Online Zoom Forum: Creating Community Rituals of Healing and Transformation: Spiritual, Social, and Policy Perspectives.

Date: Wednesday 31 July 2024.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).

Event Description:

Format: There will be five talks, each of 12 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers and the chair, followed by Q & A.




Croilán MBACP (Snr Accred) has been working as a psychotherapist, bodywork therapist, trainer, and yoga teacher for over 25 years.

Her early career was in contemporary dance performing and teaching.

In her journey of personal healing and search for understanding of holistic health, she has engaged in 25 years Shamanic experiencing, including Dzogchen (Tibetan Buddhism), Atman teachings (Hinduism/Yoga Philosophy) and has latterly found roots in Celtic Consciousness as an Initiate of Brigid of Ireland.

Croilán is known for her sincerity, warmth, and dedication to healing and consciousness.


Prof Holly Nelson-Becker:

Title: Recapturing the Power of Ritual to Heal Community Loss.

Description: This brief exploration will set the scene for understanding the value of ritual in times of community loss also known as living in the ashes in Scandinavian traditions. Ritual invites us into spaces where we feel vulnerable and choices may be made to express grief together or to withdraw into solitude. Ritual arouses emotion, relies on belief, and contains something beyond what words can express. It may help extinguish cumulative grief by mending through action or word what is broken.

Death disturbs the social order and deaths in times of war, disaster, or immigration can be soul rending. In November 2018, I had recently moved to England and participated in centennial memorials for World War I. The high level of mourning was surprising: a colleague confirmed that in his experience the lives and deaths of great-uncles and a grandparent who served in the Great War were never discussed. This offered a public opportunity to remember, to mourn and to refashion the fabric of society by returning it to its centre. Ritual offers a place for storytelling, mourning, and witness that both heals community and calls it to account.

Bio: Holly Nelson-Becker is Professor Emerita of Humanistic Gerontology, Social Work, Spirituality and End of Life at Brunel University London where she previously served as Social Work Division Director. She holds a Visiting Scholar affiliation with Loyola University Chicago and is Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

She obtained a PhD from the University of Chicago and MSW from Arizona State University as well as BAs from Graceland University (Iowa). She is a Hartford Faculty Scholar for her research on aging, resilience, and wellbeing. She co-created US national standards for spiritual care in palliative care. From 2014-2017 she directed the social work section on the Coleman Palliative Medicine Interprofessional Training Program in Chicago. She authored Spirituality, Religion, and Aging: Illuminations for Therapeutic Practice (SAGE press) and over 70 peer-reviewed publications. In 2019 she was awarded the Seelye Fellowship from the University of Auckland, NZ to lecture on spirituality and health. Having taught courses on loss, grief, and dying well over many years, she organised death cafes as part of her public engagement commitment at Brunel University London to advance conversations on dying.

Mark Halliday:

Title: Comparing and Contrasting Ritual and Ceremonial Healing.

Description: The central thesis of the talk will be how Ritual and Ceremony shape consciousness through the influence, impact and connection of nature. I'll cover a brief summary of various indigenous traditions approach to prayer and dance (for rain,a good hunt etc) then progress to how we define ritual and ceremony with an open ended question on how we sublimate ritual in the present day.

Bio: My name Is Mark Halliday. I was born in November 1969 in Methil, Fife. During my early teen I experienced gradual spiritual awakenings through Tai Chi, Prana breathing and Daoist meditation from 1981 to 1987.

I left school at 15 and worked as a Care Assistant in a geriatric care home. This shaped my character in developing a sensitivity to vulnerable people, an insight into sickness and a deep understanding in our journey of physical death and what lies for the soul beyond.

In the early 1990's I was progressivley welcomed into spirit, culminating in an experience of blissful love from the creator, which turned my life volte face. Shortly after this awakening I devoted my life to helping others.

In the year 2000 I became a Secondary School Teacher of English, in which I worked full time and permanent until 2017.

In 2003 my wife Claudia Goncalves and I, opened the Edinburgh Shamanic Centre, which we still manage today, hosting classes and groups teachings and training in shamanic practice.

In 2006 we started a second charity, The Foundation for Planetary Healing, which serves our community to this day, offerng a range of holistic health and wellbeing projects as well as raising funds to support for tribal peoples in the Amazon Rainforest.

Brian Anderson:

Title: Practical Spirituality.

Description: My talk will share some experiences of offering ceremonies and rituals to the wider public to involve them as part of the circle into the weave that they and we each create in the moment and taking this out beyond into our world in practical ways from this shared experience.

There has been a real beauty to witness within a created safety that people somehow remember and take part in these events a returning to something that we each know how to do and have only been waiting for a space to engage with.

Bio: Brian Anderson, Shamanic Practitioner and Therapist with Tarot

A number of threads have been constant in my life following these led me to explore a degree in counselling and psychology in my mid thirties at the University of West of England. I went on to work in education with our young people and from this I was part of a group bringing restorative justice to the UK, as well as a counsellor in residential and community based therapeutic centres for people dealing with addiction and mental health. I am a published writer, writing on themes of living with death and earth-based spirituality, I am currently in the process of publishing my first book “Communion of Trees”.

In many ways these constant threads of making sense of what being alive means and my responsibilities as a part of humanity, finding my place within community with fellow humans and the land, the living of peace, along with creating a respectful relationship with our earth, these constant themes have come together and for the last eighteen years I have offered myself as a shamanic practitioner and my therapy work today is with the depths of the tarot as a mirror for our life. I also worked within the Camphill movement for seven years where rituals and ceremonies hold the rhythms of the day, week and year together for all as part of one community including the land.

This alchemy of personal experience and professional training informs my work as a service to life. As part of this, rituals and ceremonies have become a part of my everyday life and has rippled out into the work, I offer both with shamanism and with the tarot.

Julie Gibbons:

Title: Sacred Circles: Personal and Cultural Transformation Through Creative Practice.

Description: Julie explores how Mandala Magic is both community and process, practice and principle.

It’s a personal exploration of cultural patterns within a circle of intention amongst a group of curious, capable and creative folk from across the world, to find meaning and forge deeper connections.

Bio: Julie Gibbons, Symbolic Artist and Founder of the Mandala Magic School.

Julie is based in Uddingston, just east of Glasgow where she operates a small creative studio making symbolic art and hosting online and in-person workshops and events.

Founder of the Mandala Magic School, she has led creative rituals with her worldwide community since 2013 and thousands of students engage with her beloved Mandala Magic practice and yearly free events.


Judy Wilkinson:

Title: Ancient Rituals of Growing for Healing and Change.

Description: By planting, nurturing, harvesting plants on an allotment plot I find joy and amusement which helps me cope with the trauma and agony around us.

Just tending this plot through out the seasons connects me with ancient ways and rites of cultivation.

I am aware of the customs and practice of the other parts of the community that also inhabit this patch of Earth.

I will describe seasonal rituals, healing and part of the natural transformation - days when as Rumi says:

‘ ….the air smells good today … free medicine for everybody. The trees in their prayers, the birds in praise, the first blue violets kneeling. Whatever came from Being is caught up in being, drunkenly forgetting the way back.’

Bio: For over fifty years I have lived and worked in Glasgow, tending a plot on a nearby allotment site since it was re-opened in 1974.

Also for many years my family spent a month each summer on a croft in Shetland.

These experiences have made me aware of how the land talks to us, cares for us and loves us, humans and the ten thousand things with us.


Creating Community Rituals of Healing and Transformation


An archive recording will be made for the EICSP archive.

NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.

Cost: By Donation:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


There seems to be a new issue with Paypal and hopefully it will be resolved.

If you are having a difficulty paying by Paypal, then you can pay by bank transfer instead.

NB: you must also email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can send you the Zoom sign-in details.

Here are the bank transfer details:

Account Name: Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace
Bank Address: Edinburgh Royal Mile Branch
Account Number: 06131159
Sort Code: 802000

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The IBAN number is as follows:

GB70 BOFS 8020 0006 1311 59



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