Weaving together ancestral story and embodied practice, Queer Directions holds space for nourishing, heart-centered and expansive learning environments, specifically for queer and allied folks. Our offerings seek to guide us into a deeper relationship with our respective ancestral stories as cultural reclamation and lineage healing work.
Stories situate us very specifically in space and time. They also speak to our personal and collective identity and culture. We want to ask you: what are your stories that are informing your life? How are our stories contributing to our own sense of wellness? How are they informing relationships with ourselves, our communities and place? And how are they resourcing us to show up with greater groundedness, wisdom and endurance for social movements for justice?
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QUEER DIRECTIONS OFFERINGS:
Stories for The Queer Directions: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasad and Samhain
Imbolc - The spark in the dark! This is a time when we acknowledge our inner spark. When we watch the willow emerge golden from the cold wet mud, flexible and resilient, we rise. Imbolc is a time of year when the seed of the sun is planted within each of us which is ours to tend into fruition. We honour this spark of the sun which brings vivaciousness and new growth. I associate this time of year with my personal gender when the solar fire is growing and bursting forth from the cold earth like the golden willow. This is a time when we venture to the wild places of the woods and mountains to visit with the Cailleach, the winter crone and learn her stories of earth shaping, well guardian, well stone tender, sovereignty of the land, animist weather and protector of the wild things.
Beltane - The flame is growing. We celebrate the sacred fire warming our bones. Evaporating the cold and the damp. We tend our sacred fires within and in relationships as we begin to open up again to the world with more energy and vigor while creating connective magics. At this time of year we welcome the world now brimming with yellow, white and green! At this time of year, we honour the story of Airmid, a mythical Dannan herbalist, keeper of the entire knowledge of herbal healing and physician to the Sidhe - the good people. It is featured in an Irish Medieval myth, The Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh between the Tuatha Dé Danann and Fir Bolg. While the world around is engulfed in chaos and war, this story takes you on the healer's journey exploring plant magic, sibling love, grief, transformation, and liberation. For those who want to deepen your plant herbalism practice and explore Scottish and Irish communal grieving traditions, we welcome you to the sacred story fire, Wednesdays, May 12,19, 26 7-9pm PST.
Lughnasadh- This is the time of harvest, the height of the sun gone and past but still strong. This time of year we celebrate community and abundance, honouring the beings that have and will nourish us throughout the winter to come. This is a time named for Lugh, a son god and, thus, this is a time to honour the cyclical solar movement of the sun’s chariot through the sky through the day and into the Otherworld by night. This is time for gathering, marriages, festing and redistribution of wealth. At this time, we can connect with stories that speak to sovereignty like those of Macha, Queen Mebd and other sovereignty figures.
Samhain - This is another liminal time where in the eve of November, the veil between this and the Otherworld are at it’s thinnest. This is a time to honour the ancestors with offerings of their favourite food and drink. Samhain is a time to honour the darkness and gather strength for the winter ahead. These days, we give spaciousness for grieving in community exploring the wake and keening traditions of Ireland and Scotland. As well, we connect with stories about rebirth, Otherworld initiations and journeys as well as encounters and temperaments of the otherworldly beings who live in the oceans, lochs and fae mounds.
Sacred Weavers: Tending the Threads of Belonging
A collaborative offering with Inner Cadence. Sacred Weavers offers pathways to healing through tending the nested threads of belonging. In this journey, you will be invited to explore relationships with land, village, ancestors, and self through ritual, song, story, and more. You will gather threads along the way and weave them together into a sacred expression of belonging. We will be journeying with the Welsh story of Branwen to retrieve our own personal myths of healing, belonging and homecoming.
Queer Nature Connection (Dates TBA)
These are in-person queer affinity gatherings for sharing nature awareness and wilderness skills. Topics will include birding, honing the senses, stealth, plant magic, crafting, ocean life and fire skills.
Year-Long Self-guided Courses
Wellness Justice Path - rolling date enrollment
The Wellness Justice Path is for those who seek relationship with animist culture that moves with the seasons and various initiations of our life, is celebratory of queerness and supportive for metabolizing ancestral and personal patterns of trauma and oppression.
We are offering guidance in tending to your wellness in relationship with the animist healing arts of astrology, herbalism, movement, meditation, herbalism, practical magical practice, queerness, and social justice.
My name is Mika Kumagai. Among other things, I am an astrologer, mother, animist, and Earth medicine apprentice. With these backgrounds, I act as a bridge between the celestial movements and the cycles of the Earth. "As above so below." Using Ancient Astrology techniques, I offer inclusive readings for our modern society. My mission is to use astrology to empower you, so that you can live your life to the fullest!
Otis Bell, RAc
Queer transgender astrologer, acupuncturist, body worker, herbalist brings insights about the astrological archetypes of the signs and planets and Medical Qi Gong therapist, and witch! " I bring insights interweaving the healing arts with queerness, social justice, and witchcraft".
Star Stories -rolling date enrollment
This is queer mysticism for social (r)evolution. In this march through the astrological zodiac, we will explore old stories, songs, and astrology as it relates to health, herbalism, politics, pop culture, and current events all informed by a witchy radical queer lens.
Rue McDonald (scroll down for instructor info)
Otis Bell, RAc
Queer transgender astrologer, acupuncturist, body worker, herbalist brings insights about the astrological archetypes of the signs and planets and relates them to ancestral stories.
Healing With Ancestral Story (Dates TBA)
For school groups,, homeschool networks, theater folks, creative writers, witches, nature aware & connected who desire cultural resourcing, those doing ancestral healing and lineage repair.
Do you feel a yearning for profound healing through coming to know your ancestors?
Have you heard a story or song from your ancestral lineages and felt a tugging on your soul?
Do you desire a creative practice that brings you to the fire sides and kitchen tables of your ancestors?
Are you looking for ways to connect to ancestral story in a container intentionally crafted for queer folks and those desiring cultural moorings from which to inform healing justice work?
When you tell an ancestral story, it belongs to you the same as it belongs to your ancestors. Ancestral story medicine is your birthright as is the profound healing possible through coming into relationship with ancestors through storied lineages.
If you are struggling to find cultural moorings that feel meaningful for your lived reality, the workshop offers pathways forward to weave ancestral stories into present relevance as medicine for these times.
Our offerings will explore:
- Ancestral story work for personal growth and transformation
- Story-based embodied practices and ritual for ancestral connection
- Story Work Tutorial
This intensive workshop is for people like myself who yearn for belonging within the enchanted webs of their ancestral stories. For those who feel lit-up by dynamic learning styles, this intensive offers a blended intellectual inquiry, ritual and embodiment processes as a starting point on a potent journey into story work. Similar to how we may welcome an ancestor into a ritual space or an emotion to come sit at our deliberation table, we can also draw on stories as guides and teachers in our lives. We can invite a character to share a meal and conversation. We can foster a connection with a divine figure through learning their stories and inviting them into our sacred ritual spaces. We can put flesh on the bones of stories eroded by colonial influence. We can gain wisdom from what our ancestors felt was most important to pass long and what knowledge needed to be protected.
To better know ourselves, we need to know how our ancestors knew themselves. Ways of relating to place, community, elements, landscapes, spirits, erotics, divinity, grief, sovereignty, healing, death, resilience and sacred space can be found or coded within our ancestral stories. For those seeking fun and transformational pedagogy, learning with stories as our guides can lead to holistic shifts in behavior or worldview and root us in greater abundance of cultural resourcing. If you are feeling a spark of curiosity or want to enrich your explorations into stories, this workshop will be a nourishing and supportive tending of your storywork flame.
Children & Youth
Nature Connection for Families (Dates and info TBA)
Queer Magic Gatherings for Youth (Dates TBA)
School of Witchcraft for Queer Youth is an online space tending to the well being of queer and allied youth through magical arts and divination skills. We partner with Silent DJ Victoria to host free COVID safe outdoor dances for youth to move their bodies and build connection with peers in the greater magical queer youth community. The skills offered through this school are ones that promote self-witnessing, self-knowledge, processing big emotions and tools for healing the self as well as ethical guidance for use of magic including consent practices and best practices in the practice of magic. Activities include tarot, astrology, herbalism, scrying, intuitive magic, spell work and more. We’ll connect us to seasonal energies, lunar cycles and astrological movements.
"As a queer human, who is a white settler in the US, the liminality that you spoke to was powerful for me. It named something I’ll be thinking about and living into for a long time. the story left me thinking about how to know my lineages, do healing work in this world and the otherworlds, while never straying far from a deep commitment to anti-racist liberation work. I sometimes feel lost in how to embody this reality as a white person in grounded and responsible ways. Your story is giving me new little glimpses of how I can do that. So, thank you."
We are becoming students of intuition and observation of the non-human world around us. listening and tracking subtle changes and shifts in the environment and engaging in a process of meaning-making and reciprocal relationship building.
We do our work with the expressed intention of contributing to the wellness communities for healing, acknowledging that our liberations are tied. We are guided by lineage to unlearn and undo harm from oppressive colonial white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism, queerphobia, and all forms of oppression that bring us out of relationship.
We seek to actively bridge our community learning to meaningful and informed action decolonial healing on the Indigenous lands where we live.
Stories can be powerful medicine for those of us who grew up yearning for initiations and community witnessing. Stories invite dream time pedagogies, research into archeology, history, local lore, stories and poems. To be held by a story and to be worked by a story, invites fascination, initiation, change and evolution.
These narratives can enrich our spiritual life and sensual experience of place. Story is part of a personal abundance practice that offers a space for rest, connection, play, relaxing, delight, groundedness and pleasure. Time with story is an opportunity to listen, play, be creative and curious.
Stories give us clues into what/how our ancestors thought about the world and can offer a path to explore the liminal spaces of initiation. Liminality, rooted in the word for threshold, are spaces of unmoored and disassembled, where there is a crossing of threshold where it takes place an alchemical transfiguration, a reassembalge, and the return to the village to then weave into our lives and share it with our communities.
Stories house ancient, tried and tested narratives of heroes and healers that speak to very core human experiences and provide insight into both our personal healing journeys and community wellness tending.
A main tenant of Queer Directions is highlighting the importance of unearthing queer myths in how they project queerness and queer ways of being into the past into our present and into the future, affirming queer brilliance, existence, resilience and thrivance across time and space.
Ancestor Connection and Lineage Healing
This is a spiritually grounded intuitive practice of building relationships with our unseen ancestors of blood, identity and lineage. It can be a profoundly healing experience to feel held in deep resourcing and connectedness with ancestors.
Those relationships are already alive. We are already enmeshed in this web. I offer guidance to honour these relational threads with intention.
You are invited to explore into story, ritual, song and hands-on practices as pathways into connection and resonance.
We seek healing in relationship with ancestral stories with humility, asking for consent, guided by lineage. We look to our ancestral stories to guide our relational ethics. As we learn our stories, we grow our ability to engage in an ethical and grounded way with ourselves, our communities and the land.
I draw on the mentorship of Shauna Janz, Ancestral Lineage Healing Practitioner, to inform my ritual practice.
Rue McDonald M.A.
Founder and Learning Facilitator