About Us

The Facilitators: Hilary Kneale, Rick Lockwood and Gian Paolo Cottino

We are trained Vision Quest facilitators and have been holding Quests for the last ten years. We have studied and currently work with Northern Drum, a shamanic centre run by Chris Luttichau, that teaches ancient healing ways and earth-based spirituality (see www.northerndrum.com). Chris has lived and trained intensively with native elders and shamans for over 25 years, mainly in North America. Having experienced for ourselves the power and beauty of a vision quest to transform and heal, we feel strongly drawn to share these authentic teachings, and between us we have many skills and experiences to offer:


Rick Lockwood


From an early age I realized the benefits of spending time in nature. I became a young naturalist, living and breathing birds and trees. This developed into a career in nature conservation. I thought I knew about nature. I then worked with Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines and was moved by their ancient and ceremonial ways of working with nature.

It was only when I undertook my first vision quest that I discovered the depth of connection and sense of knowing that was available through spending solitary and prayerful time sitting on the earth. I realized that I was part of the natural world and felt this in every cell of my body. I was struck by the profound power of this simple practice to open to my true self.

I knew from this time that I wanted to support people going onto the land to heal and transform themselves. I have deepened my knowing of the power of vision quest ceremonies by fasting alone in nature on a regular basis, and through trainings with the School of Lost Borders and, for the last ten years, with Northern Drum Shamanic Centre.


 Hilary Kneale


I live on Dartmoor where, as each season unfolds, I move deeper and deeper into relationship with the earth and her ancient stories. I am informed by the stories as I teach movement, support journeying, hold sweat lodges, run Vision Quests and work as an artist. Working closely with the earth gives me a health of body, mind and heart stronger than any 'medicine', it is medicine.

Over a number of years I have studied and practiced earth based spirituality through both original Native American teachings of the medicine wheel and through an all-weather environmental movement practice. I thank the teachers of these practices, Chris Lutticau of Northern Drum and Helen Poynor of Walk of Life. These practices inform my own work as artist, teacher and healer.

Vision Quest is a rich part of my work, I feel the benefit of a yearly personal quest, the unquantifiable benefit  of time alone with the earth is enriching. Working with Rick each year to hold the time for others to experience aspects of this for themselves, to move further into self-responsibilty and to take the experiences into other aspects of life, is a gift.

For further information please see www.hilarykneale.com


 Gian Paolo Cottino

 The old rites of people living in close connection with the elements and with Mother Earth held my fascination as a child. In them I saw colour, wisdom and power. 

 I was also drawn by stories of adventure, and I sought it alongside discovery and mystery as much as possible; walking the land of our farm, camping, going fishing or hunting, and travelling.

  Adolescence in South Africa gifted the experience of remote nature and the presence of indigenous cultures around me. Yet I also turned within, trying to find solidity amidst all the tensions and separations.When I finished school I began travelling and seeking alternatives. Eventually this brought me to London where I settled and studied fine art.

 Both my research and a need for healing brought me to do a Vision Quest with Hollow Bone. Here I remembered the Earth as my teacher, my love, my adventure and my healer. The Old Ways called. I noticed that, unlike myself at that time, these Old Ways were still free and this offered me hope.

 I later trained with Chris Luttichau of Northern Drum to become a Vision Quest Guardian and I continue training with Northern Drum to bring indigenous ways and shamanic teachings closer to my heart. 

I feel blessed to be a part of Hollow Bone and am excited to work alongside Hilary and Rick.