In this episode, “Connection to Spirit” we get to know Kathleen Joan. She is a priestess of Brigid who is committed to the resurrection of the Divine Feminine, especially within her Catholic-Christian tradition. She holds a Master’s Degree in theology and ministry and has over ten years of ministry experience, including directing retreats, teaching classes on religion and spirituality, and leading small groups and spiritual communities. She also offers Reiki Energy Healing, Spiritual Direction, and New Moon Goddess Circles and retreats to help women claim their sacredness in the image of the Divine Mother and take their place in the great rebalancing that is happening in the world. Today, she talks about her journey to discovering the Divine Feminine.
A Highly Sensitive Person
Kathleen considers herself a highly sensitive person. She didn’t know there was a label or a particular way of being sensitive to other people’s feelings or energy. She just thought that that was normal. Being an empath is just the way she is. It started to make sense to her that not everybody operates on that wavelength.
Energy Healing and her Spiritual Path
Energy healing wasn’t something that Kathleen always did. The most important piece of her work has always been the spiritual sense of following her path. Growing up as a Catholic, she was always very engaged with that and really committed to that faith and service. But she always knew that there was something was deeply off within the way that by tradition did not ordain women as priests. So there was a disconnect with how she felt with that setting.
Discovering the Divine Feminine
In following her spiritual path, Kathleen got her Master’s Degree in Theology and Ministry. For nine years, she taught religion and led retreats at a Catholic High School. During that time, she was also discovering the Divine Feminine.
Kathleen says that God is something that can be within us. Discovering the goddess allowed her to realize that and that she is not separate from the Divine by her gender. This became her growth that slowly happened over time. It came to a point where her mission is to help other people discover what she learned no matter what gender or identity they have. Kathleen aims to help people encounter the Divine within themselves because of that.
The Divine Feminine
The Divine Feminine has no specific image. Kathleen says that there are different images and names that we can use for designing our own interpretation of the Divine Feminine.
For Kathleen, the image of the old, white-bearded man on a cloud isn’t approachable. She says that many people find that image associated with damaging patriarchal or colonial tradition that has oppressed and harmed many people. So many people want nothing to do with that, and many are walking away, particularly from Christianity, because that image of God is not something that’s resonating anymore.
The Key Steps in Kathleen’s Journey
Kathleen’s journey is a series of asking questions at every stage. Her spiritual path involves many deep interior listening and listening to the guidance that’s within rather than the messages she is getting from outside of her.
The opportunities or things that popped up for her were a matter of listening really hard and sitting with the contradiction. The most important thing Kathleen is pursuing at this point in her life was the Divine Feminine. Yet, she wasn’t comfortable talking about it fully in her life. The Divine Feminine was a deep integration for Kathleen that needed to her for her.
Kathleen says that it’s very important to bring the goddess front and center. She would have probably taught about the Divine Feminine and would have developed an elective in the Catholic-Christian tradition. What became the front and center for Kathleen was that she wanted to work with people who intentionally want to discover the Divine Feminine and make that their focus.
Opening Her Eyes to New Possibilities
Kathleen knows how hard it is to be in that space where the thing doesn’t feel aligned anymore. The lack of alignment is just about trusting that there are more possibilities available than you are currently aware of. Working with the Sisters of Notre Dame in Lima, Peru, and experiencing a different culture and country made her fell off. He realized that the universe is so much bigger, and there are many more possibilities than she previously encountered.
A lot of Kathleen’s path has been about discovering something she never knew existed. But those were exactly what she wanted or needed. She suggests others have openness to the fact that the thing you never knew you always needed is out there. And you just don’t know what it looks like, and it could be around the corner.
Reiki is this beautiful energy that’s a form of energy healing. The word “reiki” is divinely guided lifeforce energy. It’s this beautiful, gentle form of energy healing where you channel the energy. It’s divinely guided. It creates healing, restoring wellbeing, and balances the energy that’s in the system that can promote physical healing. It can also balance your mental, emotional, and spiritual in a way that all good intersects with the body and the energy field and all this right.
Reiki for Kathleen is a feminine archetypal kind of energy healing because, as a practitioner, she doesn’t control how the energy is going to heal the person who’s receiving it. She sends that energy, and it works in their system as it needs to bring healing, healing and well being and wholeness. So it’s a lot about receiving and being refilled and restored so that you can then go out and be your best self in the world.
Kathleen’s Reiki practice has really improved her intuition and her ability to pay attention. There are suggested ways that you can go about a Reiki session to make sure that the person gets sort of total healing. But a lot of it is about following her intuition and feeling like she can actually feel where the energy is strongest.
Kathleen does all of her ministry practice through distance or phone at this point. The wonderful thing about Reiki it’s not bound by time or space because it is divinely guided. She has been practicing Reiki through virtual meetings where she sends them energy. She offers Reiki in the arms of the goddess to help people restore and refill in life and giving empathy so that they can go out and be who they are and follow their calling in the world. She also offers New Moon Goddess Circles for Women, which is an hour and a half mini-retreat around the new moon.
Kathleen’s Resource Reveal
One book that helped solidify Kathleen’s thinking around divine feminine was The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler. The author draws a million different academic disciplines to talk about, including archeology and how history is filled with societies that were mainly goddess worshipping.
Many people that Kathleen has encountered in women’s spiritual communities would say or argue that today is a moment in history when the Divine Feminine is coming back into our concept. For her, it’s cool to think about that arc of history and what we can do today to move back towards those societies of peace and not having social differences in wealth and class. And it’s not the dominating power of the blade. It’s the life-giving power to the child.
The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler
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