KATHE SCHAAF, M.A., M.F.T.

KATHE SCHAAF, M.A., M.F.T.

World-Renowned Author and Feminine Leadership/Spirituality Expert
What is the Divine Feminine? An In-Depth Discussion

Video Transcript

Jessica: [00:00:01] All right. Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us on this beautiful Friday. My name is Jessica, from women’s wellness brand Leiamoon. We’ve been interviewing experts from many different backgrounds to contribute to the discussion of intuitive feminine wisdom, healing and empowerment. So if you have any thoughts to share or questions during this broadcast, feel free to message in the comments and we’ll include your thoughts during or towards the end of our conversation.

[00:00:28] Today, I’ll be interviewing the amazing Kathe Schaaf. Kathe is co-author of the award-winning book, Women’s Spirituality and Transformative Leadership and co-founder of Women of Spirit and Faith. Women of Spirit and Faith is a group of diverse intergenerational leaders, who convene gatherings and hosts conversations to invoke the sacred knowing of women in community exploring the edges of emerging spiritual leadership. This is such a pertinent topic at this time of transforming the world. So Kathe we’re very thrilled to have you here. Thanks for joining us.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:01:05] Thank you for inviting me. I’m delighted.

Jessica: [00:01:08] It’s really great to see your face. We’ve been emailing quite a bit. So as an introduction maybe you could just tell us a bit more about your background and how you came to establish the organization, Women of Spirit and Faith.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:01:24] I think I need to back up one step before that, because in many ways there was already a path that had led me. It began on 9/11 when I heard a voice, very distinctly as I watched the second tower fall that morning on my television here in California. I heard a voice that said, this kind of thing would never happen in a world where the voices of women were heard. That was a wakeup call for me and I really began immediately, like literally that day, to explore issues related to women’s empowerment, voices and leadership. In 2002, that led to the formation of an organization called Gather the Women, which is still alive and thriving today. It’s our organic, self-organizing community of women that’s global and that has the purpose of inviting women to come into circle to speak their wisdom and to grow in their own leadership and knowing in that way. I was with Gather the Women for many years and in 2007, heard another voice that said that there’s something new that is coming for you, but there’s no room for it in your life right now because Gather the Women is taking up all the space in your life. And so I extracted myself very gently, slowly and lovingly from Gather the Women and remain in loving relationship with a lot of those women and just remain open to what might want to come. In 2009 Women of Spirit and Faith was born. It was born at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne Australia where I went with a group of women to do a workshop on the Divine Feminine. It was at that gathering in a conversation with a Buddhist nun named [00:03:48] Woshean, [0.0] that we began talking about the fact that we were aware that the languaging that they use to invite people to come to the Parliament, invited women who were already affiliated strongly with a religion of some kind. Those religions were very diverse: Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, Urantia, native American traditions, pagan traditions. But we were also aware that there was this large community of women and I was part of that community, who no longer identified with any single religion. They lived in the cracks in between those religions and their spiritual practices were made up of practices that they had woven together from many different spiritual traditions. So, our curiosity was, what might happen if you invited those two rivers of women to co-mingle: women who were strongly identified with a religion and women who were at that time, being identified as the ‘nones’, which is n-o-n-e-s, having no religion. I disagree with that characterization. I don’t think of myself as a none. I think of myself more as an ‘all’. I see the commonality among all the world’s religions. And so, Women of Spirit and Faith was born in 2009, initially with that curiosity, what happens if we bring those two communities of women together and they begin to learn from one another and cross pollinate.

Jessica: [00:05:54] Amazing. I want to touch on something you did mention initially when you first got this intuitive calling of gathering the women during the events of 9/11. What about that event made you feel that this never would have happened if women had a voice in the ways of the world?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:06:16] I can’t even answer that. It was just a deep intuitive knowing. There is a way that for more than 5000 years now, the voices of women have not been heard. They have not been heard in places of power. They have not been heard in religious structures and hierarchies. They have not been heard in academia, in business. Their voices were silenced long ago and that whole wisdom tradition of the feminine and particularly the Divine Feminine has been missing. There’s a wonderful feisty Benedictine nun named Joan Chittister who writes in our book, who describes that as ‘humanity is a bird with only one wing and it can never fly, until that second wing is restored.’ So I had a sense of that. But that deep knowing was really awakened that day, because there was a moment there in the aftermath of 9/11, when the United States had cracked open the heart of the whole world with our grief. Something magical, powerful, transformative, healing could have happened in that space that was created. Instead, we went to war, again, as we have done so many thousands and thousands of times, all over the world, again and again. I think that pattern can only be changed when the voices of women, the wisdom of women and women’s passion for nurturing community is woven into our global leadership pattern again.

Jessica: [00:08:57] That kind of brings me to that point in your book, where you talk about power and redefining power as, power with, versus power over. And perhaps the power over sentiment is what drives us to try and solve or resolve problems through war and domination and how the Women of Spirit and Faith and how Divine Feminine as a concept is beginning to reframe this term, power and kind of unpacking why that’s so important.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:09:33] Yes, Women of Spirit and Faith from day one, has been continuous experiment in shared leadership, horizontal, circular, leadership. We have no president. We have no executive director. We make all of our decisions in circle and we do that through relationship, deep listening, sitting still and doing nothing, when we’re not sure what to do next. We’ve grown comfortable with not knowing the answers and with waiting until we are sure about our next step. That is a completely different model of power and leadership. What we have found is that our power collectively, when we share that power equally and we surrender to the mystery that lays at the center of our circle, that is when we make decisions, craft projects, anchor gatherings that end up being truly powerful and transformative. There’s something new that’s created in the center of that circle and that’s what we need more of.

Jessica: [00:11:26] I think it’s very interesting too, to touch on those spaces of silence or of surrendering to an unknowing, maybe in the more cerebral sense, when you’re trying to problem solve together and allowing for that space to really listen and feel more into getting these calls, downloads or intuition. But creating space to be able to have that connection seems really important and also seems really intuitive to women, when they do gather together in circle. Even in that geometric formation, immediately elicits that type of process.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:12:03] Yes

Jessica: [00:12:04] And I think that’s very much related to how you’re defining the Divine Feminine. So perhaps we can speak more to that piece of bringing in the divine aspect into understanding our nature and how to become leaders or powerful people in the world, with strong voices.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:12:25] Yes. I believe that the most important thing that has been missing, has been invisible, she’s always been here, but she’s been driven underground, I mean literally driven underground, is the Divine Feminine and that the possibility that women carry within them, a divine spark. When in the Abrahamic faiths, God is always languaged as masculine, is always referred to as Father, son, he or him and never with a feminine reference. There are a lot of men, good wonderful well-intentioned, heart centered, open spirited men, who have told me, “Well, that’s just for convenience. We all know that God isn’t a man.” But you cannot underestimate the impact of 2000 years of that kind of languaging, on girls and women who feel somehow further away from God, because they are not a he, him, father or son.

[00:13:56] So reclaiming our sacred leadership, spark of divinity, spiritual authority as women, is really difficult I think and it’s subtle, subversive and it’s really important. I grew up in a Wisconsin centered Lutheran Church which is a very conservative Christian place. And God was an angry God. The dominant theme of my childhood in that church was, God forgive me, a poor miserable sinner, when in my heart, I knew a god that was very different, a God that was loving and welcoming. And it wasn’t until I was in my 50s that I began to hear women talk about God as She. I have a friend Meredith Tenney. I’ll never forget the first day that Meredith was telling me a story about how she tried to do something that she thought was a divine assignment and she thought she’d failed at it. She went outside and she sat down on a bench and she said, “Well Mom, another failed assignment.” And that day was a game changer for me, because I realized that I wanted that Mom. I wanted a God that I could come to and say, “I failed Mom” and I could crawl up in her lap and she would still love me. That was so powerful for me and I have been curled up in the lap of that mother ever since. It has changed everything for me. She is available to all of us, to men and to women, that nurturing, unconditionally loving mother and we all need her desperately.

Jessica: [00:16:20] Thank you very much. So in practice then, in terms of connecting with her or having more of an open conversation with the divine, what are some ways that you would recommend someone connecting in this way, that’s been so conditioned towards the more masculine God, in the more traditional sense?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:16:42] Well, on your own, in your own private time and private space, you can begin talking to her. You can find whatever words feel comfortable to you, but you can try using she and her to talk about God, in your small circles where it’s safe and feels comfortable and by yourself. In your own meditation and prayer, you can begin to visualize her as a woman. You can do art. I’ve done about fifty paintings, one of them is on the easel behind me, that are all explorations of the Divine Feminine. They come to me in dreams and in moments of inspiration or I’ll see an image in my mind’s eye. Then I go to my canvas and try to recreate it. You can go to nature, she’s in nature everywhere. Just sit still in nature and connect with her energies, voices, messages. You can go to the ocean, one of my favorite practices, because I can walk to the ocean from my house. I go down and I build altars from stone and sticks, right along the shoreline where the rising tide is going to swallow them. They are my gifts and offerings to her and I say prayers as I build these altars. You can write poetry to her. There are all kinds of ways but it’s mainly listening to what feels most comfortable for you today, as a way to enter into communion, community, connection, relationship with the Divine Feminine. As you do that, step by step you’ll get more comfortable. I got to the point where I was deeply immersed in the Divine Feminine, in the work I was doing with Gather the Women and Women of Spirit and Faith and I was still raising my children in a traditional church. I would sing the hymns and I would sing out loud, she instead of he. People would turn and look at me, like what did you just say. And it was like, I’m sorry but I have to do this. This is what feels authentic for me.

Jessica: [00:19:27] Yes, I think that’s the big point too. It’s a feeling, what feels authentic for you and that is in your creativity. So making art and being out in nature, that’s when you’re more in tune, it seems, with your intuitive selves, versus reading the scripture and sort of following the rules and letting that inner voice retreat somewhere else, while you just stay in your more, [00:19:53] tentacle [0.1] mode, I guess it really is. So I think that makes a lot of sense to me. I’m curious too, in your group Women of Spirit and Faith, because you talk about that being two streams threading together, one Women of Spirit and one Women of Faith. I was wondering if there’s any conflict between a woman who is more towards the women of faith side, that might be following a religious background a little bit more strictly and starting to break out and invite in the Divine Feminine, which is part of religion for sure too. But I’m wondering if there’s ever that feeling of betraying a certain piece of themselves by calling the Divine Feminine.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:20:37] I think that there is a tension that exists within the church itself and there is a tension that can exist within the individual. But what we have seen now, beginning in 2009 at that Parliament in Melbourne where Women of Spirit and Faith was born, the Divine Feminine was the rock star of that parliament. There were events on the Divine Feminine that were so well attended that they had to move them to bigger rooms, because the 200 person room where they had set up this workshop, wasn’t going to hold the 500 hundred people who were standing out in the hallway waiting to get in. So there was evidence at that parliament of a hunger for the Divine Feminine and it was coming from a lot of women and men who are in traditional religions but are hungry for bringing balance within those religions. One of the things that’s begun to happen now, is that the non-canonical Gospels, these ancient texts that have been discovered in the desert, the nag Hammadi documents and others, have introduced us to gospels that are not in the Bible. They were edited out of the Bible in the fourth century by the Nicaea Council. It was determined, we don’t need these, they’re not right. But many of them reference Mary Magdalene and other women as being central characters in Christ’s story, people who walk side by side with him, preached side by side with him and with John the Baptist. Women were major figures in early Christianity. They were co-leaders in those early days and that tradition is beginning to seep back in to Christianity, in many different ways.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:23:06] My friend Kay Lindahl, the co-creator of Women of Spirit and Faith, the co-editor of that book with me, is deeply rooted in her Episcopal faith. She sees herself as building a bridge between the traditional understanding of the Gospels and these new gospels that are now being explored and discovered and she has begun bringing those gospels into her church and finding curiosity, hunger, concern and fear of knowing if that means [they] have to give up what [they] have understood, studied, learned and revered for [their] entire life. Divine Feminine answer to that would be, absolutely not. Nobody has to give up anything. There’s space here for the both and. That is always her answer.

Jessica: [00:24:20] That makes so much sense and it is such an expansive time too, so to stay boxed into something that was written thousands of years ago, that was part of a story that’s ever evolving, just as we as humanity are ever evolving, we as a consciousness are ever evolving. So these new downloads, messages and energetic pulls towards the other or something that we need to sort of rebalance, which really has been this concept of Divine Feminine. Not even the concept, the reality that’s always [00:24:53] listed [0.5] that’s been pushed underground as you mentioned. We’re starting to feel that real need and desire to call that back into the way that we interpret the world and create in the world. So I think it makes sense for us to have the attitude of openness, rather than clinging to and feeling fearful, which is understandable, because it is a new concept for so many, yet it’s super ancient and ingrained in our own personal space too.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:25:24] Yes

Jessica: [00:25:27] It’s really fascinating. I think the work that you’re doing with Women of Spirit and Faith is bridging that and it’s an invitation really, to all come together and recognize this force that we need to draw more attention to and allow that to happen. So I think that makes so much sense.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:25:46] Well, what draws us together is our concern for the future, our children, the next seven generations, our planet, the animals and the species that are dying off at the rate of hundreds a day. That’s what is motivating women and driving women and they come from all different directions, with different kinds of belief systems, but they want to serve, they want to help. And, one of the things that we say in this book, we use [00:26:25] Meg Weekly’s [0.9] definition of leadership, ‘a leader is anyone who’s willing to help’. By that definition, millions of women are leaders on this planet right now.

Jessica: [00:26:42] That’s very true. Also, you talk in your book about one of the pillars of Women of Spirit and Faith, is self-care and how that’s an integral piece to honing in and amping up our power and leadership skills as women. Can you elaborate a bit more about that, the importance of self-care?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:27:07] Well, I don’t know anyone really who would argue that women carry a lot every day on their shoulders. They multitask, carry the role often of wife, mother, sister, career and then the service, this call to service, whether that manifests locally in their own communities, at their children’s school, at their church or they are helping. They’re always helping. They’re always taking care of others and they do that really well. But often they do it at the expense of their own energy, self-care and well-being. The same way the airlines tell us every time, “put on your own oxygen mask first and then help the people around you”, women need to replenish themselves. They need to fill their own tank, with whatever does that for them. Whether that’s walks in nature, chocolate, I love dark chocolate. It’s a very important part of Women of Spirit and Faith. It’s always on our altar when we gather, it’s in the center of our circle. Whatever [self-care] means to you, whatever you can sense intuitively that you are missing in your own soul, hearts, body, you need to do that for yourself. You need to carve out that time to nurture yourself in that way, because the odds are, none of the people in your life are going to do it for you and you need to make it a priority and it’s not self-indulgence. One of the things that we acknowledged right away, is that the demands on women and women’s lives, are such that they get pulled away from the circle from time to time, because there’s a death or birth in the family, there’s a crisis in the family or the community and then they come back. So, our organization is this living, breathing, organism of women who step out for a while, to give birth and breastfeed for two years and then they come back when they can. When they come back, they’re a different person for that experience, enrichment and that learning that they’ve had and what they’ve tapped into through that experience. So, our organization thinks of itself more as an organism than as an organization. That always makes me smile when I say that because one of my friends, every time she would try to quote me on that, would end up saying orgasm instead of organism. And she was a feisty juicy elder in our midst, and it happened every time. But there is a relationship there because that ecstasy, release [and] intense connection with your own sexuality that is an important part of that nurturing, as you well know.

Jessica: [00:31:12] Yes. That’s such an interesting point about self-care and self-love and how no one else would be able to do that for you, but yourself and carving out space to be able to give to yourself in that way is also part of your connecting with the Divine Feminine within yourself, I think. Because I think even when you were talking too about hearing the call or being connected to the intuitive voice, sometimes when we do retreat to take care of ourselves, is when we can hear that the loudest. So it always ends up serving us in our more active, outward facing self life to really make that space to care deeply for ourselves. We’re usually alerted pretty quickly when we don’t do that. We get injured or we get really sick. There’s always something in our body that will tell us, “Hey, you waited too long, it’s time to do this thing now.”

Kathe Schaaf: [00:32:12] Yes absolutely.

Jessica: [00:32:17] So as you know, as I mentioned on our pre-interview, we’ve been researching the benefits of vaginal steaming, which is an ancient feminine self-care practice with physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. I’m curious if you’ve heard of this practice before and what you think of it.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:32:34] Well I hadn’t heard of it before until you contacted me and so I read about [vaginal steaming] and I think that’s wonderful. I think any time that we can reach back and pull forward into our current lives and time, ancient wisdom [and] practices that were multi-dimensional [and] have physical, emotional and spiritual benefits, and it restores wholeness to the feminine. So I applaud your work with this and I wish you all the best. And I love the way it interrelate. When we create a circle, we create a space. It’s a womb space and things are born in that sacred space. So the idea of treating [the vagina] as sacred by cleansing and nurturing it with steam, makes perfect sense to me.

Jessica: [00:33:57] I’m glad to hear this. I would love to get you to try it someday. I felt the same way. We’re just learning that this is an ancient feminine ritual and it’s rooted in so many different cultures all over the world. That means it must have been intuited somehow, because they’re geographically unrelated places that we’ve researched, that had this tradition as part of their history. So I think that it’s really interesting to uncover these practices and use our voices to share their benefits once again, as ancient feminine healing wisdom. So I’m glad to hear that. It really does align with activating the Divine Feminine and tuning into that voice and self-care and it has a lot of physical benefits as well. But I think those core conceptual benefits are the most fascinating ones and the most needed. I think too, even talking more about meditation, because I know you speak to that a bit. Do you think having a regular time for grounding meditation with the womb space, to develop this deeper connection to the Divine Feminine, is an important practice to have regularly, kind of as you go to church every Sunday or something that’s more of a ritual? Why do you think cultivating that connection within yourself and with the Divine is important for women?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:35:31] Well obviously we live in a world that the demands for our attention have ratcheted up. When I compare my childhood and what it was like growing up in the early 1950s in Wisconsin, with what my children’s lives are, where they’re constantly in connection with the world with their devices. My computer just dinged at me and let me know that a message came in, just in time to remind me that the world is out there and its barking at me all the time. It more important than ever to carve out time and space for silence and to just close your eyes and focus on your breath and be in silence. And some people call it meditation. That word scares some people. It’s one of the things that we learned at Women of Spirit and Faith early on. When we do one of our gatherings, we always work with questions. We’ve learned that we develop clusters of questions where we ask the same question in three different ways, because the first way, we’ll turn off 40% of the people in our audience, the second way we’ll turn off 20% and everybody hears words differently. I think that a lot of people get scared by this word meditation, like it’s some sort of strict thing, you have to do it a certain way and it sounds intimidating. But to just have a daily practice of going somewhere and being silent for however long, you can do that. We begin every one of our conference calls with two minutes of silence, rung in and out by a bell, so that we all get centered and grounded together on that call. We have that time to sync into space together. We do that on our zoom and telephone conference calls, and when we gather together in person. We incorporate silence into everything that we do because there is a way, I think, that people are afraid of silence. They are afraid they’re wasting time because there’s all kinds of thoughts nibbling away at their brain. But there’s nothing more important right now, than taking a moment to be with yourself, honor yourself and to honor the Divine, however you understand that, whatever that means to you and express your gratitude.

Jessica: [00:38:43] Something else you talk about too is, how do we stand for the greatness in each other, as another aspect of female empowerment and development of feminine leadership in the world. Can you define what that means and how we do that as well?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:39:04] One of the byproducts of the suppression of feminine voices, wisdom and leadership was a competitiveness that grew up in the community of women, where there was a scarcity mentality, there wasn’t enough to go around, so we competed with one another. I had the opportunity several times, to visit Istanbul and the haram quarters at the Palace. You can feel the competitiveness within those walls, of those women who were literally confined behind walls for the pleasure of man. The competitiveness for who is going to get the jewelry, the money, who was going to get chosen, who is going to give birth to the son. All of that culture is overlaid on all of us. It’s in our DNA somewhere. So the most important thing we need to do is lift one another up, to cheer our sisters and celebrate their successes. There is more than enough to go around, and we stand for the greatness of each other. That is essential going forward, that we celebrate each other.

Jessica: [00:40:54] Like the voice of the Divine Feminine, in order for that voice to become more powerful in the world, we as women become louder when we’re supporting each other and when we see another that is in need of that lifting up, because they don’t necessarily have the confidence because they’ve been living in a hyper-competitive world and made to think that they’re not good enough and not perfect enough, that it’s our responsibility, in a sense, to empower each other and see the greatness in each of us as much as we see it in ourselves. That seems like a super important concept and I really do feel like that is happening amongst women now. I’m having a great time as a result of that, so I hope everyone else is feeling that too and that we continue to do that for each other and for the men also. But I think it starts with us.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:41:53] I believe that. I also believe that there’s something much bigger at work, because what we’re beginning to model is an alternative to patriarchy and a hierarchical system that oppresses a lot of people for the benefit of a few at the top. When we began to model a more egalitarian, compassionate form of community, we begin to create the new and offer people alternatives. We’ve seen a lot of women’s organizations [which] form with wonderful goals and then they proceed to operate exactly the way the patriarchal world has always operated. They use Robert’s Rules of Order at their meeting. They have a president at the top. They have an executive committee. There’s all kinds of competitiveness and talking behind people’s backs: a very dysfunctional masculine model. It’s an opportunity for women, women’s groups and organizations to throw all those rules out the window and sit in a circle and say, “How do we want this to be? What kind of culture do we want to create here?” We can write any rules we want to write, or we can have no rules. Every time a group of women come together and begin to function in that way, new possibilities are seeded in the world that can that get communicated like dandelion puffs. They blow around and they land somewhere where you’d never expect. They take root and they communicate new ideas. So, that’s the other powerful potential that women are holding right now, not just to lead, but to lead differently. To lead from their hearts, to lead with compassion. To listen to one another [and] their own inner voices and to listen to the divine.

Jessica: [00:44:45] That’s really such a beautiful way to put it too, because I think a lot of women and people out there are generally really complaining about the way things are right now, saying, “Oh, the system is corrupt. I don’t get to do this, I don’t get to do that. I don’t like the way this feels”. But we can spend so much energy in that space. But there are so many opportunities in this moment to just be the change and start to join groups that are behaving in kin to the Divine Feminine and start to make these practices part of your own personal daily life, rather than focusing on thinking someone else is going to have to make this change for you to be able to live in it. You just think of living it, and as you say, those seeds begin to spread and you connect and collaborate with more people that are super attracted to that shift in consciousness and then it becomes a reality. So rather than waiting for the president of the United States to change things, there are amazing groups out there right now that are just growing and growing in numbers and we start to shift them where the spotlight really is. Really ultimately, we’re all in control of our own reality in that way, which is super exciting.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:46:04] Exactly. Kay Lindahl and I wrote a blog a month ago or so on our website, where we talked about the Women’s March that’s going to happen on January 19 in Washington and then all over the world probably again. We talked about the fact that, let’s not show up to protest. Let’s not show up to be angry. Let’s not show up to beat against the walls of the patriarchy. Let’s show up and show the world what a new model of feminine leadership looks, sounds and feels like and be creative, silent and spiritual and just create a new image of what feminine leadership looks like. It doesn’t look like this. It has a lot of different faces. Let’s show all those other faces, the faces of potential new ways of doing things, new ways of leading, new practices that will heal the world from the bottom up, from the grassroots up.

Jessica: [00:47:25] So as Women of Spirit and Faith, will you be at the Women’s March as an organization or is this…?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:47:33] Individually we will be, but we’re not telling anybody where to go or what to do. That is not our style.

Jessica: [00:47:43] You’re arming everyone with picket signs.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:47:43] We come with curiosity to say, “What are you going to do? I want to hear about it and affirm everybody’s individual choices to march or not to march and where they march and how they march and what their sign says.

Jessica: [00:48:04] I just love this idea though, of everyone showing up there with the intention of modeling the Divine Feminine, rather than of angry women beating down the doorsteps. I think that’s great. And it would be awesome to be able to spread that message to everyone.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:48:23] That’s how the change will happen. We’re seeing it all around us. Those rigid old systems are crumbling, they are imploding and collapsing on each other and it’s creating a lot of chaos, fear, discomfort and anxiety for a lot of people. There are a lot of women who can offer an antidote to that and a space to exhale, be heard and valued. You can just feel the difference of that energy than somehow feeling like it’s your responsibility to tear down those walls. Years ago I heard a quote attributed to Buckminster Fuller. Now I love Bucky Fuller and I love so many things that he said. I’ve never been able to find any proof that he said this, but I hope he did, because I love it. It’s, ‘don’t worry about killing off the dinosaurs. Go build yourself a gazelle’. That’s what I think the women are doing. They are building flocks and flocks of gazelles; herds of them, billions of them and they’re all different shapes and sizes and they’re all over the world and creating alternatives, while the dinosaurs tail flails about wildly in its death throws.

Jessica: [00:50:21] That is a great image. I love it. I think that really is the way forward, to just start to be and create the reality, that is taking on more of the Divine Feminine aspects of life and it’s all around us and every living breathing thing. So it’s not something that we’re even inventing out of nowhere.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:50:46] No, she’s always been here. Years ago I was at a Gather the Women event in Seattle, this was probably in 2006 or so, and a young woman who was there told us about a vision that she had had. In that vision she was in [the] deep woods and she came upon this ancient massive tree and there was an opening at the base of the tree and she crawled in this opening. There tangled in the roots of the tree, was the Divine Mother and she was depleted. She was worn out and she was alone. She picked her up and she carried her out of that cavern and as she emerged onto the surface of the earth, she saw women coming from all directions, millions and millions of women. Each one of them carried a piece of her and we are all together remembering her and we each carry our piece. You carry your piece with vaginal steaming, women’s sexuality and health and reconnecting women with their bodies. I carry my peace with Women of Spirit and Faith. Millions of other women carry their piece and that’s what’s so exciting.

Jessica: [00:52:42] Very exciting. Lastly, I’m curious how our audience can get in touch and involved with your organization, Women of Spirit and Faith. Is it a close group of people?

Kathe Schaaf: [00:52:55] We are not a closed group but at the same time we’re not a traditional kind of organization in a lot of ways. We don’t have a membership, but we have a website www.womenofspiritandfaith.org. On that website you can sign up for our newsletter, you can subscribe to our newsletter. It comes out roughly every four to six weeks. That newsletter keeps you up to date on any new initiatives that we’re interested in, new events that we’re hosting, co-hosting or collaborating with people on, any great new resources we’ve become aware of. Our website in and of itself has a lot of resources about how to do local circles, how to get connected with other organizations that do circle work. In the past week we’ve had we’ve anchored some larger gatherings, we’ve called them Alchemy Conferences. We had one in 2011 and 2014. In 2015 we were involved with the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City and with hosting a pre-Parliament event for women there. Right now, we don’t have any large gatherings on the calendar, although we had a core circle call just this past week, where the seeds of our next one may have drifted into our consciousness. But we don’t have any kind of timeline for that. I would say it might be 2020 actually before that actually takes form. But yes, you’re welcome to come and look around. You can get in contact with us there, through our womenofspiritandfaith@gmail.com email address.

Jessica: [00:55:13] Kathe, thank you very much. I’ll be sure to stay in touch that’s for sure.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:55:17] Oh absolutely.

Jessica: [00:55:18] This has been such a pleasure. I really appreciate your time, wisdom and all that you’ve share, always. I look forward to being connected and to sharing more of this with more people that are connected with us that way. So thank you again so very much.

Kathe Schaaf: [00:55:35] Oh it’s been delightful. Thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed every minute and I can’t wait for more.

Jessica: [00:55:42] Thank you everyone for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.