It seems to me that today’s world has a desperate need for “change-makers,” the kind who have spiritual strength and focus. Can we see ourselves in that role? If so, we need to dedicate ourselves to a life-path filled with practices that build up, enhance and release our innate capacities for love and beauty, peace and harmony, justice and joy, awe and mystery. In this way we are connected to the great “sacred spirit” of the universes.
Even though there has been regression in our national leadership and recent policies, our lives can be filled with hope through spiritual experiences. We find this in the breath of the seasons of the earth. Locally we have gone far too long without the seasonal rains, yet the Goddess is still prodding nature to blossom, green and grow.
It is as if every page of Gaia’s coloring book is being filled in and coming alive. This is the greening power that Hildegard von Bingen often wrote and sang about. The “Goddess” isn’t creating and ruling the world, the universes — She is the world, the universes. We don’t believe in the Goddess so much as experience her in our lives.
The Soul is Breath
by Hildegard von Bingen
The soul is the breath of the living spirit
that with excellent sensitivity,
permeates the entire body to give it life.
the breath of air makes the earth fruitful,
Thus the air is the soul of the earth,
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a remarkable woman, a “first” in many fields. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as “Sybil of the Rhine”, produced major works of theology, visionary writings as well as medical and science texts. When few women were given respect, she was consulted by bishops, popes, and kings.
Hildegard used the curative powers of natural things for healing and wrote treatises about natural history and the medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She is the first composer whose biography is known, and she founded a vibrant convent where her musical plays were performed.
Revival of interest in this extraordinary woman of the Middle Ages was initiated by musicologists and historians of science and religion. Hildegard’s visions and her music continue to be performed and reinterpreted in many new artistic venues. Her story is one of a resilient spirit and vivacious intellect overcoming social, cultural, and gender barriers to achieve timeless transcendence.
May these photographic images invite you to become a sister of Hildegard, further exploring the beauty of nature and the possibilities of the human spirit in ourselves and others. Together, may we be a force that will change the course of human history, helping the greening process of a world in need of new life and hope. Blessed She!