Become a Founding Member
You are invited.
We are now opening to 88 Founding Members to join us in this project.
Membership includes burial rights here at the Sanctuary.
This project has been years in the dreaming. And many moons in the learning how to ground this sacred vision on earth; to make it a reality.
The essence of the vision is an animist temple space with a natural burial ground.
Think of it as an old-school church (ancient and earth-connected, minus the dogma, add better music) with a soul-family cemetery that values ecological stewardship, diversity, embodiment, consent, respectful relations with the wider web of life, healing, ancestral tending, future generations and courageous dying.
NC native and Heartward Sanctuary Co-Founder Julia Hartsell has spent over two decades building communities around movement, dance, ritual and healing in the piedmont. While she remains passionate about dance as a potent medicine, ritual technology and community-building practice, she's been dreaming for a decade to tend space for community connected to the natural world with a vision of healing our relationship with death.
Heartward Sanctuary's green cemetery is already blessed with persimmons, reishi, a monarch-favored milkweed-meadow and forests. Nearby, there is a spring ready to become a holy well. There are walking trails and collective shrines, too. The vision is to plant fruit trees atop graves in some of the open meadow space and introduce other native, medicinal plants, while preserving what's already thriving (like bioluminescent firefly larva!)
But Heartward Sanctuary isn't only focused on death. Death is but one passage in the wheel of life. Expect to see youth and adults alike gathering for dancing, gardening, star-gazing, learning and seasonal celebrations that honor the rich diversity of life here at the Sanctuary. There's equal intention to support reconnection, build culture, remember purpose, create meaning and fuel the courage to live.
Sound like a church you wish you'd grown up in? Read on!
Over the next year, we are seeking 88 Founding Members to join us in this sacred journey.
Your collaboration, in life and death, will help bring this multi-dimensional and multi-generational vision into reality. Your contributions help the organization with immediate development and infrastructure goals while supporting the long-term intent for this land and assets to be held by the organization beyond our lifetimes.
Fill out this Burial Interest Form and
you will be among the first notified to receive the official invitation and details (in October!)