Healing from Patriarchy
in the Lap of our Great Mother

JoAnna Silverwitch

 JoAnna is an ordained Minister, Dianic High Priestess, Teacher of Women's Mysteries,  Independent Scholar, Writer, Musician, Artist, Poet,  Ritualist and Seer with over 50 years in the Mystical Arts & Religious Studies;
and 35 years in 12-Step Recovery, Goddess Spirituality and the Field of Rehabilitation.  She facilitates Women's Studies and Seasonal Rituals, Retreats, Gatherings and Celebrations to honor women's lives from cradle to grave. 
She also serves her community as Regional Coordinator for Gather the Women Global Matrix; and Overseer 
of the Serenity Seekers Recovery Group in Carson City, Nevada.

"It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society!"        ~  J. Krishnamurti ~

Rev. JoAnna 'Silverwitch' Medina is founder of THE SACRED CIRCLE, a self- supporting sisterhood of recovering women who are reclaiming the Divine Feminine & Women's Mysteries to heal  from Patriarchy, Codependency and various addictions; also Lady Liberty Sisterhood, an online Circle supporting women's voices, solidarity and sacred activism in the America's and the world. 
She is also the Editor and Publisher of
Fertile Ground, a quarterly publication for recovering & reclaiming women;
and author of several Books which contain the 13 Traditions and 13 Step Path of The Sacred Circle. Her new book: 13 Steps to the Goddess: Reclaiming the Power of the Divine Feminine in Recovery will be out soon.

 JoAnna provides Women's Studies; Ministerial Classes; Empowerment Circles,  Pass the Rattle Recovery Circles, Seasonal Gatherings,  Nature Retreats; Rituals and Rite of Passage Ceremonies for Women and Girls;
Astrological Charts, Tarot Readings
and Classes both locally and online.

Contact JoAnna:


" If a woman is NOT reclaiming the Goddess in her Recovery Program....  she IS NOT recovering!"    
~ J. Silverwitch ~

Recovering & Reclaiming 
Ancient Ways to Heal our Lives

The Sacred Circle of Maidens, Mothers & Crones invites recovering & reclaiming women everywhere to join the dance of our sisterhood.

By  reclaiming the power of the Divine Feminine to recover from the long- standing effects of Patriarchy; Internalized Oppression, Codependency, numerous addictions and dysfunctional ways of the world that have continually affected us and our families for countless generations... we collectively bring awareness, change, healing & empowerment to all who honor a path of reverence for Mother Earth and the Feminine Spirit.

In THE SACRED CIRCLE, we are looking at the bigger picture and expanding our awareness of who we are by educating ourselves and embracing our natural spiritual authority as the creators of life!

The Circle brings deeper awareness, inspiration, empowerment and support to women who desire a spiritual path that mirrors our unique mysteries while restoring the missing link to our divinity, authenticity, wholeness,  fulfillment, freedom, happiness and true purpose.

Let's Remember:  

When Women Come Together, the World Comes Together!




  A Recovering & Reclaiming Woman is a  woman-born woman
who is healing from the effects of Patriarchy by blending the principles
of recovery with Women's Mystery Traditions to re-awaken her deep biological/cellular/wisdom; to explore & reclaim her suppressed lineage;
to realign herself with the waxing and waning cycles of Mother Nature; 
to participate in circles of women to celebrate the seasons; to honor her
rites of passage or life cycles as daughter, maiden, amazon, mother, queen, grandmother, elder or crone; and to share her experience, strength, hope
and wisdom with other women who are reclaiming their authentic self.

 As R & R Women, we are liberating ourselves from the mind-sets
and oppressive 
beliefs of Patriarchy by re-educating ourselves;
by exploring and embracing HERSTORY rather than HISTORY;
by reclaiming our natural cycles and biological mysteries;
by embracing our deep genetic/ancestral/instinctive wisdom;
 honoring the natural seasons and cycles of our life;
by developing our natural gifts, talents and intuitive abilities;
by acknowleging our natural spiritual authority as creators of life,
and by working together in the greater women's collective  
to restore the Goddess and her daughters to their rightful place.

As Recovering & Reclaiming Women, we embrace the
principles of recovery while honoring our
oneness with all
things in the great web of life. Therefore,  we use our natural talents and gifts to support the equality of all living beings and the
life-giving systems of Mother Earth while carrying the message
of Recovery & Reclaiming to sisters who want to heal their lives.

Please Join Us!

My Recovering & Reclaiming Story
How the Goddess Transformed my Life 

JoAnna Silverwitch

The Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle was born in the early years of my recovery as the result of a profound spiritual experience that reunited me with the Goddess. This extraordinary epiphany occurred on a Nature walk in the Spring of 1985 and changed my life in ways I never dreamed possible.

At the time I was very active in a 12-Step program: attending meetings on a daily basis; cleaning up the wreckage of my past; healing from years of dysfunctional living, assisting others in recovery; raising kids; mending family relationships and working in the Chemical Dependency Field. In spite of my very busy life, however, which included weekly jaunts to the seashore, I began developing an insatiable urge to spend more time in Nature.

The urge was overwhelming, not to mention distracting. I had a gnawing need to feel the dirt between my toes, to bask in Nature's beauty and to satisfy a deep craving within.  With the divine guidance already experienced in my life I knew this urge was important, that it couldn't be denied. I struggled awhile with this urge, however, because my life was full. I had commitments to women in recovery as well as my job and family, and didn't think I could squeeze any more time out of my busy schedule. But, the urge persisted and I knew it well... so I prayed for guidance.

I soon heard about a lovely rural preserve just blocks away from home so I decided to check it out. This beautiful "park" turned out to be just what I needed. It had thick wooded trees, beautiful ponds and lakes, dirt trails, wildlife and a wide flowing creek that ran for miles year round. It was perfect, and since I worked evenings I started going there in the morning before my noon meeting while my daughters were in school. 

Sometimes I'd spend hours in this beautiful rustic getaway basking in the beauty of Mother Nature. I'd walk on trails along the creek's edge feeling the warmth of the sun on my face or meditate peacefully in quiet groves listening to the wind but it was always a delight that nurtured my soul.  I would also offer silent prayers as I walked, giving thanks for my sobriety, for my recovery, for my healing and for peace of mind. This is when the course of my life was changed forever.

One particular morning near the Spring Equinox in 1985, on my day off from work, I strolled in my usual lackadaisical fashion along my favorite dirt path near the duck ponds, basking in whimsical enchantment and offering prayers of gratitude to Mother Nature for the beauty surrounding me, when I was abruptly stopped in my tracks by the voice of a  feminine "spirit" whispering through my consciousness. She told me I was made in "HER image and likeness" then showed me in a vision how we both brought life into the world from our bodies. A powerful force of cosmic energy then swept through me, replacing all former ideologies with overwhelming feelings of self-love and sacredness never before experienced! My soul and sanity seemed restored in a matter of seconds, and I was stunned, but as if waking from a dream I knew exactly who SHE was! At that moment, from a very deep place within me, her ancient memory rose to the surface of my consciousness and I uttered... “Mother, is that you?”

This powerful awakening was so sudden and unexpected that it prompted me to seek immediate refuge under my favorite willow tree by the creek. I sat on the cool moss and began weeping, blubbering apologies to my Ancient Mother for somehow forgetting Her in a maze of hypnosis that seemed to be just wearing off! I realized I had always been one with her, like her, separated only by illusions of the mind and the false beliefs of Patriarchal culture and religion I felt like Sleeping Beauty waking from a spell of slumbering exile, somewhat embarrassed that I had fallen prey to such a thing! But this re-connection with the Goddess assuaged any lingering guilt, for as her symphonic sounds and haunting laughter echoed magically through my natural surroundings I was deeply reassured that the joke was on me! 

My weeping continued all afternoon accompanied by a series of powerful visions, but the cleansing and clarity brought healing, relief and release from years of self-bondage. As I listened by the flowing creek a tremendous sense of clarity also came over me. I began understanding why I had become so dysfunctional and why I was REALLY in recovery. It was clear that I had become the victim of a male-dominated world since birth, captive in its oppressive grip along with millions of others; that under this powerful, cultural influence I was taught to give my power away to the dysfunctional systems around me — to people, places and things outside myself — and by doing so developed a soul-sickness that actually severed me from my real nature: from my divinity as a living spirit; my oneness with Nature; my sacredness as a female; and my natural spiritual authority as a creator of life! 

It suddenly dawned on me that my soul-fragmentation was the "spiritual malady" we talked about in our recovery programs, that it was the underlying cause of the shame, pain, codependency, neurotic behaviors, compulsive disorders and  life-shattering addictions that almost took me to my death.

"How could I have been so blind?"  I cried. "How could I have done this to myself?" 

As I sat there by the flowing creek my life flashed in front of me. The roots of my oppression were clear along with the contempt and rage I had always felt for the world. Now, I was beginning to understand why I had such extreme emotional reactions to life; why I viewed the world with contempt and disgust; why I was so defensive, rebellious, defiant and mistrusting; why I was continually fighting everyone and everything around me; why I left the Church in my teens; why I felt like a stranger in a strange land; why I altered my consciousness and buffered the pain of my existence with food, sex, alcohol, drugs and any other mind-altering substance that would numb or distract me from "reality." I could see the false beliefs I had internalized: the inequality of males over females; why I married only once and refused to marry again.  I could also see why  I struggled in poverty most of my life,  why I attracted dysfunctional relationships; why I sat in  jail with tremendous guilt over my children while being punished for using mind- altering substances that actually helped me cope with the painful reality of my life.

As the revelations came, one by one,  I began to understand why I resented being female; why I had problems with my self-image and sexuality; why I sacrificed my own needs and talents to gain love, attention and approval; why I suffered for years with sadness, grief and depression; why I felt odd and "different" no matter how hard I tried to fit in to a world I didn't like or respect. 

It was also clear why ventures I pursued with sincerity became exercises in futility even with my best efforts to conform to the patriarchal world around me; why I looked for love in all the wrong places; why I hated the roles I was expected to play in marriage or relationships with men;  why sex was boring and unsatisfying; why I struggled for intimacy that never came; why I sought various escapes from reality to survive; why man-made monotheistic religions turned me off; why I felt there was something terribly wrong with me, and why I had a huge void inside I couldn't fill.

Yes, it was now making perfect sense! My years of shame, suffering, deterioration and disease were the result of a disconnection from my Deepest Self; from Mother Nature, from the natural forces and cycles of my life and my natural spiritual authority as a creatrix of life!

I had been duped! I had unconsciously surrendered my power, wisdom, beauty and uniqueness to the misogynist, life-sucking systems of Patriarchy along with the hypnotized multitudes around me! I became a victim of cultural forces and illusions of the mind that came with it. The indoctrination, conditioning, false concepts and belief systems that sprang from its male-dominated religions and political systems had captured ME as it had so many other pathetic people and I had internalized every bit of it! I was absolutely appalled!

That day... sitting beside the flowing creek... my blindfold was removed and my inner sight restored. I knew with absolute certainty that I was a visible Spirit, a divine Soul created by a woman, (not a rib), and fashioned with the elements of Mother Nature, in her image, in her likeness, and one with it all! Yes, the joke really was on me! 

The revelations of that day freed me from the bondage of the "self" because they  removed all prior religious beliefs and shifted my consciousness in ways that completely altered my perception of reality! I could see that I was a living Spirit... whole and complete in the framework of my design... that there was nothing to add or take away from my True Self  EXCEPT the false beliefs and illusions that had kept me in states of self-hatred, bondage and self-inflicted pain for the greater part of my life.

On that day, I  knew I'd continue my way of life in Recovery...  that I would continue attending meetings and utilizing the principles of recovery to uncover, discover, discard and amend all that prevented me from walking in the sunlight of the Spirit and beauty of the Earth;  that  I would continue carrying this message of recovery to other women, one day at a time.

Now that my long lost connection with the Goddess was restored, I knew she would not fade from my memory again. I left the park at sunset that day but vowed to keep her in my heart and serve her in any way that I could. I knew  I would have to share this extraordinary experience with others at some point but didn't know exactly how or when. I had never heard anyone in our recovery program speak of HER... so I decided to remain silent about it for awhile and bask in my new-found reality alone. 

I continued my jaunts to the park and the seaside, basking in her beauty and praying for guidance. I was willing to let time and prudence take its course, and it did. I  finally got the opportunity to share my "spiritual experience" with friend in recovery and he pointed the way to books I needed to read about our Great Cosmic Mother,  Women's Mystery Traditions of Old Europe, Ancient Goddess Religions, Women's Spirituality, and many others that would help me continue recovering and reclaiming who I was and who I had always been.  Another door had opened... and I was elated!

For the next two years I watched films and read everything I could get my hands on about the Goddess; about Women's Spirituality, my  indigenous past and European Ancestry. I was drawn like a magnet to Women's Mystery Traditions because they mirrored my experiences as a female from cradle to grave. I also began living by the seasons, by the waxing and waning cycles of the sun and moon while creating solitary rituals to honor the cycles of my life as a woman.

I continued remembering and reclaiming  who I was, who I had always been, and my life changed in ways I never dreamed possible! This process eventually led to my ordination as a UCM Minister, a Dianic High Priestess and the Founding Mother of The Sacred Circle. Another door had opened. My real education had begun and I was inspired like never before!

My life began filling up with wonder and amazement because I now recognized my sacredness without the self-hatred that held me captive all my life. The Goddess filled a need in my soul that I didn't know I had. She was the missing link I had unconsciously searched for all my life!  My long wait was over! My happiness was brimming. My eyes were glowing.

In all my years of spiritual questing I never experienced a feeling of satisfaction quite like this one. I was extremely grateful and now felt genuine hope and inspiration. For the first time in my entire life I was happy to be on the Earth and happy to be a WOMAN because along with my commitment to recovery I was now reclaiming a spiritual path that mirrored my true nature: my natural spiritual authority, my inner mysteries, my instincts and my divine biology as a female. It was awesome!

Now that I was embracing a true spiritual path for women, patriarchal images of Deity didn't work for me at all... especially in 12 Step Recovery which was a program written by men for men with a patriarchal religious focus. As a matter of fact, "GOD, as you understand HIM" -- which is the common phrase used  in recovery programs -- actually began repulsing me because it was so false, misleading and damaging.

My new awareness, especially in 12-Step Meetings, made it obvious that WE, as individuals and a culture, had forgotten our true source of life: EARTH- MOTHER-WOMAN! I was deeply saddened by this. I knew that if I had been taken to women's circles throughout my life it could have saved me years of confusion and heartache, particularly in the way I viewed and treated myself as a woman. 

As I continued sitting in recovery circles: I  began recognizing our deep soul-severance, our fragmentation, our disconnection from the natural world, our erased Herstory and severed roots from our indigenous past that sat at the root of our insanity; our cultural disorders, our codependency, our numerous addictions and the endless diseases that plague humanity!

In the  wilds of nature, away from all worldly distractions, I re-discovered the incredible peace I felt when aligning myself with the vibrational frequencies of Mother Nature!  When I was surrounded by the Man-made world, with Patriarchy and it's insane mindsets,  I became scattered, distracted, irritable, restless and discontent. It was clear that our severance from Mother Nature and incompatibility with the  male-dominated World was the underlying cause of our dysfunctions all over the world! This incompatibility, along with our indoctrination into a world of false beliefs, propaganda and greedy politics produced soul fragmentation... a separation from the very ground of our being.... which led in time to diseases of the mind, body, heart and soul.  It was also clear that others beside myself had been sucked into this world of illusion and the weird form of hypnosis that went with it, even in our recovery programs! Yes, we ALL needed to WAKE UP in order to be happy, joyous and free.... all of us!

In the months following my epiphany  I continued studying and sharing my discoveries with sisters in recovery.  I also continued aligning myself with Nature's seasons and cycles while weaving Women's Mysteries into my recovery program... and it didn't take long for the women around me  to notice a change in my demeanor.

Before I knew it, women in recovery began asking me questions about my spiritual path. This is when I became acutely aware that many women, like myself, had difficulty with the "patriarchal god" of 12-Step Programs.  Some didn't know what to do about it. Others felt something was wrong with them because of it. Some women secretly confided that they had never really believed in a "GOD" at all and went along with it just to fit in. It was amazing.

I finally decided to "come out" of the broom closet and share openly about the Goddess because I knew how these women were feeling. Although we were repeatedly told in 12-Step meetings that we could choose a Higher Power of our own understanding, it was not our experience. "God as you understand HIM" was continually being crammed down our throats, along with patriarchal religious prayers that didn't resonate with our experiences as women. 

A change was definitely in order, one that would give us a deeper understanding of ourselves as women in recovery. So, from that time on, when a woman voiced her discomfort with the patriarchal god of the program, I would share about the Goddess, about Mother Nature, about Women's Spirituality and our unique mysteries as women. I also shared why I needed images of the Divine Feminine to recover from the internalized belief systems of Patriarchy: from the pain, shame, soul fragmentation and internalized oppression that led to my codependency and numerous addictions that made my life so unmanageable... and they listened with enthusiasm!  

Before I knew it, a small group of women began pouring into my home on a regular basis to view films and  talk about the Goddess and Women's Spirituality in Recovery.  This is how THE SACRED CIRCLE was born and grew into a Queendom of many powerful sisters... each special... each unique... each a Goddess in her own right... and it has continued serving me and hundreds of women ever since.

In the Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, we feel men as well as women need to reclaim the Goddess because she is our maternal connection to life, the living breathing Earth-Mother of which we are ALL a part. But we also discovered very quickly that Girls must recover with the Girls .... and Boys must recover with the boys ...  because we are biologically and instinctively  different and need to reclaim our own unique mysteries in order to live healthy lives. 

Not only that. Males as well as Females suffer from a fragmentation of the soul caused by internalizing the myths of Patriarchy. However, our indoctrination in the world along with our instinctual/ hormonal responses to life are very different. Therefore, we can only heal by realistically knowing WHO WE ARE and that takes a process of recovery and reclaiming. So far, we've created a world that keeps us sick and dysfunctional, and we MUST ALL HEAL by changing our attitudes, respecting our differences, and learning to work together to create a more balanced world. 

Reclaiming our oneness with Mother Nature and the great web of Life is a vital key to complete recovery and restoration to wholeness. This awareness is being shared by thousands in our world today but is still a vital element missing in our recovery programs. If we desire freedom from bondage and long-term recovery we MUST break through our insidious denial and relinquish old ideas, images and belief systems that keep us separated from true intimacy with ourselves and others.  We must ACT our way into right thinking....  not THINK our way into right living.  We must reclaim ourselves on a deeper level of consciousness, one rooted in a very old and ancient truth: WE ARE living Spirits... ONE WITH ALL things in the great of life... and... WE ARE the "SAVIORS" we've been waiting for!

The Recovering & Reclaiming Path in THE SACRED CIRCLE is for women-born-women who have removed themselves, or want to remove themselves, from the oppressive mind-sets, beliefs, and codependency that results from living in a dysfunctional, patriarchal world; women who want to reclaim their authenticity so they can live joyfully while serving their families and the world with their genuine talents and gifts.

For over 35 years now, I have shared my experience, strength and hope in Rooms of Recovery and The Sacred Circle... and today I am proud to be a recovering and reclaiming woman.

I now offer this wisdom to you, not as the only way, but as one that creates a deeper awareness of our recovery from Patriarchy, Codependency, and the numerous addictions we develop while coping the pain of our existence in the dysfunctional, unbalanced world around us.

My deepest desire is that we will quickly awaken from our hypnotic stupors and work together as Children of the Earth -- one with Nature, One in Spirit, One with all things in the great Web of Life. We must heal ourselves at the deepest levels so balance can be restored here and now.  Maybe then, and only then, will the light of our spirits shine brightly enough to awaken us... reverse the destruction we see all around us.... heal ourselves... heal the Earth... and unify all creatures that depend on Her sustenance!  I certainly hope so.  Blessed Be.

 Let's remember... 
When women come together, the world comes together.

When Women Heal, the Earth Heals!

      ~ JoAnna Silverwitch ~



An excellent book for everyone in recovery who
honors the ancient ways of Nature & Spirit.

A useful tool for Earth lovers who are healing from
Western Civilization & the Diseases of More!

An excellent book for men and women who are
reclaiming the Divine Feminine in their personal life.

An inspirational Gift for our Loved Ones, Family,
Friends and Relatives in or out of recovery!

 A helpful study guide for Pass the Rattle Circles;
Healing Circles; Earth-based Recovery Circles

 Learn More about JoAnna & The Sacred Circle
along with upcoming gatherings, retreats & circles at:

JoAnna is a Regional Coordinator in Carson City, Nv.

She is also the facility overseer of the
Serenity Seekers Recovery Group in Carson City,
which holds eclectic 12-Step Meetings that focus on
women's issues and honors all spiritual and secular paths.

JoAnna is also founder and facilitator of:
which provides support to all women in the Americas
& around the world in our current political climate.

Check it out on this website or on Facebook



Blessed Be

Available Books & Booklets


Recovering & Reclaiming in The Sacred Circle 

The 13 Step Path

Reflections of our Steps and Traditions


The Sacred Circle
of Maidens, Mothers & Crones

13 x 13


The Sacred Circle of Maidens, Mothers & Crones



The Recovering Goddess 

Healing from Patriarchy in the Lap of the Great Mother
soon to be published and available on


Sacred Wheel Dancing

Reflections of Time in Poetic Rhyme 


13 Steps to the Goddess
Reclaiming the Power of the Divine Feminine in Recovery

soon to be published & available on


Books published by The Sacred Circle Books