My task is to align my aliveness with the aliveness of the Universe. — Eligio Stephen Gallegos artist: Sulimith Wulfing
My interests in non-ordinary states of consciousness and women's spirituality lead back to early childhood. A couple memories, in particular, influenced me to later explore women's connections to the divine and the imaginal. I vividly recall staring at the blue-cloaked statue of the Virgin Mary on my mother's mahogany dresser in awe and wonder at her majesty. This experience left a deep impression. Another memory was of bursting with joy while imagining being a fairy waving my magic wand while encircling our house in the Berkshire hills of New England.
Intensely curious about the workings of the mind since early adolescence, I would often visit the local library. Many long hours were spent trying to make sense of books on philosophy, psychology and metaphysics. Then, at fourteen, I discovered the writings of Alan Watts. Reading the "The Way of Zen" set me on a lifetime path inspired by Eastern religions.
Directly after high school, I moved cross country to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, home of the Counterculture Movement. I began a meditation practice, learned healing methods, and experimented with hallucinogens, creative dance and dress, and holistic living.
Continued interest in Eastern religions, ancient East/West healing traditions, and women's history led me to travel to sites dedicated to the sacred feminine in Greece, female deities and dakini sites in India and Nepal, as well as to lands associated with the ancient Amazons in Eastern Europe and Russia. Along with travel, studies of my ancestral roots have contributed to the deepening of a 'personal mythology.' Through advanced studies, I earned degrees in Archaeomythology (B.A), Women's Spirituality (M.A.) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Transformation and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco.
In 1992, I experienced a spiritual emergence through a series of frequent spontaneous lucid dreams that lasted over thirteen years. In dreams, I met with spiritual teachers and wisdom guides in various forms receiving healings, transmissions and gifts of insight. I wrote an account of these experiences in my book, "Guardians of the Gate: An Investigation of Numinous Presence, 'Visions of the Divine,' in Dreams," based on my doctoral dissertation.
Currently, I continue to investigate the archaeomythology of ancient goddess cultures and folklore traditions in Eastern Europe. In my private counseling/healing practice I use methods derived from Tibetan Buddhism, Shaivism, Bon, shamanism, Transpersonal Psychology, women's spirituality and hypnotherapy. Periodically I offer personal and small group guided pilgrimages to Nepal. At present, I reside in Kathmandu, Nepal with my British artist husband, Christopher Castle.