SB Author to Discuss Feminine Wisdom at International Women’s Day Event

Santa Barbara author Svetlana Meritt will discuss “Feminine Wisdom in Action: Remarkable Women in the Ancient and Medieval World” at the March 7 Women’s Day Signature Event, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Butler Event Center, 3744 State St.

Meritt is the author of the recently released book “Meet Me in the Underworld: How 77 Sacred Sites, 770 Cappuccinos, and 26,000 Miles Led Me to My Soul,” best described as a spiritual travelogue.

The March 7 presentation honors five extraordinary women who made outstanding contributions despite living in the male-dominated world: the philosopher and mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria; the Byzantine empress Theodora; Hildegard Von Bingen, a writer, composer and mystic; Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen of France and England; and Christine de Pizane, the first professional woman writer in the Middle Ages.

For 15 years, Meritt worked as a foreign correspondent for the Serbian magazine Illustrated Politics. She interviewed such figures as the Dalai Lama, Yoko Ono, and Allen Ginsberg.

After leaving her job as a journalist, Meritt and her late husband Dwight Johnson traveled to historic sacred sites in Europe, Africa, and Asia for six years. Meritt describes her journey as a search for her creative mission in life.

“Meet Me in the Underworld” takes the reader on a journey from the oracles of Greece and Egyptian temples, through remnants of the Etruscan civilization in central Italy, to sites in Brittany and power centers of the Knights Templar in southern France.

Currently, Meritt teaches at Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. She is also a professional photographer whose work has appeared in exhibitions in Belgrade and Santa Barbara.

Meritt also will sign copies of her book and read an excerpt at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at the Tecolote Book Shop, 1470 E. Valley Road, Montecito.

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