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Shamanic Darkness Retreats

Enlightenment through Ceremonial Darkness

Darkness Visible

with Simon Buxton and Allison Brown

During this workshop participants will be in complete darkness for the duration of the course. Using ceremonial darkness as a shamanic tool is a classical method of shamans the world over for stalking the self, accessing invisible landscapes and embracing deeper aspects of both unconscious and super-conscious states. The procedure of being in darkness over several days brings about a remarkable stilling of the mind and from this pool of quietude the oft hidden gifts of intuition and creativity arise.

The workshop will be made up of a number of exercises and encounters with the self and with nature, bringing in their wake unusual phenomena including remarkably lucid levels of dream consciousness – where the borders between dreaming and not dreaming diminish and then disappear altogether; the ceasing of mind-chatter, the exploration of our own luminosity – and one of the primary aims of the shaman; to experience the world as a sea of energy. As well as our work with nature we shall also be using movement, sound, writing and healing practices which will assist us in our journey towards becoming the seer – the ‘see-er’ – one who truly sees in the dark and witnesses the world not with the eyes, but with the entire body. Darkness Visible is an adventure into the unknown, and Simon Buxton and Allison Brown call to those ready to undertake what will be – literally – a leap into the dark.


Rill Estate, Devon

£755 (fully residential; fee includes accommodation, food and tuition)

Maximum number of participants: 18

I returned from the Darkness Visible course about two months ago. To say that I owe my present quality of spiritual life to their work is an understatement. I am now 68, and in my youth I studied with Rina Hands – one of Gurjieff’s final students – and it is with The Sacred Trust that I recognise a similar quality of work. Yes, I felt challenged, but I was also surrounded by care, love and beauty. The one thing that I quickly became aware of was that when Simon Buxton talks there are no unnecessary words – so what was said, was meant – and those words still explode inside my heart today. The quick footsteps that Naomi Lewis took in the dark told only stories of her purposefulness, whilst her poetry will be with me always, for it was uplifting to a degree I’d never previously experienced. This journey with them has given me a freedom of spirit that has come from being stretched and enhanced beyond words. My gratitude also goes to the Sacred Trust staff at the beautiful Sacred Trust centre, whose loving hands and voices surrounded me in the darkness with a warmth I only dreamt existed. It was and is a journey much more that I would ever have believed possible. John Francis, Woodcarver

The Journey to the Midnight Sun

A Ten-Day Darkness Retreat

The Journey to the Midnight Sun is a ten day darkness retreat that is offered annually to those who have previously undertaken the Darkness Visible workshop. It is a unique opportunity to undertake ten days and nights of withdrawal into total black-out, undertaking a pilgrimage to what has been described classically as the Midnight Sun, being a metaphor for the encounter with our own greater luminosity.

Mystery and Imagination arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness…
Darkness within darkness,
The gateway to all understanding.

This retreat will be led and guided by Simon Buxton and assisted by other initiates of darkness work. It is attended by invitation only, and those people who wish to receive more information regarding this retreat, including logistical details and other matters should contact The Sacred Trust: