Bekki Shining Bearheart, LMT and Crow Swimsaway, PhD founded the Church and incorporated it with the State of Ohio on December 17, 1990. They have served as its primary clergy and have been responsible for training and ordaining others to serve the ministry of the Church. Bekki continues to serve in these capacities, and plans to train several new ministers to continue the church’s mission.
Bekki and Crow were led to the path of shamanic healing by Spirit and both have spent many years seeking understanding through personal practice and on rare occasions training with outstanding teachers. Their eclectic shamanic practices draw on the commonalities of shamanism throughout the world, informed by the ancestors and other helping spirits, and the teachings they have received from the spirits they have been privileged to work with.
Bekki continues the work of the Church since Crow’s death in 2018. She offers the major traditional methods of shamanic healing, and teaches students at all levels from introductory to advanced practitioner.
Shamanic journey work is an excellent tool for self-empowerment and self-healing. It is transformative on its own and an effective compliment to other healing methods. The shamanic path is a profound entryway into Spirit, and is the foundation of the church’s work.
Bekki’s earliest memories of her awareness of Spirit being rooted in Nature began at age 2. In her early teens she developed a strong bent toward mysticism. At 14 she was beginning to study metaphysics and teaching herself astrology. 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 and still reads and uses the cards for self-understanding and guidance. Currently she is immersed in painting and writing a guidebook for a shamanic healing tarot.
She first became interested in massage and body-centered therapies in college. 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. She trained as a massage therapist in 1998, and took a course in Structural Therapy (a Rolfing system) at the Chicago Center for Psychophysical Healing in 2000-2001. She currently maintains her massage license in Ohio.
In 1994 Bekki began to work with medicinal herbs to manage her health and currently maintains extensive herb gardens at her home in Ithaca as well as at Dragon Waters, her previous home in Ohio.
In spring of 1980 she met Crow Swimsaway and they were married in September of that year. They shared their interest in metaphysics, the occult, earth spirituality, and religions and shamanism daily and through the founding of the Church of Earth Healing. Shamanic healing and practice, the ancient world-wide tradition of spirit healing, is the basis of the work of the Church. They dissolved their marriage in 2014, but continued their work of teaching and healing and their ministry both together and separately till Crow’s death in 2018. Bekki continues the work of the Church today, teaching, ministering, and maintaining a shamanic healing practice.
In 2005 Bekki and Crow initiated their first formal ministerial training. Requirements for entering this training are completion of the Shamanic Healing Apprenticeship or the former Two-Week Intensive Healing Training and certification as a shamanic healer, and permission of the instructors.
Graduates of the Church of Earth Healing ministerial training can be registered as legal ministers in the state of Ohio, and may be registered in their home state. They are considered Associate Ministers of the Church and are qualified to officiate at weddings and other rites of passage, and to engage in pastoral counseling.
Aria Walker began studying with Bekki and Crow in 1991, attended regular drumming circles, and completed the Certified Shamanic Practitioner program a few years later. In 2005, she became the only reverend ordained by Bekki and Crow together through the Church of Earth Healing.
Aria continues to offer ceremony, meditation, shamanic practice, energy work, and other healing, both in-person and long-distance.
She offers ally and ancestor sessions, depossession, soul retrieval, and psychopomp focus as led by her allies.
Aria’s work has been guided by a lifelong relationship with Spirit and the natural world. She graduated with honors from the Boulder School of Massage, Colorado, and completed her Master’s Degree in Acupuncture, East Asian medicine, and Chinese herbs at Academy for Five Element Acupuncture, Florida.
Through the years, Aria studied with many additional teachers including Ohio herbalist Cindy Parker, Sandra Ingerman through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a circle in Southern California for five years, various martial arts including Tai Chi and Qi Gong, R.J. Stewart workshops, and ceremonial work in indigenous lands across the United States and Mexico. Aria taught full-time as a massage instructor, and various workshops including Usui and Karuna Reiki.
In 2017, Aria sold her acupuncture practice and left from Portland by motorcycle on sabbatical into Mexico. She walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela from Switzerland across France and on to Muxia and Finisterre, Spain. While traveling, Aria worked with colleagues around the world including Dr. Daniel Foor’s ancestral healing class in Australia, healing exchanges through Acupuncturists Without Borders in Israel/Palestine and Mexico, classes with Sarah Gress and Maria Cristina in Germany, and yoga teacher training at Body-Mind-Life in Sydney. After two years on the road, Aria bought a small house on the sea in Baja Sur.
When she is not out in nature, Aria can be reached through her website TouchofaHealer.com or via WhatsApp +1-503-374-5242.