I first met Katherine Bird in 2005 at EarthDance musical festival in Northern California. She was modeling several dancing wings created by Durian Songbird. I remember her as a beautiful, shy, and a little quirky, young woman. In 2011 we reconnected at Beloved Musical Festival and we have been close friends since.
I have photographed many amazing women in my career as a photographer, but few have energetically moved me more than Katherine. I perceive her to be a veritable witch. She is a shaman, a healer and she has taught me a lot about how we connect and share energy with others. http://katherinebird.com
Kyer: Tells us a little about your background, your education, training and your own challenges that have brought you to where you are today as a healer and an educator.
Katherine: Thirteen years ago, I experienced an intense energetic and spiritual awakening. I had been medicated since the age of 15 and at this point of my life, I made a huge commitment to find out who I was which included going off of medications, quitting everything I had been doing as my life’s work up to that point and entering into a very confusing, intense time of healing and activation. I heard at that point that I was a healer, so I followed the tiny breadcrumbs bit by bit along that path. Along with the training in the energetic and spiritual realms I was receiving, I started studying a multitude of modalities and processes. I was fortunate to find a teacher in sacred dance and movement meditation practices which I still practice and teach today, I studied practical alchemy, yoga, various meditation practices, shamanism, kabbalah, deep structural bodywork, energy healing practices, qigong and other self-care practices. Over time, my authentic way of channeling, healing and working with people has developed with the aid of these diverse teachings.
Kyer: Our country is going through a lot. Deep collective wounds are being exposed. It’s perhaps more challenging for folks on a conscious path of healing. Can you offer any tools to navigate these difficult and transformative times? How are the challenges for women different than they are for men?
Katherine: People are definitely feeling the collective deeply right now. Many are being called to help process these energies. The shame, anger, resentment and fear are palpable and for many sensitive people it is overwhelming. These thoughts and emotions stick to us and we start to feel like they are our own. It can be very confusing. It is important to firstly start to develop a fine awareness of self and keep asking, is this truly mine? Practices to help to move these energies are vital. Shaking, tapping, strong breath work, cleanses, exercise, dance, hiking in nature will all help move these energies. It is also very important to find your tribe. Gathering with like-minded people is a key part of feeling supported and to start to take actions to help others and ourselves. Women especially need to be gathering together to create movements to support the Earth and all women. As the feminine energy is rising, women are being called to step even more powerfully into their power. This is not a take over of masculine power, but an intuitive, nurturing, feminine power. We must also learn how love each other and be loved, to drop the jealousy and fear of each other and start to nurture and support our sisters.
Kyer: How can we heal collectively as a society? Do we have a duty to reach out to people who have a different worldview and values than we do? How do we balance having more compassion for others while taking care of our own health and wellbeing?
Katherine: Like it or not, we are healing now. The healing process is often one that is painful, messy and confusing as anyone that has had to heal from a major physical, emotional or spiritual illness can tell you. We can medicate, distract and fool ourselves that we don’t need to actually do the work, but it will need to be done both as individuals and as a collective. I believe that we do need to be in conversations and reach outs with people that don’t feel and think exactly as we do, to be able to connect and spread our expanding consciousness with the world. This means having patience, and not taking things personally, choosing wisely who to engage with and learning to come from a place of compassion, but not taking on their negative feelings and emotions into our bodies. Many people are in a strong fear space and we have to separate our energy, have clear boundaries and keep ourselves in a bit of a detached presence so that we can more effectively see solutions and discern best courses of action. Those of us that have been living in privilege will need to start finding even more ways to support the disadvantaged and marginalized through cooperative effort respecting their cultures, traditions and actual needs. It is important to realize that not everyone will be a front line protestor and to find the ways of contributing that work with your energetic system and overall health and wellbeing.
Kyer: Your current work involves helping healers and coaches manage their energy, boundaries and the demands that their work places on them. In simple terms, tell us a little about what you do.
Katherine: I am focused right now on helping coaches, teachers, healers, mediums, entrepreneurs and social movement pioneers to be able to understand, heal and activate their boundaries so that they can serve more people and the Earth in a way that is sustainable. Each person’s system is working in a specific way and by utilizing clearing and purification techniques, working with guides and helpers, developing effective self-care practices, healing traumas, understanding what the system is doing and how to navigate that in a more productive way creates more effective and larger scale work in the world.
Kyer: What do you feel optimistic about going forward in your own practice, your clients, community and our society?
Katherine: We are seeing a radical awakening on this planet. I receive messages and talk to people from all over the world who are starting to discover and own their gifts, sensitivities and missions. They are realizing that what has been is no longer working and starting to actively engage in their communities. The level of information on consciousness, from so many lineages, that we have access to in this time is truly exciting and inspiring. People are stepping into ceremonial work, healing their wounds, pulling out of the fog of addictive behaviors and stepping away from the constant medicating of the system, which keeps us from living fully embodied, whole and joy filled. This is an exciting time to be alive as we have everything we need to shift all of the major socio-political, environmental issues that enslave and poison us and step into a new era of peace, hope and healing for planet and people. We just have to show up fully.
All photos copyright Kyer Wiltshire and published with the permission of Katherine Bird.