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Partnering with Illness, Elderhood & the Unknown

with Claude & Noelle Poncelet at Still Meadow Retreat Center, Damascus, Oregon

September 9th & 10th, 2017. 9:30-12:30 2:30-5:30 with a special Saturday evening after dinner Q&A on their healing journey and elderhood followed by an optional shamanic healing circle with Alida Birch & Reid Hart.

In this workshop, we will explore how to approach illness and healing, based on Claude’s personal approach to an advanced metastasized lung cancer. We will delve into the use of a shamanic practice and of basic spiritual principles of the sacred, of non-separation and interconnectedness, and of love, in facing an illness and seeking healing from both traditional western medicine and alternative sources. We will explore the importance, the role and the challenges of the caregiver. We will also explore with the help of spirits how to approach our roles as elders, particularly living in a society that has by and large lost its sense of elderhood. We will learn how to more consciously move into this role of nurturers of community, spiritual teachers and mentors, and guardians of the deeper meanings of life and of service to the larger society. This exploration of elderhood will be relevant for those in or contemplating elderhood, as well as for younger participants. As we face a severe illness and/or move into elderhood, our awareness of the Unknown, which is inherent in everyday life, is heightened. Thus the Unknown will be an inherent part of this workshop.

Pre-requisites: Good shamanic journeying skills in the Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds  and a strong connection with power animals and spirit teachers.


Claude Poncelet, PhD. is a physicist, and a shamanic practitioner and teacher. He has taught shamanism in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and North America for about thirty years and is committed to help develop a shamanic tradition for the modern technological world. For him there is no inconsistency between scientific and shamanic knowledge. Claude has studied shamanism with Michael Harner and with a number of shamans and spiritual teachers from diverse cultures and traditions. He has spent his professional life teaching as a university professor and working in the corporate world to protect the environment. He has served as chief liaison on two presidential commissions on sustainable development. He is the author of The Shaman Within: A Physicist’s Guide to the Deeper Dimensions of Your Life, the Universe, and Everything, Boulder, CO, Sounds True, 2014.

Noelle Poncelet, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice and with Claude, a shamanic practitioner and teacher.  She has taught shamanism in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and North America for about 30 years. She has served on adjunct clinical faculties at the University of Pittsburgh, U.C.S.F. and Stanford.  She bridges psychology, spirituality, body and nature consciousness and social justice awareness in therapy which includes iRest, hypnosis, non-violent communication, shamanic counseling and family systemic intervention to treat particularly trauma and addiction.  She is a facilitator with the Alternative to Violence Project in prisons and community settings, a certified iRest teacher for the Integrative Restoration Institute, and a former facilitator and trainer with the Pachamama Alliance.

Bring a drum and rattle if you have them, a notebook eye covering and blanket.

FEES: This will be held at Still Meadow Retreat Center Tuition for this workshop including Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, and Sunday lunch is $295 if paid in full by August 7, 2017. $325 if registering after August 7th, 2017.

For those who wish to stay onsite the room & board fees are as follows:

Saturday breakfast $11. Sunday breakfast $11. Optional Friday night dinner $16.

Lodging ranges from $38 for a dorm room to $60 for a double to $97 single per night. Please specify your room preference; assigned by availability. A few camping sites are available, please inquire.


DIETARY REQUESTS: Dietary requests will be taken into account with 2 weeks advance notice. A dietary preference sheet will be sent out to all registrants.

TO REGISTER: Make check payable to Alida Birch, PO Box 21416, Eugene, OR 97402. No credit cards. A $50 non-refundable deposit will hold your space until August 7th, 2017. Please specify whether you will stay onsite. I will be out of the country August 10th-29th without email/phone access.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations received 30 or more days prior to the event will be refunded in full less a $50 handling fee. Cancellations received less than 30 days prior to the event are not refundable. 


Hours both Saturday and Sunday: 9:30-12:30 and 2:30-5:30pm.  Saturday evening after dinner is a Q&A with Claude & Noelle regarding their healing journey and elderhood. This will be approximately  one hour. After the Q&A, there is an optional shamanic healing circle led by Reid and Alida who have led the Hearth of the Dancing Drum Healing Circle for 25 years. Follow this link to learn more about how the healing circle is run:  Participants will be able to receive shamanic healing and experienced shamanic healers are welcome to offer healing at this circle. Supporters are also welcome!

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