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Kedar S. Brown M.Ed.

Kedar is a ceremonialist, healer, intuitive and teacher of psychological and spiritual awareness with over thirty-two years of professional experience. Over this time he has developed an effective and unique approach to emotional and spiritual healing by braiding together his depth of clinical knowledge of experiential psychotherapies with more nature based, indigenous wisdom teachings and healing methods from around the world. Kedar is the founder and director of Rites of Passage Council, an organization offering nature based treatment and professional training programs. Kedar is a member of an International Wilderness Guides Council and known for his ability to blend many creative and expressive forms of depth psychology and psychotherapy with more ancient methods of healing through vision quest ceremonies, sweat lodge ceremonies, rites of passage experiences and personalized ceremonies and rituals in his work with individuals, couples, groups and communities. 


In 1994 Kedar apprenticed with Steven Foster and Meredith Little at School of Lost Boarders in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the form and process of the vision quest ceremony and eco-psychology. He apprenticed with Malidoma Some, PhD, initiated elder and shaman of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa leaning indigenous methods of healing emotional trauma and relationship challenges through various forms of ritual processes and intuitive divination readings. Kedar has also had the honor and privilege to learn many valuable insights into healing from his apprenticeship with Cherokee elder and medicine person, Will Rockingbear.


Kedar is a Professional Counselor, Clinical Addictions Specialist, Nationally Certified Counselor, and Certified Hakomi, Body-Centered Psychotherapist. Kedar’s healing retreats and training programs are offered both nationally and internationally. His previous work has taken him across the US, and into Ireland, West Africa, England, Australia, Scotland and Hawaii.


Lynn Bowers

Lynn offers the depth and support of thirty-one years of personal recovery as well as twenty-five years experience as owner and manager of a residential construction company. As a community builder and gatherer of tribe, Lynn excels in creating home and sacred space.


Her inquisitive nature and reservoir of ideas serve to infuse both individuals and organizations with inspiration and vision. Weather in business or providing personal guidance, Lynn offers a great degree of down to earth leadership and follow-through in assisting others to reach their goals.


Lynn completed her own wilderness rites of passage in 2004 and has served as a Rites of Passage Council Guide since 2012. From age twelve Lynn grew up on the campus of Warren Wilson College where she later received her degree. She always been deeply at home in nature and brings a keen intuitive connection to the intelligence of the natural world, empathic awareness, and heart-full presence to all those she guides.


Stewart Stokes

Stewart’s twenty-five-year career as a psychotherapist and a life-long pursuit of nature photography yield a profound sense of awe for the courage and creative intelligence evident in all of nature. A fifteen-year career as a commercial photographer allowed him to support the growth of his clientele as well as his development as a digital artist. Stewart has provided leadership to boards of directors throughout his adult life in a variety of disciplines including the environment, outdoor recreation, psychotherapy, spirit and education.

Since childhood Stewart has followed the paths of nature via heart, foot, bike, ski, canoe and kayak. The mysteries of the cosmos and the calling of the Sacred incessantly and irresistibly beckon his curiosity, offering assurance and yet deeper not-knowing. As he moves into elder hood the integration of professional and personal skills and interests supports the continuation of a life of service to his community and the enrichment of his personal growth.

Stewart’s formal education includes a BS in Psychology from Wake Forest University and a MS in Marital and Family Therapy from Auburn University. Informal educational pursuits include photography, digital image editing, shamanic practices, various spiritual traditions, and board governance methods and principles.


Tayria Ward Ph.D.

Tayria has worked intensively with her own and other peoples’ dreams for more than 40 years, and for nearly 20 years has been an avid student of indigenous ways of knowing and being. In 2004, she established Bridging Worlds, a center for working with individuals and groups to bridge the waking mind with the dreaming mind, the domesticated self with the indigenous self, culture with nature, the visible with the invisible, the conscious with the unconscious.

Presently she has a private practice specializing in dream analysis in Asheville, North Carolina, where she works with clients in person, by Skype and by telephone. She also offers dream groups, workshops and lectures. 

She has a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Previously she was a minister in an interfaith organization for 20 years, a professor at undergraduate and graduate levels, and owner of a retreat center in the remote mountains of Western North Carolina where she conducted retreats, vision quests and sweat lodges. For more information on Tayria’s work please visit:

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Kallie Brown

Kallie has a degree in Psychology from UNC Asheville and is now in graduate school to complete her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kallie brings both personal and professional experience to ROPC and has been immersed in ceremonial and rite of passage work for many years. She continues to blend this sacred work into all facets of her life, understanding the deep need for it in our modern society. 

By day, she is part of a team of passionate individuals, working in a women’s addition and trauma focused treatment center.  It is here that she works as a wilderness and ceremonial guide, leading groups on weekend backpacking trips and guiding women through ceremony.  She believes deeply in honoring, through ceremony, the important transitions these women make in moving from a place of wounding to healing.

By night, she offers her services as birth Doula supporting mothers and their partners in bringing babies into this world. Her curiosities and passions of the heart continue to take her to many places across the world, but her home is in the Appalachian Mountains of Asheville, NC where she lives with her community of friends and family.

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Tommy Breedlove

Tommy is an influencer, speaker and coach empowering individuals and ambitious leaders to:

·       Achieve Meaning in Life

·       Rediscover Brilliance

·       Obtain True Balance & Freedom

·       Build a Legacy

·       While Obtaining/Protecting Financial Success

Tommy is also the Founder of Choose Goodness.  A movement which encourages individuals and organizations to search for unmet human needs that create transformational impact on themselves, their business, and society at large. He and Choose Goodness provide both the rational and emotional perspectives to the strategic and financial decision making process. 

Since his beginning at Deloitte, the world’s largest financial consulting firm, Tommy has spent his professional career serving companies as a strategic, managerial and financial consultant in sectors including service, manufacturing, distribution and non-profit.  Tommy has and still serves as Board Advisor, Chair, and/or Director for multiple for-profit and civic entities.

While on the Board of Directors, a Senior Partner and the International Practice Leader for a large regional financial consulting and CPA firm, he advised international companies on financial strategies for setting up operations in the US as well as domestic entities establishing operations abroad. Tommy and his international practice won the 2012 Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Global Impact Award.

Tommy graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and is a Certified Public Accountant.  He holds a Certificate in Innovation from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and received Cognitive Based Compassion Training from Emory University. 

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Daniel Barber

Daniel is a business owner, musician, and personal creativity coach. In his current work with I Am Sound, LLC, he helps people engage themselves through creative musical expression to enhance and deepen self-awareness and spiritual connection.

In a previous 15-year career in video production, he produced videos almost exclusively for nonprofits.  Among his projects, he produced training videos on nonprofit management and board structure, policies and procedures and has served on several nonprofit boards.

He has been involved in the work of the Rites of Passage Council since 2002 as a participant and staff. 



Sharon Oxendine

Sharon Oxendine has over twenty five years of non-profit and fifteen years of CDFI experience. Her education and experience includes business, financial and human services management.  Sharon has worked in the Western North Carolina area offering business training, lending and support. She has a unique understanding of the needs of the underserved entrepreneurial community. She served an estimated 1,800 entrepreneurs and helped start over 900 businesses in the WNC area from 2002-2013.   

Sharon managed the SBA Women’s Business Center in WNC from 2002-2010.  She began working as the Western Women’s Business Center, a program of Carolina Small Business Development Fund in April of 2014. Sharon received the 2008 SBA Women’s Business Champion for the State of NC.  and the TWIN (Tribute to Women of Influence) award in 2006. Sharon studied at Central Wesleyan College for Business Management.

Sharon Oxendine lives in Fletcher NC and has lived in this community since 1992.  Sharon moved to this area to be closer to the sacred earth that is so vibrant in this community. Sharon Oxendine is a first Nations woman from the Lumbee Tribe from Lumberton NC.  Sharon has studied with numerous teachers from the Wisdom Keepers and other Indigenous Leaders and Shamans for the last 27 years.  

Sharon has been named Elder by her community and leads ceremonies around Rites of Passage, Grief, Soul Retrieval and Transitions from this world to the next. Sharon is passionate about the Earth Elements and supports Sacred Activism through ceremony and sharing the Sacred Pipe.