Ash "Lightning Woman" Frandsen

Ash "Lightning Woman" Frandsen

Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk Ceremonial Leader


Winter 2021

Ash “Lightning Woman” Frandsen is a two-spirit, nonbinary, queer, Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk ceremonial leader and parent living in the South San Francisco Bay Area. Their life’s work elevates Indigenous ceremony to support healing for communities who are two-spirit, Indigenous, LGBTQ and in addiction recovery. Ash survived youth homelessness and recovered from drug addiction almost twenty years ago, and they are fueled by not forgetting where they came from. 

Tell us: what excites you about your work?

The ability to create spaces for all people to come together and pray in a sacred way. That these spaces uplift our Two Spirit siblings and allow them to show up as their authentic selves without the need to explain or educate others. That through ceremony we uplift our elders, children, marginalized, the lands and remembering that with every breath we take and every step we take we bring that medicine into the world with us.

What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?

Sometimes my work does not feel abundant or rich. Unfortunately I have yet to find a spiritual bypass from the human experience. In this moment when I feel depleted, it is evident that the Creator is carrying me and also all others in need.

Who do you dedicate your work to?

I dedicate my work to my children Aiden and Dylen. They are my greatest inspiration to continue to show up in the world authentically and do my own healing.

Who inspires you, who are you learning from, what books are you reading? We are really excited to learn this about you!

My greatest inspiration are my community, my elders that continue to guide and teach me and the people that I serve. I do community mental health work and if you ever want to be inspired and learn about the diversity of those often ignored, go and feed and sit in community with those that go without.

“Through ceremony we uplift our elders, children, marginalized, the lands and remember that with every breath we take and every step we take we bring that medicine into the world with us.”

How can people reading this support the work you are doing?

Reach out and connect and in return create space in their own communities for LGBTQIA+ people to be able to come and pray in a sacred uplifting way.

What something you didn’t know, that now you understand differently with wellness?

That it’s an often messy journey and a sick sense of humor will often create more joy than any crystal or class you can find.

What is your own wellness practice? How do you find balance?

My practice starts before the sun is up in prayer and meditation and in many ways I continue this prayer throughout the day. Some days my practice looks like a therapy appointment, sometimes it is 12 step meeting, sometimes it includes sex or other intimacy, some days it’s an appointment with a medicine person and some times it a game of Lazer tag with my kids, or crawling into an Inip to pray with community. My practice includes remaining clean and sober from all mood altering drugs, so that I may be present and in a good relation with myself and others. Being human can be hard and our journey is not linear. I have found that my practice must be flexible to create space to expand and grow. My day starts in prayer, continues in prayer and ends in prayer and the balance comes from showing up to all the possibilities within that prayer.

Meet other grant recipients

Adrian-Xavier Scott

The Transistance Network

Alonzo Nelson Jr

Co-Owner, The Collective STL

Angel Alicea

Black Inmate Commissary Fund

Ash "Lightning Woman" Frandsen

Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk Ceremonial Leader

Ash Canty

Sovereign Spirit Death Care

Ayesha Walker


Bernadette Lim

Freedom Community Clinic

Betania Ridenour

Somatic Experience Practitioner

Branché Foston

Founder, The Honey Block

Brooke Rodriguez

Cofounder, The Grinding Stone Collective

C. Marie Long

Nature Center for Meditation

Chelsey Thomas

Sexuality Educator

Chino Hardin

Co Executive Director, NuLegacy

Chrystani Heinrich

Founder, Compton Girls Club

Damon "Shuja" Johnson

Black Men Speak, Inc.

Dandelion Hill

Peer Support Space

Danny Fluker

Black Boys Om Inc

Ekua Adisa

Gender Expansive Liberationist Medicine Person

India Harville

Embraced Body

Jana Johnson

Founder & Owner of The Tree Yoga Cooperative

Jeannine Marron

Founder and Owner, Peaceful Chaos Yoga

Jolie Varela

Founder, Indigenous Women Hike

Jordan Daniel

Founder, Rising Hearts

Joseph Dupris

Assistant Professor of Linguistic and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Joshua Biron

Anishinaabe Cultural Specialist, Anishaable Agriculture

Julia Mallory

Founder, Black Mermaids

Kamra Hakim

Founder, Activation Residency

Karen Faulkner

Yoga Instructor

Katherin Canton

Cofounder, Toj + Tijax

Kelsey Daniels

The Dream Experiment

Kiesha Battles

I Am Yoga CLT

Kristie Cabrera

Occupational Therapist

Kristina Jones

Guardian Lane

Krysta Venora

Founder, Pink Opal Magic

Lara Estrada

Founder and Owner, Yoga Bliss

Laura Yohualtlahuiz Rios-Ramirez

León Powell

Queer Campout

Lotta Yanong

Co-Owner, Rise Training Academy

Lotus Do

Founder, Financial Liberation Movement

Louis Mitchell

Reverend, Activist

Mangda Sengvanhpheng

Founder, BACII

Margaret Andersen

TouchBot Pleasure Tech

Megan (Pumehana) Cabral

Founder, Queer Kanaka

Micaela Zamora

Community Aid

Natasha Thomas

Black Creative Healing

Nedra Deadwyler

Founder and CEO, Civil Bikes

Oceana Sawyer

End of Life Doula

Pandora Thomas

Founder, EARTHseed Farm

Paulina Almarosa

Founder, Latinx Grief

Queen Hollins

Earthlodge Center

Raeanne Madison

Founder, Postpartum Healing Lodge

Raegan Robinson

Yoga Instructor

Raquel Gomez

Founder, Atabey Outdoors

Raquel Savage

Founder, Zepp Wellness

Renato Del Toro

Founder, Owner Hybrid Strength Athletics

Roshni Kavate

Grief Healer

Roxanne Sanchez

Founder and Owner, Roxy Wellness

Sally Ortiz Castro

Transgenerational counselor, Acupuncturist and Reiki practitioner

Samad Hinton

Founder, BLK Beetles

Sarah Elabdi

Founder and Owner, Ain Pilates

Stef Mandingo

Founder, Keep It Cute

Taganyahu Swaby

Founder and Owner, Yaad Wellness

Tara Miller

Co-Owner, Bhakti Movement Yoga Center

Tejal Patel

Tejal Yoga

Tomas Ramirez

Executive Director, Semillas y Raices

Tristan Katz

Founder, Tristan Katz Creative

Veronica Agard

Founder, Ancestors in Training

Xā Carter

Founder, Xude Yoga

Zami Tinashe Hyemingway

Spiritus Wellness

Zel Amanzi

Rest In Power Yoga + Reiki

Ready to make a change, for good?

Get in touch