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  • Writer's picturelucyagnesmayer

The Alchemy of Grief

Photograph by Valentin Salja, with huge thanks


Often people are afraid of grief, their own or someone else's and generally, western culture does not have a place for it. In fleeing from our many griefs small and large we miss something essential in what it is to live a full life, the wild beauty of what it is to be alive in this world, and what it is to love.

Francis Weller in his book The Wild Edge of Sorrow says that Grief is Love with nowhere to go. I love this explanation and I feel it makes so much sense as I sit with the griefs I have experienced.

Francis Weller also names 5 gateways of Grief. The first gateway is that everything we love, we will lose. The second is grief for the places in us that have not known love. The third is the sorrows of the world. The fourth is grief for what we expected and did not receive and finally the fifth is our ancestral grief.

In the upcoming Horse Dance, The Alchemy of Grief (8th-12th September 2021), we will be exploring our relationship with grief; personal, collective, and ancestral.

Grief and love and joy are deeply connected.

The dance between them is profound and sacred.

The horses will be our support on this journey - they bring a depth of presence to this work that is unique and deeply healing.

During your time with us, you will be introduced to the practice of self-care and embodiment through Shapeshift dance and movement. You will be guided into connection and the right relationship with the horses and you will be encouraged to go at your own pace in all that we do together.

No grief is too small or too big to bring. Our intention is to offer a strong and flexible container to accommodate the transformational and alchemical nature of grief. There will be laughter and there may well be tears.

We warmly invite you to join us.

Words by Dawn Oakley-Smith and Dawn Morgan


For more information on the Horse Dance workshop mentioned in this blog, you can talk to Dawn via email or by telephone.

Call +44 07918 687031

You can also register your interest and we will be in touch with you.

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