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Painting of Debbie on the bus
Hand with baby turtle breaking out of its shell
Inside the bus
Debbie by the water
Squirrel leaning on Debbie's legs
Debbie walking in the woods
Rescue turtle on the floor near Debbie's foot.
baby squirrel
Debbie leaning up against a tree
Debbie by the water
Owl in the trees
Debbie smiling


Reverend Debbie Philp, an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister and Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher, holds space for you, beautiful being, to root deeply into our Earth and to find your sacred path to healing and service.

She works with you as you discover your innate power, your inner wisdom, and your ability to nurture yourself and others. Her offerings, inspired by shamanic practices, energy healing, and her Earth-centered spirituality, help you to unlock your intuition, find your connection to our Earth family, and to honor the awesomeness of your spirit. She passionately desires that you peel back the layers of self-doubt to reveal the capable leader and healer that you are when you stand as your authentic self.

Living Energy and Nature

Debbie looking at a tree

We, the human species, are standing at a precipice. The belief systems – religious, economic and social – that have shaped society through the rise of agriculture, trade and industrialization are beginning to crack at their foundations. We have used the Earth’s resources unsustainably and climate catastrophes threaten the survival of not only humans but the countless species with whom we share this planet. The old order is being chipped away and chaos seems imminent. Astrologers say we are moving into the Age of Aquarius. Whatever you call it, we are at the edge. Will you retreat, or are you ready to jump into the new unknown?

Before you turn away from the abyss, take a moment to stand or sit with your feet firmly down. Rub the palms of your hands together. Keep rubbing until they are hot. Then, keeping your palms facing each other, separate them about an inch. Feel that? Continue to face your palms in, but move them around a bit. Open another inch, bring them closer together, slide them across each other. You are feeling the living energy that flows through all of creation.

The presence of this living energy comforts me as I curl my toes over the edge. I am not alone, as an individual or even as the embodiment of all of humanity. I am part of a global ecosystem, physically and energetically, just one cell of the organism that is Mother Earth.

Humans, just like the other animals and the plants, the water, the rocks, soil and sand, and the air itself, have always known change. Day turns to night and back into day, the tides advance and ebb, summer fades to autumn, and autumn gives way to winter. Winter ends and spring comes. Our nomadic ancestors understood the lack of permanence, but “civilized” peoples walled themselves in with rock and wood and tried to stay put. We have separated ourselves from the natural cycles of change, hoping that we can have growth without ever experiencing death and fallowness. Unfortunately, it is that disconnection that keeps us from knowing the ground is crumbling beneath our feet.

The modern revival of ancient shamanism and nature-based practices is an invitation to reconnect. Although the word “shaman” is believed to have originated with the tribal people of Siberia, shamans, or medicine people, existed in almost all indigenous cultures, including the Celtic people of the European continent. One common practice today is shamanic journeying – entering into an altered state of consciousness to receive messages from Spirit – although the envelope of modern shamanism also includes herbal medicine, various energy healing modalities, movement and dance, and even environmental activism.

Armed with these techniques, we can feel our way into our place in nature. We can breathe with the trees, receiving the oxygen they give and releasing carbon dioxide back to them. We can learn from, and be supported by, the non-human animals and plants we exist with. We can view the natural cycles as sacred, and therefore open to change as an expression of living energy, to be revered rather than feared.

The world will be healed by those who, instead of retreating from the precipice, run to it and past it into the wild holiness of change. If you were drawn here, you are being called to be a healer – for yourself, your family, your community, your nation, the wild beings, or the world. Take my hand, healer, and be welcomed into connection to nature and the living energy.

How I Came To Be

Debbie self portrait

Like many healers, I did not realize when I stumbled through my first yoga class in a gym 30 years ago that I was taking the first step on a long journey. At the time I was a stressed-out office worker – suffering from fatigue, frequent headaches and shoulders that barely moved. My posture was so bad I only ever saw what was happening on the ground in front of my feet. I’d never done anything you might consider athletic. Yoga transformed my body, my mind and my life. I started slow, worked on the basics, and ten years later I touched my toes. After twelve years I could keep up in a power yoga class. I turned 40 during yoga teacher training. Since then I’ve completed triathlons and half-marathons, and gone rock climbing. I’ve experienced true bliss on a mountaintop and in Savasana. I am strong enough to get outdoors, and peaceful enough to be still and fully experience the natural world.

The magic came in realizing this was not something different, but a return to what I knew when I was the child who played with hermit crabs in tide pools and bridled a split rail fence to ride off on grand adventures. I have come to understand that conversing with birds and squirrels is not a childish pursuit but, rather, childlike – innocent and open to the shared wisdom of nature’s spirit.

In 2009 I ditched the office job, choosing to honor the happier, healthier and more authentic path I found myself on. I opened to the truth that I am a healer, and I actively strive to bring healing to myself, others, and the Earth. That is why I will so passionately guide and support you on your own healing path. We may connect through Shamanic Reiki or ceremony. Perhaps I will officiate your wedding or baby blessing. No matter how we come together, you will be held and heard as the sacred being you are.

Do you want the nitty-gritty resume details? In 2008 I completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with Tracey Ulshafer at One Yoga and Wellness Center in East Windsor, New Jersey and have taught more than 3,500 yoga classes since then. I have practiced with Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Bryan Kest, Danny Arguetty, John Friend, Suzanne Sterling, Sianna Sherman and David Swenson.

In 2014, after practicing Usui Reiki at Level II for 15 years, I completed Reiki Master training with Dina Kennedy in Long Lake, New York. In 2015 I completed Llyn Robert’s Shamanic Reiki Master Practitioner training at Omega Institute and, in 2016, became a Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher. I continued to develop as a practitioner and facilitator through both levels of Shamanic Reiki Worldwide‘s Evolving Master Teacher program and have been offering Shamanic Reiki training since 2017.

In 2018, I completed a training with Heartblood Cacao to offer cacao ceremonies.

Also in 2018, I became a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Then, in 2021, I formed a nonprofit, Dancing Turtle Rescue and Education Program, Inc., with a mission to save the freshwater turtles of northeastern New York and their habitats by caring for injured, ill, neglected, and abandoned turtles and promoting advocacy and activism on their behalf through public education. Dancing Turtle is a formalization of my commitment to service our Earth family.

In June of 2022, I graduated from One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and was ordained as an interfaith/interspiritual minister. My ministry follows the nature-centered spiritual path I have been on throughout my adult life.

Legacy of True North Yoga

Debbie at her yoga studio

True North Yoga came to be in 2009 when I was teaching yoga in the basement room of the Schroon Lake Community Church. In 2011, it took physical form as a yoga studio in a Schroon Lake, New York storefront. This dedicated space fulfilled my vision of space for yoga classes and other healing practices, but also a sanctuary from the daily grind of harsh winters and busy summers in our Adirondack town.

In 2012, I created a 200-hour yoga teacher training program to help spread yoga in our North Country region and True North Yoga became a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School. As of 2019, the last time I led the training, 36 yoga teachers have completed the program.

As a result, the True North Yoga studio had a lovely group of teachers devoted to maintaining my vision of a safe and welcoming place for yoga practitioners of all levels. Yoga classes also spread to other Adirondack communities, making the practice accessible to those who had been isolated by distance from the yoga studio.

In 2017, True North Yoga expanded into a second studio location in Keene Valley, New York. We were then able to offer yoga classes, workshops and trainings in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks.

True North Yoga’s studios closed permanently in 2020 when we could no longer meet our financial obligations during the shutdown mandated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I continued to offer classes virtually until 2021, then let those go to pursue new avenues of service. Although True North Yoga no longer exists, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to bring yoga to the Schroon Lake and Keene Valley, New York, communities for 12 years and to witness yoga teachers I trained continue to do so.