I was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1961. As a curious person I have had a passion for learning and development from an early age.
After high school I spent some time at the university, ending in a minor in history and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in Groningen, the Netherlands. Because these studies were not practical enough and I missed working with people, I switched to the Academy for Expression and Communication in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Here I passed my Master of Education in Expression and Theatre. This led me to yet another schooling as a Gestalt therapist.
In the meantime, I was attracted to the spiritual branch of feminism, and I immersed myself in female spirituality and goddess work. Eventually I received a spontaneous initiation as priestess of the Goddess at the Glastonbury Tor during my first initiation as a shaman in 2003. Here I received my spiritual name from the High Priestess of Avalon: Maria Brigitte, after my grandmother and mother.
In 1995 I started my apprenticeship with Searching Deer Skull Carrier Jan Prins, a sound shaman from Groningen, the Netherlands. Through him I got to know his teacher, Joska Soos, a hereditary shaman from Hungary. They taught me how to work with the sound of voice, drum, rattles, singing bowls, water, wind, fire, earth and the body in a shamanic way. I also learned to work with trance journeys, shamanic techniques and energy work.
Sheila Ahlig, medicine woman from North America, taught me to work with ritual objects including feathers, rattles, smudging and minerals.
I have developed my own form of Light Work in contact with Tetsiea Blijham, a well-known Dutch medium, Lightworker and one of my first students.
I also trained as a teacher in primary and secondary education (Dutch language, high school/college). Because at some point I could no longer agree with the Dutch school system, I set up my own company to support teenagers. I worked as a counsellor at a democratic school and as a supervisor of 'difficult' teenagers and teenagers with ASD characteristics.
Although I have obtained all kinds of diplomas, they don´t matter that much to me. Getting a piece of paper is very different from actually mastering the knowledge and skills that an education can represent.
As an eternal student, I learn from everything and everyone around me, from Mother Nature, from chance encounters, from setbacks and from special people of all kinds who come my way. And there are no diplomas for that!