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Valerie Luna Serrels, Seminary of the Wild Earth Guide

"It doesn’t feel like hyperbole to say that the salvation of the human race resides in opening again to the reality that we are interconnected with an alive world...The spirituality of attuning to the natural and mystical realms through how we attend, the ways in which we are aware, how deeply we can listen, are key in this turning."

Brief Bio. I am a co-founder and current director of the Wild Church Network, founder/spiritual leader of Shenandoah Valley Church of the Wild and offer eco-spiritual guidance from multiple modalities. I love catalyzing emergent potentials within groups and individuals toward their unique ensoulment, focusing on the inherent interconnection between the soul and the rest of the living world, including the visible and invisible dimensions. From a Celtic cosmology, I weave together intuitive energy tracking and clearing, earth-oriented heart-centered practices, integration of the left and right brain, and the masculine and feminine. I work with others to deepen perceptual capacities that open to the tangible and mystical relationship with our soul, with the earth and her creatures, and with the etheric realms. I am also a Reiki practitioner and especially love working with others to explore their unique encoded soul patterns through their relationship between the earth, sun and planets. I am certified as a Gene Keys guide, a Human Design coach, and most recently in Archetypal Astrology.

Tell us a bit about who you are and how you came to this work.

As a child, I loved being outdoors and would imagine that I could communicate with animals and trees. As the pace of adulthood and motherhood took over, I lost this connection. It was after raising my five children, the upheaval of identity and great loss, and experiencing unexplainable embodied visions, that I was drawn inward to the soul, and back into a conscious relationship with nature. What I thought I knew and understood about God, church, spirit, self, nature, dissolved. My path has led me into various thickets of unlearning and learning that awakened my heart to the deeper reality we are part of. My work in the fields of energy, the mystical, the spiritual, with the tangible embodiment of earth and soul, has led me to serve as a guide into our deepest belonging. I come to this work from a full ecological view that includes our embodied soul, the tangible living natural world that we are intertwined with and the alive invisible world that connects us in sacred conversation.

What are the lands that raised you, and how has your own connection with the natural world influenced your path?

Multiple landscapes raised me, but my primary childhood immersion is held by the deep blue Pacific Ocean, canyons, and the smell of sage brush and oranges in the Conejo Valley of California, the “Valley of the Rabbit.” My cellular memory connects me with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, multiple estuaries, firths and lochs and the hills and Highlands of Scotland, the British Isles and NW Europe. My feet remember, my heart remembers and calls me back into sacred relationship with the lands and waters that are my foundation and the mountains, valleys, rivers and creatures that hold me now. A connection with a recently fallen mother tree and a suspended golden leaf opened up something in me a decade ago, that conspired with the threshold of a new life path that has continued weaving itself. I bring this awareness of our primary interconnection with the land and all of nature to my community in the Shenandoah Valley where I’ve led a wild church for the past six years and serve as director for the Wild Church Network.

Why do you believe a practice of spiritual connection with the earth is important for our time?

Deep cracks in the established way of civilization make way for emergent ways of knowing and being. In this time of broad disruption and unraveling, there is an opening for a new way of being human in conscious relationship with the wisdom and guidance of the earth and the systems of life. These cracks reveal the illusion of separation that has marked modernity. It doesn’t feel like hyperbole to say that the salvation of the human race resides in opening again to the reality that we are interconnected with an alive world. Even what we think of as inert or as a resource or “thing” has its own kind of consciousness. The spirituality of attuning to the natural and mystical realms through how we attend, the ways in which we are aware, and how deeply we can listen, are key in this turning.

In your experience, what are some of the barriers or challenges individuals or communities face in developing a deeper connection with nature?

Conditioning is one of the big challenges. Social, cultural, and personal conditioning informs us that we are separate from each other and from the rest of the natural world. This is the water we swim in that flows through most translations of religion, economics and governance, education, architecture, health care, classical physics and sciences, all of life as we know it. Some of these internalized stories or “facts” have suppressed our intuitive ability to know and experience the birthright of our deep interconnection with all beings. It is pervasive and has been reinforced through violence and colonization. But this old paradigm is breaking open through new mysteries in science and new awarenesses that are coming into the world in every field, interrupting everything we thought we knew about ourselves, about this planet, the cosmos, and the way life intelligently moves.

What practices (big or small) can help heal our disconnection from the natural world?

There are so many practices available for opening to our innate interconnection with the nature that we are part of. Take a few minutes a day to walk in your yard or nearby open space, or just to stand with bare feet on the earth wherever you are and turn your awareness downward into your body, into your feet, into the earth. Noticing the dandelion growing through the cracks in the sidewalk and pausing for just a moment to acknowledge her resilience. The bird flying by, the bee in the flower, the wind stirring up the leaves. Any moment offers a doorway of connection, it is our awareness that makes all the difference between passing by all the magic around us or attuning with it even for a moment. Also, finding a community of practice to help support you since these ways of attending can be counter-cultural and challenging to stay with on our own.

What are you looking forward to offering as a guide in Seminary of the Wild Earth?

I’m excited to co-create an open, safe space for learning the ways of the earth and her creatures, the planets and stars, the algorithm of the soul and the intelligence of the heart. I offer a weaving of Celtic studies, feminine and masculine integration, attuning to our bodies as portals into our energy field, and into the sacred conversation going on around us at all times, both visible and invisible. Every group of people offers a new perspective, a new opening, a field of intelligence and wisdom that intersects and shapes each one. We are entangled in a great unfolding mystery and I look forward to curious and unexpected openings.



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