Short Course

Tibetan Deities, Spirit Mediums and Healers

- an introduction to ritual healing on the Tibetan plateau

with Dr. Dawn Collins

8, and 15, 22, 30 June, 6 July 2022 at 4 pm BST.

Online on Zoom.

Welcome to the "Tibetan Deities, Spirit Mediums and Healers: an introduction to ritual healing on the Tibetan plateau" short course, organised by the Sophia Centre Press in partnership with the Sophia Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Tibetan Spirit Medium in the Rebgong valley, Tibetan Plateau

Tibetans living on the Tibetan plateau seek to harmonise life in their earthly village valley communities, such as that of Rebgong, with the local deities who populate surrounding mountains and skies. This course will explore how Tibetans seek to cultivate and maintain right relationships between spiritual agencies, their human mediums and the communities they protect. The course will introduce some of the core concepts of Indo-Tibetan cosmology and culture underlying contemporary life in the Rebgong valley communities of the Tibetan Plateau and how these inform local ritual practices such as that of the annual harvest festival of Leru.

We will discuss forms of ritual healing practiced on the plateau, including circumambulation, medical and tantric practices, those of the trance or spirit mediums, dance and divination. We will look at how such rites and practices are connected to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. The course will explore how deities, as embodied landscapes, are understood to exist and interact with human affairs, particularly those relating to health and well-being. Themes that will be explored are those of luck, purification, empowerment, embodiment and blessing.

The Course

This is a five-week course running on consecutive Wednesdays from June 8th at 4pm (BST), the last session being on July 6th. The course will consist of five two-hour seminars consisting of lectures together with discussion and question and answer sessions.

Week 1: Ecology for Tibetan Religions

Week 2: Tibetan Spiritualities: Deity and Spirit Landscapes

Week 3: Magico-Religious Healing Practices: Tibetan Medicine, Spirit mediums and Tantra

Week 4: Divination and Tibetan health-seeking practices

Week 5: Living under Blessed Skies: right relationship for healing winds


All students will be able to log into this course page on Moodle where recordings of the lectures will be uploaded after each session. Also, in this area are extensive support material plus a weekly discussion forum for additional questions or general comments.

Certificate of Attendance

All students will receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Sophia Centre Press and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Further Study

If you are interested in taking your studies further, check out the internationally renowned, distance-learning Master’s programmes (MA) at The Sophia Centre: Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, the only academic degree in the world which explores humanity’s relationship with the sky, and Ecology and Spirituality. Both are also available as Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

Teaching staff

Sophia Centre Short Course

Dr Dawn H. Collins (The Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK) tutors and lectures in Religions and Anthropology with a focus on Asian Religions, Tantra, Sacred Geography, Ecology and Spirituality, Divination, Dance and Death Studies. Her doctoral thesis, entitled Presence in Tibetan Landscapes: spirited agency and ritual healing in Rebgong, was underpinned by ethnographic fieldwork on the Tibetan Plateau. Her research is inspired not only by anthropological experience but by practice as a dance artist and as a practitioner of oriental massage therapies. She has worked on research projects ranging from a British Academy-funded exploration of contemporary ritual dance expression in Bhutan to documentary film research about life in the Welsh valleys. She is a Research Fellow of the Foro di Studi Avanzati Gaetano Massa (FSA), Rome, Italy (Gaetano Massa Research Institute for Advanced Study of the Humanities) and also a freelance editor and proof-reader.


The cost is £150 which covers all five lectures.

By registering I agree to follow the Sophia Project netiquette guide.

To register and pay, please click the link:

Terms and Conditions

Fees and Refunds – Fees must be paid in full before the commencement of the course. Refunds will be made if a student withdraws from the course before it commences. There are no refunds after student logs into the Course Moodle page which is opened up two days before the course begins.

Forum conduct - All students are expected to follow the netiquette guide and be respectful of other students and the tutor in their forum posts. The course tutor will remove any postings they consider to be inappropriate. The course tutor also reserves the right to block a student from posting on the forums if the student disregards a request by the tutor to revise their forum conduct.

Zoom conduct – Students attending the Zoom lectures live are expected to be focused on these lectures and only use the chat box for question directed at the lecture material. Students who misuse the chat box will be removed from the lecture.

Technology – It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient broadband and sufficient skills in operating their computer or tablet to enable them to engage with this online course.

Sophia Centre Short Courses are taught as part of our outreach programme from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. If you would like to take your studies further, you may apply for our unique, on-line, fully accredited Master's programme in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, the only academic programme in the world to look explore our relationship with the sky, and the history, philosophy and culture of astrology.

Welcome to the public outreach page of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, with information about studying with the University, as well as links to related conferences, classes, publications and events. To go straight to the Sophia Centre's University page please go here.

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University of Wales Trinity Saint David
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Ceredigion SA48 7ED
Tel: 01570 422351

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