Lecture & Workshop Host
LECTURE: Wedded to Death: The Use of Plants in the Initiation of a Witch
“Ach! My dear child, if I don’t rescue you, you will be lost!” cries the old woman in the Grimm Brothers’ story, “The Robber Bridegroom.” Yet the rescue does not occur until after the violence has taken place, and it is the young woman who must save herself.
The shadowy world of the fairy tale is one wherein evil fabricates traps, well hidden within societal mores and tradition. Here, the horrific happens with regularity, and its victims often have little recourse but to be ensnared. This fate befalls the young woman in “The Robber Bridegroom.” Yet the occult information the tale harbors regarding trauma and its transformative powers has not been explored sufficiently by modern scholars, who have tended to see the story as a warning on marrying outside of one’s clan.
In this presentation, Colleen will analyze the story from a completely different viewpoint, employing the lens of shamanism, and shamanism clothed as witchcraft. Here, she will offer an entirely new perspective on the tale, centering on the meaning of the mysterious three glasses of wine. Combining studies on shamanic rituals and medieval occult traditions related to plants and witchcraft is the key to understanding the secrets this story has held for eons. Hidden in plain sight, it offers a ciphered guide to the use of plants as an integral part of the journey to the underworld and the witch’s initiation by the spirits.
WORKSHOP: Key to the Underworld: Plants and Mediumship
1.5 HOUR INTENSIVE– space is limited to 30 participants
Plants have longed been used to facilitate mediumship, for example, as a means of achieving an altered state more conducive to receptivity to the spirits. They’ve also been used as a means of protecting oneself when traveling to the Underworld to reach the dead. In this workshop, I plan to dive deeper into the ways that mediums have used plants to assist them in connecting with the dead, and I will also discuss how I use plants in my practice as a medium. Finally, I will offer a guided meditation to facilitate mediumship and a Q&A on working with one’s own mediumship abilities.
$35 add on fee
$0 materials fee
Add Colleens’s immersive virtual workshop to your registration here.
BIO: Colleen is a professional medium who holds a doctorate in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. After studying art history and languages at Purdue University, she continued her academic work at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Hamburg, Germany. During almost a decade of living and working in Germany, she developed a deep interest in the old tales of the region and the secrets they conceal. Returning to the US, she trained and apprenticed as a medium, and is in her 13th year of practice professionally. On the subjects of mediumship and mythology, she has been a featured speaker at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Scripps College, and the Fates and Graces Myth Conference. Her study of mythology is deeply informed by her mediumship as she focuses on the ancient knowledge contained within the old stories still told in Germany, and on the witchcraft—or shamanic practices—concealed therein.
Tickets for the 7th Annual VGS are now AVAILABLE!