Animistic embodiment and soul tending training with Kelley Harrell, M. Div.
WHAT IS THE SPIRITED PATH?
The Spirited Path is a two-year training in skills to tend the soul needs of self, community, and the human place in All Things. Through cultivating intimate relationship with your rituals and cosmology, you learn to find your unique spiritual path in support of your quiet dead, well ancestors, fellow humans, and peaceful coexistence with your land spirits, so that you can live your calling and leave the planet better than you found it.
This is walking The Spirited path.
TENDING THE BROKEN PATH
As most of us in settler culture walk broken spiritual paths, we cannot claim animistic or shamanic traditions that went before us as our own. Neither can we claim the titles of those paths. We can, however, respond to our own calling and ethically create our own way, authentic to how and where we live and engage, without disparaging ancient paths, the people or practices of traditional shamanism, or indigenous cultures. We can ethically soul tend where we stand. Through The Spirited Path teachings and community, we remember direct relationship with Nature, and embody ourselves as relationship builders in soul tending.
That said, I don’t teach a brand of soul tending. I don’t teach a path of shamanism. I don’t even teach you my path. I teach you how to find your path of soul tending, through your cosmology and rituals, to ground the skills you learn into everyday life with sustainable passion and wisdom, in community. This coursework implements a thorough experiential curriculum to form your own approach to modern soul tending and bring it to the world. It facilitates your ability to apply your agency through soul tending. Through intimate relationship with your rituals and cosmology in this Intensive, you accept and engage the collective calling to be a fit, embodied elder, and to upon death become a wise, capable Ancestor.
In my years of teaching soul tending and working with others, what’s missing in the modern path are clear rites of passage into elderhood and support within community–-learning soul tending and sustaining that work, in community. In that lack, shamanism is often taught as a self-healing modality, which it is not.
In order to stand in service to community, to determine our duty to all of life on this planet and each other, we must complete our personal initiations, so that we understand our calling, which is not for ourselves. Our calling is for others. This Intensive fosters nothing less than orienting Self to serve community. As such participation in the Intensive community is required. This means following rules of group conduct, as well as agreeing to basic principles of our community.
This coursework begins with locating self in animism and culminates in intentional soul tending. Soul tending is embracing the fullest range of the human-person experience among the infinite network of other-persons doing the same, and committing to be a custodian of the network. It teaches you how to show up for all of Life on this planet. Through direct relationship with the soul allies of Nature, this Intensive provides not only an approach to ground your personal experience and teaching into a unique soul tending path, it does so through deepening your relationship with Nature, and with the support and insight of community.
This coursework is intended for those driven to work in some capacity of service to community in the role of soul tender. It is not intended as self-work or animistic study.
This coursework comprises developing personal soul tending relationships while respecting world approaches to shamanism, engaging responsible animism, working with others as a facilitator of soul awareness, deathwalking, Ancestor tending, fostering elderhood, sacred activism, energetic hygiene, personal duty, and planetary responsibility. As such, this coursework continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of our time. If you want to study a set methodology in shamanism, this is not the approach for you. I am not the mentor for you. Candidates for this Intensive are confident in learning techniques that draw on bringing their innate wisdom to the world in a way that is ethical and unique to them, and are driven to bring that principle forward for others to do the same.
WALKING THE SPIRITED PATH
This Intensive is conducted as a mentorship in community. Admissions open every January. Studies and mentorship are a two-year commitment, divided into Seasons. All engaged in this Intensive are required to participate in Sharing Sessions, which are Initiate peer witnessing sessions that meet every three weeks via web conference.
Coursework takes places in two seasons, which encompasses an extended immersion in both coursework and community (which takes most students about two years–timing can be adjusted with special arrangements), with continued peer and supervisory support following indefinitely. This Intensive consists of regular studies in a hybrid classroom, personal mentoring, group interaction, and homework with the intention of building skills to work with others. Candidates for this work are comfortable with live online classes and mentoring sessions, pre-recorded material, turning in assignments online, and keeping themselves on task with the rest of the group. The time commitment will be strict, with topics building on each other month-to-month.
The time commitment is broken into two Seasons of study:
Coursework includes a growing understanding of the history of shamanism, including perspectives on cultural appropriation and the politics of soul tending, and psychological and cultural concerns. Practical coursework focuses on creating rituals, implementing personal cosmology, working with fetishes, and finding personal animistic roots. Experiential work emphasizes soul travel, oracles, etheric self-care, shapeshifting, shadow tending, and implementing personal animistic relationship to the world. The first Season teach all the basics, spans 12 months, and requires participation in the Sharing Sessions.
Experiential coursework includes embodying Sacred Self, energy tending, soul retrieval, deathwalking, and ancestral tending. Emphasis is placed on how to use these skills with others where applicable, through engaging calling, the role of and responsibility to community, all with an intense focus on ethics and cultural self-awareness. The second Season is focused on refinement of basic skills and applying them to diverse dynamics, is completed in 12 months, and requires participation in the Sharing Sessions.
Community Beyond the Intensive/Mentorship
Visioning Community after completing Intensive studies focuses on continuation of regular Sharing Sessions to provide supervision, animistic peer support, and opportunities for engagement with teachers of other paths and traditions. It further holds space for deepening of Ancestor tending ritual, developing leadership skills in the community, and creating a clear path to personal elderhood. A strong emphasis on Ancestral engagement, community representation, and working closely with local Nature Spirits sustains beyond the Intensive. Beyond the two seasons, the focus is personal support, accountability, witnessing, eldering well, and tending the needs of our kinship spaces.
Kelley Harrell, M. Div.
I’m an author, lifelong deathwalker and animist, and death doula. Through Soul Intent Arts, I’ve worked with a local and international client base since 2000. My work fosters embodied soul tending through Nature, focused on everyday animism, ancestral healing, and deathwork.
To learn more about my work, read The Weekly Rune, and listen to my podcast, What in the Wyrd.
CODE OF ETHICS
The Spirited Path is an intensive in modern soul tending. Initiates completing this intensive agree to:
- Practice thorough and mature self-care to the best of their ability.
- Provide a community of support to other initiates, in which they relate professionally with one another. This support includes resolving conflicts directly with each other, collaborating for the well-being of clients or to further soul work, and continuously working to sustain the integrity of the initiate community.
- Honor self, other initiates, and clients with respect to religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, relationship status, and socio-economic background, and to work from an awareness of the ongoing need for social justice. Honor includes deferring to the lived experience of indigenous and people of color regarding issues of cultural appropriation and racism, and deferring to the femme-lived experience of regarding sexism and misogyny.
- Honor all beings, including the spirits of natural elements, place, systems, thoughtforms, humans, states of being, etc.
- Support the interconnectedness and interdependency of All Things
- Continue and deepen their relationships with immediate animistic communities, as well as personal Ancestors, with the understanding that this work has no end and brings planetary benefit.
- Honor the limitations of soul healing, and when appropriate, refer clients to other qualified professionals, such as medical doctors, therapists, and clergy.
- Charge as they feel led for their time, while honoring issues of privilege and access.
- Work only with the express consent of clients (or fellow initiates). With regard to deathwalking, initiates seek to acquire explicit consent where possible, yet respond where needed.
- Complete initiations set for and by self, Allies, and the Ancestors.
- Serve community.
- Strive to remain aware of and address personal bias.
- Remain teachable.
Expect to devote 24-28 hours a month to studies. Plan for 1-2 hours in class/mentoring sessions per month (depending on how you pace yourself); 1-2 hours in Sharing Sessions (2-4 hours for Second Season Initiates), and at least 4-6 hours per week exploring on your own, engaging our community, and fulfilling assignments.
Initiates are expected to participate and engage with the community regularly in and outside of class to complete assignments, and to provide support for each other. The ability to share openly and deeply of your personal experiences is required. Our ability to do the work we’re here to do relies on the medicine of community. Without that intimacy, our personal lives are challenged, and our work is limited. Inability to engage the community will result in being asked to step out of the Intensive, and to finish studies in one-on-one mentorship, where appropriate.
If you have taken classes on this work with Soul Intent Arts prior, you will still be required to complete them again, for your own benefit, and because co-Initiates will benefit from your experience with various techniques.
This Intensive encompasses for the first four classes, in addition to wider community interaction. Mentoring includes helping you frame the work in the way that helps you progress along your personal path, not just the Intensive requirements. Mentoring comes in the form of witnessing and supporting, and giving you ways to engage the work in a way that best suits your needs and path. Soul tending work done with me is beyond the scope of mentoring, and Initiates will receive 20% off all private sessions with me for the duration of the Intensive.
Contact Kelley to discuss participating in The Spirited Path Intensive.
The Intensive fee is $200/mo. Please don’t hesitate to discuss suitable financial arrangements with me, beyond how I’ve broken them down here. If you need to take longer to pay or a reduced rate, that’s fine. You still receive personal mentoring for the first four classes, intermittent mentoring throughout, and Sharing Session access, regardless of payment approach taken. Contact me for details.
[Post-Intensive] The Spirited Path Visioning Community $240/year (sliding scale), which includes:
- Easily accessed intentional community
- Regular Sharing Sessions
- Participate in seasonal community-offered rituals
- Live group sessions with guest teachers of other cultural approaches and focuses in soul tending
- Ability to re-take any Intensive classes, with the current cohort
- 20% discount on Soul Tending sessions with Kelley
Classes already taken -$50.00 each class, for Season One, only. These discounts do not apply to subsequent seasons or The Spirited Path community. Contact me to verify previous classes taken.
If you decide this work isn’t for you no refunds are given on amounts paid. Likewise, should you not be able to meet the requirements of the Intensive, you will be asked to leave without refund, or to transition into private mentoring sessions, if appropriate.
- To be actively involved, engaged, and supportive of self and other initiates, in and out of class
- To openly and deeply share your personal experiences
- Multi-year commitment to self, me, and other initiates
- Accountability to self, me, and other initiates
- Technical accountability on systems used
- Daily homework, including journaling and ecstatic journeying
- Regular homework, including artwork, essays, and interaction with classmates outside class
- Pleasantly serving as client for advanced initiates, and willingness to practice techniques with other initiates
Ability and willingness to:
- Turn in assignments weekly via email
- Upload scanned items, or upload photos taken with a mobile device
- Communicate in community via mobile apps
- Engage in live video teleconferences, or in-person sessions, and possibly with other students outside class, as needed
Feel free to contact me with questions.
Subscription EnrollmentMonthly Payment
- Includes access to current lessons
- Includes fees for Sharing Sessions and community access
- Includes access to current lesson supplementary materials
- Includes personal mentoring
No refunds are given.
Contact me to set up a consultation to discuss whether this coursework is right for you, and for information on hardship rates for this coursework.
We don't heal in isolation,but in community
~S. Kelley Harrell
Explore other self-paced studies, such as Introduction to Modern Shamanism, Working with Nature Spirits, and more.
Explore longterm immersive runic studies, with Reclaiming the Runes a year-long intensive devoted to runic study in season.
Schedule a free twenty-minute consultation to discuss The Spirited Path, and enquire about the details.