FAQ

DO I HAVE TO BE A MIDWIFE OR A DOULA TO DO THE FOUR SEASONS JOURNEY?

No, the information shared and the wisdom gained from the 4SJ is applicable to all of life, not just the childbearing time.

WHAT WILL I BE ABLE TO DO ONCE I COMPLETE THE 4SJ PROGRAM?

You will undoubtably find an area of the work that speaks to you, that you want to take forward into your world. You will be able to use the material you have learned during the program in your own practice or work, eg adapting the Connecting With the Shamanic Dimensions of Pregnancy and Moonsong workshops to suit your own community, presentation style and ability, making yourself available to teach maidens about menstruation in your community, and conducting seasonal ceremonies, as a few examples.

CAN I DO THE FOUR SEASONS JOURNEY OR ANY OF THE WORKSHOPS IF I AM PREGNANT OR HAVE A BABY?

Most certainly, babes in arms are welcome in the circle space, toddlers and older children need their own support person staying near by but separate to the circle, to bring them to you in the circle as necessary. It is possible to do the Vision Quest (VQ) when pregnant without fasting, but solo time on the VQ can only be done solo. If you have a baby at the VQ time that needs you then you will be at Base Camp rather than out on solo. This in itself is a deep journey. For further information ask to see the SSW protocol on infants and children.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SCHOOL OF SHAMANIC MIDWIFERY?

The School, formerly known as the School of Shamanic Midwifery, founded by Jane Hardwicke Collings has been offering experiential educational programs to women since 2009, in Australia and Internationally.

In December 2015, the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency ordered, with the threat of substantial fines for the criminal activity of using the word midwife in conjunction with the word shamanic, that our former name – the School of Shamanic Midwifery be changed.

We were, apparently, in breach of the National Law for using the words for the ancient art and role of midwife and midwifery to describe what we do/bring/offer the world. We have been using the words for their true meaning – “a person who helps to bring something into being” (OED), She who facilitates transformation from womb to tomb.

We are being judged by a culture who makes laws to protect people from each other, because they believe that people cannot be trusted to make the right decisions for themselves. They believed that we were misleading people that we are registered midwives and that the public will be tricked into a birth carer who isn’t within their regulation and control. And when I say They, that means Us, our culture, the way of being, thinking and doing that we have co-created, and that we reinforce over and over by the way we live, or challenge over and over by the way we live. The people who send the letters are just doing their jobs.

We of course were never pretending to be training or being registered midwives, everybody knew that. The School has been going for seven years and has just started her ninth Four Seasons Journey, with 53 women enrolled in that circle.

The thinking that sits behind these laws to protect us from each other, comes from the current Culture of Blame and the Cult of the Expert as Jeannine Parvati Baker (JPB) called it. And the School of Shamanic Midwifery is operating from a different place, participating in creating the Culture of Responsibility, for all our relations. We have a different world view and these cultures have collided. This is what will keep happening until the point when it shifts. I feel the tiredness of this collision deep in my bones. As I sigh to the tediousness and the frustration, I give thanks for this opportunity to evolve.

I am excited to announce the next evolution of our work, we have changed the name to The School of Shamanic Womancraft! – another of JPBs terms, as was Shamanic Midwifery.

Our work in the world will continue, uninterrupted, and stronger for this chance to have galvanised. And my pledge stands that Jeannine Parvati Baker’s work and lineage will carry on.

So, welcome to the new website of the newly re-named School of Shamanic Womancraft!

Blessed Be and Blessed Do

Jane Hardwicke Collings