Spirituality, Ecology, & Feminism Conference, with Guest Speaker Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether; Canonization of Rachel Carson by Church in the Cliff; New Wineskins to Bless Gifts of All


It seems more than coincidental that I attended a conference on ecology and feminism the Saturday after Pope Francis addressed Congress. As I listened to his address, I resonated with so much of what he said about eliminating poverty and about caring for the environment. I also felt a dissonance because he never mentioned overpopulation as part of our environmental crisis, nor did he mention the connection between abuse of the earth and abuse of women, nor that poor women suffer disproportionately from environmental disasters, nor that discrimination against women, including that in the church, is responsible for the fact that 70% of the poor are women. But then on Saturday I had the privilege of hearing theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether speak on “Spirituality, Ecology, & Feminism” at a conference sponsored by The Open Window, a wonderful progressive Roman Catholic group in Dallas affiliated with the national Call to Action organization. She filled in the glaring gaps in Pope Francis’ statements on the environment and articulated a comprehensive theological and ethical foundation for our environmental activism. I sat there thinking that she should be the one to address Congress and the UN! She should be the one to have an international platform, but without being the Pope because she believes in an egalitarian, not a hierarchical, church.

Dr. Ruether explained that ecofeminism emerged in the late 20th century as a major school of theological thought and social analysis. Ecofeminism illuminates the connections between the oppression of women and the oppression of the earth. The word “ecofeminism” was coined in 1972 by Francoise d’Eaubonne, who stated that “the destruction of the planet is due to the profit motive inherent in male power.” d’Eaubonne’s book Le Féminisme ou la mort (Feminism or Death) saw women as central to bringing about an ecological revolution. It seems that Pope Francis doesn’t see women as central to anything except the family.

Ruether bookQuoting from her book Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization, and World Religions, Dr. Ruether said: “Ecofeminism sees an interconnection between the domination of women and the domination of nature. This interconnection is typically made on two levels: ideological-cultural and socioeconomic. On the ideological-cultural level women are said to be “closer to nature” than men, more aligned with body, matter, emotions, and the animal world. On the socio-economic level, women are located in the spheres of reproduction, child raising, food preparation, spinning and weaving, cleaning of clothes and houses, that are devalued in relation to the public sphere of male power and culture. Claiming that women are ‘naturally’ closer to the material world and lack the capacity for intellectual and leadership roles justifies locating them in the devalued sphere of material work.”

She extended this analysis from gender to class, race, and ethnic hierarchies: “Devalued classes and races of men and women are likewise said to lack capacity for intellect and leadership, located socially in the spheres of physical labor in households, farms, and workshops. The fruits of this labor, like that of wives in the family, are appropriated by the male elites as the base for their wealth and freedom to exercise roles of power. The structures of domination that oppress people according to gender, race, and class join to oppress nature also.”

Ecofeminists envision a transformation of this deeply rooted ideology and social system. They reject an essentializing of women as more in tune with nature. Women may, however, suffer more from the abuse of the natural world and also become more aware of this abuse of nature. Ecofeminists call for mobilization to bring change. Social hierarchies of men over women, white elites over subordinated classes and races need to be transformed to egalitarian societies which recognize the full humanity of each person. Greater racial and gender equality needs to go beyond mere tokenism which doesn’t change the deep hierarchies of wealth and power of the few over the many; there must be a major restructuring of the relations of human groups to each other and a transformation of the relation between humans and the nonhuman world.

Dr. Ruether highlighted the work of the leading Latin American ecofeminist theologian, Ivone Gebara, who observes in her book Intuiciones Ecofeministas (Ecofeminist Intuitions) that poor women are the ones who primarily have to cope with the problems of air pollution, poverty, poor quality of food, and lack of clean drinking water. These ecological problems create health problems for themselves and their children for which they are primarily responsible. In his statements on the poor and the environment Pope Francis never acknowledges that these problems fall most heavily on women. Gebara does something else the Pope doesn’t: she challenges the dominance of male theological symbols, and she proposes female symbols for God, such as Wisdom. She sees ecofeminism as deconstructing patriarachal theology with its hierarchical structure and methodology, dismantling the whole paradigm of male over female, mind over body, heaven over earth, transcendent over immanent, the male God outside of and ruling over the created world. Ecofeminist theology starts with experience, especially the embodied experiences of women in daily life, and understands the human person in a network of relationships, not as an autonomous self, recognizing our interrelations with the whole cosmos. Ecofeminists urge us to dismantle those systems that allow some few humans to flourish inordinately at the expense of most other humans and the earth, and they challenge us to shape egalitarian societies.

Turning to the Pope’s Encyclical on the Environment, Dr. Ruether first focused on the strong points. She expressed her appreciation for his scientific background, evident in some of the details of the encyclical. She commended the Pope for emphasizing that human sinfulness is the primary cause of climate change, for connecting poverty and abuse of the earth, for challenging everyone to address this abuse of our common home, for stating the need to create a new culture based on the doctrine of the goodness of creation, for including all creation in his theology of resurrection, for his theology of all creation as incarnational with God present in all, and for calling on all religions to dialogue with one another about the care of creation. She expressed her hopes that the encyclical will make a difference because it’s being widely read by people from many religions. The first question raised by a conference attendee was why the encyclical doesn’t address the connection between overpopulation and our environmental crisis. Dr. Ruether answered by noting 2 big blind spots of Pope Francis: (1) he doesn’t see the need for population control and doesn’t believe in birth control; (2) he doesn’t mention women—the connection between abuse of women and abuse of the environment, the fact that poor women suffer most from environmental disasters, the fact that gender inequality, including in the church, results in 70% of the poor being women. “It’s like we don’t exist,” she said. “The Pope doesn’t think about women; he lives in an all-male world, and he can’t understand the context of women.” Another conference attendee voiced her concern that the Pope’s encyclical also fails to mention that raising animals for consumption contributes to the destruction of the environment.

It seems more than coincidental that the Sunday following this conference, while the Pope was in Philadelphia before a crowd of hundreds of thousands, I was with one of my faith communities, Church in the Cliff, as we canonized environmental activist Rachel Carson, and next Sunday I will be with my other faith community, New Wineskins, as we ordain everyone.

RachelCarsonWithout sanction from the Pope or any religious hierarchy, Church in the Cliff canonized Rachel Carson, author of the ground-breaking book Silent Spring, first published in 1962, igniting the environmental movement. In the weeks leading up to All Saints’ Day, our community chooses people we admire to canonize. One of our members, David Marquis, began the canonization by connecting the work of Rachel Carson to environmental problems in Dallas during her day, especially in the poorest Dallas neighborhoods. He also talked about her teaching the connection of all social justice issues to environmental issues, illuminating how we’re all part of the ecosystem. Scott Shirley, pastor of Church in the Cliff, continued the canonization of Rachel Carson by telling more of her remarkable story and lauding her for teaching that we are all a part of the interconnectedness of nature, for her sense of wonder in nature and her challenge to cultivate this sense of wonder in children, and for her bearing witness to caring for our environment.

Without authorization from the Pope or any religious hierarchy, New Wineskins Feminist Ritual Community will ordain everyone to symbolize our shared power and the equality of all in our community. We believe that every voice and all gifts have equal value, so we will bless the gifts of everyone. New Wineskins Community explores new ways of seeing divinity so that the spiritual gifts of everyone are equally valued and nurtured. New Wineskins Community offers rituals especially focused on the Divine Feminine, to change culture from devaluation to empowerment of the feminine. The rituals also symbolize shared power and responsibility to change culture from one up/one down and win/lose to mutual relationships. The mission of New Wineskins is to expand experience of Divine Mystery and to contribute to healing, peace, and justice in our world. The name “New Wineskins,” coming from the metaphor in Matthew 9:17, describes our search for new language and symbols to proclaim the good news of liberation and shalom. Our rituals name and image the Divine as female and male and more to support the equality and value of all. New Wineskins Community welcomes people of all faiths, races, sexual orientations, ages. We celebrate diversity and actively encourage the discovery and exercise of everyone’s gifts.

Many people have referred to Pope Francis as the leading “moral authority” in the world today. Rosemary Radford Ruether, with her more comprehensive, inclusive work on the environment and other social justice issues, stands out as a better “moral authority.” But instead of looking to Pope Francis or to Dr. Ruether or to anyone else as our “moral authority,” may we all find that “moral authority” within ourselves. Sophia Wisdom lives within us all!

She lives, She lives! Sophia lives today;

She lives and works throughout the world to show the peaceful way.

She lives, She lives! We hear Her urgent call;

we work with Her to change the world; She lives within us all.Earth Transformed coverFinal

© 2014 Jann Aldredge-Clanton.  From Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship (EakinPress, 2015).


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Interview on Patheos, “Earth Transformed with Music!”

Dr. Caryn D. Riswold, a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition and Professor of Religion at Illinois College, interviewed me about my new hymnbook, Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship. Caryn published this interview on her Patheos blog:

   Earth Transformed coverFinal  1. Tell us why you put together this collection of hymns.

Music has great power to touch the heart and change the world. Words we sing in worship shape our beliefs and actions. They have great power because of the sacred value given to them, and because the music embeds the words in our memories. The majority of churches, even progressive churches, still use hymns with mostly male names and imagery for Deity, inadvertently supporting gender injustice and inequality. Biblical female divine names and images are excluded from most hymns. So I continue to answer the call of Ruah, the Creative Spirit, to write inclusive hymn lyrics and to publish them in hymn collections for faith communities to use in worship

Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship is my third collection of hymns; the first two are Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians and Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice. I’ve collaborated with composer Larry E. Schultz on these hymn collections, as well as on a children’s musical, a children’s songbook, and choral anthems. All include biblical female divine names, such as “Wisdom,” Sophia, Ruah, Shaddai, Shekhinah, “Mother,” “Midwife,” “Mother Hen,” and “Mother Eagle.” These female names of the Divine help to transform patriarchal structures that continue to support worldwide oppression of women and girls. When we include female names for Deity, women and girls are seen in Her image and thus respected and valued instead of being oppressed and abused. Gender-balanced names and images of the Divine affirm the sacred value of all people and all creation, supporting justice and peace in our world.

More and more congregations, communities, and small groups are seeking inclusive hymns that reflect their beliefs of gender equality and justice. They have affirmed my hymn writing and encouraged me to keep writing more hymns that include female divine names and images. So I continue writing lyrics, and Ruah continues to inspire me!

  1. How does Earth Transformed differ from your previously published hymnbooks?

This collection includes all new songs. In the previously published hymnbooks I organized the hymns according to general themes of justice, liberation, and peacemaking. Many of the hymns in Earth Transformed with Music! address specific justice issues, such as workers’ rights. I organized the hymns according to justice issues, such as racial equality, gender equality, marriage equality, economic justice, care of creation, and interfaith collaboration, that also form the organizational structure for She Lives! Sophia She LivesWisdom Works in the World, a book with stories of fascinating pioneers who are changing the church by reclaiming multicultural female images of Deity. I hope that Earth Transformed will be used as a companion to She Lives!, bringing change through story and song.

This book also differs from my previously published hymnbooks in that it includes multigenerational short songs for various parts of worship services, such as invocations and benedictions. Larry composed beautiful new music for these short songs.

  1. How is it a challenge and an opportunity to write hymns for interfaith settings?

The challenge is to find tunes that various faith traditions have in common and/or to create new tunes. Earth Transformed with Music!  includes tunes such as “Bunessan” (made popular by Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken”) and “America” (popular tune for “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”), as well as wonderful, easy-to-sing new tunes that Larry created.

Writing songs for interfaith settings is indeed a great opportunity! Singing is a wonderful way to bring people of diverse religious and spiritual traditions together to contribute to justice and peace. When we take down divisive walls, we discover our common values and the power of our combined efforts to transform our world. One of the songs in this new collection, “In Unity We Gather,” concludes with this celebratory stanza:

In faith we are united, in hope and love set free;

through bridging our divisions we claim all we can be.

Together we envision a peaceful global home;

within Creative Mystery we find a deep Shalom.

  1. Which do you prefer: writing new words for familiar tunes, or writing new songs entirely?

That’s a difficult question because I love doing both! Familiar tunes provide a rhyme and rhythm structure I like working with. Also, it’s rewarding to write new inclusive words to tunes that I grew up with and that I love but can no longer sing because of the exclusive theology of the original words. Many people have told me that they’re delighted that I’ve reclaimed some of their favorite hymn tunes, and music ministers have told me that it’s often easier to get congregations to sing new words to familiar tunes that provide continuity to their traditions.

On the other hand, writing words for new music gives me freedom in creating the poetry. For this new collection I first wrote the lyrics for all of the short songs for various parts of worship, and then Larry E. Schultz created wonderful new music that enhances my lyrics. This is also how we wrote our children’s musical, children’s songbook, and choral anthems. In Earth Transformed, as in our first two hymn collections, Larry also wrote new music for some hymns that I’d written to familiar tunes, and we include the lyrics to the familiar tune side by side with the lyrics to the new tune so that congregations can choose to sing either or both.

  1. What else would you like people to know about this new hymnbook?

For congregations beginning the movement to inclusive language, this new collection provides hymns that draw from the wealth of biblical gender-neutral names for Deity, such as “Friend,” “Love,” “Spirit,” and “Maker.” Then as congregations move to what Presbyterian pastor Rebecca Kiser calls “gender-full” language for the Divine, they will find in this new collection hymns that reclaim biblical female divine names and images. This new hymnbook also includes hymns that feature important, often-overlooked biblical women, such as Miriam and Mary Magdalene. Earth Transformed with Music! invites people to join in transforming the world through singing inclusive songs that give birth to justice and peace.


FeminismChristianityCheck out Dr. Caryn D. Riswold’s book Feminism and Christianity: Questions and Answers in the Third Wave.


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On Feminine Ground for Our Work of Justice, Peace, and Sustainability

Women of Spirit and FaithSpirit-and-FaithThe Women of Spirit and Faith Patheos blog is currently exploring the theme “On Feminine Ground” in preparation for an event titled “On Feminine Ground: The Alchemy of Our COLLECTIVE Wisdom and Strength” at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in October.WSF

I accepted the invitation to contribute to the collaborative Women of Spirit and Faith blog, responding to these questions: What do these words “On Feminine Ground” stir up in you? What does it mean to be “On Feminine Ground”? What new dreams might be manifested if we stand solidly “On Feminine Ground”?

Here is an excerpt from my blog article titled “On Feminine Ground for Our Work of Justice, Peace, and Sustainability”:

The words “On Feminine Ground” stir in me dreams of a transformed world. On Feminine Ground everyone has freedom to become all we are created to be in the divine image. On Feminine Ground all creation flourishes.

For too long our world has been out of balance with the masculine dominating and the feminine subordinated or excluded. We have all suffered from this imbalance. On Feminine Ground there will be a healthy balance that encourages all of us to embrace our wholeness and to experience our full humanity. This balance will give equal value to traits, such as compassion and nurturing, that have often been labeled and disparaged as “feminine.” Compassion, nurturing, collaboration, and peacemaking will be revalued and reclaimed not only as feminine traits, but also as human traits. On Feminine Ground we find gender equality, racial equality, marriage equality, economic justice, environmental justice, and justice for all. We find peace and sustainability. On Feminine Ground we will reclaim the heart of our humanity.

Feminine Ground is level ground with circles replacing hierarchies. Hierarchies create the illusion that some people are more valuable than others. Circles symbolize the equal value of all. In circles people share power, and everyone’s gifts have equal value. People of all faiths, races, genders, and nationalities come together to collaborate in a spirit of mutual respect.

At the 2014 and 2015 UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW), I had some of my most profound experiences of circles. In circles we shared our stories and dreams of a transformed world. These circles provided sacred space for every voice to be heard and for making spiritual connections to empower our social activism. One of the circles was entitled “Remembering the Sacred Heart of Your Activism: An Evening of Prayer, Reflection and Inspiration.” I resonated with this title that expresses my deep belief that spirituality empowers our social activism. The evening of prayers from many faith traditions and circle dialogue inspired our continued commitment to gender equality for the women and girls of the world.

Read the rest of this article.

Also in connection with the Parliament of the World’s Religions I will be co-leading a presentation titled “Reclaiming the Divine Feminine for Our Work of Compassion, Justice, Peace, and Sustainability.” Here is a description of the presentation:

Reclaiming the Divine Feminine in our religious traditions will empower our work together for compassion, peace, justice, and sustainability. Restoring female images of the Divine will contribute to healing our wounded world. Including multicultural female divine images in our sacred rituals affirms the sacred value of females throughout the world who continue to suffer from violence and abuse. The earth, traditionally referred to as feminine, likewise suffers from exploitation and abuse. Rituals that include female images can make a powerful contribution to a more just world. Wisdom is among the female divine images common to many religious and spiritual traditions. “Wisdom” is Hokmah in Hebrew, Hikmah in Arabic, and Sophia in Greek. She also comes as Kwan Yin and Tara in Asian spiritual traditions and as the Black Madonna and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Catholic traditions. This panel discussion will highlight ways that multicultural female divine names and images in rituals form a foundation for interreligious collaboration, care for creation, nonviolence, economic justice, racial equality, gender equality, marriage equality, and changing hierarchies to circles. Following the panel discussion, there will be an interfaith ritual, including songs and readings, affirming the sacred value of all people and all creation. The program will conclude with participants forming circles for dialogue.



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New Inclusive Hymnbook Released!

Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship has just been released! It’s been exciting to collaborate with composer Larry E. Schultz on our third collection of inclusive hymns.Earth Transformed coverFinal

The title of this new collection, Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship, expresses our deep belief in the power of music to transform people and all creation. Music has great power to transform our world. Music stirs our spirits and embeds words in our memories. Songs with inclusive lyrics contribute to an expansive theology and an ethic of equality and justice in human relationships.

These inclusive songs will help your worship catch up with your theology. You may have had difficulty finding hymns that reflect your beliefs about peacemaking, gender equality, racial equality, economic justice, and the sacred worth of all people.

The songs in this collection name Deity as female and male and more to support the foundational biblical truth that all people are created equally in the divine image (Genesis 1:27). Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship will instill belief in the sacredness of all people and all creation. The predominant themes of gender equality, racial equality, marriage equality, economic justice, care of creation, and peacemaking flow from the prophetic tradition in Scripture. This collection also includes songs for comfort, healing, celebration, and thanksgiving.

Earth Transformed with Music! includes all new songs, most to widely-known tunes and some to new tunes. Many of the songs are appropriate for interfaith settings. A special feature of this new collection is the inclusion of multigenerational short songs for various parts of worship services, such as invocations and benedictions.

Here is one of the fresh, lovely new tunes that Larry created for one of the short songs of invocation in this collection, “Sister-Brother Spirit, Within Us and Above,” along with the lyrics:

Sister-Brother Spirit, within us and above,

show us all Your peaceful way to partnership and love;

Sister-Brother Spirit, empower us today;

stir in us new visions of justice, we pray.

This new song collection comes to you with the invitation to join in transforming earth through singing inclusive songs that give birth to justice and peace. Let your worship catch up with your theology!

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Visiting Churches of Various Cultures: Reflections by Colette Casburn Numajiri (cont.)

Continuing on our adventure of visiting churches of various cultures, Colette Numajiri and I went to Japanese Baptist Church of North Texas and to the Center for Spiritual Living.

We have been looking for a church where Colette’s pre-school sons, Zayden and Nikko, will see both their Japanese and Anglo cultures celebrated. At the Japanese Baptist Church there were a few Anglos and one African American, but the congregation was mostly Japanese. Like most of the other churches we’ve visited in the Dallas area, the Japanese Baptist Church is more single-cultural than multicultural. But as Colette remarked about visiting the Eritrean and Vietnamese churches, going to the Japanese church was an expansive experience, like stepping into another country. Because most of the service was translated into English at the Japanese church, the predominantly male language for Deity was more noticeable than at the Eritrean and Vietnamese churches.

At the Center for Spiritual Living we were glad to see more cultural diversity. The worship leaders included an African American woman and a Hispanic man, along with the Anglo spiritual director. The congregation included about 30% people of color. But we were disappointed and somewhat surprised that this liberal faith community didn’t include female divine names. The language for Deity was gender-neutral and masculine. Also, women’s history as healers was not included in a talk about the connection between spirituality and healing.

Colette Casburn Numajiri

Colette Casburn Numajiri

Colette expresses her mixed feelings about our visits to these churches. Here are some excerpts from her reflections.

We chose Japanese Baptist Church of North Texas for our next adventure. My brother, Kline, came with me, Zayden, and Nikko, and we met Jann outside a little mid-century modern house, where this church meets.

Several Japanese women greeted us and told us to have a seat and sign in. All came and introduced themselves and talked to the boys. My favorite was the preacher’s daughter, who was very on top of things and knew how to take care of guests. She gave us headphones to hear the English translations, and we sat near the back before the service began.

Including us, I counted 28 people in attendance. The congregation was 80% Japanese female; there were two Anglo male teenagers, a few Japanese men, one Anglo male, and one African American male, who had met his wife in the ‘80s when he worked in Japan for six months,

A few minutes into the service, Zayden and Nikko started crawling around. The Anglo man showed Kline where the nursery was, and a Japanese woman followed to watch them. They were the only children there; the next youngest were the teenage girls who later went to watch my boys.

The service went on with hymns like “Father, We Love You,” and the Lord’s Prayer in Japanese with the English translation under the Japanese words projected on the screen at the front of the room. In our usual style, we changed the words to be more inclusive. We were delighted that one hymn included lyrics that named God as like a mother caring for her children.

The sermon was about how Jesus is “the truth, the life, the way.” The older male Japanese preacher seemed very kind and sincere. He preached in Japanese, and we listened on our headphones to the English interpreter.

After a few more songs and the announcements, the Anglo man gave the closing prayer. During the announcements, the pastor asked us in English to stand and give our names and where we were from. We did, and they all applauded. We felt as warmly welcomed at this Japanese Baptist Church as we had at the first church we visited, the Eritrean Baptist. Later we realized that we had forgotten to tell them we were from New Wineskins Feminist Ritual Community.

We said our goodbyes, and many people kept asking us to stay and have lunch with them.

AmaterasuJapanese flagI wondered where these people got their Christian roots. Less than 1% of people in Japan are Christian; 80% are Shinto. Christianity doesn’t seem to mesh well with the culture. Japan is called “the Land of the Rising Sun,” referring to the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, believed to be the founder of Japan. She is symbolized in the Japanese flag with the large red sun in the center. The Japanese believe that their island nation is the only holy place on Earth. That might be why more are not interested in changing their religion.


Our next adventure led us to the Center for Spiritual Living, also in North Dallas. When we entered the large meeting hall, the worship leaders were praying for the whole congregation, and everyone ended together with “and so it is.” Later, we would see a “Teaching Symbol” that includes the letters “ASII” (“and so it is”) underneath.

After the opening prayer, a great band and four joyful singers led us all through songs about peace and love. The songs were reminiscent to me of the ‘60s “Age of Aquarius” and peace rallies of that era, which were right on. As the songs continued, the band seemed to be having a full on jam session and most of the people were dancing along.

Everyone seemed to be really enthusiastic, but for some reason I was not. At this point in the journey, we’ve already realized that we’re not going to find much inclusive language outside of New Wineskins Community. Although their songs mostly called God “Spirit,” the service still used “God” and other words which are primarily masculine. So, I kept looking for Her. This church did fulfill our search for a culturally diverse community. I think all ethnicities would feel welcome at the Center for Spiritual Living.

When it came time for the sermon, there She was. Their high priestess, whom they call “spiritual director,” is a blonde, glamorous lesbian, and she shines brightly, like Amaterasu, for the congregation. She is strong and carries this church, and I could feel their adoration of her. She started talking about how our bodies are an extension of our spirits and how we have to take care of our health. “Right on,” I thought. She referred several times to Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, which this church promotes.

Then the spiritual director called up a woman to share her findings on health and spirituality. This woman shared a picture of an early medical school in a quaint village in France, saying that this school was connected to a cathedral and that spirituality and healing should not be separate. I completely agree, but my mind quickly wandered off to the film “The Burning Times,” a 1990 Canadian documentary, about the women’s holocaust in Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries in which an estimated nine million women were killed. That little medical school in the picture was probably set up by the Catholic church during the Inquisition to train men (women were not allowed to go to school) to be doctors because they had burned all of the midwives and healers as witches. For thousands of years prior to this, most of the physicians and healers and nurturers were women. They knew all about nutrition and anatomy; they birthed babies and comforted the dying. They were a huge threat to the Catholic faith and endangered those in the male hierarchy, who declared that “anyone (woman) who cured without studying was a witch and must die.” This is how they gained control over women’s powers, and we still live under this patriarchal control. It took all of my strength not to raise my hand and stand up and share with these people what I knew.

The spiritual director concluded her sermon, and there was a blessing of the collection plates and welcoming of the visitors. I had planned after the service to run up to the minister and the woman who spoke about the medical school and share the truth about women as healers, but several people had come to greet and welcome us.

After the service, a friend who is a member of the Center for Spiritual Living gave us a tour of their awesome facility. There were altars hidden in corners along the way. But I didn’t really see any female images of the Divine.

Then I went to retrieve my happy sons from the nursery. As we were saying our goodbyes, the woman who had given the speech about the medical school walked up and started talking to Nikko in my arms. So, I told her everything about the witch trials as quickly as I could. She didn’t say much, but I felt her fear. Her cheeks got red, and she turned away from me, and that was it. I hate that I scared her, but it’s time for the truth to be revealed.

ChristSophia2FreedomSophia copyTime to free Sophia, heal the women and children and heal the world. That’s the way to peace and happiness.1BillionRising1

FreedR copy           

 earth sings copy





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