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Through the Dark Woods

Through the Dark Woods

By Josea Tamira Crossley
Navigating grief and trauma - ancestral healing - cultural repair - village building - deep nature connection. What will it take to rebuild culture in a world where we've lost so much? Schools don't teach this stuff, Western society has spent the last 1000 years destroying these old ways of knowing, but are these skills the essential ingredients needed for us to navigate a global crisis of ecocide? Josea is a Relational Somatic Therapist, Griefworker and founder of Through the Dark Woods ~ Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma
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Spirit Work While the Crisis Reigns with Stephen Jenkinson
Correction: Through the Dark Woods - Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma begins again September 26th, 2022. For more details and to register go to Culture activist, worker, author ~ Jenkinson teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, co-founded the school with his wife Nathalie Roy in 2010, convening semi-annually in Deacon, Ontario, and in northern Europe. He has Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work). Apprenticed to a master storyteller when a young man, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is former programme director in a major Canadian hospital, former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school. He is also a sculptor, traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture. Since co-founding the Nights of Grief and Mystery project with singer/ songwriter Gregory Hoskins in 2015, he has toured this musical/ tent show revival/ storytelling/ ceremony of a show across North America, U.K. and Europe and Australia and New Zealand. They released their Nights of Grief & Mystery album in 2017 and at the end of 2020, they released two new records; Dark Roads and Rough Gods. He is the author of A Generation’s Worth: Spirit Work While the Crisis Reigns (2021), Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (2018), the award-winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions (a live teaching from 2013), How it All Could Be: A workbook for dying people and those who love them (2009), Angel and Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life – (a live teaching from 2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002). He was a contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007). Stephen Jenkinson is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker (National Film Board of Canada, 2008, dir. Tim Wilson), a portrait of his work with dying people, and Lost Nation Road, a shorter documentary on the crafting of the Nights of Grief and Mystery tours (2019, dir. Ian Mackenzie). His books, recordings and DVDs are available for purchase at the Orphan Wisdom Shop. To find out more about Jenkinson's work please go to
August 25, 2022
Day Schildkret - Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Loss, Celebration & Change
Day Schildkret is internationally renowned as the author, artist and teacher behind the Morning Altars movement, inspiring tens of thousands of people to make life more beautiful and meaningful through ritual, nature and art. BuzzFeed calls his work, “a celebration of nature and life.” We discuss his newly published book, "Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Loss, Celebration & Change, as well as rites of passage & rebuilding culture in general. Like me, Day has a particular affinity, as well as years of experience working with teens in deep nature connection work, and so we get to hear his sage advice on raising and working with kids in a way that is culturally regenerative.  With nearly 100K followers on social media and sold-out workshops, installations, trainings, and public speaking events worldwide, Day is a thought-leader devoted to healing the culture by teaching people to ritualize the big and small moments of our work and our lives. Day is the author of the newly released book, Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration and Change (Simon Element), hitting #1 on Amazon for two days straight, as well as the author of Morning Altars: A 7-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit through Nature, Art and Ritual (Countryman Press). Day has taught workshops and created installations at Google, The 9/11 Memorial Plaza, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Andy Warhol Foundation, California Academy of Sciences, Esalen, and many others. His work has been featured on NBC, CBS, Buzzfeed, Vice, Well+Good, My Modern Met and four times in Spirituality & Health Magazine. Find out more about Day at and and you can get his book here
February 09, 2022
Nervous System Healing & Building Resilience
Irene Lyon, MSC, is a trauma healing and nervous system expert, somatic practitioner, and founder of the Smartbody, Smartmind online nervous system healing program. She has taught thousands of  people how to "become their own medicine," through the simple yet profound nervous system repair/rewiring practices taught in her programs. If you want more, Irene's free Healing Trauma series is happening now through March 7th, you can sign up HERE =>
January 22, 2022
The Myth of Self Care & Strengthening Community Through Conflict with Tad Hargrave
In this episode we discuss the fallacy of "self" care, and the potential for powerful healing when we get really vulnerable and ask for care from our community rather than trying to do it all alone. We discussed how our need and the vulnerability attached to it contains the gift of bringing people together as a community when we're having a hard time, rather than isolating into "self-reliance," during times of great difficulty or conflict. For over a decade, Tad has found himself drawn to conversations about how we might tend to the harm that's done in communities in ways that leave the community stronger and more whole at the end - not more shattered.  Tad currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta (traditionally known, in the local indigenous language of the Cree, as Amiskwaciy (Beaver Hill) and later Amiskwaciwaskihegan (Beaver Hill House) and his ancestors come primarily from Scotland with some from the Ukraine as well. He is drawn to conversations around politics, history, ancestry, healing and how those all intersect. You can find out more about Tad @ You can find me (Josea) & sign up for my mailing list to be the first to know when we have a new episode @
December 07, 2021
Grief, Trauma & Adult Rites of Passage with John Wolfstone - Unedited
Note: I chose to leave this episode unedited even though I had a moment of going completely blank in the beginning :) Truth: I'm a perfectionist, and so leaving this unedited is an act of allowing that part of me to take a vacation :) I also wanted to give you, listener, the opportunity to see me in a moment of vulnerability and how our "mis-takes" when held with compassion become a part of the fabric of the beauty we weave.  In this episode we discuss adult rites of passage, rough initiation vs. being initiated in the village, and how grief & trauma work connects through the layers of all of it. We talk about the art of building a village around us - not physical houses but through the web of connections - elders, mentors, allies & anchors.  John Wolfstone is a filmmaker, ritualist, wilderness rites-of-passage guide, emergence facilitator and sacred clown focused on the work of cultural redemption. Over the past 15 years, he has wielded these tools in service to restorative justice, ancestral healing and peace building in conflict zones from rural Guatemalan villages, to Middle Eastern refugee camps and inner cities in the U.S. He has studied intensively the 8 Shields Cultural Regeneration model, been a scholar at the Orphan Wisdom School, trained with Weaving Earth Relational Education, and been a long-term student, and trainee of the Tamera Love School and Healing Biotope Education. He has four times been awarded Moishe House grants to facilitate Jewish community gatherings on Ancestry, Love, and recollecting the Village. In addition, he has been producing new paradigm films and events through his media collaborative, Re/Culture Media. 
October 06, 2021
From Numb to Awake ~ Grief & Emergency Medical Professional Life
Chris has been in the fast-paced field of emergency medicine for over 17 years. He's a frontline worker, and a dad, and was kind of a normal guy -  scientific-minded and skeptical of grief work, but willing to give it a try. He took a deep dive with us this past spring in Through the Dark Woods - Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma. He shares his story of going from numbness to a sense of full aliveness and the ripples through both his work and relationships that doing this work has had. 
September 27, 2021
Polly Orr ~ Permaculture, Community Living and Grief Work
Polly Orr is the community coordinator for Moss Rock Farm on Salt Spring Island, a radical permaculture project specializing in living soil food production with the intention of both living and demonstrating how we can, as humans, live in deep harmony with the land and each other in a carbon neutral lifestyle. Polly also participated in the last Through the Dark Woods ~ Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief and Trauma and shares her story of how grief work as impacted her life both personally and in her role as community coordinator.  You can find out more about the Through the Dark Woods sessions @  or sign up for the next free intro session (September 20th 2021) @
August 14, 2021