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 Instructor

Elke Loepthien

Elke is the founder of the Circlewise Institute and has been developing and teaching our Institute's unique approach for how to weave healthy Connection Culture for our times for ten years, mainly in the transformational training-experiences that she designed around topics like: 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 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
  • recognise the psychological and biological dynamics that can prevent us from experiencing the innate wisdom and emergent powers of grieving, 
  • offer practical tools that can help yourself and other people to move through these blocks with more ease
  • facilitate community and 1:1 events that can immensely enhance grieving processes
  • create core routines for cultivating your capacity to hold grief processes for yourself and for others 
  • work with key ingredients for safe spaces in your personal and/or professional setting, so you can actually contribute to building a more grief-friendly culture 
  • 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 the sacred medicine of grieving 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 as a result, the faster 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 simple perspectives, some key knowledge about an essential element of being human, and the tools that support us in it, available – eventually for the hope of an actual future of humankind as a species amongst this beautiful intricate web of life that we are so lucky to be a part of. 

My commitment is, to provide the people who sign up for this program with a solid foundation on which one day you can actually start doing this kind of work, in your personal as well as possibly in your professional life, with trust and skill and most importantly with heart and in your own and unique ways.

Maybe the most important aspect for this is of course the connection to the growing number of people who are committed to this work. Through sharing our stories, insights and questions we can learn from each other and continue to grow to meet the needs of our communities around us, especially in these times of deep crises all over the world.

Watch Intro Video

What is Grief? Part 1

Watch our Extensive Introduction for free right here…

Watch Intro Video

What is Grief? Part 2

Watch our Extensive Introduction for free right here…

What is inside this program?

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

  • At least 22+ hours of video teachings

    All content tested and refined in our real life events with 100+ people as well as in 1:1 practice and with small groups. Equivalent to a year-long in-person training.

  • Documents with the most important key teachings

    So you can re-find quickly what you are looking for, right when you need it. You will also find links and recommendations for our sources and further resources, if you want to learn even more about our tools.

  • 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 continuous learning process.

  • Access to our community Basecamp

    To ask questions, share files, stories, experiences, support and connection among our growing community of grief tenders – you can continue to participate in it for as long as you want.

  • 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.

  • A monthly community 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.

  • A certificate

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

  • A $30 donation for the benefit of indigenous culture and life ways

    Your gift will go to to the first Tracking School founded and directed by a community of Ju/hoansi people of the Kalahari in Namibia. You can find out more here: https://www.startnext.com/school-of-the-land

Do you want maximum support?

Individual Coaching in the Plus Pack (limited to eight people at a time)

  • Four 1:1 coaching sessions with Elke

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

  • 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.

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

    Your interests and needs will influence how the material is evolving into the future. You will help us "set the course"!

  • A 100$ donation for the benefit of indigenous cultures

    Your gift will go to to the first Tracking School founded and directed by a community of Ju/hoansi people of the Kalahari in Namibia. You can find out more here: https://www.startnext.com/school-of-the-land

For Collective Reparation, Equality and Justice!

We acknowledge the myriad ways of oppression and discrimination that have been inflicted on indigenous, black and people of color (BIPOC), as well as people who identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and others). 

As one small gesture for more equality in the world, we offer our Free Flow package and payment plan for free to those who identify as one of either.  

So if you are BIPOC or/and LGBTQ+, you are welcome to just send us a short note to e-learning(at)circlewise.org, and we will grant you free access to the course's Free Flow Package. 

NOTE: This is not a scholarship fund, and we do not assume that individual BIPOC or LGBTQ+ people do not have access to wealth – we see this rather as some tiny reparation effort, that we are offering with a sincere prayer for equality and justice. 

Choose from our Options

(note: Plus Package Participation Spots are Limited)