Julia Ferguson Andriessen

My Path, Purpose and Passions

Once upon a time…

Well maybe not exactly like that. There are days though that my path feels more like Grimms Fairy Tale than typical North American life.

Here’s a few details:

Born in 1964. Given up. Adopted. I know both families and both have wildly shaped my path and story.

Grew up in Southern California. Raised by Canadian immigrants and British grandparents. Colour and Centre, going to the loo, minding the gap and saying Taaaaaa for thanks are all part of my social DNA, eh. So is surfing, sunshine forever and California poppies.

I went to CSULB, graduated with a degree in Psychology in 1993. In 1998 I moved to the Netherlands. Land of tulips, klompen and a really cute Dutch guy I had met online in 1997 while preparing to go through a divorce from a violent ex. The Dutchie and the ex were acquaintances online. Thank you Universe.

During all those years I worked in Social Services for a variety of agencies, wearing all the hats for marketing, publicity, counseling, group facilitation, volunteer management, military social services (Red Cross, MCRD), fundraising, special events and public speaking, writing and oh goodness so much more. Such is the life in the nonprofit sector. It was incredibly rewarding and totally exhausting. In 1992 I got clean and sober after a few starts and stops and continue to live my life that way.

In 1999 I officially launched my coaching and consulting business for love immigrants, expats and others wishing to set their dreams in motion and prepared them for cross cultural diversity. I joined a few International women’s groups in Amsterdam and Utrecht and started a number of groups to support various individuals making their way whilst living in new lands. It was during my life abroad that I began writing for Woman Abroad and Expatrium magazines as well as numerous columns for Expatica.com

Along the way I continued to explore who I was and where I wanted to continue to go. I got level 1 Reiki in 1998. Took courses with a Hungarian Shaman in Rotterdam. Studied Co-Active Coaching, Coach Yourself Happy with Terri Levine and took many Coachville courses online and programs in person and helped organize the first International Coaching Union Conference in Grindelwald, Switzerland. You can read more about all those adventures on my old business site. (waiting to be refreshed site juliaferguson.com)

I loved my life. I loved my clients. I still wanted more. More of who I was inside that maybe didn’t match with my corporate business approach. I kept building my altars, reading and learning and walking my spiritual path. My beliefs kept working their way into more client sessions. Oracle card readings, crystals sent off to those grieving or in pain. Values and Boundary work, learning one’s Gremlins, all continued to be the core of my coaching approach, however the ‘ways of my ancestors‘ was calling me louder and louder.

So here we are today. I’ve studied with a variety of teachers and circled up with powerful girlfriends. I’m a Bard grade woman practicing Druidry with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (based in the UK). I’ve studied with Marijke de Jong, Karen Chrappa and Pixie Lighthorse. I’ve followed the works of Pema Chödrön, Phillip Carr-Gomm and Sonia Choquette, Ph.d to name a few. I’ve completed Pillars of Priestessing in 2015 with Athena Perrakis, many SouLodge Animal Medicine courses and Transforming the Mother Wound Program as well as the four levels of Earth Medicine School with Pixie Lighthorse.

I continue to be lit up and inspired by so many sisters. I’m grateful for all who have walked with me on this journey so far. Circling up via Zoom helps me stay connected with my loves all around the Globe.

And this has been a big part in my wanting to create Altar This. To introduce women of all ages to the tools and ladies (and some men too) who have helped me find my footing, shown me ways to heal and grow and continue to and helped me to ‘re-member’ who I am as one and part of the big, wide, wonderful, whole – the Divine All.

I am passionate about helping others. About my life long journey as Bard with word and song. About capturing feelings through my photography. About finding ways to share it forward. I hope Altar This will do that. Share it forward in a time when we all can use the love and support of a Global circle. If this sounds good to you, join us. If you listen with your heart you will hear me sitting at my altar, calling you in.

Celebrating my EMS3 Vows ceremony at SouLodge Ranch in Oregon, July 2019. EMS teacher, Pixie Lighthorse is to the left.

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Imagery: Kaia Pieters and Julia Ferguson Andriessen
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