Bio

Shakti Penelope
Photo courtesy of Melissa Vlahos

Shakti Penelope was raised in a bi-cultural household, her father being native to Greece and her mother being from New Jersey, USA. She is the youngest of three daughters.

Shakti Penelope's Parents
Shakti Penelope’s Parents
Shakti Penelope's Parents and Grandmothers
Shakti Penelope’s Parents and Grandmothers in Greece, 1967

As a child she loved to sing and could always be seen drawing and coloring. From the ages of 8 through 18, she lived abroad in the Netherlands and England when her father was transferred there for employment. While she attended reputable international schools and benefitted immensely from the diverse cultural atmosphere, she, like most young people, had a challenging time navigating the biological, emotional, and psychological changes of adolescence. Looking back she realized the complete absence of positive female role models and of social contexts where information and support could be shared. This realization has served as fuel for starting her own mentoring circles for girls coming of age.

Shakti Penelope growing up on the Jersey Shore, seen here playing with her sisters and close family friends. Every other summer her family would go to Greece to see relatives and swim in the sea at Porto Germeno.
Shakti Penelope growing up on the Jersey Shore, seen here playing with her sisters and close family friends. Every other summer her family would go to Greece to see relatives and swim in the sea at Porto Germeno.
Shakti Penelope during her adolescence, attending high school in England
Shakti Penelope during her adolescence, attending high school in England

Shakti Penelope attended university at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon and at the University of California Santa Cruz, majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in Environmental Education. For one of her university classes, she attended a five-week backpacking trip through the wilderness of California with the organization Sierra Institute. It was during her three day solo experience that she realized her deep connection to the forces of Nature. During this same period in her life, she attended her first Women’s Circle Gatherings and began to lead her own circles.

Participating in Sierra Institute's 5-week backpacking trip, summer 2001
Participating in Sierra Institute’s 5-week backpacking trip, summer 2001
Shakti Penelope was guided by Sierra Institute instructor, Willow Abel (lower right), who introduced her to Women’s Circles at age 21. Soon after that she began facilitating her own Women’s Circles.
Shakti Penelope was guided by Sierra Institute instructor, Willow Abel (lower right), who introduced her to Women’s Circles at age 21. Soon after that she began facilitating her own Women’s Circles.
It was during this transformational backpacking adventure, especially during her 3-day solo, that Shakti Penelope realized her deep connection to Nature.
It was during this transformational backpacking adventure, especially during her 3-day solo, that Shakti Penelope realized her deep connection to Nature.

The years that followed proved to be a valuable time of self-exploration as her undeveloped talents began to emerge and express themselves. While living for almost three years at the intentional community and permaculture school, Lost Valley Educational Center just outside of Eugene, Oregon, she became a natural facilitator of community gatherings. For the solstices, equinoxes, full moons, new moons, and other seasonal holidays, Shakti Penelope would gather the community and coordinate the different roles involved in performing the bonding social activity of acknowledging the cycles of nature. She also coordinated the Lost Valley Women’s Circle.

Intentional Community Members at Lost Valley Educational Center, Oregon 2008
Intentional Community Members at Lost Valley Educational Center, Oregon 2008
Living at Lost Valley, school for Permaculture Certification
Living at Lost Valley, school for Permaculture Certification
At Lost Valley, Shakti Penelope facilitated seasonal celebrations.
At Lost Valley, Shakti Penelope facilitated seasonal celebrations.

Overtime, she started to feel a growing desire to go through a deep purification and live the life of a nun. In 2009, she received her yoga teacher training certificate from the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California and moved to Athens, Greece. She lived in her father’s old family home in Athens, next door to her aunt and cousins, and began to learn Greek. Connecting to her relatives and speaking with them in their native tongue was something she had always wanted to do.

Shakti Penelope received her yoga teaching certification after a 4 week full-immersion course at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California.
Shakti Penelope received her yoga teaching certification after a 4 week full-immersion course at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California.
The view from the balcony of her father's home in Athens. Welcome to Greece! Her first years there were solitary and contemplative.
The view from the balcony of her father’s home in Athens. Welcome to Greece! Her first years there were solitary and contemplative.
Shakti Penelope at the height of her yogic nunhood, feeling fresh, light, and free. However, while this was a very important time of spiritual development and discipline, she was disconnected from her feminine essence for 2.5 years.
Shakti Penelope at the height of her yogic nunhood, feeling fresh, light, and free. However, while this was a very important time of spiritual development and discipline, she was disconnected from her feminine essence for 2.5 years.

During her five and a half years in Greece, she lovingly nurtured the Red Tent Women’s Spiritual Community of Athens from a handful of her yoga students in her living room back in 2010 to a supportive network of 275 women when she left in 2015. The core members regularly participated in monthly talking-stick circles and enjoyed gathering at temples dedicated to the Ancient Goddesses of Greece. In 2013, she was trained in mentoring and leading circles for adolescent girls through the Journey of Young Women Mentor Training Program. She became certified to lead women’s circles through the Radiant Women’s Circle Intensive Training Course.

Athens Red Tent: At the ancient temple of Artemis at Brauron, Greece
Athens Red Tent: At the ancient temple of Artemis at Brauron, Greece
Athens Red Tent: offering flowers at the ancient temple of Artemis at Brauron
Athens Red Tent: offering flowers at the ancient temple of Artemis at Brauron
Athens Red Tent: Performing a Water Blessing and Love Ceremony at the ancient temple of Aphrodite in Akrokorinthos, Greece
Athens Red Tent: Performing a Water Blessing and Love Ceremony at the ancient temple of Aphrodite in Akrokorinthos, Greece
Shakti Penelope enjoying the amazing atmosphere of the sacred site dedicated to Aphrodite
Shakti Penelope enjoying the amazing atmosphere of the sacred site dedicated to Aphrodite
Athens Red Tent: All smiles after a monthly talking-stick sharing circle. The Red Tent community was international. There are 6 countries represented in this photo!
Athens Red Tent: All smiles after a monthly talking-stick sharing circle. The Red Tent community was international. There are 6 countries represented in this photo!

In the spring of 2015, Shakti Penelope understood that it was time to leave Greece and return to the USA to be closer to family. In addition, the economic climate of Greece at that time made it impossible for her to advance in her career and further develop her talents. She decided to land in Indianapolis, Indiana where her sister and nephew live, to start the next chapter of her life. Although her physical presence is no longer felt in Athens, the Red Tent is still going strong through interaction on the facebook group and occasional gatherings.
By coincidence, the week after Shakti Penelope landed in Indianapolis, the Red Tent Indy was holding its inaugural workshop and festival! There was no better way that she could enter the Indianapolis women’s community than to participate in this beautiful Red Tent event. She felt so welcomed by the women of the Red Tent and was able to meet and listen to lectures by the amazing wise women of the local area: midwives, herbalists, yoga instructors, healers of all types… The women of Red Tent Indy have become new friends and supporters as Shakti Penelope builds the Wisdom Source Within network and the Moon Lodge as a sister project.

Shakti Penelope at her Good-Bye Ceremony in the National Gardens of Athens Greece. She will never forget the love with which her community sent her forward into her next chapter in the USA. She was leaving behind people that she loved dearly and stepping into the unknown. It was a poignant time.
Shakti Penelope at her Good-Bye Ceremony in the National Gardens of Athens Greece. She will never forget the love with which her community sent her forward into her next chapter in the USA. She was leaving behind people that she loved dearly and stepping into the unknown. It was a poignant time.
By some beautiful coincidence, the Red Tent Indy inaugural workshop happened the weekend after Shakti Penelope arrived in Indianapolis. What a gift! (photo courtesy of Red Tent Indy)
By some beautiful coincidence, the Red Tent Indy inaugural workshop happened the weekend after Shakti Penelope arrived in Indianapolis. What a gift! (photo courtesy of Red Tent Indy)
Sharing her heart and feeling so grateful at the closing ceremony of Red Tent Indy (photo courtesy of Red Tent Indy)
Sharing her heart and feeling so grateful at the closing ceremony of Red Tent Indy (photo courtesy of Red Tent Indy)
Red Tent Indy: Here is master herbalist Constance Ferry, owner of Hobbit Gardens, guiding the women through the blissfully spontaneous Spiral Dance. (photo courtesy of Red Tent Indy)
Red Tent Indy: Here is master herbalist Constance Ferry, owner of Hobbit Gardens, guiding the women through the blissfully spontaneous Spiral Dance. (photo courtesy of Red Tent Indy)

Shakti Penelope is currently living and working in Peru, Indiana. She teaches yoga, sees private clients, offers womb blessing attunements and womb healings, manages Penelope’s Homestead Store, and coordinates the Moon Lodge for Women and Girls of Northern Indiana. She continues to develop her music and art which you can enjoy by visiting the creativity page of this website.

Please feel free to contact Shakti Penelope through phone or text at (765) 460-6309 or through email at spiritunion@gmail.com

You can also connect with her on Facebook by clicking here.

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