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Sheep Camp

Sheep camp is an outdoor gathering for re-learning ways of working with sheep in an ancestrally-rooted space.

We will ritually slaughter a sheep in a way that honor the animal’s spirit, learn how to process the meat with field butchering techniques, and tan sheepskins by hand. We will also learn about ancestral healing and connection in the framework and method of Ancestral Medicine (developed by Dr. Daniel Foor). In the evenings we will enjoy emergent offerings from folks on the sheep camp facilitation team and participants, including plant medicine for ritual work and storytelling.

 
 

This sheep camp is open to all transwomen, transmen, non-binary and genderqueer people, intersex people, and ciswomen (basically everyone except cismen), and to people of all ancestral backgrounds. As a group we will root into a framework that asserts that we all have well ancestors and can connect with them and carry their gifts forward in our lives. This is not connected to any particular religion. The overall perspective is grounded in an animist framework that situates us in the wider ecology of the more-than-human world. Some group prayers or other components may reflect the traditions and ancestors of the person leading it. 

May 24 - 27, 2019 // Nisenan land, Nevada City, California — with Helen Cowart

August 30 - September 2, 2019 // Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho land, Colorado (near Denver/Boulder) — co-facilitator TBA

We will be camping. You will be responsible to bring your own gear for sleeping, as well as food for your own breakfast and snacks. We will provide lunch and dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and lunch on Sunday. We will send you a packing list and other logistical information after registration.

Day 1 - Thursday

Opening circle breakfast
Soak, select, wash and scrape sheepskins
Lunch
Rack hides to dry
Free time
Dinner
Circle for discussion, sharing and emergent offerings

Day 2 - Friday

Opening circle breakfast
Animal harvest: slaughter and butcher 2 sheep
Lunch
Finish process with animals
Dinner
Circle for discussion, sharing and emergent offerings

Day 3 - Saturday

Breakfast
Introduction to Ancestral Healing
Lunch
Free time
Dinner
Circle for discussion, sharing and emergent offerings

Day 4 - SundaY

Breakfast
Tan sheepskins
Lunch
Brush sheepskin hair
Closing circle

Contribution

We're asking participants to contribute $650. This includes lunches and dinners and your sheepskin you will tan and bring home with you. You will also get to take home about 8lbs of meat. This offering allows us to pay the associated costs of coordinating this gathering. You can pay in full or by payment plan. Folks indigenous to Nisenan land are welcome to attend by-donation, use code "LAND" (this will discount you to $1 total) and then send an email to elsa.asher@gmail.com to let us know the amount you'd like to donate (we will manually process this). Payment plans are $250 when you register, and then $200/month for the following 2 months.

A portion of the proceeds will be gifted to Changing Woman Initiative, a Native American-centered women's health collective, and to Toasted Sister, a native foods podcast. We offer this in recognition for their cultural work. The idea to hold a sheep camp emerged from listening to the Toasted Sister podcast about a Navajo-Churro Sheep Camp and from attending Mountainsong Expedition’s Huntress Intensive led by Murphy Robinson.

Sheep Camp Facilitation Team

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Elsa Asher

Elsa is a Somatic Therapy and Craniosacral Therapy practitioner, Ancestral Healing practitioner trained by Dr. Daniel Foor of Ancestral Medicine, full-spectrum doula, Narrative Medicine professor, ritual facilitator and is ordained as a Kohenet. Elsa's people are Hebrew people from Ukraine, Turkey, Spain, and the land that is now known as Israel/Palestine, Sami from Northern Scandinavia, English, Scot-Irish, and native to the Southeast of Turtle Island/USA. Elsa was born on Duwamish land (Seattle, Washington) and lives on Ohlone land (Berkeley, California).

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Helen Cowart

Helen has been studying ancestral arts for more than seven years. She picked up her first roadkill deer three years ago and has been skinning animals and tanning hides ever since. She has a wide variety of skills, from fire-by-friction to willow basketry to pit-fired pottery, to name a few. She runs an ecological landscaping company and is currently a PhD candidate in Imaginal Psychology. Helen is called to the reclamation of human wildness—the places where earth and the untamed human soul connect.