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Visionary, Healer, Warrior, Sage ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dear monks, artists, and pilgrims,

One of my favorite ways to do inner work is through the archetypes which are patterns or energies we find inside ourselves and appear across the globe in different traditions. They come to us as dreams, longings, synchronicities. I’ve written about them more extensively in Illuminating the Way where I connect archetypes like Mother, Prophet, Healer, Sovereign to the monks and mystics of the Christian and Jewish traditions. I also explored them in my book Birthing the Holy where I explored 31 names of Mary, each representing a different archetype like Virgin, Mother of Sorrows, Our Lady of the Underworld, and Mystical Rose. 

Each of us is an inner multitude, which means we are multi-faceted. We are not simply our jobs or our relationships, or some other way we might identify ourselves. We have particular patterns or ways of being we grow comfortable with, which make us feel more at ease in the world. But we also have aspects of ourselves which may dwell in the shadows longing to also be given expression. 

Perhaps we were told as children we were not talented as artists or we were too loud and expressive. We may spend a lot of energy trying to quiet our creative longings or living into the performer part of ourselves. We may overidentify with our work, this often happens with soul care practitioners who are passionate about caring for and serving others and find one day they are being invited to create stronger boundaries for themselves and places where they can be cared for as well. 

The world around us is unravelling. In some ways this is a good thing, there are so many systems of injustice and inequality at work in the world that need to come undone to build something new. But it is hard to be in that in-between place of not knowing what will be built, especially if we are suffering directly as a result of the current systems. 

When we are standing on a threshold, we can call upon particular archetypes and energies to help steady and support us. They can empower us to see the world in new ways, to get clarity around our boundaries and what we are willing to fight for, to tend to our wounded healer who reveals where our deepest gifts for the community reside, and trust and access our inner wisdom in a world spiraling with conflicting messages. 

We are delighted to be offering a new five-week program – Visionary, Warrior, Healer, Sage: Archetypes to Navigate an Unravelling World. I will be joined by some of our amazing Wisdom Council members including Aisling Richmond, Jamie Marich, Melinda Thomas, Polly Paton-Brown, and Simon de Voil to help invite us to inhabit these possibilities more fully and explore how they encourage us to show up in new ways with more clarity, purpose, wisdom, and self-care. Melissa Layer will be tending our online forum for sharing your experiences and questions. 

For each of the four archetypes we will be exploring, I will share a saint, a name of Mary, an image of Jesus, one of the archangels, and an Irish goddess who embody these qualities as inspiration for us. We will also be connecting them to the four elements of wind, fire, water, and earth, finding archetypal connections with the land to support us as well. 

During the week our guest teachers will be offering various creative explorations through gentle movement, meditation, and visual art. We will also host a vibrant facilitated forum. 

Please join us for a rich experience of our many internal resources to sustain us in hard times. We start Monday, May 8th!

Simon and I are hosting our monthly contemplative prayer service tomorrow. We will be joined by our wonderful Wisdom Council member Dena Jennings, who will be sharing some of her musical gifts with us. We’d love for you to join us. 

This Friday I am hosting Tea with the Abbess, a free event where you bring your favorite beverage to the Zoom temple and I lead you in a meditation, share what is happening in our community this coming month, and answer any questions you might have. 

We are delighted to be welcoming Carl McColman on May 13th (Julian’s feast day) to lead a retreat for us on Julian of Norwich and mystical love. Please join us for a deeper dive into the gifts Julian has to offer us. 

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Image: Paid license with Canva

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