Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Invisible Helpers: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women

Lifelong Healing

Many of you read my book GROWING UP WITHOUT THE GODDESS and know that I spent the last thirty years trying to figure out what went wrong in my early childhood. I started out searching because the pain, first emotional and later physical, was too great to ignore.

Whatever happened in my early life had warped me, and as an adult, I fell into a pattern of setting up one life and support system after another, and destroying each one as soon as it was stable.

All through my search to understand why I acted out of such self-hatred, and how to heal my body, mind, emotions, and spirit, I sensed there was help available from what I learned to call the invisible world, the inner world, the Otherworld, and eventually the Sacred Feminine.

This help came to me through dreams, through chance meetings with others who had books to offer, through crossed paths at a daycare center that led to finding just the right therapist and dream analyst, through insights that came when I wrote or drew, and later through visions.

So I sensed that I might be a part of bigger story, but I didn’t always believe it. (And I didn’t have much time for other women’s stories since some early women’s consciousness raising groups, still acting out of degraded male consciousness, had skewered me in the late 60’s.)

Most of the time I felt like I was on a singular, solitary, isolated journey, stripped of human companioning. A modern mariner. Or the albatross itself, dead, but driven to repeat my story, to enact my brokenness again and again. Perhaps I didn’t deserve authentic companionship. I certainly turned it aside whenever it appeared.

Yet there were Voices that would speak from my notebook, my typewriter, and later my computer screen with far more wisdom that I had. I was somehow tapping into wisdom of the collective that I know now many other women were also finding and into which they were creating openings.

From some universal reservoir of wisdom, images of mythological characters, which I had no knowledge of but which I would come to see as archetypal/spirit guides, would arise in my dreams.

Once, Eurydice, the neglected wife of Orpheus, came to me in a dream. I awoke saying her name, a name I had never read nor heard. Because I could sound it out, I found her in the dictionary, and understood that I was like her – lost in the Underworld to find my own way because my “Orpheus” energy, the ego out-in-the-world energy could not keep its promise, do its duty, keep me safe, and bring me up to the surface without looking back, without making me into an object for the eyes to see, rather than allowing me to emerge as a human being ready to participate fully in Earth life.

The dream promised I was not entirely on my own to find my way out of the darkness, though. First of all, the wisdom from the inner world, had given me a picture of what was going on within me. That information showed me where to put my loving attention so I could heal.

Also, that same dream gave me another guide in addition to Eurydice, a guide who had an outer world existence, too – my therapist had visited me in a dream that night, had stood by my bed and told me that I would be okay – that I was strong enough to go within and find the light and bring it back to the surface. What the outer masculine had spoiled, through neglect and abuse, could be healed within.

But in the day-to-day world, in what I call the outer world, I was alone.

Solo. Single mom. Single woman. The one you see eating my herself and reading a book, trying to shrink herself into invisibility. The one who no longer goes to social gatherings because husbands make her feel uncomfortable. Separate, even through many short marriages. Separate, inauthentic, even – especially – in lovemaking.

Consciously, I held myself apart, and often I still do. But I see now that I was being swept along unremittingly by a wave of increasing consciousness about who I was as an individual and how I became that specific Sandra because of the collective cultural unconsciousness that held the hatred of women.

What was activating that ancient collective wisdom? Who was re-discovering the underground pools of divine healing and leading me to them?

Books I read held whispers that others were engaged in similar journeys inward. Whispers of the deeper lives of others reached me through poems and an occasional film. Decades passed.

I resisted.

Unfortunately, it took sickness to bring me understanding of my body as spirit, not just a vehicle for spirit, but divinity itself. That understanding allowed me to get out of the way and allow my body to heal. And as my body healed,* it guided my search and released to my consciousness the knowledge of my original wounding and separation from others.

As I grew to understand that I had been abused in early life, I understood even more why Eurydice came to me. Like her, I was neglected and unprotected and not just during those specific moments that I was physically and sexually abused. My whole being, my light body, my vibrational being, my chakra field – whatever I call my expanded being – held the pattern of abuse and the culture reinforced it daily. As Clarissa Pinkola-Estes says in one of her wonderful healing stories, [my] spirit went a way off and sat.

No wonder I began to participate in my own abuse, as we all do for as long as we must, by enacting the hateful pattern of self abuse and deprivation.

But, as I slowly came to know, there was a bigger story, a wondrous story, in which I was participating. As I allowed healing to flow through me, as I wrote my book to follow my healing guides and integrate their healing energies, there were other women who were also working in their own ways through their specific life problems and blocks and drives and dreams, so they could enter the sacred mystery of consciousness.

And somehow my individual healing was fed by pools of ancient collective healing wisdom and ways. It was from those pools that Eurydice, unknown to me until she appeared in my dream, arose.

Somehow what those other women, separate but contemporaneous with me, and I experienced, created, and unraveled through our individual Selves had fed the Source and helped the ancient wisdom find ways into all our daily lives. We had primed the pump, and now all our stories flowed together, little streams of consciousness seeking their Source while Source was seeking each of us and sending us invisible companions and guides.

Here now in a book I love, Women of Wisdom: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women, are wisdom stories and healing stories of other women. Some of these women fed my healing through other books they have written. Some of them are women whose stories were unknown to my conscious self before I read this book. But all these, and many more, too, companioned me on my journey to healing through the invisible circle of Sacred Consciousness. For that I am deeply grateful.

Women of Wisdom: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women

by Kris Steinnes

is available now through a special promotion.

I invite you to go to this page –

to access the order page and then go back to this page and enter your order confirmation code and your email address. That will take you to the sign up page for the Women of Wisdom enewsletter, once you join the WOW book group you will be sent an email with a link to the bonus gifts that are available to people who buy the book today. You can later opt out of being on the Women of Wisdom newsletter list if you choose.



Growing Up Without the Goddess

* I continue to engage in daily healing practices (Qigong, meditation, Healing Touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, and prayer with my Magdalene Rosary). Healing is lifelong, and as I engage in healing ways daily, I deepen into the ancient ways and wisdom and add what I have transformed to the Source.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women" Guest Blog from Women of Wisdom's Kris Steinnes


Here is a beautiful and empowering book for all who are engaged in healing themselves and the Earth by bringing in what author Kris Steinnes calls "the feminine mind." The feminine mind is what I call the Goddess within each of us, the One who holds us and heals us and moves through us -- each of us a part of nature -- to heal the Earth.

Women of Wisdom by Kris Steinnes, is being offered beginning on June 23rd, 2009 at 12:01 am. We invite you to go to this page - - to access the order page and then go back to this page to access the bonus page. On the Exclusive Private Invite page, enter your order confirmation code. That will allow you to gain entry to the bonus gifts that are available to people who buy the book on June 23rd.

Here is Kris' description of the wisdom that
WOMEN OF WISDOM: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women makes available to all of us. I love this book. It holds the Divine Feminine.

Women of Wisdom is a journey through sixteen years of one of the largest women’s spirituality conferences in the world, a very unique conference that has impacted thousands of women’s lives. Authors Jean Houston and Margot Anand both exclaimed separately to me – “Kris there is nothing like this in the world” – and they have traveled around the world. The book will continue to impact women, as they experience the wisdom and gifts of the sixty contributors in the book.

The Women of Wisdom book gives women access to powerful, inspiring women leaders and their message for women to step into their power, own their feminine gifts, and learn to speak their truths. WOW provides role models who will inspire women to discover their dreams and their purpose.

Additionally the book shares stories from women whose lives have been changed by experiencing these women’s messages. Evocative art, poetry and experiential exercises enhance the book’s message, providing diverse ways to experience the spirit of the feminine.

Included in the book is my own story of how I started Women of Wisdom, which has been an empowering story for women to hear. My story began with reading The Feminine Face of God, by Patricia Hopkins and Sherry Anderson. Shortly afterwards I had a vision of bringing these spiritual women leaders to Seattle. And I immediately set that in motion at Seattle Unity Church, where I was a board member.

I realized this was something more than just a conference when I welcomed people at the first night of the conference, February 11, 1993, and I stated “Welcome to the First Annual Women of Wisdom Conference.” It has become a movement for women to come together in community and explore their potential, and to honor and support one another. This conference has continued to grow and be strong for seventeen years now and that is a testimony to the power of the vision, and the importance of women realizing the value of their unique gifts to share with the world.

In 1998 I realized I had a wealth of material in the tapes of the talks from these nationally known best selling authors and that they would make a great book. I had a dream to share this with other women. I would get phone calls and emails from women asking me if there was an organization like WOW in their city. Not everyone has the luxury to travel to conferences and experience life changing conferences and this book will provide that opportunity to many women.

In addition, the powerful women who participated at the conference in different ways – artists, musicians, writers, local presenters and WOW leaders – would contribute to make this book a holistic experience of exploring the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of being a woman, giving the reader the full conference experience.

The women’s movement has led women to evolve to such heights as running for the presidency of the United States. However in workshops I have given women have shared how isolated they feel. They don’t feel honored in society for their feminine gifts and how they don’t feel comfortable or safe speaking what they feel, what’s inside their hearts, whether it be in the workplace, home or other. In sharing women’s stories in the book, women will relate to their experiences and gain strength and support through the validation of the feminine that is expressed in the book.

Many of the authors in the book share how there is a lack of balance of the feminine in our world, and how we’re at a critical time where women need to become equal partners towards creating the solutions to the many crisis facing our globe. Jean Houston shares her experience of Women of Wisdom in the foreword of the book:

Women of Wisdom is in the forefront of the biggest change in human history – the only change that will assure our continuity as a species. Those who organize and participate in the Women of Wisdom experience, know that for a new world to be born we have to bring a new mind to bear. Critical to this is the rich mind style of women that has been gestating in the womb of preparatory time, lo, these many millennia. In their ebullient and evocative conferences WOW demonstrates a tremendous change in who we are and how we do things.”

”Playing their part to usher in feminine mind, WOW emphasizes process rather than just product, and making things cohere, relate, and grow. Cultures in which the feminine archetype is powerful are almost always non-heroic, they tend to make things work together, each piece has its part to play.”

“Men and women will be released from the old polarities of gender that force them into limited and limiting roles, and qualities of intelligence will be added to the human mind-pool that will render most previous problem solving obsolete. Linear, sequential solutions will yield to the knowing that comes from seeing things in whole gestalts, in constellations, rather than in discrete fact…. And it will ring an ecological ethic, along with a new partnership between men and women, in which the human acts in concert and in partnership with Nature to bring about more symbiotic ecological relationships.”

As a bonus, those who buy Kris, book on June 23 from her link (see above) and are in the first ten to select my book as a bonus from her bonus page, will receive a free copy of GROWING UP WITHOUT THE GODDESS: A Journey through Sexual Abuse to the Sacred Embrace of Mary Magdalene. You may request a pdf. file or a signed paperback.

Blessings, Sandra

Sunday, June 14, 2009

National Campaign for Health Care Reform

and Gifts in Raleigh, NC. Photo by Alice Osborn.

While I practice holistic healing for myself and others -- Healing Touch, Reflexology, and Aromatherapy -- I understand that sometimes we all need to go to a doctor to speed healing. Many of us needed a doctor (and someone willing to take us to a doctor) when we were abused. I also know that those of us recovering from abuse need the support of psychotherapists as we continue on our healing path. For these reasons, I support the
National Campaign for Health Care. Here's my story, which I submitted to the campaign for posting on their blog, if they choose to do so. You can post your story, too, by going to the site above.

I am fortunate because I am healthy, but if that were to change, I would be among those who are most unfortunate because I have no health care insurance. I worked for 20 years as a high school teacher, but a technicality left me without health insurance when I retired early and received partial retirement pay. I continue to work part-time as a community college instructor, but I receive no benefits from that employment. I can no longer afford catastrophic health care insurance ($250 a month), so I eat right, exercise, meditate and pray and try to stay out of harm's way.

I could pay $125 at most monthly for a health care plan that would do more than pay 80% of hospital charges after a $5,000 deductible. I could afford low co-pays for office visits and routine care. Paying more than $125 a month for health care means that I can't afford to visit a doctor for everyday care and checkups. It means I can't afford to visit a dentist for teeth cleanings and ordinary checkups. So I pay for that preventive care now instead of paying for a catastrophic health care insurance plan.

I'm five years away from being eligible for Medicare, and from what I read, Medicare is underfunded and at its current funding rate, may not be able to continue paying for care within a couple of years.

Fortunately, my husband is a veteran who qualifies for his care through the Veterans Administration. Otherwise, his diabetic care would be far more than we could afford. He is 65, and receives Social Security and Medicare, and he, too, continues to work part-time. Our cars and our house are paid for, and fortunately, we are almost out of debt.

We are able and willing to pay for ordinary medical care, but not at the rates insurance companies charge today. I've worked for 40 years, and only in the last three years have I been without health insurance.

I'm not afraid of death -- of dying maybe -- but not of death. I'm not seeking care that will give me new joints and new body parts or even exceptional intervention if I am faced with injuries or diseases for which the chance of recovery is slim. I believe the body is an amazing healer, and I just want simple interventions to help it on its way. A flu shot, a bone set, a blood panel now and again, and hospitalization to help with minor interventions that will sped recovery.

I watch as people in my community have barbecue dinners to help people younger than me, who have not yet raised their children, pay for necessary life-saving hospital care. I know there are others who need this help far more than I do.

I hear that the medical lobby and the drug lobbies have just about killed the possibility of a "public Medicare" plan. I do hope what is being reported is wrong and that our legislators will have the foresight to make basic health care available to everyone.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

JOAN NORTON'S new book is the Feminine HERO'S JOURNEY for the Intimate, Inner Journey to Resurrect the Sacred Feminine

As a sexual abuse survivor, I especially celebrate and recommend Joan Norton's and Margaret Starbird's 14 STEPS TO AWAKEN THE SACRED FEMININE. Sexual abuse thrives in cultures like ours that have banished the Sacred Feminine, and here is a book that shows how to awaken her and bring her back!

Beautifully written and designed, 14 STEPS TO AWAKEN THE SACRED FEMININE is a gentle, loving guide for individuals or groups that want to heal and reclaim the empowering archetypes of the Sacred Feminine which the Western Christian tradition has hidden, denied, degraded, and banished. This book is the feminine HERO'S JOURNEY for the intimate, individual journey to the inner world to resurrect our part of the Sacred Feminine and to call her forth into our daily lives through story, image, meditation, and reflection.

By engaging personally with the seven historical and seven legendary archetypes of Mary Magdalene, we can shed the historical distortions and cultural and doctrinal practices that changed Her story, which then captured, distorted, and degraded the Sacred Feminine in each of us. We can emerge with the mystery of our own divinity restored, empowered to be Her in a world that so badly needs and wants the strength, compassion, and balance She brings.


See Joan's blog at
See Joan's website at