Spiritual background

Welcome to Anam Cara

'A Retreat Centre in the Scottish Highlands'

Entrance to Anam Cara

Training courses and workshops in

SHAMANISM, BUDDHISM, HEALING ARTS,
MEDITATION, YOGA, CREATIVE ECOLOGY & WORKING RETREATS

Anam Cara is a Gaelic expression meaning "soul friend". It symbolises a spiritual friendship that is not affected by time, distance, or separation.

In the old Celtic tradition, the Anam Cara is someone with whom you could share your innermost self, mind and heart. This soul friendship is an act of recognition and belonging, helping us return to the hearth of our Spirit.

We have chosen this name as a symbol for the 'circle of belonging', that inner friendship which embraces nature, divinity, spirit and human world as one.

Location

Anam Cara lies 600 feet above sea level and overlooks the city of Inverness with stunning southerly views towards the Monadhliath Mountains. We are only three miles from the city centre yet surrounded by farm and woodland. The scope for walking is endless. The centre is set in seven acres of land which offers a delightful network of paths through a rich and varied landscape with extensive wooded areas and a sheltered fruit and vegetable garden embodying permaculture principles.

Living arrangements

Workshops and retreats are fully residential with nutritious, wholesome, vegetarian meals provided and special diets catered for on request. We use organic produce as availability allows - an ever-growing proportion of which is produced in our own garden. All meals are prepared by our experienced cooks, with participants assisting in the 'Helping Hands' wash up rota. During working retreats, meals will be prepared as a community exercise.

Accommodation

The guest living space is comprised of three large wooden clad caravans, which are set into the hillside, with south facing views. Each caravan can accommodate up to 5 people with two single, one double and a twin room as well as a toilet/shower room and electric heating. The turf roofed Pavilion offers a comfortable communal space for eating and relaxing. All food is prepared in our galley kitchen.

Workshop facilities

The main venue, affectionately known as the 'Tufty', is an octagonal building constructed from local timber with large patio windows that offer views south over Inverness and beyond. The log burning stove, oak floor, spiritual library and turf roof create a unique and lovely space.

Anam Cara has a range of additional buildings tucked away in various nooks around the croft. We have a wood fired Sauna with shower/changing area and a spacious relaxation room. Nearby is the Healing Barrel, formerly a whisky mash barrel. This delightful turf roofed conversion serves as a therapy room. Both buildings are situated in the Healing Well Garden, a quiet retreat space with shady decking overlooking a natural spring and its aquatic abundance. Water may be drawn from the well by those seeking the benefits and blessings of a water ablution.

Our Shrine Room is a quiet and secluded venue used for daily meditation, which retreatants are welcome to attend, or use it at other times of the day.

The Earthlodge is buried into hillside with thick stone walls and turf roof and is most often used for shamanic ritual and ceremony.

Community policy at Anam Cara

We strive to create a safe, respectful and harmonious space for people to visit, relax, grow and deepen. We have a no drink or drug policy and ask smokers to use our designated smoking spot. Mobile phone use is limited to certain outdoor spaces and Wi-Fi is only available in the office. We ask that people are mindful of others' sensitivities and request that people refrain from using strong perfumes or deodorants.

Price structure

We endeavour to keep the costs of our courses as low as possible, which we hope you will find reflected in our prices. Please note course fees are inclusive of all meals, hot beverages and accommodation. A number of concessionary places are also available on request.

Shamanism workshops and shamanic training

Shamanism is the most time tested mind/body healing method that we know of today dating back at least 40,000 years. It was practised in all five continents including the Celtic and Pictish peoples of ancient Britain. The shamanic methods and practices the world over are strikingly similar and not bound by race, culture, belief, or lifestyle.

Training is provided by Twobirds, a qualified shamanic practitioner with eighteen years of experience. She is the co-founder of the Anam Cara Retreat Centre where she works full time as a shamanic practitioner and as a teacher of cross-cultural and Toltec shamanism and Plant Spirit Medicine.
For further information see our Shamanic Workshops and Training page.