I come from a land North of Boston where the rising sun meets the sea. I spent my early years surrounded by flowers in the field, flowers on the farm and flowers from afar. My dad was a wholesale grower and when I was little our land was very peaceful and quiet. He would grow the flowers with my grandfather and my grandmother would invite everyone in for coffee break every morning. This was my favorite part . . . when everyone came together to shoot the breeze.
The woods behind my house were always so special to me. The natural world and all of its trees and flowers were my friends growing up… along with my dog Sandy. I still find so many friends when I hike in the woods and learning about all of the flora and fauna is something that makes me happy.
I’m a white woman born to a teacher and a farmer in the early 70’s North of Boston. Although I experienced some severe trauma as a young girl . . . just the color of my skin has allowed me a certain amount of access to resources, jobs and education. All people should have access to these opportunities to thrive here on earth. My mission is to use my skills and talents to create more peace on this earth and I’ve found that most of the time it starts with cultivating it within my own heart before I can share it with others. I had to go away from home to find peace. Sometimes places are changed by people and sometimes people change. Over the years my home sanctuary became a place that I didn’t feel safe in anymore.
This culture of domination and oppression is detrimental to people as a whole and those who are in the positions of power or the elite are being asked to step into a new model on earth. A model where we respect our earth and all of its people and make decisions based on the connection between the heart and the mind for the good of all. Seeing god or spirit everywhere. . . in every set of eyes. In Lakesh.
My life has led me to graduate from college, apprentice with a sculptor, teach swimming to children, paint ceramics and 20 years working as a healer using CranioSacral Therapy and Shamanic techniques taught to me by my mentor Tiana Mirapae of the Temple of Sophia and the Upledger Institute.
I am a visionary, an artist, a deep listener to subtle energies of plants and an ordained priestess of the Temple of Sophia.
I’m here at this time to help the transition from old systems into a culture that honors all beings and raises our collective awareness around privilege and social injustice to bring us into alignment with reciprocity, kindness and generosity and to repair our relationship with the land and with our sisters and brothers on this beautiful planet that we are so fortunate to be the stewards of. My birth name is Sonja Sweeney. Sonja is a derivative of Sophia which means wisdom. Sweeney is a Celtic surname meaning peace, from Ireland and Scotland. Most of my dad’s family came from England & Ireland and I connect with the lineage of the Tuatha de Danaan. My mom’s mom is of English and Irish descent. . . so I’m surrounded by Celtic roots, but her dad’s parents fled St. Petersburg and Latvia, giving me a connection in my roots to Judaism.
The name Sulis found me after years of studying Goddess Culture. I did not choose this name, it chose me. For me, it’s a spiritual name and taking it on marks a change that I’ve made in the way I interact with the world. It symbolizes a change in energy from the young girl who grew up without a voice, to the woman who embraces her voice and stands up for the voiceless, like our lands and waterways. Sulis was an ancient Celtic goddess who heals with water sunlight. She is known for protecting the hot spring waters at Bath in England, much like Brighid in Ireland who is protector of the waterways & wells there. For more about my journey with the name Sulis, click here.
Raised on a flower farm on the North Shore of Boston, I am of the lineage of the rising sun. I grew up making up songs out of mystery languages that would come to me before I fell asleep at night. I was the golden child, literally, first born with the blonde hair. I was well loved when I was a little girl and I could feel it palpably, but the golden halo didn’t last for long. I know what it’s like to lose what you think you had and to struggle with identity, security and love. I know what it’s like to grow up in a house full of violence & strife and to be treated very differently than my half-sisters. I write about some of these experiences in my personal blog.
My personal healing journey to understand and heal the effects of sexual trauma and PTSD has led me to explore the mind body connection through the art forms of sculpture, pottery and dance. I’ve had the privilege to attend and graduate from The George Washington University in DC with a bachelors degree in Journalism. At that time in my life I was blessed to have so many opportunities, but I resisted corporate life or getting stuck in a 9-5 job where I would have to live 1/3 of my life in a small cubicle. So instead I spent 3 years apprenticing with sculptor Joyce Michaud at Hood College in Frederick Maryland, then I got a clear message to move back to Massachusetts to help my grandmother cross over in 1999. Being in service to her in that way is one of the most powerful experiences of my life. She showed me how to be really present and compassionate for another human being… that is true love.
When she passed I was looking for the next step which led me to volunteer at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Ma. It was here that I developed a closer relationship with my body and started to unpack the effects of trauma that I hadn’t been able to process on my own. I eventually found that through my connection to my body through yoga, dance and movement, I was able to open up a dialogue with myself that wasn’t available before. I became more aware of my own body-mind connection and became certified to teach Danskinetics, now known as YogaDance. I started teaching Sacred Circle Dance and Danskinetics at Kriplau and my quest for knowledge about healing my own body led me to bodywork. When I settled down in Northampton, Ma my healing arts practice blossomed. For 12 years I practiced Reiki and CranioSacral Therapy in Northampton. Now I practice CranioSacral & Shamanic Sound Healing and my passion is gardening.
After my dad passed in 2012, I received the vision to create the Tulsi Rose Garden. A sacred space for meditation, music and tea. For more about my journey with tulsi, see my Tulsi Rose Garden project.
My main focus these days is Singing, The Tulsi Rose Garden and working with the plants and flowers. I teach vocal empowerment classes for women to access our voices through the Sing Your Sacred Soul Song workshop and Goddesses in the Garden: energy healing with the plants program.