by Sheryl Marlar

Call it intuition, but women always have had a special sense of knowing things.

That is the focus of a book recently published by Dr. Kathleen Skott-Myhre, interim associate dean of the University of West Georgia’s College of Social Sciences and an associate professor of psychology. The book is called “Feminist Spirituality Under Capitalism: Witches, Fairies, and Nomads” through Routledge Press.

Dr. Kathleen Skott-Myhre Skott-Myhre often tells students to pay attention to their gut and what their hearts say they should do.

“If something feels right, follow that instinct. If something feels wrong, also pay attention to that,” she explained. “It’s important for women in particular to surround themselves with women who support one another. Women should bond together and lift each other up rather than tear each other down as our culture unfortunately teaches us to do.”

“The book offers a renewed vision of women’s spirituality as a political force within the field of psychology and the broader social,” Skott-Myhre added.

Skott-Myhre suggests an alternative approach to psychology and psychic trauma at a time when she says women are under assault physically, psychologically and emotionally across the globe.

“Women’s spirituality, in the form of witchcraft and sorcery, are prime examples of the way modernity and the European colonial project impacted indigenous peoples and women’s ways of knowing,” she said. “The reader is taken on a historical journey using various spiritual practices on how women should reclaim their understanding of knowledge.”

One of the things that excites Skott-Myhre about working in a department centered outside traditional psychology is the opportunity to explore alternative ways of understanding human experience.

“When I came to the UWG six years ago, I was encouraged by my senior colleagues to extend work I had already done in my doctoral dissertation on women's spirituality and women's ways of knowing,” Skott-Myhre shared. “This book is a culmination of that research.”

Skott-Myhre was inspired by this knowledge a long time ago while working on her dissertation, titled “Multi Generational Transmission of Feminine Power in Young Women of Irish Ancestry: Learning My Mother’s Magic.”

“My mother had this particular way of knowing things,” she said. “And my sisters and I also had a certain knowledge or intuition about things. I wanted to find out if this was just my family or if there were other people who experienced this.”

In her research, she interviewed her mother and her sisters to gather their stories. Her dissertation was ultimately about that particular question.

“So, this book was inspired by my mother and my sisters and the women in my family and how we pass on this spirituality and intuition that is unique to my family,” Skott-Myhre concluded. “But every family has its own unique stories.”

After the book was published, Skott-Myhre was invited to deliver international keynote addresses at Manchester University in the United Kingdom and at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicholás de Hidalgo in Morelia, Mexico.

“This book is an inspirational and major contribution to new, minor forms of psychology that seek neither to re-center marginality nor to close down the proliferation of resistant practice,” said Dr. Erica Burman of Manchester University and author of the internationally acclaimed book “Deconstructing Developmental Psychology.” “It, rather, makes a call to reclaim women’s rituals and traditions to provoke new transnational political alliances and engagements.”

Posted on February 14, 2018