Anam Cara Spiritual Visioning Network: Spiritual Support & Resources for Transformative Times

My Background & Philosophy
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My Background & Philosophy
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Rites of Passage
SoulCollage® Workshops
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Earth-Honoring Ceremonies
Nature Mentoring
Interfaith Worship Services Conference Presentations
Soul Friend Reflections
Soul Friend Reflections - October 2014 Sacred Masked Visitor
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Jeanne at Mullaghmore, County Clare, Ireland

Sharing the Journey:

Jeanne Marie Merkel, M.Div.

"Touch the mysterious whispering threads which bind the universe together."  John Matthews

Can I say where my journey begins? It begins with the mysterious whispering threads that bind me to all the soul friends I have been privileged to walk with. It begins with the grace of Spirit’s presence permeating every moment of my being and becoming. It begins with the exquisite beauty of the sacred landscape, calling me home to my deepest self.  My soul needs to be with others in the deep places in life -- those places of wonder and awe, of rooted strength, of silent joy and ecstatic dance, of pain and woundedness and healing -- the tender tough facing the darkness within and following the labyrinth of the Self till you come to its Center; the grace of finding your own rhythm within the rhythm of nature and of Being itself; the beauty of watching another Being unfold -- This is where I feel most alive.

In order to facilitate this work,  I was blessed with the privilege of studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where I received a Master of Divinity Degree in Psychology & Religion.  My focus was on Christian and Buddhist Contemplative Traditions, Earth Centered Spirituality, Jungian Psychology, the Spiritual Aspects of Trauma & Depression, Movement as Meditation, Peace Building and Social Justice, and the integration of spiritual practice, ritual,creativity, community and nature in healing.

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is one that usually prepares people for church ministry, but I felt called to minister outside of a church setting and outside the boundaries of any one faith tradition.  I want to meet each person as a unique individual and help them live more authentically their own integral relationship with the Sacred.
My training has prepared me to provide pastoral care and counseling, rites of passage (ceremonies to mark transitions) and spiritual leadership for communities of faith.

I also received Interfaith chaplaincy training in a New York City hospital and am a trained SoulCollage® facilitator, working with Collage as a means of spiritual growth and guidance.

Responding to my life-long passion for spiritual connection with the Earth and my deep respect for Indigenous wisdom, I embarked on a genealogical journey to find my own indigenous roots.  I discovered that my French-Canadian matriarchal line came to Quebec in 1641, and lived in close connection with the Wabanaki people. Knowing that I am so deeply rooted in the soil of Turtle Island gave me the courage to pursue a path of training in Indigenous spiritual traditions and a passion to help preserve Indigenous cultures and their wisdom.

My goal in this training is not to become a "Shaman" - that is a special calling that I feel requires many years of immersion in a Shamanic culture. Rather my goal is to engage fully in an Earth-Honoring healing path that challenges me to give freely all I have been blesed to receive from the deep well of Earth wisdom, and to activally foster a global Earth-honoring culture.

I began my training in Cross-Cultural Shamanism in 2004, with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies' foundational course, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss. I completed a one year training program in shamanic healing and indigenous life ways with Cathy Pedevillano in November of 2007.

In January of 2008, I had the delight of being introduced to the Indigenous traditions of Peru which was like a homecoming for me.  In June 2008, had the privilege of studying for 2 weeks with elders of the Q'eros nation in Peru, receiving training and initiation in their healing traditions and participating in earth-honoring ceremony together at sacred sites in the Andes.

I have also engaged in two transformative vision quests (to the Green Mountains in Vermont (2002) and to Mullaghmore, the sacred mountain in County Clare, Ireland (2006). I also participated in an Animas Valley Institute workshop on Grief and Longing in the Canyons of Colorado (2012). 

I am the mother of 3 grown daughters and am a passionate grandmother of 3 delightful souls, and take special delight in nurturing mothers, couples, and families.  I live a contemplative lifestyle of voluntary simplicity, and the Spirit-filled joy of song and dance, nature and community. I also do volunteer pastoral care with women who are in recovery from domestic & sexual abuse, trauma and miscarriage.

I look forward to unfolding new ways of nurturing beloved sacred community here on the beautiful East End of Long Island, and where ever I am invited to speak or present workshops.

I look forward to meeting you!  Always feel free to call or write and introduce yourself to me.  I consider it a deep privilege to be able to call so many of you my soul friends!

To Hear What Others Have Said about our Work Together (and to get a sense of what I mean by Beloved Community) - Click here for our Gratitude Page.

Here are some of the Services I offer:

Earth Honoring Ceremonies

A Spirit Song to Nourish You
A SoulCollage Card for Your Journey
(Click on Persephone to Receive her guidance)

Click for Persephone's Guidance

Anam Cara Spiritual Visioning Network:
Spiritual Resources & Community  
for Transformative Times
Jeanne Marie Merkel, M.Div
PO Box 1633 Shelter Island, NY  11964-1633