I stand on the Rhine river in Bingen, Germany and feel the hot summer sun on my shoulders. I have just arrived from San Francisco. I have traveled half way around the world to see and feel the sacred sites of where Hildegard von Bingen lived in the early 1100’s. Some call her a Saint, some call her a feminist, some call her a visionary of God. She is all of these things and more.
Hildegard von Bingen was born in 1098 and lived to be 80 years old passing in 1179. We know so much about Hildegard because she learned to read and write at a young age. Her mother from a wealthy family offered her up at the age of eight to the monastic life at the Disibodenberg Monastery in the southern part of Germany. Here she lived until the age of 50, then approximately in 1150, she courageously built her own convent at Rupertsberg.
Hildegard was born a visionary seeing the “Light” or God and became an artist to paint these ecstatic images. The “Light” told her sacred passages to write called “scivias” for people to learn from. The “Light” gave her spiritual music she composed and songs to sing. She became a healer, healing with herbs, crystals and prayers. You can see images of her works of art and texts that were written by her at the Museum Am Strom in Bingen, Germany. One of her paintings she created is above.
I arrived at the place Hildegard lived her first 50 years of her life at the Disibodenberg Cloister ruins near the Nahe River. I walked up a gentle mountain where the ruins of the sacred site lay. I could feel a calmness come over me as I hiked up. The ruins were hidden by the trees as if they were protecting them. When I reached the summit, all was very quiet and there was a palpable energy I was feeling all around me.
It was early evening where the sun was seeping through the leaves giving a sweet air to the ancient stone ruins. Many stories are held within the old stone walls. I walked through the passageways where Hildegard von Bingen walked. I could see the walls of the old cloister still standing proud of what it once was.
I touched the ancient stone wall of the convent of Disibodenberg and opened my heart to Hildegard von Bingen. I said my prayer of incredible gratitude for all her inspirations into the ecstatic, spiritual connection to the “Light”.
“Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for as a woman you stood against all the oppression of the time in which you lived and you overcame all to allow us today to see your incredible sacred paintings, hear your ecstatic songs, read your visionary writings from God and the “Light”, learn about how you were a healer with herbs and crystals, and to feel your inspiration to be a powerful woman. I have so much gratitude for you Hildegard von Bingen.”
I am in awe of all her sacred musical compositions we can all listen to now in 2017. She had created her songs to heal and sooth the soul throughout all time. I stood there and looked at the sun preparing its decent into the earth as Hildegard stood there many, many years ago in this same spot.
I opened my heart and sang for Hildegard von Bingen into the Sun, I sang my sound healing songs of the light of my heart for her through all the hundreds of years. Sound travels through time and space, I stood where she had stood, I know she could hear my song I sang for her. I felt a calm ecstasy spread all around me.
© Shekhina von Recklinghausen 2017