Tongues in Trees – a yearlong course

NEWS

A Spell in the Forest – Tongues in Trees, partly based on this course, will be published by Moon Books in June 2021.


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‘The poet who reignites within us passion and wonder for the living world does as much for the healing of the planet as any ecologist. Roselle Angwin is one such poet.’
Fred Hageneder, author of several books on trees


3rd COURSE BOOKING NOW FOR 2021, BEGINNING AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2020.

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‘…for the past eight months I have been following a rather wonderful online course, formulated and run by the remarkable poet, author and facilitator Roselle Angwin.

‘The course is called ‘Tongues in Trees’ and invites us each month to observe a particular tree associated with the Celtic Ogham calendar. We are encouraged to relate in a creative way to the trees, through poetry, prose, folklore, land art and ritual. It is, in itself, a truly holistic introduction to each species…but I think the deeper knowledge and understanding of trees and their huge importance in the life of our planet will take me a lifetime…’ (RC)

TONGUES IN TREES is a yearlong distance learning creative course rooted (ha!) in tree lore, tree botany, tree spirit medicine and the Celtic Tree Calendar/Alphabet that first came into being at the Winter Solstice 2018, immediately before the last full moon of that solar year. We’re now, at the summer solstice 2020, halfway through the journey with a second group, and many of the first group have decided to continue together as a peer group. Feedback (see bottom of page) has been excellent.

One recent comment:
Taking part in this course, with this very special group, has made 2019 extraordinary. I have always loved and felt connection with trees, but this is the year I have communicated with trees. I am deeply grateful Roselle Angwin for your integrity, generosity and for sharing your fascinating writings. My internal and external landscapes have been profoundly enriched. Thank you so much, you and the trees…’

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Lynn Baxter’s piece for a Tongues in Trees day

Over thirteen lunar months & according to one version of the so-called Celtic Tree Calendar, I’ll send you study materials, written & visual, of up to 15 pages relating to this month’s tree, its lore & mythology, tree history, botany & ecology & cultural history, the Celtic Ogham tree calendar, tree spirit medicine & more. In addition there’ll be imaginal/experiential tasks (largely but not exclusively creative & reflective writing practice, but including visual responses if that’s your thing, & always involving outdoor work) designed to deepen & ‘fix’ your relationship to trees.

The modules include a story or poem, or both, associated with that tree or its qualities, & you will be encouraged to write your own (no previous experience needed).

Through indoor & outdoor creative practice over this year of monthly teachings you will become intimate with a number of indigenous British trees, & more deeply immersed in the true magic of the Wildwood, along with a deeper acquaintance – companionship – with our British native tree species. (My latest book, just completed, is about this.)

Please note that you will need to spend some time each month outdoors. I’m anticipating that the practice will require at least 10 hours+ each month.

Trees love to be met, & encourage a kind of deep-time experience. Trees also somehow mediate between ourselves & a different reality, a different order of consciousness – pre-verbal, post-verbal, trans-verbal, non-verbal. Each time I’ve led a tree-spirit medicine workshop people have experienced it as transformative, utterly changing the way they relate to trees. Working in this way deepens & grounds our relationship to the other-than-human, & trees themselves both botanically/ecologically & through their presence & qualities offer us much in the way of green healing: tranquility, harmony, uplift & an immune boost.

As far as we can tell, Ogham & the significance of trees in prehistory both grew from the Old Ways, the pre-Christian goddess-centred pagan tradition of the Celtic lands. This course has a psychospiritual dimension partly rooted in this tradition.

You can sign up at one fee for self-study, at another for personal monthly responses & extra suggestions from me, designed so that we are companions in the work for a year (you will send in some of the writing generated by the tasks set). See below.

Each year hosts a closed online Facebook group. It’s for participants to share their findings & experiences. I’m aware that not everyone subscribes to (or approves of) Facebook, but it’s an excellent tool for such purposes. Although it’s not essential, I think you will find it will enhance your experience of the work, & give you a deep sense of human companionship on this yearlong journey.

UPDATE IN JUNE 2019: it’s been noticeable that people have found this whole process a much richer, wider and deeper experience if they either work one-to-one with me or join the Facebook group; better still, of course, both! If you are thinking of booking, consider this.

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Kate Compston’s piece for a Tongues in Trees day

FEES:
Introduction & 13 modules for self-study only:
£150

Introduction & 13 modules with personal one-to-one commentary from me each month on the creative work you send in:
£650

I will be working one-to-one with only a very limited number of individuals. For this option, there will be extra creative & reflective writing tasks, & I will be responding to what you send in as a result (your commitment will be to send it in before the start of the next tree month).

IN 2021, I’m offering a third possibility, for those who take up the self-study option: at any stage during the year, you can ask for my detailed personal commentary on up to 6 poems or pages of your creative work that arises, to a total of 3000 words, for an extra £75 per session. My feedback will typically be between 350 and 1000 words.

I need the full fee for the self-study option with your booking, or £200 deposit for the 2nd (interactive study), with the balance due in late January (instalments can sometimes be negotiated).

* The small print: if on receipt of the Introduction and first module you decide this is not for you, I will refund your fee minus £25 for the self-study, your deposit minus £50 for the 1-to-1 work (this latter because I will have held you a place which it will now be too late to fill, because of dates). After that no refunds are possible. Your signing-up for this course assumes acceptance of these conditions, and also of my position on copyright, below. Please tick the checkbox below to agree to this.

© Copyright Roselle Angwin 2014/2020. Please note that, other than eg the botanical information which is widely available, the material in the modules is copyright. You cannot use any of it in your own work for gain ‘out in the world’ without my express written permission.

FEEDBACK CAN BE SEEN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

Please do register your interest in booking via the Contact form below. In the Comment section please tell me briefly why you’d like to participate in this course:

 

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SOME OF THE FEEDBACK to date:

2020 group

January 2020:
‘How wonderful it is to receive your comments and feedback on my first offering… I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity of travelling on this journey with you.  I feel sure that I shall gain significantly from the experience, perhaps in many more ways than I had initially expected.’

May 2020 from participant on current course
‘I must say….and I know it’s not even half way through yet….but this tree writing course has been magnificent for me. I started really communicating with trees last year (kind of by accident…I have always loved trees but never experienced the level of communication that suddenly came to me while in the woods of Maine) and realise it was in preparation for the COVID crisis as this is a disease that hits the lungs and our beloved trees are the lungs of the world. I am looking for inspiration in terms of healing, using trees as remedies, but mostly I am discovering my own deep deep healing through just being still and present with trees… your course has pointed me in directions I would have never taken. It has also given me more focus and commitment… So just to say thank you for coming up with the perfect course for me at this stage of my writing. I love it. I am learning so much about trees and laughing at all the times I have mistaken one species for another and then found my way to the truth. It’s so fun!’ Sue T

April 2020 from a participant on the 2019 course:‘Thank you Roselle. Tongues in Trees has just been, and continues to be, the most amazing adventure.’ AW

June 2020 from a participant on the 2019 course: ‘And again thank you so much for creating the group and opportunity to ‘cultivate’ our inner forests…’ JB

June 2020 from a participant on current course
‘I am thoroughly enjoying my journey with these magnificent beings Roselle. I must confess my surprise and delight at the depths and heights of emotion I have experienced in their company – they have been inspiring and confounding in almost equal measure! I cannot now pass a tree without uttering a greeting and certainly feel I have travelled far in building a more meaningful and joyous connection with them, and nature in general, through the guidance of your course. Thank you. Nikki B


2019 group
‘I had thought I was reasonably switched on, but this course has taken me way beyond that, still much more switching on to do but you have gifted us a magnificent portal through which to dive deeper. I have individual trees I will engage with whenever I can and lots more to get to know – it has been truly marvellous and magical, thanks to you and all the other lovely [people] in this group.’

‘…totally absorbed in it…and more every day. Quite wonderful! This year will be a joy… Thank you so very much for creating the course and making it so affordable.’

‘It’s wonderful – more than I ever expected… Thank you, Roselle. What a gift.’

‘I noticed this aim for the Tongues in Trees course – “I’m currently leading a yearlong ‘Tongues in Trees’ course with the aim of making people’s connection more conscious.” I can safely say you are certainly meeting that aim in my book.’ And the same person later: ‘I will revisit so much on this course – but it has already led me down wonderful pathways which I knew not before.’

‘I’m so loving this process.’

‘My eyes – and thoughts – are being deeply opened by following this course…it’s wonderful!’

‘I am so much more aware of the trees around me! Their, beauty, their wisdom and how full of surprises they are. This course really is a blessing. x’

‘It has been truly inspiring working with you.’

‘…the Tree Process inspired by your wonderful course has continued powerfully for me…’

On Twitter, Ali Walters says: ‘Thoroughly recommend this wonderful course. Even the unsupervised version benefits greatly from the wonderfully supportive Facebook Group and @QualiaBird*’s gentle encouragement.’ (*That’s my Twitter ‘handle’)

Taking part in this course, with this very special group, has made 2019 extraordinary. I have always loved and felt connection with trees, but this is the year I have communicated with trees. I am deeply grateful Roselle Angwin for your integrity, generosity and for sharing your fascinating writings. My internal and external landscapes have been profoundly enriched. Thank you so much, you and the trees…’

Another of the people who’s been working through this year’s Tongues in Trees course, Roz Cawley, has done a tree-species-count of her boundaries. You can read it on her blog, and it’s a great idea. Who are your tree-neighbours?

She’s also written these words:

‘I am also looking closely in a more informed manner right now, as for the past eight months I have been following a rather wonderful online course, formulated and run by the remarkable poet, author and facilitator Roselle Angwin.

‘The course is called ‘Tongues in Trees’ and invites us each month to observe a particular tree associated with the Celtic Ogham calendar, describing both its physical traits and characteristics and also the poetry, literature and folklore .associated with it. We are encouraged to relate in a creative way to the trees, through poetry, prose, land art and ritual. It is, in itself, a truly holistic introduction to each species…but I think the deeper knowledge and understanding of trees and their huge importance in the life of our planet will take me a lifetime…’

‘The fact that there is so much to explore and reflect on is a tribute to the enriching, inspiring and open-ended nature of this course, but I fear that I have never done enough. So I comfort myself with the thought that I that I can come back to each tree in turn again next year and read and write and walk and feel some more. What an ongoing gift from you Roselle. Thank you!… And thank you for all the material that you send to us. I so much look forward to it. I just loved your ‘Salmon of Wisdom’ piece; beautiful, poignant and uplifting.’

‘Tomorrow, I will open and dive into the delightful present of ‘Apple Month’ …time is passing too quickly – I don’t want this course to end!’

‘…the Tree Process inspired by your wonderful course has continued powerfully for me.’

‘…what a joy it has been to follow the course over the last year. I am only sorry that the demands on my time from my MA studies prevented me from engaging on the FB page, but I have loved this work with you and look forward very much to your new book. Your ideas are imaginative and insightful, your delivery of them so engaging and inspiring.’

‘I can’t believe it’s almost a year since you posted the first tree to set us off on our journey Roselle. As others have said, thanks to you, we can now dive deeper and hopefully accompany each other as we have been doing. I am a hesitant FB user but this has been/ is a warm hearted, wonderfully creative group of women to be part of. THANK YOU so much Roselle. ( one day I hope to come on one of your workshops!)’

The course has got me to try so MANY different things – eye opening and life changing in some respects. it is most excellent!!’

Dear Roselle – this course has been an absolute turning point for me; one of the reasons why I will be ‘hanging around’ here [on the Facebook page] afterwards. You have brought to my attention the vast richness of the knowledge pertaining to both individual tree species but also the holistic understanding of the importance of trees in the ecosphere (which includes us!). Far from finishing, i feel I am only just starting.

‘I cannot thank you enough – both for your excellent self guided course (but with SO MUCH generous input from you) and also for this beautiful Facebook group, where I have met some of the most delightful, generous, caring – and talented – women [as it happened this year] with whom i look forward to keeping in touch. This one has, indeed, been a winner.’

Oh this group has… been a blessing. Such inspiration, nurture, the meeting of minds and making of new, if virtual friends. Having said that and having spent nearly a year (not long enough) deepening my connection with trees, as a result of this amazing course, I feel we are connected by more than just the screen – a wonderful mycorrhizal web of thoughts and words, and trees. Your wonderful notes will be read and re-read and maybe in time I will create my own Ogham, who knows.

‘Thank you so much for this, for your wisdom, for your generous sharing. Each tree is read and treasured. They are in my on-line library and to be revisited and taken afresh… you have led me to a new appreciation of our tree brothers and sisters and I am the richer for it.’

‘I cannot tell you what this course has brought to me – it has been a journey of discovery and rediscovery, awakening and re-awakening and an expansion of experience (does that make sense?) that I know will be ongoing.’

‘Thank you so very much for the course. I’ve learned a lot about trees and I will continue to do so. I’ve learned a lot about myself too… I need time to reflect on it all. I loved the Facebook [group]. Other people have also taught me so much and that has enriched my life too.’

‘I just wanted to say what a joy it has been to follow the course over the last year. I have loved this work with you and look forward very much to your new book. Your ideas are imaginative and insightful, your delivery of them so engaging and inspiring. I wish you every success for the future and hope our paths may cross again.’

‘So much gratitude to you Roselle for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and passion The journey continues…’

‘Thank you again for all the inspirations for the Tongues in Trees course.
It is so heartening and rich in content and a wonderful cycle to follow.’


And from those whom I’m mentoring 1-to-1:

Tongues in Trees 2018/19
‘Tongues in Trees has been an immersive, transformative experience. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Roselle’s sense of wonder and depth of wisdom have transformed my relationship with the Ogham trees and made me more open to the natural world. I opted for one to one feedback – brilliant to keep on course to actually produce something. I found her approach of considering and observing from different points of view led to writing that sometimes surprised me. Roselle has been encouraging and empathic, and her suggestions have always been spot on. I wrote some decent, publishable poetry during the year, had fun sketching and feel a continuing sense of attachment to ‘my’ trees and their woodland.’ G O’D

‘Truly, this has been the most amazing course for me. It has transformed my writing. It has opened me up and given me the courage to be honest. I just can’t thank you enough… I shall miss this course so much; already I want to sign up for another one.’ C.J.

‘Roselle, I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this course – it is so rewarding to be working with you again. Thank you. You have taken me back to a place where, I now realise, I have unconsciously wanted to be for some time; a place that I recognise and where I feel I belong… I would be delighted to think that [others might] have the chance of experiencing all the inspiration, motivation, help and general opening up of the senses (not to mention the fun) that working with you has brought to me over the years.’ S.O.

‘It’s always so exciting and lovely to get your response… I always feel so encouraged after reading it.  Thank you so much! I can’t believe how lucky I was to find you when I first came to [your course in] Exeter (last century).’ C.J.

‘Thank you. That is wonderfully encouraging and with some things to think about.’ G.D.

‘Many thanks to you for creating this course, and for your gentle questions and generous feedback.’ P.C.

‘”Mindfulness” is a buzz word at the moment but this course has enabled so much more – a sort of mind-allthesenses-spiritfulness and a enriched awareness of trees as the wonderful, sentient, numinous and giving entities that they are. Your modules are brilliant -– full of information and suggestions while being open-ended, motivating and inspiring. And your feedback is invariably generous, sensitive and encouraging… This is an update of something that I wrote near the beginning of the course. Since then the sentiment that it expresses has only become richer and deeper:

‘I have never taken trees for granted. But this course has made me more aware of, as well as an aesthetic/spiritual connection with them, an almost visceral bond which I feel I have experienced before – either in this life or another, in this world or another.

‘It has been mega-enjoyable too!

‘Thank you Roselle – and thank you to the trees.’ S.O.