Hildegard of Bingen

AMAZING WOMEN, AMAZING JOURNEYS

In continued celebration of International Women’s Day this blog will profile eight amazing women throughout March.

Hildegard receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe. (From Liber Scivias, click image for details.)

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A leap back in time brings us to our third remarkable woman: Hildegard of Bingen.  A twelfth-century German abbess, Hildegard was a religious leader, poet, writer of medical treatises and—the role for which she became best known—composer.  Born c.1098, Hildegard died in 1179 around the age of 81.  She’d lived a full and rich life and was one of the most influential women of her time.  She communicated with popes, statesmen and emperors and drew Christian worshipers from across the continent.

Considered an early scientist, a theologian and preacher, she was also a visionary with a highly artistic streak.  Her many talents are evidenced by her prolific writing, music and paintings.  The Life of Saint Hildegard, the primary source for her life, was written by two monks—one writing during her lifetime and one after she had passed—and provides a great deal of information about her life, challenges and successes.  Other extant material includes a large number of letters (around 400) and Scivias, a book that detailed her visions and reputation as a visionary.  She wrote over seventy songs and a number of poems and books.

Hildegard also advocated for women’s participation in religious life.  Previously under the economic and spiritual haven of a male-run monastery, her community of nuns moved to Rupertsberg where she established a monastery for women only.  Hildegard’s own designs and ideas went into its construction and were even said to include a functional water system.  Her community was self-sufficient and unique in a male-dominated world.  A clever and innovative woman, Hildegard continues to fascinate.

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Our poetry anthology is now open to submissions.  We are looking for captivating and insightful poetry that reflects all things maiden, mother and crone.  Journey to Crone aims to celebrate women, female wisdom, and all stages of womanhood.  Submissions will be taken throughout the year until either the anthology is full, or late autumn.  The book will launch on 8th March 2013.

Check out our submission and guideline pages for full details.

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