Theano’s Day 2010: St. Brigid of Ireland, Poetess Mary Finch, Lady Julian of Norwich, Theano herself

Today, June 24th, marks Theano’s Day, the international day to blog in honor of a favorite female philosopher or thinker. This year I’m celebrating women with very humane, gentle sensibilities and social consciences, along with intellectual capabilities.

First off, there’s Ireland’s second patron saint, Brigid, a nun, artist, writer, and leader known for helping develop the historically more balanced, more gentle and egalitarian Celtic Christian theology. Brigid chose the contemplative religious life after realizing she felt a calling to help the local poor and sick, which she started by giving away her and her father’s possessions, including his valuable jewel-encrusted sword. Throughout her life, she organized efforts to care for the sick, educate children, and build and develop the nunnery.

Ireland’s pre-Christian past also involves a goddess named Brigid, and some historians observe commonalities among the saint and the goddess’ lives and interests. Brigid the goddess serves as patron of wisdom, learning, writing, poetry, motherhood, and children – and is known for compassion towards the poor and sick. She taught people how to raise cattle and forge iron tools, while defending the rights of women, including single mothers and their children.

Links to the story of Goddess Brigid and St. Brigid:

Then, there’s the English theologian and poet Anne Kingsmill Finch, born in 1661 and highly educated in literature, history, and the classics. Known for her humor, wit, and energy, Finch satirized social customs which she felt overly restricted or protected women. She also expressed her love for her husband, her religious faith, and her struggle to overcome serious depression, while earning scores of admirers, including Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift.

University of Pennsylvania’s Women Writers page for Anne Finch, complete with samples of her poems:

And, there’s Julian of Norwich, an anchoress (a nun choosing to almost totally isolate herself from society to meditate and pray) who developed a kind of Christian theology which focused more on living out a response to God’s love than on following rules for their own sake. She spoke often of divine love and welcome for all living beings, not just those of any one particular faith or culture, and emphasized learning from mistakes rather than strict penitence. Her book, Revelations of Divine Love, is the first published English-language book known to be written by a woman.

Lady Julian of Norwich said, famously, and in the midst of the Black Death, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Article on Lady Julian’s spirituality and how to reconcile ‘all shall be well’ with the world’s obvious suffering:

Finally, we come to Theano herself, Pythagoras’ wife and the mother of his five children. She wrote extensively on intellectual topics, such as geometry, mathematical proportion in art, and literary critiques of books and treatises. And, she could transition well from practical life to high-minded academia and back again – she also wrote much about raising children and managing a household and treating servants with respect and professionalism.

Link to a short biography of Theano and the Pythagorean School:

As an extra treat, here’s a list of thirty great books for and about girls, courtesy of

Theano’s Day post in honor of Mirra Alfonso (The Mother)

Mirra Alfonso also known as the Mother

     The Mother was the consort of Sri Aurobindo Ghose. She was a Parisian of Egyptian descent. After experiencing many spiritual experiences she left to Algeria in 1906 in order to study occultism. In 1914 she left to India and met Sri Aurobindo. Later she left for Japan and returned to Europe. In 1920 she returned to India and lived in Pondicherry where she remained for the rest of her life. There with Sri Aurobindo she took on the title of the Mother. With Sri Aurobindo she worked on a new form of spiritual practice of spiritual transformation designed to evolve the world: that is to transform the entire planetary consciousness.
     For her there is a divine unity, in her cosmology, that is symbolically represented in the form of eight. The first half of the eight is the supreme that leads towards manifestation. The second half is Nature of the sleep of the unconsciousness. The top of the eight is golden which descends into prismatic and finally blue. As the cycle reverses so do the colors until they reach gold again. This cycle is eternal.
     In the vastness of the Universe the Earth is miniscule. Its significance is that it is the center of the transformation of the consciousness of the Cosmos. The Divinity cannot be harmed itself, but yet the world itself can be made uninhabitable making it no longer a unit for transformation. But through the spiritual transformation the world can be made to be the theater in the conflict between good and evil.
     The final goal of her teachings was to attain the glorious illumined body. This can be seen as a final and complete break of earlier teachings in mystical philosophy. The divinization of the body leads to the transformation of the world, that is the planetary consciousness. This belief leans toward the concept of a Messiah, but in this case not some external worldly savior. Instead it comes from within us. Thus we are all Messiahs.
     The future of the earth is to be luminous. The future of mankind is to be of great integral possibility. Despite of the violence and ignorance along with other possibilities mankind is to rise to divine possibilities. As the new man he will rise to all the hopes and dreams of mankind. Mankind begins at the origin then evolves into the higher self. The time has already come for the transformation of the Earth and human kind, there is no moksa or Nirvana or Heaven.  The Earth itself will be transformed.
      As for me, I am deeply indebted to the teachings of Haridras Chaudhury: a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.  Based upon their teachings on Integral Yoga he founded the graduate school California Institute of Integral Studies in which I am a doctoral student there.  Because of this I am grateful for the Mother and her teachings.       According to Dr. Jim Ryan, my professor of Hinduism, “Haridas Chaudhuri chose this symbol as he founded the Institute because it is a visual representation of his Integral philosophy. This world is not to be seen as separate from the transcendent Truth, but as an expression of that Truth in phenomenal form.     What is sacred then, is not merely what are beyond our perception, but everything that is present here in this world, all our actions, and our emotions our thoughts. The notion of the integration of body, mind and spirit are symbolized and indicated by the Sri Yantra, making it a perfect visual representation of the Institute’s vision.Thus am indebted to the Mother and the concept of Integral Yoga.
-Reuben L. Rutledge

Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders seeks written submissions by the end of June for annual anthology

Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders is seeking submissions

for its 15th annual anthology. Submissions of poetry, one-act plays, fiction and creative non-fiction should be sent between April 1 and June 30, to P.O. Box 3416, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

Also, please include a cover letter, short bio (2-3 sentences), phone and email address. All manuscripts will be recycled at the end of our reading period. Final decisons in 2010 are expected in late-August. We are not accepting work via email at this time. Submissions without SASE (that includes envelopes without stamps) will NOT BE READ)

Send 4-5 poems or 1-2 short stories or works of creative non-fiction (10 page maximum) or one-act play (no longer than 10-pages total). Manuscripts must be typed, with writer’s name and address at the top of each page. Also, please number your poems by placing a number at the top of each poem next to its title. Sin Fronteras does not at this time. Writings are judged on merit, regardless of subject matter. Payment is one copy of the annual journal.

Two-Bit Magazine seeks writing of various forms

Two-Bit Magazine is looking for submissions for its second issue!

Two-Bit Magazine is a publication dedicated to exposing emerging, talented writers and artists, as well as new work from veterans. We are looking to build an eclectic body of work: short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry of any genre or form, serialized novels and novellas, and graphic novels and comics. We will also accept academic work, reviews, essays.

Submissions can be emailed to the editor at <editor(at)> (replace (at) with @). Questions and queries can also be sent to that address.

The submission period closes on June 30.

For more information on exact specifications, please check the Submission Guide at

Some Ways to Disappear Magazine seeks writing of all kinds

Some Ways to Disappear is a biannual publication of new photography and
literature, with no advertising or extraneous fluff.

Currently, Some Ways to Disappear is inviting literary submissions,
considering all styles, genres, and formats, for its second issue which will be launched on 1st December 2010.

If you wish to submit any work please e-mail it directly to:
<somewaystodisappear[at]> (replace (at) with @)

Please e-mail us with either a PDF or word document. Submissions should be
no longer than 3000 words. All styles, genres and formats considered.

The deadline for all submissions for the second issue is 1st October 2010.

For further information please visit or
contact us at <somewaystodisappear(at)> (replace (at) with @)

Dante’s Heart seeks writing on the theme of Trickster Figures


Dante’s Heart (, an online journal of myth, fairytale, folklore, and fantasy, is seeking submissions on trickster figures for its fourth issue. We are open to art, fiction, poetry, short dramatic work, essays, interviews, and translations. Please review our call for submissions (below), which is extended for a final call on June 30, 2010.

What We’re Looking For
Tricksters live in a world of ambiguity and chaos. They know no boundaries–
with nowhere they can’t go and nothing they can’t do, they are oftentimes the
world’s ultimate creators and destroyers. At Dante’s Heart, we are interested
in the endless possibilities opened up for stories, art, drama, letters, mixed
media, … when a trickster takes center stage. We invite you to explore the
unruliness of the trickster and so we call for submissions featuring trickster

Winning entries will be published in a special issue of Dante’s Heart.

Submit work by e-mail to <editors(at)> (replace (at) with @)
Subject line: Tricksters

Send your best work. Please peruse our journal, Dante’s Heart, at www., prior to submitting.

Main Street Rag seeks writing on villains

To submit a manuscript for consideration for our anthology, please be sure to address the envelope to: The MSR Short Fiction Anthology, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001.

Also important: Since we have more than one editor reading fiction for us and each is assigned a specific project, please be sure to MARK ON THE ENVELOPE which theme the author is targeting. Authors who want to submit work to more than one theme, please make each submission in a separate envelope. Anything that arrives without a specific destination ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE will be sent to the editor in charge of selection for The Main Street Rag–our quarterly literary journal–and not considered for anthology publication at all.
For those who may have skipped over the General Guidelines on the Submissions Page where it says “NO EMAILED SUBMISSIONS,” that guideline applies to the short fiction anthology as well unless you LIVEoverseas (Canada is not overseas, by the way) or are a subscriber to The Main Street Rag. Even so, those who want to submit this way need to QUERY FIRST so we can instruct them on how the manuscript should be sent and where. Unsolicited manuscripts that arrive as attachments are sent to the trash can unread.
Authors may submit as many as 2 stories at a time per theme; maximum length: 10,000 words (each). Please wait until we report on that submission before sending additional stories for consideration.
Please double-space on 8.5 X 11 paper using 11 or 12pt serif font (Times, Times New Roman, etc.).
We can report by email to save return postage, but if you want your manuscript returned, be sure to include an SASE that is large enough to fit the manuscript and be sure it has the proper amount of postage.
Report Time: We will try to report in 2 months or less, but prose does take longer to read than poetry and the Associate Editors who select manuscripts for our anthologies do so around teaching duties. We appreciate your patience.
Also of note:
Because our literary magazine does not consider previously published or simultaneous submissions, the most frequently asked question for anthology submission has been: Are previously published stories eligible for the anthologies?
The answer is a not-so enthusiastic, “Yes.” Yes, but with conditions mostly centered around who owns the rights, where it has been previously published and when. We’d rather not publish a story that already appears or is scheduled to appear in a journal, collection or other anthology that will be available for sale at the same time as our anthology and anything that has been published online is not eligible. We know that sounds unfair, but what is really unfair is trying to compete with FREE when we are publishing a product that actually costs money to produce.
If you think you have a previously published story that fits one of the themes for which we are reading, please email a query first to
<editor(at)> (replace (at) with @). Include where it was previously published and when and we’ll let you know if it is something we will consider.
No simultaneous submissions for our anthologies. We are usually pretty good at our turn around and we read on a particular theme for as long as a year, so if you have a story submitted elsewhere that you think will fit our theme, either wait for the other publisher to respond or withdraw it from wherever else it has been submitted before sending it here.
Thank you.

Current Themes:
* * * NEW THEMES (posted 12/11/09) * * *

The following are two new themes we will be reading for 2010. The official open date is May 1, 2010, since both editors teach and we would like for them to have the summer months to do the bulk of the reading. Early arrivals will still be considered, but we will hold onto them longer since our readers are not available until May 1.

Altered States. We’re looking for science fiction/fantasy stories that concern changes in the physical, psychological, geographical, planetary, political, dimensional states of being.

The Book of Villains. Give us your evil, your plotting, your cruel. Give us your vengeful, your jealous, your cold. Give us your villains! Not anti-heroes or flawed characters or the morally questionable–leave no question about it: we want to populate a book with the truly malicious. Whether you create an original villain, use one of the timeless archetypes, or offer a new tale about an already famous or iconic villain, we want you to send us works of short fiction in which you shamelessly indulge in all things villainous.

Sports. “Sports,” Haywood Hale Broun remarked, “do not build character. They reveal it.” Thus have we witnessed the transcendent courage of Lou Gehrig, the impeccable dignity of John Wooden, and parents brawling in the mud while their astonished eight-year-old kids stand in their soccor gear and watch. We are looking for fiction that takes the idea of sports and competition past the mundane barroom—water cooler clichés into the epiphanies of the human heart or aberrations of the human mind. Make it about sport (you decide whether “curling” is a viable option), but craft it towards what competition reveals.