Our themes,
and guest guides
for each season

AUTUMN: Harvest Time. How do we live with gratitude?

Autumn: Samhain
Theme: "Extractive time"

Contemplations: How do we use time to extract? How are we extracted through time?

Autumn Harvest Guide:
Michelle King

Michelle King is a Learning Instigator, Love Activist, and Transformer. Her origin story is rooted in being an Army Brat, child of an Ethiopian immigrant, and teaching middle school for over 22 years in public schools in Southwestern PA. She learned and honed her craft in Mt. Lebanon for over 16 years plus five years at The Environmental Charter School. Her current interests are in game-based-learning, design, justice, equity, the environment and teacher empowerment. Currently through her varied partnerships, she is seeking to co-create dynamic learning experiences and opportunities that inspire wonder, discovery, contradictions, frustrations, and joy.

Current Conundrums: What do humans need to learn now? How might we create empathetic institutions that remind us of our humanity? How might we re-design for equity and social justice in and out of school learning? How might we allow those connections to help us re-see the worlds we inhabit? How might we co-create the Beloved Community in this lifetime?


Winter Solstice: Yule
Theme: "Apocalyptic time"

Contemplations: Are we out of time? What is the time of catastrophe?

Our Guide:
Michael Busby

Michael the Tea Peddler harkens back to an age when merchants brightened the marketplace with goods that were cherished, while sharing illuminating stories of life from beyond great boundaries. The characters in the peddler's guild—the minstrels, bards, fortune-tellers, and mystics of all sorts—gathered crowds and pulled back the veil to open a sightline beyond the usual ways of being together.

As the Tea Peddler of Via Tiempo, Michael Busby takes their job very seriously. The Tea Peddler's wares can be found at viatiempo.com.

Deep Winter: Imbolc
Theme: "Glacial time"

Contemplations: What are we grieving? What is the trauma of this time?

Our Guide:
kalen tenderness tierney (aka tender)

tender is a person (also known as a multispecies assemblage) navigating the world in a gender expansive practice, working at the intersection of somatics, meditation and social/ecological justice. tender is a facilitator, educator, ceramicist, queer philosopher and builder for social change. they are currently studying the history of bodies, ecology/queer ecologies, the Great Perfection tradition of Tibet, western esoteric traditions, trauma, and somatics. they are a student, sharer, space holder and collaborator rather than an expert.

Early Spring: Ostara
Theme: "Rebirth time"

Contemplations: What are we seeding? What is the sacredness of time?

Our Guide:
Aarti Tejuja

At this moment, Aarti Lentz Tejuja (she/they)is a regular person on Earth like everyone else. They spend most of their days on Pottowatami land which many call Merrillville, Indiana and sometimes on Council of the Three Fires land, commonly known as Chicago. They live with their partner Matt and two cats, Fiona and Buttercup, and 10 minutes from their parents. Currently, they are trying to live a more balanced way of life. They are trying to allocate their time between themselves and others in a more equal way. When they are working with themselves, they are trying to unravel the knots of their own ancestry to uncover how this holds the answers to their own healing - returning to Earth and making Earth a priority. Aarti is unknotting their current modern day “Indian-USAmerican” ancestry to some of their root lineage ancestries - Padmasambhava’s version of Tantra and Jhulelal’s Hindu/Muslim healing - both originating on Indian-Pakistan lands. When Aarti is working with others, she helps them draw out the wisdom of their own root lineages to meet their deities which their own bodies are familiar with, so that they can heal themselves. Aarti can be found on the www at ordinaryintuitive.com and Antara.world.ordinaryintuitive.com.

Late Spring: Beltane
Theme: "Growing time"

Contemplations: What are we composting? What is time travel? How is the past mutable?

Late Spring Guide:
Zena Ruiz

Zena is a mother, artist, and community pollinator living in the Pittsburgh area with roots in Houston, Texas. Zena’s craft is drawing, printmaking, and sculptural installation as a means to process their life. Place is very important in Zena’s works. Their Mexican-American experience of culture, family traditions, and rituals vibrantly appear in Zena’s works as rememberings and prayers woven together with Pittsburgh environments and people. Their process includes deep listening, earth tending, asking for guidance, and just practicing life, because Life is a Practice.  

Summer Solstice: Litha
Theme: "Mirror time"

Contemplations: What are we futuring? How do we foresee and divine?

Our Guide:
Stuart Candy

Dr. Stuart Candy (@futuryst) was trained as a lawyer but dodged a bullet and instead became an artist, designer and facilitator, working to augment the capacity of individuals and communities to navigate alternative futures. He has pioneered a range of practices to bring future worlds to life in the present, in support of social foresight, organisational strategy, and democratic deliberation. He has worked with diverse collaborators including governments and UN agencies, the BBC, University of Oxford, International Red Cross, Arup, IDEO, Snap, NASA JPL, Smithsonian Institution, Dubai’s Museum of the Future, National Film Board of Canada, Burning Man, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, and The New York Times.

Stuart is currently Director of Situation Lab and Associate Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, and Visiting Professor of Future Strategy at KAIST in South Korea. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and the Long Now Foundation, and has been a Berggruen Fellow at the University of Southern California, a Graduate Degree Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawai'i, a Visiting Artist at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the first Artist in Residence at Brazil’s Museum of Tomorrow. He writes The Sceptical Futuryst blog, and is co-editor of the collection Design and Futures, and cocreator of the acclaimed imagination game The Thing From The Future.

Late Summer: Lugnasadh
Theme: "Fire time"

Contemplations: What is our time on a burning world?

Our Guide:

We will see!

Fall Equinox: Mabon
Theme: "Harvest time"

Contemplations: What is the time of gratitude? What is a good time to die?

Autumn Guides:
Adam and Fitzhugh

Fitzhugh and Adam will begin the spiral again at the end of the course.