Where light and dark are friends not enemies, this is our meeting place.
Together, let us follow the Heroine’s Journey to transformation –
As we explore – and celebrate – the season of Solstice.
Mother Nature is the most nurturing and transformative of spiritual companions. In this SDI webinar series, we will journey with Her.
On our digital pilgrimage, we seek to –
- Restore our relationship with the natural world around us
- Honor wild processes, rhythms and wholeness
- Embrace an ecology of spirit that teaches the wild truth of connection – that as we forgive, the Universe becomes more forgiving, that as we choose love, the Universe becomes more loving, that as we participate in any level of healing, the entire Universe heals.
Winter is our season. The sky, the earth, the water, the wind and all still, wild and growing beings — these are our teachers.
We will tweak Joseph Campbell’s paradigm of the Hero’s Journey so that it honors the wild femininity in every human being. Each session will connect us with one major step in the journey – The Call, The Departure, The Descent and The Return.
We will experience how the Wild is accompanying us through our soul-formation journey, and how we, too, may accompany the Wild.
This will be experiential learning, designed for all those who offer spiritual care, especially spiritual companions.
Please join us.
Mary DeJong is a spiritual companion, retreat leader and urban naturalist who specializes in re-wilding. Steeped in Celtic Christian traditions, Mary focuses on place-based retreats and pilgrimages and nature-based, mystical spiritual practice. Her deep and broad training in theology, psychology, myth and ecology is leavened by a joyful and welcoming presence. She has the patience of a mother (of 4) and the effervescent, contagious energy of someone who is curious and compassionate in equal measure.
This webinar series will offer practical wisdom designed to support those who offer spiritual care. Our webinar leader, Mary DeJong, will create videos of practices that can be followed outside – in both rural and urban settings. We will share these videos in each session. Spiritual companionship strategies designed particularly for this season of increased darkness will also be shared. We will explore winter not as a time of scarcity, but as a season of contemplative plenty – ripe for finding authentic connection with God, or however one refers to the ground of all being. This webinar series is not about information dissemination. It is about direct experience. Participants will be invited to open their hearts and engage stillness as they embrace community with all beings. Participants will be encouraged to trace for themselves the arc of the heroine’s journey. The goal? To embrace and embody the transcendent power of connection that Nature offers us every day of our lives.
All sessions are 75 minutes in length.
Please remember, you can enjoy the webinar any time you like. Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.
Solstice is the “thinnest” time of the year and yet, in many ways, the most pregnant with change.
In this liminal space, may we open the gate to Mystery.
In this darkest time, may we be open to deepest revelation.
Session 1 – The Call – The Sacred Wild as Guardian: We are being called to discover the enchantment of the natural world and experience our full membership within it. How do we cross the threshold into this way of interrelationship? Led by Mary DeJong.
Session 2 – The Departure – The Sacred Wild as Guide: From what worldviews and practices, must we depart to ensure a whole-ing, healing, and a flourishing future for all? We will explore animate frameworks with the Sacred Wild as our Guide. Led by Mary DeJong and Victoria Loorz.
Session 3 – The Descent – The Sacred Wild as the Exiled One: This journey requires separating from old frameworks to recover ways of belonging deeply to ourselves, the Sacred, and the more-than-human world. To re-member ourselves we must recover those aspects of ourselves and our understanding of the Divine that have been exiled and cast away. Led by Mary DeJong and Frederica Helmiere.
Session 4 – The Return – The Sacred Wild as Belonging: We have returned from this journey, more deeply belonged to our emplaced bioregions. What is the wisdom we know embody and how does that posture us as a blessing on this planet?Â Led by Mary DeJong.
Learn earth-based ways to transcend ego.
Share them with those you companion.
Mary DeJong is an eco-theologian, urban naturalist, and practitioner and guide of place-based pilgrimage. She specializes in the spiritual companionship of “rewilding.” Mary facilitates retreats and pilgrimages in the Pacific Northwest and in Iona, Scotland that strengthen the unique and mystical interconnection of participants, the sacred, and the natural world. She has studied and practiced within the Celtic Christian spiritual tradition, her own maternal line heritage, for over twenty years, and is influenced by the lives of Celtic saints, Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and the emerging field of eco-psychology. Mary uses multiple disciplines to delve into why place matters, the sacramentality of creation, and how together this informs the development of our ecological self. Mary terms this work “sacred eco-awakening” and sees this as a critical and holy endeavor as it allows us to come to grievous terms of our human history and to posture ourselves once again side-by-side with the whole of creation. She lives in Seattle, Washington’s Rainier Valley in Columbia City, at Hedgewood, a home that for over a decade has hosted community connection through the reclamation and restoration of a neighborhood forest.
Victoria Loorz, MDiv, is a spiritual director, certified by Stillpoint in Pasadena CA, and a pastor in a series of independent churches. She has led spiritual formation retreats, interactive labyrinths, contemplative workshops and courses for over 25 years. Her focus has been searching for ways to invite people deeper into their true identities and there discover a more intimate experience of God. That path became clear when she began wilderness soulwork through Animas Valley Institute, which awakened the audacious call to ReWild the church. She launched Ojai Church of the Wild in 2015 to introduce her congregants to spiritual practices that re-connect them to the sacred embedded in all things. Shortly afterwards, co-launched and convenes the Wild Church Network. Victoria raised two brilliant, compassionate young adults who are determined to change the world.
Frederica Helmiere is an international scholar, teacher and complexity enthusiast. Inspired by the subversive-mystical Christian tradition and a penchant for mountains, she has spent two decades exploring entanglements at the intersections of spirituality, social justice, and ecology. Prior to joining SDI as Director of Programs & Events, Frederica served as a global interfaith peacebuilder with the United Religions Initiative and as a professor at the University of Washington and Seattle University, teaching undergrad and graduate courses on religion, power and privilege, and global concerns of social and environmental justice. Frederica holds two masters degrees from Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a BA from Dartmouth College in Religion & Environmental studies. She lives and plays in Seattle with her partner and two young children.
We welcome all people of all abilities and all traditions on this journey.
Do you hear the call?
Come join our circle.
Each session will run 75 minutes.
Who may join the webinar?
Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars.
Are CEUs available?
SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here: continuing education units (CEUs).