TO SING WITH BARDS AND ANGELS by Iona Jenkins, Book Review by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

There are some books which you just want to sit with, underline, read leisurely, and let sink deeply into your soul. This is one of those books.

Iona Jenkins has led a fascinating life as a Labyrinth Keeper, artist, spiritual seeker (among many other things). In To Sing with Bards and Angels, she delves into her Celtic ancestry as a poet to captivating result. I can deeply connect with her journey as I imagine many others will as well.

This book is filled with Jenkin’s stories of the experiences she has had while walking the spirit pathway. Most notable and the major theme of her book describes her encounters with an ethereal light being she identifies as an angel. Her guide appears in moonlight and its form and words fit within her cultural beliefs as to what an angel is. I love that she notes that she views her guide in this manner because of her own expectations. Her openness in allowing for other interpretations provides a permission structure for anyone reading and/or on their own spirit journey to understand such experiences in their own way whether it be angelic, otherworldly, imaginative, dreamlike, mythic or manifest in this reality.

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Holy Women Icons: Arts and Spirituality on Retreat by Angela Yarber

angelaI’ve noticed some growing trends in feminist spirituality. Recently, I’ve encountered several feminists who have attended virtual retreats from the comfort of their homes. I’ve also been overwhelmed by the number of clergy, scholars, and feminists who have begun coloring. Psychologists claim that coloring can soften stress, relieve anxiety, and be source of playful meditation for adults in an otherwise chaotic world. Similarly, doctors have long pointed to the emotional and physical importance of meditation, spirituality, or prayer in remaining balanced, relieving stress and anxiety. As feminists dwelling in a cisheteropatriarchal world, the need for such balance is even more important. It is these noticings that have led me to write this post.

A fabulous church that cares deeply about inclusion, social justice, and the arts is hosting an exhibition of my Holy Women Icons with a folk feminist twist for the month of October and throughout the month, I’m leading several retreats. While planning these retreats, I couldn’t help but think of the Feminism and Religion community. We are spread throughout the world, offering encouragement and challenge online every day. We have different struggles, spiritual paths, and backgrounds, but we gather on this blog to reconcile two seemingly paradoxical parts of our beings: feminism and religion. I have yet to develop these thoughts fully and I’d like to rely on you to share your input and ideas in the comments section about how we can “retreat” together virtually. With this in mind, I’d like share a bit about the Holy Women Icons Arts and Spirituality retreat I’m leading and invite you to participate at home. The entire retreat takes about 3 hours, or you can break it into 4 sections for shorter periods of time. So, if you’d like, play some music to set the mood, light a candle, and get out some paper, scissors, writing utensils, and crayons/markers, and let’s “retreat” together…

Continue reading “Holy Women Icons: Arts and Spirituality on Retreat by Angela Yarber”

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