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Ritual, Re-membering and Re-Enchantment

March 27th, 2018

I so enjoyed William Ayot’s fabulous book Re-enchanting the Forest, Meaningful Ritual in a Secular World, beautifully written and insightful. I am delighted that William is about to hold a series of training modules and a retreat to explore in depth the power and value of ritual:  

Ritual, Re-membering & Re-Enchantment ~ Initiating Ritual Elders for a Changing World Ongoing Training Group for Men & Women with Rite of Passage with WILLIAM AYOT. Rites of Passage co-led by SIMON ROE

Course Includes: Three Two-Day Modules & One Four-Day Rite of Passage Retreat
Two-Day Modules to be held on 24th-25th May, 2018   —   12th-13th July, 2018   —   18th-19th Oct, 2018. Venue: Haddon Acre, near Abingdon, Oxon(These modules are non-residential – price does not include accommodation or food). 

One Four-Day Retreat & Rite of Passage to be held on 26th to 29th November 2018. Venue: EarthSpirit Centre, Compton Dundon, Somerset. This module is residential. Price includes accommodation and food based on shared room and shared bathroom with vegetarian food. A single room supplement costs an extra £48, en-suite bathroom costs an extra £27, and special diet costs an extra £33 – subject to availability. Cost of ten-day course, including four days accommodation and food. £2,500 if booked before 1 April 2018 – click here to pay. (Price will be £2,750 if booked after 1 April 2018).Deferred payment terms negotiable The Commitment: Once you sign up, you will pay for all ten days. Clearing Up: You will be asked to help clear up after one of the modules.

We live in an increasingly fractious and fractured world, where we lack the personal and communal rituals necessary to heal ourselves and our communities. This extended course sets out to introduce men and women to the fundamentals of symbolic action, and deeper practices associated with creating, leading and holding meaningful ritual. The aim of the course is to pass on ritual knowledge, to reconnect individuals to the Other – however they choose to define that – and to create, through communal rites of passage, individual or group rituals that, where appropriate, initiate them into the role of ritual elder.  

Ritual Elders are persons, of whatever age, who are willing, empowered and able to create, lead and hold safe and meaningful rituals or ceremonies for their loved-ones, communities and societies. 

In response to the demand created by his book, “Re-enchanting the Forest”, William Ayot is offering a ten-day ongoing ritual study group for those who wish to work with ritual and/or deepen their understanding of ritual process. Once the group reaches sufficient numbers it will become closed, providing a safe place for personal growth and the holding of individual rituals along the way.

Please note: by its very nature, this initiatory programme will include elements of personal development.

The intention with this course is to teach by doing. Course content will therefore evolve emergently. However, we can broadly expect to explore the following content:

Module One: Connecting with People – Purpose & Practice • Introduction to Ritual: intention, structure, meaning & metaphor • Ritual & Liminal Spaces • Ritual as Performance, presence and truth • Preparing others and ourselves • Rituals of Lack: Separations & Atonements • Boxes, bags & paraphernalia • Ritual as a life-practice • Module Two: Connecting with the Other • Defining and Approaching the Other (however we define it) • Nature as Presence, Container & Witness • Paying Attention and Listening • Out-sittings and Questing • Shrines and Altars • Working with Objects •  Amulets and Mnemonics • Module Three: Connecting with Self and Soul (Day 2 with Simon Roe) • Getting Real • Finding our ground and what we bring • Caritas, Care and the Human Shadow • Working with Feelings • Rituals for Anger, Grief and Shame • Self-care, safety and boundaries • Metaphor as magic; theatre, speech and the power of invocation • Module Four – Group Rite of Passage (with Simon Roe) • Preparation, Body Work and Time Alone • Rituals of Initiation • Personal Challenges, Ordeals and Vigils • Incorporation and Celebration.

Expect a degree of mess and making. You may be asked to bring specific items and materials for each module. On a regular basis, you will need to bring a knife, a blanket and towel.

William Ayot began leading ritual workshops for men in rehab centres and prisons during the early nineties. Later, he organised and hosted large-scale men’s events for indigenous shamans and medicine teachers while leading initiatory Rites of Passage retreats. As a co-founder of Olivier Mythodrama, he worked around the world, teaching leadership through story, poetry, theatre practice and ritual. He currently teaches on the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD and is Poet-in-Residence at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. William also coaches, gives poetry readings and conducts private rituals and ceremonies for individuals and groups. Writing includes the play Bengal Lancer, three collections of poetry, including E-mail From The Soul (which won the People’s Book Prize) and his last book, Re-enchanting the Forest, Meaningful Ritual in a Secular World.

Simon Roe originally trained as a body psychotherapist with Nick Totton & Em Edmondson and has been working with individuals and groups for over 25 years. During this time, he has explored and studied many forms of ritual practice and has been profoundly influenced by such teachers as Robert Bly, Martin Prechtel and Malidoma Somé. He became a co-leader of the Mandorla Men’s Rites of Passage programme in 2001 and continues to lead ritual events and gatherings for men and women. Simon is a Respect ( approved trainer & supervisor for domestic violence projects. He practices Process Orientated Psychology and is the director of Two Wolves Consultancy & Training.

For more information, or to arrange a conversation with William, please call 01291 638807 between 10:00 and 14:00 hours on weekdays, alternatively e-mail William on  We look forward to exploring ritual with you.