Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hildegard of Bingen

My friend Yvonne Kendall is arriving this afternoon from Houston. I was lucky enough to get her as a speaker here at St. Rose to talk on Hildegard of Bingen, the twelfth century mystic. My students in my Women & Early Writing course have been reading her and examining the illustrations of her visions.

Her work is fascinating and she's a bit of a rebel for her time, claiming authority to speak about visions of divinity, although "a poor little womanly creature" without the "proper" training. She saw divinity as the green force of life, "viriditas," which valued the earth in sharp contrast to many of her contemporaries. Healing, too, was a great interest for her. Hildegard wrote on the healing properties of both plants and gems, and of course her music expressed both her spirituality and the healing qualities of the human voice. A woman far ahead of her times!


Crispinus said...

Very true, esp. her music, which has soothed my savage -- and male -- breast on many dark nights.

C. Margery Kempe said...

While I had my students dissecting some of her vision images Wednesday, we listened to her music in the background and they remarked on its soothing effects.