View of the extraordinary land at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, home of Georgia O'Keeffe and the inspiration for so many more - which hosts my week-long course entitled "Healing Grief Around the Sacred Wheel!" We are returning this fall: October 30 - November 4, 2022! Contact Ghost Ranch for more information or to register:


Feb. 25, 2022

Healing Grief Around the Sacred Wheel Retreat Dates: October 30 - November 4, 2022!

I am thrilled to announce that our retreat, Healing Grief Around the Sacred Wheel, will be held again this fall at Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico from OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 4, 2022! This is our fourth year with the good fortune to gather in the nurturing, healing energies of this extraordinary, sacred land to support one another in our grief and experience the living power of its immense beauty. We will once again journey - in circle together and each alone at our own pace - around the sacred wheel, focusing each day on one of the five aspects of grief and its companion element in Nature. There are daily reflections, meditations, creation of sacred art (that requires no prior experience!) and plenty of time to spend as you wish communing with the powers of Nature all around the ranch. Nature is the teacher here, a messenger of wisdom and reflection for our healing. Grief needs a good listener - and the magnificent land is an unending one! AND it will also SPEAK when approached in a quiet, open way.

The intent of the retreat is to help shift the way we hold onto the energies of our grief, sometimes blocking the natural movement and release of grief-related pain. The wheel is non-judgemental and turns at a pace that is unique to each person. With all that we have lived, and are living through these days, dedicate time this year for your own inner movement, your own healing of grief October 30 - November 4, 2022. We are dreaming a powerful week in an open and accepting grief-healing circle communing with one another and the gifts of the land! Let the beauty of Nature hold you this year and speak healing to you!

Click on "Ghost Ranch Course" above for more information on the course and costs. To register, or for more information, go to

Blessings of peace and hope to you during these extraordinary days ~ and looking forward to seeing you at our beloved Ghost Ranch!


Photo to left is a newly emerged Mourning Cloak!  

 Hello! My name is Cheryl Downey, and I founded Sacred Wheel Center for Grief and Healing as my way of being of service to anyone who could benefit from help transforming the blocking, twisting or deadening pain of current or stored pain or loss. I am a former professional hospice chaplain who has worked with death, dying, life losses and grief for almost 35 years. For over 20 years I have trained and practiced a shamanic approach to living and healing. Shamanic healing integrates body awareness/energy work, emotional movement and dreaming in the astral body, spirit connections and Nature; and the power of the mind and thoughts to assist those living in disillusionment or negative patterns to shift and release what no longer serves their balance and creativity. Take courage now to step through the veils of your hidden blocks - and rediscover the love and beauty that lie waiting in the center of your heart! For a free 20-minute consultation and/or to schedule a session or talk about an individual or group class or retreat, E-MAIL ME: or call 612-272-3977 - reference Sacred Wheel griefwork.                                                                      

For those who like to know: I have a BA in Anthropology (centering on archaeology) from Univ of Wisconsin - Madison; a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton MN; three years clinical pastoral education with residencies at University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago and at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN; dual ordination in the United Church of Christ and Sacred Healers and Earth Stewards;and 4-year spiritual healing/shamanic training certification (2003) from the Lynn Andrews Center for Sacred Arts and Training plus over 20 years of mentorship and private practice. In 2014 I founded Sacred Wheel Center for Grief & Healing. Sacred Wheel Center, Inc. was born in 2016 and lived through the challenges of heart surgery and COVID, coming into the fullness of its time December 31, 2021. I am excited to live into the next unfolding and the blessings of beauty and courage already on their way!






If you are facing the challenges of change (past or present), or feel you are held hostage by fears or pain of loss ...if you feel called to a path of enlightenment... or if you simply wish to deepen your awareness of your life, pause for a moment ... realize you are being offered right now an extraordinary oppportunity in your life not only to release pain, but to explore your true self and to grow into your deepest beauty.  In addition, studies are showing that spending time in Nature nurtures our inner awareness, healing, health and wellbeing. This is why I am expanding my shamanic practice to include opportunities for individual and group sessions (if the powers of Nature invite us), day workshops and 3-4 day shamanic retreats that can be immersed in the healing forces of nature. As we move into the wonders of our life's gifts and challenges, set your sacred intent to nurture yourself! Allow dedicated time THIS YEAR to re-discover the power of your dreams and spirit through individual sessions, classes, workshops or retreats where you will explore and release (with shamanic guidance) whatever pain, fear or confusion holds you back! The Sacred Wheel can enlighten and empower you - as it turns at the pace that is right for you!


If you feel nudged, listen to your spirit...honor your own heart's healing...explore and shift the energies you hold within...and deepen your awareness of the powerful and beautiful being you are. With honor for your path and deep compassion for your loss

Cheryl Downey

ARCHIVES: Healing Grief Retreat at Ghost Ranch POSTPONED TO 2021

Oct. 7, 2020

November 2020 Healing Grief Around the Sacred Wheel postponed to November 2021!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cautionary travel restrictions from state to state, Ghost Ranch and I have agreed to postpone this year's retreat and reschedule it for November 2021. Stay posted for updates in the spring and summer next year. It is our hope and prayer the pandemic will have released its hold on the planet, and we will be able to shift into the changes - and finally celebrate life and heal the grief of this onslaught. In the meantime, if there are any folks out there experiencing grief-healing issues that could use some support, I am currently scheduling phone sessions. Please email me at or call 612-272-3977 with your contact information and I will follow up to get you on the schedule. From my heart always ~

Mar. 25, 2020

Healing Grief Around the Sacred Wheel

I am so excited to announce that we have been asked to return for a third year to the extraordinary Ghost Ranch Education and Conference Center for another week offering dedicated grief-healing movement in Nature around the sacred wheel! Grief needs a good listener - and the magnificent land on the ranch affords an unending one! AND it will also SPEAK when approached in a quiet, open way. It is wonderful to experience the power of the earth in this sacred place and its assistance in helping us shift the energies of loss that block the movement and release of grief-related pain. Plan some dedicated time for your own inner movement, your own healing of grief, and join us this November 8-13, 2020! Register now!!

Mar. 26, 2018

THROUGH THE VEILS OF THE DREAM: A Shamanic Journey into the Power of Grief

This shamanic opportunity to being enlightenment to your experience of grief is a day-long workshop to discover hidden veils, cover-ups and ultimately each participant's own "mantle of power" through shamanic ceremony, inner journeys through drumming and guided visualizations, and creation of their own sacred veil. Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 9:00 am to 5 pm. Bring a sack lunch. Cost: $75 (includes workshop, snacks, beverages, supplies) Location: 605 E. 153rd St, Burnsville MN. 55306. Click link for more details. Email to register and pay by check. Go to Payments and click on Pay Workshops Online to register and pay through PayPal.

Mar. 26, 2018


We live our lives often unaware of the powers alive around us, especially the Plant Beings that emerge and grow and lend their energetic support to us 24/7 - in parks, boulevards - even our own backyards! This morning workshop - 9 to noon includes shamanic teaching, guided meditations, a nature walk to to find each participant's own nourishing and powerful Plant Being for this time, and a shamanic journey with the drum to meet and receive guidance/healing messages from the Spirit of the Plant. Each participant will begin the creation of a sacred text of wisdom from this Plant Being - hopefully to include many others that may appear to guide us along life's path. First workshop date TBD - depending on when snow melts and spring beings begin to show themselves. Click on link above or email me: for more information. Cost: $35, includes light snacks/beverages. Location: meet-up at selected nature spots and then transport to my home to journey, process and create the text.

Mar. 26, 2018


GRIEF LOVES A NATURE BATH! This is an ongoing shamanic opportunity through the year for individuals or groups who are looking for healing support through change and loss. A day-long workshop immersed in the powers of nature, it provides shamanic teachings around the sacred wheel to help deepen and nourish body/mind/spirit/heart and experience the natural nourishment of nature in the very air we breathe. Click on link for more information. Dates TBD

Mar. 26, 2018

Council of the Whistling Elk

Stepping into the shamanic teachings of Lynn Andrews and the 44-member Sisterhood of the Shields is a life-changing experience! Lynn is an extraordinary author and modern shaman, and has written over 18 books and held dozens upon dozens of shamanic events, retreats, workshops, online courses and radio shows for at least 35 years - all to inspire and enlighten us through ancient and universal shamanic teachings that are born of the power of Woman and Nature. Lynn's primary teacher, Agnes Whistling Elk, has lent her name to those who desire to gather in local groups for mutual shamanic learning and support. We are starting up a Council in the Twin Cities metro area that will be meeting quarterly in 2018 - first gathering on Saturday, June 23 from noon to 5:00 pm. E-mail me: if you want more information, and/or want to be put on the contact list. Council meetings are free - donations accepted to help toward food and supplies.

Dec. 31, 2017


If you have been curious about Power Animals, or feel called to explore this extraordinary energetic connection between you and the world of spirit, check out this upcoming class - back by special request! I will assist a shamanic journey into the world of Power Animals where your own unique Animal Being patiently awaits your presence and connection! This class is also perfect for those who have already connected and work with their Spirit Animals to deepen their relationship and bond. For more information, click on "CLASSES/WORKSHOPS". To register and pay, click on "Online Payments" and add it to your cart. You may also register by going to

Aug. 8, 2017


The August lunar and solar eclipses and the annual meteor showers are underscoring an extraordinary opportunity is manifesting very quickly to step into the enlightening work of the heart that holds the pain of grief: discovering and releasing grief energies that block your peace and inner beauty, and keep you from moving forward into the more centered, creative, enlightened life you want to heal into. SUNDAY NOON 8/20/17 to WEDNESDAY MORNING 8/23/17 at the MOUNT OLIVET CONFERENCE AND RETREAT CENTER in FARMINGTON, MN - just outside the Twin Cities of MN metro area. DEPOSIT IS $100; COST FOR OVERNIGHT PARTICIPANTS: $1245; COST FOR DAY COMMUTER PARTICIPANTS: $850. Go to the link above for more information and to register and/or pay online.


May. 2, 2017

REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN for "ILLUMINATING GRIEF" - Day Workshop Saturday, June 3, 2017

The first workshop of 2017 is scheduled for Saturday, June 3 from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. "Illuminating Grief" will offer shamanic movement through the Four Directions of the Sacred Wheel to help shift, transform, enlighten stuck, deadened or negative energies from unresolved grief and loss. We will integrate the forces of Nature around the wheel to empower our inner healing - outdoors, weather permitting - and create sacred beads as symbols of our shifts! Cost: $75 which includes supplies and continental breakfast. Bring a sack lunch! REGISTRATIONS will be taken through - group size is limited so claim your spot now! E-mail for Burnsville, MN location and directions ~

Oct. 3, 2016


Healing Grief Around the Sacred Wheel is for anyone stuck or struggling through the pain of loss, including the recent or past illness or death of a loved one or pet; or other life transition, like loss of job, home, community. Find healing guidance in an open, affirming and supportive atmosphere. Within our grieving hearts, we carry the secrets to our pain and our healing, hidden energies held in our thoughts, beliefs, emotions and physical bodies that may interfere with grief’s natural healing flow.
Together we will enter healing movement through the four directions around the ancient Sacred Wheel, and discover and release what is blocking and resisting new life. Led by Cheryl Downey, a retired hospice chaplain, and shamanic practitioner, each participant will explore her or his unique grief experience each day via lectures, guided meditations, ceremony and the creation of sacred art with plenty of time to listen to Spirit’s inspirations and to commune with the sacred Earth. A list will be sent out indicating important items to bring.
If you are looking for a nurturing yet inspiring, grounded yet growthful space for exploring and shifting grief, this is the workshop for you! Allow yourself dedicated time to discover your own healing movement around the ancient sacred wheel! Discover what keeps you stuck! For more information and to register go to - or call 505-685-1000.
Questions? Call Cheryl - 612-272-3977 - or e-mail

Mar. 12, 2016

Celebrating Change: Welcome Sacred Wheel Center, Inc.!!

As of Friday, March 11, 2016, Sacred Wheel Center for Grief and Healing is owned by a new legal "entity" known to the Minnesota Secretary of State as "Sacred Wheel Center, Inc." So if you see this name online or off, know that it is the same work with the same availability and variety of resources! I personally am grateful for the added strength and grounding of this new phase of the work's business life! More joy to come!

To be announced

One-Day "Mysteries of MotherLoss" Workshop

I am bringing back the "Mysteries of MotherLoss" Workshop! Date: TBD - stay posted for updates! Time: 10 am - 3 pm. Cost is $75 which includes light lunch. Register by e-mail: or by phone: 612-272-3977. Location TBD

To be announced

One-Day "Mysteries of FatherLoss" Workshop

"Mysteries of FatherLoss" is also returning! Date: TBD - stay posted for updates! Time: 10 am - 3 pm. Cost is $75 which includes light lunch. Register by e-mail: or by phone: 612-272-3977. Location TBD

Oct. 4, 2016


I was honored to be interviewed by Gwilda Wiyaka, host of "The Science of Magic" radio show. We shared wisdom surrounding the Sacred Wheel and the energies of dying and grief. It was a lovely hour, and felt like just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to shifting the energies of grief! To listen and watch, you can go to the link on YouTube - !

Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO - site of my Changing the Wind: Grief-Healing Retreat in June, 2016! It was gorgeous and the food was organic, plentiful and healing! Perfect for nurturing those who came to heal their hearts ~

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