Founding Elders

This circle of Elders are the foundation for the Woman Soul Gathering. Their shared wisdom and traditions create the spiritual container for the healing stories to unfold.

“As ceremonial people, we are an open window because there is no hiding who we are.” ~Barbara “Bobbie” James Snyder


Alberta Snyder
(2016, 19)

Elder, Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, member of American Indian Community House, member of San Francisco American Indian Cultural Center, member American Indian Movement 1968-1979, Bis’so (Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, Sister).

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Barbara “Bobbie” James Snyder
(2016, 17, 18, 19)

A Washoe Paiute woman, Bobbie travels throughout the United States to sacred sites where she conducts healing ceremonies to renew the Spirits of the land and keep alive the very nature of the web of life that connects us all.  Bobbie is a woman of vision guided by Spirit whose exuberance for life naturally inspires.  She is a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife and a grandmother who gives of herself tirelessly from her heart, with true joy.

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Carolyn Hartness
(2016, 17)

Carolyn, Eastern Band Cherokee/Norwegian, is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Educator and Consultant committed to a life of service assisting individuals, families and communities to create spiritually based wellness for themselves and future generations.


Debbie Guerrero, MSW 
(2016, 17, 18)

“Uncle Debbie” (There’s a story to my name) is an enrolled Tlingit Tribal member through Juneau Alaska, and is also Filipino on her paternal side. On her maternal side she is Snohomish, Cowlitz, French Canadian, Irish and German.  Her Tlingit name is GunSeek-which means Last of the Royal Princesses.  She is currently a Social Worker doing Family Preservation Services within the Puyallup Tribe in Tacoma Washington.  She is a Spiritual advisor and teacher to the many.  She has been a social justice political activist and Native community activist for many years.  She works with women veterans to help heal PTSD, and is an organizer of Turtle Women Rising (TWR), an organization that she co-founded with Veteran Eli Painted Crow in 2007.  Debbie is the drum keeper for Kiya’s Heartbeat (Grandmother’s Heartbeat), the drum driven from Seattle to Washington DC twice.  She is a total Seattle Seahawk Hawkaholic, and devoted Grandmother, Mother, Sister, Aunt, and walks her life knowing that Every Woman/Sister is her Mirror, and she theirs.

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Lorraine Bayes
(2016, 18)

“Lorraine Bow” is a Song Carrier, Medicine Drummer and Ceremonial Artist of Irish and Cherokee ancestry. Lorraine has participated in many of the 13-Grandmother Council Fires and educational gatherings over the last 8 years. A lifelong early childhood teacher and parent educator, Lorraine is co-founder of Tickle Tune Typhoon/Music for the Whole Family, and a singer/songwriter recording artist. Lorraine’s life is dedicated to honoring cultural and spiritual unity and following the way of Beauty and Blessing.


Lynnette Edge
(2016, 17, 18, 19)

A traditional Puget Sound Native Elder, Lynette began her medicine path 65-70 years ago with her grandfather.  Lynette is an Upper Skagit tribal member, a traditional Indian doctor, and teacher of healing and spirituality in the traditional ways. Her Upper Skagit Indian name is Hyyahbolsah.

Mary Shackelford 

(2016, 17, 18, 19)

Active in her community and in women’s circles for many years, Mary plays mandolin, writes, weaves, gardens, and spends lots of time outdoors, especially in sacred settings. She loves song, music, and dance. Honoring the ways of many wisdom traditions – in particular western mystery traditions – and bringing forward sacred song and poetry as prayer and portal, Mary weaves a personal spiritual practice that springs from the deep relationship she cultivates with nature. She is the mother of two adult children – now partnered, so she counts all four as beloved family. With her husband and soul-mate of 40+ years, Mary stewards a community sanctuary on Vashon Island where they offer personal and community ceremonies.

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Mattie Davis-Wolfe, Ed.D.
(2016, 18, 19)

For over 40 years, college educator, counselor, nurse, and author, Dr. Mattie Davis-Wolfe has taught about the sacredness of life through “spirit in action” gatherings. Following a great teacher and friend, Angeles Arrien, her work focuses on the 4 levels of being – spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical – and teaches how healing, integrating, and empowering these 4 bodies creates personal balance and wholeness, and planetary regeneration. Mattie’s ability springs from a mixture largely unfamiliar in modern life: a rich women’s heritage; broad experiences of Shamanic apprenticeship and initiation; and deep and tested knowledge about the sacredness of all life’s relationships. With her husband, Dr. David Thomson, Mattie founded Sacred Circles Institute which offers workshops, retreats, and a two-year course in personal and spiritual development entitled “Walking the Sacred Wheel.”

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Starfeather Marcy
(2016, 17, 18, 19)

A Medicine Woman, Starfeather, has lived and taught the Sacred Path through visionary art, women’s circles, drumming and energy healing, for over thirty years. Her goal is to bring self-empowerment to women through art, craft, healing and the re-establishment of the love of the sisterhood among all women. She is the founder of the Medicine Woman’s Mentoring Circle in Edmonds, Washington, and a grandmother.


Therese Charvet
(2016, 17, 18, 19)

Over the course of her adult life, Therese has been a nurse, midwife, director and teacher at Seattle Midwifery School and a founding member of 3 national midwifery organizations. At this point in her life, she is a different kind of ‘midwife’ for women, facilitating ceremonies and circles and offering Holistic Pelvic Care at Sacred Groves Women’s Mysteries School. Therese and her partner, Tere, co-own and co-manage Sacred Groves, a 10-acre forest sanctuary and Eco Retreat on Bainbridge Island.