee: €85.00, (Pre-booking essential, places are strictly limited)

If you would like to book a place or learn more about this workshop and/or the work of John and Karen;
please telephone their clinic: (01) 670 4905
or e mail: kward@iol.ie, johnnie@ireland.com

Slí An Chroí, pronounced “schlee-on-khree”, is Irish Gaelic for “Pathway of the Heart”, Karen and John’s model of Holistic-Shamanic Life and Training. There are two Slí an Chroí Medicine Wheel training cycles; the first for personal healing and practice and a (certified) second, for professional Shamanic Energy Medicine & Counselling healing in the community. Taking the first (Foundation) Medicine Wheel is a prerequisite for taking the second, (Professional). Each Medicine Wheel takes 9 – 12 months, approximately.



Below are details of the last SAMHAIN GATHERING. Karen & John will be facilitating the 2008 Gathering from 31st October - 2nd Nov 2008


Slí an Chroí - 'Walking the Pathway of the Heart

Dunderry Park, Co. Meath, Ireland.


Samhain, (pronounced “Sow-en”) is one of the most auspicious times in the Celtic Calendar. It is the Celtic New Year and a powerful time when it is acknowledged that the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. It is celebrated worldwide as Halloween and/or the Day of the Dead and through the Christian cultures as All Soul’s Day. Formally celebrated on October 31st/November 1st, the Celts observed the principle of the “day of threes”, i.e. whereby a festival is marked for three days either side of the appointed date. An essential focus at this time is our eventual passing from this world to the next. Our eternal Spirit Nature was to be remembered and celebrated. We also at this time, celebrate the passing of loved ones and communication with the spirits of our Ancestors is regarded as open”.

The Faerie Folk and Sidhe (or “Shining Ones”), are invoked and met, passing onto us guidance, teachings and inspiration. It is a time when our own Death is considered in the aim of learning to live more fully and powerfully.


Last year John and Karen facilitated Samhain at Dunderry Park and many came into circle to work deeply and joyously together. The primary focus of last year’s Samhain was Working With Our Ancestors. This year we will explore Death-Rebirth-Transformation. An ancient meaning of the word “Shaman” is “One Who Has Already Died Many Times”. We are aware of the necessity to work courageously in this area, as shedding fear of Death and grasping personal knowledge of it as “Rebirth” is a core strength for the practitioner. We know the perceptive learning that is ours to hold following this work, helping us to live and work beyond fear and where Death holds no dominion over us.




John and Karen are Dubliners and husband and wife. Both are graduates of the 4 Winds HLB school. They have trained extensively in their native Celtic tradition. John and Karen hold a clinic where they see clients privately and both are known in the media for their work in the health/healing code.


They are trained teachers and “Slí An Chroí” (schlee-on-khree) is their Shamanic Practice Training School, in which they blend the Celtic and Inka traditions to offer a “core practice” Medicine Wheel.

They work closely and directly with paqos from the Q’ero Nation, with whom they have also established educational, medical and health cooperative projects.


*Sharing, Reviewing & Exchanging of Energy Medicine Practice
*Acknowledging the time of Samhain – The Celtic New Year
*Death-Rebirth-Personal Transformation:
*Journeying: Meeting Spirit of Your Death
*Becoming An Ancestor In Time To Come
*Meeting “An Cailleach”, (Crone Energy in Mother Earth)
*Sacred Drama: Casting Your Medicine Objects To The Earth
*Transformation Through Death-Rebirth:
*Superior Living in the New Year”
*Group Prayer Bundle for Rebirth
*Trance Dance
*Fire Ceremony
*Searmanas - morning ritual in Nature
*Time In Nature

COST: €350.00, (includes full board & 2 nights accommodation in Dunderry Park)
Booking: Send €150.00 deposit (cheque/draft payable to“Karen Ward, Rhiannon, St. Paul’s Grounds, North King St., Smithfield,Dublin 7, Ireland.''


marks the Celtic New Year. At this ‘dead’ time of year the growing season really begins with the winter sowing of crops, implanting new life in dormant fields. It is a festival of communing with ancestors as the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest at this time of year. Christian traditions incorporated this festival into All Souls and Day of the Dead, etc. Mischief Night and Halloween have preserved the ancient Celtic practice of disguise to confuse, thus avoiding detection by the “sidhe” or Faery kind. Samhain is an ideal time for recycling, transforming or throwing away what is stale or outworn. It is a time for renewal.




Shamanism is about holistic living and natural healing through Nature........many of us are doing this instinctively.