Dark Woods Grief Tending & Ritual Facilitation Training

2024 registration is now closed...apply now for 2025

Massively up level your skills in basic grief tending for your clients, friends, family and community.

Space is limited to 16 participants per cohort


Click below to be added to attend the next free intro session.

The Structure


  • We meet twice a month for a 2-3 hour training session on Zoom, (except the months we have retreats in which we meet once on Zoom) There are a total of 18 training calls throughout the year for a total of 40-50 hours (Value $2000).
  • Final training call & celebration/graduation is February 2026.
  • We meet for live 3 full weekend immersion trainings throughout the year on the West Coast of BC near Vancouver  (Value $2400).
  • Cost of accommodation & food is not included and varies depending on if you choose camping, dorm bed, or private room options. 
  • Beautiful organic food made by our **amazing** Red Seal chef, (you will love her), Rachael, is provided at a cost of $155/person/retreat. 
  • The training also requires participation & observation of Through the Dark Woods – Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma group counseling sessions. These sessions take place 2x per month on Monday evenings from 5-7pm (Vancouver/LA time) & 2x per month on Wednesday mornings from 9:30am-11am (Vancouver/LA time). In these sessions you will learn grief-tending practices & processes you can use with your own groups. You will also have the opportunity to work with and process your own grief within this space. A year subscription to this group is included in the cost of the training (Value $2040 CDN).
  • 12 x 40 minute mentoring sessions with Josea (Value $1400): These are somatic-based check-in sessions to support your own personal growth and to help you navigate any blocks arising for you throughout the training, as well as the opportunity to have Josea’s support & reflection around facilitating your own groups. These sessions are not therapy, although they may have a supportive/therapeutic aspect to them. No more than 2 sessions/month and all sessions must be used by August 2026 (up to 6 months after training ends).
Pricing Details



When you register, you pay a $500 USD deposit. This deposit is 50% refundable before December 21st, and non-refundable after that date.
Then, there are 12 monthly payments of $444 USD.

2 partial scholarship spots available (BIPOC folks only)

But what will I actually
do with this training?

I will say a lot more below about the value of grief-tending and ritual facilitation, but for a moment let’s get really practical.

You’re thinking of paying me $5555 to do this training. It seems interesting, maybe even exciting, but is it a pragmatic choice in a world where groceries and gas are rising in cost seemingly every week?

Is it worth it from a financial perspective?
How will this really support you in your life, both financially and in other ways?

People need a place to grieve together in every community.

It is SO needed & wanted, and the world needs more facilitators who know how to hold this kind of space.

Since I started offering grief rituals on Salt Spring Island in 2018, people have traveled from far and wide to attend.

People hear about it from even further away, and write to ask if I will come there and offer a ritual. I am constantly asked to come and do grief rituals all over the world. If I wanted to make a life of traveling and offering rituals every weekend, I could easily do it. The thing is, I don’t really like traveling. I believe in local, and I want to be at home and build my community here.

People are willing to pay for this kind of help.

When you complete this training, you will be able to facilitate groups in your own community on a regular basis. Offering 2-3 weekend retreats or day-long rituals will recoup the cost of the training.

This can be not only a great income source on its own, but if you are a counselor, healer or health practitioner in your community, offering these group sessions and/or retreats can be a great way to promote your 1:1 work.

Not to mention this is an amazing way of building community. When groups do this work together, they almost instantly feel closer, more trusting of and more connected with each other. With the world becoming more and more unstable every year, the value of building community around you at this time is priceless.

Another benefit of this training is the trauma-informed aspect. If you are working with vulnerable people in any sector, becoming a trauma-informed practitioner is so important. You will leave this training with an understanding of how to support both yourself and others to navigate trauma in a safe & truly helpful way.

And there is another less-spoken about part to this as well. Being trauma-informed doesn’t necessarily mean you are grief-informed. Being able to differentiate between when someone is grieving vs. in a trauma state is very important. This training will also give you that.

But what about you, and your energy levels and health? Many practitioners in the health industry – from counselors, social workers, & addiction support workers to doctors, nurses, massage therapists, & intake staff at any of these places – struggle with taking on too much from their clients. This training will teach you how to differentiate between your own and others’ energy & emotion so you can maintain deep joy, health & vitality while supporting others who are struggling in the dark woods of grief & trauma.

About Grief Tending and Ritual

This offering emerged from years of facilitating grief rituals & grief tending practices for individual clients and groups. Within these spaces incredible transformation occurs on an individual, ancestral, and community level.

After a few years of facilitating this work, I realized that I would never be unemployed again. 

There is so much need for this work. People need to grieve in community.

I can’t possibly be everywhere it is needed, which has led me to several years of dreaming of training many others to hold this work.

I envision every town, community, & organization having someone trained and confident in holding space for grief, and specifically grief ritual when it is needed.

A long time ago, this is how it was. We remember it in our bones.

And yet thanks to the destructive force of colonization, there is a foundational lack of grief and ritual literacy these days.

This is not a vague coincidence. Colonial forces banned healing rituals & ceremonies, both in old Europe and in North America, because they are the most powerful way to bring unity and strength amongst the people.

Grief ritual is an act of decolonization.

The last 8 years of my life, I have been on a committed journey of studying, practicing, remembering, and bridging these old ways back into the world.

So many people are feeling the stress of ecological change & humanitarian crises, and are simultaneously holding their own personal and ancestral grief and traumas.

It is almost an impossible task to orient to the individual, transgenerational and ecological grief unless we are held by communal ritual & practices.

If we cannot access safe space to process our grief and trauma, our tendency is to instead act outhabitual trauma responses, creating even more destruction to ourselves and everything around us.

We need these spaces.

There is intelligence to our trauma responses in that they are pointing towards the places our nervous systems want to heal, and they are quite literally begging to be transformed in order for a more beautiful world to be created.

I believe that ritual and grief literacy is key for humanity to access the gifts lying hidden within our individual and collective trauma and pain.

Becoming a Grief Ritual Facilitator:

Your Role in Collective Healing

This work calls to some of us deep within our souls, as if our willingness to step into the shadows with others was forged over many lifetimes.

And still, as humans, we need community and mentorship to guide us along our path.

As a somatic trauma therapist and grief ritual facilitator, I am infinitely grateful for my teachers & mentors and the opportunity to pass on the teachings.

There is so much work to do and we need more individuals willing to learn how to hold safe spaces for this critical work of transformation..

Holding ritual space for grief tending is an incredibly important role (and privilege) and this training was designed to support you in the personal healing and skill development required to step into that role in a way that supports rather than diminishes your wellbeing.

Would you love to:

This training could be for you!



This is a 12 month program beginning in March 2025.

The intention with this training is that you will massively up level your skills in basic grief tending for your clients, friends, family and community.

You will leave the training feeling capable of supporting friends/family in times of need through grief tending practices and ritual facilitation.

Those of you who are already counselors, healers or space holders of some form or another in your community may feel confident facilitating larger scale grief rituals or grief tending circles/support groups in your communities.

You will have the opportunity to look deeply into any of your own current or past unprocessed grief and trauma and be held in a container of people who are committed to their own, each other’s, and the collective healing.

Because doing the work consistently ourselves is a big part of what qualifies us to hold it for others!

Each participant will throughout the program co-facilitate a grief ritual with guidance and real-time mentorship from Josea, as well as follow up and integration of the teachings via Zoom.

Pricing Details


What is Included:

  • 18 months of live Zoom training calls including guest teachers
  • Through The Dark Woods membership for one year
  • 3 weekend retreats~ Full weekend retreats (Dates TBA)
  • Food at Retreats
  • 12 monthly sessions with Josea

When you register, you pay a $500 USD deposit. This deposit is 50% refundable before December 21st, and non-refundable after that date.
Then, there are 12 monthly payments of $444 USD.

2 partial scholarship spots available (BIPOC folks only)

how to apply

enrolment process

Start by filling out this short application form HERE.

Once you have filled out the application form you will be invited to book a call with Josea for us both to feel into if the training will be a good fit for you.

If it is decided that you will join, you will be invited to join Through the Dark Woods Membership sessions beginning in January and will receive instructions on preparation for the training.


Prerequisites: Anyone can join the training, but you must complete at least 3 months participation in Through the Dark Woods - Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma as well as completion of the first 6 Modules (approx 2-3 hours of video content to be watched and worked with over 3 months (January - March)

Email or text me if you have questions about any of this.

So much love to you all and thank you for your continued support in both doing this work and bringing it into the world. You are amazing.

For those of you who are called, I can’t wait to speak with you soon!

Deadline to Apply is December 1st.

Start by filling out this short application form below.


The main “credential” needed for this training is having done enough work on your own grief and trauma to be able to differentiate between your own trauma/triggers and your present moment experience. If you’re not sure, apply and we can chat about it in your interview.

While basic counselling skills can be helpful in facilitating this work and this is NOT a basic counselling skills training, it is not necessary to be a counsellor or psychotherapist or have other credentials to facilitate grief work in the way it is taught in this training.

This course is open to anyone and is especially beneficial to mental health professionals, community organizers, healing arts practitioners, teachers, mindfulness practitioners, coaches, and anyone seeking to find a greater literacy and skills in grief work, ritual practice, and space holding in service to community wellbeing. This is an education program and not a licenser program.

This program is NOT for those seeking a container specifically to work on their own deep trauma. While healing can and will happen in this container, it is also a professional training, and students will be expected to be engaging outside support i.e. working with a therapist, supportive friends & community, as well as their own inner resource to process any triggers or material that surfaces within the training. If you’re not sure, fill out the application and we can explore this more together.

  • Through the Dark Woods is a part of the training and that group meets 2x per month via zoom on Monday evenings from 5-7pm PST (Dates TBA)
  • The facilitator training also meets one Tuesday morning per month from noon-2:30pm PST (Dates TBA)
  • In addition, there are 3 full weekend retreats as part of the training (Dates TBA).

You will receive a certificate of completion when you reach the end of the training. This certificate acknowledges your mentorship with me and my endorsement of your facilitation and grief tending skills. It is like a blessing for you to bring your unique gifts into the world using these ways as a vehicle.

Ritual is a powerful way of making what is an invisible internal process visible and tangible. Because of the physical movements and actions that take place in ritual which represent the internal movements and changes taking place, it is innately somatic.

It allows the use of the collective energy to hold and meet a charge in the nervous system that could not otherwise be met and processed. Most indigenous cultures worldwide use some form of ritual to process grief and trauma.

As people move through the steps in the various forms of grief rituals I’ll teach you, there is a transformation that happens that is far different than what can occur in 1:1 therapy or self-healing work. I believe collective, community ritual is critical to embodied healthy culture.

Definitely not. This is a year long training and we journey very deep together. We begin in March 2025 and once the journey has set sail, the ship will not reenter port again until 2026! Come now or come not! Likewise, this is NOT a monthly membership program. Once you commit, you will be given one of 16 spots and are expected to stay committed for the full year!

meet josea

About Your Facilitator

I’m committed to helping people to access the innate wisdom of their physical & emotional bodies as a doorway to deeper awakening and freedom. I believe that while 1:1 therapy can be profound and life changing, there are things that can only be healed in the presence of community/group work.

Meet Your Facilitators

Josea Tamira Crossley

Main Facilitator

I have over 22 years of study and experience and have been facilitating Grief Ritual and Process work for the past 6 years. My work is grounded in training in Somatic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Healing Sexual Trauma, Deep Nature Connection, Visionary Craniosacral therapy, SER, Shamanic Study, Holistic Nutrition and Yoga.

I have trained with Francis Weller (author, Wild Edge of Sorrow), Mariah Moser (Relational Somatic Psychotherapy), Peter Levine (SE), Diane Poole Heller (DARe), Irene Lyon (SmartBodySmartMind), Elizabeth Claire Burr (CST, SER & Vijnana Yoga) & 8 Shields Institute.

I believe firmly in the intertwined health of individual, community & ecosystem. As the world falls apart around us, we need each other more than ever. If you feel called, I am so looking forward to meeting you in retreat.

Guest Teachers
Elizabeth Claire Burr

Elizabeth Claire Burr

Co-facilitator & Support

Elizabeth has been studying the Vajrayana & Nature of Mind teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition with Mingyur Rinpoche since 2008. **She has taken the Bodhisattva vow, and her deepest aspiration is to support all beings with wisdom and compassion and to practice this in the world as best she can. This has come to manifest in many forms; meditation and yoga teacher, cranial sacral and somatic therapist, founder/owner of a healing arts center, kirtan leader, doula, mothering, mentoring and sacred partnership.
She embodies compassion and joy in a way that is rare in this world, and people often say they experience Love of the Divine, self and each other in a way they haven’t before when being in her presence. She currently resides by the ocean on the traditional territory of the Ligwilda’xw people; the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nation.

tim flynn

Tim flynn

Co-facilitator & Support

Tim Flynn is a writer, teacher, and crafter of transformative practices. He has a BA Modern Society and Social Thought from UCSC with a focus on Death & Dying studies, an MA in Transformative Arts from JFK University Art & Consciousness program, & ritual performance. He is former faculty of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and is trained in advanced shamanic programs offered by Tom Cowan and Betsy Burgstrom.He’s spent over 30 years practicing shamanism and related healing processes. Tim also has an extensive background in movement including dance and martial arts. He continues to immerse himself in celtic ancestral myth, story, and recovered traditions. A widower, Tim is raising his two children in the high desert of Central Oregon. You can read Tims blog and his book, Wilder Grief at alchemistsjournal.com.

Through practices that work with the nervous system & rewiring the brain learned through my studies in Somatic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Healing Sexual Trauma, Deep Nature Connection, Craniosacral therapy, Shamanic Study, Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga, I’ve learned to support people to completely transform how they experience the world and themselves.

I believe that for each person, your gifts are directly related to your wounds, and it is only through deep listening and care of the soul that you will fully remember who you are and what you are here to give to the world.

I believe that every single person, including you, has something to offer to this liminal time we are living in.

In terms of walking through the dark woods and returning with gifts, I am a living, breathing example, and this work is my offering to you. 

I grew up fast, having to take care of myself almost entirely on my own. There was not much space for safety, nervous system regulation and healthy relationship to self or other in my first 16 years in the world. But slowly, I started to find it.

Like someone who is thirsty beyond comprehension, I drank it in. I made it sacred.

Are there things like that for you? What do you consider as sacred as water? That you would walk miles for, carrying a heavy load? What are you longing for in your bones?

It is my mission to create spaces in this world where people can experience enough safety & belonging, and can gain enough skillfulness, to be able to heal.

The body does the rest.

I want this for you.

I have trained with expert grief facilitator Francis Weller (author, Wild Edge of Sorrow), as well as key Somatic & Relational Therapy teachers Mariah Moser (Relational Somatic Psychotherapy), Peter Levine (SE), Diane Poole Heller (DARe), Irene Lyon (SmartBodySmartMind), & the 8 Shields Institute.

I have held grief-tent space at gatherings of 150+ people. I have held grief rituals in my community for the past 7 years, and curated a unique online space for grief process work since the beginning of the recent pandemic.

To this date, I’ve supported hundreds of people to change their lives. To transform their wounds – and the most difficult, painful parts of their experience – into gifts.

This year I am training a group of brave humans to do what I do. To not only walk through the dark woods, but to guide others through as well. If you feel the resonant call, I hope you’ll join me!

"Thanks Josea...

...for your wisdom, curiosity, care and attention during the course. It was a privilege and a gift to be in circle with everyone. I cherished the time we spent in vulnerable presence with each other. I learned much about holding the space for grief and being held by community, ancestors and the earth.”

~ Ahava Shira

"The work I did with Josea Tamira Crossley in 2015 and 2016 literally changed my life and was part of what saved my life from the brink of serious breakdown. Josea is hands down my go expert on how grief and trauma are held in the body and how as a community we can come together for deep healing. I have never met someone so committed to living the truth of what they teach. Truly trauma informed in her approach, if grief is even remotely something you're dealing with (even collective grief) working with Josea is necessary work! Big claim i know. I stand by it."

~ Emma McCann

You're not alone anymore.

Two partial scholarship spots available, priority will be given to single mamas, BIPOC, LGTBQ2S and other marginalized folks.