Of Stone, Bone and Water

Ritual Skills and Ancestral Practices for Grieving

Enrollment now closed.

This is a 12 week course. The next cohort starts in January, 2021

How do I make medicine of all this grief?

This is a course for those whose hearts are broken open by personal, collective and ecological loss. For those who are struggling to find grief support that is effective and soul-nourishing. For those who want to cultivate supportive presence with themselves in the transformation that grief invites. For those who desire meaningful ways to be in relationship with grief as a sacred practice.

This is a course for people who seek connection with the wider field of relations that life is made of, including their ancestors, to support healing. For those who seek to reclaim personal ritual arts and ancient ancestral connections for life-affirming grief expression. For those that want to support their deceased loved ones transition well into a healthy ancestor. For those who know the importance of grieving as salve for their own heart, and for the wider healing needed in our world.


This is a course for those who want their grief to be an offering that supports life.

Grief is relational and a learned skill, yet for many, cultural teachings for healthy grieving have been jeopardized by legacies of oppression, historical disruptions, and dominant cultural narratives.

We can re-learn the skills of healthy grieving through deepening into embodied practices, cultivating ritual skills, and nurturing relationships with our wise and loving ancestors.

Our grief doesn't need healing. Our healing needs our grief.

Our grief is not something that needs to be healed, no more than our love needs to be healed. Rather, grief and love are vital expressions that support the work of healing - personally and collectively.

What often does need healing however, is how we relate to our grief, how we access it, how we show and express it, and how we do so in ways that are life-affirming, healthy and nurturing of connection and relationship.

In these modern times, many of us have been steeped in dominant narratives informed by capitalist and colonial ways of relating that undermine the soulful and relational transformation grief invites of us. In this context, grief is limited to an individual experience and often viewed as a pathology and made invisible. This keeps us small, isolated, and cut off from ourselves, each other and the wider web of life.

Reclaiming our ability to be in relationship to grief as a sacred practice is a vital medicine contributing to healing justice in our world. You can re-learn grieving practices in culturally relevant ways that are aligned within your own ancestral life-ways.

In this 12 week online course, you will learn somatic practices to support healthy grief expression, become aware of your grieving styles, and explore personal and cultural spheres of influence that have shaped your understanding of grief. You will gain ritual skills and practices to support the movement of grief as an offering. You will enter into connection with your collective loving ancestors for support, and make connection with an ancestral guide who is a culture carrier of the grieving practices of your specific heritage. You will learn cross-cultural practices that support grieving, including considerations for the right of passage that is death, and for healing inter-generational trauma.


When is the course?

Course starts again in January 2021. Students will have access to the course content for the remainder of the year afterwards.

How is this program structured?

Pre-Recorded Lessons

There are 8 pre-recorded lessons released each week on Sunday at 6:00pm PST. Each lesson consists of a video teaching, guided practice, reflection questions, and additional resources for deepening your practice and skills.

Office Hours (not recorded)

Each week that a new lesson is released, there will be a one hour Office Hour via Zoom to bring your questions, insights and to connect with other participants. Office hour times are varied to accommodate different participant schedules and time zones. It is not expected that you will be able to make all office hours. Come as you are able, regardless of where you are in the course.

Ritual Circle Gathering (recorded for later playback if needed)

Every third week is an integration week (4 total), with no new lesson released. A 75 minute Ritual Circle Gathering will be offered on these weeks via Zoom, consisting of a guided ritual practice and time for sharing.

Online Community Space

A private Facebook page will be available for you to connect with other students, and share additional content and experiences.

What will I receive?

  • Over 6 hours of video/audio lesson content
  • 12 hours of live communal ritual time, sharing and Q&A via Zoom
  • Guided visioning, reflection exercises and/or ritual practices each week
  • Additional resources for each lesson to explore further if you choose
  • Access to the community Facebook page
  • Access to lesson content for one year

Will the content be relevant to me?

I welcome folks of diverse ancestries, faith-based traditions and lived experiences. This course is a trauma-aware, ritually safe and inclusive framework focused on embodiment for healthy grieving and reclaiming ritual and ancestral connection as sources of support. Students will have the flexibility to explore what strategies work for them personally and opportunity to nurture their own ancestrally and culturally relevant grieving practices.


When I first signed on and saw the whole presentation I felt like a kid at Christmas! The design and content is impressive. I was expecting something good but my expectations were far exceeded. The additional resources you provide is my favourite section, so many good things to go over and peruse. So thank you, I’m grateful you’ve put this course together and I couldn’t speak more highly of it. For myself it is providing healing and re-engagement with the world.

~Alejandro Garcia

What does this course cover?

Lesson 1 - Foundations of Sacred Grief

  • Somatic strategies for healthy containment and release
  • Cycles of Regulation and Embodiment approach to emotional expression
  • Trauma-aware considerations for grieving and support

Lesson 2 - Personal and Cultural Relationship to Grief

  • Grieving styles and expressions
  • Grief literacy - personal learning and cultural narratives
  • Disenfranchised grief

Integration Week - Ritual Circle Gathering

Lesson 3 - Ritual Skills for Grieving

  • Ritual as transformative container for catalyzing and metabolizing grief
  • Partnership with Spirit allies - attuning, clearing and boundaries
  • Personal grief rituals to match different grieving styles

Lesson 4 - Ancestral Connection & Support

  • Foundations for connecting with your wise and loving ancestors
  • Connecting with an ancestral guide who is a culture carrier
  • Altar practice for deepening relationship

Integration Week - Ritual Circle Gathering

Lesson 5 - Cross Cultural Grieving & Reclaiming Ancestral Practices

  • 8 cross cultural principles for grieving
  • Apprenticing to reclaim ancestral life-ways of mourning
  • Affinity allies that support ritual grieving

Lesson 6 - Gateways into Grief

  • Exploring 8 gateways of formative grief experiences
  • Putting to practice embodiment, ritual and ancestral support
  • Ancestor-informed grief ritual

Integration Week - Ritual Circle Gathering

Lesson 7 - Grieving and the Rite of Passage of Death

  • Ways of approaching the right of passage of death
  • Therapeutic and ritual considerations for the bereaved and the deceased
  • Complicated or traumatic grief

Lesson 8 - Inter-generational Trauma and Cultural Healing

  • Working with ancestral blessing and burdens
  • Ritual safety considerations
  • Unresolved ancestral trauma and cultural wounds

Final Integration Week - Ritual Circle Gathering


Course Accessibility

Cost - The cost of this 12 week course is $325USD, paid by credit card or debit.

I am committed to keeping this work accessible and I offer a reduced price structure at two tiers - $280 and $235. All options have payment plans of 3 installments over 3 months (for an additional $5).

Please reflect on your access to financial resources, while recognizing the systemic barriers to resources for folks who are coming from current and/or historically marginalized populations, such as queer and trans people, BIPOC, First Nations, and people living with disabilities.

Learning - this course is a mixture of video content, written content, PDF handouts, optional small group sharing, and live conversation calls. At this time closed captioning is not available.


Shauna is a gifted and balanced teacher. Her practical, grounded yet deeply intuitive nature allowed everyone in our group to relate to her in their own way, and she held our ritual container with such safety and support. I feel blessed to have her as a leader in this work!


Your Instructor

Shauna Janz, MA
Shauna Janz, MA

Shauna Janz (she/her) is dedicated to tending belonging in our world - within ourselves, with each other, and with our other-than-human relations. She creates space for reaching into the rough and beautiful places that are a catalyst for transformation and healing, personally and collectively, through grief work, ritual and ancestral healing. Her offerings are trauma-informed, somatic-based and anchored in the resiliency of the human spirit, healing justice and animist values.

Shauna supports individuals, families, communities and organizations, and has been designing and delivering trauma-informed programs since 2008. Audiences have included non-profit organizations, local and provincial government, First Nation communities, post-secondary education institutions, school district counseling teams, rural communities and international summits.

Alongside her private practice and online school of Sacred Grief, Shauna is a trainer and mentor with BC Bereavement Helpline supporting traumatic bereavement by homicide, suicide and drug-related death. In the past, she has been a teacher with Ancestral Medicine, leading multi-day healing rituals; an Executive Director with Learning Through Loss serving youth and adults with grief education and support; the founder of the Victoria Holistic Death Care Gatherings uplifting grassroots perspectives, and a co-visionary for the annual Deathly Matters community conference. She is a lover of inspiration and creativity, and can be found dancing, playing music, and walking in the wilds of nature and mystical communion. Her ancestors are from the lands of Scot Celtic, northern Germanic and Nordic cultures.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course will start again in January 2021.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for one year - across any and all devices you own.
Are refunds available if I am not happy with the course?
A full refund is available for up to 30 days after enrollment. If you are not happy, I encourage you to first reach out to me ([email protected]). If I can somehow support you in a way that would change your experience to a more beneficial one, I would like the opportunity to do that. I am always open to feedback, and am happy to extend the refund with no questions asked also.
Are there pre-requisites to enroll in this course?
Prior experience with personal healing work, spiritual practice and basic ritual is required. Doing the work of ancestral lineage healing is also beneficial but not necessary. The ritual work and ancestral connection is rooted in the understanding that you already have relationship with supportive and compassionate powers (such as spirit allies, elementals, nature spirits, animal guides, angels, divine essence, deities, etc), and basic energetic hygiene and boundary practices. If this is new for you, I invite you to reach out and we can work together before the course starts.
Is this course helpful if I am experiencing acute grief or PTSD?
If you are someone who is currently in acute grief from a recent loss, or someone who lives with PTSD or other mental health experiences, it is important you also have other supports outside of this online course, and some foundational strategies for self-soothing and regulation that work for you. This course is grounded in trauma-aware practices, and we will explore some somatic tools for grounding and regulation. However, this course is not a substitute for professional therapeutic services.
What if I can't make the office hours or ritual circles?
The weekly one-hour Office hours will not be recorded. They are scheduled in a diverse way to accommodate varying schedules and time zones, and it is not expected that anyone be able to make all of them. The four scheduled Ritual Circle Gatherings will be recorded and can be accessed for later listening and repeats.

This course is not open for enrollment.