Posts Tagged ‘sacred sites’

Gaia Festival Creatrixes

In 2005, Stephanie Hamberger and Kris Oster formed Soul Pilgrim (, a sacred retreat and pilgrimage tour company. They originally met in 2002 while on pilgrimage to Glastonbury, England and became fast friends and soul mates, even though they lived on opposite coasts. Stephanie is based in Colden, New York and Kris lives in Santa Barbara, California.

In September 2006, Stephanie had a vision of an annual community gathering, focused on Earth-centered spirituality and self-transformation through rhythm, dance, yoga, film and art.

Stephanie contacted Starhawk, author, environmental activist and leading voice in the Goddess movement, who agreed to participate and facilitate two workshops entitled, “The Earth Path: Giving Spirit Roots” and “Taking Root: Grounding Spirit in Earth.”

On November 11, 2006 in East Aurora, New York, the first Gaia Festival was born.  Later that year, Kris Oster, Stephanie’s business partner, began planning a West Coast edition.

On May 26th and 27th of 2007, Gaia Festival premiered in Los Angeles, California at Temescal Gateway Park.

About the Gaia Festival Creatrixes

Stephanie Hamberger (East Coast Creatrix)

Stephanie is the organizer of the first annual Gaia Festival. She worked as a photojournalist for years, which eventually led her onto her present path as the co-founder of Soul Pilgrim ( – an adventure that brings sacred travel, workshops, retreats and events to folks who want to honor and heal the land.

Of both Mohawk and a mélange of European descent, she identifies with both the traditional Native American and Old European expressions of spirit, but mostly hears and honors the wordless ancient call and “does what the land tells her to do”.

Stephanie has shared the songs, art and movement of our ancestors with travelers during her sacred pilgrimages to Glastonbury, Cornwall and Bath, England 2001-2005 for Lammas celebrations.

Stephanie debuted the Enchanted Mountain Goddess Conference on August 31-September 3, 2007 in Allegany State Park, Town of Red House, New York. The conference was a huge success and was held a second time in 2008.

Kris Katsuko Oster (West Coast Creatrix)

Kris Katsuko Oster is a percussionist, myth scholar, sacred event organizer and web developer.

At 19 years old, Kris dreamt of a beautiful goddess rising out of the ocean, calling out to her. At the time, she was studying African-Brazilian and Cuban rhythms on percussion instruments at California State University, Northridge where she earned her BA in Music. Many years later, she realized that this goddess was Yemanja, or Iemanjá, as she is known in Brazil.

In 2006, Kris spent three months in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil studying Candomblé, an African-Brazilian religion originating with the slaves brought from West Africa, to complete research for her dissertation, “Mothers, Female Tricksters and Heroines: A Mythological Portrait of Feminine Dynamism in Brazilian Candomblé and the Women Drummers Movement.”

Gaia Festival took place in Los Angeles in 2007 and 2008, and will take root in Santa Barbara on November 13-14, 2010.

Kris continues to explore and experience the mystical, transcendent aspects of drumming, and completed her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies/Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute (, which houses the Marija Gimbutas, Joseph Campbell and James Hillman archives.

Kris can be reached at

About Soul Pilgrim

Soul Pilgrim proudly hosts and organizes events, pilgrimages and workshops that honor Mother Earth. We are committed to walking the sacred path in everyday life.

We bring folks to far away places to honor ancient sacred sites as well as remind ourselves of the sacred landscape in our own backyards. We share the intuitive rhythms of the drum, which mirrors the heartbeat of Mother Earth. We sing from our depths the songs of stone and bone, fire and wave, feather and cave. We make lasting relics of our pilgrimages with our hands and hearts. We walk the Earth not in seeking, but in honoring.