Transforming consciousness one extraordinary being at a time.
Tucked in the Taconic Mountains of Southwestern Vermont, Spirit Hollow is situated on 100 forested acres and surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forest Land. The Center was established in 2000 on the slopes of Grass Mountain.
Spirit Hollow is both a wilderness retreat and a non-profit organization. Workshops are held in the Brook Yurt and out on the sacred land. In the geodesic dome, private healing sessions are conducted, and ceremonies are held around one of the fire circles, in the Yurt and in the Medicine Wheel Garden and at one of two sweat lodges by Joe Brook. In the woods that surround us, there are trails to wander and streams to meditate by. In the summertime, visitors can stay in one of our four tent cabins and enjoy our organic vegetable garden.
Spirit Hollow began as the dream of two individuals and now continues to evolve with the guidance and love of many.
The early days…
Emery and Tracey Forest met doing shamanic work in a powerful place in nature in 1997. From their love for each other and for shamanism grew a shared passion for the forest, the mountains and for all the beings who dwell there. Through a series of magical events in 1999, Tracey and Emery were led to the land that is now Spirit Hollow. After cleaning up 40 tons of garbage, they put up their first Pacific Yurt and lived in it while building their home, a geodesic dome.
In August 2000, Emery and Tracey moved into their home and began seeing healing clients and having children; they started their first Seeing With the Heart group in the 24-foot Brook Yurt in the autumn of that year. Since that small group of maybe 12 people, Seeing With the Heart has grown every year to its current size of 25 people in the first year group and second-year and third-year groups meeting monthly. Participants in this on-going training in core shamanism now come from all over New England to meet once a month for eight months.
In 2002, with the help of many, we built the Medicine Wheel Garden, a perennial garden where small ceremonies and meditation take place. In June 2003, Spirit Hollow erected a second, bigger (30-ft) yurt, called the Sky Yurt, on the hill overlooking the Hollow.
At this same time, we also began Spirit Quest, our popular rite-of-passage cam for kids and teens. The impetus was to help children find their way through a confusing, sometimes violent world with the assistance of elders. These camps have grown to up to six weeks each summer with the addition of Goddess Camp and Warrior Camp designed to allow girls and boys to explore their divine feminine and masculine from a place of sacred beauty and strength.
Also in 2003, Spirit Hollow became a Vermont domestic non-profit; in December 2004, it received its federal, IRS Code 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, public charitable organization status, qualifying it to receive grants, for reduced mailing rates, to do fund-raising and to receive tax-deductible contributions.
When you declare your mission as “transforming consciousness,” that’s exactly what happens. As Spirit Hollow and the Forests’ children grew, so did their individual souls. To honor the flowering of their individual callings, Emery and Tracey decided that their work together as a couple was complete in 2011. Emery removed the Sky Yurt and moved it to Brattleboro, VT where he now lives in it as his home and continues his journey as Ananda Forest.
Tracey continues the work at Spirit Hollow, raising their children, seeing clients for healing and helping Spirit Hollow, as Director and with the help of a wonderful board of directors, as it moves forward in a new, but powerful direction that honors its roots in shamanism and includes yoga, sacred music and a deep commitment to serving the spirits of this place as well as all the human beings who are drawn here in love.
Spirit Hollow: Transforming Consciousness
2509 Shaftsbury Hollow Road
North Bennington, Vermont 05257
Spirit Hollow is a non-profit education organization—IRS Code 501(c)(3)