About Us

Meet John and Karen

We are husband and wife, co-founders and directors of Sli An Chroí Shamanism since 2005. We met during the auspicious week of the Solar Eclipse in August 1999 and share a life of ever deepening connection to the natural world. The ancestral lineage of Shamanism in Ireland, including that of Druidry, is a precious resource for us.  Bringing warmth, integrity and gratitude into all of our work is a vital aspect of our vocation.

After years of holistic therapy and teaching experiences coupled with shamanic initiations, we both began to hear the palpable call to invite others to awaken to their Celtic soul destiny. Taking a step into the unknown, we first opened our Clinic and School of Irish Celtic Shamanism in 2005 which has grown beyond our wildest dreams. From international travel to sit, equal but different, with indigenous people from around the world, work with a wide variety of individuals, charities and organisations to maintaining a cherished community here in Ireland and online.

Our

Philosophy

From offering an introduction to our tradition to providing a experiences for community to gather, we see the retrieval of a heart-centred consciousness as intrinsic to holistic health and vital in all our lives at this particular time in our world. This sacred way of living and healing is the dedication of our professional and personal lives.

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About

John Cantwell

“I believe we are all by nature, self healing organisms and that shamanic practice calls us to do so for our own betterment and that of the Earth. The level of connection and sacredness we can experience when we do this, for me can only be called spiritual. I am made to feel safe by shamanism as it asks me to learn only from my own experience while it hands me the means to realise my destiny. When I sit with shamans from other cultures, despite us often not sharing a common spoken language, our conversations are full and dynamic. Such is the language of our hearts.”

The Four Winds Society, USA, (Directors and Teachers Dr. Alberto Villoldo and Linda Fitch):

Medicine Wheel and Healing the Light Body School (taught in Ireland) 2003-2005
Mastery Classes 2004-2007, which included:
Walking With Protection (Psychic Protection)
Working With The Sacred (Archetypal Energies)
Reading The Signs Of Destiny (Divination)
Mesa and Ceremony (Prayer Bundle)
Munay-Ki (Rites Of Consciousness)
Rites Of Passage (Integration of Munay-Ki)

Irish Centre For Shamanic Studies, (Director and Teacher: Martin Duffy)

Shamanic Practitioners Course 2006
Advanced Shamanic Practitioners Course 2007
Shamanic Counselling 2009
Shamanic Breathwork 2010-2018

Fieldwork:

Ireland: Sacred Sites/Seasonal and Solar/Lunar Gatherings/International Shamanic Gatherings (ongoing)
USA: Native American Ceremonies with Chumash Shaman, Lone Eagle 2002
Finland: Arctic Circle Sites 2003
Mexico: Huichol Tradition 2004
Peru (2005, 2009, 2011, 2013):

Q’ero Paqos (Initiation): Don Sebastian Succle Apaza , Dona Maria Apaza, Don Alejandro Apaza.

Q’ero Paqos (Mentoring):Don Modesto Quispe, Don Pasqual Puma Quispe

Aymara-Lake Titicaca Mentor: Jorge Luis Delgado

US (International Shamanic Gathering) Q’ero Paqos: Don Franscisco Flores, Don Umberto (2008)

Australia: Anangu Elders, Uluru (2010)

Trained Teacher, Physical Education and English, B.Ed (Hons),University of Limerick.

Background in Professional and Educational Drama
Facilitator of Projects for Young People in areas of less socio-economic advantage

Lecturer of Men’s Issues and Health
Shamanic Therapist, Energy Medicine and Counselling
Shamanic Teacher and Facilitator
of Shamanic drumming/counselling/ritual in Addiction Centres.

Author: Numerous articles for holistic health and Spirituality journals. Contributor in ‘Soul Seers: an Anthology of Irish Celtic Shamanism’.


TV: Shamanic Counsellor RTE TV’s Health Squad’, RTE
Radio: Interviewee ‘Spirit Matters’, dublincityfm.


Film: Contributor, ‘This Sacred Earth: 2012 Phenomenon’ (Wild Pure Heart 2009).

About

Dr. Karen Ward

“As a Holistic Therapist for many years, I found that Shamanism provided me with an over-arching umbrella term not just for all of the therapies I practised but also my passion for nature, creativity and play. I realised that as an adult, I was missing the sheer exuberant joy I had enjoyed as a child. When I sat in circle for the first time, I had a huge sense of being HOME. I was with ‘like-hearted’ people. Those that I could discuss profound concepts with freely knowing that we could be soon dancing wildly or tuning into our nature brothers and sisters of the animals and trees. I had a map for life – not a rigid or ruled one, nor one with hierarchies but a way that embraced my own empowerment, who I am and what I stand for. A way of the heart… my heart.”

The Four Winds Society, USA, (Directors and Teachers Dr. Alberto Villoldo and Linda Fitch):

Medicine Wheel and Healing the Light Body School (taught in Ireland) 2003-2005
Mastery Classes 2004-2007, which included:
Walking With Protection (Psychic Protection)
Working With The Sacred (Archetypal Energies)
Reading The Signs Of Destiny (Divination)
Mesa and Ceremony (Prayer Bundle)
Munay-Ki (Rites Of Consciousness)

Irish Centre For Shamanic Studies, (Director and Teacher: Martin Duffy)

Shamanic Practitioners Course 2006
Advanced Shamanic Practitioners Course 2007
Shamanic Counselling 2009
Shamanic Breathwork 2010-2019

Transpersonal Therapist Training 2006-2019

Fieldwork:

Ireland: Sacred Sites/Seasonal and Solar/Lunar Gatherings/International Shamanic Gatherings (ongoing)
USA: Native American Ceremonies with Chumash Shaman, Lone Eagle 2002
Finland: Arctic Circle Sites 2003
Mexico: Huichol Tradition 2004
Peru (2005, 2009, 2011, 2013)

Q’ero Paqos (Initiation): Don Sebastian Succle Apaza , Dona Maria Apaza, Don Alejandro Apaza.

Q’ero Paqos (Mentoring):Don Modesto Quispe.

Aymara-Lake Titicaca Mentor: Jorge Luis Delgado

US (International Shamanic Gathering) Q’ero Paqos: Don Franscisco Flores, Don Umberto (2008)

Australia: Anangu Elders, Uluru (2010)

Iceland: Indigenous Healers Sólveig Jónsdóttir, Jón Ágúst Gudjónsson (2019)

 

 

PhD: An Investigation into how meanings of spirituality develop among accredited counsellors when practising a new Shamanic Energy Therapy technique (Dublin City University). This Shamanic Therapy technique was developed by Karen for use within a Counselling therapeutic setting.

MA: Transpersonal Spiritual Healing: A study of the philosophies of Shamanic Energy Healing Master Practitioners in Dublin (All Hallows College, Dublin City University).

Degree: Science-Microbiology, B.Sc (Hons),University College Dublin.

Holistic Therapies: 
Holistic Counselling Psychotherapist and Supervisor MIACP (Irish Association of Holistic Medicine),
Energy Therapist, Shamanic Teacher and Facilitator (ICSS and The Four Winds),                           

Druidic Bard, Craobh Airgead School of Druidry, Kilkenny.

Reiki Master, Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga Teacher (yttc and the Elbow Room) Aromatherapy Massage and Nutrition (Walmar Centre,
Reflexology (Footprints School of Reflexology).


Lecturer Corporate Health Issues: Clients included UCD, AIB, ESB, Áras an Uactáran and various Government Depts.

Theatre: Consultant Therapist for Suicide Prevention Performance and Workshops.


TV: Holistic Health Presenter/Therapist ‘Health Squad’, RTE (2002 – 2007)
Energy Therapist ‘Last Resort’, BBC (2009)
Wellbeing Panelist ‘tv am’ Morning Programme”, TV3 (2009)
Radio: numerous interviews, holistic health matters, RTE and Regional.


Film: Contributor, ‘This Sacred Earth: 2012 Phenomenon’, (Wild Pure Heart 2009).


Author: ‘The Health Squad Guide to Health and Fitness’ (Onstream Publications, 2005)
‘Change A Little To Change A Lot’ (Merlin Publishing, 2009)

The annual ‘Moon Mná Diary-Journal’  (Acrobat Design & Publishing, from 2017).

‘Soul Seers – an Irish Anthology of Celtic Shamanism’ co-editor and contributor (Acrobat Design & Publishing, 2019).

Celtic Shamanism

This holistic model of healing Shamanism is thoroughly rooted in the spiritual energy of the land of Ireland.

The origins of our innate healing ways through this lineage is both pre-Celtic and Celtic, ancient and contemporary. There is a deep honouring of the oral Shamanic traditions of this land, the archetypes, mythology and sacred sites that hold our innate wisdom.

Celtic Shamanism

This holistic model of healing Shamanism is thoroughly rooted in the spiritual energy of the land of Ireland.

The origins of our innate healing ways through this lineage is both pre-Celtic and Celtic, ancient and contemporary. There is a deep honouring of the oral Shamanic traditions of this land, the archetypes, mythology and sacred sites that hold our innate wisdom.

Slí An Chroí
Co-operative Projects

We are honoured that our work allows us to initiate co-operative projects with indigenous communities abroad and domestic charities of which we are supportive. Here is a list of the bigger programmes we have launched and the charities we are honoured to assist since Slí An Chroí was established in 2005.

2007-2019

BARNARDOS CHILDRENS CHARITY

With more than 40 community based centres, national services and links with partner organisations, Barnardos deliver as many programmes as possible to help children and their families throughout Ireland. Sales of John’s drumming CD’s (for Immrama Shamanic Journeys) and donations for healings at various Celtic festivals provided by Slí An Chroí graduates and volunteers largely account for the bulk of these donations.

2018

Focus ireland homeless charity

Donations for healings at various Celtic festivals provided by Slí An Chroí graduates and volunteers largely account for this donation to assist the fight against homelessness.

2017

Women's Refuge Charity

Public donations for healings at various Celtic festivals, including Body&Soul and Electric Picnic, provided by Slí An Chroí graduates and volunteer colleagues help to provide vital resources for women and children finding safety following domestic violence.

2011-12

TASTAYOC COMMUNITY, OLLANTAYTAMBO, PERU.

The Slí An Chroí students created a ‘Meitheal’ community working project to build an Organic vegetable garden / greenhouse while bringing footwear / school supplies for this indigenous community in the Andes.

2009-12

WINTER SUPPLIES FOR Peruvian CHILDREN.

With our students we arranged to deliver warm woollen blankets to the remote Andean Villages of Quico and Chochoqo.

2010

FLOOD RELIEF AID TO COMMUNITIES IN the SACRED VALLEY, PERU

We were happy to be able to contribute via a Dublin  based Slí An Chroí fund raising event sorely needed donations for this disaster relief fund to assist families rebuild their homes.

2008

Eagles ireland Charity

This Irish Raptor Research Centre and Charity, based in Portinch, Ballymote, Co.Sligo is a scientifically managed sanctuary for rescued Birds of Prey and Owls. Situated on 27 hectares, the Sanctuary is home to about 350 birds and animals out of 75 species ethically and lovingly maintained.

2006

KITCHEN FOR Peruvian SCHOOLCHILDREN.

When we discovered that the Christian missionaries were providing hot lunch for only the children whose parents were of that faith, we helped the rest of Quico village families, who followed their local spiritual nature based tradition, build a kitchen suggesting that every village child would be welcome to have lunch there daily.

2005

MEDICAL RADIO FOR Peruvian Midwives.

The Q’ero Village of Quico Midwives could not contact the hospital in Cusco when there was an emergency. So we fundraised with students to help them purchase a long range two way radio capable of working over the huge distances across the Andes to save both mother and baby’s lives.

Newsletter: Upcoming Events and Seasonal Ceremonies