A Winter Tree Blog

Barren yet courageous.
Isolated yet expectant.
Like the winter tree, spiritual direction is an invitation and hope to bring your most authentic self into deeper conversation with God – trusting new growth will sprout in the next season.

What is Spiritual Direction?

Every human has a soul.

The soul functions as our most direct connection with our Creator.

Caring for our soul is a matter of health.

Spiritual direction is a relationship that helps us care for our souls and nurture our relationship with God.

In companionship not authority, a spiritual director walks with a directee toward nurturing his or her relationship with God.  The relationship is intended to, simply and profoundly, help the directee pay attention to God.  Spiritual direction is silence, prayer, listening, questioning, journeying, struggling.  Direction is not therapy or counseling, there is no goal toward solutions or answers from a human expert.  Spiritual direction is an ancient practice of accompanying people in their spiritual journey toward freedom and peace.  It is available to people of all faiths and those who are spiritual but have no religion.

“We define [Christian] spiritual direction as help given by one [Christian] to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship. The focus of this type of spiritual direction is on experience, not ideas…” (Barry & Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction)

How Does Spiritual Direction Work?

How Does Spiritual Direction Work?

Why would I pursue spiritual direction?  The beauty of spiritual direction is not born out of tragedy, but desire for deeper intimacy with God.  One may seek spiritual direction at important intersections in life (job or relationship change, times of grief or stagnation) but nurturing rich communication with God is always in season.

What is a session like?  Spiritual direction sessions include the director, the directee and the Holy.  We listen.  We gather in awareness, safety and compassion.  We listen.  The directee is invited to guide the time as needed – toward continuous conversation or intentional silence.  We listen.  Your director is committed to prayerfully listening and pointing to God as God is revealed in what is shared.

How long is a session?  Most sessions last 55 minutes.  As a relationship with director and directee continues, sessions usually occur monthly.  An initial consultation is offered for opportunity to share understanding and expectation of the relationship.

20170629_194712Spiritual direction with A Winter Tree is facilitated by Shannon W. Dycus, M.Div.  She is a gifted listener and desires deeply to help those seeking to walk more closely with God.  She is a pastor, wife and mother.  She hears God in the wisdom of Alice Walker, the humility of Jesus, the audacity of 2Pac and the wonder of her sons.  Shannon is completing her training as a Spiritual Director at San Francisco Theological Seminary.  She is a member of Spiritual Directors International (SDI) and the Spiritual Directors of Color Network.  Dignity, confidentiality and responsibility will be upheld within the full ethical guidelines committed to through SDI.

How do I try it out? Shannon lives in Virginia and offers direction via Zoom (secure videoconferencing) to those beyond.  Send an email to awintertreesd@gmail.com or fill out the ‘Let’s Connect‘ page here.  I’d love to connect!



Across the United States, we have met the second day of spring with snow and very real wintry conditions.  Two oppositional truths existing simultaneously.  As we move from one truth to another, there is often a space where they overlap and both have life.  Sometimes a season is both winter and spring.  Sometimes our souls …

seeing seasons

In some ancient Eastern healing traditions, each season is associated with a color.  Everything is understood to be interconnected – the earth and seasons, our bodies and energies.  For Winter, the color is blue representing water.  Blue often leads us to feelings of calm and imagination, but also suspicion and sadness.  In Spring, traditions believe …


Have more questions about what spiritual direction is? Interested in setting up an initial conversation? Complete the form below….