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Karen McFee

Introduction: The New Female Mystics

A vanguard of self-schooled female mystics are doing an end-run around the mainstream self-help and New Age movements — and are advancing a radical, 21st century spirituality. Call it the ‘Anti-Me Generation.’

In this series, we introduce some of the leading lights of the sage sex, and their teachings

Across the centuries, spiritual seekers have invariably been women and the teachers men; From Jesus to Gurdjieff and Rumi to Ramana Maharshi, enlightenment has been a male-dominated business. But figures like Byron Katie are in the vanguard of an astonishing advent in the mystical tradition: she is a leading light in a scattered coterie of women who have propounded a radical, new esoteric spirituality and seem to have leap-frogged ahead of male counterparts in the pursuit of the sacred.

Their work, if you want to call it that, isn’t wholly cribbed from Indian gurus or apprenticeships in Asian monasteries but forged in a homegrown fashion in the crucible of the modern, over-caffeinated, high-tech West – sometimes as a result of frustration with oriental traditions. Alongside Katie, these self-schooled spiritual masters include Oregon-based Catherine Ingram, Santa Fe’s Pamela Wilson, and Calgary, Alberta-based Karen McPhee (pictured above).

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