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A bit about Brian

Brian Bard, Spiritual Guide, Coach, and Director

I was fortunate to have an eclectic spiritual and religious upbringing. Growing up, I got to experience the infinite majesty and mystery of the Natural world regularly, through frequent camping trips and an early love of swimming. I had a wild spiritual curiosity, which drove me to explore the depths of meaning in stories, art, music, and theatre. And I had a rich interfaith community experience, attending a Presbyterian church and Catholic school through high school; preschool, daycare, afterschool, and summer programs at the local Jewish Community Center through middle school; and a few evangelical Christian summer camps along the way.

From a young age I’ve always seen Nature as my spiritual home and Spirit (God, Goddess, or whatever name you prefer) as limitless consciousness and love, uncontainable by any one tradition or gender, far beyond our human understanding. And yet, Nature and Spirit are accessible to all traditions and individuals. Indeed, I believe a part of this cosmic consciousness and love is manifest in each of us, a part which we call our Soul. I'd even say Spirit is manifest in every thing, especially living and Natural things, which is why I also often refer to the Sacred as well. Spirit is speaking to us at all times, through our Souls and the Sacred, in a symphony of voices. And we can learn to hear.

This is the wisdom at the heart of the Mystic Tradition, which finds common ground between all religions and spiritualities. It's also at the heart of Celtic Spirituality and countless other ancestral, Nature-based traditions. And it's even at the heart of Christianity, ever as flawed and yet ever as beautiful as the humans who sustain it. Over many years of my own Soul reflection and immersions in Nature, I found my way to a place of comfort and excitement in seeing myself - while still keeping radical openness and solidarity with all spiritualities - as a Mystic Celtic Christian. I've also found my way into rhythm with my Soul’s calling: to help others follow the voices of Spirit, Soul, and the Sacred.

I haven’t always known how to pursue my calling, nor how to turn it into a vocation (distinguished as something impacting others directly); it has taken me many years of wandering, as it does most everyone. Because of my difficult relationship with my dad, for a time I thought I’d become a therapist. Then, facing the staggering scale of injustice in the world, I worked as an activist for many years. But in 2015, all in the same year, I burned out in community organizing work and my dad passed away. These events turned my life upside-down, throwing me into grief and the unknown. It wasn’t until then I was able to fully open to the Soul truths that had always been there.

Given my dreams, visions, and conversations with Nature, in 2015 I began to reimagine what therapy and activism meant to me. Since then:

  • I've joined Illuman and completed a wilderness immersion through Animas Valley Institute, both of which have initiated me into Soulful adulthood. I’m still working in these contexts to explore father-wounds, help redefine a healthy masculinity, and support others in their spiritual processes.

  • I’ve also pursued training in Celtic Spirituality through the Celtic Center and AODA, to carry on my ancient ancestors’ spiritual tradition and invite others into its wisdom. In this context, I hope to build mutuality with other ancestral traditions and their stewards, and to unsettle white settler spirituality.

  • I've even had the good fortune to work for two years at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, an ecumenical graduate school educating folks at the intersection of spirituality, counseling, arts, and culture.

  • And I’ve invested in the creative writing I’ve loved since childhood, e.g. this blog and an epic series of speculative fiction novels (stay tuned for excerpts!).

  • Most importantly, I met and married the love of my life, opening fully to the goodness of relationship and eagerly anticipating fatherhood in the next few years.

I hope all these endeavors will aid others in their Soul journeys and advance social justice, ecological wholeness, and spiritual evolution.

All these and many other experiences inform the flexible framework I now use as a spiritual guide and director. I’m able to cultivate openness for a wide breadth of beliefs, bodies, and backgrounds – from passionate adherents of a specific religion/denomination, to seekers of profound non-traditional spirituality, to those who even doubt the existence of Spirit and Soul but still want to open to the Sacred in some form. Whatever your case, I hope you join me InVocation!

To learn more about my personal spirituality, check out my Articles of Faith blog series, starting with What are the Divine, Spirit, Soul, & the Sacred? or What Is Spirituality? Why Do We Need It?

Image credit: Megan Renee Thompson (



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