In this episode I'm sharing an interview with an amazing guest who’s dedicated her life to researching and sharing the hidden, and largely suppressed stories about women’s spiritual lives in ancient times and wrote the book Witches and Pagans, Women in European Folk Religion, 700-1100.
Author and researcher, Max Dashu, founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document global women's history.
In this episode, Max shares her earliest memories of plants in her life, what brought her to this research, why she chose to focus her book on such a specific time period and what was happening during that time, who the witches and pagans were, examples of sacred rituals the church was intent to separate people from, what we’ve lost in our culture as a result of this disconnection from the sacred rituals of our ancestors, and more.
If you’re a shamanic practitioner, witch, druid, herbalist, gardener, energy healer, lightworker, interested in ancient women's spiritual practices and traditions, you’re going to love this season of The Earth Keepers Podcast.
Watch the replay of The Earth Keepers Podcast Season 2 Kickoff Party on YouTube Live.
Here's what you'll find in this episode:
- My story about how Max's book Witches and Pagans found its way to me and how my ancient ancestors insisted I read it
- Max's earliest memories of plants and how she intuitively knew how to work with them as a child
- How a college professor telling Max that matrilineal societies were unimportant to history set her on a lifelong journey to find and document women's history and contributions
- The difficulty of figuring out what a common woman's spiritual practices were in 700-1100 AD
- The different types of historical records other than written documents that tell the story of women over the centuries
- Why Max found that sharing this information through images was so compelling
- How the idea of women's history was a joke when she was in college in the 1960's
- The serendipity involved in writing her book and how the Norse Volur information came to her
- What exactly was happening in Europe during 700-1100 where Max focused her research
- How the alliance of church and state across Europe begins to wipe out traditional healing methods
- Why women lose their place in culture as priestess, and wise woman, and healer
- How the church excluding women from the priesthood ultimately drove the witch hunts of the future
- The origins of enslaving the non-believing pagans in Europe
- Why the church forbade women to visit springs, make offerings to stones or visit the forest
- Early practices of energy healing with plants and herbs
- The practice of sitting with the water for divination and receiving guidance
- Different pagan healing traditions
- The importance of intention when doing healing work
- Max's suggestions to help us reconnect with some of these ancient ways
Links & Resources