My name is Lara Vesta and I am an artist, writer, storyteller and educator living in Portland, Oregon.
My explorations include rites of passage, ancestral mythology, folklore and the healing power of myth. I am the author and illustrator of The Moon Divas Guidebook: Spirited Self-Care for Women in Transition, the Moon Divas Oracle and Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine (Red Wheel/Weiser Books, 2021). I am also the creator/facilitator of many courses at the Wild Soul School, both self-on-demand and live.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomeylitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a disease caused by viruses and inflammation with an infectious trigger. I spent years homebound and mostly bedridden before receiving treatment, a time in my life I refer to as a death transition or rite of passage. Prior to my illness I was a university professor teaching classes in English and writing and a PhD student in Philosophy and Religion. During this time I began to use the working name Veleda, deepening my ancestral connection and re-membering women's oracular magic.
I healed in 2019, but my journey was not over. Covid transformed my body yet again, through three infections and a bad vaccine reaction. And so I continue a myth path of health challenge and inflammatory passage.
Art, writing and community are the antidote to despair. As is the reframing of challenge and dís-ability as initiation and empowerment. I share my studies, classes, creations and paths as gifts and am supported in this offering by an incredible Patron circle and the generous contributions of other donors. This model of community supported education allows me to offer many courses with low-cost access, and provide generous scholarships for others.
My research interests include integrative spirituality, mythtelling, chronic illness as initiation rites of passage and healing through myth and story
This year my focus is sharing the path of the Dark Goddess Project with Coven and Cohort members, while finishing the Dark Goddess Book, a supportive guide to death transitions.
I am also a mother of three nearly grown children in a blended family, love tending gardens, reading and spending time in the wild.