About 10 years ago, Vernon local Leanne Sagstuen said she felt a disconnect between where she came from and who she was.
Both sets of grandparents had immigrated to Canada — one from Norway and the other from Scotland and Ireland. Once they arrived, she said they began distancing themselves from their native countries.
“When they moved here, they even changed the spelling of their name and stopped speaking their language because they were Canadian now,” she explained. “It was an extreme disconnect to who they actually are and where they came from so I never really learned about or had a connection to my ancestors.”
Then, she found Shamanic medicine — an ancient spiritual and healing practice.
“I was searching to find out a bit more about who I was and what my purpose is and wanting to reconnect and feel supported. I tried traditional methods through counselling and self-help books first and they were tremendously helpful but, for me, shamanic medicine was the missing link I needed.”
Wanting to create a sense of community for like-minded people, she began hosting a monthly circle. Next month she will also host a three-day women’s retreat based on Celtic shamanic medicine at The Castle at Swan Lake in Vernon.
“This work is meant to help people reconnect with their own power, women specifically, and it’s a way to balance anything that is out of balance in your life. I know that the women who come to these type of workshops are hungry for it because they are missing the connection to their groundedness,” Sagstuen said.
“It’s about learning how to move through life’s challenges with ease and grace and at the same time being very rooted and connected with your ancestors so you have a framework of understanding life’s processes.”
Sagstuen, who is also a registered nurse and works in public health doing prenatal and postnatal support, said the whole purpose of these events is to provide a sense of community that has been lost since globalization.
“It’s all about service to the community and the importance of connecting with other people and reconnecting to your roots. It’s bringing back the tribe because, with my role in public health, I see so many women thinking they have to do this role of parenting on their own, that they have to be independent and can’t ask for help. This is the space to say that it’s okay to ask for help.”
The workshop, titled The Way of the Seabhean Goddess Retreat, runs April 5- 7. Clairvoyant medicine woman Amantha Murphy will be travelling to Vernon from Ireland to lead the retreat. The workshop will be limited to 20 participants.
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