There are those whose gifts bring us a torch to light the way.

We've invited some wonderful women from around the world to offer their skills, gifts and life experience to the topics we're exploring during Feminine Eldership Rising. We are so grateful they've agreed to join us for this journey. 


CHRISTINA BALDWIN: USA

Christina Baldwin, has spent her life as a global teacher of storytelling, story writing, and communication-based activism. Christina is the author of seven books, including The Circle Way, a Leader in Every Chair, Storycatcher, Making Sense of our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story, and Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice. She has taught across North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa, offered online courses and keynoted at numerous conferences. She is an edge-walker, braiding spiritual seeking and meaning-making with the challenges of life purpose and work. Beyond her books, her most significant contributions over the decades have often occurred one-small-group-at-a-time. She teaches a legacy seminar, “The Self as the Source of the Story,” guiding people to work the core narratives of their lives into art.  She blogs on her website: www.peerspirit.com and is writing a novel.


CHENÉ SWART: South Africa

"Because the best kept secret in our world is that humans beings are meaningmakers and storymakers, I work in creating spaces and gatherings that nourish moments we want more of and give us the opportunity to separate from moments we want less of. As we do, something shifts in what we take for granted, and the way things are in the world, and especially for women and for those who identify as elders."

I am Chené Swart, greetings from South Africa! As a child of this soil, I am gripped by the gifts of narratives, human connectedness, diversity, moving through and transformation that inspired my audaciously titled book, Re-authoring the World! As a trained Narrative Therapist, I have been translating these ideas and practices with organisations, communities and individuals from various cultures and contexts. I stand on the shoulders of local and international partnerships that have deepened and widened the work with me. For the last 20 years I have been exploring how we can take back the pen and re-author with dignity and beauty our human presence in this world. The work I bring is an offering to change and challenge the way we look so that we can see and do differently in our relatedness with ourselves, one another and the world. I belief strongly that “the way things are” can be challenged, re-authored and transformed.  https://transformations.co.za 

DOVIE THOMASON: USA

For the good of the people, for the good of the land, Dovie Thomason is a gifted weaver of words.  Her stories are a celebration of her indigenous upbringing - honoring those who came before, those with whom we share the land, sea and sky and those who are our future.  With wisdom and wit, her stories remind us of the vital relationships between all beings. Her genre-breaking work has reached thousands of humans around the globe.  On stage, her passion, curiosity and playfulness are evident, as is her dedication to “restorying” the lesser-told histories of indigenous experience. 



QUANITA ROBERSON: USA

“We think we can grieve alone but grief requires community, you will never go all the way to the depths of your grief if you don’t have someone holding space for you because we are all afraid that we will drown in it. One of the biggest misconceptions we have about grief is the belief that we all grieve differently. I don’t believe this to be true I think we all avoid grief differently and this story helps us to do that.

Hello, I am Quanita, I am a dark skinned Black woman born and raised on the Ohio side of the Ohio River, a place where my ancestors crossed in search of freedom. I believe that one important doorway to freedom is grief. Grief and joy are bound together they never come alone. When we have access to one we get access to the other. According to the Dagara Medicine Wheel from West Africa I am a Water Spirit and the medicine I bring to the world is the medicine of the water, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace making and the emotions. I often joke that my job is to travel the planet and make people cry. I have experienced time and time again the moment after grief, joy rushing in.  www.nzuzu.com

BARBARA MCAFFE: USA

Invited.


JAQUELINE BENNDORF: Uruguay/New Zealand

"As a child I experienced sexual abuse, emotional neglect and abandonment. As an adult the death of my 5 year old son, divorce and more. Through all of this I have always known that I needed to transform traumatic experiences into healing my heart and help others. It has been a lifelong journey."

Originally from Uruguay, Jaqueline has lived in beautiful New Zealand for the past 35 years. She is a psychotherapist, coach, artist, mother and grandmother.  She has trained in three different holistic modalities and has  spent her life searching for tools to bridge spirituality, healing, and science for her own journey as well as for those she has and is working with. Anger, grief, fear and anxiety have been at the core of these drivers and a deep commitment to healing herself and facilitating this in others . By  learning and sharing these resources,  her passion is to provide a space to free ourselves from our own limitations and to live a more multidimensional human experience. Her ongoing vision is to share this  journey with other women and invite them  to travel with her through an inspiring  collaborative process. She loves working with groups of women. She is a student of Dr.Joe Dispenza's teachings and has witnessed and experienced the profound changes this has brought into her life and those around her.

MAAIANNE KNUTH: Zimbabwe

Invited.

VANESSA REID: Canada

 

Invited.



ANGELA FARMER: UK/Greece

 

Invited.

MARIA BAKARI: Greece

The calling to join this beautiful invitation through the Feminine Eldership Rising finds me honored and humbled. I am responding to it with an offering which derives from magical realm of Mythology, what Joseph Campbell named as “the Homeland of the Muses”**, a timeless heritage that is an ever-guiding torch. This offering to you all is articulated with the Quest-ion: “What is the Life and Service of a Muse in our Shifting World?”

“Elsewhere they called you Judith, here they call you Maria”* …Sings a Greek sea-song and from “here”, the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, Greece, I, with this name, I greet you! I am weaving threads of arts, words, stories, energy to create textures of unity and connection. Springboards of inspiration and holding grounds of resilience. My work and contribution to the World vibrates though these webs: www.synergy-rhodes.comwww.nextstage.worldwww.storiesofthenewearth.weebly.com

*  (Song title: “Woman”, Poetry by Nikos Kavvadias, Music by Thanos Mikroutsikos)

** “I think of Mythology as the Homeland of the Muses, the inspirers of Art, the Inspirers of Poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.” ~ Joseph Campbell


PELE ROUGE CHADIMA: USA

Invited.


LONE MØRCH: Denmark

"A creative, spiritual soul, I grew up with a deep connection to the land and the animals, but I was also born with a fire in my belly. Keenly aware of the power structures inherent in my family and society, I set out to create a life on my own, one defined by freedom. Freedom of body, mind and spirit is a necessity for not only our soul's well-being, but also for our ability to shape our world. Because the the way we perceive and describe our world, influences how we act in it. Today, I feel called to nurture our soul and connection to nature and cultivate our courage to reimagine ourselves and the way we live from a holistic perspective."

Hello, I'm Lone Morch. An award-winning author, photographic storyteller and nature therapist, my work springs from the fertile soil of art, body, nature, narrative and change. A Danish native, I've live and worked in Nepal and America for the past 25 years, a life that's given me a deep appreciation of human diversity and an understanding of especially female identity and experience across cultures. Whether it's been through my academic studies, my work with sustainable rural development in Nepal, coachig of Kaospilot students or producing social environmental films, change has been the focus. In 1999 I lead a pilgrimage to a holy mountain in Tibet, which catalyzed a spiritual inquiry into a more ‘feminine’ way of being. Since, I've been exploring feminine wisdom and the consequences of it being silenced and disregarded in our world. In 2004 I opened a photo atelier for women’s self-discovery and for the past 14 years I’ve worked with women’s self-perception and sovereignty through photographic inquiries, workshops and more. My book Embody: Intimate Photographic Encounters with Women chronicles our experiences in photos and prose. My memoir Seeing Red: A Woman’s Quest for Truth, Power and the Sacred is a honestaccount of my personal dance with truth, power and the sacred. Fall 2018 I spoke about the power of the gaze to limit or liberate us at TedxAarhus. My work has been internationally published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and blogs, and I continue to be a "messenger " of the earthly, wild and sensuous feminine. LoneMorch.com

MADZA EDNIR: Brazil

"I was born in Brazil. Like almost all Brazilians, I am one-third Indigenous, one-third African and one-third European. I feel my home is Earth, any place on Earth where I can find a friend.  Looking to the world's map, I see all continents alive and bright with people I love. How did I become this grandmother of all the world’s young people? "


My first Guru was my mother, who was always telling me to learn not only with her stories but with the stories of other people. I am the heir of Maria Ednir's talent to dream and take dreams seriously. The second Guru was my work as an educator, first as a  teacher of poor students in São Paulo then as a communicator and a facilitator of educational changes in Brazil and worldwide. My work made me understand how unfair my country and the world are, and to acknowledge that we humans have created these social, political, economic, environmental injustices: therefore we can change them if we are able to cooperate and support each other. My work made me be part of great global initiatives to create other stories- stories of the future, such as the Restorative Justice, Solidarity Economy and Democratic Schools movements. The third Guru were the men I fell in love with and who inspired me to go beyond myself – they were for me masks of God or ‘fingers pointing the Moon’ ( how difficult for me was to see the Moon...). And the fourth Guru were wise women who cared for, corrected, validated and healed me.  I’ve been walking on this planet for seven decades now and I have never traveled alone.  During my journey, I’ve learned that connection (another name for love) is what maintains us alive.  In this last stage of my life, I feel I am called to do for the younger generations the same my Gurus did for me. I continue to cooperatively create stories of hope, educating for Global Citizenship, for a Culture of Peace, for a new sustainable economic model. I am proud to be part of a story called “the Great Transition to other possible worlds”. I choose to believe humanity will overcome the present systemic crisis. My job is to sustain this Dream until I merge in it.  
www.cecip.org.br ; www.curriculumglobaleconomiasolidaria.com


DR KARAMBU RINGERA: Kenya

Invited.


PAMELA MEEKINGS STEWART: New Zealand

"‘I know things must change but it’s just too hard’.  This is the phrase I hear most often.  I hear it in organisations and in relationships.  I hear it when a career change or improvement is required or when a project or great idea can’t get off the ground.  And yet natural change is going on around us every day - the moon goes from dark to full to dark again, we sleep, we wake and while we might rail against changes in the weather, we greet each season as it arrives as a natural part of life.  So might the response of Nature to the natural cycle of the seasons and the eldership of trees have something to teach us about managing change easily and elegantly?  About ‘living treefully’?  This question is my life and my passion."

I am a Life Coach and a workshop facilitator, I run Change Management and Career Management workshops for businesses and business people and I was for over 30 years a Television Producer of social documentaries and drama. I am a Druid with the international Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and have been walking the forest path for over 20 years. I am also a Marriage Celebrant. Since 1990 I have run my own company – The Woolshed Retreats – on my farm just outside Wellington, New Zealand, where I offer Total Pampering Days, facilitate my own 4 Elements/4 Seasons and Wheel of Segais workshops - a natural system for managing change and provide one-on-one life coaching both on line and in person.  As a Druid I host ceremonies for the eight seasonal festivals and a monthly women’s Full Moon Circle.  All of these are the essence of Living Treefully.

JUANITA BROWN: USA

Juanita is the co-originator of the World Café, an innovative approach to large scale dialogue used in community and multi-stakeholder settings around the globe.  Her award winning book The World Café: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations that Matter, based on stories of transformative dialogue and engagement, has been translated into 13 languages.  She is also part of the book Story Bridge: From Alienation to Community Action.

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