Workshop: Writing and Shamanism Revisited

Harold’s boat, digital photography,

Because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and other disturbing weather patterns, I’m holding a Writing and Shamanism workshop dedicated to our role as writer in helping heal the earth in early August in Seattle. The workshop has been developed to help a range of writers, from the new and fledgling to the more experienced. (You do not need to know about shamanism to take this class.)

I believe many of us as writers – both fiction and nonfiction – could be more fully empowered on our paths and make a greater difference in the world. Using Shamanism, an earth-based spiritual process, we’ll explore our role as writers in an increasingly tumultuous world. This workshop’s goal is empowerment.

Here is a list of the things we’ll cover in the two-day workshop. (I reserve the right to be spontaneous and change exercises as the workshop progresses.)

Day 1
 Using the centuries-old methods of shamanic journeying, we’ll visit our writerly muses and ask them what they want from us. We’ll ask these guides how we might more fully engage their energy and increase our faith in our own power as a writer. We’ll discuss our findings in depth with the rest of the class.
 How can you more fully live your writerly life? How can we translate the metaphysical message of our muse to practical applications in our lives? We’ll work in supportive pairs where participants help each other understand on a day-to-day basis how to more fully own their power as a writer in this fractured world.
 What subject matters are most important for you to focus on in your writing? If you are already focused on a novel or memoir, what aspects or themes of that memoir are most important and why?

Day 2
 What area of your psyche is most closed down and needs opening for you to be more fully present in your writing? Heart? (Some people are scared to show in their writing – and their lives – how deeply loving they are.) Head? (Some people are scared to show how intelligent they are.) Soul? (Some people are scared to show how wise and metaphysical they are.)
 Read your work out loud. As a class, we’ll discuss: In light of all the information you’ve gotten through the shamanism exercises thus far, how might you develop your story to fit a higher “muse”?
 Final blessing. We’ll all do a journey to ask for a blessing for all of us as writers and for the planet Earth.


Where: Standing Stone Healing Center, Greenwood area, Seattle, WA
When: Saturday, August 7 and 8, times TBA.
Cost: $300 total for two days. (Installment plans available.) $275 if paid by July 1st.
Caroline Allen
Writing Coach

Caroline Allen’s first novel Earth is being sent to publishers. Set in rural Missouri in the 1970s, Earth offers the gritty, bloody reality of subsistence farming and rural poverty – the hunting, gutting, plucking, the endless labor. It looks at how one family ingests the land, how it lodges beneath their fingernails, dissolves in gullets, purges in shit.

Earth is one in a series of four novels (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) about Pearl’s fight both physical and metaphysical to find herself in a world torn apart by man’s abuse of the land and man’s abuse of each other.

She worked as a journalist for years in Tokyo, London and Seattle. Today, she is a writing coach and works with clients all over the world. As part of her artistic journey, she has studied metaphysical modalities like tarot and shamanism. She is also a visual artist.


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