When Sonya Weir was 11 years old, her connection with horses served as a lifeline, offering a respite from what she calls the craziness of home. She still remembers the old farmhouse and the dusty field in Malton, Ontario, where she and her best friend would wait with excitement for their turn to ride the tree-lined trails. Between visits, she would dream about the horses and couldn’t wait to return. The horses never judged or criticized and nor did they erupt into violence for no apparent reason. That farm was the place Sonya felt the safest, yet by the time she was 14, she had abandoned the horses for the lure of a boyfriend. It would be more than 40 years before she would come full circle to reconnect with the healing power of a horse.
For Sonya, the power of story is integral and she views her life as a series of chapters, each one helping shape the overall story. One such chapter began in 1993 when Sonya was introduced to shamanism. Although fascinated, she was not quite ready to tie herself down to any one “path,” but Spirit had other plans and she found herself signing up for one shamanic program after another. Ultimately, helping people heal through shamanism would emerge as Sonya’s heart’s desire.
In 1997, after her two daughters had left home, Sonya relocated to Vancouver, BC. Having been a single mother since 1981, her girls were thrilled for her. Landing in Vancouver, she began working as a magazine editor for Common Ground magazine, while still pursuing shamanic studies. Her work as an editor offered her a vehicle to write and help hone others’ stories, while shamanism sparked her passion for magic and mysticism. During those years, she apprenticed to two shamanic teachers, Gael Carter and Marilyn Keffer, who would later found the Institute of Shamanic Medicine.
Unbeknownst to Sonya, one of the early chapters in her life was still incomplete and in 2009, during a lengthy sojourn in Toronto, she had the opportunity to participate in a weekend workshop at Horse Spirit Connections in Tottenham, Ontario. Facilitated by Wendy Golding and Andre LeClipteaux, co-founders of the FEEL program (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning), the workshop was based on the concept of horses as healers. At the end of the workshop, driving out of the driveway, Sonya felt a profound sense of grief at having to leave the horses and she remembers having the thought that “this should have been my life.”
In the same year, Sonya became certified as a Shamanic Coach through the Institute of Shamanic Medicine and in 2011, when she returned to Vancouver, she began to see clients. One of her clients, Lucy Wilkinson, would come every year around her birthday for a reading. On one of these occasions, Sonya happened to ask Lucy what she was passionate about. For Sonya, Lucy’s response affirmed her faith in synchronicity. Lucy shared that her passion was equine therapy and that she had taken a program called FEEL with Wendy and Andre, who had travelled from Ontario to offer the program in BC.
Subsequently, Sonya had the opportunity to experience numerous sessions with Lucy and her horse Magic. With each session, Sonya grew more grateful for Magic’s innate wisdom and his capacity to neutrally reflect precisely what was going on for her in the moment. And somehow, without her conscious awareness, her heart was expanding.
With Spirit at work, in 2019 a series of synchronistic events led Sonya to register for the FEEL program at Brenda Brown’s Mystic Waters Ranch in Langley, BC. The program was co-facilitated by Janis Mirynech, a FEEL instructor from Horse Spirit Connections in Ontario. Sonya realized she had come full circle.
As a shamanic practitioner, Sonya draws on her gift of deep intuition to help clients bypass their conscious mind and get to the heart of the matter. She also facilitates shamanic workshops and ceremonies, including Rites of Passage ceremonies. As a certified FEEL facilitator, she partners with some powerfully wise horses to co-facilitate healing experiences for individuals and groups.
Join Sonya and her horse partners on a journey of transcendence. Uncover the blocks and barriers that prevent you from manifesting your heart’s desire. Align with your passion and purpose and claim your authenticity. Let go of the past and trust your inner knowing. Just say “Yes!”