Blue Deer Center News

Posted September 10, 2020

New Director | Over the last two years Karen Milgate has helped us reinvest in the Plant Spirit Medicine program.  We are sad to say goodbye as she leaves us to explore the healing practice that has called to her for many years – midwifery. We offer our deepest gratitude for all of her gifts.

Help us welcome Jessica De la O as the new director of Plant Spirit Medicine.  We are excited to have her aboard!  As a practitioner, educator, and someone deeply committed to the Blue Deer and the Sacred Fire Community, we are fortunate to have her skills and knowledge to continue moving the medicine forward. 

New Teachers | We welcome four new Plant Spirit Medicine Faculty -- Anna Murray-PreeceClare PearsonLucy Wells, and Pip Waller

Over the last three years they have listened and learned from Eliot Cowan and Alison Gayek. This year they had the opportunity to ‘practice teach’ via Zoom and to discuss future strategies for teaching. They bring new excitement, creativity, and decades of experience and deep love for Plant Spirit Medicine. With these teachers, along with Eliot Cowan, and the support of our Director, Jessica, we are in the process of planning two new Plant Spirit Medicine Healer Training Courses in 2021.

New Property Manager | In July, John "J" DiMenna came to live and work at the Center. In the past, J has attended programs and volunteered here. We are fortunate to have his presence, enthusiasm and creativity in taking care of the Center on a daily basis.

New Programming | As you may know, the pandemic hit New York in March, forcing us to cancel all programs. In August, we were allowed to start re-opening in compliance with NY State guidelines.

We hosted a Volunteer Work Weekend in August. Many hands of love – Linda, Randy, Shawn, Traci, Bea, Vickie, Gerti, Mace, Anna Lena and Krishna – came to clean, garden, organize, paint and prepare the Center so we could open. During their time together, they all enjoyed delicious food, protected each other with social distancing and masks indoors. Randy returned later in the month with Brian to continue repairs and renovations. J cleaned out the barn, filling a 30 yard dumpster in the process. 

Behind the scenes, Wendy, Linda and Amanda, were planning and organizing in preparation for the three day Summer Healing Retreat in Nature. We wanted everything ready, so that our volunteer program coordinator, Lois, could come and help us run it, with Gerti, who has been our COVID-19 Volunteer Coordinator, and of course J, who prepared the rooms, facilities, and Fire Tent.

WOW, so many hours of hard work, so many people. Our generous donors and volunteers made it possible for eight participants to come and receive traditional healing in nature. Now they can bring their transformation back home. 

And there is more...  

Registration is open for Fall and Winter Healing Retreats in Nature.

The mission of Blue Deer Center is bringing benefit to our social structures and modern lifestyles, which we can all agree are especially needed during this time.

Together we are moving this work into the future.



Posted May 10, 2020

The land has held me as I danced in celebration, sat by Fire to receive guidance, connected with my brothers and sisters in community, worked through conflict, and deepened my love for my fellow Firekeepers as we walked this path together. My last visit was again in winter as the land and river held us beautifully for our Ukalai women’s work. And I will be there again twice this year to continue these experiences that feed me and bring value to my life, and that become memories as part of the felt-sense of the place.

I find my connection with Blue Deer like any meaningful relationship that deepens over time. I have come to feel at home there, discovering a sense of belonging. I have been so grateful to the staff that welcomes and supports the work taking place. I leave feeling restored in a way that doesn’t need words.

Annie King
South Carolina, USA

I feel tethered to the Blue Deer Center in a powerful and significant way. It may sound funny, but I feel the Blue Deer Center has my back as I move through life. As a spiritual place of deep beauty and deep transformation, the beings that inhabit and emerge from the land at the Blue Deer Center know me intimately: they know of my tears, they know of my joy, they know how I become undone, how I sing, how I dance, how I dream … they hold all of that and so much more. They reach out across the miles in my times of need and they whisper in my ear. And whenever I return, they help me remember who I am. To me, that kind of blessing, that kind of inspiration, that kind of sacred contact is priceless.

Today more than ever, we are in dire need of connection, ancestral wisdom and healthy relationship with our lives, each other and our environment. In many ways we are lost and we need to find a way. The Blue Deer Center is a powerful doorway to help us find our balance and our way. And yes, I absolutely want to help support all of that. So, other than embodying that sacred contact I feel with the BDC through my actions in my day-to-day life, I feel moved to say “thank you” by supporting the BDC as a monthly donor. In some ways it has to do with helping to keep that connection, that “tethering” alive and moving through me to touch everyone I deal with, everything I do … and the dreams in my heart. In other ways it has to do with taking a stand for our people, for the right relationship and for hope remaining alive.

Adrilia Pedersen
Florida, USA

To me the river sings the Blue Deer Center into being. This constant presence of love and healing and movement and grace permeates the Blue Deer Center and all living things that come into its sphere of influence. For me Saskawhihiwine also carries the voices of the past, the present and the possibilities of the future through her timeless movement. Such a powerful presence that I feel prepared me for the gift of the birth of my beautiful son Sequoia.

I hope that more and more people can experience her grace by coming to the Blue Deer Center for a program of learning and healing or Plant Spirit Medicine Healer Training.

Wendy Core
California, USA

Blue Deer is here to help us remember that Nature is the gift and presence that provides for all of our lives, no matter where we live.

Posted November 1, 2019

Arhuaca Elder, Benerexa Marquez, made a visit to Blue Deer Center from Colombia, where she was amazed to feel the same sense of home that she experiences in her ancestral homeland.
Listen to her experience here. 




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