About the Sanctuary
Facilitated by Carolyn Cushing, Soul Path Sanctuary offers those seeking to answer the call of their soul with prompts for dynamic spiritual practice and inspiration to move through the challenges of our lives and times.
The sanctuary’s virtual and in-person offerings serve those seekers who may not feel at home within one existing tradition, but still desire support and flexible structures for creating – or renewing – a practice for the whole self honoring body, mind, and spirit as well as connection to community and the earth.
The Sanctuary is no one place, but does draw special inspiration from the seasonal transformations of the place where Carolyn lives: the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts. The Valley is the traditional land of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc peoples with the Wampanoag to the East, the Mohegan and Pequot to the South, the Mohican to the West, and the Abenaki to the North. The word Massachusetts means “place of the foothills” in Wampanoag so whenever this name is said the past and present presence of these native peoples is invoked.
The pillars of the Sanctuary are wisdom images, the mystic word, and earth guidance. Yes, here you will find the Tarot tradition and divination tools; poetry and wisdom writings from across cultures and time; and images of the natural world undergoing its transformations.
I am a seeker.
I left the Catholic tradition to devote myself to political change. An encounter with the Tarot awakened my longing for a practice that could be mystical, practical, and inclusive of many traditions. In my 30s, Tarot became the tent pole for holding up a dynamic practice to grow my creative, emotional, intellectual, earth-attuned, and mystical self. Yes, to tend my soul.
You can read more about my journey as a seeker and encounter with the Tarot in My Tarot Tale.
I trained as a Spiritual Director with the Spiritual Life Center of Connecticut from 2008 to 2010 and served as a team member in their Pathways of Spirituality program from 2009 to 2012.
I am a griever.
My partner John died in a car crash when he was 48 and I was 45. My beliefs about death were a flimsy paper cup, immediately ripped apart. But the practices I’d developed through working with Tarot, nature, and poetry led me through creative mourning to find in grief a “secret medicine for those who hurt too hard to hope” (to gratefully borrow Rumi’s words).
I am a writer.
I write about soul tending and the Tarot here on the blog, as a frequent writer for The Cartomancer, and as a contributor to Tarot for Trouble Times and The Gaian Tarot Companion Guide. I am a poet published in small journals and a finalist for the Providence Athenaeum’s Philbrick Poetry Award (2012) and Pilgrimage’s Tarantula Poetry Contest (2018). And my words in fundraising letters and grants have raised millions of dollars for justice, cultural, and educational organizations.
Read 2 of my latest poems here.
I am a servant of Justice.
I strive to contribute towards right balance between peoples and the planet, and believe that every moment offers us a chance to renew balance, move toward equality, and act with love.
In 2017 I explored the diverse faces and spaces of Justice experienced through the Tarot using the Dark Goddess, Gaian, Raziel, Haindl, Sevenfold Mystery, Pentimento, Minoan, and Shining Tribe tarots.