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What are Rainbow Warriors?

You may be wondering why this course is called Rainbow Warriors … there is a very good reason. They are mentioned in various traditions and you may already know prophecies that relate to the 144,000 Rainbow Warriors, two of them are …

The Book of Revelations says …

the number of the saved is 144,000.

An old prophecy of the Native American peoples says

When the Earth is sick and all the animals are dying a tribe of people will come, of all colours and creeds, who will restore the Earth. They will be called Warriors of the Rainbow.

Rainbow Warriors are hidden in occult and esoteric lore – the word occult just means hidden, occluded. They are the 144,000 “petals” that hold and carry the energy within the energy centres or chakras. You learn how this works early in the course. As we all contain the 144,000 petals – we all have chakras – we are each of us “the number of the saved”. Our purpose is to become conscious of this and able to work with it along with working with Otherworld.

The native American prophecy fairly well describes the times we are living in. Only by being conscious of our place as a vital part of the whole, and one that can – through consciousness – make a difference can we restore the Earth. Our first conscious learning is of how we are made and that we are all made of the same stuff as the rest of creation. Joany Mitchell put it rather well in her song Woodstock, when she said “We are stardust …”, we are indeed. Rainbow Warriors know this and work with it for the good of all.

Turning Back to Serve

This saying comes from a master in the early 20th century and expresses what rainbow warriors do. Please don’t be put of by the somewhat archaic language J, take it all in and ponder it for yourself…

He who faces the light and stands within its radiance is blinded to the issues of the world of men; he passes on the Lighted Way to the great Centre of Absorption. But he who feels the urge to pass that way yet loves his brother on the darkened path, revolves upon the pedestal of light and turns the other way. He faces toward the dark, and then the seven points of light within himself transmit the outward streaming light and lo! the face of those upon the darkened way receives that light. For them the way is not so dark.

This is what we are about, turning back to help light the way for those who follow.

So Rainbow Warriors work for others rather than just for themselves. Of course, personal development goes on anyway – you cannot stop developing once your feet are on the path, you learn continuously from others. But the warriors’ focus is not on themselves. They serve all of creation, including other human beings. Here again, the focus is much broader than humanity alone. As shamans, Rainbow Warriors know the interconnectedness of all life, and know that they play a part in helping everything in creation become its true self. They turn back from personal completion, refusing to be blinded by the light and focused only on self, to shed the light of their own knowing (in so far as they have got) onto the path, to help light the way for others.

The Course

Rainbow Warriors is a 3 year practical course in advanced shamanism.

It’s an experiential rather than an academic course done through the Internet with a two-week workshop at the end. It is based in, but not exclusive to, the Western & Celtic magical traditions. It is about becoming a shaman, not a shamanic practitioner but the real thing. It gives a solid grounding in, and knowledge of, experiential shamanic magic and is designed to enable Students to become Walkers Between Worlds.

I do not give a certificate of graduation.  Shamanism is invisible and cannot be accredited in the common academic way.

You will know for yourself when Otherworld calls you “Elder” … and that will be your initiation at the end of the 3 years. This is why there are no certificates. It is not I who judge you, you bring yourself before Otherworld and they show and tell you where and what you are. You cannot do that in ordinary human terms of pieces of paper.

Being a shaman doesn’t mean you have to go round dressed in feathers and war-paint, although you can if you like. The people who’ve gone through the process, so far, have been all sorts of things … teacher, policewoman, scientist, computer boffin, artist, poet, ecologist, legal secretary, garden centre owner, anything a human being can do. They mostly still do the same sort of thing they did before but they do it a lot differently! RW has expanded how they see the world and so how they relate to it, and how useful they are to Mother Earth.

Your main subjects of study are  ..

  • Spiritual anatomy and engineering: including the chakras but from a place and in a way you probably never thought of before, a Celtic way.
  • Journeying – how to look after yourself doing this, very consciously, retaining choice throughout, AND learning not to harm anything else (even by accident) while you’re out there!
  • Biodynamics – a shamanic way of working with plants, gardens farming in the widest possible sense.
  • Healing – which is about Thread-Twining & Weaving.
  • Mastery – which is about SELF-MASTERY, learning to use your skills for the benefit of all creation. It includes seeing across time & space, and walking between worlds. You’ll understand this better as you go through the work.

Doing the Work …

You get 8 lessons each year – one for each of the 8 seasons of the Celtic year …

  • Samhain
  • Midwinter
  • Imbolc
  • Spring
  • Beltane
  • Midsummer
  • Lammas
  • Autumn

NB – if you live in the southern hemisphere you will celebrate the opposite season to us here in the north.

The course is hard work. It is largely experiential, about knowing of and for yourself, not parroting book learning or someone else’s experience. Then you distil, draw out the essence, the salient points of the knowing you have gained from doing the work.

You have a fair bit of reading, including fiction, in addition to your course notes. Each lesson you …

  • celebrate the season,
  • read and internally digest the lore;
  • make a journey and taleweave that journey into a story, write it up and send to me; you read a story and a book;
  • make one of the hallows, which includes journeying and ritual.
  • tell me what has changed for you. I give you a set of questions at the end of each lesson to help you with this, so you realise what you know, what you’ve learned and what’s changed. It’s the changes I’m interested in :-).

Workshop

At the end of September/beginning of October in your 3rd year there is a 2 week workshop on Exmoor, a very beautiful and magical place, with many sacred sites.

The workshop is experiential. It is an essential part of the process, this two weeks of the workshop, living and working very intensely with me, the other 2 w/s tutors and your colleagues. You live and work in the middle of scared places, tapping into their energy and wisdom, learning to work with them directly, and to work as a group. It is the completion of your three years’ training. It culminates in an initiation ritual, at grove up on the wilds of Exmoor that has been used for this purpose for 4000 years. You devise, this ritual as part of your work during the two weeks.

I share this teaching with 2 colleagues who are RW graduates. Your job is to show the 3 of us what you know – show NOT tell !!! Our job is to trick and tease you every which way so that you know just how skilled and competent you are 🙂

We spend a lot of time outside, working at the sacred sites, including some nightwork, and we do a dream incubation. You will be continually on your toes, being challenged, thinking on your feet … just as you will have to do from then on in your life and work as a shaman.

We stay in a beautiful, old farmhouse just at the top of the hill from one of the sacred sites we use. You will be in single or twin bedrooms; there are showers and baths, washing machine, dryers, dishwasher, wood-burning stove, central heating. we 3 tutors do all the cooking and you students do the washing-up – with the aid of the dishwasher so it’s not very arduous. The food is local, organic and some will be biodynamic, as well as home cooked. I usually make bread every day too. We can cater for all diets – just tell us what you need.

Being a Warrior …

In the course, you come to know (not believe) that the Earth is alive, has a spirit. In the Celtic tradition The Earth goes under several names, but the overall term is Sovereignty, Sovereignty is the spirit of the Land, the Earth herself. The elements – Earth, Air, Fire, Water – animals, trees, plants, fish, birds, insects, the very soil itself, all have spirit. Your work, over the three years, is to learn to contact, listen to and converse with these spirits in order to bring back the gifts and knowledge they have for the benefit of the Earth – not just humanity but the whole Earth and everything that lives and moves and breathes therein. The shaman is the intercessor between these spirits, otherworld and his people. The shaman knows respect for all life, whether it has the same shape as him or her self, the same number of legs, the same language. The shaman knows Life, and soul (anima) and spirit in all things. This is animism. Anima is the soul and animists (and shamans) know the soul within everything – even if many folk cannot see or know it. Shamans learn respect and responsibility, knowing that every action really does have its equal and opposite reaction … in the east, they call this karma, in Britain the ancient word is geas which has more of the idea of duty, respect and responsibility behind it. Geas is the promise, and whatever promise you make you will be held to. The shaman knows this, hence he does not make promises lightly.

In Britain, the old ways are still handed down, but they are well hidden from ordinary view. Many people are unaware that Britain has a living tradition. Rainbow Warriors is one way of handing that tradition on, in ways which make it very pertinent to the 21st century in which we live. Rainbow Warriors are able to help those they come in contact with in many ways, healing can take many forms besides the simple ‘curing’ of an ailment. Rainbow Warriors are especially concerned with human beings’ relationship with the Land and the Earth. They carry their magical work into their everyday jobs, like accountancy, ecology, teaching, engineering, business, counselling, psychotherapy and the arts. This is practical shamanism. Always, shamans are part of their community and that still follows today.

If you think this course might be for you read my book Dreamweaver. This gives the basic tenets used in the course and shows you how I work. If you find yourself comfortable with this then Rainbow Warriors may be for you.

  • Warriors know themselves, and so are honest with themselves and with everyone else.
  • Warriors honour their commitments.
  • Warriors put the Earth and all that lives and moves and has its being therein, before themselves.

Is this what you want? If so, complete and send the application form to begin the process …

Elen Sentier

writer artist gardener shaman
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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Monarda & Rain

Herding Kittens – a shaman’s job

Ggrym-at-Culbone-Stone

I’ve been herding kittens (looking after RW students) for near 20 years now, I’m fairly au fait with the various turns they galumph through, especially as they come up to the starting post. I can also see Otherworld having the whale of a time putting embuggerance factors before their cute little ballet-shod tootsies LOL. It is funny, but it doesn’t make the job any easier! I also need to shout “yere be dragons” every now and again or I’m not doing my job.

The latest intake to Rainbow Warriors comes up to the starting post in about 5 weeks time. There may well be a couple more joining us too – I can hear them lurking about in the long grass wondering whether to come down to the water hole and drink. Like a good lioness, I’m crouching quietly and fairly invisibly on the sand coloured ground, melting my sand-coloured hide into it and panting softly.

Meanwhile I still have to keep an eye on the ones already signed on and raring to go. It’s a funny old time that, the waiting to begin. And yet, in some ways, you already have begun. You’ve read your pre-course notes, got your books, begun to learn the mechanics of the journeying process we use, gone hunting for your sacred space, etc, etc. So you feel as if you’re already doing it … but you’re not. Not yet.

And one of the things that will happen to you as a brand new apprentice warrior is that all the skills and abilities you had will fall away from you. You’ll be naked and skill-less, unarmed, vulnerable and … to make it worse … your head is likely to feel like wet cotton-wool! What happens to folk who sign on to become awake and aware and useful to Otherworld is that they have to go through the Butterfly Soup process.

Butterfly soup … ??? You don’t know that one? Yes you do, I’ll bet. It’s what happens to the caterpillar at the end of the summer, like about now-ish. The little wriggly beastie finds himself a corner, or a branch, or a leaf and makes himself a cocoon. Inside the cocoon, once it’s hardened and dry, the caterpillar completely dissolves – he becomes soup, a soup that will gradually rebuild itself into a butterfly.

This happens to apprentice Rainbow Warriors too – except they gotta do it without the cocoon! Oh they don’t dissolve physically – at least I’ve not had one do that yet! But emotionally, mentally and spiritually they do. In fact, they become a complete mess *g*. Quite often, students come to Rainbow Warriors with a good set of skills, lots of abilities and a reasonable confidence. They often manage to keep all of this until they arrive at the first journey … then wallop! They find themselves naked and exposed, and all the skills they had gone. It can be very scary. I do try to warn them about this beforehand but, like teenagers, they don’t believe what the Old Fogey (me!) says, not really. Oh, it may happen to others but they will be different, shining, exemplars, able to swan though with no problems at all.

Well, I do get some like that, some who’ve slipped through the lioness’ net. Unfortunately, they’re ones it doesn’t work for, they learn nothing, go nowhere, and leave early. I do try to make this happen before they sign on … but there’s always one, isn’t there *g*. If it all goes easy for you it’s an absolute sure sign you’re failing! If all hell breaks loose then you’re on a winner, if not a roll LOL.

Like all alchemical processes, you have to break down to build up. Otherworld are very keen that you do this and do their best to send you down the shop for a tin of striped paint and box of tappet clearances. And they lure you into the woods where large hairy beasties will growl and chase you … until you stop running away, turn round and ask them their name. And they leave you outside the castle gate in the snow for weeks on end until you learn to ask the Gatekeeper’s name rather than be a clever clogs and find out all by your little self. Le Guin’s “Wizard of Earthsea” (one of the books we use) has a very good story on this. All the nasty tricks of the faery story … that are really the tests to see if you can measure up to the hard training that will come.

And that’s really the first trick all apprentice warriors have to learn … to sit still and ask. However, although Life (& shamanism) is simple nobody ever said it was easy *g*.

My usual advice to the “kittens” at this stage in the game is, “For goodness sake take a cold shower! Clean the kitchen with a toothbrush! Generally learn to slow down. I am serious about that. You miss things at the ecstatic rate you’re currently running. Try to sit physically very still and allow the ecstasy to flow through you without any attempt to steer it. You might try giving your brain sixpence and telling it to go play with the traffic !!!”

In fact, I took my own advice last w/end. Me and two friends, the 3 witches of Endor who look after Rainbow Warriors, went to go sit in our wood under Dunkery Beacon, by a 4000+ year old sacred stone.  There are always ravens there, and owls, as well as many other creatures, denizens of the nightwood.. If we are still enough they come to visit us, speak with us, show us things. But only if we are still. Only if we are focused on them and not ourselves, not off in our heads planning and scheming and generally making a ghastly spiritual noise!

UPDATE on return from Exmoor … It didn’t work out like we thought at all (how surprising *g*) … will write the blog and put it up on Sunday. It was fascinating and just goes to show how Otherworld are also Herding Kittens too, even when it’s us old fogeys what been doin’ it all our lives like LOL. We can still need to be chivvied into going the appropriate way *g*. Watch this space …

If you are interested in shamanic training look at http://www.elensentier.co.uk/rainbow_warriors.htm 

 

BTW – the picture is of the Culbone Stone, with his Earth-Eye-Cross. The beautiful dancer, Lucy Bethune, is superimposed.