Fabiana Fondevila is an Argentinian writer, speaker, teacher, ritual maker and all-around wonder activist whose discovery of unknown weeds in the garden led her to uncover practices for disentangling weeds of darkness in her heart.
She began her career as a journalist, working for the main newspapers and magazines in her native country. After spending years covering foreign news, and serving briefly as a war correspondent, she slowly began to turn around and return to the spiritual questions and pursuits that had moved her as a child, despite having grown up in what she calls a “militantly atheistic” household.
She spent years interviewing some of the world's top thinkers, mystics, scientists and philosophers, and explored the wisdom traditions, in search of a map that could help her find spiritual direction outside the bounds of religious dogma and beliefs. And then, life transpired: her older sister took her own life, after a lifetime of mental illness, and Fabiana’s parents died shortly before and after, undone by the pain of their daughter’s unraveling.
This led Fabiana deeper into the path. But this time, no books or schools or lineages seemed potent enough to shine a light in the darkness. She left her search aside, her heart a knot of unanswered questions.
One day, as if by chance, she stumbled upon some weeds in her garden that she did not know, and decided to look them up. This steered her to a treasure trove of ancient plant wisdom that captivated her, echoing a thirst she vaguely recalled from childhood. Weeds led to trees, trees to birds, birds to clouds, and through this muddy, verdant trail she found her way back to herself. In communing with the natural world (even with the scarce bits of wildness that could be found in a city) she discovered an infinite reservoir of awe and vitality that has fed her soul every day since.
In her book Where Wonder Lives, to be published by Inner Traditions/Findhorn Press in January, she lays out a fictional map of nine territories that have given humans rest, renewal and a window into mystery since time immemorial. The first one is called “The Jungle,” and highlights her incursions into the more-than-human world.
In her seminars and workshops, Fabiana explores myths and archetypes, ritual and ceremony, dream interpretation, shadow work and self-transformation, and what she likes to call "essential emotions" – love, hope, awe, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness – that she considers our hearts’ native language. Her focus is on an embodied spirituality that does not shun the material plane nor bypass the more somber aspects of existence.
She also writes poetry and fiction. Her Young Adult novel Ana despierta won second prize in the Sigmar Literary Contest in 2018. She created the antidiscrimination campaign #Ver para crecer (Spanish for "To see is to grow", a play on the expression "Ver para creer": To see is to believe). Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has been giving free weekly talks on Sundays at 11 (Argentine time), on the many ways to turn this crisis into an opportunity.
Her ultimate mission is to help foster a more loving world, inspired by a sense of everyday, life-worshiping wonder, and to interweave our inner and outer work, so that the riches within and without cross-pollinate, grow new buds and bloom.
Join us in conversation with this awe-inspiring and wonder-full writer.
Being out in nature, singing, dancing, baking bread, having an intimate conversation, and too many other things to name. Whatever I am doing, as long long as I am doing it with an open heart (that is, with a felt experience of the wonder and the mystery of existence).
Moving to the United States with my family, as a child. It was barely more than three years of my life, but everything has been different as a result. My mind was opened to new possibilities, a wider expanse of horizon, an enriched view of the world.
On the day my sister died, somone we barely knew showed up with a thermos of tea he had made from a lemon tree in his backyard, and silently poured us each a cup. I will always remember the taste of those lemons, it was the taste of kindness, of compassion, of hope.
To visit Georgia O Keefe's home in Taos, New Mexico. To look out from her window at the mesas and the stark desert landscape, and to breathe in the fascination that she poured into every painting.
Even in the darkest of times, awe and wonder are only a heartbeat away; when in doubt, look around, look inside, look up!