Credentials: Degrees and Certificates
Susan (Legal Name: Susan Kim Rowan-Nelson; Craft Name: Awen InisFail RowanWood; Former Legal Name: Susan Kim Allard-Nelson) holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Warwick, Coventry, England. Her Areas of Specialization include: Ancient Philosophy, Aristotle, Ethics, and Logic. She also holds a BA in Philosophy and Classics from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, and an AA in Philosophy from South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, WA.
Susan is the author of a scholarly book, An Aristotelian Approach to Ethical Theory: The Norms of Virtue. She is also the co-author, with her husband, Eric D. Nelson, PhD, of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ancient Greece. In addition, Susan has published scholarly articles, poetry, and short fiction, and she still works as a freelance writer and editor. In this capacity, she has been a writer and editor for projects that range from the creation of a dramatic bible (for a client in Canada) to composing the text for an online retail store (for a client in Spain).
For nearly 15 years, Susan was both a part-time Assistant Professor and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA. Today, as an Independent Celebrant, she puts her experience teaching writing to good use by helping her clients to compose vows, readings, and poems for their ceremonies. In like manner, her experience teaching Classical and Comparative Mythology gives Susan an excellent grounding in the meaning, purpose, place, and function of ritual, both as it was used in ancient societies and as it continues to be utilized today, in a modern context. With her educational background and writing/teaching experience, Susan is more than capable of helping her clients to create rituals that are not only transformative, but also both magical and memorable.
Moreover, Susan is a practicing Ethicist. Her scholarly book outlines a unique ethical theory, which draws upon Aristotelian ethics. Additionally, one of her scholarly articles has become required reading in postgraduate programs internationally, and is considered the seminal work on Aristotle's phronimos (i.e., man of practical judgement/wisdom).
With her background, experience, and expertise in ethics, Susan is able to assist her clients with the tough questions that occasionally arise, which must be answered as part of the planning for a ceremony, as well as with the difficult ethical decisions that must, at times, be made. In like manner, Susan is able to assist her clients with the tricky judgement calls that must also, at times, be made. She does these things, at all times, with an eye to being fair and charitable to everyone she serves. Whether a client or a guest at one of her rituals, everyone involved with Susan's practice as a celebrant is treated courteously, respectfully, and with genuine goodwill and friendship.
Susan has completed a course in celebrancy, entitled Celebrating Life, which is offered by the Order of Bards, Ovates, & Druids, of which Susan is a member, currently completing the Bardic Grade training. The course is taught by River Jones, and it prepares students to perform meaningful and magical Weddings, Handfastings, Renewals of Vows, Namings, and Welcomings--all with a focus on the individual and highly diverse needs and desires of one's clients. Indeed, Susan takes great pride in creating each ceremony that she performs specifically for a particular client or clients. Her goal is always to create the ceremony of her client's dreams.
Finally, Susan is an Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church. These credentials allow her to perform and solemnize legal marriages in the State of Washington, as well as in nearly every other state in the United States. Susan is always happy to perform same-sex Weddings and Handfastings, as well as Renewals of Vows.
Experience and Approach
Susan has a great deal of experience creating and performing rituals of all kinds, ceremonies, celebrations, and initiations--for her family, her friends, her small pagan community (her "family of friends"), and her clients. In addition, as a professional moral philosopher and ethicist, Susan's approach to the services that she provides is always one of "caring for others first, profit second."
Susan is not only an Independent Celebrant, but she is also a long-time magical practitioner (i.e., a dedicated Green Witch), an initiated priestess of both the Morrigan and Cernunnus, a high priestess for her small community of pagan practitioners, a teacher and mentor, and a Reiki healer. She is also a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD), currently studying the Bardic Grade. She plans to study both the Ovate and Druid Grades, as well.
Susan creates and leads (often with the assistance of her husband, Eric, and/or one or more of her pagan "family of friends") all 8 Sabbat rituals that mark the seasons and holidays of the Wheel of the Year. In addition, she performs initiations for magical practitioners and pagans who are ready to take on a more magical role in their lives and community.
Susan practices Craft work and spell work regularly, and she is particularly called to heal nature and to bring it back under the loving care of Cernunnos, the Lord of the Greenwood. Indeed, she has been tasked by Cernunnos to reclaim His natural habitats and to place them, once again, in His care, as well as to use Reiki to heal both nature and the Earth.
Susan is a highly-experienced "walker between the worlds," a psychic, and an empath. She is clairvoyant, clairsentient, and empathic. Additionally, she is a Celtic shaman for her community, and she works regularly with her guides and ancestors to assist those who need her help.
Susan also does individual, personal readings. These readings are not intended to "tell the future." Rather, they are intended to help and guide individuals who are facing a life change, a challenge, a difficult or daunting situation, and the like to navigate these changes and difficulties successfully.
If you are interested in discussing an individual, personal reading with her (these can be done long-distance), please do not hesitate to use our contact form, or our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), or our phone number (253-905-3117) to contact Susan regarding one. She is more than happy to explain the process, as well as to answer your questions. She wants her clients to purchase those services that they truly want and/or need, and so you need never worry about being pressured, or cajoled, or pushed by Susan regarding her services. Above and beyond all of the attributes discussed here, Susan is a moral philosopher and Ethicist, who is far more concerned with caring for others than she is with making a profit.
Moreover, Susan's Etsy store, RowanWoodCrafts is still under construction, but will soon feature personal readings, as well as magical and Craft supplies.