Share Your Views on Sustainability in Four Winds Journal’s Spring Issue!


This Spring our Four Winds Journal is focusing on the challenge of sustainability.

Before First Contact—the arrival of Europeans on these once pristine shores—the original human inhabitants of the Americas were careful guardians of the land, waters, and nonhuman others with whom they shared this continent—not through a sense of guilt or the threat of reprisal from some higher power—but because they recognized the extent of human dependence on right relationship with all other life forms.  As the First People supported life, life supported them.

Patriarchal traditions, on the other hand, have taught that Man has dominion over all other creatures, and his relationship with the elements of earth, air, and water is, if not outright blasphemous, far too ephemeral to exist.  Therefore, ever since First Contact, the symbiotic relationship between humans and our environment has suffered.  Now more than ever before—in the widespread, shocking treatment of the environment, vulnerable humans, and nonhuman others—we see the devastating results of such androcentric, hierarchical thinking.

This issue of Four Winds Journal explores some of sustainability’s many facets.  We move beyond simplistic definitions and limited attempts at solutions to understand just what this word truly means, and in how many ways we can begin to restore right relationship with our planet.

We are currently accepting Submissions for articles, poetry, and art work in which you share your personal experience of sustainability.  Understanding that what we call “sustainability” is actually a state of dynamic balance—with branches that spread much further and roots that go much deeper than you may have previously considered—we invite you to share how your relationship to Spirit, to your own mind and body, to your community, and to the planet itself contributes to a sustainable future.

The Spring issue of the Journal will be released in mid-April.  Deadline for Submissions is February 28. Please send your Submissions to, Attention:  Editors.




The Bridge Project

In recognition of the importance of connection, and because we believe that building bridges across cultures is more healing than building walls, OHI supports the creators of this project.  If you would like to participate, please read the following announcement and follow the instructions!


Building Bridges in the Blue Ridge
Call for Art/Writing from All Ages

What: Write, paint, draw, or collage on 5 x 7 POSTCARDS to celebrate connections we make (or would like to make) with people who may seem different from ourselves.

Why: To explore all the ways people in the Blue Ridge connect with others or could connect across time, place, race, gender, age, political orientation, sexual orientation, religion, culture, and ability.

When: Submissions due December 15. Mail finished postcards to

Stover Insurance
214 East Jackson Street, Front Royal, VA 22630.

Postcard Workshop: We will hold a free workshop led by professional artists and writers to help participants create their postcards. Date and Time TBD. Please email for more information.

Final Product and Event: Postcards will be incorporated into a wooden slat bridge and displayed at a celebration event. The event will include readings from select postcards, music, poetry, and refreshments. Postcards and the bridge may also be displayed in other locations in Front Royal and the larger area.

Who: The Bridge Project is sponsored by United ShenValley Artists (USVA), an outreach of Selah Theatre Project that brings artists and arts organizations together to advocate for the arts in our homes and communities.

Sample Ideas for Postcard Art/Writing:
1) A collage of various people and places you connect to in a meaningful way.
2) The story of how you, your family, or your ancestors came to America from another country.
3) A poem about your connection to a person who is differently abled.
4) An essay about working with someone from another political party or religion.
5) A drawing about the connections you would like to make.
6) A painting about friendships with people of different races and cultures.
7) A mini-essay about a time someone reached out to you across differences.

Rules: Postcards must be family friendly and can be anonymous. Please include your name and email on the participant form, if you wish to be contacted about the presentation event.

The Bridge Project Submission Form
Please submit this form with your postcard if you wish to be recognized as a participant and invited to the celebration event where we will unveil the bridge.
Topic of Your Postcard:

Photo by Felix Broennimann – Pixabay

Volunteers Needed for Indigenous People’s Day!

The Santa Fe Indian Center is looking for volunteers to help with T-shirts and posters sales!

When:  Indigenous Peoples Day – Monday, Oct. 9th

Where:  The Santa Fe Plaza

Time:  8am-5pm. 

Information:   505-660-4210  or 

Proceeds from sales of this beautiful T-shirt will go to the Santa Fe Indian Center.  We would appreciate your support! 


“The design represents the Indigenous World of this area. The center Sun figure represents everything sacred to our People, the Sun, the elements, our sacred places and life. The Paths represent our migration stories and the routes we took to arrive in our present locations. The four larger circles represent the Pueblo People, starting with the Towa at the top, the Tewa on the right, the Tiwa on the left, and the Keres at the bottom. The two smaller circles on the left and right represent the Zuni and Hopi. The two smaller circles on top and bottom represent the Navajo and the Apache. The Stars surrounding the figures represent the night sky and the Deities that guided us to our home lands.”  George Toya, Jemez Pueblo

Indigenous Peoples Day Schedule of Events

8:00 a.m.   Morning Flute — with Andrew Thomas (Navajo)
8:30 a.m.   Morning Drum/Song –Western Mavericks Host Inter-tribal Drum Group
9:00 a.m.   Tesuque Pueblo Dancers
10:00 a.m. Zuni Pueblo Soaring Eagle Dance Group
10:45 a.m. Opening Prayer/Dignitary Event – w/Mayor Javier Gonzales, Tribal Leaders, City Councilors
11:45 a.m. Inter-Tribal Round Dance on the Plaza, led by Western Mavericks Drum Group
12 noon     Laguna-Hopi Buffalo Dancers
1:00 p.m.   Native Pride Dancers (Inter-tribal/Variety)
2:00 p.m.   Acoma Pueblo Enchantment Dancers
3:00 p.m.   Ohkay Owingeh Two Spirits Dance Group
4:00 p.m.   Pueblo of Pojoaque Dancers and Youth Hoop Dancers.
5:00 p.m.   Honor Song and Closing Ceremony, led by Western Mavericks Drum Group


Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Connie Pham and her 13-month-old son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on August 27, 2017, in Houston, Texas. #

Photo by David J. Phillip/AP

First-hand Account-From a Citizen of Houston, via Dana, shared by Lumina Greenway, one of OHI’s Board Members.
Dearest Out of town peeps,
I’m going to try and explain what we are seeing here. Words are not expansive enough to put into a mental picture. I’m not going to worry about grammar, etc.
FIRST: The Scope
Start in Galveston head north up Interstate 45. Every county to the East to Beaumont and to the West to a small town called Columbus is underwater. About 100 miles in any direction. Keep moving north past NASA and once again every neighborhood Is underwater. If you get a Houston area map and have your eyes move horizontally–Move 100 miles to the the east and west….every piece of land, every subdivision, every business, every school is underwater. Now there are some that are not totally under, but I would say maybe 20% still have a semblance of dryness. ( I’m one of 20%) for now. Keep moving. Up to Pearland, Dickinson, Baytown and remember to move your eyes left and right 100 miles each way. Keep going north to Loop 610 pass Astrodome and NRG home of the Texans. A giant lake as far as the eye can see. the famous medical center is underwater. Keep moving to Interstate 10. Most is totally underwater with the depths reaching the bottom of the cross overs. The side roads are gone. Imagine the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE living along your path in every type of housing known to man. The water is reaching second and third story balconies of homes and apartments. As you move North still heading North I10 to San Antonio and Beaumont is under water. Get to Fm 1960 and I-45 and the road is GONE. Once again let your mind imagine the hundreds of thousands in neighborhoods etc tucked in..stranded…scared.
Go to the Woodlands/ Conroe…under freakin water!!! It’s this way all the way to  Huntsville Texas. All the way to Columbus Texas past Katy. Under water. All the way to Anahuac Tx. Under water.
SECOND: Human Scope. This thing is no respecter of wealth. It becomes a matter of resources. There are garbage bags to name brand luggage. What is common is a sense of frantic…being pulled out of high end homes or mobile homes with the clothes on your back, your kids, and the pets…then being taken to a shelter…somewhere. Your family in the area might as well be in Europe. The “ocean” is that expansive. New borns, children with their little backpacks, if they’re lucky. The look on their parents faces. And you should see the helicopter rescues of people dangling in the sky or in the basket with children and their pets. Old, disabled…it’s a wave of humanity that does not stop. Regardless of their circumstances they all say in Spanish, Vietnamese, and many other dialects “We’ve lost everything.”
The shelters are filling up. The school districts are opening up their high schools. Do you know how huge Texas high schools are? Filling up as soon as they open up. Great Houston private businesses are giving their big trucks loading up people, depositing them under bridges. This is a DUNKIRK of massive numbers.
One of the richest men in Houston, Mattress Mack of Gallery Furniture opened two of his huge furniture stores as shelter. He gave out his personal cell phone. Providing food, security and welcoming their pets. Another major furniture guy Hilton furniture, is providing his trucks to move people. The grocery stores Not under water are trying to open but have no workers. They’re letting five people in at a time until they run out of food. And there is the amazing HEB! I will never shop at another store.
Calls are going out for supplies for shelters…no one can get there! We are talking MILLIONS of people.
THIRD: The infrastructure of disaster. I’m just going to make a list for you to think about: Moving people from point A to B. Hundreds of thousands of cars are destroyed.
Public services, like buses, cannot move.
Public safety vehicles cannot move where they are needed
Hospitals are under water…emergency centers, care clinics are under or closed– all hospital staff are in the mess of this.
Shelters need EVERYTHING. The Red Cross is doing what it can. ONCE AGAIN…it’s the huge scope of
Law and order. It will get worse.
Trying to coordinate Texas’ very decentralized local and state jurisdictions. Very complicated which can
Lead to confusion and mixed messages. The county judges are doing fantastic Work as they are
The primary lead for counties. The Governor stepped up with the National Guard call out. But
Putting “boots on the ground” takes time. People must not criticize the Coast Guard for
Not flying at night in the rain. There is a chain of command…there are safety protocols to protect
The pilots and crews.
AND all local police/first responders have to navigate the flooded highways…some cannot make it. PEOPLE INCLUDING THE TV STATIONS NEED TO BE QUIET about this.
I believe FEMA is responding as well as expected.
FOURTH: Houston is NOT the only disaster area. CORPUS,
ROCKPORT, PALACIOS…destroyed. That’s about 200 miles south of Houston. Resources are limited for immediate response. I’m worried that in a few days people’s frustrations will boil over…I hope not. Desperation breeds anger and violence.
Last: As I watch what is happening, I’m overwhelmed with the lack of the rhetoric we’ve witnessed in Charlottesville, Arizona, blogs, etc. If you can, stream a Houston tv channel. Every color, race, ethnicity, religion is involved in the rescues.
See a large rough looking man of any background lift a frail Asian, Hispanic, African-American elderly adult…cradling a small child as they take them off boats…they are not asking for legal papers…they are humans being humans practicing God’s Grace……..
God Bless ALL in Houston and surrounding areas.

A child makes his way through floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey while checking on neighbors at his apartment complex in Houston on August 27, 2017. #

Photo by LM Otero/AP          

Additional photos are included in Alan Taylor’s article for The Atlantic, August 28, 2017, and may be viewed here.


  1. Click on this link for a list of organizations responding to Hurricane Harvey’s victims in Houston and South Texas.
  2. You may donate directly to Orenda Healing International’s Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund.  OHI is sending half of every dollar donated to at least two of these organizations.  This fundraiser will extend through the month of September.





Spiritual Counselors Desperately Needed in Texas!

This is an urgent message from Holli Emore of Cherry Hill Seminary:

Some of you know that I am the “volunteer lead” in charge of Disaster Spiritual Care for the Red Cross in South Carolina. In that role I have helped deploy 2 of my team to Texas over the weekend. Word from down there is that the need is dire and there are not enough DSC responders, not by a long shot.

In fact, the need is so acute that someone is scheduling a sort of emergency training for ministers, chaplains, etc., who may be willing to deploy for Red Cross. This training will mostly apply to people who are already San Antonio and can get to it.

If you are endorsed in some way by a recognized religious body (a national Pagan organization would be best), have some experience/training in helping people in crisis, and an interest in stepping up:


  1. Go here and fill out the online form: If you cannot get through just stop and try again later. There are currently 18,000 apps in the pipeline since Harvey hit!
  2. Here is what I know about the San Antonio training:

3 hour training that will focus on the key areas of Disaster Spiritual Care and credential others to provide Disaster Spiritual Care in shelters. This will be offered two times:

Friday — 9 AM to 12 PM at the San Antonio Baptist Association, 5807 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201.

Saturday — 9 AM to 12 PM also at the San Antonio Baptist Association.

The person in charge of this is named Dan Franklin. You can reach him at or text him at 210-842-8221. Dan is a Texas Crisis Resiliency Team Coordinator (might be a Southern Baptist group, I’m not sure). He welcomes any Pagans who are good listeners to attend. Be sure to email him if you intend to do so because they may have to change one of the locastions.

  1. It may be difficult to reach someone at a Red Cross chapter by phone at a time like this, but your local chapter volunteer coordinator is who you would normally connect with.
  2. If you have questions, email me back and I’ll do the best I can.

Thank you,

Holli S. Emore, Executive Director

Cherry Hill Seminary

Photo by Richard Carson/Reuters


After Charlottesville


In response to the events of the last few days, which were sparked by unacceptable and vicious acts of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Orenda Healing International stands with the people of conscience who gathered there to oppose the Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and other Alt-Right White Nationalists.

While it needs no more fuel added, be very clear:  the wave of racism and hatred sweeping America today is a forest fire lit by the man who currently occupies the White House.  His behavior—both before and since his installation—has given permission to those who, for whatever reason, may feel they suffer and must therefore strike out at their tormentors.  Unfortunately they mistake the real source of their misery and, egged on by Mr. Trump and his backers, have chosen to accuse immigrants, refugees, and other non-White citizens and residents of this country of causing all their woes, when in fact it is the oppression of capitalism that has divided this country into the “haves” and ”have-nots” and continues to wreak havoc around the world.  This is hard to look at, and harder still to address.  But as with any other illness, we cannot heal until we are willing to acknowledge its extent.

Orenda does not espouse or condone violence, no matter its perpetrators.  But until the truth is widely known, events like the melee in Charlottesville will continue to happen.  Rather than attack each other, all Americans must begin to use their gifts of observation and common sense, see what is really behind the furor our country is currently experiencing, and work together to oppose it and replace it with a true democracy.

We believe there is enough land, enough food, enough shelter, for all.  America, whatever challenges she faces today, still has the potential and the obligation to encourage and support everyone in this country– citizens, immigrants, and refugees– to thrive, free of condemnation, repression, or violence of any kind.

Photo by Steve Helber for the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Wisdom Healing Qigong for Health Care Professionals



Being a health care professional or healer is extremely fulfilling… and yet the work can lead to overwhelm and burn-out.  When you’re not at your best and your “energy bank” is empty, it’s challenging to provide compassionate, effective care to others.  But there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

We invite you to join us for a workshop with Qigong Master Mintong Gu, specifically designed for health care professionals and their clients, to help integrate Wisdom Healing Qigong tools into other protocols and modalities. Qigong is the ancient art of energy healing and has reaped benefits for nearly 5,000 years in China.

Many years ago Qigong Master Mingtong Gu envisioned today – a time when many health care practitioners like ourselves would be called to activate a new healing paradigm.  Professionals who are unsatisfied with experiences of symptom-relief-focused medicine, looking for

A practice deeply effective and complementary to your area of specialty…

A way to preserve your deep love for the healing and health care craft, and to replenish the energy to keep doing it in the midst of a challenging and stressful systemic shift…

A way for you, the healer, to “heal thyself,” as well as clients, patients, and loved ones…

This workshop is for you!  

Wisdom Healing Qigong for Health Care Professionals
July 30 in San Rafael, CA
July 31 in Petaluma, CA
or via Livestream


You can learn more here about Qigong and Master Mingtong Gu’s work and register  for the workshop today.


3Ds of Spiritual Rehab Still Available

If you missed Dr. Rosie Kuhn’s fascinating MiniWebinar presentation on July 5, take heart!  You can still view the video recording.

Just sign up here to receive the recording link.  You’ll gain a lot from her extensive experience, lively sense of humor, and deep wisdom.