Our Teachers and Faculty

Mr. Cowan is best known for making accessible two treasures: the indigenous Huichol shamanic tradition of Mexico and an approach to deep healing with the spirits of plants.

Eliot discovered the spiritual healing potential of plants in 1986, after ten years of successful practice in Classical Chinese Medicine. Shamanisitic approaches wedded with Chinese medicine to bring forth what he calls “plant spirit medicine”. Cowan’s work as a healer in that medium brings deep healing to many. He has trained hundreds in the practice. His workshops and talks, as well as his book, Plant Spirit Medicine, are open doors to the wisdom of plants and the entire natural world.

The wisdom and medicine of the Huichol people are thriving in the Sierra Madre, but they had been largely inaccessible to outsiders until Eliot Cowan received initiation as a medicine man and guide to apprentices in that tradition. After the death of Eliot’s first teacher, don Guadalupe Gonzalez Rios, further initiations were officiated by don Jose Sandoval of La Laguna, Mezquitic, Jalisco.

Mr. Cowan is now recognized as a tsaurirrikame, or elder Huichol shaman. He has trained and initiated over twenty-five medicine people who are helping their clients in the U.S. and other countries.

Today Eliot serves his people as healer, counselor, public speaker, guide to apprentices, ritual leader, and worker in support of the Sacred Fire Community, the Huichol Community of San Andres Cohamiata, and the Blue Deer Center.

Read a recent interview with Eliot about his traditional healing work.

Read about the Pilgrimage Offer.

David Wiley is a Tsaurirrikame (Elder Shaman) in the Huichol Indian tradition of the northwestern Sierra Madre of Mexico and is a Granicero (weather Shaman) and healer in the Nahuatl Indian tradition of the highlands of central Mexico. In these roles he serves his community as a counselor, community and ceremonial leader along with being recognized as a spiritual conduit for the elemental deity of fire known by the Huichols as Tatewarí or Grandfather Fire (along with many other names in various other cultures).

To find out more about David’s work, please visit www.keepsthefire.org.

Recognized by the village elders as possessing special gifts from birth, Sobonfu’s destiny was foretold before her birth, as is the custom of the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso and was fostered by early education in ritual and initiation in preparation for her life’s work. “My work is really a journey in self discovery and in building community through rituals,” says Sobonfu. Dagara rituals involve healing and preparing the mind, body, spirit and soul to receive the spirituality that is all around us. “It is always challenging to bring the spiritual into the material world, but it is one of the only ways we can put people back in touch with the earth and their inner values.”

It is this reliance on spirit, community and ritual that has allowed Sobonfu’s personal and professional path to become one. Since the beginning of her journey in the West Sobonfu has traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe, conducting workshops on spirituality, ritual, the sacred and intimacy. Her work has moved African spiritual practices from the realm of anthropology, to a place alongside the world’s great spiritual tradition, with a message of profound significance and practical application in the lives of Westerners.

Sobonfu has written two books, “The Spirit of Intimacy” (William Morrow) and “Welcoming Spirit Home” (New World Library), her newest offering which draws on rituals and practices involving community, birth miscarriage and children.

For further information about Sobonfu and her work, please visit: http://www.sobonfu.com/

Charles was born in 1967 and graduated from Yale with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. Growing up, he was consumed with questions like "Where did I come from?", "Why am I here?" and "Where am I going?" He is the author of three books -- The Yoga of Eating, The Ascent of Humanity, and, most recently, Sacred Economics, which Andrew Harvey has called "a brilliant and beautifully written book." He spent time as a Chinese translator, studied herbs, health, and nutrition and educated himself in Eastern spiritual traditions. In addition to writing books, he has frequent public speaking engagements at conferences and smaller events. He has taught at Goddard College and currently lives with his wife in Harrisburg, PA, where he contemplates a new book about "Story" and the building of a more beautiful world.

Eda Zavala Lopez comes from a long lineage of native women healers. A descendant of the Wari people she describes her knowledge of healing practices as being a part of her DNA. Her grandmother used plant medicines in a very natural way and Eda absorbed this directly and simply. She went on to study with native healers deep in the forest learning the intricacies of plant medicines and their properties from healers and the plants themselves.

Over a twenty year journey, Eda has supported and assisted Indigenous Communities’ efforts to protect the sacred rainforest, preserve traditional plants, perpetuate ancient healing plant practices, and empower themselves.

To stimulate interest and support for her Peruvian indigenous brothers and sisters and the treasures of the rainforest, Eda now travels to the United States and other countries sharing her experiences and knowledge. She participates in conferences, forums, workshops, and conducts group healing ceremonies, as well as personal healing sessions. She has also been closely involved with Native American healers and Elders, and sacred ceremonies.

For more information about Eda Zavala Lopez you can visit her website at EdaZavalaLopez.com.

Thomas R. Porter (Sakokwenionkwas-“The One Who Wins”) has been the founder, spokesperson and spiritual leader of the Mohawk Community of Kanatsiohareke (Ga na jo ha lay gay) located in the Mohawk Valley near Fonda, New York since 1993. He is a member of the Bear Clan of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne. (Akwesasne, also known as the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, straddles the New York State/Canadian border near Massena, New York.) He is married to Alice Joe Porter who is Choctaw, and has six children.

Tom "Sakokwenionkwas" Porter has been a nationally recognized figure in Indian Country since the 1960’s when he co-founded the White Roots of Peace, a group of Iroquois Elders who toured the country sharing traditional teachings and encouraging Indians to embrace their respective Native traditions. Recognizing that Mohawk language and culture were dying out, he also co-founded the Akwesasne Freedom School for grades K-8, with a curriculum entirely in Mohawk. Mr. Porter is recognized nationally as a compassionate and inspirational speaker about the destructive effects of substance abuse on Indian families, communities and nations. As an educator, Tom has taught a range of subjects at the Akwesasne Freedom School, Trent University, Akwesasne and the Tyiendinaga Reserve, and has worked as a cultural researcher and consultant for the North American Indian Traveling College. Mr. Porter is the author of the book Our Ways, a study of Iroquoian clan systems, published by the North American Indian Traveling College, and has received the Rothko Chapel Award for commitment to truth and freedom.

For further information, please see: http://www.mohawkcommunity.com/tomscorner.html

Chief Lyons is a faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy). He has been active in international Indigenous rights and sovereignty issues for over four decades at the United Nations and other international forums. He is a State University of New York (SUNY) distinguished services professor emeritus of the University at Buffalo. He co-founded the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth with the American Indian Institute at Bozemon, Montana, and continues to serve on their board. Oren co-founded the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse program in 1983 and is chairman of their board of directors. He is chairman of the board of directors of Honoring Nation, the Harvard program for Native American economic development. He serves on the board of Bioneers an environmental champion of the earth. Chief Lyons is chairman of the board of directors of Plantagon International AB, the leader in urban agriculture, Plantagon is designed to meet challenges of compounding human population, finite resources and global warming.

For further information, please see: http://www.7genfund.org/chief-oren-lyons

Sherry Boatright is a Granicera (weather shaman) and Quiatlzques (woman bringer of rain) in the Nahuatl tradition of the central highlands of Mexico, a ceremonial leader, Sacred Fire Community Firekeeper and a licensed psychotherapist. She is the co-creator of the Ukalai Women's Gatherings and an international presenter on the innate capacities of the feminine.

Safia Johnson has been a Plant Spirit Medicine healer for over 15 years and is also a Clinical Consultant in the PSM Seminary. She resides in Kingston, NY. She teaches workshops on Plant Spirit Medicine and is a presenter at annual conferences.

Hear Safia Johnson on Roxbury radio, WIOX, in this enlivening discussion of Plant Spirit Medicine

Mr. Cowan is best known for making accessible two treasures:  the indigenous Huichol  shamanic tradition of Mexico and an approach to deep healing with the spirits of plants.

Eliot discovered the spiritual healing potential of plants in 1986, after ten years of successful practice in Classical Chinese Medicine.    Shamanisitic approaches wedded with Chinese medicine to bring forth what he calls “plant spirit medicine”. Cowan’s work as a healer in that medium brings deep healing to many.  He has trained hundreds in the practice.  His workshops and talks, as well as his book, Plant Spirit Medicine, are open doors to the wisdom of plants and the entire natural world. 

The wisdom and medicine of the Huichol people are thriving in the Sierra Madre, but they had been largely inaccessible to outsiders until Eliot Cowan received initiation as a medicine man and guide to apprentices in that tradition. After the death of Eliot’s first teacher, don Guadalupe Gonzalez Rios, further initiations were officiated by don Jose Sandoval of La Laguna, Mezquitic, Jalisco. 

Mr. Cowan is now recognized as a tsaurirrikame, or elder Huichol shaman.  He has trained and initiated over twenty-five medicine people who are helping their clients in the U.S. and other countries.

Today Eliot serves his people as healer, counselor, public speaker, guide to apprentices, ritual leader, and worker in support of the Sacred Fire Community, the Huichol Community of San Andres Cohamiata, and the Blue Deer Center. 

Read a recent interview with Eliot about his traditional healing work. 

Read about the Pilgrimage Offer

Alison Gayek has been teaching Plant Spirit Medicine with Eliot Cowan since 2002. She began studying with Eliot Cowan in 1997 and graduated from the PSM course in 1999. Since then, Alison has maintained a strong effective PSM practice. As a teacher, Alison teaches the PSM Practitioner Training Course, graduate clinicals and skills courses, and also works to teach, mentor, and support new graduates as they start their own practices. In addition, she is a qualified clinical supervisor and provides clinical supervision for students and graduates. Alison has continued her healing work through various pilgrimages with Eliot Cowan and David Wiley. She is a Granicera — a Weather Shaman — in the Nahua tradition indigenous to Central Mexico.

Carla Leftwich, ACA(La.), Dipl.AC (NCCAOM), practices Classical Five Element Acupuncture and Plant Spirit MedicineSM in New Orleans, La. She has gone on spiritual pilgrimages with Eliot Cowan and David Wiley for the last five years. She is a Granicero—a weather shaman—in the Nahua tradition indigenous to Central Mexico.

Scott Sheerin is a Marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition. He practices shamanic healing in Asheville, NC. He has been on the staff of Eliot Cowan's healing camps for 13 years. He is also a gifted musician offering healing and ritual music. His recordings are in use around the world helping to spread the energy of heart and fire wherever they are heard.

"With music it is very interesting, because you are opening up to a flow that is already present. And you are breathing and moving the sounds and notes out into the space around you. And so in a certain kind of way you feel how those sounds are – how they are flowing out and what they are moving up against – like how water moves against a shore – the contours that form." -- Scott Sheerin, from an interview in Around The Fire newsletter

Joan Henry is a traditional Song-Carrier & hahesh’kah (lead drummer) for elders among the Nde’, Coast Salish, Shoshone, Tsalagi, Chippewa/Cree and Dakota nations, who identified her as a youth and guided her training, picking up where her grandmothers began when they ‘opened her hands’ and sang with her as a child.

See Video of Joan Henry singing at the Blue Deer Center!!

Visit Joan's Website

Linda Felch is a Marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition and a Plant Spirit Medicine healer. As our Healing Camp coordinator she makes sure that everything runs smoothly in preparing for camp and while we are at Blue Deer.

Justin Starting is a Marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition. For many years he has taught the art of building relationships with the natural world through the practical skills of our ancestors. At camp he will offer his program entitled Touch the Earth.

Dan Sprinkles is an initiated Marakame (shaman) in the ancestral tradition of the Huichol Indians of the Mexican Sierras. He is also a Granicero (Weather Shaman) and healer in the Nahua Indian tradition of the highlands of central Mexico. Through these two lineages he is able to offer deep shamanic healing for those in need. Dan has also been a life coach for many years and offers a unique program designed to enter a more appropriate relationship with the mind. It is called, “The Enemies of Learning.” Dan is a shaman-in-residence and ceremonial leader at the Blue Deer Center. As an initiated Fire Keeper for the Sacred Fire Community, he hosts community fires and men’s fires at the BDC. Dan lives adjacent to the Blue Deer Center with his wife, Annie Eagan.

Watch Video about "Replenish Your Heart"

Annie Eagan is an initiated Marakame (shaman) in the ancestral tradition of the Huichol Indians of the Mexican Sierras. She is also a Granicera (Weather Shaman) and healer in the Nahua Indian tradition of the highlands of central Mexico. She has been doing healing work with humans and animals for more than twelve years. Annie is a shaman-in-residence and ceremonial leader at the Blue Deer Center. As an initiated Fire Keeper for the Sacred Fire Community, she hosts community fires and women’s fires at the BDC. Annie lives adjacent to the Blue Deer Center with her husband, Dan Sprinkles, her animals and the sacred river that sings through the land.

Watch Video about "Replenish Your Heart"

Melissa Clare grew up in a village in the south of England. After meeting her Sufi Teacher (Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan) in 1971, she emigrated to the US to live in a Sufi Community in upstate New York, where for 17 years she immersed herself in the Teachings and practices, becoming a retreat guide, minister, and senior teacher. An initiation with Fire brought a greater focus on healing. From 1987-1994 Melissa directed the Sufi Healing Order of North America, and later became a plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner and Firekeeper under the auspices of the Sacred Fire Community.

Watch Video about "Music of Life"

Visit Melissa Clare's website

Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami, a Chishti Sufi and seventeenth generation musician, is one of the foremost musicians and music instructors of Pakistan. He masterfully presents a vast array of styles including classical Indian, ghazal, geet, qawwali, bhajan, Pakistani folk and Sufi music. His principal instruments are sitar, vocals, tabla, and harmonium.

Watch Video about "Music of Life"

Visit Ustad Nizami's website

OmeAkaEhekatl Erick Gonzalez, International Coordinator and member of the Great Confederation of the Councils of the Principal Mayan Ajq´ijab´ of Guatemala, was initiated into Native sacred rites over a thirty year period with direct participation, teachings, and guidance from various Native spiritual elders from Mexico, North America, Colombia, Peru, and Guatemala. He has worked with Native Elders and Youth Councils throughout the Americas supporting the work of international sharing and preservation of
sacred wisdom teachings since 1979, promoting increased cooperation and unity between diverse communities throughout the world.

OmeAkaEhekatl Erick Gonzalez was born in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was 11 years old. In 1978 he was adopted by the Mexiko Teotlkalli Kalpull Koatlkalko and the teacher Tlakaelel and given the name OmeAkaEhekatl in 1978. He was made an Aj Q’ij (Mayan Spiritual Guide and Daykeeper) in 1994 with the Great Confederation of AjQ’ijab of the Original Peoples of Guatemala and received his bundle through the teacher Apolinario Chile Pixtun. In 2005, he was adopted into the Ts’aalth Clan, the five finned killer whale people of the Eagle Clan of the Haida, and given the name Gaada, meaning supernatural light.

Erick is a member and representative of various councils of Indigenous elders, youth, and spiritual guides. He is the Founder and Spiritual Leader of Tinamit Junan Uleu – Earth Peoples United, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity church dedicated to preserving indigenous wisdom and traditional practices, and renewing our custodial relationship with the Mother Earth and all her Beings.

OmeAkaEhekatl is working to create two models of spiritual land stewardship: one in Guatemala on the shores of Lake Atitlan, and one north of Mt. Shasta in Northern California. These are being created to demonstrate how to live in harmony with and appreciate the natural and spiritual worlds, restore land and create natural food and medicine gardens, and be places for indigenous wisdom keepers to come together to share their wisdom and ceremonies.

Mark Gionfriddo began his Huichol shamanic apprenticeship training in 2003, which included more than 6 years of instruction and rigorous pilgrimages under the guidance of Tsaurririkame Don Eliot Cowan. In 2011, he completed his initiation and graduation formalities as a Marakame in the Huichol Tradition. Mark is also a Granicero, or Weather Worker, in the Nahua tradition and has been working together with Don David Wiley on the Men’s Retreat Program since its inception in 2005.

Flor is a native Venezuelan with a background in dance. She is a graduate of the 200 hour DY Life of a Yogi Teacher Training (DYRT).

"I teach as I keep learning from my beloved Guru. I regularly attend Sri Dharma’s Master Class where I continue to learn how to ~copy the teacher~ I truly believe in Compassion, Honor, Non Violence and Respect for all beings. It is a need for me to keep passing his teachings on to others as they have forever changed my life."

Liz is an experienced registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) through the Yoga Alliance. She graduated with her certification in 2008 from the Sivananda Ashram in the Catskills.

Liz believes that the body is the temple to the soul. By using the breathe as a tool to practice the pranic exchange we can heal the body, raise our vibration and expand individual consciousness in the journey towards self realization.

Robert Vetter, M.A. is a cultural anthropologist who has been conducting fieldwork in the area of spirituality and healing among Southern Plains Indian tribes since 1980. He received an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. He has been adopted into families in the Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes. His adopted grandfather was Oliver Pahdopony, the last medicine man of the Comanches. Along with his adopted uncle and medicine man Richard Tartsah Senior, Robert Vetter authored the book Big Bow: The Spiritual Life and Teachings of a Kiowa Family.

Robert is a teacher, lecturer and workshop leader on a number of topics related to Native Americans and cross-cultural spiritual teachings. His organization “Journeys Into American Indian Territory” has been featured in television spots on NBC Television’s “Today Show,” “ Lonely Planet Treks” (Travel Channel), Arthur Frommer’s Almanac of Travel, and CNBC’s “Travel America.” It has been featured in print in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Newsday, National Geographic Traveler, McCall’s and dozens of others.

For more information, visit Robert's website: http://indianjourneys.squarespace.com

Andrei Ram-Om maintains the tradition of living the life of a Yogi, while living in the ordinary world. He has been ordained by Sri Dharma Mittra to continue passing the living Yoga practices and to share them with others worldwide.

From an early age Andrei had strong insights, visualizations and special experiences, which make him realized of the non-physical aspects of reality and divinity.

Many years of intense self-yoga practice and devoted dedication to serve his guru as full time karma yogi led him to became the senior teacher at Dharma Yoga Center for many years.

Following the unifying dharma to promote coalition of all yoga styles, back to its universal nature: Union, Oness, Yoga; he has had the chance to collaborate with other traditional lineages, through organizations such as: “The Art Of Living Foundation” of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, “The Self-Realization Fellowship” of Paramahansa Yogananda, and some others.

With unwavering loyalty to the traditional yogi lineage, Andrei translates the ancient wisdom of the Yoga Science to the most contemporary way of living; offering effective tools from the mat practice to be useful in the “every day” living challenge. Andrei Ram travels the world leading yoga workshops, retreats and “Self Realization Immersion Courses”.

Ram stands up daily to become an embodiment of dharma (righteous duty, that which upholds and supports) for the sake of Ultimate Liberation for all living beings in Divine-Union.

For more information about Andrei Ram go to
www.innerparadise.org

Ecological Horticulturist, Phytotechnology/Wetland/Stormwater Consultant and Field Manager, Science Translator, and Plant Spirit Medicine Healer

Renee is a scientific and spiritual ally with plants, especially sometimes those plants that have been labeled as ‘weeds’ or ‘invasive’ by modern culture.

She has a Bachelors degree in biology/geology and a Masters degree in plant science, and has spent most of her life learning about the ecological science of plants. She managed the wastewater treatment wetlands at the Oregon (Botanical) Garden for 12 years, and directed an organization called SPROut (Sustainable Plant Research and Outreach Center) dedicated to the promotion of phytotechnology- the strategic use of plants in managed landscapes to provide ecosystem services such as clean water and stormwater quantity and flow. Using her strengths in writing and education, she has published articles in journals, given numerous professional presentations, and produced regional and international conferences. While teaching for Chemeketa Community College, she wrote the curriculum and instituted the country’s first Associates degree program in phytotechnology.

But after watching both the benefits and limitations of the scientific toolbox, she committed to a training path in Plant Spirit Medicine with Eliot Cowan and Alison Gayek. Now, as both a Plant Spirit Medicine healer and a Vice-President for the International Phytotechnology Society, she works to combine functional effectiveness with an inherent delight of interaction, by supporting and inspiring people’s relationships with themselves and also with their surrounding landscapes- be those wild, rural, urban, city-scale or backyard.

You can find her now at www.plantallies.com

Sherry has taught Exploring the Core Basis of Prayer, a 2.5-day workshop, in 5 countries since 2001. In this program participants deepen their experience of connection with aspects of the world, the starting place for prayer. Sherry was the founding President of Sacred Fire Foundation, a charitable organization supporting initiatives that preserve and promote Ancient Wisdom traditions. She continues as an active volunteer with the Foundation and is currently their Assistant Director of Development. Sherry has maintained protocols as an initiated Weather Worker in the Nahua tradition of Mexico since 1998, and currently greets the weather in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada.

Colette Ruoff is an organizational consultant, executive coach and Plant Spirit Medicine healer. Colette has more than 10 years of experience working in corporations as a Banker and Investment Manager. She earned an MBA at NYU in Economics and is a certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, and Certified Coach.

For the last 15 years she has worked as an Organizational Consultant and Coach for McKinsey & Co., WPP, J&J and Ernst & Young. In recent years she has started to work with non-profit organizations and triple bottom line companies including BALLE, New Island Capital, and the Sacred Fire Foundation.

Colette is actively involved in her community as a Plant Spirit Medicine healer and is the founder and Director of SageArts, a non profit organization whose mission is to create and deliver intergenerational arts projects that encourage social inclusion and dignity for elders and people in hospice care.

Born and raised in NY, Colette now lives in the Hudson River Valley of NY among the ancient Catskill Mountains and Shawangunk Ridge.

Thomas Jaggers is an organizational consultant, facilitator, and community organizer and activist. Thomas has more than 10 years experience working within and consulting to the non-profit sector. He has been a Director of the Academy for the Love of Learning, a Santa Fe-based educational non-profit, is the co-founder of the grassroots anti-nuclear organization, Nuke Free Now, and is the Community Relations Director of the Mogadao Institute. He is also a Qigong instructor, and Board member for the Mogadao Institute, and is a Board member for Arts of Nature, a Santa Fe nature-based educational organization. Most recently, Thomas has been bringing his focus to community organizing around Rights of Nature in northern New Mexico.

In all of his community organizing he brings a particular interest to the creation and facilitation of forums in which the local community can more fully participate in the democratic process. And in all of his work he creates spaces in which all voices can be heard and in which people can safely speak and act from their hearts.

Born and raised in England, Thomas has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 2004. He has lived in a consensus-based co-housing community, with his two children, for more than 10 years, and previously lived in two spiritual communities in Europe.

Jeannie is the director of Living as Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeding a culture of the Heart on the planet, inspiring, teaching and supporting people to live from their essence as Love. A year before the birth of her daughter, Jeannie was plunged into a dark night of the soul that culminated in a radical shift of consciousness. She is known for her fearless clarity, tender mercy towards humanness, and a juicy, poetic and often humorous style that draws from Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Christian mysticism and the ongoing revelation of fully engaged living. Residing in Colorado, she travels widely in the U.S. and Canada, bringing a down-to-earth embodied teaching of living as love.

Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower, R.N., is founder of Weeds, Leaves, Seeds & Shoots, an Herbal and Wild Foods Consulting business; she is also author of "Healing the Injured Brain: Overcoming the Fog, the Fatigue and the Forgetfulness” and Plant Life, a 3 in one self-help, plant I.D. recipe book, soon to be published. In her consulting, she combines natural wellness in traditional and eclectic herbalism with evidence-based, health-oriented community outreach programs.

Charlene O'Rourke, Taoyewakanwi-Her Ways Are Sacred, is an Oglala Lakota woman who follows the spiritual and cultural beliefs of her ancestors. She has served as a ceremonial musician and singer for different types of events and ceremonies over a span of 40 years. Charlene is also a professional composer and performer. She is currently working with NASA on a project studying the Indigenous Lakota Star Constellation. A motivational speaker and an International Certified Addictions Counselor and Community Specialist and Consultant, she serves Native communities and works in federal and state prisons.

Click here for more information.

Kahontakwas, Diane Longboat is from the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, a traditional teacher from Six Nations Grand River Territory, Canada. As a ceremonial leader, educator, teacher of Indigenous spiritual ways and healer, Diane is a spiritual activist. Diane is leader of Soul of the Mother, a dedicated team of spiritual leaders and healers who travel among First Nations and globally to carry the Sacred Fire for transformational healing of self, community and the Earth, seeking unity of the human family and building peace.

Click here for more information.

Dr. Gary Reiss holds an LCSW, PhD., and is a certified trainer in Process-oriented Psychology. Gary has a private practice in Eugene and Portland, Oregon, and teaches Process oriented Psychology worldwide, now actively teaching in 17 countries. He is a senior faculty member at the Process Work Institute, and brings 40 plus years’ experience to his work. His specialties include family therapy, sex therapy, working with coma patients, Worldwork in hot spots in the world, organizational development, and integrating Process work with different spiritual traditions. He has published 10 books including The Dance of Sex; Dreaming Money: and Families that Dream Together. His latest book is Love, Power, and Wisdom.

Will Patterson, of TeaThyme Herb & Fruit Farm, has been raising honey bees for over 20 years. His grandfather sparked his interest in bees when he was a young boy in Pennsylvania. Now his many hives are vital to pollinate numerous fruit trees on the farm. His gathered honey and pollen go into the TeaThyme's specialty mustard. Sharing his knowledge with clients when installing bee hives has become a large part of his business. You can find Will, his honey & fruit products at the Round Barn on Route 30 in Margaretville from May through October.

Scott Sheerin is a Marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition. He practices shamanic healing in Asheville, NC. He is also a gifted musician offering healing and ritual music. His recordings are in use around the world helping to spread the energy of heart and fire wherever they are heard.

Justin Starting is a Marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition. For many years he has taught the art of building relationships with the natural world through the practical skills of our ancestors. At camp he will offer his program entitled Touch the Earth.

Linda Felch is a Marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition and a Plant Spirit Medicine healer. As our Healing Camp coordinator she makes sure that everything runs smoothly in preparing for camp and while we are at Blue Deer.

Diane Longboat is from the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, from Six Nations Grand River Territory, Canada. Diane is the leader of Soul of the Mother, a dedicated team of spiritual leaders and healers seeking unity of the human family and building peace. They travel amongst First Nations and globally, to carry the Sacred Fire for the transformational healing of self, community and the Earth.

Colin Campbell and Niall Campbell are traditional doctors and Sangomas from Botswana, South Africa. Initially trained as traditional doctors, Niall and Colin are skilled herbalists, diviners, and general medical practitioners. In their Sangoma training, they also work as spirit mediums, allowing the spirits to work through them for the help and healing of others. Both highly gifted in their healing practices, they also train traditional doctors and Sangomas in their school in Botswana. They each maintain a thriving private practice in Capetown, South Africa.

Listen to Sangomas, Divination, and the Ancestors
from an interview with Colin Campbell 'The Call of the Magician'.

"We absolutely loved facilitating our program at Blue Deer Center. The facilities with their blend of modern comfortable accommodation and close proximity to natural environment were perfectly suited to our semi-wilderness based training program style. The food and nurturing from the staff and assistants was both delicious and impeccable. This is unquestionably one of the best facilities we have ever had host one of our training programs. We loved it and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful and magnificently run venue for spiritual or lineage-based training programs and workshops."

Jon Delson comes from a family of teachers, counselors, nurses and firemen and has been taught the ways and forms of the Fire and its power in our lives by his elders since boyhood. Few know that he is also a talented musician.

Deanna Jenné is an initiated marakame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition and weather worker in the Nahua tradition, both rooted in Mexico. Deanna co-facilitates the Sacred Fire Community's Lifeways Program for Women and the Initiation Into Womanhood Program. As initiated Fire Keepers, she and her husband, Gary, are growing and maintaining a Fire Community in Grand Junction, Colorado. Deanna is available for healing sessions and consultation. Please contact her at 970-241-7256.

Murshida Rev. Tasnim Hermila Fernandez has 40-years of experience walking the Sufi path as adisciple and as a Guide for others. She presents in many countries and has students in Australia, Canada, the U.S., Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia.Tasnim gives personal guidance to her Sufi students, trains and certifies Dance Leaders, trains and ordains Universal Worship ministers. She travels nationally and internationally, presenting seminars, workshops, and retreats and is a frequent presenter at interfaith conferences and festivals.

Prema Sheerin is an initiated Marakame or shaman in the indigenous Huichol tradition of Mexico. She offers workshops on emotional wisdom and transition internationally and has a shamanic healing and life coaching practice. Prema heads the Death and Dying council for the Sacred Fire Community. For more information about Prema’s work go to premasheerin.com