Four Winds Journal Is Here!

Four Winds Journal Cover Prototypes (2)Orenda Healing International is excited to announce the launch of the inaugural issue of our Four Winds Journal – open access. Winds of Change are all around us and it is a fitting theme for this, our first issue. The healing that we experience ourselves and facilitate in others is fundamental to creating far-reaching and positive change. It is our hope that this journal, and the community it embodies, will act as a healing balm to the effects of our current social, environmental, and political climate on the world.  We invite you to explore art, fiction, poetry, and scholarly articles about practices and trends in various alternative healing traditions, and take a healing moment for yourself today.

South by South Lawn


Join President Obama and an all-star cast of innovative thinkers and activists on the South Lawn today– all day panels, music, conversations and more on how to help make life on our little planet more equitable, sustainable, and beneficial to all beings.

If we can imagine it, we can do it!

Santa Fe Indian Market

IMG_3806Santa Fe, capital city of the Land of Enchantment and OHI’s home base, celebrates our rich cultural diversity in many ways.  Perhaps the most fascinating is Indian Market, which supports native North American and Canadian artists, performers, and filmmakers and attracts buyers from around the world.  This year’s 95th Annual Indian Market, sponsored by Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), was particularly exciting.

Tourists and locals enjoyed gorgeous early fall weather this past weekend while meandering through a forest of booths  displaying truly gorgeous pieces of jewelry, weavings, sculptures, and pottery.


An increasingly popular event is the Native Cinema Showcase, featuring films by mature and upcoming native filmmakers, which really outdid itself this year.  Our favorites were Ma (Director Samoan, filmed in NZ), Rez Cars, First Contact (Directors Kiowa/Choctaw/Osage, in Mohiks with English subtitles), and Other (Directors Comanche, Pawnee/Shawnee).  Sundance trains and sponsors many of these young filmmakers, and their work is outstanding.

For Native Americans themselves, though, Indian Market seems not just a venue for displaying their skills and craftsmanship, but a cherished opportunity to gather with distant family members and friends, catch up on what’s happened in the past year, and laugh at the antics of the little ones in each family.



Join our Resource Directory!

camping-friends-mountains-16590474Wouldn’t you love being recognized for the vital work you do in the world while enjoying membership in a lively interactive international community?

OHI is delighted to offer Healing Arts practitioners, educators, and researchers 6 months’ free listing in our new Regional Resource Directory!  At the end of 6 months you may continue your listing at the low rate of $20 US a year, with substantial savings for 2- and 3-year listings.

As an added bonus, authors and artists contributing to our Four Winds Journal  will receive a full year’s free listing in the Directory.

Contact us at for more information or to request a listing.


Ready to Publish?

downloadDear Friends,

We’d like to tell you about Orenda Healing International’s expanded focus and programs.  

Orenda Healing International (OHI) is a 501.c.3 nonprofit organization, founded in Santa Fe, NM, in 1992.  We originally focused on designing and sponsoring arts-based community service programs in New Mexico, Northern California, and Oregon. However we have recently expanded our mission to support research and education in the fast-growing field of alternative healing.

There are many ways to be involved in Orenda’s work, depending upon your particular interest.  While the following paragraphs contain highlighted links that will take you to various areas of our website so that you can explore at leisure, one of the most exciting bits of news is the upcoming launch of our online journal.

If you’re a writer or an artist and have a scholarly paper, short story, poem, or visual art work you would like to share, our online publication, Four Winds Journal, is currently accepting submissions for the Fall issue, with the theme of “Winds of Change.”  The new deadline for submissions is September 15, 2016.

If you’re a researcher, we will be posting RFPs for relevant research proposals  in Spring 2017.  There is no deadline for research proposals– we review proposals on an ongoing basis.

If you’re an alternative healing practitioner, we offer online courses, tutorials, and webinars.  Please submit your idea for a course via email to and we will schedule a meeting to discuss it with you.

If you’re not engaged in any of the areas mentioned, but wish to support our mission because you share our values, you may make a financial donation or donate some of your time and energy to help with any of our main programs.

Finally, if you’re busy but intrigued and would like to be kept updated on OHI programs and activities, you may join our email list or contact us directly to tell us about your main area of interest.

Whatever level of involvement appeals, you are warmly welcomed to the OHI community.

Many blessings from all of us at Orenda Healing International!

Peace in the Heart

Peace in the HeartThere are no words to express the sadness that we feel for those in Orlando whose hopeful, bright lives were so brutally cut short, and for their loved ones, whose loss is too great to bear.

It is said that anger and hatred are really masks for fear.  Perhaps this is true– certainly in these troubled times there are people who believe there is much to fear, and some argue for excusing the vicious behavior of fearful people.  Based on that belief, a case could be made not just for individuals but for the violent behavior of organizations and even entire countries.

But to paraphrase the words of Chief Dan George:

We fear what we do not understand.  We hate what we fear.  And what we hate, we destroy.

So let us try our utmost to understand others– especially those who are different from ourselves.  Let us not fear the difference.  And when we encounter the cruelty of those who do fear difference, let us remember that behind every angry, hurtful mask is a spirit struggling to break free from the darkness of delusion and return home to the Peace in the Heart.

The New Green Revolution



Today is May 18, 2016.  Normally in Northern New Mexico this is prime “fire time.”  Hot, dry, windy– perfect weather for all sorts of little emergencies.  Most of our fires, unlike the autumn fires in California, happen now– or used to.  But not this year.

I keep trying to put away the winter clothes and join the determined (and hardier) shorts and T-shirts crowd, but it’s much too chilly and very wet!  We’ve had unprecedented weeks of rain– a storm every few days.  While human Santa Feans are grumbling about the lousy Spring, our local plants are thrilled and positively leaping out of the ground! Trees have shot up at least three feet since last Fall.  Every conceivable high desert plant has put out flowers.  Wild grasses are waist-high.  Weeds– well, weeds are another matter.  But as a neighbor said this morning, why not let those weird green things you haven’t seen before stay put in case they make flowers too?

Thinking about this phenomenon, I realize it’s been sneaking up on us for the past several years, accelerating since 2014.  Right along with the unnerving reports of climate change and its dire consequences, Pachamama has been mounting her own defense.  Dry places are getting wetter.  Wet places are drying up.  The seas (polluted by human carelessness) are rising, thanks to Arctic ice melt, and as this happens, more water droplets become part of Earth’s atmosphere and create different weather patterns– violent storms being one of them.  As the planet’s weather changes, her inhabitants are forced to change with her.

One such change is a major diaspora– a relocation of populations from where they may have lived for thousands of years to new locations.  This is happening everywhere, but it is particularly noticeable here in Santa Fe where for so many decades the three major groups have been non-native Whites (or Anglos, as we call them here), Native Americans, and Hispanics– descendants of Spanish Europeans.   A fragile balance existed among Anglos who had the most money, Native Americans who stewarded the land and waterways, and Hispanics who ran the government according to ancient tradition.  Now, however, Northern New Mexico’s citizens include North Africans as well as Afro-Americans, Tibetans, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Peruvians, Germans, French, Italians, Indians, Syrians, and (due to harsher East Coast and Midwestern winters and the rising cost of living on the West Coast)  a steadily growing group of out-of-state Americans.  Different languages are heard around town.  Differently-dressed patrons stand in line for coffee at Starbucks, Ohori, or Downtown Subscription.  Different foods are appearing in the grocery stores, and in different menus in new and exotic restaurants.  Even die-hard afficionados of the ubiquitous green chile have to admit that our local cuisine is expanding.

The result of all this?  Ah, Pachamama is a clever mother!  She knows that the more of us humans are thrown into the pot and stirred into a nice, richly-flavored stew, the less likely we are to misunderstand and fight each other, and the more peaceful and less competitive the planet’s citizens, the healthier the planet will be.

So today, instead of grumbling about how cold and grey it is outside and how we wish it were hot and dry so we could plant our tomatoes in comfort, Let’s celebrate the cool morning, the grey skies, and the veritable jungle of green that is crowding around our kitchen windows.   Let’s celebrate the wisdom of Pachamama, Earth Mother, and her New Green Revolution!

Orenda Healing International Invites Submissions to Four Winds Journal

OHI Invites Submissions to Four Winds JournalOrenda Healing International invites submissions for the September issue of our online Four Winds Journal .  Each issue of the Journal is devoted to a particular theme.  Given the many changes we have seen just this past year — in our climate, politics, global events, human relationships, and more– it seemed appropriate to appoint “Winds of Change” as the theme of this issue.

OHI is a 501.c.3 nonprofit organization, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1993.   Our primary focus is on research and community service, particularly in the field of alternative healing.  We promote the work of researchers, health practitioners, and others who strive to offer their participants, patients, and clients compassionate and innovative choices for health and well being.

Contributors to Four Winds Journal enjoy not only exchanging ideas and inspiration with colleagues and peers in a close and supportive community, but also the opportunity to expand general knowledge and potential funding of their work through the broad range of communications platforms the Journal provides.

If you are one who believes that your work may help create positive change in our homes, our communities, and our world, we invite you to submit your short scholarly paper, fiction or nonfiction, poetry, art work, or photograph via email to  The Submission Deadline is June 15, 2016.

Visit our submissions guidelines page for detailed instructions on how to submit your work to Four Winds Journal.  Our editors will contact you promptly  with any additional information you may need.

Land of Enchantment


Land of Enchantment

When Lewis and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1990 (a pair of restless artist/healers in search of adventure) we thought we’d stay for awhile and then return to Northern California– if not Mt. Shasta then surely the North Coast, where we’d spent several very satisfying and exciting years.  Indeed, we made that attempt many times– the most recent being 8 years in the San Francisco Bay Area so I could complete work on a PhD in Transpersonal Psychology.

But New Mexico is truly enchanted.  Slowly, subtly, the land worked on us.  As we grew more familiar with the area, its wildlife and plants, its history and its people, we began to put down roots– transparent and delicate, almost invisible at first– but with each passing year, every departure and return, they grew stronger, deeper, more sturdy.

Perhaps the greatest force keeping us rooted here was not just the friends we made, the adventures we shared (from caring for horses and multitudes of cats to babysitting wolves), or the pure, stark beauty of the place, but the strength of character of its people– Native American, Hispanic, and more recently Anglo.

The Navajo and Hopi in the Four Corners area and the nine Northern New Mexico Pueblo people are perhaps among the few tribal groups who still live on their own land.  Immigrants from the Altadura in Northern Spain came later, bringing Catholicism and a different way of life, and later still, Anglos (the local term for white people) arrived with rules and regulations unfamiliar and largely uncomfortable for those who were already here.  This tripartite culture has its challenges and benefits, as all things do.  But over time a balance has been established, creating an interesting dynamic that keeps us all on our toes.

Taos and Santa Fe are art colonies– home for many decades to painters, photographers, and writers from New York, Texas, California, the Midwest, and Europe, who came to take advantage of the light– so intense one could almost drink it, live on that alone and nothing more– and the sense of mystery that embues this land.

Northern New Mexico is also a hotbed of healers.  There are perhaps more variations on the theme of healing here than anywhere else I’ve lived, so it had to be the perfect place to found Orenda Healing International (which began in 1992 as “Orenda Center for the Arts in Vibrational Healing” and morphed into Orenda Healing International when two new Board members arrived from England and suggested a shorter, more applicable name).

New Mexico is also a poor state– in fact, some Americans believe it is still part of Old Mexico and not a state at all, but it attained statehood in 1912, and Santa Fe is the oldest continuously inhabited city in this country.  Its religion is mostly Catholic, and our schools are not the best– many young people barely emerge from high school and of those at least a third are parents themselves by the time they graduate, if they graduate at all.  It was the youth and their needs that inspired many of our early community projects.

Now though (perhaps because it was my own healing crisis that has catalyzed everything I’ve done since, including founding Orenda), it seems that good research is needed, particularly in the field of alternative healing, which is a very broad field indeed.  Alternative healing includes not only familiar and established modalities such as acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, herbology, homeopathy, and many kinds of energy work, but newer discoveries like functional medicine, the arts in healing, and more.  We aim to help researchers and practitioners move their discoveries out of the margins of healing practice and into the limelight, for we have found that when they are properly applied, they work.

So if you would like to join our adventure– in this enchanted, exciting, and rapidly changing land–  we invite you to visit often, stay abreast of what we’re doing, and share your thoughts and ideas with us.