photo by Elly Van Veen
Roderic Knowles was brought up in the wilds of the west coast of Ireland and educated at Eton College, England. After years travelling the world as an international business consultant, he went in search of masters of wisdom with whom he spent several years seeking to fathom the mysteries of life while studying cosmic laws and undergoing deep transformational processes. Returning to the world, he became aware of its pressing needs and resolved to devote his life to serving the Earth, primarily through education. He returned to Ireland to reconnect with Nature and took himself through a crash course in Earth-related subjects, both academically and experientially, becoming a passionate gardener and tree-lover in the process. In the 1990s he set up Koad, a Centre for Nature Research & Education, for which he won a national award. He is the author of Gospel of the Living Tree: For Mystics, Lovers, Poets & Warriors and is initiator-founder of The Living Tree Educational Foundation, one of whose primary aims is bringing into being a university wholly devoted to trees, University of the Living Tree, set in Nature, with a range of faculties not yet existing at other centres of learning.
For more on Roderic, see www.RodericKnowles.com
photo by Roderic Knowles
Elly van Veen, born in Holland, has been active in the healing profession for over twenty-five years. Initially she worked as a physiotherapist with children, treating physical and emotional disorders and a variety of learning disabilities, combining conventional and holistic approaches, including edu-kinesiology, Australian Bush Flower Essences and Reiki. After moving to Ireland in 1999, she set up her own healing practice giving treatments and empowerment workshops and courses. Through the practice of stillness, living in the wilds and tuning into Nature, she has been experiencing an ever-growing awareness of the energies at work within it, beyond the visible realm. She is currently engaged in developing the Grove of Akademus as a sanctuary as well as a venue for in-Nature workshops, working co-creatively with the intelligences of Nature. She is also co-founding the Faculty of Tree Esoterics. She has studied permaculture with Rob Hopkins; dances the Five Rhythms and Four Elements; and is co-author of Cosmic Lovers: A Journey to the Heart of a Soul Mate Relationship.
photo by Harper Stone
Harper Stone grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He studied computers, mathematics, and the visual arts, but at the end of his studies felt something was lacking in his education. He came to Ireland to explore his roots, reconnect with nature and get a hands-on experience of organic gardening and sustainable approaches. Discovering the wonder and magic of the Irish landscape and the kind vitality of Irish culture, he became a keen student of Irish mythology and traditional Celtic spirituality and how they relate to the challenges and possibilities of our time. In the summers he works at what he calls ‘The Best Job in the World’: as a camp counselor, he leads children on an interactive fantasy quest in which the children take the role of heroic, swashbuckling adventurers; he functions as storyteller, spontaneous actor, and team-builder. He is co-founding the Faculty of Tree Lore, Art, Culture and Education, and believes that creativity, play, and storytelling are potent ways to create change in the world.
For more on Harper, see www.HarperStone.org