“Spiritualism has inaugurated the era of woman,” proclaimed Mary Davis
in 1880. I bet that date surprises you. As early as the mid to late
1800’s, Spiritualist conventions, gatherings and writings all called for
the emancipation of women. Those who assumed the most radical
positions on woman's rights became Spiritualists (for example, Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, who was also a close friend of Cora Richmond – my spirit guide
) This shouldn’t be surprising since all evolutionary steps can be traced to the spirit world’s guidance and intervention.
Spirit Warnings & Interventions
Many are hoping the spirit world will now help us to make the necessary
changes to heal our sick earth. For sure, we can’t claim we haven’t
been forewarned. I’ve been an active member of the environmental
movement since 1972 and I can’t say I’m impressed in the least. In
fact, I’m more discouraged than ever. The equator has shifted further
north due to the reduction in ice weight in the north and south poles
(see the scorching hot temps in the UK and Europe); erosion is
dismantling shorelines around the world and our oxygen engines
(forests) are dying due to fires, hot temps, and unprecedented pest
populations out of control. To say we are in deep trouble is putting it
mildly. We’re fast approaching the most massive extinction event since
the dinosaurs and as humans we’re high on that list.
The Comstock Book Burnings
Back in the 1800’s not all feminists were Spiritualists, but all
Spiritualists advocated equality for women. Women were equal to men
within a Spiritualist practice, polity, and ideology. This was inherent
in a religious practice in which truth was revealed to individuals
without recourse to an external authority (always males and typically
Priests). In the mid 19th century there were eleven million
Spiritualists out of a population of twenty-five million in the US.
This growing faith spread fast around the world but was severely
crippled when it was subjected to the massive book burnings with the
Comstock book censorship law. Today we have the same problem with book
burnings. Not literally but figuratively speaking. Witness those who
deny environmental catastrophe and denigrate scientific query and
warning. I shudder to think what future generations will say about our
generation. If any survive.
The mid-19th century spiritualist movement was the cyclonic force of the
feminist movement. In manner of dress, the right to speak in public
forums, to own their own money, to be spiritual leaders, and to declare a
woman's right to equality, the spiritualists cleared the path. In
Spiritualism the place of worship was relocated to the home from church,
or temple. Spirit circles gathered around parlour tables, a most
appropriate place for women to preside.
The medical society deemed mediumship a medical disorder causing
rebellion against gender roles. On the other hand, Spiritualism taught
women to exercise self-healing properties in her own nature and to
develop a more egalitarian relationship with her doctor. Now those who
warn of the illness in our air and oceans are called extremists,
alarmists and negativists. It’s never been popular to be an
environmentalist. We’ve been called, “Unrealistic, anti-business, and
The persecution of the young female medium suffered at the hands of
self- proclaimed psychic investigators was reminiscent of the earlier
witch hunts. Mediums were bound to chairs, locked in small cupboards,
naked, supposedly to assure sitters they weren't hiding any tricks in
their skirts. Despite this stress, mediums were expected to provide
proof that they communed with the spirit world which a surprising number
of them succeeded in doing!
More Prophecy than Prescription
Equality between the sexes was lauded from the spiritualists as a
spiritual imperative from the spirit world meaning that it was divinely
prescribed and ordained. Spiritualists believed, as one advocate put it,
that woman's freedom is the world's redemption. Today we know that was
more prophecy than prescription.
The seeds of modernism, psychoanalysis, communications, human rights,
longevity were all brought from the unseen world to the seen in this
most spiritual, glorious age.
The her/his tory of religion has taught us that the further we move in
time away from the original spiritual message, the more it morphs,
disintegrates, and ultimately decays. Spirituality is a dynamic force
and has the power to alter the consciousness of humans, the course of
our collective destiny and ultimately our ability to thrive. Its temple
is the heart, its expression is in the actions we take every day of our
If you are inspired by feminism and spirituality, I highly recommend you
research this fascinating spiritual herstory. It’s a study rich in joy,
surprise and affirmation. If you are worried about what the scientists
are saying about our environment, I highly recommend you get involved.
There may be a day when you’re grateful you did become involved when it
might have made a difference. Don’t be complacent. Don’t be one of
those who persecuted Cassandra – be one of those who listened and did
everything you could to make it better.
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Woman's Era is here; her
right to half the knowledge of the universe, as well as half of the
opportunities of living, is daily receiving more and more evidence,
because of her ability to demonstrate that she is that other half of the
intelligence that man has failed to reveal.
Psychosophy by Cora Richmond, 1888