Hungry for a circle? Need that face time? Or are you simply Council Curious?

Meet a circle of adults that’s different every month, shaped by who shows up, and what's present in our lives or in the world.  If you’re a council facilitator, let go of that role and be held by another, different container.  Or co-facilitate (see below) and hone your skills. If you know council in another setting – a school, a family, a business – see it anew as you sit with strangers or acquaintances who don’t know your “old story.” It’s hard to explain council, right? Bring a loved one and let the council unfold without description.

Drop-in Council is held on the second Thursday of the month, in Venice CA.

There is a no-pressure invitation to add currency to the Council Training Lift Up Fund, which has assisted three people in the past year alone to obtain the funds to be trained in council.

For more details, contact Kate.



Are you council-trained and wondering what to do with it? Do you get tongue-tied when discussing council with friends and family? Are you part of a group that could really use council? Do you need practice before offering council in your neighborhood, at your kids' school, with your partner? This may be the time to jump onto The Facilitator Path Accelerator. This offering will accelerate your confidence and skill to generate more circles - for connection, for contemplation, for support, for action, for understanding. Each month, you will be paired with a senior trainer to plan, set up, facilitate, close and debrief the Drop In Council that has convened in Venice for the past fifteen years on the second Thursday of the month. In a safe environment, and with guidance from the circle and experienced trainers, you'll develop the readiness to bring your own circles into being. From time to time, appropriate handouts will be provided. Whether you want to start a book club or a knitting circle, a men's group or a social justice organizing team, build the muscle so that the council training you took isn't gathering dust on a shelf in your mind!

There is a suggested donation for one year of tuition and practice. Nobody is turned away due to lack of funds. Participants must have taken "Council 1: An Introduction to Council" or an equivalent circle practice training. Required reading: Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle's "The Way of Council."  Contact Kate for more details or sign up here.



Imagine connecting your life – body and emotion, psyche and intuition, planning and principles, imagination and spirituality - to the properties, qualities, personalities and lessons of the four shields of human nature.  The shields correspond to the seasons, the directions and the developmental phases of a human life. We spend time each month in council, looking at how the shields that make up a "medicine wheel" are working us, what we can learn from them about ourselves and others, and how a new, yet very old perspective can be a compass point, a framework that can help make sense of our individual and collective journeys. 

This is a perfect introduction for those feeling a rites of passage program (vision fast) in their future or for those who have been initiated and need a reminder of who they have become. Embarking on this journey with others for a full year cycle can also be a meaningful and fun adventure for those ready to dive into nature-based personal reflection or simply desiring to take their council practice deeper.

The "wheelies" meet one weeknight each month, with a medicine walk held each season on a weekend morning. The group opens once a year in the summer for newcomers and then remains closed.  There is a suggested donation for the 12-session series and nobody is turned away due to lack of funds.  It is preferred that participants have taken "Council 1: An Introduction to Council" or an equivalent circle practice training. Recommended reading: Bill Plotkin's "Wild Mind" and Stephen Foster and Meredith Little's "The Four Shields of Human Nature." (See resources page.)

Contact Kate for more information or to inquire about the next opening date. 


monthly in venice, california and on the l.a. urban fringe

Whether you feel already guided by soul or worry that you have no soul, this may be the adventure for you. Each month, Soul Dive continues a journey to pay more attention to the voice of the soul as distinct from the clamor of ego or personality, to unearth our greatest gifts through the wisdom, ritual and support of a small but mighty council-based circle. Soul Dive is a collaborative effort with Kate as co-facilitator. Interested divers are encouraged to apply for the full program, join the seasonal Wonder Wanderings, or follow along online.



Council 3 is for experienced Council practitioners who have taken both An Introduction to Council (Council 1) and Advanced Council (Council 2) and are discovering that they're called to "live the practice" - to go beyond facilitating Council circles as an approach to group interaction.

This training focuses on the three challenges of becoming a carrier of Council: devotion to the practice, reading the interactive field, and being able to simultaneously participate in and witness the process (including one's own role). Integrated material includes the exploration of energy field work, movement, sound, ceremony, transparency and invisibility in the role of facilitator, and the interweaving of nature and council practice. Concepts of emergence and collective wisdom are touched upon, and space is left for the arrival of the unexpected.

Council 3 asks what is sourced and what is served in the practice of Council, where it begins and ends in our lives, and how to live this path both personally and professionally.

Center for Council trainers, Kate Lipkis and Jared Seide will offer this training, and require that those interested in participating submit a brief application and "letter of intention" to complete their registration, reporting on their experiences with Council to date and reflecting on their personal goals and concerns. This reflection helps establish intention as well as serving to create context for both participants and trainers. Register here.


May 11 - 12, 2019, Treepeople headquarters, los angeles, CALIFORNIA

No other relationship comes close to the one we share with the woman or women who mothered us, or the daughter or daughters we mothered.  It has the potential to make or break us – often both at the same time. Generational differences separate us; familial similarities connect us. It’s a love that can be one of our greatest comforts, supporting us throughout our lives.

In support of Mothers Day, enjoy time alone as well as with your beloved other(s), and with all the women who gather.  Each year, we honor our female ancestors, trace our lineage, examine and revive our family traditions, celebrate the joys we share together, acknowledge the times when we crash and burn, and find new ways to bring ritual, meaning and understanding to this singular bond.

Come enjoy good food, good fun and good nature in an extraordinarily beautiful setting right at the geographic center of Los Angeles!

This two-day non-residential retreat is open to women from puberty to elderhood. It welcomes those who found each other through fostering or adoption and celebrates multi-generational participants.

Your weekend facilitators are Kate Lipkis and her daughter, Phoebe Lipkis. Phoebe is a business consultant living in Seattle.  She supports foundations and non-profits seeking collaborative, systemic change to move from intention to outcome. She loves to make space for the voices of diverse cultures, identities and perspectives to hear each other’s stories -- and to tell their own.

Contact Kate for more details and to receive the first announcement for registration in the new year.