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The Yew Mysteries

with Michael Dunning

We are very happy to announce that Michael Dunning will be back at State Theta Galleries offering the Full Yew Mysteries Training during September 2019.

There are various ways you can participate in the program, either in a modular sequential attendance or take each level individually.

Due to the nature of Michael's training, workshops must be attended in sequence; if you have not completed Level 2 its not possible to register for Level 3.

You may also repeat a training at a very reduced rate if you have previously attended.

If you are interested in attending please:

  1. Subscribe to the State Theta Galleries Mailing List
  2. Complete the Enquiry page with the details of the programme you wish to attend.
  3. Payment details will be sent on completion of the above
yew mysteries


8 Days - Whole program: £800/£780 Early Bird £760/£740 if paid in full by: 1st May 2019

Yew Mysteries One: Yewshamanism - Origin, Meaning & Practice (one – day)
Level 1 - £120/£100 conc £90/£80 (Repeat Training )

Yew Mysteries Two: Essence of the Five Trees (one – day)
Level 2 - y £120/£100 conc £90/£80 (Repeat Training )

SEPTEMBER 22nd - 23rd LEVEL 3
Yew Mysteries Three: - The Shining Ones (two days)
Level 3 - £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )

SEPTEMBER 27th - 28th LEVEL 4
Yew Mysteries Four: Chambers of the Eternal (two days)
Level 4 - £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )

SEPTEMBER 29th - 30th LEVEL 5
Yew Mysteries Five: The Dragon Body (two days)
Level 5 - £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )


  • 8 Days:
    • Whole program: £800/£780.
    • Early Bird £760/740 (paid in full by: 1st May)
  • Level 1: 1 day £120/£100 conc £90/£80 (Repeat Training )
  • Level 1&2: 2 days £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )
  • Level 3: 2 days £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )
  • Level 4: 2 days £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )
  • Level 5: 2 days £240/£200 conc £180/£160 (Repeat Training )


Refund Policy
Full refunds available excluding a Non refundable deposit £50 up to 6 weeks prior to event.

You can either take the whole training or work through the modules at your own timing, beginning with Level 1.



yew Sepia


September 20th 2019

Yew Mysteries One - Introduction
Session One: Introduction to the Yew Mysteries - Origin, Meaning & Practice.

Session Two: The Disenchantment of Everyday Perception - this involves learning a set of perceptual skills to reignite our capacity for the original or ‘embryonic’ sensing that is necessary in order to approach the yew and yew 'beings' in a receptive state.

Session Three: Yew Seership - we visit local yews and begin to recognize the ‘gestures’ of the yew as they are reflected in ourselves through an awareness of the 'gestures' of our blood and our heart. We learn how to approach the yew trees and to ‘touch’ them perceptually. Eya, an early word for yew means, ‘ to be touched by eternity.’ We learn how to safely move with our perception within the consciousness altering 'space' and landscape of the yew.



September 21st 2019

Yew Mysteries Two - Essence of the Five Trees

Essence of the Five Trees.

The student of the Yew Mysteries is led to an experience of the ‘coming into being’ of their physical body through the workings of the four elements and elemental beings in the natural world.

Yewshamanic skills here involve the capacity to be able to enter directly into the healing nature of these elemental forces and beings. The student of the Yew Mysteries is then led to a first experience of another 'body' that lives outside of these elemental forces and beings. This body is more peripheral and can be experienced as a breathing skin-like sheath or as a membrane comprised of fine tendrils of light surrounding the body. This is regarded as a powerful healing intelligence within the Yew Mysteries work.

For me the experience of the presence of this sheath-like body was awakened within the inner chamber of the yew itself. The shape of this body was identical to the inner space of the yew. Yewshamanic skills at this level involve an ability to sense and expand into this body - to literally begin to live inside of it! This is known as the Underworld (Annwn) of the Yew Mysteries.



September 22nd - 23rd 2019

Yew Mysteries Three - The Shining Ones

The Shining Ones.

During this stage the student of the Yew Mysteries learns to work with the forces and beings behind the workings of the elemental world in Nature.

This involves a deepening perception of the activities of the Underworld (Annwn) of the Yew Mysteries and with that, the recognition of an etheric ancestor being. This ancestor being is not linked to the human hereditary stream. Its consciousness is of the Shining Ones, sometimes referred to as the Sidhe.

It is known that the Tuatha de Dannan of Ireland were deeply linked to the ancient yew trees. The father, brother and sons of Danu, the yew goddess, all possess names derived from the yew such as Eogabal, 'crotch or fork in a yew tree' (suggestive of the yew as a womb) and Fer hI, 'Man of Yew' (the origin of the word Fairy perhaps!)

Yewshamanic skills at this level involve developing the ability to align with the spiritual intelligence of this Sidhe ancestor as it relates to the original otherworldly gesture and healing force of the heart. We learn to experience this ancestor being as a key function of our wholeness. This is known as the Embodiment of the Yew Mysteries.



September 27th - 28th 2019

Yew Mysteries Four - Chambers of the Eternal

Chambers of the Eternal.

At this stage of the Yew Mysteries the student is led to use their senses differently through working with specific ‘chambers’ in the body - what I refer to as the Chambers of the Eternal - including the heart and the third ventricle within the head.

These chambers function as doorways into a level of ‘sensing’ that is not coupled to the activity of the physical senses. The student then gains the capacity for an ‘original sensing’ that is brought together with a subtle use of the hands as a healing practice. Within the Yew Mysteries this is known as working with the Original Light.



September 29th - 30th 2019

Yew Mysteries Five - The Dragon Body

The Dragon Body.

The Dragon Body is the original ‘body’ of a human being.

It is not physical in the way that we read the physical world around us. Our senses deepen and become less and less bound to the physical body and its patterned responses as we get reconnected over a period of time to an experience of the original body in Spirit - The Dragon Body.

At this level the student begins to have a different experience of the function of the Heart as a spiritual organ. This stage represents what I refer to as the Holy Path of the Dragon - a path that takes us into the livingness of what we call Death. This knowledge was preserved within the Yew Mysteries and involves a body of direct teachings from the Shining Ones. Within the Yew Mysteries this is known as the Shining Land of Death.





Michael Dunning.
For the last 20 years Michael has been developing an approach to craniosacral work that combines biodynamic principles with an ancient western, and largely forgotten mystery knowledge that he refers to as the Yew Mysteries.
Michael now lives in USA where he has been teaching both biodynamic cransiosacral and the Yew Mysteries since 2003. He has written about his experieces with the yew tree in the book Soul Companions and has contributed articles to various shamanic publications including Sacred Hoop and the Journal for Contemporary Shamanism. Michael is also a regular guest on spirituality and health themed radio shows through the USA.



Further Information

The Yew Mysteries were centered on the Yew tree (Taxus Baccatta) as the original Tree of Life. Many scholars now believe that the Norse World Tree, Yggdrasil was a yew and not an Ash, as had previously been assumed.

An Ash tree is neither evergreen nor long- lived. A Yew on the other hand is most certainly evergreen and can live for several thousands of years, if not eternally!

The oldest known word for the yew, Eya ( Hittite 1750BCE) means ‘eternity’ or ‘to be touched by eternity’. In the 15th century Irish Book of Lismore the age of the earth is linked to the Yew tree:

-- Three lifetimes of the yew for the world from its beginning to its end.

The Yew Mysteries Training begins with an introductory one - day workshop called
Yew Mysteries One - Yewshamanism

Introductory workshops are currently being offered in Abergavenny Wales, and in Ormiston, Scotland as well as in Seattle WA, USA. Upon completion of Yew Mysteries One students are eligible to participate in Yew Mysteries Two through Five at any training location.



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