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Issue: March 2010 Newsletter
Not Losing Ya’Acov

By Roland

A few days ago I went out with Ya’Acov to look at a possible vision quest site on Dartmoor

“Um – excuse me,” I hear you ask, “Didn’t you write about something very similar a few issues ago in an article entitled ‘Losing Ya’Acov’.

And yes, you are right, I did. But the trouble was that although we had found a site which we both agreed was good, we later found out that we both privately shared some misgivings about its suitability, which both of us hadn’t shared at the time.

Now, I do realise that the title of this piece, ‘Not Losing Ya’Acov,’ rather lacks dramatic appeal.  However please read on ...

I will tell you of the lone raven, we watched from the top of hill, flying north to the higher ground where snow was still lying on the ground, crying with that distinctive raven rasping caw as he went.  I will tell you, too, of the small wood that we found, where Ya’Acov squatted down his haunches and declared that this was the perfect spot for his base camp.   Then, there was the delightful small stone circle where Ya’Acov sat with his back against a stone facing north and I sat facing south and I asked if he could envision what kind of ceremonies would have taken place there thousands of years ago.  And we talked about the passing of the seasons, the marking of solstice celebrations, the sowing of crops and of the strong connections that these people would have had with the land and the landscape.


It was though too cold to linger long anywhere.  But we did stop again and I sat on my plastic map cover and ate my pasty and Ya’Acov sat on his coat and ate nothing at all.  It was then that I had a clear memory of visiting that very spot with a friend  nearby nearly 30 years ago.  I could feel the precise qualities of that June day  – the white woolly clouds, the scattered trees in fresh leaf, the rocks dotting the hillside, the wooded valley stretching up  towards the higher moor beyond.  I realized it might just be like that memory when and if – as we still need to check whether we can definitely use this place - we return to this place this coming June to bring people here for the Vision Quest.


Oh – you are little disappointed there is no humour here?  OK let me tell you that we also took Susannah and Ya’Acov’s delightful black Labrador dog called Tali.  Ya’Acov had explained to me that he would need to keep her on the lead as she has not been trained not to chase sheep yet.


“But,”  he added, “I do have a special training technique to stop dogs chasing sheep that I wish to try out that Susannah has told me about.”


Now I should tell you that Susannah is the one who has a very strong connection with animals and who has done an excellent job training both their present dog and their previous one.  This is not to say that Ya’Acov doesn’t do his dog bit – it is just that Susannah is the acknowledged expert in this field.


So for a while during our walk, were on the lookout for some sheep to try out this technique out on.  For most of the time sheep are remarkably unintelligent animals but the sheep that were around on this part of the moor that day seemed to be atypically alert and, as if they knew something was up, kept a good distance from us.  Finally, however, we came across two unsuspecting sheep near a stream.   Ya’Acov immediately put his plan into operation and allowed Tali to approach the sheep by releasing her extendable lead.  Tali went forward cautiously and for a moment I thought that nothing was going to happen.  Then one of the sheep looked up from the clump of grass it was eating and decided that the dog was now too close for its personal comfort and so it bolted off with the fellow sheep just behind it.

Tali, of course, now started to run and just  when the extendable lead had extended to full length, Ya’Acov gave a violent double handed yank on the other end of the lead.  At this point the scene changed into something resembling a children’s TV cartoon and time seemed to slow so that I was able to observe clearly what was happening at both end of the dog-lead.  At the dog-end of the lead Tali was momentarily halted. But it takes quite a lot of strength to stop a young fit Labrador in full pursuit of sheep and, as if in a prepared demonstration of Newtonian laws of motion, her body then continued forward towards the sheep.  At the human end of the extendable dog lead Ya’Acov’s upper body was now pulled forward so much that it seemed inevitable that he was going to end with his face in the mud.  But his years spent on the dance floor now paid their dividend and with two deft steps and a skip he was fully upright and had brought the whole 'Ya’Acov–dog lead–Tali dog' machine to an absolute halt. 


“Well,” he said with his wonderful optimism that I so admire in him, “I think that should do it!  I rather doubt she will ever want to chase sheep after that!”


“Mmm,” I replied, “I’m not sure that dog training works quite like that but you never know.  Lets see what the dog expert says when she returns from teaching in Poland.”


If you want to join Ya’Acov  for the Vision Quest Module  17 – 24th June of the Ritual Group (no dog training lesson included) please contact me for an application form.  We also still have places left on the other modules of the Group which are the SEER process 18th – 23rd March or The Burial Ceremony on Sept 28th – Oct 5th.  01803 762255. 


Meanwhile Susannah’s Ongoing Group, Journey of Empowerment, which starts in Switzerland in May is just about full.  At the time of writing this article there are just a few places left so please do act fast if you would like to join.  Contact me for an application form  01803 762255.


For those of you who are contemplating joining the next Apprenticeship group which starts in Jan 2012, you really need to start planning now how you are going to do the pre-requisite workshops in time.  These pre-requisites are Initiation and the Phoenix Retreat and at least one ongoing group (preferably Journey of Empowerment) and if possible the Ritual Group as well.  Dates for all these pre-requisite workshop will soon be on the website programme of events (both for this year as well as next year).  If you haven’t already done Initiation then you should consider doing it this year.  The dates are 3rd – 12th September.  The date for the early payment discount is May 1st.  Please either download an application form from the website or ask me to send you one.


Coming up soon are:


Mind Body Spirit Festival in Dublin on the 14th March.  Susannah and Ya’Acov will both be giving a talk and running a dance session on this day.


Return of the Light in Manchester.  Ya’Acov will be teaching this weekend workshop.  To book and for queries contact Elaine on 0161 881 2644.  Booking instructions can be found on the card which you can see by clicking on Return of the Light


Early next month Susannah will be running the Sanctuary Retreat for women in the Austrian Alps from 8 -11 April.  This workshop is residential.  We don’t offer this workshop very often so do take this opportunity to take part if you. Please contact Andrea 0043 664 380 8073 for more details etc.


And Ya’Acov will be teaching Source in London from 9 -11 April.  We have extended the early payment deadline to 10th March.  So if you want to go you will get a discount if you get your payment off promptly.  Organiser:  Alex 07868842219


Finally, I would like to remind you about the Awakening workshop which is being taught by both Susannah and Ya’Acov.  It will take place in South Devon 13th – 17th April. This workshop is not residential but we do have an accommodation list of local places to stay.  This workshop is suitable for both those with experience of the Movement Medicine work as well those who are new to the practice. 


Newsletter Articles:
Awakening - Jan 2009
Whirlwind in ... Awakening Out - April 2008
All by Accident or Coincidence - After Awakening - May 2009


Awakening feedback:


"The medicine works! I received inspiration and creative power to deal with a very challenging situation which awaited my return home. The result is turning out unbelievably different from anything I experienced in my life up to now. I loved the harnessing of the conscious mind as one of our key resources in directing where we are putting our attention."Kat Forrester, Events Organiser


"A breath of fresh air to me as newcomer! Great to be 'allowed' to dance and follow our inner spirit freely without judgement. The contents of the course were skilfully arranged, and beautifully guided by Ya'Acov and Susannah. The music was great and moved me to the core." Nadia Smith de Nekludoff, Tui Na & Qigong / Cranio-Sacral Practitioner


Please either follow the instruction on the flier or contact me Roland on 01803 762255 or if you want to book for Awakening.


So that’s all from me for now from South Devon where Spring is valiantly trying to begin but wind still blows coldly.






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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.