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Spirit Keepers Series
2015 – 2016

Waiki Circle in Peru

Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD

Maestra Laura Alonzo de Franklin

Jo Berry

Eli PaintedCrow and Carla Woody CANCELLED

Tat Apab'yan Tew

Thomas Hatathli

We are pleased to bring you our Spirit Keepers Series on a donation basis — unless otherwise noted — to support future sponsored events, with no one turned away for lack of funds. However, you must register in advance due to space limitations. For more information, see the Registration section. To donate online, go to the Donate page.

In these times there are a number of Spirit Keepers who are emissaries of ancient and living indigenous traditions, acting as a bridge, straddling both worlds, uniting cultures. In the Quechua language of the Andes, a person who undertakes this sacred role is called a chakaruna. They help us remember what we already know.

Chakaruna's Offering is an introductory talk on the sacred message of the Spirit Keeper's wisdom ways. These Friday evening presentations are held 7:00-8:30 PM at North Mountain Visitors Center, 12950 N. 7th St. in Phoenix, AZ; telephone: (602) 335-1962 unless otherwise noted in the entry below.

The Spirit Keeper's Circle is a follow-on Saturday gathering led by the Spirit Keeper with more in-depth opportunities to experience the rituals, cosmology and practices that inform the spiritual consciousness of their native people. Circles are held 10:30 AM-3 PM at North Mountain Visitors Center, 12950 N. 7th St. in Phoenix, AZ; telephone: (602) 335-1962 unless otherwise noted in the entry below. Light snacks provided.

Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD
Native American Author

January 15, 12 Noon-1:15 PM
Free Public Talk in Collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health:
Coyote Medicine: Lessons from Native American Healing

Native American healers can teach us much about healing and transcendence. While cure is not always possible, healing is and can manifest on many levels. In studies of people who have experienced dramatic cure while working with Native American healers, it becomes clear that healers engage in a dialogue within community to create stories that create the possibility for believing in healing. The more the community supports this story, the more likely healing becomes. As healing and transcendence occur, then cure may sometimes result. The people who experience these cures become very present-oriented. They let go of past grudges and bitterness. They diminish their fear of the future. Paradoxically, they seem to make peace with death. They report often dramatic changes in their quality of life, their relationships and their sense of connectedness to the spiritual. We will consider how to accomplish these goals within modern life.

Special Note: This talk is to be held at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205. Entrance to building on 1900 E. Monument Street, which is handicap accessible. Parking recommended at 701 N. Washington Street, 21205.

No fee for the public but you must reserve your space by contacting Nicole Pare: npare1@jhu.edu or call 410-955-6931.

You can download a copy of the flyer for the presentation.

Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhDLewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, is of Indigenous origins and author of the Coyote Trilogy showing what Native culture has to offer the modern world. His primary focus has been upon Cherokee and Lakota traditions. His goal is to bring the wisdom of Indigenous peoples about healing back into mainstream medicine, and to transform medicine and psychology through this wisdom coupled with more European derived narrative traditions. Lewis graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and trained in family medicine, psychiatry, and clinical psychology. He has been on the faculties of several medical schools, most recently as associate professor of family medicine at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. He continues to work with aboriginal communities to develop uniquely aboriginal styles of healing and health care for use in those communities. He is also currently working with people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia to explore healing through dialogue in community. He maintains a part-time private practice of family medicine and psychiatry and serves on the Board of Directors of the Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation.


Maestra Laura Alonzo de Franklin
Curandera and Spiritual Healer

We especially invite veterans, therapists, alternative health practitioners, as well as others who are drawn to participate.

Maestra Laura Alonzo de Franklin in ceremony Friday, March 27, 2015
from 7-8:30 PM
The Chakaruna’s Offering Talk:
The Medicine Is for Everyone

Maestra Laura Alonzo de Franklin offers an introductory plactica (heart-to-heart talk) on how curanderismo (Mexhika traditional healing) can alleviate the symptoms of SUSTO (PTSD) in veterans.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
from 10:30 AM to 3 PM
The Spirit Keepers Circle:
The Mexhika Medicine Wheel

This day will be focused on guiding participants in curanderismo healing methods to bring wholeness to fragmented spirits suffering from SUSTO/PTSD.

Maestra Laura invites you to the Medicine Wheel, known as the Sacred Hoop, used by various Indigenous tribes for health and healing. It embodies the Four Sacred Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Heart — all which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life. In this walk around the medicine wheel, participants will learn how to integrate the elements, food, body energy and symbolic color of each direction in lessening the symptoms of SUSTO (PTSD). This will be a practicum session. Wear comfortable clothing, bring items you wish to share on a communal altar and an open heart.

Maestra Laura Alonzo de FranklinLaura Alonzo de Franklin, MSW, is a curandera, spiritual healer, community advocate and health promoter in New Mexico. An empath, intuitive and traditional healer, she uses clinical social work methods and evidence-based practices for the immigrant community, incarcerated Native American youth, homeless veterans, young mothers, hospice patients and those in addiction recovery. Much of her work focuses on susto (PTSD) in returning veterans.

Her evidence-based practices include: Indigenous ceremonies, placticas (heart-to-heart talks), temazcales (sweat lodges), prayer, meditation, herbal consultations, soul retrievals, PTSD ceremonies, transition/crossover ceremonies, land and home blessings, and energy work.

Cross-cultural spiritual practices are her expertise. She has been initiated into Mexhika, Aztec, Lipan Apache and Lakota traditions as a medicine woman.


Jo Berry
Film: Beyond Right and Wrong and Talk: Making Peace with the Enemy

Making Peace with the Enemy by Jo Berry Monday, September 28
from 6:30-8:30 PM
Film Screening and Talk in Collaboration with the Quad-City Interfaith Council:
Film: Beyond Right and Wrong with Talk: Making Peace with the Enemy by Jo Berry

Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness takes us into the hearts and minds of some of the victims and perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the troubles in Northern Ireland. How do whole societies recover from devastating conflict? This documentary shows us how to begin. For more information on the film, go here.

Jo Berry is a global peace builder, the epitome of triumph over adversity and challenge. When an IRA bomb, planted in the Grand Hotel in Brighton, UK killed her father, Sir Anthony Berry MP, she had a choice. She could choose to harbor hatred and anger-craving revenge, or seek understanding and so bring peace back into her life. As part of her quest to come to terms with the bombing and—in her own words... to bring something positive out of it—she chose peace.

Her extraordinary journey has led to her to become an established ambassador for peace and reconciliation worldwide. She now often appears on stage alongside Patrick Magee, the very man who planted the bomb that killed her father and tore her life apart. Their meeting and reconciliation inspired them to now work together sharing their story on their quest to inspire others to seek peace and reconciliation and to work towards putting an end to conflict and violence.

Jo Berry is frequently invited to speak at international conferences and seminars in the world of humanitarian aid, conflict resolution, and human rights. She has spoken at the UN and has shared her story with people in Rwanda, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Australia, Norway, and Northern Ireland. Most recently she has added her insights to the vital work in countering violent extremism. Jo Berry and Patrick Magee's relationship was featured in a BBC program, Everyman — Facing the Enemy. They are also featured in the award-winning documentary Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness. Jo has founded a charity called Building Bridges for Peace and presented at TEDx Exeter &151; a talk entitled Disarming with Empathy.

Special Note: This event will be held at Prescott College Crossroads Center, 215 Garden Street, Prescott, AZ. No registration required. Admission: free-will offering at the door with no one turned away.


Eli PaintedCrow
Indigenous Wisdom Keeper
Carla Woody
Conscious Living Teacher and Author

CANCELLED due to unforeseen circumstances

Friday, December 4, 2015
from 7-8:30 PM
The Chakaruna’s Offering Talk:
Re-Membering the Path

In this world today we can no longer exist separately from each other. At the core all true sacred traditions have similar elements running through them. How do we embrace our spiritual values — and live through them — in an increasingly complex world with all its distractions? Eli PaintedCrow and Carla Woody share examples from their own lives. Carla will also introduce the Re-Membering Process, a model she developed identifying not only phases of spiritual evolution but also typical challenges and ways through the territory.

Saturday, December 5, 2015
from 10:30 AM to 3 PM
The Spirit Keepers Circle:
From Two Worlds to One Reality

Our experiential circle offers ways to integrate the best of Indigenous and European sacred values to experience daily living from a state of wholeness — rather than compartmentalization or disconnection. Using the Medicine Wheel and Re-Membering Process as springboards, each participant is encouraged to uncover where they currently are in their journey and where they want to be. Through ceremony, energy medicine and processes drawn from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) we explore the question of readiness, thresholds and how to align your life and live through spiritual intent.

Eli PaintedCrow Eli PaintedCrow, Yaqui-Mexica Wisdom Keeper, Peace Activist and Founder of Turtle Women Rising, holds a proud history from the Yaqui Nation and Mexica ancestry. She is the mother to two veteran sons and a grandmother of eight. She is an advocate for peace and returning soldiers. A 22-year Army veteran, her eyes were opened during her last tour of military service while in Iraq. Eli has committed to strategies that bring healing to the planet and its inhabitants with the knowledge inherited from her ancestors. Concern for the future generations has inspired her to be their voice at this crucial time of our changing planet.

Carla Woody photoCarla Woody, Founder of Kenosis Spirit Keepers, is the author of Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark and Calling Our Spirits Home, plus numerous articles on spirituality and advocacy of Native traditions. She has been mentoring people to re-align their lives through spiritual values for more than twenty years. In 1999, Carla established Kenosis LLC to support human potential through spiritual travel journeys with Indigenous leaders, and programs integrating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and world mythologies. Carla credits Peruvian mystic Don Américo Yábar with introducing her to the teachings of the Andes in 1994 where she has remained immersed. She has many years' direct experience with the Quechua and Q'ero people of Peru, the Maya people of Mexico and Guatemala, and the Hopi people of northern Arizona, as well other Native peoples. Carla founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, in 2007 to help preserve Indigenous wisdom ways threatened with decimation.


Tat Apab'yan Tew
Ajq'ij, a Day Keeper and spiritual guide

Friday, March 25, 2016
from 7-8:30 PM
The Chakaruna’s Offering Talk:
The Maya World

Tat Apab'yan Tew will offer an introduction on Maya worldview and speak eloquently about natural laws and other guiding beliefs.

...We cannot be who we must be without the land. Another principle is that the body we have is not really ours. It is lent from the Mother Earth herself. So if you create any kind of danger to your body, you are also hurting the Mother Earth. What the Earth produces and what we produce is part of the same cycle, the same system. We are not separated from the Earth—and the Earth is not to be thought of as just another provider of goods. The term that is used in the West is ‘natural resources’ as something to be taken, something to be transformed. For us, we don’t use this term. We use the term ‘elements of life.’ It is our life! It is not a resource…It is our purpose not to take more than we can give back. But it is also our purpose not to change. We must not touch what is not ours. It is not ours from the beginning. It is ours to have a dialogue...

Tat Apab'yan invites questions for discussion.*

Tat Apab'yan with Fire CeremonySaturday, March 26, 2016
from 10:30 AM to 3 PM
The Spirit Keepers Circle:
The Fire Ceremony — Calling on the Ancestors

The K'iche' Maya Fire Ceremony is called a gift but also a payment in the sense of reciprocity. The ceremonial pyre is not a bonfire; it does not burn a long time. It does not need to last. The importance has to do with what happens while the fire is active: There must be a dialogue.

When the fire starts to burn, the sky and the earth begin to speak. The clouds are speaking. The wind speaks. The birds talk and sing. Everyone…everything... participates in that moment.

It's only the human being — especially the adult—that needs to be pushed to believe this is possible. The fire is alive, speaks and does so with discernment. That is, it allows negotiation because it is listening, too. The sacred fire opens up possibilities. One can review decisions, consult your own heart, enter into an affinity with nature, interact with the ancestors, experience communion with the universe.

Note: Participants may bring items to include on an altar for blessing. As examples: These may be photos of loved ones, medicine bundles, power objects or other sacred items.

Tat Apab'yan photo Apab'yan Tew is an Ajq'ij, a Day Keeper, spiritual guide, dancer and musician, of the sacred K'iche' Maya tradition from the village of Nawalja' in Sololá of the Guatemalan highlands. His ceremonial work most often takes place in caves, engaging the resident energies of the natural site and timing of the Cholq'ij calendar in conjunction with needs of communities or individuals. During these times he becomes a living mirror and spiritual conduit. He also holds an associate professorship at Universidad Maya Kaqchikel teaching Maya textile art and philosophy. Sought after as a speaker and consultant, we are fortunate to have Tat Apab'yan as translator of Maya traditions in a way we may experience them deeply.

     * Tat is an honorific title meaning Father used in the K'iche' language for a Maya spiritual teacher.


Thomas Hatathli
Traditional Diné Healer

Friday, November 11, 2016
from 7-8:30 PM
The Chakaruna’s Offering Talk:
The Blessing Way

Long before conventional medicine and medication, Diné ancestry sustained their health by practicing traditional methods of healing. This introductory talk centers on the healing method that comes from grandparents and ancestry. Called the Blessing Way ceremony and prayer, it is used for restoration, cleansing, mindfulness, and connection in good spiritual ways.

Saturday, November 12, 2016
from 10:30 AM to 3 PM
The Spirit Keepers Circle:
Diné Ceremonies for Healing

These ancient songs and prayers are used through the ages and remain unchanged.

While we connect to the Earth, Thomas will share the Earth Prayer. The male and female prayer sticks and soil bundles are used to carry healing and create energy needed to sustain health and connect one with a good night's rest, a good appetite, and healthy relationships with people and nature. The prayer is a way to greet family who are alive and moving: Earth, sky, mountain, water, darkness, early dawn, male/female rain, plants, and other species.

Our emotions are good at capturing and trapping unwanted feelings that result in depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, OCD, panic, and other disorders. Thomas will also share ceremonial songs used in the Turning Basket Ceremony. The purpose is to free one from grief and traumatic events.

Note: Bring a sitting mat and sun protection. Participants may bring items to include on an altar for blessing. For example, bring photos of loved ones, medicine bundles, power objects or other sacred items.

Thomas Hatathli photo Thomas Hatathli is a traditional Diné (Navajo) healer of the Tangle Clan, born for Salt Clan. His maternal grandfather is of the Towering Clan, and paternal grandfather is of the Rock Hap Clan. Thomas is an ordained Blessing Way Chanter and has practiced this ancient traditional healing ceremony for the past 26 years. Chanting and prayers are gifts handed down by elders.

Thomas participated in the prestigious Boston marathon 15 times. He received his education at Central Arizona College and Northern Arizona University.

He has been employed at Tuba City Medical Center for 30 years and has introduced Diné healing ways in such mainstream forums as Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and others. Thomas says his mission is to help people find ways to better their lives and believes one should live vibrantly in mind, body and spirit.

To view information about past Spirit Keepers Series, visit the Spirit Keepers Series archives page.

Photos used with permission. All rights reserved.


Advance registration is required due to space limitations. To reserve your space, email info@kenosisspiritkeepers.org or call 928-778-1058.

Our Spirit Keepers Series is offered on a donation basis in order to continue bringing you future events. Unless otherwise noted, the recommended donation for our Friday night talks is $10 with $50 for Saturday experiential circles. To donate online, please Donate page.

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

For more information:
Contact Kenosis Spirit Keepers at 928-778-1058 or send an email message to info@kenosisspiritkeepers.org.

Kenosis Spirit Keepers is a volunteer-run, grassroots non-profit organization working for preservation of Indigenous traditions in danger of decimation.

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Last updated 5 July 2016   |  © 2009-16 Kenosis Spirit Keepers