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Seven Gates of Mystical Wisdom: A Pilgrimage to the Heart’s Deep Core Lent Retreat

with Christine Valters Paintner and guest teachers 

Forum Facilitators Aisling Richmond and Amber Andreasen 

March 5 – April 19, 2025

Live opening Zoom session Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2025

4-6pm Ireland/UK

11am-1pm Eastern

8-10am Pacific

Program Description

Join us for the sacred season of Lent when we dive into the wisdom of seven medieval women mystics: Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Angela of Foligno, and Margery Kempe.

We live in liminal times, when the old is falling away and the new is not yet come into being. These seven women were chosen because they each lived past midlife and experienced their own losses through chronic illness or death of loved ones, along with the ravages of their times. These holy women’s voices and visions shimmer across hundreds of years to meet us where we are.

Three questions that will guide our inquiry:

  • What initiation did they experience?
  • How did they resource themselves in nature and the divine?
  • What did illness and/or loss catalyse?


Then we will turn these questions to ourselves and how we can move consciously into our own initiations, resource ourselves, and embrace the catalyst for new possibilities.

We begin on Ash Wednesday with a live Zoom session to gather and launch our retreat together. Christine will lead us in teaching, meditation, ritual, and creative exploration to connect to our heart’s intention and offer us wisdom for how to make this retreat from home.

Then the six weeks of Lent that follow and the first week of Easter, a different woman mystic will be featured.

Persons of any gender are welcome to join us. The medieval women mystics have wisdom for us all.

A lovingly facilitated forum is also included in this live version of the retreat. Feel free to share what you are discovering with a community of kindred souls.

We will turn on closed captioning during the live Zoom session (which you are able to turn off in your settings if you find distracting) as well as provide a video recording with closed captioning available and a text transcript of the session.

The Zoom session will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time or who want to view again. You will be sent a notification when this is ready to view.

You have lifetime access to all online programs.

Weekly Themes

Week 1

Ash Wednesday and Opening Retreat

Week 2

Margery Kempe:
The Great Pilgrimage of Life

Week 3

Teresa of Avila:
The Seven Doors Within

Week 4

Julian of Norwich:
The Anchorhold as Alchemical Vessel

Week 5

Mechtild of Magdeburg:
Encountering God as Lover

Week 6

Hildegard of Bingen:
Cultivating the Greening Flow

Week 7

Clare of Assisi:
Soul Friendship and Solitude

Week 8

Angela of Foligno:
The World is Pregnant with God

Weekly Rhythm of Content

Monday: A written reflection from Christine on the mystic for that week

Tuesday: An audio guided meditation from Christine on the mystic for the week

Wednesday: Guest teacher meditation

Thursday: A video dance prayer with Betsey Beckman

Friday: An invitation to creative writing with the mystics

Saturday: Reflection questions and blessing

Sunday: A day for rest and integration with no new content

Your Guide for the Journey


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine Valters Paintner, OblSB, PhD, REACE is the online Abbess and director of, a virtual monastery exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, Benedictine oblate, and author of numerous books on spirituality and the arts. Her deepest belief is that the earth is the original monastery–a wisdom guide and mentor in living a soulful and vibrant life. Visit the “About Christine” page for more information.

Forum Facilitators

Aisling Richmond

Aisling Richmond is a Somatic Therapist and transformative guide who is deeply inspired by nature and the wisdom of the soul. Aisling is currently undertaking a PhD in Psychology and Transformative Leadership to work with cultural change. She shares a home with her partner in the rugged wildness of Donegal, North West Ireland. Aisling works as a therapist, supporting people to resolve trauma and life challenges through body-psyche-soul wisdom. She also mentors people in finding their deep soul purpose, and teaches a rich range of transformative programs online.  Aisling is passionate about soul centred living, where nature and the feminine are deeply valued. Having worked collaboratively with many organisations including Amnesty International, Aisling has also been a guest lecturer with both Galway and Limerick Universities.  Visit Aisling’s website here>>



Amber Andreasen

Amber Andreasen is a contemplative, ever desiring to deepen into and dance the rhythms of monk and artist. She has trained as a spiritual director, receiving her M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from The Institute of Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology. She has her B.S. and M.S. in Kinesiology and a Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. She has also done training in BioSpiritual Focusing as a holistic approach to spiritual growth. Wherever she finds herself, she desires to nurture a compassionate space where others can be listened, beheld and loved into fuller being by the Beloved. She is continually awed by the body as sacred storyholder and storyteller and by dance and movement as conduits of deep interior silence, stillness and joy.  Her heart beats loudly for the weaving together of creativity and spirituality in the discovering of what it means to live an embodied, fully human life in all its mystery and wonder.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

Please read our Financial Access Policy. 

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee is for those who need financial assistance 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!

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If you are in need of additional financial assistance or a payment plan please fill out our Scholarship Request form. 

Terms and Conditions

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.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

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.

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.