Born in 1945 in Boston, MA, the second daughter of Cynthia and Tyler Marcy, Starfeather is a tenth generation American: her first recorded ancestor, John Marcy, arrived in America in the mid-1600’s as an indentured servant. Her birth name was Susan Marcy. During much of her childhood development years, she lived in a semi-rural area of Vestal, NY with her parents of English/Irish/French decent and four siblings. She and her big sister roamed the woods, marsh, and bank of the Susquehanna River. Their imaginary world included invisible friends, fairies and an Indian life with ponies and a language of their own making. Indeed, she enjoyed freedom and a deep connection with Nature in a creative expression that remains a foundation in her life today.
In 1966 at the age of 21, she married Richard Schinkowitch. At the height of the Vietnam War, Rich was drafted into military service and moved to serve in the US Army in Colon, Panama for two plus years. When they returned to the States, they settled on Cape Cod where Susan had close ties to the land and family. They lived in East Dennis, raising their two wonderful sons, Casey and Aaron, now 45 and 43. Starfeather counts them as important teachers in her life, as well as beloved family members. She is a proud grandmother to their four children.
At the age of 40-42, she was trained, mentored and received her first initiation as a Spiritual Warrioress in 1985-87, by a Black Belt Kendo Master, spiritual teacher and counselor. At that time she owned a small art gallery/studio on Cape Cod called Art & Soul, Creative Workshop Center. There she taught art classes; in both realistic drawing and process painting, which she called Painting Inside Out. She led guided visualization meditation groups. Developing herself spiritually, she studied Metaphysics and Hatha Yoga. She became a channel for spiritual guidance. She was “discovered” as a shield maker by Megan Garcia who gifted the awareness and the materials for Medicine Shields as a teaching path.
At this time, Starfeather was honored by a traditional Native man of the Sisseton Sioux Nation and given a blessing for her skill and vision of a unique art/spirit form of sharing information, which she channeled, called Energy Drawings.
In 1988 she accepted the name Starfeather as her true name, given to her through a Spirit Vision. She legally changed her name a couple of years later. (For more info, see “The Story of my Name”)
Divorced and enjoying a new relationship with Jon Elizondo, Starfeather moved to the Seattle area in 1990. Since that time, she has called women together in Sacred Circle for honest, deep sharing using the Talking Stick way. Sharing songs, chanting and drumming as a way to be with each other, they connect their hearts and their souls. These women, who now probably number more than a thousand, are her teachers. Their lives, stories, wisdom, laughter and tears have informed her life as no other force ever could. She has been, and continues to be, blessed by their presence in her life.
She was trained and initiated into The Elder’s Lodge in 1994 by WhiteHorse Woman, Medicine Woman of the Cherokee Nation, in a ceremony given to her by her Grandmother, a Cherokee Medicine Woman. Starfeather is an Elder. Although only 49 years old at that time, this title of Elder was given to her due to her calling and her work in the World, especially with women’s spiritual evolvement.
From 1991 – 2006, she owned and operated a retail gallery called Starfeather’s Sacred Art & Provisions for the Journey, on Dayton Street in Edmonds WA. This business functioned in alignment with Earth-based spirituality, an expression of beauty and information, with a strong representation of Native American art, craft and complimentary products, like books, music, sage, and gemstones. Starfeather learned much, shared much and received much from this retail experience. She was blessed to have working partners without whom she could not have met the challenges or needs of this business: Jon Mark Elizondo, Brooke Manzanares, Daphne Gendrin, Carol Eve, Brigid Sorvag, and Maxine Norton and Betty Lane.
Her Journey continues as she offers gatherings, Sacred Circles and Retreats, Sacred Craft and Drum Making days from her home base in Edmonds WA, as well as Cape Cod and Woman Soul Gathering on Washington and Maryland. (Please see events listing)
Starfeather’s Honoring of her Spiritual Teachers and Way-Showers
Starfeather has had the honor of either studying in person with, and/or participating personally in ceremony with the following:
1-Carol Marcy, PhD (sister, mentor)
2-Orion Knight (counselor, mentor)
3-Callie Tabor (Hatha Yoga)
4- Ellsworth Chytka (Sisseton Sioux)
5-Megan Garcia (Medicine Shield Maker)
6-Stewart Chubley (Process Painting, Omega Institute)
7-Jon Mark Elizondo (partner)
8-Sun Bear, Chippewa Medicine Man of the Bear Tribe
9-Dawn Songfeather Davies (Initiation as a Sacred Pipe Carrier)
10-Sweet Medicine (Sacred Pipe Consecration)
11-Jim Hickey & Michael Maguire (Drum Makers)
12-Grandfather Charles Lawrence (Indigenous Teachings in over 20 years of regular gatherings)
13-Clyde Hall, Shoshone-Metis, (Naraya Dance Chief. Dance for All People, participant 15 years)
14-Stanley Giardio (Naraya Elder/Dancer)
15-WhiteHorse Woman, Cherokee (from whom Starfeather was taught and given permission to share Cherokee Teachings including the Medicine Wheel and Walk into the Elder’s Lodge Ceremony)
16-Brooke Medicine Eagle (Native Medicine Ways & Songs)
17-Tom Kenyon (Sound Healing Training & Trance Journey)
18-Eduardo Luna (Ecuadorian Shaman)
19-Dr. Eric Pearl (Reconnective Healing Practitioner Training)
20-Kumu Diane Grace (Hawaiian Traditional Teachings)
21-David Thomson (Sacred Circles Institute)
22-Michael Harner (Shamanic Journey)
23-Nicki Scully (Shamanic Journey)
24-Barbara Hand Clow, Cherokee (Trance Journey)
25-Shaman Don Augustine Rivas in Yushinthaita, Peru
26-Mary Lee LeBay (Hypnotherapy Training)
27-38 All Elders connected through the Woman Soul Gathering: Barbara James Snyder,
Carolyn Hartness, Debbie Guerrero, June BlueSpruce, Lorraine Bayes, Lynette Edge, Mary Shackelford, Mattie Davis-Wolfe, Suzanne Sharpe, Therese Charvet. Woman Soul Gathering visionary, Chalice Bailey WSG East spirit keeper, Heidi Thompson.
A seeker and life long learner, Starfeather has read and gleaned wisdom from hundreds of spiritual teachers and authors. Most important to mention are Machaelle Small Wright of Perelandra Gardens in Virginia for her teaching of Flower Essences, and Carol Bridges for the foundational teachings through the Medicine Woman Book and Tarot Set. (Please see recommended book list.)
Since 1989, Starfeather returned bi-annually to La Push, WA, to facilitate Medicine Shield Retreats on the Quileute Indian Reservation. Starfeather considers herself most fortunate to have found this beautiful place which she first experienced in a vision. She considers the sacred land at First Beach and the Island of Akalat at La Push to be her Spirit Home and one of her greatest teachers.
A channel for Beings of Light, Starfeather’s Great Council of Spirit Guides participates in her life as her teachers, helpers, and through whom she receives and offers Divine Guidance.
Aho. All my Relations.
Starfeather with Charles Lawrence, one of her Spiritual teachers.