WOMEN RISING! A virtual gathering of women from around the country

Imagine an extraordinary gathering of women awakening to their full potential and being empowered to become passionate, co-creative agents for change. The Sophia Institute’s Women Rising! gathering will welcome women from all over the country virtually for a weekend of celebration and exploration with evolutionary leaders and teachers as we re-imagine and co-create our lives and our world. 

Living in this unprecedented moment in human history as we are, more and more women are waking up to what they are called to on the deepest levels and willing to be catalysts to create a much more conscious, just, flourishing and spiritually fulfilling world for all people.

Join us virtually, as we work together to live and lead with heart and wisdom, to cultivate our unity and our shared humanity in this The Sophia Institute’s 20th year.

If you are called to join us, you are a Woman Rising!.  Please join us and Pass it on.

This event will be recorded and available for viewing post-retreat for those who have registered for the event.

Speakers and Big Conversations


6 PM – 6:10 PM
Opening Remarks, Carolyn Rivers and Sandy Morckel
6:10 PM – 7:05 PM
Big Conversation 1

V (Formerly Eve Ensler). Playwright, Author and Founder V-Day and One Billion Rising. Author of the Obie award winning, theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologue. –
“Women and the Earth:  One Body”
How do we move from the ways of plundering to honoring, controlling to connection, conquering to kinship?  How do we dissolve the veil that keeps us separate from our bodies and the earth? 

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
7:05 PM – 8 PM
Big Conversation 2

Jean Houston. Renowned author, scholar,  powerful and dynamic speaker, Co-founder of the Human Potential Movement, she one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time.

“The Women of the Future are Already here: Becoming a Catalyst for a World that Works Well”
Without the genius of women the world will continue its downward spiral.  Women have the innate and emerging capacities to help people, citizens and leaders alike, to bring new mind and spirit to bear upon personal and social change. In this Big Conversation you will be provided with remarkable ways to tap into this inner Woman genius, rise to the challenge of our times and ferry ourselves and others across the dangerous abyss that separates a dying era from a ‘borning’ one.  Join Visionary, Evocatur, and Co-Founder of the Human Potential Movement, Jean Houston for this stellar Big Conversation that will catalyze you, too.

8 PM – 8:20 PM
Breakout room. Revelations of the evening. Networking.
8:20 PM – 8:30 PM

Friday Evening Closing. Sharing. New learnings. Ah ha moments.


10 AM
Opening, welcome, introductions.
10:10 AM

Inspiration from Maya Angelou.

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
10:15 -11:10 AM
Big Conversation 3

Robyn Moreno. A curandera, life coach, and Emmy-nominated TV host.

“Get Rooted:  Why reclaiming your self, soul, and sisterhood is your greatest gift to the world”
Do you remember who you were before others told you who you should be? Do you have a feeling that “something is missing” no matter what you do? Then it’s time to Get Rooted.

In this Big Conversation, you’ll be inspired to journey back to the root of your own power by tapping into the strength of your soul desires and sisterhood to reclaim your true essence. In this sacred place of rootedness, you’ll remember your own strengths, recover your own voice, unearth your unique gifts, and re-write your own story.

If you are being called to heal, lead, and grow, join Latinx leader and curandera, Robyn Moreno, as we root down, then rise together. 

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
11:10 -12:05
Big Conversation 4

Andrea Bendewald. Founder of the Art of Circling,  transformational mindfulness coach and leader, actress.

“The Power of Circling”
Andrea Bendewald, founder of the Art of Circling, uses circling as an ancient ritual in a modern setting to empower individuals, strengthen communities and enhance productivity.   Through sacred sharing of stories, intentional listening and interconnected meditation, the Art of Circling empowers, heals, and transforms lives. 

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
12:05 – 1:00 PM
Big Conversation 5

Jennifer and Rachel Pastiloff, sisters. author, speaker, coach and creator of the ShameLoss movement.

“Shame Loss, SelfGain”
Join sisters Jennifer and Rachel Pastiloff, for an intimate discussion and interactive dialogue on SHAME LOSS.   Put down shame so we can rise up together, as a sisterhood, whether a blood or chosen sisterhood.  In their Big Conversation, we will learn the art of shameloss. Jen came up the term shameloss (like weightloss, but losing shame), because shame feels like baggage.

Drop The Shame BaggageIt’s time to lose the heavy burdens of shame you’ve been carrying around for far too long.  Create Your Healing Toolkit– Learn powerful, positively charged ways to help you manage this beautiful thing called life.   Align With Your Highest Self– Taste the freedom of losing shame, stopping the ruthless self-sabotage, and dropping sad, old stories.

1:00 – 1:30 PM
sjrec, Social Justice Racial Equity Collaboratice, The Sophia Institute Calendar of Events
1:30 -1:50 PM

Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative Panel.

J. Goosby Smith, Sandy Morckel, LaVanda Brown, Carolyn Rivers

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
1:50 -2:45 PM
Big Conversation 6

Dr. Shefali Tsabary,  Acclaimed author, international speaker, clinical psychologist, Wisdom teacher.

A Radical Awakening: Turn Pain into Power, Embrace Your Truth, Live Free”
Dr. Shafili guides women on a transformational journey to become who they were always meant to be:  fully present, whole, and free.  Through a Radical Awakening,  Dr. Shafili illuminates a liberating, culture-shifting, and mind-bending path that unlocks a woman’s capacity to transform fear into power, unworthiness into wholeness, and suffering into freedom.

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
2:45 – 3:40 PM
Big Conversation 7

Carolyn Sawyer. Author.  Facilitator. Trainer. Consultant. CEO, Tom Sawyer Company.

“Leading Your Way”
There is a natural born leader in every woman. The challenge becomes determining what is the best way for you to lead. How are you most effective? How are you happiest? Carolyn Sawyer will explore these questions and more as we embrace Leading Your Way.

3:40 – 3:45 PM
Comfort Break
Lynne Twist, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
3:45 – 4:40 PM
Big Conversation 8

Lynne Twist. Founder of Soul of Money Institute, Co-Founder of Pachamama Alliance and author.

“Visioning a Post Covid World”.
The post COVID vision I have for the world is one where the Feminine has risen and joined with the Masculine in true partnership for a more just, sustainable, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on the planet.

The disruption of COVID is huge, humbling, and also is the reflective time we all needed to change course.  In the dominant culture of competition we’ve been living in, we see ourselves as rivals in a race to grab as much as we can, believing in the myth of scarcity. It is these beliefs that prevent us from seeing how collaboration and reciprocity create abundance and bring about transformative change.

 A Feminine principle, collaboration is the circuitry through which the energy, attention, and resources of sufficiency flow and are continually renewed. Implicit in collaboration is the trust that says there is enough and we will figure out how to use it together wisely.  Collaboration is a powerful tool for creating social change—more powerful than money, more powerful than mere personal power.

In this unprecedented time, we are given the space and time to see that we need a reset, a reimagining of civilization, a rethinking of who we are and what we can recreating.  We will not get through all that we are facing if we don’t work from the Divine Spark that lives in every human being, if we do not draw on Source and stay connected to Source, because that’s what’s missing. And if we do, we will not just get through it. We will foster and nourish a new birth… We will give birth to the civilization, to the society, and to the culture that we’ve dreamed of.

It will be a central revelation that the power of the divine feminine energy and the female archetype is respected and central to everything that matters.  We will realize and name the 21st Century, the Sophia Century, the century when women are taking their rightful role in co-equal partnership with men and the world is coming into balance. Both the feminine and masculine in all of us—in women and men– will be fully expressed in a healthy way.  As indigenous cultures teach, both the female and male wings of the “bird of humanity” will be fully extended and “the bird of humanity” will finally stop flying in circles and be free to soar.

4:40 – 4:50 PM
Breakout. Networking. Big take-aways.
4:50 – 5:00 PM
Close. Next steps. How to stay engaged, make a difference now.

Hourly Schedule

6:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST
Friday Night, 10/29
10:00 am EST - 5:00 pm EST
Saturday, 10/30


Oct 29 2021 - Oct 30 2021


$150 Flash Sale
$100 GenZ Registration (Open to age 30 or under)
$500 WOMEN RISING! Host Level : tuition for yourself and one guest

Visitor Planning

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Virtual Program
Join us via Zoom Conference