“Abba, Father, we thank you for your presence among us.
Gaia, Mother Earth, we thank you for sustaining us as we go out to do the work our faith calls us to do.
We celebrate all the family of creation, heaven and earth, as one seamless garment, of which we, too, are an integral part.
We celebrate the soils, which nurture the food for our bodies. We celebrate the seas, the air, the forests and mountains, which nurture our souls.
As a part of all creation, we too have a nurturing role to play.
We have been blessed with the ability to choose our role.
Now in community, we dedicate ourselves to choosing wisely.
Together with the Holy Spirit, we will choose life, that we and our children might live.
May the Holy Spirit guide us as we seek to heal and to nurture the earth and all of its creatures, to live in the midst of creation, and to love one another as brothers and sisters with all life.
And may we travel from this moment forward in awareness of our bonds to one another and to the Earth, and in commitment to our communities, wherever they might be.”
“Litany for Healing the Earth”
-U.N. Environmental Sabbath
Deep Autumnal Greetings to you…
What does it mean to include ourselves in the great “seamless garment” of our world? How does it change us to know that each and every choice that we make (or don’t make) will have an effect on that connected web? For myself, there is both responsibility and relief in that knowledge. Responsibility in the form of a necessary inquiry into my actions and non-actions, and relief in the knowledge that I am not acting alone but in concert with billions of other beings.
I yearn to see a world where we humbly honor that connectivity, respond with self awareness and do the hard slow work of collective problem solving and invention…all the while celebrating diversity and numerous different choices within the greater whole. Is this possible? I don’t know…
I DO know that I have seen people change, detoxify, get inspired, take self responsibility and move into empowerment. I have seen people grow older and kinder and wiser. I have seen young people joyfully live lives that their ancestors could only dream of…I have seen evidence of hope. And I believe in the possibility of a human family that cares deeply for all of it’s members as well as the natural resources that it depends upon.
And I will continue in my own small way to engender the healing and truth telling that that is so desperately needed to pierce through the illusion of separateness. I will sing a new song and I will listen deeply. I will be bold and I will dream.
This month I will be visioning with the OTM team, co-teaching our annual Advanced Leadership Intensive in Ojai, teaching in two Yogaworks Teacher Training’s, recording more music for Seane Corn’s Sounds True DVD releases, and celebrating with my Bay Area community over Thanksgiving week. Early next month, I will be offering the last open workshop of the year at Esalen…a weekend of yoga, singing, movement, ritual and prayer called Rise UP! and I invite you to join me there!
ALSO- signups are on for eight-month long Priestess Apprenticeship in Sacred Leadership in the Bay Area ( with Ravyn Stanfield). This training will offer tools for creative, relational and intuitive leadership and guide you in becoming a facilitator of rituals that matter for our times. Please join us! See below for all the details.
Finally – It is NOT too late to sign up for Seva Challenge Amazon – we are working with Amazon Watch, Timmy Foundation, Clearwater Project and the Cofan Survival Fund to protect the extremely threatened Rainforest of Ecuador which is being sold for oil exploitation right now. When these forests are cut down, we literally lose the lungs of the earth (one in every five breaths we breathe is given to us by the Rainforest). Hundreds of indigenous people have not only lost their livelihood but have become increasingly ill with rare forms of cancer due to illegal oil practices in the area. Our mission is to spread awareness AND to raise funds for building health care, water treatment and sustainable agriculture in the area. Come stand with us as we stand with the majestic trees and rivers of the Amazon!
Love and blessings,
Suzanne Sterling, acclaimed musician, transformational workshop leader, and co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World, is very excited to return for a weekend of teaching at the beautiful Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Esalen is a stunning retreat center, the perfect place for a deep dive with Suzanne.
Rise Up with Suzanne Sterling
Friday ~ Sunday: Dec 6-8
Join Suzanne Sterling for this ecstatic mind/body immersion into the heart of soulful self-expression. This practice will combine yoga asanas with sound, ecstatic movement, pranayama, and guided meditation, leading you to access your own true voice and embodied creativity to sing yourself awake! Through vinyasa flow yoga, conscious movement, chanting, and singing, we will break free from the stifling grip of the inner critic and focus on freeing the natural voice, allowing our creativity to expand, and tapping into our sacred self as well as our connection with the Divine.
Join us for a juicy fusion of chanting, meditation, trance dance, ritual, and prayer. Please bring a yoga mat.
for all the details and to register visit the Esalen site.
Suzanne Sterling and Ravyn Stanfield come together to create a powerful year-long Priestess Training in the Bay Area.
The modern world is fast paced, ever changing and technologically advanced. However, a new kind of creative, relational and intuitive leadership is in demand and a widespread hunger for experiences of the sacred in daily life becomes more and more clear. Few opportunities exist for individuals to receive personalized spiritual mentorship or any opportunity to develop their innate magical gifts.
Each of us has super powers – abilities that come naturally to us, but in leadership roles, we are often relied upon to have skills above and beyond our own specialties. What is your passion, your service, your offering? Where are your strengths? What are the edges you are pushing, the gifts you want to pursue? How can you hold authority confidently?
Are you longing to change the world, the culture, or simply your workplace? Have you wondered how you could integrate the tools of ritual and other sacred arts into your every day? Are you being asked to step into more responsibility or visibility in some area of your life?
We will explore tangible skills in multiple ritual modalities that will provide a foundation for your own priestessing and establish practices to deepen your connection to the sacred. This apprenticeship is open to adults of all genders and spiritual backgrounds.
Skills cultivated will include:
* Developing a grounding and centering personal practice
* Creating sacred containers for transformative work
* Discovering your unique abilities, super powers, self awareness
* Effective communication skills
* Chanting, singing, drumming, yoga & meditation
* Nourishing the body/mind/spirit
* Growing confidence and charisma
* Transforming stagnant patterns
* Learning tools for conflict resolution, mediation in groups
* Working with the five elements: air, fire, water, earth and spirit
* Working with ancestors of spiritual craft
* Raising, changing and containing energy
* Working with myth, archetype and storytelling
* Creating ritual for various situations
* Leading trance, guided meditation and other ritual technologies
* Shadow stalking, projection, and boundaries
* Collaboration and shared power
* Peer support and consensus process
* Learning to find inspiration, trust yourself, ask for help
* Developing personal vision for leadership
From leading ritual to staying grounded in conflict, from ecstatic breathwork to giving constructive feedback, we will build the foundation to expand fully as a leader. We will work together as collaborators and allies to support each other’s leadership paths.
This is a year long training and designed for participants who make the commitment to the entire program. We will meet once a month to do intensive work in person. Between classes, you will be given the opportunity to deepen the work, and keep the energy palatable through an on line group and partner check ins. We ask that participants attend all sessions.
If you do not have formal training in magic and ritual, we require participants to attend a preparation weekend at the beginning of the year-long training. This will offer a deeply important foundation for the apprenticeship.
Feb 8-9 Preparation weekend
Mar 8-9 (2 day weekend)
Apr 4-6 (3 day weekend)
May 2-4 (3 day weekend)
June 6-8 (3 day weekend)
Sept 26-28 (3 day weekend)
Oct 17-19 (3 day weekend)
Nov 22-23 (2 day weekend)
Classes will be 10am to 5p on either Sat and Sun OR Fri, Sat and Sunday of every weekend. Please note that many of the weekends are three days.
Location: TBA, We are investigating venues in San Francisco and Oakland considering available dates and accessibility through public transportation.
Tuition: $2100-4000 sliding scale for the entire apprenticeship. $1900 if full tuition is paid in advance. Scholarship options and individual payment plans available. Please contact April to discuss these options. We are very committed to making this work financially accessible to committed priestesses who want to participate.
Enrollment: Space in this program is limited. To reserve your spot, please send a (nonrefundable) deposit for $200 to the address below. Please also send a letter of intent (1-3 pages) to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please write Priestess Apprenticeship in the subject line. The letter should include the following:
*Your intention for enrolling in the program
*Your current spiritual practice
Please send your deposits to:
567 Oakland Ave #213
Oakland, CA 94611
Contact: April C. Taylor