Introducing Dr. Jessica Zebrine Gray

Zebrine Gray is a true Renaissance soul, with so many passions and interests.  Her spiritual path has journeyed through Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, modern Paganism, Unitarian Universalism and samplings of various other spiritual paths. She has traveled the world seeking spirit, performing dramas in Hungary, Malawi and Venezuela, studying culture in Papua New Guinea, and dancing for peace in India, Nepal and Brazil. As a trained Director of Religious Education, Zebrine has joined with other creative educators to create the Imaginorium Educational Collective (www.imaginedcollective.org), a nonprofit organization offering educational events and curriculum based on creative exploration of mythic worlds.  She completed her PhD in theatre at Louisiana State University, writing about modern myth and identity.

Zebrine connected to the dances of Tara in 1997 by reconnecting with a member of her family. She  explains, “All my life I knew my mother’s sister was beautiful and exotic, a dancer in India and Hawaii, and completely out of reach. We had a photo of her in the hallway, and occasionally we got small cards or notes, but mostly she was a myth. Even her name, Prema Dasara, was unusual and mysterious. I felt a longing for a spiritual connection with someone from my family, from my roots, so I sent a heartfelt plea to this stranger’s E-mail, and through cyberspace I formed one of the deepest connections in my life.”

The Tara Dance became a central part of Zebrine’s spiritual practice. She made a commitment to the student/teacher program and is now a third-level teacher of the dance.  While in her masters program at Florida State, she wrote her masters thesis about the development of the dance and its intercultural implications.

She recently completed a decade-long project of creating the artwork and printing the Tara Wisdom Cards, a tarot-based 78 card deck based on the tarot in relation to the  22 Taras and dharma teachings.  These and other Tara-inspired products and readings are available on her website.

Zebrine journeyed on the pilgrimage led by Prema and Anahata to India and Nepal in 2001 and to Brazil for retreat in 2004.  In 2002, she was offered a position on the Tara Dhatu council, on which she continues to serve.