Enchanted Forest Prliminaries
0. Pre-Course Work
Before you join this course you need to spend time making sure you have all the Core Tools and Core Skills fairly well in-your-bones. You’ll need them to do the exercises and journeys on the course. But first of all read Talking to Dragons – it’s an excellent example of the enchanted Forest journey.
You’ll find it very useful to have done the Familiar Spirits one too, it will help you get used to working-with allies and that’s a big part of walking through the Enchanted Forest.
Sit-with is very important. Your allies will give you advice and they’ll challenge you too. You need to sit with each piece of advice they give you and with every challenge as the real meanings won’t be immediately apparent. If you jump to conclusions or run with your initial expectations you’ll quickly come unstuck. To find the medicine of the Enchanted Forest you must learn to stop, and sit-with them, keep asking the allies until you feel you understand. However good you now think you are at these skills the Forest [the Wildwood] will push you further and into unknown territory, so practice. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes! Mistakes are superb teachers, we never forget them, and sit-with is very helpful to all that. Ask, ask, ask, all the time ask … then listen.
The Enchanted Forest journey is rather like Joseph Campbell's hero's journey, indeed he learned his journey from the old tales by Chretien de Troyes and others, of Gawain and the Green Knight, Erec and Enid, and the Arthurian and Grail stories. They’re our old mythos that we call the Matter of Britain and they describe the journey of the spirit towards enlightenment. Modern folk have retold them in story-films like Krull, Star Wars, Dark Crystal, and many others including tales like Enter the Dragon by Bruce Lee, and the first Star Wars Trilogy. This journey is in every human group all over the world and it’s one that never stops, you do it all your life … each time you enter the forest at a different place than last time and your experiences are different too ... if you allow them to be.
Ursula le Guin puts it very well in her novel, The Dispossessed, “to realise you can always go home as long as you also realise that home is a place you've never yet been”.
Enchanted Forest Journey
You can begin the Enchanted Forest course at the beginning of any season. It works best if you allow yourself a whole season to do each lesson. A season, for us in the old ways, is 6 or 7 weeks. Don’t try to rush it and if you feel you need to take longer on some lessons that’s absolutely fine too. Move on when you feel you know it in your bones.
At the end of each lesson are 3 questions for you to sit-with and answer.
Send your answers to email@example.com for feedback.
The feedback will offer you suggestions and maybe another question for you to keep in your cauldron that will help you through the coming lesson.
The Journey takes you through the 4 Elements – Earth, Water, Air and Fire. I think of it as working my way through the parts of a plant.