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Ioan Fazey - Dawn Song

Ioan Fazey portrait

I am a certified shamanic practitioner and teacher, with extensive training in the Embracing Shamanism tradition. I have a graduate certificate in counselling skills, certificates in Usui Rei-ki, and training in an approach to body work called Body Harmony. I have been practicing shamanic healing and other healing arts for over 20 years.


I am also a Professor in the Department of Environment at the University of York, UK where I apply my research on transformation in my teaching, lead the facilitation of organisations in transformative change. This includes over 25 years of expertise in experiential forms of teaching, focused on helping students understand change, the challenges facing people and the planet, and the wonders of the natural world. My research focuses on how transformations 'on the inside' support societal transformations 'on the outside'.

​I now draw on my unique experience as academic, teacher, facilitator and healer - and my personal experience of working with my own complex health issues, search for deeper connection with nature, meaning and purpose - to help guide others to navigate the confusing world in which we now live. 


​My shamanic name is Dawn Song.​ See my qualifications and my story of how I came to shamanic work below. 

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  • Shamanic Teacher Training, Embracing Shamanism, Norh Wales

  • Shamanic practice, Embracing Shamanism, Inverness, Scotland

  • Graduate Certificate in Counselling skills, Abertay University, Scotland

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education, Aberystwyth University

  • PhD Understanding the nature of experiential knowledge, Australian National University

  • Usui Reiki I & II, Canberra, Australia 

  • MSc Ecology, University of Wales, Bangor

  • BSc in Zoology (Animal Ecology), University of Aberdeen

Bare Trees in Fog

My story: A tale of two paths

My journey, and the expertise I have developed on the way, unfolded as two parallel paths.


The path of the academic Professor

The first path has been my academic career, working in Universities. In my early years I was passionate about nature, and fortunate to grow up among the wilds of North Wales. This led me to study animal ecology at the University of Aberdeen, followed by the study of ecology at the University of Wales, Bangor. During this time I had many opportunities to work closely with nature, but I also became increasingly interested in how we made sense of, and came to understand, the world around us.

I was then fortunate to take up my doctoral studies at the Australian National University which, stimulated by unforeseen events, turned into a social science-based study of the role of experiential knowledge – as opposed to scientific evidence - in shaping how nature and its conservation was managed. This involved working with Farmers and Parks and Wildlife staff to understand how they flexibly worked with the dynamic and natural change processes of a very large wetland, including how they were embedded within the natural ebb and flow of change.

This work developed further as I held various positions at the Universities of Aberystwyth, St Andrews and Dundee, and as I sought to better understand how people adapted and supported change. This included extensive periods working with remote communities in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, work in Transylvania in Romania, work with the Scottish Government Resilience Division, and projects with communities facing the impacts of climate change in Scotland. During this time I also developed and led experiential forms of teaching and training at undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels in sustainability, transformation and change.


I am now a Professor in the Department of Environment at the University of York, UK where I am also the Director of Strategy. I teach students how to support societal change and transformation, operate as an experienced facilitator helping different organisations explore and support transformational change, have been a cofounder of the influential, and I am an internationally recognised scholar and researcher on how to support transformations, including on how transformations 'on the inside' can support societal transformations 'on the outside'.

Ioan Fazey is an international leader in research on transformations to sustainability. He works in an open, collaborative, and creative manner to bring people together to realize their full potential in every project or initiative. I consider him a 'strategic visionary' whose work has had a strong impact in shaping the international research agenda on transformative change and sustainability.”

Professor Karen O'Brien, University of Oslo, Norway and author of "You matter more than you think”.

The path of healer

My second path has been learning the healing arts. During my earlier life I developed complex health problems that could not be addressed by conventional medical approaches. I reacted badly to these as they challenged my sense of identity and my perception of how I fitted in the world. Following some very difficult periods, I eventually opened-up to non-conventional healing approaches and to new ways of knowing and being. The floodgates opened, and I rapidly found that I was experiencing radically different realities to those I was already familiar, as well as the beings that inhabited these different realities.


At first this was very disorienting. There were not many people that I came across that could guide me, and so I often had to develop my own approaches to make sense of, and work with, what I was experiencing. During this period I spent as much time as I could in nature, whether it was in the ancient lands of Australia, remote regions of the South Pacific, or the wilds of Wales and Scotland.


Overall, on this personal development and healing path I have received formal training in Usui Rei-ki, an approach to body work called Body Harmony, have studied Vipassana meditation, and have a graduate certificate in counselling skills. All of these brought me phenomenal benefits. But I still felt I was missing something that could bring it all together.

Eventually, I came - in formal terms - to the shamanic practice path, and undertook extensive training in the Embracing Shamanism tradition, with much of my training having been led by an extremely experienced teacher called Twobirds Cunningham in Scotland. Shamanic practice gave me a language that helped me express things I already knew and had learned for myself but couldn’t articulate; new tools and approaches for healing; and many opportunities for me to transform and grow. Importantly, this was different to my previous experience of religion, which for me did not provide me with direct and  practical healing approaches. It was also different to my experience of the teaching of many contemporary healing modalities, which were taught in the absence of a wider spiritual framework and community of practice. For me, the shamanic provided both a framework, language and community of practice to continue to develop within and practical healing approaches. Importantly, shamanic practice is also founded on a premise that we are all embedded within, and are a part of, the natural world. And it is to nature that I always felt close to as a child and from where my story began.

"Ioan is the ‘real deal’ - a gifted healer and seer who gets to the heart of the matter.  Ioan facilitates a space of safety, care and professionalism, from which deep healing can take place.  His wealth of expertise allows for a multi-layered approach to the healing services he offers. I highly recommend Ioan’s services, whether it be for insight, guidance or deep transformation." Lynne

Integrating two paths to help guide others

As our world undergoes a massive and rapid change, many people are increasingly feeling confused and out of place. As the old world dies away, and before the new has yet to fully emerge, many are questioning their sense of identity and purpose, such as who they are or should be. They are also feeling increasingly unsure about how to act or ow to be effective when old approaches no longer seem to work, or may be struggling with their past trauma which make it difficult for them to open up to new ways of being in this tumultuous world. 

There is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than teaching shamanic practice to help others in their own process of change, open up to the magic and the regenerative power that nature provides, and empower them on their own healing and transformational journey.  Transformation through shamanic practice - whether to heal or for personal development and growth - can be accessible to you whatever background you come from and I look forward to the opportunity to share some of my unique experience as an academic, teacher, facilitator and shamanic practitioner to help you find a better place in your world.

Stone Tower
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