With us you can learn…

…how to embrace grief & grieving, and how to practically facilitate and hold space for others and yourself to:

  • Transform emotional pain into medicine for oneself and the community.

  • Feel happy, lighthearted and joyful again, even after facing great losses.

  • Become a midwife for an amazing and brighter future that can be birthed only through the labor of grieving.

Your Mentor

Elke Loepthien

Elke is the founder of the Circlewise Institute and has been developing and teaching transformational training-experiences for nearly ten years: in Deep Nature Connection, Nature Based Ritual Work, Circlewise Leadership and other topics of Connective Community Design & Facilitation, as well as mentoring adults and coaching and consulting for a variety of companies, communities and NGOs.

How it all started...

Elke's story of how this began…

"Over fifteen years ago I was a desperate mother of a toddler, nearing a divorce, deeply troubled by the stage of the world and humanity, hungry to contribute something of value – and looking for some way to process all of my overwhelming emotions in order to just stay sane. 

It was then that I met my future teacher and friend Sobonfu Somé, a keeper of rituals from the Dagara people in Western Africa. 

In the years that followed I learned how to grieve (it did keep me sane!) – and I had the great luck to experience, host and co-facilitate grieving rituals with Sobonfu that served hundreds of people over the years.

I have become an avid admirer of the natural and inherent superpower that grieving truly is, and that we as human beings are gifted with from the moment we are born. 

Because of these rituals I could witness first hand the truly miraculous effects that well held grieving space can have even on people that were burdened with complex and compounded forms of grief and emotional pain caused by severe traumata and extremely painful losses. 

I got plenty of opportunity to taste and feel the incredible relief and sense of full aliveness (in myself and many many others) that can come with free grieving in it’s natural forms, and the feelings of delight and even bliss that return to life because of it. 

The medicine of grieving has been changing my whole work life as a teacher, course facilitator, counselor, mentor and coach tremendously, as well as my relationships to all of my loved ones. 

Understanding grief and grieving truly has become one of the most important ingredients for the effectiveness of my work as well as for my personal wellbeing and all of my relationships – as a mother, a life-partner, a friend, a neighbor and colleague. 

It helps me every day to not shrink back from waves of emotions rising (like I used to), but to create and facilitate safe spaces where grieving can easily and naturally happen, following a rhythm and flow in a sacred process, that can look and feel like some kind of miniature birth of a healthier, happier, renewed human being. 

After Sobonfu passed away in 2017 my own grief of losing her and everything that she had brought to our community, became a fuel for developing our own grief ritual, the „Grief Fire“, through which we continue to re-create a healthy grieving culture on a larger scale, many dozens of people at a time, each time we gather. 

And because it is such a fundamentally natural human skill, I know for certain that you can learn how to hold space for the magic of grieving, too!"

The Content of this Course

This online-course is a soulful and practical distillation of all of my extensive research, deep reflections, creative design processes and most of all of the amazing grieving experiences I was able to witness.

It will help you to 

  • understand the core of what grieving really is (psychologically, physiologically, socially, mentally and spiritually) and WHY it is actually a wonderful thing, 
  • gain insight into what actually happens during grieving in the body, brain and nervous system
  • build familiarity with the manifold reasons for grief, from the daily disappointments to the major losses in life, for example through the death of a loved one or losing a child, separation or divorce, illness or accidents, environmental destruction, natural and social disasters and catastrophes, ordinary life transitions and the pains of growing up and growing older and many more 
  • recognize the psychological and biological dynamics that can prevent us from experiencing the innate wisdom and emergent powers of grieving, 
  • offer practical tools that help people to move through these blocks with more ease
  • facilitate community events that can immensely enhance grieving processes
  • create core routines for cultivating your capacity to hold grief processes for yourself and for others 
  • and so much more!

All of this in order to bring back to life one of our core abilities as human beings – the ability to grieve and to harvest its sacred medicine for yourself, for your communities and for our world as a whole.


from previous programs

An abundance of knowledge

"I have been amazed by the seemingly endless abundance of your knowledge and your gentle ways of passing it on, with a kind and loving humor, a lightheartedness and without any kind of dogma."

A Sense of Belonging

"Never before, in none of many seminars, groups, trainings, teams or other group settings, have I felt that I belong and that I am an accepted part of a community like I did in your training. This is the strongest quality that I am taking home with me from our time together, as a feeling and as a knowingness rooted deep inside."


“It's been very special for me how you are integrating and connecting such diverse and rich approaches in this training, that is AMAZING!"

Gold Nuggets

“You distilled for us gold nuggets from all relevant fields, always keeping it to what's actually helpful and presenting it in a fantastic way."

Depth & Understanding

"Listening to your teachings I often had a sense of myself really diving deeply into the different topics and to actually experience and understand what is at the core of them."

Incredibly Precious

"For me it was an incredibly intensive, deep, inspiring and joyful tracking journey, and what I learned along the way with you and our training group, are incredibly precious for me."


"I really appreciated the freedom to ask questions, share examples and also to zoom into the details. Because of these dense conversations I understand the depth and quality of all the teachings fully.”

A Foundation for Everything

"The knowledge that I acquired here will be the foundation for all of my future thinking and actions, in all of what I will bring forward in my life from here on."

The best experience of my life!

"From the depths of my heart I thank you for the best experience of my life! I am taking with me lots of hope for a better world, that seems possible, for my own life journey and how I can participate and contribute something good for the world. You have gifted me with so much lightheartedness, love, diversity, hands-on tools and professionalism!"

Learning online – deeply!

A commitment for a full on, alive and real-deal training

"Even though I have spent most of my professional life teaching and training adults – creating an online program has presented a major challenge for me.

Let me explain: 

All of my previous programs have been subtitled as "Lived Learning-Experiences". 

That is because they are involving the body, the mind, the soul, the heart and the whole self.

So that whatever the topic is, can really be experienced fully – so it can then also be understood more deeply and embodied more easily afterwards. 

Now how could I possibly create such a level of depth of experience for you as a student through just computers? 

The answer is simple and striking: 

I can offer you content and advise – but the real work will need to be set up, designed and manifested by you! 

Now is that bad news or good news? 

Probably a little bit of both. 

The more opportunity you create for yourself to actually practice what we will look into, the faster and more deeply you will learn. 

And the quicker your world around you will transform into a culture where grieving is being honored, supported and practiced in healthy ways. 

My ultimate reason for running this course (and running it in English, which isn't even my native language) is to make some very essential knowledge and the tools that go with it available all over the world, for the betterment of our human societies and for the hope of an actual future for us as a species. 

My commitment is, to fully support you and all the people who sign up for this program to such an extend, that you can actually do this kind of work, with trust and skill and most importantly with heart, one fine day soon. 

Not to just copy and paste what you will be hearing here, but to do it in your own and absolutely unique way. 

Therefore I care all the more to learn what it is that YOU need, the challenges that you are facing, the curiosity and passion and longings that you've been holding around the topic of grieving.

Your needs and interests will be molded into the foundational elements of this course."

A unique and limited opportunity

Join our Pre-Sale to become an early bird Pioneer Participant – for only half the price!

This course is just starting to evolve. For actually recording, typing, filming and putting it out there, we need your help! 

You have the chance now to sign up for our Pre-Sale price and become one of our Early Bird Pioneers. 

What does that mean?

It means we need your active participation to shape this course over the next 3-4 months into what is most helpful.

For this we depend on your advice and participation – so we can design the lessons, documents, audio, video and everything else that we will be offering in a way that suits your learning needs. 

Your engagement will start right after you signed up, by filling a short questionaire, that will inform us about your learning preferences as well as aspects of the topics that you are most interested in. 

On the basis of all Early Bird questionaires Elke will then start creating the actual course material, supported by other people from our team.

You will be getting gradual access to these beta-lessons, and we again value your feedback to upgrade each of them. 

The final launch date will be July 1st 2020. 

At this point we will accept more participants, upload new and additional material – and you will be welcome to stay on board with us for as long as you like. 

Why are we doing this again? 

Learning new stuff is one of the most natural traits of the human species. Yet it only works well if there is enthusiasm, trust and true innate interest. 

The better we can understand whatever that is for yourself, the more fitting we can create our course material.

Please be aware that we are happily awaiting your guidance and feedback in terms of whatever it is that you need and that could be helpful for you to not only finish this course, but to bring the Medicine of Grieving alive where ever you are, in ways that are truly helpful for yourself and for your community and for the future generations yet to come.  

How attractive does all of that sound?

Could this be the right moment in time for you to join in and start the journey with us?

What is inside?

All of this is included in your Pioneer Participant life-long access package:

  • At least 15 hours of audio teachings

    All of which have been tested in our real life grief tending events with 100+ people as well as in Elke's own 1:1 practice and with small groups

  • Documents with the most important key teachings

    So you can re-find quickly what you are looking for, right when you need it.

  • A number of teachings on video

    So that you get to actually see Elke explaining stuff and feel a closer connection when your mirror neuron system takes it right in.

  • Life-long access to all materials

    You will always have access to the latest upgrades to this course, so that you can benefit from our continuos learning process.

  • Access to our community Basecamp

    To ask questions, share files, stories, experiences, support and connection among our growing community of grief tenders.

  • Three 1:1 coaching sessions with Elke

    To make sure that you get custom-made support for your own unique situation, each session 1-1.5 h long.

  • An (optional) participant-buddy to connect with on a regular basis

    To make reflection and integrations of all the learnings easy, fun and so much more interesting.

  • Unlimited opportunities for questions & answers

    So all of your questions will be addressed – and thus hopefully unfold their innate creative potential for your life and your work even more.

  • A certificate

    With completion of the course you will receive a certificate (issued by the Circlewise Institute) as a trained "Grief Facilitator".

  • A monthly Zoom call

    So our whole learning village can meet and greet around a virtual campfire to connect with each other. Calls will be recorded and made available for later listening.

  • And the best: The chance to co-design the content

    Your interests and needs will influence how the material is actually being created. You will help us "set the course"!

Our Pre-Sale pricing options for the first ten people to register

Choose what you prefer:

Be one of only ten Pre-Sale Pioneers!

Your questions and needs will "set the course" for us :-)

Get early access now!

Our Pre-Sale is open until April 10th 2020 the latest

We will give away these half priced special spots only to the first 10 people who sign up

  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
  • 00Minutes
  • 00Seconds