I am a feminist artist, writer, scholar, and wisdom teacher. My work is eclectic and complex—a mix of profound knowledge and practices, beginning with feminism as a path to enlightenment, and then building on that foundation through Buddhism, tantra, shamanism, bodywork, and other forms of spiritual understanding and natural medicine. Informed by four decades of scholarly investigation and grounded in daily practice, my teaching is original and experiential. The female lineage from which I draw is a holistic underground stream that runs from the most ancient times when women were the unquestioned spiritual leaders and teachers at the center of our human communities, and the “language of the Goddess” was a shared one. My research focus is on tracing this lineage back through time and across continents to its origins in deep antiquity, and to revision the role of women as central to shamanism and tantric practice in all of AfroEurAsia for at least ten millennia.
My work does not fit into any orthodox tradition and cannot be described from within any one understanding of contemporary women’s spiritual evolution. However, I appreciate the language of Tibetan Buddhism because it recognizes that the Dakinis (“women who fly”) transmit teachings directly to reincarnated teachers without need of institutions. I like the language of Dzogchen because it recognizes the path of sudden awakening (the “path of no path”) yet embraces the profound teachings and transformative practices of tantric yoga (the yoga of channels and energies). I use the language of cross-cultural shamanism because it accesses the invisible dimension of magic and healing power, remaining undomesticated and embedded in Nature. I love yoga—not for its bodybuilding capacities but for the medicine it truly is; I practiced and taught “lunar yoga” (women’s yoga) for thirty-five years, from the time of my first kundalini awakenings in the late 1970s. [Photo by Irene Young]
For two decades I have been offering opportunities for women to come for private intensives held at my home in Santa Cruz, California. Usually 3-days (but sometimes four or five if she comes from a great distance) these concentrated study & practice events are customized for each client. Clients stay in the local area (a resort on the Monterey Bay) and are responsible for their own transportation, food, and lodging.
One woman might want to systematically learn the Motherpeace Tarot systems I have developed over 40 years; at the end of her 3-day intensive, which includes doing readings for people she doesn't know, she receives from me a certificate of authorization as a professional Motherpeace card reader in her community.
A second woman might wish to study human evolution, ancient prehistoric Goddess cultures, and living matriarchal culturess today. We create a graduate-level curriculum together, responding to her particular needs and desires.
A third woman might come for a focused intensive on Tibetan Budhist Dakini teachings and practices, which I have adapted especially for women who are not monastic (often not even Buddhist) but who need a grounded method of female-based spiritual practice.
This beautiful mother & daughter came from Toronto for a 3-day intensive to learn the Motherpeace Cards.
Dakini Days are one-day tutorials designed for women in the greater Bay Area or southern California--those who are able to come for one day of teaching and practice. In a lively creative format, the client receives a teaching and transmission of practice from me, followed by a long afternoon of visualization practice in the form of creating a complex collage process based on the Five Dakini Families. (This process is included in a 3-day tutorial on Dakinis.) If you look carefully, you will see that each collage--no matter how different--is structured as a mandala of the four elements (primary directions) and the center.
Since the 1980s, I have traveled and taught internationally (including in Canada, Europe, Australia, Mexico, and South America). For the last ten years, my work has been mainly focused in Italy where I have introduced the Dakini Mandala practices to hundreds of dedicated Italian women who are also learning astrology and the Motherpeace Cards. My books are published in Italian (also German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish); recently I taught in Paris and Ireland, and I have appeared several times over the years at the Glastonbury Goddess Festival in England.
Motherpeace workshop in Paris
Goddess workshop in Argentina
Procession to the Glastonbury Tor at Goddess Festival
With my translator, Valeria, at an Italian Dakini workshop.