The Sylvan Path

Throughout these two years, you will explore this human journey of relationship and connection, from conception to death, and beyond. Coming together in community, we will weave the seven pillars of our curriculum to understand this journey more deeply, being witnesses to others and to ourselves through the thresholds of life.


In the first pillar of exploring your own biographical journey, with all its ebbs and flows, you remember your true nature, that which makes you who you are. It is when you gather this material that you can journey through the remaining six pillars, exploring how each underpins your life experience.

In the first year, you will explore the formative years, from birth to adolescence, exploring how these first years of life shape you. In the second year, you will journey into adulthood, from marriage/union with another, or others, to death and beyond, exploring the self in relation to the other, how you can meet in community and with that which challenges you. Your own biographical journey will provide you with the necessary material to engage more deeply with the curriculum, as holding space for yourself allows you to hold space for each other. In understanding yourself, you understand the world. Inspired by the inscription on the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Know Thyself, we believe in knowing ourselves and loving ourselves, we can do the same for others. You will co-create in the community, exploring that which keeps us connected, to cultivate space for personal transformation. You will witness how you can serve the human life journey through sacred ceremony and ritual, and spiritual companionship, drawing on the world’s wisdom traditions to support you in finding the sacred within the ordinary.



A dynamic and authentic path to creating ceremony is through the work of inquiring into one’s own biography and using our own personal material for transformation. We will delve into the biography and mythology of our own life journey, exploring the archetypal aspects of the many stages of life.


We open to the powerful world of ceremony, both to illuminate the world of everyday form, and its inherent capacity to express Spirit/Life. A dynamic and authentic path to creating ceremony is through the work of inquiring into one’s own biography, and so this strand weaves in much of the first strand.


Drawing on the world’s wisdom traditions, we will explore how these traditions approach the different aspects and thresholds of life. From birth through to death and beyond, we will encounter the different teachings and practices that are woven into the stages of life, and what we may learn from these in our inner exploration.


Grounded in deep listening, we explore what it means to be in spiritual companionship with another. We will delve into the skills needed to hold space for one another and through this journey, we learn what it means to be truly present with each other.


Spiritual development weaves in spiritual practice in its many forms, and we encourage you to explore and deepen your connection with the spiritual world throughout the two years. In engaging with personal spiritual practice consistently, you will learn to move away from identification with the individual form and become more connected to yourself, others, and the oneness of the world’s consciousness. This can take many forms, from meditation and coherence practices, creative expressions, to more traditional religious practices.


We learn how to be in community, to love and respect the diversity of each individual as an aspect of wholeness, to heal and grow together. We examine how we respond to each other and life’s challenges, welcoming each experience of conflict and love as on opportunity for reconciliation and compassion. We expand our consciousness beyond the self, to the collective, to all forms of life and into the universal consciousness of Oneness.


We will explore creativity as the unique expression of the sacred through each of us, as a way to witness and experience the language of the sacred. Throughout the two years, we will be exploring creative expression through its many different and varied forms; finding what feels to be your own unique creative way in the world. We will guide you in releasing your beautiful expression of the sacred.


Across the two years, you will encounter six gateways that mirror the different phases of life. Our curriculum follows an interweaving path, combining all curriculum pillars to reveal the rich tapestry contained within each stage of life’s journey. The Sylvan Path weaves together in-person connections with online meetings, resources, and support to offer a beautifully created blended approach to the training.

YEAR 1 Dates

Gateway 1: Conception and Birth Retreat Dates: 23 – 27 November 2023

Gateway 2: Childhood
Retreat Dates: 21 – 25 March 2024

Gateway 3: Adolescence
Retreat Dates: 27 June – 1 July 2024

Year 1 Webinar Dates:

25 January 2024, 22 February 2024, 25 April 2024, 6 June 2024.

YEAR 2 Dates

Gateway 4: Coming into adulthood, marriage and relationship Retreat Dates: 21 – 25 November 2024

Gateway 5: Being in community Retreat Dates: 20 – 24 March 2025

Gateway 6: Dying, death and funeral work. Retreat Dates: 26 – 30 June 2025

Year 2 Webinar Dates:

23 January 2025, 20 February 2025, 24 April 2025, 5 June 2025.

Ordination: Your closing retreat will bring you together for a final time, where in the community you will take your vow before ordination. Ordination will be held on 19 July 2025.

Sylvan Path Training Fees

Option 1: tuition fees are paid in two annual instalments

Option 2: tuition fees are paid in 20 monthly instalments

Option 3: tuition fees are paid in 60 monthly instalments


Your training will be led by OneSpirit Core Tutor, Dawn Russell. Dawn’s greatest passion is to be part of the human experience that unfolds when we come together in a heart space to achieve something for the greater good of all. She started her working life in therapeutic communities and worked with many aspects of psychotherapeutic practices such as art therapy, psychodrama and group dynamics.

After many years of exploring earth-based spirituality and healing practices (often under the umbrella name of shamanism), she became co-director of Eagle’s Wing College of Contemporary Shamanism, and co-founder of both Celebrating Woman and Medicine Woman, Medicine Ways.

Over the last 20 years, Dawn has been offering one-year courses and short courses in healing, earth connection and practitioner training. She has also developed a one-to-one practice offering many lenses to help people know, love, heal and accept themselves, and in turn to know themselves as part of the Divine, Great Mystery of life.