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Venus Rising Staff



Linda Star Wolf

Linda Star Wolf has been a vision­ary teacher and shamanic guide to thou­sands of people over the last 35 years. Starting out as a therapist in the mental health and addictions fields in the 1980’s, Star Wolf is a nationally certified alcohol and drug counselor who draws from her personal experience of recovery from addiction. The author of several books, she is the creator of Shamanic Breathwork™, the co-creator of the Shamanic Healing Initiatory Process (SHIP), and the Founder of Venus Rising Association for Transformation, a non-profit organization, and Founder and President of Venus Rising University for Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies. Star Wolf is also the co-founder of the Shamanic Mystery Tours and takes spiritual seekers all over world to explore sacred shamanic sites.

Dedi­cating her life to help­ing others to release dysfunc­tional patterns of all kinds and to radi­cally trans­form their lives, Star Wolf teaches people how to awaken to the Bigger Picture, embody their own inner Visionary Shaman and step into a life of passion­ate purpose. Her personal commit­ment to sacred activism and vision­ary lead­er­ship led her to create the Shamanic Ministers Global Network.

Star Wolf holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services from St. Leo College, a Doctorate of Ministry from Summit University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Religious Studies from the University for Integrative Learning.

Inspired by Holotropic breathwork founder, Stan Grof, and Integrative Breathwork founder Jacquelyn Small, she became one of the lead trainers at Small’s Eupsychia Institute. Star Wolf also studied shamanic earth wisdom teachings with Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, a Seneca Wolf Clan elder who adopted Star Wolf as a Spiritual Granddaughter, giving her the spirit name of Star Wolf.

Various media outlets across the country have featured Star Wolf, including Publishers Weekly, The Dr. Pat Show, New ConneXion, Edge Life, Conscious Living, Unlimited Realities, Planetary Spirit, In the Spirit, InnerViews, A Journey to the Heart, AZTV, Oregon Public Television and New Realities TV.

In 2003, Star Wolf and her late husband, Brad Collins, co-founded the Isis Cove Community and Retreat Center in the Blue Mountains of west­ern North Carolina.

Contact Star Wolf at: or phone: 828-631-2305.

Ruby Falconer

Ruby Falconer is the Assistant Director, Business Manager, and Staff Astrologer for Venus Rising Association for Transformation; Venus Rising University Provost and Dean of Students; Transformation House Program Manager; Venus Rising Shamanic Ministry Assistant Congregation Leader; Shamanic Breathwork™ Master Practitioner, Shamanic Pastoral Counselor, and Workshop Facilitator and Teacher.

A staff member since 2002, Ruby has dedicated her life to the support and expansion of Venus Rising and its programs. She brings a wealth of life experience to her work, including recovery from drugs, alcohol and codependency since 2000, all of which makes her an effective and compassionate guide for those wishing to walk the path of shamanic consciousness in everyday life.

Ruby has been a professional astrologer since 1977, and holistically integrates her extensive knowledge of astrology, psychology, philosophy and metaphysics with a comprehensive understanding of shamanism and considerable talent as a storyteller. She is, with Star Wolf, the co-creator of Shamanic Egyptian Astrology and the co-author of Shamanic Egyptian Astrology; Your Planetary Relationship to the Gods, published by ITI/Bear & Co.

Ruby is also a Shamanic Minister ordained through Venus Rising, a Shamanic High Priestess and a Third Degree Shamanic Breathwork™ Reiki Initiate. She completed a BA in Comparative Literature in Southern California and earned a certificate in Holistic Healing Studies from San Francisco State University.

Ruby also holds a Master’s Degree in Shamanic Intuitional Practices and a Doctorate in Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies from Venus Rising University.

Ruby lives near Isis Cove in western North Carolina with Bella the dog and Luke the cat. Contact Ruby at: or phone: (828) 631-2305


Kathy Morrison

Kathy Morrison

Kathy Morrison is a Shamanic Breathwork™ Master Practitioner, a Shamanic Minister ordained through Venus Rising, Second Degree Shamanic Breathwork™ Reiki Initiate.

Kathy is a Graduate of Venus Rising University – November 2010

She holds a Bachelor of Sacred Elemental Studies and a Master’s degree in Shamanic Intuitional Practices

Kathy is part of the Venus Rising Staff and assists with office and business details.

She is the Coordinator of the Shamanic Ministers Global Network.

Kathy is a core team member of the Transformation House.

She helps to coordinate the Shamanic 30 Questions process.

Kathy has been in recovery for 23 years. She is a grounded and compassionate source to others who are wanting to recovery from a way of life that no longer serves them. She assists people in connecting more deeply with their own “healer within” and supporting them on their journey.

She continues to dance the spiral path through the continuous cycles of change in her own life, Kathy brings a depth of heart and wisdom to her work with others through her own personal healing, experience, strength and hope.

Kathy lives near Isis Cove in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Contact Kathy at:

Nikólaus Wolf

Nikólaus Wolf was born walking the shamanic path. Having journeyed deep into the Underworld at an early age, Nikólaus learned to rely upon the wisdom of his heart to direct and guide him. In 2010, his inner wisdom guided him to Venus Rising Association for Transformation. Here, Nikó connected with the late Bradford Clark Collins—the Co-Director of Venus Rising Association for Transformation and Co-Founder of Isis Cove Community and Retreat Center. Nikólaus studied as an Apprentice directly under Brad and learned how to engage with people’s souls and hearts; creating a space for people to feel safe, loved and witnessed. Brad continued to serve as a mentor for Nikó for the remainder of his life.

Presently, Nikólaus Wolf holds a Master’s Degree from Venus Rising University in Shamanic Psycho- Spiritual Studies. He is the Co-Founder of the Shamanic Mystery Tours Company and he serves as an Administrative Assistant for Venus Rising. As Co-Founder of the Shamanic Mystery Tours Company, Nikólaus has facilitated shamanic journeys all across the world. Locations include places such as Bali, Mexico, Egypt and Peru. Nikó is a Master Shamanic Breathwork Practitioner and an Ordained Shamanic Priest and Minister through Venus Rising Association and Congregation for Transformation. As Venus Rising’s Administrative Assistant, Nikólaus coordinates global events and assists in facilitating training programs. Nikó has served as Venus Rising’s Transformation House Staff and he has facilitated Venus Rising internships—mentoring and encouraging individuals to discover their Soul’s Purpose and follow their Holy Longing.

Nikólaus currently resides in western North Carolina, living upon the land that re-membered him—Isis Cove. Pieces of Nikó’s story are featured within Linda Star Wolf’s book, Soul Whispering: the Art of Awakening Shamanic Consciousness. Nikólaus’ vision is to walk the path of the Heart, bridging the Mind and Heart together as one. His message is to encourage others to live from their hearts and to support them as they follow their dreams. He is dedicated to serving the planet and awakening shamanic consciousness in others as his continues to follow his own soul path.

Nikólaus can be contacted by emailing Nikó.


Judy Red Hawk Merritt

Judy Martin Merritt, PhD, RDT, D Min, aka Judy Red Hawk, earned her PhD in Psychology in 1984 from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1987, Merritt became a registered Drama Therapist. Her professional background and work has been in the field of psychology and shamanic psychospiritual studies; she is a licensed psychologist who has integrated shamanic practices and art processes into her private practice; supporting children, adolescents and adults heal and transform their lives.

Merritt was awarded a D-Min in Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies from Venus Rising University, where she created and developed the Shamanic Shakti Art Process. She has completed the Shamanic Priestess Process (Nicole Christine lineage under Anyaa McAndrew,2009); she is a Shamanic Tibeten/Usui, Brigid’s Flame Reiki Master; a Shamanic Breathwork Master Practitioner and Facilitator; and an ordained Shamanic Minister.

In 2008, Merritt was the Program Director and Manager of the Transformation House Soul Recovery Program at Venus Rising Association for Transformation. Here, she integrated her shamanic psycho-spiritual techniques with her professional background as a licensed psychotherapist, and supported individuals in radically healing and transforming their lives—overcoming substance abuse, addictive behaviors and unhealthy patterns.

Presently, Merritt continues to maintain her private practice as a licensed psychotherapist. She facilitates workshops and private intensives as well as transformative and experiential workshops nationwide. She is a core team member and teacher at Venus Rising Association for Transformation-specializing in teaching and training students on how to utilize the Shamanic Shakti Art Process as a tool for transformation, integration and wholeness.

Judy Red Hawk Merritt resides in Pittsburgh, PA. She travels the world regularly and finds inspiration daily through art and her shamanic practices.

Debra Kotz Irestone

Deb holds a Doctor of Ministry in Shamanic PsychoSpiritual Studies from Venus Rising University and a Master of Arts in Theology and Spirituality from St. Catherine University in St Paul, MN. She is an Ordained Shamanic Minister, Shamanic Breathwork Master Practitioner and Shamanic High Priestess Process Facilitator. Deb is certified in Usui and Shamanic Reiki and is a Master Hypnotherapist. She has additional training in Spiritual Guidance and Psychotherapy.

As the coordinator of the Shamanic Minister’s Global Network, Deb assists Shamanic Ministers throughout the world to found their own Venus Rising Congregations.

In her role as a Shamanic Breathwork facilitator and teacher, Deb leads workshops, including SHIP, through her congregation, Shaman’s Hearth Spiritual Community. She also performs Shamanic Ministerial Ordinations, and is part of the training team for Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator certification at both Shaman’s Hearth and Venus Rising.

I began my relationship with Venus Rising in February of 2006. At that time, I was working as a Hypnotherapist in a private practice. I loved helping clients achieve altered states to release old patterns and beliefs in order to clear the space needed to co-create a new life for themselves. I’d been on a personal spiritual journey for most of my life, and was ready to go deeper with both myself, and my clients. As soon as I arrived at Venus Rising, I knew I was home. The staff was skilled and genuinely loving. The teachings of the Spiral Path and the Shaman Within resonated deep within my being. And the Shamanic Breathwork journeys took me places I hadn’t previously been able to access. I was grateful for the transformational work I was receiving, and was excited to bring it back home to share with others.

In 2010, I founded the first Venus Rising congregation, Shaman’s Hearth Spiritual Community of Venus Rising. My dream was to create a spiritual community that provided deep, heart-centered transformation for others. Since then, I’ve had the joy of being a congregation leader and facilitator in Minnesota. And, I’ve had the honor to host variety of Venus Rising teachers and facilitators from around the country at Shaman’s Hearth. In addition, I continue to travel back to North Carolina to both train and facilitate at Venus Rising.

Deb can be contacted by email at .

Kelley MoonWolf

Kelley MoonWolf began her healing and training with Venus Rising in March of 2002 when she attended her first 1-day Shamanic Breathwork(tm) experience in Clackamas, Oregon. During her breathwork journey, Kelley was accompanied by a white wolf and an elder came to her and gave her her first spirit name “Spirit Dancer”. Kelley came to find out later in the day that the elder was Seneca Wolf Clan elder Grandmother Twylah; adoptive grandmother of Star Wolf. Years later, Star Wolf would give Kelley her second spirit name, Dancing MoonWolf Woman, when Kelley became an ordained shamanic minister. Kelley’s initial shamanic breathwork experience forever changed the course of her life as she began to discover the spiral path of transformation and recover the shamanic consciousness within herself. In 2002, Kelley also completed her education as a Naturopathic Physician and was licensed in October of that year. Kelley would only know the true synchronicity of embarking upon the shamanic path as she completed her Naturopathic Medical education years later in retrospect when she found herself saying to Star Wolf recently that medical school had given her great knowledge, but that Star Wolf’s teachings, Brad Collins’ mentorship, the shamanic initiations she has undergone, and learning to walk the sober shamanic spiral path, had given her the great wisdom she needed to know how to use that knowledge for the highest good.

In her years of practice, Kelley continued to come back to Shamanic Breathwork(tm) as the single most powerful pathway to heal old wounds and unleash the creative vital force that is every person’s birth right. Through Venus Rising Association for Transformation, Kelley is an Ordained Shamanic Minister and has been an active member of the Shamanic Ministers Global Network since 2010, she is certified as a Master Facilitator of Shamanic Breathwork(tm), and is certified in Usui Reiki and Shamanic Reiki. Kelley’s mission since early in life has been to free herself from the limitations of mediocrity and inertia imposed by cultural expectations so that she could in turn fulfill her soul’s purpose of freeing other free-thinkers to live their lives from a place of limitless potential, vitality, and creativity.

She is joyfully of service to the Venus Rising Team. She is the Venus Rising University Admissions Adviser and Mentor, and as such, she is the first point of contact for students. She answers questions and gets to know truly what each person is looking to receive from their VRU experience. Once she has discerned what will light your fire, she will get with the Venus Rising team and together they will assign you a mentor that will best support your goals and will work with you on creating your curriculum and supporting you through your shamanic educational projects. As a mentor herself, Kelley will work with you to discover and create the curriculum that most excites you and fulfills your soul aspirations. Kelley is also a liaison to Venus Rising Congregations, helping to keep them up to date on Venus Rising’s ever-growing shamanic psychospiritual programs and services. Kelley continues to be in private practice as a Naturopathic Doctor and Shamanic Psychospiritual Counselor in Trinidad Colorado.

Kelley can be contacted by email at , or by phone (719)-680-0605

Jason Deegan

Jason Deegan

At 18 years old, Jason experienced his first Shamanic Breathwork Journey® at Venus Rising’s 2011 Breathe America. After his first experience, Jason knew Shamanic Breathwork® had his heart, and he knew that this work — awakening, transforming and embodying consciousness through the breath—was the sacred work he wanted to do in the world.

In 2017, Jason was certified as a Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator and ordained as a Shamanic Minister through Venus Rising Association for Transformation. He is passionate about the Shamanic Breathwork® Process and the work that Linda Star Wolf and Venus Rising share with the world.

Jason Deegan is a Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator, an Ordained Shamanic Minister, and the Director of Public Relations for Venus Rising Association for Transformation. Jason has managed the promotional release for Star Wolf and Nita Gage’s book, Soul Whispering: the Art of Awakening Shamanic Consciousness. He currently manages the promotional release for all Linda Star Wolf and Venus Rising events, and maintains Venus Rising’s social media and online presence.

Jason lives at Isis Cove—a conscious community located in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Jason can be contacted at