Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

SDI Webinar: Exploring the Sacred Wild in Winter - Journey to Solstice

Online Video - Watch at Your Convenience

~ Re-wild Yourself ~

Where light and dark are friends not enemies, this is our meeting place.

Together, let us follow the Heroine's Journey to transformation -

As we explore - and celebrate - the season of Solstice.




Mother Nature is the most nurturing and transformative of spiritual companions. In this SDI webinar series, we will journey with Her.

On our digital pilgrimage, we seek to  -

  • Restore our relationship with the natural world around us
  • Learn nature-based strategies to support your work as spiritual companions
  • Embrace an ecology of spirit that teaches the wild truth of connection - that as we forgive, the Universe becomes more forgiving, that as we choose love, the Universe becomes more loving, that as we participate in any level of healing, the entire Universe heals

Winter is our season. The sky, the earth, the water, the wind and all still, wild and growing beings -- these are our teachers.

We will tweak Joseph Campbell's paradigm of the Hero's Journey so that it honors the wild femininity in every human being. Each session will connect us with one major step in the journey - The Call, The Departure, The Descent and The Return.

We will experience how the Wild is accompanying us through our soul-formation journey, and how we, too, may accompany the Wild.

This will be experiential learning, designed for all those who offer spiritual care, especially spiritual companions.

Please join us.


This isn't just a webinar.

It's a contemplative pilgrimage,

a spiritual journey to our shared roots

in the sacred wild of winter.


Main Presenter

Mary DeJong is a spiritual companion, retreat leader and urban naturalist who specializes in re-wilding. Steeped in Celtic Christian traditions, Mary focuses on place-based retreats and pilgrimages and nature-based, mystical spiritual practice. Her deep and broad training in theology, psychology, myth and ecology is leavened by a joyful and welcoming presence. She has the patience of a mother (of 4) and the effervescent, contagious energy of someone who is curious and compassionate in equal measure. Mary will be joined in each session with dialogue partners who each bring insight, warmth and wisdom to the practice of eco-spirituality.



This webinar series will offer practical wisdom designed to support those who offer spiritual care. Our webinar leader, Mary DeJong, will create videos of practices that can be followed outside - in both rural and urban settings. We will share these videos in each session. Spiritual companionship strategies designed particularly for this season of increased darkness will also be shared. We will explore winter not as a time of scarcity, but as a season of contemplative plenty - ripe for finding authentic connection with God, or however one refers to the ground of all being. This webinar series is not about information dissemination. It is about direct experience. Participants will be invited to open their hearts and engage stillness as they embrace community with all beings. Participants will be encouraged to trace for themselves the arc of the heroine's journey. The goal? To embrace and embody the transcendent power of connection that Nature offers us every day of our lives.


Other Details

  All sessions are 75 minutes in length.   Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.



Solstice is the "thinnest" time of the year and yet, in many ways, the most pregnant with change.

In this liminal space, may we open the gate to Mystery.

In this darkest time, may we be open to deepest revelation.




Course Description

Session 1 - The Call: The Sacred Wild as Guardian -  We are being called to discover the enchantment of the natural world and experience our full membership within it. How do we cross the threshold into this way of interrelationship?  Led by Mary DeJong with Edith and Dr. Randy Woodley.

Session 2 - The Departure: The Sacred Wild as Guide -  From what worldviews and practices, must we depart to ensure a whole-ing, healing, and a flourishing future for all? We will explore animate frameworks with the Sacred Wild as our Guide. Led by Mary DeJong with Victoria Loorz.

Session 3 - The Descent: The Sacred Wild as the Exiled One -  This journey requires separating from old frameworks to recover ways of belonging deeply to ourselves, the Sacred, and the more-than-human world. To re-member ourselves we must recover those aspects of ourselves and our understanding of the Divine that have been exiled and cast away.  Led by Mary DeJong with Frederica Helmiere.

Session 4 - The Return: The Sacred Wild as Belonging -  We have returned from this journey, more deeply belonged to our emplaced bioregions. What is the wisdom we now embody and how does that posture us as a blessing on this planet?  Led by Mary DeJong with Yasmin Ravard-Andresen.


Learn earth-based ways to transcend ego.

Share them with those you companion.



Mary DeJong is an eco-theologian, urban naturalist, and practitioner and guide of place-based pilgrimage. She specializes in the spiritual companionship of "rewilding." Mary facilitates retreats and pilgrimages in the Pacific Northwest and in Iona, Scotland that strengthen the unique and mystical interconnection of participants, the sacred, and the natural world. She has studied and practiced within the Celtic Christian spiritual tradition, her own maternal line heritage, for over twenty years, and is influenced by the lives of Celtic saints, Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and the emerging field of eco-psychology. Mary uses multiple disciplines to delve into why place matters, the sacramentality of creation, and how together this informs the development of our ecological self. Mary terms this work “sacred eco-awakening” and sees this as a critical and holy endeavor as it allows us to come to grievous terms of our human history and to posture ourselves once again side-by-side with the whole of creation. She lives in Seattle, Washington's Rainier Valley in Columbia City, at Hedgewood, a home that for over a decade has hosted community connection through the reclamation and restoration of a neighborhood forest.

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley is an activist/scholar, teacher, author and wisdom keeper. He addresses a variety of issues concerning American history and culture, missiology, shalom, postcolonial theology, community-building, faith, socio-justice, diversity, regenerative farming, climate-change and the human relationship to the earth and to Indigenous realities. Dr. Woodley currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture, and Director of Intercultural and Indigenous Studies at George Fox University/Portland Seminary. Randy was raised near Detroit, Michigan and is a legal descendent of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.

Edith Woodley is a teacher/mentor on issues concerning Native American Spirituality and Creation. A full-time mother, grandmother and activist farmer, she has developed a unique relationship with the land, as well as insights concerning how to raise a family on a small farm. Edith is an Eastern Shoshone tribal member raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.  Edith and her husband, Randy, are co-sustainers and co-hosts of a permaculture, regenerative teaching farm, school and community in Newberg, Oregon, housed at Eloheh Village for Indigenous Leadership. They have been innovators and activists for over three decades. The Woodleys have four grown children and four grandchildren, all living in the Pacific Northwest. Edith and Randy have been involved in mentoring Indigenous leaders and others for three decades.

Victoria Loorz, MDiv, is a spiritual director, certified by Stillpoint in Pasadena CA and pastor of Church of the Wild in Bellingham, WA.  After leading a series of independent churches over the past 25 years, and running a youth climate non-profit for ten years that she founded with her son, she is now fully engaged in work that re-connects nature and spirituality.  Victoria leads the Wild Church Network, which supports the hundreds of pastors launching "wild churches" across North America, creating spiritual practices that re-connect their congregations to the sacred embedded in all things. She is a co-founder of Seminary of the Wild, a program that helps spiritual leaders to reWild their faith, their bio-region, and their own souls.  And she is creating, with Stillpoint, an Eco-Spiritual Direction certification program, launching in 2020. Victoria raised two brilliant, compassionate young adults who are determined to change the world.

Frederica Helmiere is a scholar, teacher and complexity enthusiast. Inspired by the subversive-mystical Christian tradition and a penchant for mountains, she has spent two decades exploring entanglements at the intersections of spirituality, social justice, and ecology. Prior to joining SDI as Director of Programs & Events, Frederica served as a global interfaith peacebuilder, a professor, a naturalist guide in Cascadia, a log cabin builder, philosophical vermiculturist, and an environmental educator with the Peace Corps. Frederica holds two masters degrees from Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a BA from Dartmouth College in Religion & Environmental studies.

Yasmin Ravard-Andresen is Music Minister and Board Gardener at Valley & Mountain Fellowship in Seattle, Washington. Yasmin grew up with a solid diet of the performing arts, interfaith spirituality, and multiethnic community. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in theatre and vegan food. She served as a campus minister and worship leader for eight years on college campuses throughout the Northwest and worked as a professional actor in Seattle for a few years. Now, she spends most of her time learning alongside her two young children--practicing deep listening, cooking from scratch in the kitchen, making beautiful things at the art table and singing through the forest with friends.


We welcome all people of all abilities and all traditions on this journey.

Do you hear the call?

Come join our circle.




Additional Information

Each session will run 75 minutes.  CEU credits are available for all those who participate. (See below)

Who may join the webinar?

Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars. 

Are CEUs available?

SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here:  continuing education units (CEUs).

Tuition (4-part webinar package):

SDI Member Rate USD$59.00

Non-Member Rate USD$79.00

Tuition for webinar participation is non-refundable. All registered participants will receive access to the online recording of the SDI Webinar following the event.


A limited number of scholarships are available for those facing financial hardship. Please apply here.




Two for the Price of None

Learn. For. Free. Discover and Listen. One signup, two great resources. Free.

Help Us Serve More People

Become an SDI member. Great benefits, discounts, and networking. Learn more...