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Hildegard of Bingen

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Hildegard of Bingen

Postby Violet » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:20 pm

My interest in Hildegard of Bingen is immense and has only grown with time, till I have felt I need to make a place to accumulate research about her.

I feel deeply inspired by Hildegard's interest in and accomplishment of a wide range of subject matter. She was many things that had no name or word at the time and still, she continued to be and to seek her spiritual truth.

She lived from 1098 to 1179, in present-day Germany. She may have eight or fourteen when she was offered as an oblate to the Church by her parents, and enclosed.

Hildegard experienced intense visions from an early age, and when she was 42, she felt guided to record her visions. Her three volumes of visionary theology are called: Scivias, Liber Vitae Meritorum and Liber Divinorum Operum.

Hildegard's texts Phyisca and Causae et Curae were texts about natural science; the latter of which included cures involving herbs and precious stones.

Hildegard has been recognized as a saint by parts of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries, and she is one of four women out of thirty-five people names as a Doctor of the Church.

My principal interest in Hildegard is in her visionary texts which precede New Age philosophy. Hildegard formed unique and groundbreaking ideas about the cosmos and the energies therein. I hope to relate some of the reading I find most interesting here, as I consider Hildegard a crucial link between Christianity and alternative beliefs. However, when I have read in either subject, I have never heard Hildegard mentioned.

The only reason I know of her existence is because of a comment someone left in my web site guestbook in 1998. He thought my mystical character "Lady Hildegarde" was Hildegard of Bingen. In physical substance and deed they were likely very different, because my Hildegarde was a tempestuous siren/witch; however, in philosophy I found surprising similarities to what I was hoping to create in my character and this actual woman of great power.

Hildegard's existence makes me feel deeply validated for never fitting in anywhere, in any named spiritual path, vocation, or hobby; my captivated interest in everything both creative and scientific, and my yearning to seek truth, no matter where it takes me. Her spiritual insight came from personal visions and profound self-trust, rather than interpretation of a Scripture.

I have already started reading her first book and studying its diagrams of the Earth and its "layers." It is though she was inventing the universe herself, or at least trying to put together concepts that felt right to her. I find her singularity of thought very inspiring.

I hope to share from what I read here. Please comment, correct me, or share as you wish.

Like Hildegard, I'm seeking the Path for myself, even though it has no name.
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Re: Hildegard of Bingen

Postby Heartsong » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:56 am

Ah, I read Hildegard's works when I was in grad school. I also found her writing to be inspiring, and I consider her a woman well ahead of her time. Her painstaking attention to detail and rational rhetoric make her texts rare gems from the medieval period of history. All the more amazing and beautiful, in my opinion, because she was a brilliant woman that even religious leaders respected and sought guidance from.

I'm curious what your thoughts are regarding her ideas of universe being a 'cosmic egg'.

Also, you might enjoy the writings of Julian of Norwich. She was also considered a mystic by her religious peers, and her relation of the love of God to motherhood and the sacred feminine is fascinating!
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Re: Hildegard of Bingen

Postby Soul » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:26 am

Heartsong wrote:I'm curious what your thoughts are regarding her ideas of universe being a 'cosmic egg'.

Also, you might enjoy the writings of Julian of Norwich. She was also considered a mystic by her religious peers, and her relation of the love of God to motherhood and the sacred feminine is fascinating!


I admire Hildegard and I read her works when I was a Christian and again after deconverting. I also read Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila, among other mystics. It seems I gained more enlightenment from feminine mystic perspectives than masculine.

I have not thought about Hildegard's concept of the Cosmos being an egg, since those years. Her artwork reminds me somewhat of Carl Jung's mandalas.

The mystics probably played a major role in moving me toward my eventual deconversion from Christianity because they helped me to think beyond the boundaries. I also used to have music CDs of various artists chanting and singing Hildegard's songs. She was a true Renaissance woman before the Renaissance. And a woman of Enlightenment before the Age of the Enlightenment.
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Re: Hildegard of Bingen

Postby Soul » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:37 am

Violet wrote:My interest in Hildegard of Bingen is immense and has only grown with time, till I have felt I need to make a place to accumulate research about her.
...

Hildegard's existence makes me feel deeply validated for never fitting in anywhere, in any named spiritual path, vocation, or hobby; my captivated interest in everything both creative and scientific, and my yearning to seek truth, no matter where it takes me. Her spiritual insight came from personal visions and profound self-trust, rather than interpretation of a Scripture.

I have already started reading her first book and studying its diagrams of the Earth and its "layers." It is though she was inventing the universe herself, or at least trying to put together concepts that felt right to her. I find her singularity of thought very inspiring.

I hope to share from what I read here. Please comment, correct me, or share as you wish.

Like Hildegard, I'm seeking the Path for myself, even though it has no name.


Violet, I understand your sentiments. Hildegard is a powerful presence in history and inspiring person. There was a movie released about 5 years ago, the story of her life. Have you seen it? It doesn't delve as much into her philosophy and mysticism as I would have liked, but shows more of the sociocultural and ecclesiastical-political struggle she endured.

I understand your feelings of affinity with her as a bridge between a Christian view and alternative views. And maybe Hildegard was the original truly New Age thinker. The Path that has no name. Maybe that's the Path of a true Human Being.
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Re: Hildegard of Bingen

Postby Yex » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:45 am

I've felt a strong connection with Hildegard ever since I learned about her in an undergrad music class, and saw Vision – From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen, a film in German about her life (I highly recommend it). I've yet to read any of her writings, but I should. As a Christo-Pagan, I find deep resonance in a figure who was a polymath who saw herbalism, music, mysticism, and Christianity as many facets of the same work, and whose ideas were prone to put her at odds with the Church authorities of the day.

I have a few albums of her music, all recorded by the early music group Sequentia, and it was her music that got me hooked on Mediaeval music. I also have a t-shirt that says "Hildegard von Bingen" and has an image similar to this one on it:

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