View in browser
European ANFT Council Newsletter #6

Season’s Greetings!

At this time of year, many of us are caught up in the busyness of social gatherings of friends, work and family around Christmas and the New Year, and our connection to the more-than-human world takes a back seat.

So, I’d like to share an alternative orientation for the returning of light at the Winter Solstice. Recently, during the month of November I participated in a month-long Plant Diet with Elder, a journey that particularly relates to experiences of grief, and dying. Every day, I would partake in a few doses of Elder tincture, and take time at my sit spot, reflecting over the last year. I also journeyed, a form of meditative practice, asking Elder to be my guide. In one such journey, a deer appeared to guide me through the forest, and through a forest fire, passing through a tunnel of light. The deer had great antlers, and at first I assumed it to be a Stag, but then a story of the ‘Deer Mother’ was shared with me. 

From the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia, Siberia, across the land bridge of the Bering Strait, she was a revered spiritual figure associated with fertility, motherhood, regeneration and the rebirth of the sun (the theme of winter solstice). From this, I gained a new perspective, and have felt a greater sense of connection with my ancestors.

Jon Young, founder of the 8 Shields model, describes the movement of the seasons through a lens comprising of eight directions - East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest, North, and Northeast. In the northern hemisphere, the sun rises in the East, moves through the South to set in the West, then through the North to rise again in the East. In the northern hemisphere spring ~ East, summer ~ South, fall ~ West, and winter ~ North.

Each direction has its own characteristic archetypal energetic feel. To help get an embodied sense of these, you can visit your sit spot at different times of day, and pay attention to the energy of that time.

The following is adapted from Chapter 9 in Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, 2nd Edition. 

Northwest: Reflection and Release - We look back on what has been, and release what we need to let go of in preparation for what is to come 

North: Distillation and Integration - We refine and hold the wisdom achieved through the culmination of our experiences and the filtering process in the Northwest

Northeast: Invisible connection between End and the Beginning - We connect with the mysterious source of creativity as we transition from one cycle to the next

I hope this sharing helps you to value your experiences this year, and move

into the new year and decade that is upon us.

Wild blessings from Amanda and the EU Council team.


This is a long newsletter so make sure that when you receive it in your email that you click on:

VIEW ENTIRE MESSAGE (at the end of the Newsletter, on your email)

December 2019
ANFT European FT Guide Trainings

The schedule for Guide Trainings for 2020 is live on the ANFT website HERE. So far, we have 19 new training dates confirmed. There are still more dates to be confirmed for 2020. Highlighting the trainings confirmed for Europe so far:

C57 - Czech Republic - 10-17 May 2020

C59 - Finland - 6-13 Jun 2020

C63 - Norway - 28 Jul - 4 Aug 2020

C65 - Germany - 11 - 18 October 2020

If you have friends or participants from your walks that are interested in training as Forest Therapy Guides you know where to direct them to... HERE

New Early Bird Tuition for 2020

Early Bird Special for 2020 trainings that begin before June, 2020. Register and pay in full by January 1, 2020 and receive the early bird rate.

NEW Scholarship Program 2020

The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs offers twelve scholarships for forest therapy guide trainings to applicants who experience financial barriers to training programs like ours, and who demonstrate a strong potential for bringing forest therapy to communities and settings that open the doors for others to participate. Click HERE for more information.

Upcoming for 2020
European Conferences

West of England Practitioner Forum for Nature, Health and Wellbeing

16 January 2020 - Bristol - UK

More Information HERE

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

19- 23 May 2020 - London - UK

More Information HERE

International Forest Therapy Days 

2-8th July 2020 - Parkano - Finland 

More Information HERE

Inner Peace Conference 

19th – 20th September 2020 Amsterdam - Netherlands More Information HERE

VII Convegno Nazionale di Montagnaterapia

14 - 17 October 2020 - Parma - Italy 

More Information HERE
Workplace, Wellbeing and Stress Forum 

19 November 2020 - Hilton Hotel, Canary Wharf, London

More Information HERE

9th International Adventure Therapy Conference 

21-26 June 2021 - Kristiansand - Norway

More Information HERE

More dates and events will follow.

If you know about any interesting event where ANFT should be present, please let us know.

Pro-Tip of the Month

Reflecting upon your Pleasures of Presence

What can make the Pleasures of Presence invitation land even better? Here’s some questions to reflect upon and try out if you like to experiment with this powerful start of the Standard Sequence and our walks. Feel free to try them out and send us your reflections, your own ideas, comments or experience!

  • Do you want to introduce this invitation by telling the participants how it's called and what will follow? Or do you want to surprise them by just asking them directly to find a comfortable position and close their eyes?
  • Are you going to check the time throughout the POP, or will you trust your inner sense of timing?
  • Are you going to keep your eyes closed as well, or do you want to open your eyes a few times to map the field?
  • Are you going to stay on one spot, or do you want to walk around in the circle (especially if your group is larger in size)?
  • Are you going to do your POP on the usual spot of your trail, or does the forest invite you to do it on a different location? How is the light, the sun, the wind, the colors, the smells, can you actually sense a good spot for POP somewhere in the forest on that particular day?
  • Are you going to ask people to stand in a circle, or will you invite them to scatter around and find a place that feels good to them? Will they be standing, or will you mention that they can also sit?
  • How can you work with your voice? Can you change your voice modulation or volume, the pace of your speaking? Can you find a good balance between having a calming voice that is strong enough to be heard by everyone?
  • How can you play with all elements of your surroundings and make them part of your POP for the day?
  • Are you going to keep your POP sensory, or do you want to play with the imaginal sense, with the heart-felt sense of the present moment, the mirroring sense?
  • To what extent do you want to emphasize pleasure in your POP?
  • How do you want to work with breaks? Is there enough silence, enough space between your words and sentences?
  • Is there anything that you feel that this particular group is inviting you to say in your POP? Anything that you feel that you need to say, as it comes up through you in the present moment?
  • What are you going to say when you’re inviting people to open their eyes? Are you going to stick to your usual way, or do you want to explore other possibilities of this invitation within invitation?
  • How do you feel after your own POP? Has anything changed for you? Is your POP evolving? Are you changing as a guide, with time?

We'll be happy to hear about your experience! You can send it to us per email to

European ANFT Calls

Every month we plan professional development calls to support your training as a Forest Therapy Guide. And starting from 2020 we will organize regional calls every quarter for community building purposes within your region. 

Get your calendars out and schedule the calls that call to your attention. Better safe than sorry.

January/February/March 2020
Member Series Calls

6 Jan 2020

18:00 CET* - Recent Research

w/ Christy Thompson

19:00 CET* - Investigaciones Recientes

c/ Geeta Stilwell (en Castellano)

CET* - Central European Time

2 February 2020

18:00 CET* - Embodiment

w/ Amos Clifford/Geeta Stilwell

1 March 2020

18:00 CET* - Setting up your business

w/ Nadine Mazzola

January / March 2020
Regional Calls

Central & East EU Region 

22nd January 2020 - 19:00 CET

Theme: Insurance & Legal Requirements

25th March 2020 - 19:00 CET

Theme: Guiding different populations/Groups w/ Ales 

Uk, Ireland & France Region

29th January 2020  - 20:00 CET


Insurance & Legal Requirements

4th March 2020 - 20:00 CET


Guiding different populations/Groups

 w/ Amanda 

Germanic Region 

9 March 2020 - 19:00 CET


Guiding different populations/Groups

 w/ Kat 

South Europe Region 

8 March 2020 - 19:00 CET


Guiding different populations/Groups

 w/ Geeta

Scandinavian Region 

 15 March 2020 - 19:00 CET


Guiding different populations/Groups

 w/ Heidi 

NOTE: Recordings for these calls will be sent out via email by the facilitator of the call.

Call Schedule
Recordings of Past Calls
Trainers Facilitating Calls this Month

This month we'll have the pleasure of having calls with different trainers from the ANFT team.

Amos Clifford


Christy Thomson

Trainer & Mentor

Nadine Mazzola

Director of Practicum and Certification, Trainer & Mentor

Geeta Stilwell

Trainer & Mentor

ANFT Presence in Events & Gatherings
COP25 Madrid - Spain
Take Action Now

At the COP25 earlier this month, ANFT guides Isabel Verdaguer and Charles Oppe guided a Forest Therapy Walk and delivered a talk on the relevance of Forest Therapy as a practice to promote love for the Earth and consequently an impulse to protect it. Both the walk and talk were very well received and participants expressed that both these activities were what they most enjoyed of the whole summit.

Read FULL Article Here
Scientific Research
Purpose of our Work in the face of Climate Change
Scientific Research

The biosphere underlies the whole sustainable development concept, as the layer on which society and the economy rely. Nature and biodiversity fuel the natural cycles and life-support systems of the planet, on which humanity ultimately depends.

Crucially, human health and well-being depend on functional ecosystems and the services they provide. That is why the Convention on Biological Diversity sets out the vision that biodiversity is to be valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet, and delivering benefits essential for all people, including good health.

Full Article HERE
Monica Janowski
Meet a Guide

This month we have the pleasure to get to know a little bit more about the rich and beautiful journey that led Monica Janowski from the UK to become a guide. From the tropics in  Borneo to Epping Forest in the UK. Click below to read an interview with Monica!

Full Interview HERE
For a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Here's some inspiration for this month...

Nature Connection
Arrows to the Heart

This month we share with you some Arrows to the Heart from Geeta:

Trusting the Healing Power of the Forest in any way it presents itself. 

Stepping courageously into the space of not knowing. 

I hear the bird song and my soul is quietened. 

I hear the eagle cry and I remember my purpose here on this Earth. 

I feel the breeze in my skin and all my questions dissolve and are taken away gently.

Body and Earth - An Experiential Guide by Andrea Olsen
Book of the Month

“Body is our first environment,” writes Andrea Olsen. “It is the medium through which we know the earth.” In a remarkable integration of environmental science, biology, meditation, and creative expression, Olsen, a dancer who teaches in the environmental studies program at Middlebury College, offers a guide to a holistic understanding of person and place. Part workbook, part exploration, Body and Earth considers the question of how we can best, most responsibly inhabit both our bodies and our planet. Olsen displays an easy command of fields as diverse as geology, biochemistry, ecology, and anatomy as she explores the ways in which our bodies are derived from and connected to the natural world. But Body and Earth is not just a lesson, it is also an investigation. Arranged as a 31-day program, the book offers not only a wealth of scientific information, but also exercises for both exploring the body and connecting with place.

Find the book here

ANFT European Council

P.O. BOX 1764, Santa Rosa
California CA95402 United States

Photo credits: ANFT, Jayzon Photography

You received this email because you are an ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guide or a Guide in Training. If you do not wish to receive these newsletters anymore, use the Unsubscribe button below.