Dear Friends and Family,
Whew!! I’m back in the USA after more than seven intense and wonderful months of international travel and teaching. I’m catching my breath and looking forward to working with you here in this beautiful part of the world. My friends and I here at Earth and Sky Temple in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana invite you to come for retreat and visioning time. I also have several conferences scheduled, including the IIIHS in Montreal and Goddess gathering in California:
I’m working on a mentoring program to share with you, and I’m always available for private consultations and counsel. (See our section on Private Work with Brooke.) For those interested in setting up workshops, my teachings are now exploring the deepening wisdom I find in White Buffalo Woman’s holy ways and the powerful magic of the Dawn Star’s focus on love and the Path with Heart.
I wasn’t sure how it would be to drag a suitcase around the world for 7 months, so I “cast myself on the love of the world” and found people everywhere to be helpful and kind. It felt wonderful to be so generously welcomed and kindly treated. I like the feeling of being an international citizen!
And it’s given me an interesting perspective on some of the ways we in America lacking in conscious awareness of caring for the Earth and future generations. For example, it was a shock in my little home town of Missoula, MT to find that clotheslines are banned - the very thing that is so joyful and energy-wise in every place in Europe. I’m observing many things like that, and feeling sad about them, for sure. I learned a lot about simply living well and will add those understandings to what I offer to you.
Living in my gypsy wagon next to a little stream in an aspen grove is very sweet. Yesterday I watched 5 beautiful buck deer playing in the field next to me, and the mountains nearby are always inspirational. We do ceremony in the 60 feet pyramid temple here. Hiking up Kootenai Creek is a favorite way to exercise and take time out. I hope you can join me here for a deeper connection to yourself, Mother Earth and Father Spirit.
My first three months of travel were spent with my sister in Ecuador. What a wonderful country to explore with my friend Elaine who helped me move from FlowerSong and journeyed with me. Cuenca is a wonderful colonial city, with rich native culture very evident. Life is very family-focused, and people consciously spend time with their families and being restful during siesta time mid-day. I traveled south to semi-tropical Vilcabamba and north past Quito to Otavalo and Cotacachi, a little town where I felt very much at home. I plan to go back next winter and expect to find a sense of home there again, then to get permanent residency when I am ready to settle down enough. Right now I’m in travel mode again.
Spring found me in continental Europe for the first time in my life. I traveled and taught in Italy, Malta, Spain, France, and Germany. From Venice to Heidelberg, it was fascinating and enlightening to see the sites, enjoy the countryside, visit sacred areas, and simply live in a continental way. I was impressed with the solar panels on almost every roof in Germany, the simple villages and farms of most every country, the waving lines of clothes drying outside that save so much on electricity, and of course it was exciting to walk the Champs Elysee near my Paris friend’s apartment and stroll along the Seine.
Flying from Dallas, I met my old friend Manuela in Milan and took the train to Venice for a few days of living in the little maze of streets and eating fresh food from the little stands. The art was stunning, and so richly abundant that I couldn’t keep track of it all. Windy, cold days started there and followed me all spring. I have put albums up on FaceBook of many parts of my journey, and you’ll see me in the same coat, and the wind whipping my scarf in almost every one! We traveled back to Manuela’s home community - the amazing Damanhur - and the cave Temples of Man. Check out the art if you have never seen it….
After a delicious week of touring and learning to cook Italian food with new friend Manul at Tasty Tuscany, I had the joy of a few days in Florence - one of my favorite places. By the time I journeyed on to Rome and it’s busy, big city feel, I was about worn out with cathedrals; I walked all over Rome though, and visited the Vatican Museum, just missing “Papa Frances” , the pope, speaking in the plaza there.
I had expected warm days of Mediterranean spring in Malta; instead it was windy and chilly as the wonderful women there took me to ancient feminine sites and temples. I had not expected the islands to be so built up, so I enjoyed the more rural feel of the isle of Gozo. From there, I flew to northern Spain to work in La Coruna and San Sebastian - coastal cities which both had the feel of Portland and Seattle - more rain ;-) Due to a cold stone cabin and a fireplace which smoked the whole place up in the night, I ended up with laryngitis. It was a good thing I had an interpreter - I became the “people whisperer” - whispering to her, and she spoke to the classes and private clients. The continuing cold weather, and my not stopping work to fully heal, meant my voice was challenged the whole rest of the journey.
It was great to zip into Paris by fast train and meet a wonderful woman who had been my student via books and CDs for 20 years - Claire does moon lodges and serves many women there. She was so kind - realizing that I had had little time to rest, she planned a weekend in the French countryside; we laughed and talked, ate wonderful food, and walked in the rain. Then it was back to Paris for private sessions and workshops. We did get a bit of time to walk the streets of Paris and see some of the beautiful sites. I didn’t get time for the Louvre; next year for that. We then went to her home area of Brittany for a workshop and time at Carnac and other Celtic stone sites there along the Atlantic beaches. Food everywhere was a delight, and I ate bread for the first time in years, eventually gaining 20 pounds to show for it.
Then I traveled into Germany, teaching at the Medicine Wheel gathering and enjoying the countryside after all the city time I had spent for many weeks. Leaving the hilly country there near Fulda, I visited Roger, an old friend from Feldenkrais days, in the sweet little university city of Heidelberg. What a joy to use their extra bike and peddle all over, along the river that runs through town and up the hillside to the castle and parks there. In Europe, homes go up rather than spread out - apartments are more common than suburbs, and building is not allowed on the beautiful surrounding hillsides of most cities, keeping them very lovely. There is a caring kind of conservation there that I very much appreciated.
After two more workshops at centers near Hannover in the north and time in a sweet garden that was a miniature FlowerSong, I was graced with time in Bavaria with the woman who brought Medicine Wheels to Germany - an MD, naturopath, homeopath, acupuncturist, amazing healer and wonderful hostess. Barbara toured me around to castles in the Alps and across the border into Austria, as well as a day exploring the old city of Munich. I felt very much at home there; the lakes and mountains were reminiscent of Montana’s Flathead Lake country.
Whew, then I left the continent for the British Isles, teaching at a shamanic conference and special workshop in London, before hopping the coast train for Penzance, Cornwall, to see another old and dear friend from my San Francisco days. Michael and his wonderful wife Geraldine took a chance 20 years ago to get away from the craze of LA (M is an extraordinary independent film maker and master teacher). They have made a lovely and restful home, tucked into the forested cliffs of the Atlantic coast - five minutes to swim in the cove, and another five to get up on the cliffs for hikes with stunning views of the coastline and stone sites. The fog finally rolled in and made it easier to leave that beautiful, semi-tropical part of England; off again on the train to Devon and teaching there at an old student’s center, Shamanka. Her assistant Seersha then took me home to the Dover area of Kent, where we looked back across at France. We toured castles and WWII underground army installations where strategies to cross back into Europe and win the war were made.
Wow, that was a fast 14 weeks! Before I could blink, I was on an Icelandic flight across the Atlantic. We stopped in Iceland - I wish I’d have planned a couple days stay there for hot springs and wondrous sites - and dropped into Seattle in record time. On to Missoula and the welcoming arms of dear friends there. I’m now getting settled in my gypsy wagon here where we do ceremony in the 60 foot temple dedicated to Buffalo Woman and Isis. Never a dull moment…. I’m staying here through the generosity of Heyoka Merrifield, a most amazing shamanic artist. You will love to look at his work, and maybe have the joy of owning one of his spectacular pieces - tell him I sent you! www.heyoka-art.com
Once I left Ecuador, I was working very hard and steadily. It was great to again attend a Medicine Wheel gathering - in Germany, since they are no longer held in America. Sun Bear’s teachings are alive and well there. AND next year, I am planning 3 spring months on the continent, as well as 3 more in the British Isles. My Irish and Scots ancestry is calling, and I’ve been invited to teach there (as well as possibly Finland and Holland….)
So thanks for staying in touch. I hope to see more of you here in the states as the summer progresses. Now that I’m in my US home, I am working on my website - a never-ending task, and outlining teachings to record for download.
Love and bright blessings, Brooke