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"The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it.

It is not possible to save the world by trying to save it.

You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place.

Discovering your unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge.

The offering of that gift - your true self – is the most you can do to love and serve the world.

And it is all the world needs."

Bill Plotkin


Paths with heart

Based in the UK and South West France, Obsidian is an organisation created to further people’s ability, both personally and professionally, to vision and manifest a thriving future for ourselves and our planet.


Obsidian was founded by Helena Lovendal, a psychotherapist, senior trainer, supervisor, and coach; and Dr Rachel Lovie, artist, scholar, teacher and facilitator, with a PhD in the creative processes involved in adult development and transformative experiences.


We provide residential programmes, workshops, trainings, and coaching for personal and professional development. We employ a unique combination of a nature-based sense-making system alongside Jungian and other therapeutic techniques and embodied processes.

The journey towards growth begins with finding a path with heart.

Continue your journey here:


Residentials to resume in August 2021


Sample programmes below - we're hoping to resume residential later this year, Covid-19 restrictions permitting

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The Mirror of Nature

5 Day Residential

South West France

The Singing Stone

5 Day Residential

South West France

Embodied Integration

5 Day Residential

South West France

Join us (Covid restrictions allowing) for UK workshops: Introductory days, Integration workshops and weekends in South UK, & in France from late summer 2021

For those unable to attend, we can offer 4 Shields teaching and Intent setting by Zoom, to prepare you for your own Medicine Walks

Leadership and Organisational Development

Bespoke programmes tailored to your organisation's needs:

re-visioning, developing creativity, gaining agility, creative problem-solving 

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Women's Vision Fast

12 Day Residential

South West France

Young Adult Fast

12 Day Residential

South West France

The Art of Mirroring

5 Day Residential Training Course.

South West France

Vision Fast

10 Day Residential

South West France

Travelling here


South West France on the border between Tarn & Aveyron


By air:

Toulouse or Rodez

By rail:


Dry Leaf

By breaking with the routines of our daily lives and immersing ourselves in nature, we are exposed to and begin to attend to the manifestations and processes of the natural world. As our internal narrative subsides, the quiet voice of intuition can be heard, and insights into our own nature and predicaments can emerge.

Nature as a Mirror & Teacher

Mirroring stories

Dry Leaf

Mirroring is a technique taught to us by The School of Lost Borders, who have been guiding wilderness rites-of-passage ceremonies for 30 years.

Mirroring is a way of reflecting the person’s tale of their time in nature back to them in a mythic-symbolic way that people often find empowering and yet sometimes challenging to hear. In mirroring stories of journeying in nature, we often refer to the symbolic elements, traits, and movements contained within the Four Shields teaching. We describe mirroring as “shining a light on the gifts of the story”.

The obsidian mirror also reflects shadows as well as light.

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