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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Re-cognizing the Divine Feminine: An Autoethnographic Journey of Healing through Nature
by Kinne, Anne Gratia, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2020, 184; 27961926
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation introduces an autoethnographic perspective contextualizing the understanding of how the healing of trauma occurs when in Nature, through experiencing the presence of the Divine Feminine. It answers the question “How has the presence of the Divine Feminine in Nature facilitated the healing of my trauma?”

Trauma is rampant (Levine, 2019a, 2019b; van der Kolk, 2019). It is more pervasive than we think, yet obvious when we hear of all the horror in our world. As it anchors in our bodies, often times we react from that context—toward ourselves in the form of addictions, low self-worth, or even suicidal tendencies—toward others in the form of road rage, mass shootings, or even human trafficking—and toward Gaia, such as drilling or fraking, air and water pollution, or global warming. This dissertation centers on the premise that if we heal ourselves first, then our relationships with other human and nonhuman life, and with Gaia will also heal.

In using feminist standpoint theory and embodiment theory, in conjunction with arts-based research and autoethnography, each helped locate my place and lived experiences in the world in relation to my own trauma. My lived experiences became the data. The literature review did not support my hypothesis of a 3-D model of healing, presented here as somatic, phenomenological, and the presence of the Divine Feminine so one was established. A protocol was also developed and followed to provide structure for the data.

The study launched while at home where information was collected via journaling. To collect additional detail, two road trips were taken in 2017 and 2019. Places in Nature were found where I engaged in the protocol, and further data was taken via journal notes made after these sessions.

From lived experiences, results showed that the presence of the Divine Feminine can be found in Nature and was instrumental in healing my trauma. Further findings showed the essential nature of somatic engagement in the process and it being generalizable for others. Most importantly, however, this work adds to the corpus of exercises that can be implemented to heal trauma on all levels.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McAuley, Charles E
Commitee: Combs, Leslie A, Brumbaugh, Martha
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theology, Environmental Studies, Public health
Keywords: Arts-based research, Autoethnography, Divine feminine, Healing, Nature, Trauma
Publication Number: 27961926
ISBN: 9798645448677
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