Kate cherishes the wild Land, is keenly aware of legacy across generations. She is committed to standing as an elder deepening into service, alongside and behind all the younger ones.
With heartfelt gratitude, Phoenixes Rising is taking root in beautiful land that has been the Tribal Territories of the Pend d'Oreille (Qlispé) and Salish (Sélish) peoples, in now-named Missoula of southwestern Montana.
The physical project: an urban corner lot transforming from impoverished Kentucky bluegrass to a living classroom that illustrates a return to tending soil, human community & the web of life on which we all depend. A 96 sq ft "tiny office" may appear this summer.
Kate has walked multiple paths as engineer, homesteader, single parent, permaculture designer, teacher. As a naturalist, she celebrates nuanced Life and its intense beauty.
Her art & poetry offer vivid contrasts in words, strong shapes, light, dark.
Passionate engaged with current challenges, she illustrates & writes children's stories that imagine new possibilities for us. Her next story weaves humans in community with keystone native plants, jeweled insects, & each other.
The cultural project: Kate aims -- through all these different lenses-- to support regenerative community. To embody simplicity, sustainability and the safeguarding of precious resources. She advocates for political & cultural leaders, energy policies and technologies that support social equity, the health of the planet, all species, and future generations.
What if we partner to create a just transition from an extractive capitalism to a whole "economy" that supports the thriving of all people, of all living systems? With regeneration, cooperation, caring, and interdependence as core values.
“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need.” Frederick Buechner
As a white woman, she aims to bring to her culture the notion that each one of us has a particular gift to bring to the world and to our people, wherever we find them. That personal healing and responsibility are crucial. She's facilitated listening circles & land-based rites of passage for people in transition and personal inquiry since 1990.
There's a backstory here that speaks to a gift AND to an ugly underbelly.
Grief and loss in 1989 began the story. The gift to Kate Wilburn back then was a facilitated retreat centering on 4 days of fasting in a wild place with a stated prayer & intention-- as a ceremonial marking of a significant change of life station. It was a personal turning point. Indigenous culture shared by Sun Bear was the source, at a community he called The Bear Tribe. He was a native Ojibway who had taken his people's traditional teachings out into the larger non-Native world.
The underbelly- naive complicity with genocide and cultural appropriation, with unacknowledged settler history dating back 400+ years.
These times call for the righting of old wrongs, actively understanding our histories and lineages, reparation.
Kate calls herself and others to risk offering our full humanity in service to the world. To step forward now, rather than waiting to be even better prepared, in the work that Life and Love call us to.