Priestesses in service to our community
Anneliese Järnsaxa, RN BSN JD MA has lots of letters after her name but her training as a mushroom priestess began much earlier growing up amongst the boletes and amanitas of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
In fact, Anneliese has lived a life straddling the mainstream and the mystical: White and Cherokee; nurse and folk healer; hermit and priestess; science nerd and witch. Much of her personal path has been working to decolonize her own indigenous identity, remembering and reclaiming the wisdom of ancestors and normalizing Spirit back into everyday practice and life. Likewise, she supports others to explore their own decolonizing, reclaiming and normalizing relationships to ancestors, spirits and the Divine.
Anneliese offers energetic and integrative support before, during and after ceremony based upon sacred mushroom work that she has been doing with clients since 2017. As a mystic, her spirituality finds foundation in nature based traditions of her Northern European and Native American ancestors. As an indigenous female of the matrilineal Bird Clan and Cherokee Nation citizen, Anneliese remembers and honors the role held by her grandmothers of sacrament collector, carrier and keeper.
There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t felt deep reverence for the mushroom. They hold this place of mystery in our culture and, like many, I have always been drawn to them. Growing up in southern Louisiana they grew wild all around me in the cow pastures that surrounded our land. As a young adult, I ritually consumed them around a bonfire beneath the night sky as my ancestors did before me. The experiences I had opened my heart and my mind to the Divine. Growing up in an evangelical culture, I was very familiar with the liminal veil. It was one of the precepts of the religious teachings we received, to seek God through tearful prayer until you are transported to a place beyond. That place fascinated me; I felt connected to everything. As a young person, I soon recognized the numinous quality of the mushroom sacrament and how it also allowed me to commune with all of existence. No more did I have to reconcile religious teachings that did not align with love and connection. I could foster my own spirituality walking the path of Nature and hold sacred the spark of the Divine that is all around us and in each of us.
I began a more intentional relationship with sacred mushrooms in the last ten years that has allowed me to truly feel at home as a spiritual being. Now, I am honored to learn and grow in community with all who seek to understand themselves and the world around them as a part of the Divine. Each of us has a unique and important expression in this life experience and creating a space for our community to do this deep inner work is my calling.
Beyond formal education, my deeper teachings are in the practices of embodiment and breath, the subtleties of energy, and presence. The “how I got here” is yoga, a magical childhood, sacred sexuality, being a mother, the mystery of womanhood, self compassion, loving-kindness, and a list of openhearted teachers and allies extending from early childhood and far into the future too numerous to name who show up at the right time and in the right place.
Kate Bowerbird is an educator, artist, creatix and adventurer. As a part time Austinite and full time Manhattanite, she navigates a high pressure career as an administrator at a very large high school in NYC while continuing her passion as an artist. Her devotional practice with sacred mushrooms came out of a desire to no longer be dependent on the products of Big Pharma to maintain functionality. Working with her sister, Anneliese, Kate turned toward her matrilineal Cherokee lineage for guidance in how to heal her own spirit sickness. Thus began her spiritual quest in 2017 with spirit dosing sacred mushrooms. Since then, she has flourished (without the need for pharmaceuticals) through the highs and lows of life ever grateful for and in collaboration with the sacred mushroom spirits.
Kate is the church’s Spirit Dose Priestess who provides support, guidance and insight to members who are working with the sacrament in this manner. As an artist, Kate loves to support other artists whose creative process is sparked in the spiritual realms. When she isn’t riding a city bike as if trailed by flying monkeys, she is painting, sketching, laughing and embracing the world with unlimited reserves of tough love for which she is beloved.