Our Grandmothers taught us that many helping hands make for light work, and how right they were! It is not only the sharing of the load, but maybe more so, it is the joy of the connection and companionship that comes with that sharing that lightens the load. It is with great joy that we welcome our new helpers.
We are pleased to welcome Mai Duong as our new Events Support Mistress! Mai is now our “go to support person” with the template, structure, key ingredients, (magic!) needed to set up Sacred Fire Community events such Grandfather Fires. Mai brings a commitment to serve along with her 20 plus years as an entrepreneur, professional dancer and business owner to her new role as the Logistics Mistress of Events.
Mai lives in Toronto, Canada where she is the first initiated Canadian Firekeeper. She is also an Art Consultant and has been a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer since 2006. She loves to dance, ski and ride her bike. She lives with her husband, two teenaged sons, parents and her dog – Turo.
We warmly welcome Karen Smith Fernandez as our new Director of Development. In this newly created position, Karen will provide best management practices towards raising contributed income from individuals and foundations needed for operational and program support of the Sacred Fire Community as well as providing strategic direction for the organization as a member of the Leadership Group. Karen graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia and with an MS in child-clinical psychology from the University of Washington. After working as a mental health therapist in Seattle, she moved to North Carolina where she has spent her career in non-profits raising money to support operations and programs. She also obtained certification in non-profit management from Duke University.
She sat as board chair for the North Carolina Recycling Association and co-founded the NC Composting Council. She currently works for the National Audubon Society as Director of Development and Communications. Having trained with Eliot Cowan in Plant Spirit Medicine, Karen has seen PSM clients since 2000. She is a weather worker in the Nahua tradition and an apprentice in the Huichol shamanic tradition.
A member of the Chapel Hill hamlet, Karen co-facilitates Sacred Fire Community’s Women’ s Fires there. She is blessed to live near three other hamlets where she also attends fires. Karen has two wonderful teenage boys and, together with her partner, tends to a small parcel of land in Hillsborough NC that supports chickens, bees and a variety of gardens. In her spare time Karen can be found with binoculars around her neck birding, digging in the garden, reading, singing and generally enjoying her very rich life.
It is with great pleasure that we announce that Chris Griffin has humbly agreed to fill the new Sacred Fire Community position of Community Economic Network Instigator. In this newly created position, Chris will work on developing Economic Networks to support the international Sacred Fire Community as well as local hamlets.
Chris’ day jobs include his Plant Spirit Medicine practice and working as a Software Engineer in the Medical Device industry, where he creates algorithms for imaging the inside of coronary arteries. In addition, Chris says, “I have developed an interest watching the larger movements of technology, and economics. I enjoy learning from many visionaries and leaders within these realms who are the cutting edge of recognizing the big changes coming, and who are looking for opportunities to help people adapt to the coming transitions, as transformation always brings new opportunities and possibilities. I am looking forward to volunteering for the Sacred Fire Community to help the community adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world.”
Chris lives in Wilton, NH with his wife Nicole and four children: Raven, Isabelle, Zephyr and Sophia. He says his children keep him, “fully engaged and right at the very edge of sanity.” He is an active member of the Pepperell fire community and a long time practitioner on the yogic paths of India. He maintains his involvement with that world through Kirtan chanting by playing mridangam (drum) and harmonium with a music group in southern NH.
We are indeed blessed to have Mai, Karen, and Chris contributing their joy, visions, skills and talents in helping us all connect with Spirit and transition in this new Sixth Sun time of transitions.
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