Sacred Journeys Shamanic Retreat Center

We extend heartfelt gratitude to Louis from ‘BoltonInc’ for his exceptional skill & expertise in creating these videos with so much love & care.

Laurel

Laurel

The term that best describes me is that of Medicine Woman. I explore the essence – the ‘Medicine’ within everything. This is the gift I share, my give-away. Each day I celebrate my Sacred Medicine Journey of Life by opening my heart & mind to myself, to life & to all living beings that walk with me.

I seek the beauty & purity within all things as I surf the chaotic and magickal waves of life’s journeying. The act of healing & becoming more of myself means that I have more to share with others who may be searching.

Building on years of training, knowledge & experience, I hold a space of support for those who are drawn to work with me. I listen with clarity to their life stories & I challenge them to see other perspectives in order to take a different approach to life. This provides them with the opportunity to open their hearts & minds, find more of themselves and gain acceptance, appreciation and self-love.

“It occurs to me that we are always dreaming and creating, whether we know it or not, and so we owe it to ourselves to create our lives with the greatest measure of awareness we can.”

Lou

Lou

If I were to describe myself with one word I would have to say I’m an artist, which means that I seek to find the beauty in everything I see and experience. Teaching a group of students, leading a ceremony, having a conversation, cooking a meal and making love are all artistic expressions of one’s beauty. The greatest of these expressions is to live life as the greatest masterpiece one could ever create.

For over two decades, I have been weaving beauty into my own life as well as empowering others to do the same for themselves by applying my multifaceted skills and mastery as an accomplished international teacher, human behaviour specialist, counsellor, writer, ceremonialist and artist. I believe we are all born with the spirit of the Eagle, destined to soar in freedom and to share our unique beauty with the world. With this intent in mind, Laurel Weaving Willow and I co-founded Sacred Journeys in Drummond, KZN, where we provide the tools, knowledge and support for people to heal, free their spirit and emerge into the beautiful Eagles they are.

Sacred Journeys is founded from an ancient lineage of Shamanism, a body of knowledge and teachings known as Medicine Wheels inherited from the Twisted Hair Elders, a select group of indigenous teachers and healers from North, South and Central America (known as Turtle Island).

This form of Shamanism is the foundation for the ‘Art of Living in Awareness’, providing tools and skills to align ourselves with the natural rhythms of Nature and Life.

These Medicine Wheel Teachings demonstrate an intimate and profound understanding of Science, Nature, Psychology and Physiology – all the ingredients that equip us with the most efficient way to wake up, claim the best of ourselves and carry that excellence forward.

These Twisted Hair Elders were Medicine Women and Men who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of knowledge from all sources and all walks of life. They walked a path of beauty and integrity and were respected for their wisdom and power.

To them hair represented knowledge, so rather than only working within a single tradition they devoted themselves to travelling Turtle Island, braiding and weaving their knowledge and understanding of the world. They open-heartedly shared this knowledge with those seeking to find balance, harmony and healing.

This sacred knowledge of the universal laws, the human psyche, ancient healing techniques, alignment and communication with the elements of nature, ceremonial alchemy, controlled dreaming and spiritual awakening has been handed down from teacher to student for thousands of years and endured the test of time.

We are honoured to be a part of this lineage and it is our privilege to uphold this tradition by sharing the knowledge, wisdom and ceremonies with you.

There is only Awareness. Awareness helps us to access the inner teacher who guides us back to wholeness.

Most human beings want to achieve greater success, more happiness and deeper intimacy. To accomplish these things requires a presence, a motivation and a focus of attention, it is an act of Living in Awareness.

There is no magic pill or great secret knowledge, nor will any thunderbolt of lightning strike and bring you to instant understanding or enlightenment.

Our dynamic and life changing Sacred Journeys Gatherings are designed to offer you a valuable chance to step away from the outside world, re-connect to yourself and your inner presence, so you can breathe into being more self-aware. This helps you to gain the clarity and perspective needed to re-connect with your inner teacher.

You have the power to choose to change your reality.

Many arrive at Sacred Journeys not knowing what to expect, feeling somewhat nervous and even fearful of what might come. Afterwards, they find it difficult to leave, they often share how their experiences have far exceeded anything they could have hoped for and feel like they have found a deeper sense of ‘home’.

Our blended teaching style follows an integrated approach, providing various learning experiences in support of the organic nature of humans. In this way, we provide a diverse and holistic transformational experience. We know from experience that the work we do changes people’s lives in a deep & meaningful way.

At the end of our Gatherings we ask participants to share some of what they have experienced. Feedback we most often receive speaks of gratitude for holding such a safe space; the ability to express deep seated emotions without feeling judged; letting go; healing the body; insight; wisdom; patience; unconditional acceptance; enlightening; life-altering; understanding; gentleness; love; support; respect; beauty; truth; care; integrity & impeccability…

Situated in the picturesque Valley of 1000 Hills, midway between Durban & Pietermaritzburg, Sacred Journeys is a place where you can retreat from the busy-ness of the world, re-connect to nature & find the healing you seek.

Sacred Journeys is a Sanctuary for deep transformational healing, growth and expansion. We encourage you to come with an open mind & the willingness to explore new possibilities for yourself.

Whether you are looking for some guidance & support through the Services we offer or prefer to walk your own path of self-discovery, Sacred Journeys gives you a space for stillness, reflection & the opportunity to find yourself again.

The Training Centre can accommodate a maximum of 9 people with its comfy shared bedrooms. Each room is accessed off the large Communal area which includes the Gathering / Teaching / Kitchen space. Our bathroom facilities offer a large shower room, separate toilets & also boasts a beautiful outdoor shower garden for those who enjoy being close to nature.

The Centre is a communal space, fostering an attitude of mindfulness & consideration. Everyone is expected to act with kindness & respect for themselves, each other & the space. We honour the Shamanic Philosophy of leaving the space more beautiful than it was found as we walk in beauty upon this earth.

Your stay will be self-catered so make sure you bring along provisions. The closest shops are about half an hour away so we suggest you take care of shopping before arrival. The kitchen is fully equipped with fridge & freezer, gas cooker, toaster, kettle, microwave & coffee maker.

There are no televisions, radios or magazines; electronic devices & cell-phones are strongly discouraged. This means outside distractions are limited, allowing you the time to immerse yourself in your journey, basking in the healing energy of this Sacred Ceremonial Space.

Our unique Medicine Wheel Gardens have much to share with you.

Wind yourself into the “Tapu’at – Mother-Child” Labyrinth as you feel her rhythm of new life springing up inside you. Spiralling into her centre, you will meet Grandfather Baobab, who gently whispers his song of wisdom.

Lighten your spirit by playing with the faeries in the ‘Tolilaqui’ garden or let the sound of the trickling waters flow intimately into your heart.

Align to the heartbeat of the earth as you step into the welcoming embrace of the Women’s Garden.

Harmonise yourself with this open air orchestra as you merge your senses with the exquisite sunsets & the breathtaking views.

The Women's GardenThe Flowering Tree Ceremony guides you around the Medicine Wheel so you can identify what is holding you back from fully manifesting your Dream.

The Medicine Wheel Walk opens doorways to each direction of the wheel so you can look into the different aspects of your Self & reclaim the lost parts of your wholeness.

The Nature Walk Talk creates an opportunity to communicate with & listen to the worlds of Grandmother Earth; the minerals, plants, animals & humans. Walk & talk with these worlds, allowing them to become your teachers & guides. Learn to silence your mind & take command of your inner world as you listen to & learn from the outer world.

We invite you to give us a call so you can come & visit us to experience one of these simple yet profound Shamanic Ceremonies.

Our dynamic Gatherings provide a space where you can reconnect to yourself, breathe & allow the authentic you to emerge.

With this in mind, our blended teaching style follows an integrated approach that provides different learning experiences & supports the organic nature of humans.

In this way, we provide a diverse & holistic transformational experience within a flexible outline using a variety of the following techniques:

  • Lecture style teaching
  • Interactive explorative discussion
  • Cognitive mind mapping
  • Group activities & experiences
  • Body-Mind integration exercises
  • Personal Reflection Ceremonies
  • Story telling & sharing sessions
  • Techniques of Discipline
  • & much more…

We place infinite worth on the Gatherings we offer at Sacred Journeys. It is our privilege to witness and participate in the growth people experience while here.

Joining us requires you to be present, aware and committed to your journey, with the willingness to give equally for what you receive.

Our financial Exchange Policies are inspired from understanding the principle of mutual exchange. This means the value of what you receive from the experience is equal to your financial investment. You will find equitable exchange values for our offered services in ‘Exchange Policies’ although for many, the gains made during their Sacred Journeys experience, far surpass the requested investment of money.

We do not intend for money to become a factor preventing anyone from participating, however, there is no such thing as a free ride. Everything in the universe follows the principle of mutual energy exchange. For example, the bee takes pollen so that it may nurture and care for its hive and in exchange fertilizes the flower so that it too may thrive. We have experienced that this kind of balanced equitable exchange creates opportunity for the greatest benefits for all involved to thrive.

Should you feel called to join us but have difficulty meeting the requested financial exchange, feel free to talk to us about a proposal for equitable exchange expressing from your heart, how you can honour the value of what you will gain from the experience, honestly giving what you can, no more & no less.

We are often asked what can be given to equalize the exchange and add value to our lives. So for this purpose we include the following info about Heart Gifts, which provides us with a model as we continue to develop our Metis (western mixed blood) way with Exchange Protocols:

Heart gifts are just that – a gift from your heart, given with the receiver in mind. They can include something that is created, bought or that you have in abundance.

Traditionally, a Heart Gift is offered to express appreciation, acknowledgement and to honour a Dance Chief or Blanket Guide for having performed ceremony, given a teaching or provided healing work on your behalf.

These exchanges ensure there are no energetic debts on any level.

The impact of Shamanic work happens on many levels. On the Tonal level (everyday physical reality), this involves an equitable financial exchange. On the Nagual level (all spiritual levels) a Heart Gift may be offered from your spirit, to the Dance Chief or Medicine Guide’s spirit, as an energy exchange for having held a sacred space for you.

A Heart Gift is usually given with an offering of tobacco, which symbolises the sealing of one’s intent and a connection to spirit. This can be done by giving a pouch of tobacco or taking a pinch of tobacco, wrapping it in red fabric and tying it closed with red yarn (red representing protection and heart connection).

Some Heart Gifting ideas include Red Wine (for Lou), Prosecco (for Laurel), Woolworths Espresso Coffee Beans, organic dark chocolate, herbal teas, coconut/olive oil, essential oils, honey/maple syrup, assorted dried herbs. Monetary donations are always welcome & are put towards the continued upgrading of the land & its facilities.