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New Years Retreat in Finland

Retreat * Shamanisme
28 Dec. kl. 13:00 til 2 Jan. kl. 11:00
Pris: 4.813,00
Sted: Metsäkartanontie 300, Rautavaara, Finland

Northern lights, white silent vastness of the frozen lake landscape, and wonder of winter time, call us for this magical journey in the middle of the taiga in North-East Finland. You will be together with your fellow participants and your guide in this special winter time, when the sun is barely arising from the lake horizon the whole day. The period of winter darkness or Polar Night is called in Finnish “kaamos”, and behind it resides mystical world of possibilities. We will experience together the invitation of kaamos time, to take a look on how the darkness can nurture us when we are in the nature, and how we can find light through the snow and moon light. This will be a profound journey, where our meditations, discovered paths in nature, sacred structures that we will build from snow, ice, and wood, and rituals, enact both closing of the past year, and opening up for the year to become. We will make this transition together, and make our wishes for the upcoming year. All this in the beautiful, safe and comfortable premises of Metsäkartano Wilderness Center.  

Below this text you find the retreat program, which gives you more detailed information about the retreat. This retreat is suitable for everybody, whether you are new to the retreat themes or an experienced practitioner.


This is the preliminary program, and some changes may occur due to weather and other conditions.

28. December:

Arrival of the participants

Welcoming and introductory gathering

Invocation of our sacred despacho as our shamanistic mandala ground and offering: You will learn the

shamanistic tradition of making a despacho offering, and we will use this as a central mandala for our

retreat time together.


Gathering Fire and drumming at “turf cabin” by the lake: This is a wonderful turf cabin situated kind of

underground covered by moss, opening to a lake panorama from its entrance. This rounded structure in the woods has a fireplace in the middle, and we will engage ourselves with a shamanistic evening with fire rituals, drumming and calling forth our power animals for assisting us during our retreat.

29. December:

Yoga and meditation: We will start our mornings by short and gentle yoga practice followed by guided natural mindfulness meditation.


Skiing or snow shoe tour in the nature reserve: We will explore the trails of the nature reserve and learn about the local environment, listen to the forest and connecting with the amazing, powerful nature of this place.



Meditation and shamanic practice


Sauna: There is no Finland without a sauna! We will enjoy the magnificent wooden sauna by the lake, and have possibility for ice-swimming.

30. December

Yoga and meditation


Building a sacred structure from snow and ice. We will together decide the purpose for this structure to manifest in this world, following our shared imagination and co-creation of it from snow and ice. This special sacred structure will be ritualistically activated and blessed once it is ready.


Meditation and shamanic practice



31. December

Yoga and meditation


Building a fire-sculpture. We will use some left-over wood for building big sculptures, which we will set in fire later the same evening.


Meditation and shamanic practice.


Special Finnish new years tradition with tin horse shoe at the Smith's Lodge.

Sauna, fireplace, singing and drumming

New Year’s Celebration around both our sacred snow and ice structure as well as our fire sculpture.

1. January


Freetime for snow-sledging, skiing, snowshoeing etc. During this time, you have also possibility to get a very traditional Finnish healing called “kuppaus” from Helena, about which I will tell more during our retreat.


Meditation and shamanic practice


Meditation or alternatively gathering at the fireplace

2. January


Final gathering


Your guide: Your retreat guide and coordinator is Helena Karhu, a native Finnish from the lakelands. You can read more about my profile from: I am very familiar with our retreat location Metsäkartano, as I used to work there for two years organizing different international projects. It is my favourite place in Finland, where I return every year in different seasons since 9 years, and which I consider a very special place for our retreat together. I know the unique retreat environment and the amazingly friendly staff, and feel comfortable to invite you to Metsäkartano, and to explore together with you, what this new years transition has to teach and show us. I am honored to be your guide in this sacred journey, and I welcome you with full of joy, anticipation and gratitude for life to invite us here together. 

Retreat location: Metsäkartano wilderness center is located in Rautavaara, Finland, in the middle of quiet nature reserves, pine forests and lakes. You can read more here:

Accommodation: In simple but comfortable wilderness hotel rooms, which have their own bathroom. Shared twin rooms, but single rooms are also available. The building has also a small kitchen and living room with fireplace.

Price: 646 EUR / 4813 DKK including accommodation in the wilderness hotel for 5 nights with full-board (breakfast, lunch and dinner as ecological, traditional Finnish food), guidance, retreat program including free use of Metsäkartano’s equipment such as snowshoes, special Finnish “kicksledges”, and cross-country skis.

The price does not include travel costs to the retreat location. The closest airport is Kuopio airport, where there are flights from Helsinki. It is also possible to reach Kuopio by bus or train from Helsinki. We can arrange shared transfers between Kuopio and Metsäkartano, as there are no public connections all the way to our retreat location.

Registration: Registrations are made by sending your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and information about your allergies, special diet etc. to

Questions and contact: If you have any questions concerning the retreat, you are welcome to write to Helena to contact(at)


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