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at 17 – photo by sue beets bogan

I grew up in Iowa in the middle of the last century. Drawn instinctively northward, I moved to Minnesota for 20 years, living primarily in the Boreal forest north of Lake Superior. There my sensibilities were honed by immersion in the creative processes of singing, writing, theater, painting, and craft; and my healing skills were awakened by the land and her inhabitants.

In 1983, I was crippled by a severe depression, triggered in part by seasonal affective disorder. Desperate for help beyond the known modalities, and having no physical access to teachers, I began voraciously reading and experimenting, teaching myself how to create ceremony, enter trance, and call for guidance and healing.

The journey out of that brokenness opened a deep inquiry into my own nature and the healing power in the world of Spirit — accessed through the natural world, creative processes, and ceremony. I wanted to encourage similar growth and discovery in others. So, I earned a masters degree in counseling.

photo by robb heckel
40-something – photo by robb heckel

I arrived in Colorado and began to practice, looking always for teachers, healers, and colleagues. I went on a vision quest under the watchful care of Brooke Medicine Eagle (and later returned to the camp to facilitate others). I studied Healing Touch; trained in core shamanism. I participated in the first PeerSpirit circle practicums and became a teaching colleague of Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, to carry the Circle Way into the future of human culture. I received help from many healers, shamans, and intuitive guides. Even wrote a book.

Then, another mysterious break, precipitated by a cluster of big disappointments. My heart was so shattered that, for a time, I felt draped in a heavy curtain, unable to access any voice or image. As I sat in silence, I decided to trust the void.

I returned again and again, until one day — while singing outside — I felt the presence of one who would become my beloved primary guide, and the heavy curtain was gone.

Now, I am free to offer in abundance, skills, wisdom, and my love of tending Life’s garden. I hope you consider this an open invitation.

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On the land at Westerness, a private wildlife preserve west of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Photo by Melinda Ewell