I am a priestess of the Temple of Sophia, 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 and repair our relationship with the land and with our sisters and brothers on the planet.
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 and my mom did go through a period when she got divorced of living on subsidized housing & food stamps. . . 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 birth name is Sonja Sweeney. Sonja is a derivative of Sophia (go figure!) 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 hailed from 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 the well known Brighid in Ireland who is protector of the waterways 7 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 in the most curious directions. I’ve had the privilege to attend and graduate from The George Washington University in DC with a bachelors degree in Journalism. I spent 3 years apprenticing with sculptor Joyce Michaud at Hood College in Frederick Maryland, then I moved back to Massachusetts to help my grandmother cross over in 1999. I was looking for the next step which led me to volunteer at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. 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 that 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 in Shelburne Falls.
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 the full story of the Tulsi Rose Garden, go here.
My main focus these days is Singing, The Tulsi Rose Garden, working with the plants and flowers. I teach an empowerment classes for women to access our voice through the Sing Your Sacred Soul Song workshop and Goddesses in the Garden: energy healing with the plants program.
For my blog on healing and social issues, go to SulisSunrise.com