Vicki Noble is a feminist shamanic healer, author, scholar and wisdom teacher. Born in 1947 and raised in Iowa, she awakened to the Goddess and Women's Spirituality on her arrival in Berkeley, California in 1976. Through a "shamanic healing crisis", she opened psychically to the healing, art, yoga, and divination processes that led to the creation of Motherpeace.
Since then, she has written several books, including Shakti Woman (a handbook for healers) and The Double Goddess (a history of female shamanism). She has developed a powerful ritual healing process, teaches and lectures internationally, and has led tours of women on pilgrimage to sacred Goddess sites around the world.
She teaches in the Women's Spirituality Masters program at Sophia University (formerly ITP) in Palo Alto, California.
Vicki sees private clients for astrology readings and healing sessions, and facilitates private tutorials in Santa Cruz with women interested in learning shamanic healing arts and Goddess spirituality. In her teaching she combines Buddhism, feminism, yoga, shamanism, and Goddess worship with a special focus on the female lineage of healers since ancient times.
As a mother and grandmother, Vicki has raised two daughters - Robyn and Brooke - and lives in Santa Cruz, California, with her special son Aaron Eagle, who was the subject of her book, Down Is Up for Aaron Eagle.
Max Dashú is a writer, historian, teacher, and artist who founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970, a collection of over 14,000 slides and photographs on global women's history, archaelogy, Goddess traditions, female priests, and female shamans.
She has presented throughout North America for over 40 years, and her art has appeared in "Daughters of the Moon Tarot" books by Judy Grahn, Diane Stein, and Martha Shelly, and in her own "Witch Dream Comix" (1975).
She has been influential in opening up space for consideration of egalitarian matrilineages through her critique of Cynthia Eller's "The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory" (2000), titled "Knocking Down Straw Dolls" (2000), and republished in Feminist Theology 13.2 (2005), Sage Publications, UK.
Max has created two DVDs: Women's Power in Global Perspective (2008) and Woman Shaman: the Ancients (2013), as well as a series of posters on women's heritages in archaeology.
Presently, the Suppressed Histories Archives has a collection of over 30,000 images and 150 visual talks.
This video by Max Dashú reveals the rich cultural record of medicine women, seers, oracles, healers, trance-dancers, shapeshifters, and dreamers—on a global scale. They told us that female spiritual leaders didn't exist, or were rare exceptions, or insignificant; that Indigenous medicine ways were superstitious and backward. All lies. To experience the beauty, power and wisdom of these spiritual legacies is medicine for the spirit, especially for the women who have been pushed down, marginalized, denied, and silenced in the name of religion. These most ancient spiritual ways have immense value—however far back, or deep, we have to go to recover this human birthright.
Miriam Robbins Dexter holds a Ph.D. in Indo-European Studies (comparative linguistics, ancient Indo-European languages, archaeology, and comparative mythology), from UCLA. Her 1978 doctoral dissertation, Indo-European Female Figures, was one of the first scholarly monographs comparing the functions and attributes of ancient goddesses and heroines across many related and unrelated cultures. Her first book, Whence the Goddesses: A Source Book, in which she translated ancient texts from thirteen languages, was used for courses she taught at UCLA for a decade and a half. These were the only Women’s Spirituality courses taught at UCLA. She completed and supplemented the final book of Marija Gimbutas, The Living Goddesses. Her latest book, co-authored with Victor Mair, Sacred Display: Divine and Magical Female Figures of Eurasia, recently won the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology Sarasvati award for best nonfiction book on women and mythology. Miriam is the author of over thirty scholarly articles and nine encyclopedia articles on ancient female figures. She has edited and co-edited sixteen scholarly volumes. For thirteen years, she taught courses in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit languages in the department of Classics at USC. She has lectured at the New Bulgarian University (Sophia, Bulgaria) and “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University (Iaşi, Moldavia, Romania).
Lydia Ruyle was an artist, scholar, and visionary who pursued Goddess research for several decades, engaging her creative capacity through body, mind, and spirit. As an artist, she was beloved and renown around the world for her stunning presentation of multicultural goddesses and symbols of female divinity. In her life journey, Lydia found the goddess through the the wake-up calls she received from the Ancient Mothers. They had asked her to fully engage through the medium of her art the indigenous stories and sacred places of Mother Earth. Over twenty years ago, Lydia began collecting images of women from art herstory, the subject matter of her teachings at University of Northern Colorado. She put the images in her art, and in 1987, Better Homes & Goddesses was born for National Women's History Month. In 1995, she began her Goddess Icon Banner Project with 18 banners created for an exhibit in Ephesus; since then, her repertoire grew to include representations of over 295 goddesses. As an artist scholar emeritus of the Visual Arts faculty at University of Northern Colorado, The Lydia Ruyle Room for Women Artists was created and dedicated to her in 2010. In 2013, the University presented Lydia with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also the 2013 recipient of the Brigit Award for Excellence in the Arts for her profound contribution to goddess art, research, and scholarship. Lydia Ruyle was a mother of three and a grandmother of six with her partner Bob of 50 years.
Honorary Wise Women
Cindi Alvitre, PhD Candidate
Lecturer of American Indian Studies and Co-Founder of the Ti'at Society of the Tongva
Cindi Moar Alvitre (Tongva) is a mother and grandmother and has been a cultural/environmental educator for over three decades. She is descendant from the Tongva, the original inhabitants of Los Angeles & Orange Counties, and the four Southern Channel Islands, and served as the first woman chair of the Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribal Council. In 1985, she & Lorene Sisquoc co-founded Mother Earth Clan, a collective of Indian women who created a model for cultural and environmental education. In the late 1980s, she co-founded Ti’at Society,
renewing the maritime culture of the Tongva.
Cindi is currently a PhD candidate at UCLA, Department of World Arts and Culture and a lecturer at California State University Long Beach in the American Indian Studies Department. Her specialties are California Indians, traditional medicine, cultural identity, revitalization, and cultural trauma.
Cindi is a Task Force member for the State of California, California Indian Heritage Center, and a board member for the California Council for the Humanities. As a social-political activist, she has represented her community domestically and internationally, including opening for Nobel Laureates, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She is one of the original plaintiffs in Puvungna case during the two year occupation of this sacred site. She continues to dedicate her life to the preservation and protection of California Indian culture.