4-7 pm Ireland/UK time on Thursday, May 13, 2021

(8-11 am Pacific / 11 am-2 pm Eastern)

Like us today, the medieval mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe lived in a time of pandemic and social upheaval, yet both women bore witness to the divine promise that ultimately all shall be well.

During a near-death experience, Julian received a series of divine visions and spent the next forty years unpacking them in her luminous theology of an unconditionally loving God who was both Mother and Father. Julian offered radical counsel to Margery Kempe, a failed businesswoman and mother of fourteen, who was haunted by her own visceral mystic experience. With Julian’s blessing, Margery walked away from a soul-destroying marriage and became a globe-trotting pilgrim-preacher and rabble rouser. Though these two women might seem like polar opposites—Julian, the enclosed anchoress, and free-roving Margery experiencing her visions in the full stream of worldly life—they complement each other. Together their lives and work form a Via Feminina, a distinctly female path to the divine.

Join Mary Sharratt and Christine Valters Paintner in this deep immersion into mystic spirituality with presentation, contemplative practice, writing, and conversation. We will be joined by sacred musician Simon de Voil who will invite us into contemplative pauses through song at various points of the retreat.

We will record the session and make it available on our course platform for those registered but encourage you, if possible, to join us live.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.*
We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee for those who have lost their income and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!
If you need a payment plan or a more of a scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Terms and Conditions

  1. No refunds are provided for online program registrations. Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.
  2. You will have access to all the program materials for the lifetime of this website.
  3. The registration fee is per person; we ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.
  4. All materials presented in our online programs are copyright. Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program.
  5. All video webinars and Zoom gatherings are recorded. These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.
  6. If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.
  7. All fees include VAT where applicable.

About the Presenters

Mary Sharratt, the award-winning author of eight critically acclaimed novels, is on a mission to write strong women back into history. Her enduring fascination with women’s experience of the visionary and sublime has inspired her portrayals of mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen in her Nautilus Gold Award-winning novel Illuminations (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012) while her new novel Revelations (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2021) explores the life of 15th century pilgrim Margery Kempe and her friendship with Julian of Norwich. Kirkus has praised Revelations as “historical fiction at its best” in a Starred Review.

Sharratt’s essays and articles have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Enchanted Living, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She blogs monthly for feminismandreligion.com. Born in Minnesota, she currently lives near the walled medieval city of Óbidos on the Silver Coast of Portugal. Visit her website>>



Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the founder and director of AbbeyoftheArts.com, a virtual monastery and global community exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a poet, spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of 15 books on spirituality and the arts including two collections of poetry. She has a great love for the Christian mystics and teaching their wisdom to others. Visit the "About Christine" page for more information.

Reverend Simon Ruth de Voil is an interfaith-interspiritual minister, sacred musician, spiritual counsellor, and chaplain. His sacred work—both musical and interpersonal—explores themes of the inner landscape of the soul, the enchantment of the natural world, and the healing power of spiritual practice. As a chaplain and counsellor, Simon helps individuals and groups connect sacred presence with everyday life. Simon is also a transgender activist and a luthier in training. Visit Simon's website here>>