Introduction and Background

Please introduce yourself and share a bit about your background, wisdom tradition you most identify with, and the language you use in that tradition (Sacred Presence, Creator, Spirit, Universe, etc.).

Hi. I’m Kasey Hitt, Wisdom Tree Collective Co-founder & Spiritual Director. I received my MDiv and Certificate in Spiritual Direction from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology (formerly Mars Hill Graduate School). 

My background is in the Christian tradition. My first 9 years of life were spent in the Disciples of Christ Church before switching to a United Methodist Church where I became very active in Sunday School and youth group. Later on, while at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I spent my undergrad years helping a  Bible Fellowship Church begin their youth ministry. I returned to the UMC as a youth pastor from 1998-2003 and as a spiritual direction consultant in two UMCs from 2005-2021. While I had always been part of a church, both evangelical and mainline, conservative and liberal, as well as those in between, I stopped going to church altogether in 2019. Sunday mornings are now more intimate as my family and I engage contemplative prayer and creative reflection together. We meet monthly with a group of friends for dinner and soul-shaping conversation and I am part of a weekly Centering Prayer community.

The language I use to address or describe the Sacred is God, Wisdom, Holy Spirit or the Spirit, Christ, Beloved, Divine or Sacred Presence, Creator.

Anticipate ~ Inviting Wisdom

In what ways do you invite and engage Wisdom to be present with you? What rhythms or practices help you to be present Now, in each moment, with an expectant, listening heart?

So many! The biggest is the simple act of being aware that Wisdom is already present and being open to the 1000s of ways Wisdom is meeting me on my path, in my day, my circumstances, my practices, my interactions. So awareness and openness to Wisdom in all of her manifestations…   

Silence, Solitude, Centering Prayer, Reading & Meditating with Sacred Scripture, Guided Prayer, Poetry, Mindful Listening and Drinking Tea, Listening to Music, Reflecting on Music Lyrics when they arise in my mind, Breathwork, Meditating with/in Nature, Walking Meditation, Scarf-Juggling, Journaling, SoulCollage©, Enneagram work, Art cards, Spirit Animal cards, Qigong or Authentic Movement… 

Resonate ~ Engaging Understanding

How do you receive Wisdom’s Life and Presence into your own self? Is there a rhythm or practice that helps you to go deeper or expand your heart, understanding, and awareness in light of each exchange and encounter?

Journaling and additional reflection or what I like to call “compassionate curiosity” done alone or with a counselor or spiritual director, especially around moments that contain resistance or prickliness. Given anger & resentment are natural responses to life for an Enneagram One like me, to allow, feel, reflect, pray, & play with them is like alchemy—Wisdom always shows up as a result! 

A few of us at Wisdom Tree Collective have developed a new practice called Life Lectio, based on an ancient one, Lectio Divina. In the Wisdom of Solomon, we’re told that Wisdom “graciously appears to us in our paths and meets us in every thought (6:16). Life Lectio is a way of taking a leaf from the sacred story of our own lives and discovering how Wisdom is right where we are! 

Translate ~ Sharing Knowledge

How do you creatively engage and reflect to others and the world around you what you have gained in the energy of this encounter?

It naturally emerges in what or how I teach and interact with others. This is another way of talking about the Christian metaphor of the fruit of the Spirit. An authentic encounter with the Divine or Wisdom bears fruit which nourishes & changes us which in turn impacts how we are and what we do in the world. We cannot help but embody and share in a way most authentic to us. In other words, it’s no longer I (the ego self) but Christ in me (the True Self). When in True Self, there is a natural arising and desire rather than a forced effort from a pretend/false self.  There is a sense of inspiration (or being “in Spirit”) even in the midst of hard work. We cannot help but engage the hard work because we have a sense of its importance and participation in Something Greater.  But again, it naturally emerges, we cannot help ourSelves 😉

Emanate ~ Embodying Being

What rhythms or practices do you engage to help you become more integrated in your tradition ~ your own wholeness and well-being? Are there any practices from outside your tradition with which you also engage?

Rhythms: I do appreciate the Christian Liturgical Year (Advent-Christmas-12 Days of Christmas leading to Epiphany-Lent-Holy Week/Great Triduum/Easter-Pentecost-Ordinary Time) and a handful of Saints Days (always St. Hildegard of Bingen Feast Day, All Saints Day, Saint Nicholas Day and then whoever we all decide to celebrate on a particular year—Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich. 

I shape programs as a Spiritual Director/Retreat Leader around the former (really love Holy Saturday which offers space to rest in & have conversation about disorientation and unknowing). And we usually read about, meditate on a quote, &/or bake Cookies of Joy to honor Saint Hildegard of Bingen on September 17th.  My family and I also observe Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th with the setting out slippers or shoes and receiving socks, a small toy, and some gingerbread cookies with a large ball of the cookie dough in the fridge with a bow on it to make cookies for neighbors.

I also observe the Winter Solstice with going outside & looking at our shadows, facilitating the Longest Night Service, lighting a single candle, and baking a Happy Winter Fudge Cake the next day with my kids.

We’ve often observed Carnival/Mardi Gras/Pancake Tuesday with pancakes and latkes and making masks of our “shadow sides” then dancing.

Practices: Silence, Solitude, Centering Prayer, Reading & Meditating with Sacred Scripture, Guided Prayer, Poetry, Mindful Listening and Drinking Tea, Listening to Music, Reflecting on Music Lyrics when they arise in my mind, Breathwork, Meditating with/in Nature, Walking Meditation, Scarf-Juggling, Journaling, SoulCollage©, Enneagram work, Art cards 

Outside my tradition: Reiki, Spirit Animal cards, Qigong, I Ching, Yoga, Mindfulness Practices like Lovingkindness & Breathwork Meditations  

Practices that inspire me …

• When does your tradition celebrate the beginning of the new year? 

My tradition acknowledges both Advent as a new beginning as well as January 1st. Advent is observed by readings, lighting Advent candles, and a magnetic Advent calendar of the Nativity. January 1st we all draw a Spirit Animal card out of the deck to see what animal wants to journey with us throughout the year. 

• Please share any rituals, celebrations, and/or practices you engage with on the wheel of time/seasons/cycle of the year and their respective dates. 

Food is certainly a big part of our sacred rhythm as we have a particular Christmas Day breakfast that includes special placemats and foods that have a hint of our childhoods but fits our own family and the same is true about Easter. 

My family LOVES to celebrate Epiphany on January 6th with a Christmas card prayer path. I’ve included my blog link about this practice I came up with & we continue to do:

We also celebrate Candlemas on February 2nd by leaving the candles in our windows from Christmas through Candlemas and on Candlemas, getting out paper figures of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Simeon, and Anna and reading the story of Jesus Presented at the Temple. 

• Is there anything else you would like to share about your process, practices, or your journey into your particular way of honoring the tradition(s) you currently engage???

A formative book when shaping our family traditions was To Dance with God by Gertrud Mueller Nelson.

As my own spirituality has broadened, I often connect present day Christian liturgical celebrations with their roots in ancient non-Christian rituals and Nature’s rhythms. The latter acts as a counterbalance to overly consumer-based rituals of buying stuff as a way of celebrating. Rather than buying more, incorporating quiet/silence, creativity/art, shared time, song, etc.