A Sacred Leadership Apprenticeship
for the Spiritual Fringe
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Do you have a calling to sacred leadership–but don’t quite fit inside established religious or spiritual structures?
Have you had that quiet inner knowing…that “yes–maybe–I’m a priestess…”?
Or maybe you’re not sure about spiritual leadership…but you know you crave more connection to your sacred source?
If so, you are in the right place.
And to be clear: by priestess I mean a spiritual leader–of any gender–answering the call of leadership on the spiritual fringe, midwifing our troubled world through these uncertain times from exactly where you are: in your family, your ecosystem, and your immediate spheres of influence.
BUT…despite all the signs, chances are you also feel uncertain and on your own, with some healthy doses of imposter syndrome and fear of abusing power. You’ve probably been holding back, wondering…
…Who am I to be a spiritual leader?
…How do I hold spiritual authority with integrity and authenticity?
…Who else can I walk with on this pathless path on the fringe…???
Priestess School was designed just for you to take brave steps on Your Unique Priestess Path (without burning out, going at it alone, or recreating the thing you’re attempting to leave behind)
Become the Sacred Leader You Wish You’d Had in this year-long apprenticeship with Kate Fontana, M.Div, christian-pagan priestess and mentor for the spiritual fringe.Enroll Now
"I had been searching for so long...working with Kate was actually life-changing."
- Beth S., 1:1 Client + Circle Participant
"[Working with Kate] was a reset button that truly brought healing."
-Stacy Nikolaisen, Retreat Participant
"Kate...you are an inspiration! I love your authenticity, your depth and your intelligence."
- Meag, Circle Participant
Is this you?
The word “priestess” scares you or makes you cringe…but also (secretly) lights you up
You know you’re called to spiritual leadership…but you’re terrified of abusing power the way you’ve seen it abused.
You are a “recovering Christian,” spiritual-but-not-religious, or have felt let down by, estranged from, or just never quite at home in your spiritual tradition of origin or mainstream religions
You’ve had an arduous healing journey…but you’re no longer in ‘survival’ mode and are ready to start giving back to the web that has held you.
You have a rich and eclectic spiritual life, and long to support others on their spiritual path
You’re longing for a place to refine your spiritual leadership skills with integrity…but traditional seminaries don’t speak to you.
You light up with anything having to do with the Feminine Divine, earth-based rhythms, mystical encounters, Beguines, heretics, animists and the monastics of old…and want to be a part of the Sacred Feminine emergence for the good of all creation
You are deeply attuned to and concerned with the many crises our world faces–maybe you’ve been an activist, an educator, or a care-provider of some kind–and continue to long to be a part of nurturing culture and communities of resistance, resilience, collective liberation and joy…without being paralyzed by overwhelm or burning out.
If so, this mentorship is designed just for you to expand your toolkit of personal and communal practice, grounded resilience, clear vision and authentic voice of leadership.
Through nurturing skills of deep listening and good-enough relating to your own body-ecology, the land you are on, your immediate sphere of relationships, and the wider web of life, you will be supported in stepping into your Priestess calling however that looks like for you.
In Priestess School, you will be supported towards:
- Deep nourishment through consistent co-creative personal and communal spiritual practice
- Rich and deep connection to body, earth, ancestry and community
- A felt sense of home in yourself, your body, your relationships and in the web of life.
- Skillful space-holding through honing and sharing your intuitive sensitivity to “what wants to happen” through and with you in any given moment
- Facing the fears, doubts, and insecurities that hold you back from embracing your Priestess path
- Attuning to your cultural and spiritual lineages to connect to Guides and Allies, as well as to address tensions, ghosts and trauma beings
- Relating well with the creative cycles, seasons and forces of the cosmos, in particular Sacred Eros and Mother Death, so that you can ride the highs and lows of your Priestess path with spaciousness, ease and flow (without taking anything too personally!)
- Taking meaningful, intuitive, creative steps towards your purposeful Priestess life, in a container of mentoring and peer feedback and support.
Here's What You'll Get in Priestess School
Unquenchable Authentic Self-Expression
Where all parts of you have a place: body, spirit, grief, rage, joy, longing, sexuality, shadow, desires, blindspots, and power.
Clarity of your vision for the ‘next right steps’
For yourself to be ‘in a good way’ with your corner of the web…even when your path is unclear or has never been walked before
A deepened felt sense of kinship and belonging to the web of life
Even when you don’t “fit” in many current religious, spiritual, or cultural containers
Ease, spaciousness and profound peace
In being of service right where you are…amidst the many tensions of being in the ‘edge’ spaces of culture and the collapse of modernity.
Confidence and skill
participating in, co-creating and leading local, land-based, light-hearted, liberatory, contextualized, emergent group processes and celebrations for collective lament, joy, endurance and harmony through these uncertain times
Intuitive and innovative skill-building
For good-enough relating to our complex world, through versatile and culturally-respectful tools and practices for connection…even beyond the shelter of norms, structures and institutions you were given
Attentive mentorship and close-knit peer community
Where we practice towards sustainable support, honest feedback, mutual trust, co-creativity, generative conflict and resource sharing with each other and our wider ecosystems
A sense-making framework, language and practices
That are profound, non-bypassing, yet accessible to being synthesized and translated by your own body-ecology and for your own context
A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BETA VERSION, FALL 2023:
When Priestess School launches officially in March 2024, there will be 10 modules over 12 months split into 2 levels with an optional ‘practicum’ for graduates of level 2 (as follows):
Priestess School 1: Foundations of Resilience + Belonging (5 months)
Priestess School 2: Circle-Keepers (5 months)
Priestess School 3: Practicum (ongoing)
This initial beta version will take place over 10 weeks (rather than 10 months), as an exploration of the themes and a few key practices so that I can test and get feedback on the overall framework and arc of the journey. I don’t expect you to feel “done” by the end of the 10 weeks! In fact, I hope it whets your appetite for the full 10 month journey, and if it is a good fit you will be invited to continue with me when that begins this fall at a special reduced rate.
- This is a virtual offering. All components will take place online via zoom.
- Weekly live recorded group calls, probably Mondays, 4-6:30pm PT
- 1 weekend immersive retreat, Friday evening through Sunday midday
- 3 1:1 mentoring sessions with Guest Priestess Faculty
- Weekly ‘dreamwork’ (homework), which will include both written, solo and partner practice, and action oriented assignments (Different from other containers that you may have been in with me, I will more strongly encourage and in some cases require that you do the homework - this is a co-created experience and your active engagement is essential!)
- A ‘Resilience ToolKit’ of practices and skills that we will assemble together throughout the term.
- Access to call recordings for review and in case you miss a session (you are strongly encouraged to watch the video of any calls that you miss)
- A group psychic reading at the beginning of the term to see where we are beginning; and at the end of the term to see how we have progressed on the energetic level.
- A private lightly curated FB group for community building and carrying conversation further outside of class
WHAT I EXPECT/AM ASKING OF YOU:
- TIME, ENERGY, and ENGAGEMENT: That you be as committed and engaged as is feasible for you: this means showing up live for class as much as possible, participating actively in class, doing the dreamwork, engaging practices outside of class, and being communicative of any needs or accommodations that would support this to happen as much as is in alignment for you to do so.
- HONEST FEEDBACK: the point of this beta cohort is to experiment with the themes and frameworks I hope to offer in Priestess School. It won’t be a perfect experiment because it is in such a much shorter period of time and it will feel more intense for that reason (though possibly less intense for other reasons, as we won’t have time to go deeply into every theme). I will be conducting exit interviews and asking all participants to complete a survey sharing about their experience and offering your ideas and suggestions.
- CONSENT TO BE RECORDED: some of the content I intend to re-use in future iterations of Priestess School (this is more so for teaching portions and guided practices, so that they can be made more easily available in the future). If there’s ever something you want to share that you don’t want recorded, you can ask that we pause. If this feels to be a strong deterrent to your ability to participate fully, let’s just have a conversation.
Your enrollment in Priestess School acts as your consent to these agreements.
What makes Priestess School so Different?
- If you google “Priestess School” you’ll get a whole lot of woo. And to be clear, I’m not opposed to the woo! (I’m a psychic, yall.) But I also believe in being firmly grounded on the earth and responsive/responsible to the contexts of our real lives. At this Priestess School, we love the ‘love and light’ AND aren’t afraid of the dark and dirty. We practice being real and welcoming the mess of life in all its expressions.
- This isn’t a “guru”-guided journey. I don’t have all the answers. I’m also still learning and growing on my Priestess path. I have mentors and peers who keep me connected and in relationship. I have bad days and seasons of life where I don’t know WTF I’m doing. I drop F-bombs at the Universe. I might be just a few steps ahead or to the side of where you are, but I’m not “there” wherever there might be! So I’ll be with you every step of the way.
- This isn't a magic bullet or weekend "transformational" intensive. It is more intensive than the full version of Priestess School, but it is intended to jumpstart a process that will take much longer. It takes time to build the web of relationships within which deep, lasting change can occur.
- This is not a solo journey. In my experience, environment is stronger than will power, which is why we are attempting to create a rhythmic cultural container to support and hold us as we dream and design together for our unique contexts.
- Priestess School has some 'church-like' attributes because my lineage is Christian, but it's not Christian or particularly religious. I teach and explore with some Christian themes because they are where I come from and so deeply a part of the white western lineage, but I aim to do so non-prescriptively and simply as examples for how one might relate to troublesome (and rich) ancestral beings. At Priestess School, folks of any or no religious or spiritual lineage are welcome. We value skillful contextual practice towards a diversified harmony over uniformity of confession, belief or ideology.
- This is not like other courses that give you tons of pre-recorded content and then leave you to your own devices. Priestess School consists of some pre-recorded content as well as frequent, consistent live group contact points so you won't fall through the cracks. Like I said: I will be with you every step of the way.
- This is not a linear, progress-and-expertise-driven information dump. Rather, through rhythmic, cyclical learning, we let the earth, our ecosystems, our bodies, and the web of our human and more-than-human, visible and invisible relationships be our primary texts and teachers
What People Are Saying:
Megan Thornton, Circle Participant
“I love doing this work as a group. Kate understands that we are stronger and better in community, contributing our varied voices and experiences to the work of the whole, and she is such a skilled facilitator... This work has over time directly impacted my ability and willingness to slow down, listen to my body, and tune in to my feelings. It shines a light on my path towards healing my own generational trauma, connecting with earth, ancestors, feeling at home in my body, working with challenging relationship dynamics, and more fully stepping into my life's calling.”
K.M., Circle Participant
“Your unconditional acceptance and gentle, honest communication was a model of how I could receive myself. Having had only conflictual and judgmental relationships with women previously, your presence was an example of a new way in which I could accept ALL of myself and others. This has been so helpful in my personal life and in my professional life...allowing for the totality of experience - the dark and the light, the comfortable and the uncomfortable. Powerful medicine."
Meag Diamond, Circle Participant
“A find a new paradigm and way of viewing the world that was so different from my previous Christian experience. There was so much acceptance, grace and open mindedness to different situations and people. [Working with Kate] gave me a weekly chance to be heard, seen and valued. I knew I would have time and space to talk and to process life. I learned from the women in the group and grew to be more loving of myself and others."
Why is Priestess School so important right now?
If the patterns of past empires are any indicator, we are living at the brink of collapse. It is already happening in many corners of our nation and world. Ecologies and systems across sectors are reaching their breaking point. The extreme polarities of politics, worldviews, and access to resources are staggering and seemingly irreconcilable. These coming years and decades will likely continue to be turbulent, unpredictable and painful.
What is on the other side of this portal? And how will we get through it?
Honestly: these are the questions that keep me up at night. I don’t know if I have any answers, but it is through wrestling with the reality of the world as I see it that summoned me to step up to my Priestess calling, and summons me now to call other Priestesses like you forth.
My goal is to nurture the leaders and conveners of what Margaret Wheatley describes as “islands of sanity”: those buoys of connection and clear-seeing, anchored to that deepest source of love-life within each of us and within creation that might offer us a touchpoint to Reality, a reference point from which to navigate the coming changes with even a tiny bit more skill, honesty, groundedness, courage and companionship.
I suspect you are already an “island of sanity” to the community you belong to. I’m here to help strengthen and support you as you fortify the edges of that island and gather your people in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the curriculum?
What happens in each module?
What are the exact dates and times?
Can I get a refund if I decide it's not for me?
Do I have to be Christian, Pagan (or any particular religion?)
Is this a spiritual community?
Tell me about the Restorative Sliding Scale?
Here’s a Recap of Everything You Get in Priestess School Beta:
10 Live Weekly Modules that distill over 15 years of my own experience and learnings designed to take you from Powerless to Priestess (Weekly, Sept-December 2023) (VALUE: $5000)
1 Weekend Immersive Retreat to do a deep dive into your relationships with the earth, Spirit, each other, and your vocation (VALUE: $900)
3 monthly mentorship sessions with Kate or Guest Priestess Mentors matched to you ($750)
Weekly dreamwork, reading, practice tools and peer practice assignments to get you into engagement and action. Some of these, as well as peer practice reports will be turned in for review by Kate. (VALUE: $1000)
2 group psychic readings by Kate to get an energetic look at what we are beginning as a group and where we wind up (VALUE: $500)
Lightly Curated Online community space (VALUE: $500)
VALUE = $8,650
But don’t worry. You won’t pay that.
Because this is the pilot program of Priestess School, and because I believe in you and who you are called to be in this world, for this time only you can enroll for less than half that.
Restorative Culture Rate:
50% off for Black & Indigenous folks, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks and Folks with Disabilities
Learn more about Why and How of the Restorative Culture Rate in the FAQs
But Kate...how do I know if this will be right for me?
Truthfully: I don't know. Only you can know that. That is a question for you, your gut, your ancestors and spirit team. Take it to them prayerfully, without thinking too hard about it.
There is a lot that I intend and will do my best to nurture for you in the Priestess School, as listed above; but ultimately what I can promise you is that: this is a container in which you will have an experience. What kind of experience will depend on the interplay of so many things: our bodies, personalities, personal and ancestral traumas, available resources, life circumstances, spiritual energies, seasons of the year and of life. I will do my best to gather us together to not be so lost and alone in our experiencing and in our metabolizing and integration of these experiences, and in bringing forth new gifts to our communities.
Priestess School doesn't (shouldn't!) have to be "the only right thing" or "the most right thing"...but just ask your inner wisdom: is it even just a part of the next right thing?
Hello! I'm Kate.
I have been a wandering spiritual orphan-grown-Priestess for almost two decades. After coming out as queer and leaving my Catholic faith, I got deep into the Goddess tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, where I had my first real 'hit' of actually being made in the 'divine image'.
In 2013 I was gifted the word “priestess”, which made me literally gag. Then in 2015, for an even more unexpected double gag, Jesus came back into my life--not as triumphant victor, not as dewy-eyed shepherd, but as a tender lover. I could not have been more shocked (or annoyed!).
Through major mental health crisis, job loss, seminary, psychic school, somatic animist apprenticeship, and a slow return to my body and earth-based rhythms, I have been attempting to make sense and live respectfully in the confluence of these strange intersections of lineages and modalities. This is my latest iteration of being as authentic and generous from my learnings as I can.
Here's what I know: how lonely, confusing, doubt-ridden and uncertain a life with an unconventional spiritual calling can be.
I also know that it’s near impossible to resist that calling (though I’m pretty sure you’ve been trying real hard. It’s ok. I see you.)
Here’s what I believe: that you are being called for a reason–the web of life is lining up around you and in response to you aligning with it. There is a greater harmony wanting to happen, and you have a part to play. Whether it’s been a quiet whisper or a swift kick in the pants, the Priestess in you won’t rest until you respond.
I’m here to help you do just that, to provide a solid, flexible container of nurturance so that you can do the deep work of birthing your Priestess self into the world, for the good of the world.
As we find ourselves on the brink of global collapse of the world as we know it, with crises mounting on every front, I believe now more than ever we need to find our way back home to ourselves and in the diverse and interdependent web of creation, and to step up as leaders and collaborators with Earth and Spirit to nurture spaces where others can do so with us.
Priestess School is just the beginning.
There is no “savior” coming.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Here’s what to do next:
Feel into your belly. Breath. Ask your inner wisdom: is Priestess School right for you?
Is Priestess School right for you now?
If you get a YES, proceed!