Sacred Listening Sessions
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affection, and the truth of the imagination."
- John Keats -
Non-traditional pastoral care for Magical misfits
Although I primarily consider myself a völva - which is a technical role more than it is a clergy role - I am a registered minister with Spiritual Humanists and consider myself a non-traditional gythja (priestess) to anyone in my community who requires that role.
As part of my non-traditional pastoral care commitment, I offer hour-long Sacred Listening sessions for anyone who could use the support of a safe, non-judgmental spiritual space.
The only expectation I have is that you show up fully - for yourself, not me.
For your own healing, your own respite, your own peace, for your own grief & mourning.
This is a body of wisdom that I initially learned several years ago by studying the work of Kay Lindahl, but have layered in other experiences I've acquired over the years. It mainly requires me to be silent - but that in and of itself is an art, and one I learned while enduring three of the hardest situations life has ever handed me.
I spent 18 years living in an extremely abusive home that violated and dehumanized me in profound, unspeakable ways as a child, and as a young adult, I found myself homeless and alone in a major city where I didn't really know anyone, and not two years later, my mother committed suicide. The pain of that loneliness and dark quiet is still something I carry in my heart and will never forget - it helps me remain humble and anchored in service in all that I do, no matter where the Universe guides or takes me.
I think it's important to provide people - especially Black and Brown people - have safe, non-judgmental places in which to be heard for things that are unspeakable.
Sometimes there is mourning we need to do that, if we do it alone, it makes the pain worse. Life has gifted me with the ability to be with people in those very dark places and now that I have the capacity to hold that, I am following through on promises I've made to myself, to the Ancestors, and my spirits.
When I overdosed as a young preteen - having discovered I was pregnant after being raped - I told the Universe I didn't want to live unless there was a use for the suffering I'd been asked to endure. Clearly I didn't kick the can - and now with my lived understanding of what suffering and grief can do to one's heart, soul, and body, I am here to serve.
There is a certain type of loneliness that comes with wounding and suffering that can't always be held by friends, family, or even a therapist (although therapy is A++, and this is not a replacement for that), and my intention is to provide an alternative container for these emotions.
Sometimes you just need someone who is willing and able to Love (with the capital L) you in the moment, just because you're here, and you're a human being.
I am honored to listen and hold our conversation in what Love I have to share.
While Sacred Listening Sessions are free for everyone, I ask that anyone who can make a donation to one or more of the following organizations that support Black girls, women, and femmes in various ways:
ORGANIZATIONS - #SupportBlackWomenHOU, Safety Pin Box - Black Women Being Fund, A Mother's Sanctuary, Toi Smith's Patreon, Black Girls Code, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Code 2040, Kinfolk Kollective, Black Women's Blueprint, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Audre Lorde Project, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
If you are able to make a donation, please email a copy of your receipt to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can keep track of how much money has been raised for these organizations & causes.
How this process works
- If you can, you make a donation to one of the organizations above and forward me a copy of your receipt so I can keep track of how much money has been donated.
- You fill out the form below with all the relevant details - so I know who you are, and what we're going to be talking about.
- You click through to my calendar link and select a time/date that work for you (you should see it after you submit your form - if you've misplaced it, go here.)
- We meet via UberConference (or Zoom/Skype) for an hour. I will introduce myself, share a mindfulness-oriented prompt if you've opted for that, or start with a question based on what you've shared, and I will follow your lead from there.
- At the end of the call, I may ask you for feedback or a brief blurb to help me improve my skills and to affirm for others the nature of this experience, how it was helpful, and why they may wish to have one themselves. This is optional.
Other Important FAQs
- As a member of clergy - albeit Pagan clergy - everything that is said during a session is strictly confidential in accordance with my privileges under the law.
- However, in the state of Illinois, clergy are mandated reporters so if you tell me you're abusing or harming children, elderly, or other vulnerable persons, I am required to disclose that to the proper government agencies, even though I am anti-police and pro-prison abolition.
- Calls are never recorded or otherwise recorded for any reason, unless you request it.
- I am not a licensed therapist or other medical professional in any way, shape, or form. I cannot diagnose you and I am simply here to listen - like a close friend, trusted family member, or similar support. I will refrain from advice and instead engage in active listening skills, witnessing and reflecting to facilitate clarity, processing/release, and peace.
- I do, however, have 5+ years of experience as a professional spiritual practitioner and am constantly working on improving my skills. This includes skills at pastoral counseling, mental health first aid, and various other modality-driven skills.
- I have completed, or am currently a student of, the following programs and training: 7 Cups of Tea, Healthy Boundaries for Kind People (inc. Business; Facilitator Training in progress), 4 Skills (in progress).
- I am a bisexual, cisgender, partially disabled Black woman. I disclose this information so that you may make a determination as to whether or not you feel comfortable with my intersection of identities to receive active listening support from me.
If you are feeling suicidal or otherwise struggling with profound mental health needs, please call your local emergency line or crisis support.