Emotional Policing from Within: Choosing Right Relationship Over Being Right on FAR by Elisabeth Schilling

I have something hard to say. It is about some of ourselves, some of the time.

Let me start by offering you my perspective on negativity on the internet: people are not always conscious or mindful. We let our bitter wounds affect our ability to listen to each other and respond in compassionate ways. Being compassionate does not mean we have to agree with each other. But it means that we shelf our ego and do not immediately jump to disregarding another’s experience or perspective; we can disagree without being harsh. We can be honest, while being kind.

There is some negativity in the comments from regular FAR readers and contributors that I want to speak to in hopes we can become a more supportive community and a better model of peaceful difference. Support simply means that we will create a more safe space for people to share their experiences, give their opinions, and be able to disagree. Diplomacy is the key. If diplomacy does not feel authentic to you. If it feels repressive and you equate it with being polite, then let’s look at the definition of the term:

Diplomacy: “The art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way.” Continue reading “Emotional Policing from Within: Choosing Right Relationship Over Being Right on FAR by Elisabeth Schilling”

“Seeking Harbor in Our Histories” – ASWM 2016 Conference

aswmThe Association for the Study of Women & Mythology (ASWM) will be hosting this year’s Conference, “Seeking Harbor in Our Histories: Lights in the Darkness” at the Boston Marriot Burlington Hotel on 1-2 April 2016.

ASWM conferences strive to support the scholarship, artistry, & practice of those who explore and engage the sacred feminine through study and creativity. Offering keynote presentations at this year’s conference are Dr. Elinor Gadon, Dr. Margaret Bruchac, and Dr. Lucia Ciavola Birnbaum.

On Friday night, there will be a plenary session and book-signing moderated by Miriam Robbins Dexter and Vicki Noble and featuring Max Dashu, Starr Goode, Mama Donna Henes, Donna Read, Genevieve Vaughan, Cristina Biaggi, Lydia Ruyle, Miranda Shaw, Elinor Gadon, and Susun Weed. They will be sharing stories from the anthology, Foremothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement: Elders and Visionaries. FAR contributor Carol P. Christ has a chapter in the book.

FAR is excited to share that three of our contributors are on this year’s conference schedule!

Nancy Vedder-Shults will be joining the “Artists, Activists, & Scientists and the Lineage of the Goddess” panel with her presentation, Science and Divination: The Blurring Lines between the Secular and the Sacred. 

Jill Hammer will present The King and the Priestess: Mythic Motifs and Motives in the Tale of Judah and Tamar as part of the “Male-Female Relationships in the Hebrew Texts: Three Feminist Analyses” panel.

Kate Brunner will be participating in the “Women’s Spirituality, Transformative Scholarship and Personal Quest” panel with Rhiannon, Great Queen of the Mabinogi: Ancient Mythology in Modern Context. She will also be offering her meditative writing workshop, Becoming Branwen the Peaceweaver. 

In addition to the main conference, there will be a Matriarchal Studies Day seminar and celebration, in the same location the day before (31 Mar). Hosted by Vicki Noble and Lydia Ruyle, the program looks to be a great addition to the weekend. Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth, founder of Modern Matriarchal Studies will present via Skype. Other presenters will include Max Dashu, Polly Wood, Beverly Little Thunder, and Genevieve Vaughan, exploring woman-centered arts, themes of motherhood, and the gift economy. There will be a keynote presentation by Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, and evening entertainment by folksinger, Julie Felix.

For registration information & more conference details, see the ASWM 2016 Conference blog.

Feminism & Religion Project contributors past, present, & future interested in connecting with FAR at the conference, are encouraged to get in touch with Kate Brunner at feminismandreligionblog@gmail.com. If there is enough interest, we may be able to organize meeting up for a meal together some time during the weekend.

Gratitudes: A Community Sharing by Kate Brunner

thanksgiving-cornucopia-700x525Thanksgiving is a holiday that generates much in America– deep desire to connect with loved ones for some & emotional upheaval of turbulent family dynamics for others, celebrations of our bright American heritage & continued discussions of the dark truths that heritage also contains, roast turkey with all the trimmings & tofurky with beautiful raw salads. How we all choose to engage or not engage this day in this nation varies just as much as we do, reflecting a diversity that has the potential to be a strength for this country instead the roots of our downfall.

How we all listen deeply to each other’s experiences can bring us together again. The potential for healing that lies within all of us is something I am grateful for when I survey the struggles we must face as we move deeper into this century as a nation.

Today, I invite the FAR community- project weavers, editors, contributors, & readers- to share from your heart what you are most grateful for in this nation today. Share how you will be celebrating your gratitudes, if you would like. And share your hopes for us all in the years to come.

Then listen deeply to others who respond, even if their experiences seem completely unfamiliar to you or their words challenge you as you read them. On this Thanksgiving, in this space, help me to create a diverse community sharing that can strengthen us in our celebration, as well as, unite us & fortify us in the work to come.

Blessings from a grateful heart for this, our beloved FAR community.


Kate Brunner is a writer, healer, ritualist, & member of The Sisterhood of Avalon, studying at the Avalonian Thealogical Seminary. She is a somewhat nomadic American, homeschooling her children with the world as their classroom. She holds a BA from Tulane University, where she studied Economics, International Relations, & Religious Traditions. Kate volunteered as a presenter for monthly Red Tents and semi-annual women’s retreats before relocating overseas for several years where she hosted seasonal women’s gatherings, facilitated labyrinth rituals, and led workshops on an assortment of women’s spirituality topics. She recently returned to the US and is breathing into the potential of this new chapter of her life.

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