“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” — Richard Bach
Skye was raised on (and by) a farm in South Africa, where she spent her early years wondering barefoot, hand-raising and rehabilitating wildlife and working as a wilderness guide. She then trained in traditional Taoist healing practices for three years, as well as other body-based healing modalities, before travelling to the Peruvian Amazon to study plant medicine. Here is Skye’s personal blog.
Helm also grew up close to nature, but tried to ‘civilise’ himself through university education and a number of years in the corporate world. Fortunately he failed, and found his way to the jungle, where he met Skye. Along the way, Helm trained as a counsellor, breathworker, psychotherapeutic journey practitioner, and in bodywork.
We lived in the Peruvian Amazon from 2011 to 2016, where we apprenticed with a number of Shipibo curanderos (traditional healers). As part of our training we facilitated retreats for hundreds of participants from all walks of life and formed relationships with master teacher plants through the practice of dieta.
We are also long-term enthusiasts of Buddha dharma and students / facilitators of deep ecology / the Work That Reconnects.
teachers and influences
A few of our teachers and influences are: Joanna Macy, John Seed, Stephen Harrod Buhner, Daniel Foor, Gabor Mate, Thomas Berry, Joan Halifax, Adyashanti, Jon Young, Stephen Jenkinson, Bill Plotkin, Michaela Boehm, Starhawk, Charles Eisenstein, Daniel Christian Wahl, Brian Swimme, Robert Bly, Jeremy Lent, Frank Ostaseski, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Pema Chodron, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche…
… reishi mushrooms, all manner of ensouled green things, suffering, lyrebirds, lichen, and so forth. And Leonard Cohen, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Choying Drolma, Lama Gyurme, Estas Tonne, Dhafer Youssef, Bjork… and anyone else who wrangles funky-fresh cuts, non-dual transmissions and profound lyrical / visionary output.
what we’re about – the great turning
As warm-blooded human animals, we are deeply disturbed by the trajectory of our western civilisation. Whilst we acknowledge the marvels of this culture, its global shadow is now impossible to ignore. At the same time, we feel that this life is a miracle and want to honour it and celebrate it. We are part of the movement from the Industrial Growth Society to a life-conducive or biophilic culture – also known as the Great Turning.
what we offer –
deep ecology, plant medicine, breathwork
In contemplating how we can use our gifts to contribute to this Great Turning, the words of Fritjof Capra came to mind:
“the ecological, economic and social crises that are progressively worsening, are in fact the symptoms of an underlying deeper crisis – a crisis of perception, a crisis of consciousness.”
We feel that our ecological function is to address this crisis of perception. We’re talking about the pernicious misunderstanding that humans are separate and superior to the rest of creation. Our work is to help awaken the human from the trance of separation and anthropocentrism, and into the truth of interbeing: our identity as interconnected and interdependent cells in the living body of the earth.
To this end, we facilitate deep ecology / Work That Reconnects study groups and retreats to raise awareness, build community resilience and keep ourselves sane. We also facilitate breathwork and plant medicine intensives, and offer ceremonial preparation & integration support.
More broadly, we try to collaborate with / support others who are doing good work in putting the Gaian perception of reality into practice. This includes those involved in various forms of activism and those exploring biophilic culture and systems (eg, spirituality, community living, bio remediation/regeneration, permaculture and soul-centric early childhood education).
what we’re up to now
We recently emerged from a long period of integration, study and city living. This was a kind of winter cycle. Now it is spring again, so we are offering sessions and growing our networks and paying more attention to our little garden and the dog.
If it feels right, reach out to us.
Skye and Helm