from superficial chaos to sustaining calm, the Dark Mother beckons...
for the ‘love&light’ junkies ready for more depth, and recovering christians seeking a new spiritual home
5 live virtual circles November 28th-January 9th, hosted by Kate Fontana, M.Div, christian-pagan priestess and mentor for the spiritual fringe
Frantic, surface-level, overstimulating holidays are optional.
In this communal journey into the sacred solstice-advent womb, press pause on perpetual productivity, overwhelm, mindless consumerism.
Rediscover calm and connection in your deep inner darkness.
This offering is designed for people of any or no faith/spiritual tradition who:
- Are unchurched or estranged from traditional church or religious institutions, but long for meaningful traditions and rituals
- Struggle during the holiday season and long for greater ease and balance
- Feel like there is “something more” to life but can’t seem to find the time or space to figure out what that thing might be
- Feel isolated on their spiritual path and desire a deeper connection to spiritual community
- Are processing loss, grief, or significant life change, and have anxiety about pressures to be “happy” around the holidays
- Are interested in a deeper, more nuanced, more holistic approach to spirituality and embodied living, beyond the spiritual bypass of surface level “love&light” platitudes and the binaries of “light” and “dark”
In this simple, contemplative experience, you will be provided a nurturing space in which to:
Connect to the Earth, the elements of the season, fellow pilgrims, and your own body-spirit to experience greater balance, stability, and resilience.
Do nothing. Have nothing expected of you. Pause in sacred rest and reset your nervous system and internal compass to a baseline of ease.
Be deeply nourished by silence, song, prayer, poetry, and gentle invitations for reflection and connection.
Sense into your innermost wisdom and deepest desire, gathering clues about where your body-spirit is orienting and calling you in ways that are often drowned out by the business of life.
Clear out old mental and physical patterns of holiday stress at the personal, collective and ancestral levels. Attune yourself to the ways of being that align with your values and dreams.
DATES & DETAILS
Holy Darkness is an invitation to sync up with the rhythms of the natural world and the quiet stirrings of one's inner world through weekly-is communal practice of song, gentle movement, interspiritual prayer and meditation, contemplative reading, and simple take-home exercises to integrate and deepen the experience of the Sacred into our daily lives.
This offering consists of five 90 minute circles, via zoom. These will be recorded and available for participants only.
All sessions will take place on Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm Pacific Time.
People of all or no faith/spiritual traditions are welcome. Some meditation experience may be helpful, but not required.
Holy Darkness for Light Junkies
Holy Darkness: A Creation Story Revamp
Holy Darkness: Mary and the Erotic Womb Space
Holy Darkness of Solstice: Death and Dreamworld
Epiphany After-Party: Simple Gifts and Subtle Pleasures
- Weekly ‘dreamwork’: prompts for further reflection, practice, and deepening
- Audio recordings of practices for your ongoing practice
- Optional Add-On: 1:1 Seasonal Support Session with Kate (an additional $147 for 45 minute session, available for 5 people, purchase at checkout)
Why is this offer so important right now?
Dominant Christian and New Age spirituality tends to talk about darkness as something to be feared or defeated, the domain of evil and the antithesis of light. However, the natural world, our bodies, and many threads of mysticism and animist practice around the world offer a different nondual relationship to darkness: it is the Dark Mother, the sacred womb, the realm of rest, restoration, dreams, and the transformative portal of death.
It is my belief that the tremendous problems we face as a global family--from the ecological crisis to white supremacy--have arisen in large part because of the rampant fear and disavowal of the Dark Feminine/Yin essence.
It is also my belief that the clues for finding our way back to the Dark Goddess are all around and within us. The turning of the seasons is a major clue.
This time of year in the northern hemisphere is a season that can often feel hurried and hectic. However, the winter’s darkness beckons towards letting go, simplicity, quietude, spaciousness, and the worlds of dreams and ancestors.
My deep desire is that this practice might awaken in us the memory of living in a greater rhythm of balance and belonging to the interdependent web of creation; and by that awakening, inspire us towards more bold actions of restoration and harmony so that all beings everywhere can have what they need to be well.
Regular Tuition: $197 USD
Restorative Culture Sliding Scale: $47-$197 USD
The Restorative Culture Sliding Scale is A available for Black and indigenous folks, and folks of color (BIPOC); as well as LGBTQ+ folks and folks with disabilities who are experiencing severe financial hardship.
This is a gesture of repair for the historical and ongoing racialized violence and disparities in resource access; as well as a nod to the reality that most modern healing modalities are extractions from indigenous practices.
It is also an effort to address the innumerable barriers to access capitalism places on folks queer and trans folks and folks with disabilities.
By paying full price, you are helping to make this offering more accessible to folks who have historically had more barriers to care.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Money exchanged casts a spell and sends magic into motion. Because I believe in my work and in the value you will get when you step over the threshold and commit to it, I do not issue refunds and all sales are final.
What participants of past programs have said:
Erin R, Licensed Massage Practitioner
“Doing [the Journeying with Grief] series...has made [the anniversary of my father’s death] not easier but less daunting. I can also see beyond the loss and just to the change. The group setting allows you to connect with others in a safe environment and to not feel alone in your burden. ”
“[In Moon Circle] I found 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. Circle 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.”
"Stillness at the Center was a merging of Christian and Nature-Spirituality paths. It brought intention and belonging that tempered the normally-depressing [winter] season. It was deeply spiritual in a way that connects one to the Divine experientially."
Recovering Christians Reclaiming Holidays:
A Holy Darkness Case Study with Jessica Bitner
I am christian-pagan priest/ess-at-large, psychic, and founder/steward of The Sanctuary Northwest, a center for trauma resilience and cultural restoration. I’m also a recovering ‘nice white lady’, workaholic and angry activist, trying to live in a better way to my body, my ancestry, the world, and all visible, invisible, human and more-than human beings within it.
In 2015, years after having left the Catholic Church of my upbringing, Jesus came unexpectedly back into my life--not as triumphant victor, not as dewy eyed shepherd, but as a lover: tender, nurturing, and kinda sexy. Mary Magdelene showed up not long after that, and a surprising love affair was ignited. It's been a confusing and electrifying journey into an innovative and emergent version of my own spiritual and cultural lineages, and I am excited/humbled/terrified to be at this juncture and offer some of my learnings and musings.
I have been greatly influenced by the animist somatic work of Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul and the now dissolved Ritual as Justice School; the sacred activism of the Roman Catholic WomenPriest movement; and the earth-based traditions of Ireland and India. I have over 15 years of teaching and facilitating experience, mostly in trauma-informed body-based inter-spiritual group practice.
A few personal details: I have a masters of divinity from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology), and live with my sweetie Coda and their swarm of animals on Coast Salish territory (so-called Tacoma, Washington). I’m a Sagittarius Sun, Cancer Moon, Libra Rising; Enneagram - 4; Meyers-Briggs - INFJ. Also I love whales and dolphins!
Here's the thing... I know first-hand how lonely, confusing, uncertain a life on the spiritual fringe can be.
I also know that belonging is your birthright--you are a citizen of the earth. You have a direct line of communication and connection to Earth/Source/God/dess/the Cosmos/The Dark Mother that has never not been there.
As we find ourselves on the brink of global collapse, with crises mounting on every front, I believe the sustainability of our species and planet depends on us all finding our way back home to ourselves and in the diverse and interdependent web of creation.
I do what I do so we can all help each other do just that. So if you're ready for more connection, resilience, nourishment and intuitive wisdom, welcome.