EarthDreaming is run by its founder Sky Buitenhuis, in co-llaboration with a host of skilled and passionate guest teachers that she feels very honoured to work alongside.
About Sky, Founder & Teacher
Sky Maria Buitenhuis has extensive experience supporting people to deepen their connection to nature, including our own inner nature as part of the larger natural landscape. She has worked as a facilitator for a variety of different programs as well as developing her own workshops and trainings. She is the co-founder of GIFT (Global Institute of Forest Therapy) and the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Aswell as directing the organizations training programs, she has trained and mentored more than 100 people to follow their passions of becoming forest therapy guides.
As a nature connection guide, Sky also draws on her trainings as a Work-That-Re-Connects (as founded by Joanna Macy) and an 8-Shields (a pan-cultural model for deep nature connection and cultural repair) facilitator, as well as many other influences and her own on-going personal journey of remembering her natural state of being.
As a facilitator, Sky's passion is to offer people the experience of 'coming home', that is remembering that as a human we are embedded in this complex and infinitely diverse web of life on our beautiful planet Earth. She is deeply moved and nourished by supporting and witnessing others having this embodied, innately human, experience of returning home to wholeness. She has a particular passion for supporting her own and other women's journeys of returning to their bodies through fertility awareness and is currently completing her training to be a natural family planning/fertility awareness teacher.
Sky loves to get elemental! What makes her feel most vital is communing with the Earth in various ways, such as wild-crafting with her hands, tracking animals, and sitting quietly and listening out on the land. Recently she felt particularly enlived through getting her Level 2 Track & Sign cybertracker evaluation with the San people in Namibia. She also loves to sing.
Lynx Vilden has traveled, explored, and researched the nature and traditional cultures of arctic, mountain, and desert regions from Hudson Bay to the Kalahari Desert. She emerged from her first sweat lodge ceremony in 1989 with the realization of the calling back to the Earth, learning, sharing, and teaching the old ways. She has been practicing and teaching primitive living skills with passion both in the US and in Europe since 1991. Instructor at Boulder Outdoor Survival School in Utah for several years she has taught workshops at primitive skills gatherings, including Rabbitstick and Winter Count.
She's contributed regularly to the American publication Bulletin of Primitive Technology. She's lived in a Sami village in Scandinavia and has lived and studied in the desert Southwest of Arizona and New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains of Montana, and the North Cascades of Washington.
In 2001 she started the Four Seasons Prehistoric Projects program dedicated to sharing the ancient skills of primitive living. Her goal is to form a group prepared to live for a full year in a Stone Age living experiment. She runs international classes through 'Living Wild' www.lynxvilden.com
Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, a mythologist with a specialisation in Celtic Studies, and a psychologist who has specialised both in neuroscience and narrative. Her unique approach to working with myth, fairy tales and folklore highlights the insights these traditions can offer us into authentic and meaningful ways of being which are founded on a deep sense of belonging to place, a rootedness in the land we inhabit. In early 2017 she founded The Hedge School: both an online space and a physical location in Connemara, for teachings in myth, wild mind and enchantment.
Her nonfiction book If Women Rose Rooted offers up a new Heroine’s Journey for this challenging age of social and ecological crisis, and was described by bestselling novelist Manda Scott as ‘mind-blowing in the most profound and exhilarating sense … an anthem for all we could be … an essential book for this, the most critical of recent times.’ If Women Rose Rooted was a 2016 Nautilus Book Award winner. Her latest nonfiction book, The Enchanted Life, was published in February 2018. She is now completing a collection of original fairy tales about shapeshifting women, Foxfire, Wolfskin, which will be published in autumn 2019. A further collection of stories about bird-women for young adults, Old Crane Woman’s Guide to Becoming a Bird, will be published in late 2020.
She is now completing a collection of original fairy tales about shapeshifting women, Foxfire, Wolfskin, which will be published in autumn 2019. A further collection of stories about bird-women for young adults, Old Crane Woman’s Guide to Becoming a Bird, will be published in late 2020. For more information about Sharon visit www.sharonblackie.net
Even a single experience in nature can truly touch someone for a lifetime, leaving a lasting reverence and appreciation for the Earth, life and their role in it. In 2004 – on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado – Marc Barker found himself enveloped in a timeless moment of deep nature connection. From then on, he knew in his heart that cultivating a robust relationship with the natural world was going to be the “compass” for living his life.
Born and raised in California, USA, Marc spent much of his childhood wandering the rolling hills and oak woodlands that give the San Francisco Bay Area its character. He always preferred being outside, no matter the weather, and earned a degree in Forestry from the University of California, Berkeley to best align this desire with a career in environmental stewardship. He soon came to realize, however, that the only way to truly safeguard the Earth was to restore people’s connection to it.
In 2011 Marc moved to the Finger Lakes Region of New York State and joined a local community of nature mentors. He started out volunteering with Earth Arts and later joined Primitive Pursuits as staff, both of which are well-established nature connection organizations in the Ithaca, NY area. Marc’s passion for outdoor education was shaped by his co-workers and friends, as well as his students and their families – finding mentors in many along the way. Over the years, Marc was taught, trained, challenged and supported by his community and in time answered his life-long calling in the seemingly endless mixed hardwood forests that make up the North East United States.
For the past 8 Years, Marc has been working as a Nature Mentor. He has experience with all age groups, in all seasons and types of weather – in preschool, primary and secondary school, homeschool, teenage programs, summer camps, university, and adult training. His responsibilities included program creation and development in all of these fields, as well as staff training, management and mentoring.
Upon moving to Ireland with his family in the Summer of 2017, Marc set out to continue the work he loves through developing networks and collaborations in the environmental and alternative education field – offering his skills as a nature-mentor for organizations and individuals alike. He has plenty of stories to share too.
Marc is a certified Wilderness Skills Instructor, holds a Bush-Craft Skills Apprenticeship, and has attended the Art of Mentoring training as put on by the 8-Shields Institute. He holds a 4H Archery Instructor Certificate and a Permaculture Design Diploma and continues ongoing training and consulting work in Human Ecology/Social Biology with researchers at Cornell University, NY, USA. In addition to his previous qualifications, Marc is a Certified Forest School Leader in Ireland and member of the Irish Forest School Association.
Through founding NatureConnect, Marc hopes to leave people with a sense of awe and inspiration for nature and a motivation to seek out and share more experiences in connection with the Earth, themselves and their communities. Marc prefers to spend his time outdoors – though today he gets to share his wonder for the natural world with his two-year-old daughter – Milana – as they explore the hedges, fields, woods, and shores around Newcastle, Co. Wicklow.
Anna Swisher is a wilderness and rites-of-passage guide, ecopsychologist and nature-based mentor, Work That Reconnects facilitator, and community activist from California. She is also a wild dance enthusiast and movement teacher, singer/songwriter, permaculturist, youth advocate, fire-tender, ritualist, horsewoman, and writer. Her work over the past 10 years has revolved around guiding young people and adults into deeper connection with themselves, their emotions and innate gifts, the land, soul, spirit, and the wisdom of their bodies. She carries an M.A. in Psychology and Spirituality, and has studied, trained and apprenticed in various indigenous and earth-based lineages, wisdom traditions, conscious movement modalities, and contemporary approaches to healing, all of which inform her work. Anna is currently deepening her understanding of ancestral healing, service, community building, social justice and authentic activism, as she spends her time between Latvia, Ireland, and California. She is an eternal student of the forest, the children, and the mystery. She always brings a good dose of silliness, depth, curiosity, and song. You can read more about some of her work here.
Tara De Róiste is an Irish herbalist originally from the south east of Ireland. She now lives with her family at their smallholding in the hills of East Co. Clare, where they tend their many plants and animals and hold regular workshops and retreats in plant medicine. She runs a herbal practice called Imbas Herbs and Healing and is also co-founder of a nature based tour company called Wild Routes Ireland.
Her journey with medicine and plants began from a very young age. Growing up in a culture steeped in magic and folklore, she was always enchanted by the stories of the wee folk and nature spirits and has found refuge in the wild places. From a young age, she became aware of the separation that exists between many people and the natural world and believes this is the source of many physical and emotional illnesses. She is passionate about facilitating connection between people and the natural world to aid their healing.
She undertook her formal training in herbalism at Coláiste Luibheanna in Co. Cork and now runs a sliding scale clinic from her home in Co. Clare. She has a lifetime interest in Celtic spirituality and folklore and believes fervently in sharing this deep well of knowledge with the wider world. She has spent many years journeying through the land of Ireland, connecting with the sacred sites, ancient stones and trees and the magical wild places and feels a deep calling to bring others to experience these unique places.Tara undertook her formal training in herbalism at Coláiste Luibheanna in Co. Cork and now runs a sliding scale clinic from her home in Co. Clare. She has a lifetime interest in Celtic spirituality and folklore and believes fervently in sharing this deep well of knowledge with the wider world. She has spent many years journeying through the land of Ireland, connecting with the sacred sites, ancient stones and trees and the magical wild places and feels a deep calling to bring others to experience these unique places.
Rosemary Kavanagh: ‘Tending the bridge of ancestral connection through our Ancient Arts'. Rosemary, based in West Limerick and West Cork, is a herbalist, poet, craftsperson and one who 'belongs to the willows'. For the past 10 years Rosemary has been a'courting earth-based skills and heritage arts as a way to re- indigenizing our souls to place through land stewardship, earth connection and working with the wisdom of the Earth to create Beauty. She believes that creating beautiful useful art with our hands is a vital aspect of mental health-- helping to initiate spaciousness for the whispers of the deep self to be heard and for the soul to stretch out exploring new bounds, drinking honey. Rosemary primarily has dedicated her adult life to exploring the Ancient Art of willow basketry, although she has studied traditional leather tanning, shoe making, fiber arts (felting), natural dying, and sewing. She has traveled extensively over the Isle of Ireland to study with willow basket makers in every corner. She now weave for love, commissions and markets--teaching in the cooler, slower months.
Dora Clouttick is an ecologist and lifelong student of natural history, finding great delight in her relationship with the natural world.
Awed and fully alive as a new mother, she is a trained restorative yoga teacher specialising in birth and women’s health. Her attention is on the transformative process of birthing and her consequent intention is to bring together the complimentary practices of yoga and nature connection to support new parents and future generations. She has also been training in a medicine lineage for the past 4 years and has embodied knowledge and experience in supporting ceremony and re-connective practices that work towards health and happiness for all.
Dora and her team run a woodland spa, immersive retreats and other experiential events in her native woodland in the South of England. www.wyldexperiences.com