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Where Have All The Good Men Gone?

Do you remember that power ballad by Bonnie Tyler called Holding Out For a Hero? She sings ‘where have all the good men gone?’ Those lyrics went through my head as I lay awake most of last night and the night before, tossing and turning like a volatile tornado ripping through buildings.

One of the many things I try to do as a celebrant is foster a sense of calm within myself so that no matter what is happening around me, I can create a space for others that encircles and helps them to feel like they’re in a safe space for the ceremony. Within my personal life, I augment this with plenty of solitude, walks in the woods, and quiet time/meditation. And yet, for the past few days I’ve felt nothing but turbulence rocketing through my underworld. Ghosts that I’d thought were long laid to rest came hurtling up, and I found myself raging (in an internal, ‘keep it to yourself like a good girl’ sort of way) in a manner that quite terrified me. The truth is that no matter how much we reach towards the light, personally and professionally, we each have within us a ‘darkness’. Denial of that is one of the greatest toxins we face.

My deepest nurturing comes in the silence, and I’ve sure needed that these past few days. I remind myself that endarkenment, surely, is just as essential as enlightenment. Light and Dark. Day and Night. Yin and Yang. Black and White.

It was a lazy Sunday morning when I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed to see my younger daughter’s blog:

http://elizaserenarobinson.com/the-hardest-story-to-tell/

(note: many acts/offences have been removed from when this blog post was first published, but what remains gives a clear picture of what she endured)

I read it slowly, the fear rising far more quickly than the speed with which my eyes travelled across the screen.

I wanted to scream.

I wanted to kill.

Me, the pacifist!

How f****** dare he?!

I wanted to kill him, and I wanted to kill every man who’d ever violated me in my lifetime.

And while I was at it: all the men who’ve ever violated women since the dawn of Mankind (where did the ‘kind’ originate from?) People mutter about too many women getting on the #metoo bandwagon. They’re on there for a damn good reason! Let them have their voice. Shout it from the rooftops. We can’t change things if we don’t speak up.

 

I was undone. All calmness and serenity vacated. Where was all this anger coming from? I shocked myself with the poison bubbling through my bloodstream. I thought I’d laid this shit to rest years ago. In fact, I remember the defining moment when Graham (a wonderful New Thought Minister and friend I worked with at the time ~ and the only man, up until then, that I’d ever trusted) said “Veronika, you’ve got to stop believing all men are bastards if you want to see something different show up in your life.”

It was like a massive laser light turned on.

He was right. It was so obvious. However, I’d spent about twenty five years of my life with that constant little mantra running through my head “all men are bastards”.

Why would I have such a thought? My dad mostly worked overseas so I rarely got to see him (and he never abused me), but there were men constantly in my life that, over and over again, did sexually violate me. The first incident (at least I presume it was the first) was when I came home from kindergarten (aged three) telling my mother of something a male staff member did to me. I have NO memory of this at all. What I do know is that my mother said that when she approached the kindergarten they unceremoniously sent her away saying ‘nothing like that would happen here’. I guess that was my first experience of ‘not being heard’. That what happened to me ‘didn’t matter’.

 

I had an experience a few weeks ago, just after I moved into a place on my own, when a well-known womaniser in our community sent me a message asking for ‘coffee and counselling’. Said man has a long-term partner. I recommended a counsellor, and suggested he get coffee at Costa, to which he replied “Yeah, but the staff at Costa don’t have breasts like yours!” I erased his toxicity from my phone, and blocked him from messaging me, but now I wonder if I should have screenshot the message to put on his Facebook timeline or sent it to his girlfriend. Might have cured him from doing it to anyone else! By keeping quiet, I simply perpetuate his need and greed to have ‘anything that moves’.

 

I’ve had a couple of creepy men try to come on to me in the past few years, saying inappropriate things, but other than those incidents I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided any such thing since I ‘woke up’ to my belief system. Maybe wearing a wedding band for all those years was also big boundary. I don’t know.

 

I’ll spare you a lifetime of incidents that I do remember. You’d be reading for hours! My point is this: my life showed me what I came to know as true; that all men were bastards.

 

But I’m fifty years of age now, and I also know this to be true: there are some damn fine men in this world. Men who are good, kind, honest, sincere, wonderful, and deserve to be celebrated. Such examples are:

. One of my closest friends who helped me through one of the darkest times in my life, and once again proved to me that men are capable of integrity, kindness, compassion and a listening ear

. The father of my children, and husband, who walked by my side for twenty three years, and continues (despite our recent separation), to be a source of honesty, kindness and solidity

. My brother

. Men whose ceremonies I’ve officiated

. Husbands of my female friends

. Men I’ve met over the years when I was publishing The Mother magazine

And of course there are men I’ll never meet that I know to be filled with integrity.

The world is FILLED with wonderful men. Men who make a difference. Men who love openheartedly. Men who are kind. Men who feel ill at the thought of those other men who smear the reputation of their gender.

 

Of all the things I was so sure of doing ‘right’ when I became a parent ~ a job I wanted to do as consciously and open-heartedly as possible ~ was to protect my daughters from sexual abuse (well, any abuse). I knew with 100% certainty that it would NEVER happen at the hands of their father. I had absolute faith in this, and never felt unsafe leaving them alone with him. I also, by then, had a bloody good radar for ‘men’ and could pick out a ‘violator’ a mile away. I remember feeling distinctly ill seeing a picture of Jimmy Saville long before his revelations came out.

The one and only time my girls ever had a babysitter was when I left them for a few hours with my best friend, Pam. As a homeschooling mother, they were always under my protective wing. When they both became adults, I naively prided myself on the fact that our daughters made it through childhood free of the guilt, shame and destruction of sexual abuse. Job bloody well done! Go me! Of all the things I may not have done well in parenting, this was one where I scored top marks. Or, so I thought.

Despite the few ‘dodgy’ (to put it kindly) men in my bloodline (aggh), I felt that the pattern of abuse had been cut. My husband, too, had experienced abuse, so this felt like two family lines had been healed.

But what I hadn’t counted on was that when there is such torment it can take more than one generation to heal. Wounds run so deep at a cellular level.

I lay awake questioning every aspect of my parenting. But why the hell am I taking on this cloak of guilt because my beautiful, authentic daughters were highly attractive, energetically, to narcissistic types?

 

What could I have done differently? I don’t have the answers. All I can do, right now, is remind them that there ARE good men in the world. There have always been good men in the world. And that when we see such men, we tell them. We tell them every damn day. We remind them of their worth. We light their path with words of praise. And we let them know it is safe to keep shining their beautiful light. We don’t drag them down. We don’t herd them up with those other men.

The world sure needs more good men, but this won’t happen when we keep saying they’re all bastards. Yeah, let’s slam the patriarchy, for sure, but let’s be clear about what we’re trying to create. Is a matriarchal culture the answer? No, what we’re wanting, collectively, is to feel a balance. A Dance of the Divine Lovers. A wholesome blending of feminine and masculine energies.

 

My best advice for my daughters (for any woman or man) is this: if a relationship of any description doesn’t make you feel good, DON’T STAY IN IT. Don’t make excuses. Don’t justify. Don’t put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. And for godsake, don’t use that excuse of ‘staying for the children’. Because what the hell does that teach? That we don’t value ourselves? That a shit relationship is better than no relationship? Children energetically feel EVERYTHING in our relationships. They aren’t nourished by parents who stay together when they want to be apart or that destroy each other every day in little and large ways.

This one precious life is short. Way too short. It’s gone in a flash. Savour it. Love it. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to people who hurt you.

 

Bonnie Tyler sings: “Late at night I toss and turn, and I dream of what I need. I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong.”

 

NOOOOO. Be your own hero. Know your boundaries. Know who you are. Celebrate every part of yourself. The right person will love your bumps and bruises and honour you, and not put you down. Not pat you on the head and diminish your intellect, emotions, sexuality, body, morals, beauty or any other thing. He will raise you up. But first, sisters, we have to raise ourselves. No one else can do this job for us. We have to do it, and we have to do it daily.

Make it a daily practice to bring more beauty into your life. Why? Because when beauty is around us, we’re quick to identify anything that’s ugly. Ugly energy won’t stand a chance of coming into our orbit for long. We’ll not tolerate its vibration. This is one of the reasons I constantly surround myself with flowers. They align me to what ‘feels good and beautiful and true’. Flowers are ALWAYS authentic.

When our boundaries are strong and high, we know then that only the most sincere, kind, honest, thoughtful people will cross that threshold (male or female), for they will be the only ones worthy enough to walk that sacred path to our heart, mind and body. Only then.

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High-Vibrational Living

 

As we descend into the darker days and nights here in the Northern Hemisphere, that tendency to go into hibernation mode is amplified. If ever there’s a word for change, it’s Autumn.

 

The expansive vibrance of long, stretched-out Summer days and evenings has now long waned into the Turn of the Wheel… How do we trust this change? How do we carry the high enlivening energies of Summer into the impending darkness?

Around me the apples and pears are being harvested, the hedgerows beckon with their gifts of sloes, rosehips and blackberries. I even picked raspberries this morning!

 

Above the ground, the leaves have faded and fallen, but out of our sight, the roots grow strong, deeper, doing their work for next Spring.

The chilly wind, the heady scent of the damp earth as I tread lightly upon the woodland floor, the familiar smell of bonfires at twilight, and the darkening nights ~ these all draw me into the centre of myself. They urge me to go inwards.

Mother Earth is always my first port of call when it comes to healing, nourishment and learning about life’s lessons. I open my heart to Her, waiting for whispers of wisdom for how I can balance my inner life with my outer work in the world. How do I nourish myself so that I’m able to be of service? Despite the chill in the air, I still open my windows and let her gentle breezes go through my home and heart so that I can take Her with me as I step into the dream-time part of the year. I do so knowing that I take the awareness of the thought-seeds I’ve planted, and what I might hope to witness blossoming when I arise from the other side of Winter. I don’t do this lightly.

As a barefoot gardener, I’m well versed in the understanding that we must learn to trust the seeds we plant. We can’t keep opening up the soil to see if the seeds have germinated. Trust. Patience. Care. These are the watchwords of growth.

 

Our sacred self always has the ability to grow, but it needs the right environment. How commonly the media uses Springtime to launch its articles and programmes about detoxing, but this seems counterintuitive to me. Spring is a time of growth! Autumn, now there’s a season to teach us about letting go of what no longer serves us.

 

Leaving behind our sorrows, rage, regrets, anger, disappointments and betrayals at the door of the descent into the Underworld of Autumn and Winter, allows us to remove the heavy cloak of burden and pain so that we can unfurl, release, and then prepare to spiral into the highest version of ourselves. Tell Mother Earth of your burdens, and let them go!

Learn to trust yourself, and daily ask:

 

What brings me more energy?

What sustains me?

What are my deepest pleasures and joys? Do I allow these into my life?

What raises my vibration to a higher frequency?

 

For myself, these are questions I can answer easily. Maybe it’s because I know myself well and I’m not afraid to meet these needs, or maybe it’s based on years of experience.

. Flowers

. Sunshine

. Hot showers

. Jasmine oil

. Incense (Nag Champa)

. Walking in the woods

. Long hot baths by candlelight

. Moon bathing

. Reading

. Music

. Carefully chosen company

. Solitude

. Birdsong

. Rain on the roof

. Mangoes (if they’re truly ripe)

. Laughing

. Meditating

. Drinking spring water

. Writing in my gratitude journal (both things that I already have, and those I wish to have/be/experience)

. Being massaged

. Swimming

 

But equally, I have also learnt (often the hard way) what lowers my vibration. Choosing to minimise these as much as possible ensures that I am able to live at a higher-vibrational frequency on a consistent basis. It means honouring myself, first and foremost, and sometimes this can mean disappointing others.

 

. cigarette smoke

. gossips

. perpetually negative people

. the news

. two-faced people

. tabloids

. heavy metal or rap music

. horrible smells

. cruelty/bullies

. ugly views

. arguments

 

So, fill your days and evenings with pleasures. Don’t be afraid to turn off the TV and write in your journal, listen to your favourite music, sip hot chocolate by the fire, sleep in on a day off, or dance beneath the Moon. Do what makes your heart sing, for surely the more happy hearts there are in this world, the closer we become to world peace.

 

May your journey through Autumn and into Winter be filled with the realisation of what you have to let go of (people, places, beliefs or things), and replaced with joy, self-love and laughter.

 

 

 

With Christmas approaching, I often see an increase in book sales. If you’re wanting to purchase books directly from my website, can you do so before December to allow plenty of time for Royal Mail to deal with the Christmas rush, and also to ensure I can get new shipments in time in case I run out of any titles? As usual, I’m happy to sign all books and write dedications with the wording of your choice.

 

For anyone who has been contemplating doing Celebrant Training with me, I’m pleased to say I now offer a five-day training course for a Certificate in Advanced Celebrancy and Ritual as well as the two-day training for a Certificate in Celebrancy.

These are both done at my cottage in Wreay, near Carlisle. (easy access off the M6).

Keep warm!

Veronika xxxxxxxxxx

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Celebrant Training: Essential questions to ask when choosing a training organisation

As the rise of celebrant-led ceremonies grows in the UK, more people are coming across a celebrant at work, and if the celebrant is good at what they do, then the observer may be inspired to pursue that career path.

 

 

Fortunately, there are many training organisations available. However, it is important that you choose one that matches your ethos, and don’t make a decision purely based on price or location. There are many, many factors to take into account with your training, and that also includes after-course support. An expensive course does not necessarily mean an excellent training programme. Too many would-be celebrants are left flailing and seeking out a second training course because their ‘expensive’ one was inadequate, and didn’t do what it said on the tin. It’s easy to be lured by words like ‘government diploma’, ‘professional’, ‘institute’, etc. It could be that you’re paying for modules on how to write an email or use a Word document, or writing essays on the history of funerals. A good course should teach you to BE A CELEBRANT. It should inspire your creativity, empathy, imagination, and excellence in forging client relationships.

 

 

Also, consider why so many organisations offer separate courses for wedding/naming celebrancy and funeral celebrancy. My view, as a celebrant of 23 years, is that they don’t need to be offered separately, and this it is merely a way for organisations to ‘earn more money’.

 

 

When looking at different training courses, ask questions. Lots of questions!

 

 

For example:

. how many face-to-face contact hours are there? (minus the time for meals/refreshments)

 

. what is the experience of the tutors? (do they pride themselves on quality services over quantity?)

 

 

. is there voice training by a qualified voice coach? What does that involve? Is there ongoing voice training as part of your fee?

 

. how is your work assessed to see if you are suitable to be a celebrant?

 

 

. does the course give certificates to anyone who attends, or only to those whose written and practical work is outstanding?

 

. what practical experience does the course offer you?

 

. will you have the opportunity to write ceremonies?

 

. what experience does the tutor have in creative writing?

 

 

. does the course teach you how to create and choreograph rituals?

 

. what experience do you have on the course of officiating a ceremony?

 

 

 

. does the training take a holistic approach?

 

. does the tutor have experience in a wide variety of settings?

 

. what written material is available as part of your training?

 

. what post-course support is available?

 

 

These are important questions to ask. Don’t throw your money away on the first course you see. Research your options well.

 

 

If you’re looking for a mind, body, soul approach to celebrancy, I invite you to consider my training course. Ask me any questions you like. My course isn’t for everyone, but for those who intuitively feel that celebrancy is a heart-led vocation rather than an administrative job. ~ Veronika x

 

 

 

 

Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training

Recommended by the Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC)

 

Comprehensive and in-depth practical training course in creative, heart-led, authentic celebrancy.

 

Learn to create, write and officiate all types of ceremonies with confidence, care, commitment and grace.

 

Founder and Facilitator: Veronika Sophia Robinson

Veronika Robinson is an experienced, working celebrant. She trained in New Zealand in 1995, where she was registered to officiate legal wedding ceremonies, and has been officiating ever since. Veronika has had the privilege of officiating in New Zealand, Australia and England where she has written and led all manner of ceremonies, including weddings, handfastings, blessingways, namings, divorce healing, miscarriage memorial, conscious conception, funerals, memorials, wise crone, menarche, and house warmings.

She’s also an author (fiction and non-fiction), journalist, public speaker, workshop leader, and metaphysician.

 

Veronika is delighted to be a celebrant for Gift of a Wedding, a charity which provides weddings for couples where one of them is terminally ill.

 

She is also Vice President of The Association of Independent Celebrants, and is the founder and facilitator of Penrith’s first Death Café which seeks to open up honest discussion around death and dying.

 

Training Options:

Private Training

(one to one; though two students who know each other are welcome to train at the same time)

 

*There is the option of a two-day training with successful students receiving a Certificate in Celebrancy. (20 hours face-to-face time)

Investment: £560

 

*A five-day training offers successful students a Certificate in Advanced Celebrancy & Ritual. (40 hours face-to-face time)

Investment: £1350

 

Group Training

This small, intimate group training is offered twice a year. Two-day training with successful students receiving a Certificate in Celebrancy. (26 hours face-to-face time)

Investment: £650

 

Please Note: All options include at least ten hours follow up by Skype or Facebook Video, as well as being included on the closed Facebook group for successful graduates where they’ll receive a weekly newsletter with hints, tips, guidance, as well as other support.

 

Post-course support is ongoing, and there are opportunities to shadow experienced celebrants.

 

All formats include the study and practical experience of:

 

♥Understanding ceremony structure. If you know how to create one type of ceremony you can create any ceremony (hence the reason this course encompasses funerals, namings, weddings, and other rites of passage).

 

♥Recognising the skills and qualities necessary for personalised and professional, heart-led, celebrancy.

 

♥Funerals and Memorials (Understanding grief, family disputes, working with funeral directors, creating meaningful farewells, cremations, burials, eco-burials). In the five-day training, you may be able to include a visit to the crematorium or a funeral director. Both private training options may also include shadowing Veronika at a funeral or family visit.

 

♥Weddings, Handfastings and Vow Renewals

 

♥Naming Ceremonies (for babies, children, adults, and transgender people who wish to have their new identity formally honoured)

 

♥Other rites of passage, such as menarche, blessingways, sagesse (wise crone), new business, divorce healing, and more.

 

♥Understanding the legalities around death, funerals and marriage (e.g. the difference between a registrar and a celebrant)

♥The difference between a heart-led celebrant and other types of celebrants

 

♥Indoor and Outdoor Ceremonies

♥Creating Sacred Space

♥Setting Intention

♥Creative Writing

♥Script Writing

♥Word Medicine

♥Storytelling

♥Performance

♥Archetypes in Storytelling

♥Symbols, Rituals and Altars

♥Ceremonial Herbs

♥Working with the Four Elements

 

♥Body Awareness

♥Celebrant Well-being

♥Understanding the role of the Community Celebrant

 

♥Voice development and coaching by Paul Robinson (this is required as an ongoing commitment by students via Skype after the initial training)

http://www.paulrobinsonproductions.co.uk

 

♥Being of Service

♥The responsibility of being a Celebrant

♥Developing a higher-vibrational heart frequency

♥Enhancing Intuition

♥Sacred Connections with Clients

 

♥Mainstream and Metaphysical Marketing

♥Being Self-Employed

♥Establishing Your Celebrant Business

♥The Four Sacred Archetypes of Building Your Celebrancy Brand

 

Applicants

Applications are invited from people who are committed to developing awareness of self and others, willing to train to an excellent level, are creative, independent, inspirational, authentic and courageous, and wish to consciously create beautiful ceremonies in their community.

 

Unlike any other training course in England, this focuses on the importance of ongoing personal development, and takes a mind, body and soul approach to celebrancy and ceremonies, as well as recognising the importance of ongoing skill building.

 

The foundation of this celebrant training is based on integrity and self-awareness.

 

 

Please email for a booking form: veronikarobinson AT hotmail DOT com

 

An Askham Hall Wedding: I Came Here for Love

“So many people have commented on how lovely it was, and how amazing you are. It was everything we hoped it would be and more.” ~ Fiona and Paul

 

When Paul and Fiona first made contact with me, we chatted about all the options available to them with a celebrant-led wedding. As Paul is Dutch (and so is Fiona’s mother), it was clear that their ceremony simply had to have their ancestry strongly entwined in their day.

 

Personally, I love heading off to Askham Hall to officiate a ceremony. It’s a delightful venue both in terms of the history of the buildings but also the gorgeous gardens.

 

It was my honour to create a ceremony that Paul and Fiona would cherish.

 

Have a look at this video preview of their day.

 

www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

 

 

 

Bohemian Wedding

This week I had the pleasure of officiating a ceremony for Michael and Victoria. They chose a bohemian-themed, personalised, celebrant-led wedding at Watermillock, Cumbria. Their ceremony included a communal ring blessing and a Celtic handfasting.

 

Thank you for choosing me as your celebrant, Michael and Victoria!

 

Here are a few images from this special day. xx

 

 

 

 

www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

 

 

Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training in Cumbria

Are you looking for something that’s more than a job? Perhaps in your heart you know you’re looking for a vocation.

 

Training to be a heart-led celebrant may be the course that will change your life.

 

As a celebrant, I always look forward to going to work whether it’s to officiate a joyous wedding ceremony, holding the space for a family and their friends while they grieve a loved one, celebrating the giving of a name (to a child or adult), or officiating other rites of passage such as a blessingway, menarche, and so on.

 

My ‘office’ is varied. One day I may officiate in a chapel, and another day it’s in a wildflower meadow. Some ceremonies are conducted in ancient stone circles, while others are held in barns. No two ceremonies are the same in location, wording or style.

 

If you’d like to learn more about training to be a celebrant, and obtaining a Certificate in Celebrancy, visit www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant-training

 

Feel free to get in touch for an obligation-free chat.  ~ Veronika Robinson xx

Wedding Celebrant Training

Being an intimate part of any couple’s wedding ceremony is a beautiful experience. I’ve had the pleasure of being a wedding celebrant for 23 years now, and I am still just as excited each time I head off to officiate a ceremony.

 

It is my joy to teach other people this wonderful vocation, and I do so by offering training either in a group setting or one-to-one.

 

As part of the Certificate in Celebrancy you’ll learn how to officiate all types of ceremonies: weddings, handfastings, vow renewals, namings, funerals and memorials, blessingways, divorce healing, menarche, wise crone, and other rites of passage.

 

The next group training is September 15 and 16. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant-training

 

Private training is available at mutually convenient times all year round.

 

I’d love to share my skills and experience with you.

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Celebrant Training

Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training is recommended by the Association of Independent Celebrants

Celebrant training facilitated by Veronika Robinson and Paul Robinson

Being a celebrant is a deeply rewarding vocation. 
Are you ready for a new career?

Comprehensive and in-depth practical training course in creative, heart-led, authentic celebrancy.

Learn to create, write and officiate all types of ceremonies with confidence.

“Celebrant Training Course

This weekend, what I saw you model so beautifully, was how to step into responsibility with gravitas and humility and lightness.

The way you wear responsibility is like an invisibility cloak, with reverence and respect for the magic. It seems you wear this mantle with such grace, and heart, and with such outward-facing love that Responsibility it is not carried as a burden of the ego, but gently shepherded as a sacred honour bestowed by spirit.

Framed like this, I feel profoundly different about Responsibility. Humbled, not afraid. Ready to serve.

Heartfelt appreciation for the kindness in your listening.

Jennifer
Whitley Bay
April 2018″

 

Group Training

15th and 16th September 2018 | Glassonby, near Penrith, Cumbria

Places strictly limited.

Celebrant Training Fee

£650 
30% (£185) (non-refundable) due upon booking
Balance of £465 (non refundable) due no later than 25th July 2018.

This fee includes:

  • Two-day intensive and practical tuition on all aspects of celebrancy: 7.30am to 8.30pm both days
  • A copy of the book Heart-led Ceremonies (the art and soulful practice of creating, writing and officiating ceremonies) by Veronika and Paul Robinson. This complete guide to celebrancy is available exclusively through this training course.
  • Nourishing wholefood plant-based meals and refreshments (breakfast through to dinner, both days)
  • Follow-up Skype sessions (or face to face in Cumbria)
  • Certificate (upon written completion of three ceremonies and presentations, and active participation in the training course)
  • Upon satisfactory completion of the course, participants are eligible to join the Association Of Independent Celebrants, and immediately receive professional and indemnity insurance for celebrancy work worldwide.

This comprehensive course is set over a two-day weekend, and includes:

  • Learning to create and define space, both indoors and outdoors
  • What it means to ‘hold the space’
  • Setting intention
  • Understanding symbols and rituals
  • Crafting personalised ceremonies
  • Ceremonies: Blessingways, namings, weddings, funerals, memorials, housewarmings, etc.
  • Word Medicine
  • Voice work
  • Presentation
  • Body awareness
  • Skills of a celebrant
  • Qualities of a celebrant
  • Emotional quotient
  • The metaphysics of marketing yourself as a celebrant
  • Sacred connections: your ideal client
  • Care of the celebrant
  • The creative celebrant
  • The intuitive celebrant

Please note this is an interactive weekend, and all participants will be required to take part in role play, voice development, presentation, and video work.

Private Celebrant Training

As well as offering group training courses, we also offer private training throughout the year.

One-to-one celebrant training fee is £500 *includes lunch, but not accommodation

(This is actually two tutors to one student)

Upon receipt of payment we will arrange mutually convenient dates/times to suit. The private training runs for 20 hours, and you can choose to do this over 2 days or up to 4 days. It is held in our cottage in Glassonby, near Penrith, Cumbria.

Applicants

Applications are invited from people who are committed to developing awareness of self and others, willing to train to an excellent level, are creative, independent, inspirational, authentic and courageous, and wish to consciously create beautiful ceremonies in their community.

Unlike any other training course in England, this focuses on the importance of personal development, and takes a mind, body and soul approach to celebrancy and ceremonies, as well as recognising the importance of ongoing skill building.

The foundation of this celebrant training is based on integrity and self-awareness.

Facilitators

Veronika Robinson is a professionally trained and experienced full-time celebrant. She trained in New Zealand in 1995, where she was registered to officiate legal wedding ceremonies, and has been officiating ceremonies ever since. Veronika has had the privilege of officiating in New Zealand, Australia and England.

Veronika has officiated all manner of ceremonies, including weddings, handfastings, blessingways, namings, divorce healing, miscarriage memorial, conscious conception, funerals, memorials, Wise Crone, menarche, and house warmings.

She’s also an author (fiction and non-fiction), journalist, public speaker, workshop leader, psychological astrologer, and metaphysician. Veronika is delighted to be a celebrant for Gift of a Wedding, a charity which provides weddings for couples where one of them is terminally ill.

Veronika is also a committee member for the Association of Independent Celebrants.

She is the founder and facilitator of Penrith’s first Death Café, A Meaningful Farewell, which seeks to open up honest discussion around death and dying.

Paul Robinson has enjoyed a rich career as an actor, broadcaster, compere, voice over, ventriloquist, voice coach, singer and celebrant. He’s deeply passionate about self-development, and utilises the Enneagram of Personality Types as a path of personal growth.

Together, they combine skills to offer a one-of-a-kind training in heart-led, authentic celebrancy.

 

 

 

I just wanted to say how much I am loving reading your book Heart- led Ceremonies . It’s just a fantastic reference and makes me realise just how much we covered in a weekend.”

Penny
April 2018

 

Private Celebrant Training

I loved every second of my training with Veronika and Paul. The guidance in all aspects, including the voice coaching, was spot on and both so welcoming. I laughed and I cried in equal measure. I want to do it all again.

They have also provided a wonderful sounding board for work I am doing which is very appreciated. I would recommend no one else x

Kate Simpson

Lincolnshire
April 2018

Private Celebrant Training

Hi Veronika

This is just a quick email to thank you and Paul again for your kindness and help – the training was brilliant, but made more special because you shared so much with me in such an unselfish way – your knowledge, experience, home and hospitality. And you both built my confidence in a genuine and caring manner.

The training was everything I hoped for and more – and I’m really looking forward to getting started.
You are two very special people, and I’m so grateful I found you.

Take care
Glynis xx
January 2018

Private Celebrant Training

January 2018

Dear Veronika

Just a note to thank you so much for the wonderful experience recently with celebrant training.

It was so good to meet you and Paul, and I felt very excited and overwhelmed by the ideas and thoughts that you had inspired in me.

Although it was quite intense and emotional, I also found it cathartic and fascinating.

Look forward to keeping in touch and thank you again for a very memorable weekend.

Barbara

I felt honoured to be a part of the first heart led celebrant training last weekend. It was heart led in the truest sense of the words. I left feeling not only well equipped to step into the world as an independent celebrant, but also affirmed in my personal strengths and abilities. Veronika and Paul shared themselves and their extensive knowledge so generously with us all and sustained us with fantastic food, and all in a beautiful environment. Thank you both so much, it may sound odd to be said of a training course but this is something I will cherish for a long time.

Nicola Harrison-Swainston
September 2017

 

 

Celebrant Training

As a recent graduate, I can heartily recommend this training course. Thorough, supportive, incredibly informative, and most importantly, “heart-led” – Veronika and Paul are amazing teachers!

Adrienne
Cumbria
April 2018

Group Celebrant Training

“I would have to say heart and soul-led ceremonies. Both Veronika and Paul are abundantly giving of their knowledge, experience, and deliciously nurturing food!!

In a short intensive time, they passed on the celebrant gauntlet, inspiring and equipping us to be ideally the only sort of celebrants… ones that reach out from the heart with love, compassion and empathy.

Veronika and Paul you have beautiful qualities, way too many to list.

I deeply thank you both for one of the most precious times, that enhanced my life in so many ways, most of all giving me confidence to move on and put your teachings in to action.”

Penny B.
April 2018

Group Celebrant Training

The recipe for a tasty independent celebrant training course is a measure of Fragrant Facilitation (try Veronika & Paul), Seasoned Students & Chunk of Time. Mixed together makes an inspired graduate celebrant.

Joyce S
Cumbria
April 2018

Celebrant Training Course

The most amazing experience! Veronika is welcoming, calming, thoughtful, energetic, tireless and teaches in such a way that leaves you wanting more! Her heart-led methodology aligns perfectly with what I want to deliver as a Celebrant, and I can’t leave without mentioning her cooking…WOW! Her pear crumble is to die for please adopt me!

Kathryn Britton
Wales
April 2018

 

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Creative Writing for Celebrants

A Continuing Professional Development Course

 

This course is suitable for celebrants at any stage of their career.

 

You’ll learn to enhance your writing style, and not only find, but celebrate, your voice. By learning techniques to free your imagination, your writing will set you apart from other celebrants in terms of style, tone, creativity, passion and flair.

 

Whether you’re new to celebrancy, or have been scripting ceremonies for years, this course will put a fresh slant on your work. Not only will you be able to create a rich and enlivened vocabulary, you’ll also be able to intuitively adapt it to the nature of your clients.

 

Learn to write visually, source ideas from the world around you, be constantly open to inspiration, discover reader identification, and take pleasure in developing your craft.

 

This CPD Creative Writing for Celebrants course is done via two Skype sessions (one hour each), and a series of ten writing assignments to be completed over three months.

 

This course is especially for celebrants who wish to be conscious, proactive, and inclined to become the best version of themselves. It is open to celebrants anywhere in the world.

You’ll need:

  • A laptop
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Word Document programme
  • Time to write
  • Commitment to completing the course

Course fee: £250

*A Certificate of Creative Writing for Celebrants will be awarded on successful completion of all assignments.

About your tutor

Veronika has been an international celebrant for 23 years, and is also an author, novelist and former magazine editor.  www.veronikarobinson.com

 

 

 

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The Hands of Love

 

 

Hands. Love. How often do you consciously put those two words together?

 

As a celebrant, they’re both at the heart of my work. My wedding couples place rings on each other’s fourth finger of the left hand, for the ancients believed the Vena Amoris (Latin for the ‘vein of love’) flowed from there to the heart, and back again.

 

 

 

This tradition continues for the simple reason that we recognise the hands to be integral in how we show our care for a loved one: a tender caress, the touch of a brow, back of a bent finger to wipe away a tear, hands cupping cheeks to draw our love closer, the holding of hands to protect and nurture a child, or to share a walk with our lover.

 

 

I’ve been teaching my wee granddaughter, Sarah, to blow kisses by bringing her hand to her lips and then pushing it away with a big blow (we do this via Skype, as she lives in Wales). It has become a beautiful bonding ritual for this grandmother and granddaughter who live at a distance from each other.

 

 

My wedding couples may have their hands bound together in the sacred figure of eight ~ eternity ~ during a Handfasting ritual. When I consciously ‘tie the knot’ for a couple, I do so with the awareness on which the ritual was founded. There are three cords: Bride, Groom and God. So, regardless of the couple’s or my beliefs (and whether they’re opposite or same sex), I hold the intention in my mind that there are three distinct energies being consciously connected as they cross the threshold from two lives into a shared life path: two humans and the Universal Life Force which exists in all of us and is everywhere. For those whose hands are being tied, and those who are witnessing, we effortlessly transcend all belief systems and recognise the sanctity of a ritual based on love.

 

 

Hands connect us. In ceremonies, we may hold hands in a circle. Perhaps we’re touching the toes or cheeks of a baby during a naming ceremony. Maybe our hand touches a shroud or coffin as we say goodbye and walk away from our friend for one last time. A groom may lift his bride’s veil. The bride holds her bouquet. She may well toss it, with love, into a crowd of single friends who hope to be the ‘next one’ married. In a Blessingway ceremony, all the women sit in circle and then take part in a red-thread ritual which sees our hands all tied together in a web.

 

 

Six years ago yesterday, my father was killed in a car accident in Australia. I flew over for the funeral. When I walked down the aisle in the crematorium before the service, I could see a few of my siblings (I have seven of them) standing by the coffin. That’s when I realised it was open, and they were talking to our Dad.

 

To hold his hands ~ hands which had toiled hard in his 77 years on this Earth ~ was an honour, as well as a deeply healing and spontaneous ritual, which would prove enormously important in my walk, hand in hand, with sorrow. There, in those precious few minutes as time stood still, I was able to thank him for everything he did for us: providing a lifestyle that enabled me to have the most awesome childhood growing up in rural Australia surrounded by dozens of horses and a lot of land.

 

The idea of holding the body of a dead person might just be too much for many people, and yet, for me, it was one of the most beautiful and honest moments of my whole life. There was a depth of love, forgiveness and emotional intimacy that still gives me solace in my darker hours.

 

I held my mother-in-law’s hand as she passed over onto her adventures Spiritside. My same hands have had the pleasure of raising two daughters and sharing countless walks together. They’ve caressed my granddaughter’s beautiful face. They’ve cooked meals for friends, family and strangers. My hands have tended gardens, a place where they are always happy.

 

 

 

They have received a wedding ring and a vow renewal ring. I also wear my mother’s wedding ring.

 

My hands allow me to open the pages of a book ~ one of my favourite things to do is read. Turning the pages becomes a meditative practice. These same hands allow me to express my thoughts and feelings through writing books. For some reason, I’m able to type as quick as I think. My hands are intricately and intimately connected to my thought processes.

 

It is with my hands that I hold a pen to craft words on the weekly cards I send to my mother in Tasmania. These same hands open the cards she sends to me.

 

Self love, self care, self nurture ~ call it what you will ~ are aided by my able hands: plucking a cinnamon, cardamom and ginger teabag from the box so I can steep some spices in boiling water. Picking up my toothbrush, lathering my skin with rose and geranium soap, washing my hair with rosemary shampoo ~ they all require my hands.

 

Choosing the clothes I’ll wear, lighting a stick of Nag Champa incense, inserting a CD of favourite music, opening the window for fresh air, picking a bouquet of flowers, tying my shoelaces (double knots ~ learnt the hard way) so I can go for a run….all this care, all this tending to my needs, is done because my hands are my tools, yes, but they are my reliable friends. Always ready. Always able. I am so grateful!

 

From the youngest age, I was witness to my mother’s hands as she weaved her way consciously through each day, beginning with her morning yoga and meditation, then squeezing a fresh orange juice for her brood of kidlings. Mum fashioned a life of creativity and pleasure: nurturing a thriving garden, sewing clothes and rag dolls, building forts and castles from wood, baking cakes and cooking soup, and playing me her mouth organ or mandolin as I fell asleep at night. Her hands would nurture me by massaging my back or bringing me rosehip and hibiscus tea if I wasn’t feeling well. At night, we’d often sleep outside under the stars. My hand slipped inside hers as we drifted off to dreamland.

 

In my lifetime, these hands have played instruments: ukulele, panpipes, button accordion, piano and cello. Not well, but they’ve tried! My hands allow me to experience the world, whether it’s through driving a car, touching a tree, holding my loved one’s hand, baking a cake, gathering wood for a fire, washing my hair, bringing food to my mouth, and as much as anything, I use my hands to talk! Fun fact: I don’t think I could actually speak if my hands were tied up!

 

I once wrote a song called Grandmother’s Hands. (My mother’s mother’s hands look so similar to mine). Although we never met, I ‘see’ her whenever I look down upon my hands.

 

I have welcomed the hands of others upon my skin: reflexology, aromatherapy massage, Indian head massage, sports therapy massage, the clasp of a child’s hand, the touch of a lover, my mother’s sweet hands, standing in a circle holding hands with others in ceremony, celebration or silence, shaking hands in a business meeting, my hairdresser washing and cutting my hair, and helping another through a tough time in their life and symbolically holding hands.

 

 

Some people don’t have hands, either by birth or accident. Their way of expressing and receiving love needs to be channelled in other ways. The body adapts. It finds ways to say what would otherwise be shared through the hands.

 

Hands can hurt or hands can heal. They can’t do both at the same time. Like our words, we have a choice every day as to whether they will be a ballistic force or a beautiful balm.

Hands are not for hitting, and yet for many people hands are not the bearers of love but weapons of cruelty and torture. They bring pain, shame and humiliation, and fear. If that has been our experience, we may never expect that it could be any different for us. A hand of kindness reaching our way may cause us to flinch, to step back, to run away. Only time and trust will tell if a person can open up to new ways of being.

There’s a funny gadget on the market called a fidget spinner. It’s for people who can’t keep their hands still. The thought of such a thing actually makes me feel rather ill. For me, the hands contain vast amounts of energy. Rather than fidget, it comes naturally to me to simply bring my hands together, in prayer or clasp mode, and allow the energy I’m feeling to continue flowing through my body (to re-energise me), rather than to be frenetically dispersed into an inanimate object.

 

As a celebrant, I use my hands to greet mourners, welcome a couple or family, meet guests, hold my ceremony script, scatter rose petals, gather flowers or herbs for rituals, warm the rings and thread a twig of rosemary through them, create a sacred altar, tie a handfasting knot, lift a Quaich for the couple to drink, offer Welsh spoons or sprinkle fairy dust. There are many ways my hands are essential to my work. They are always used with love.

 

 

We make a toast to the happy couple using our hands to hold a glass and tilt it to another person. Chink! We applaud by clapping.

 

Hands. How do you use yours? Do they express themselves primarily through love or fear?

 

Think of those you love most in the world. Take a moment, if you will, and ponder this thought: if you had only this one day left on Earth to tell your lover (or other loved one) how you felt about them using only your hands, how would you do so?