THE CHURCH

PUBLICATIONS
Seventh Direction Publishing
Spirit Knife, Soul Bone


SHAMANIC ART
Rattles
Beadwork
Tools
Workshops


EXPANDING THE WORK OF THE CHURCH
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Wishlist


Can't really take this biography stuff seriously, so bear with me.

First awareness of Spirit in Nature: age 2. As she grew, began to be more aware of her spiritual life and by age fourteen was actively exploring many types of spirituality, religion and metaphysics. She began teaching herself astrology as she approached her fifteenth birthday, and never stopped studying this most sacred art. By 1973 she was doing chart-reading for others, and in 1980 she began to teach. In 2004 she began to study Vedic (Hindu) astrology, finding it broadened and deepened her perspective.

During her freshman year of college (1972) she was given her first tarot deck by a friend (thank you, Nettie! most beautiful and giving Aquarius) and is still reading and using the cards for self-understanding and guidance. In 1976 she met Sherry (now Sharry) Edwards, and began working with her, exploring a wide variety of metaphysical and healing tools, including the aura and chakra systems.

In college she first became interested in massage and body-centered therapies. Trading massage strengthened friendships and helped de-stress; involvement in an encounter group devoted to bioenergetics, a, body-centered psychotherapy, helped weather the vicissitudes of relationships, school and life.

In spring of 1980 Sherry introduced her to Crow. They were married in September of that year. Together they shared their knowledge and explored more widely: Crow began to learn tarot, Bekki began to follow the shamanic path (inevitable really, given her natural proclivities -- Moon in Taurus in the eighth house, Sun in Gemini and Mercury/Jupiter/Venus in Cancer in the ninth trine Saturn!), and to learn more about a variety of earth-centered spiritual practices. That ninth house Sun, and the Mercury/ Jupiter conjunction meant that teaching of all kinds was also inevitable -- second nature to share knowledge whenever the opportunity arises.

A strong connection to plants, fostered by her paternal grandmother throughout her childhood, stimulated her to begin gardening in earnest, at Dragon Waters. That led in 1994 to beginning serious cultivation of an herb garden, partly because of a health crisis that turned her toward herbs for healing her body, which study Crow eventually took up as well.

In 1988 she left a mundane job to begin Horsefeathers!, a metaphysical bookstore and center, with Crow.  Soon they decided to found the Church of Earth Healing, which manifested in 1990. Though they had been traveling to various events and teaching engagements since the early '80s, in 1997  they took their work on the road, traveling and teaching. There have been many turning points and illuminations along the way, many pilgrimages to sacred places and communing with the spirits. Current project: a shamanic ally-based tarot deck.

Continuing to add healing modalities to her work  throughout the '90s, she has studied chakra healing with Sharon Laurie of Santa Fe NM; broadened her practice of shamanism with a variety of teachers; became certified in massage therapy at Hocking College in Nelsonville OH, and in Structural Therapy (like Rolfing, but better!) with Althea and John Northage-Orr, founders of the Chicago College of Healing Arts.

Earliest memories of singing: age 2. (A hymn in fact: Onward Christian Soldiers!) Music was everywhere growing up, particularly home-grown music, and lots of the ethnic kind (Danish folk music from Dad's family and Hungarian from Mom's, lots of Appalachian ballads and music of the British Isles.) She sang duets with her sister, and taught herself to play guitar around age thirteen. High school and college years were filled with music, playing old-time music with friends, going to folk festivals, and listening to and singing British folk music.

In the early '80's she met Athens folks (bless you, Patrick and Alison!) who had formed an Irish band, The Blarney Pilgrims, and joined them as their vocalist, doing a bit of guitar as well, and teaching herself mandolin and bouzouki. In 1989 she sold her instruments to buy a harp, but soon set it aside to develop her work with the Church. Music continued to be important in her shamanic work and as a recreational activity, but she no longer had time to play music seriously with others. She did write an occasional song and kept up with her other writing. In 2000, a serendipitous meeting with a founding member of the Pilgrims renewed her interest. They began to play music and she realized it was essential to her spiritual path and the health of her soul. She "traded in" the old harp for a new one in 2003, and began to play more seriously.

Began to create art in primary grades; decided to be an artist in high school and at sixteen created visionary paintings for friends based on their astrology and numerology; took degrees in art (ceramics) and art education in her twenties; taught herself (and others) various crafts (needlework and embroidery in her twenties, beadwork and leatherwork and shamanic tools in her thirties); continues to create shamanic art for herself and others. She currently follows the dictum "To thine own self BEAD true" ... or is that "BEAD all you can BEAD"?

In 2013, due to some family crises, Bekki began to delve deeply into her inner life and healing, which led her to re-think many aspects of her life. Her work with the church continued to be deeply meaningful to her, and she and Crow continue to teach together and do healing work together occasionally, but they dissolved their formal relationship and she has relocated to Ithaca NY. He is still one of her best friends, and Dragon Waters is her second home.