Today we will look at a number of things that Matthew has to say about the Via Creativa.

However, I first want to point out to you that one of the reasons Matthew was first silenced, then dismissed from the Dominican Order, was that, besides “being a feminist, calling God ‘Mother,’ and de-emphasizing original sin,” he “worked too closely with Native Americans.”

A sketch of Vicki and Buck Ghosthorse. Used with permission from Matthew Fox.

After all, he had Buck Ghosthorse on his faculty at the Institute on Culture and Creation Spirituality at Holy Names College, and Native American Elder Jose Hobday taught at the University of Creation Spirituality.


Creation Spirituality, because it honors the ancient rituals of native peoples and listens to their wisdom, because it teaches participants to rediscover the empowerment that comes from ritual, and because it places ritual in a cosmological context, has much to offer us helping religion move beyond verbosity to living ritual. 

The custom of the Jingle Dress, or Healing Prayer Dress, began in the Ojibwe tribe and spread to other Native American Nations. The jingles are made from rolled-up can lids; their sound mimics falling rain. Here, the dance is being performed by women at the 2023 Gathering of Nations. Video by Nabahe1. 

There never was a true prophet who was not an artist, nor a true artist who was not a prophet.

Lovemaking is art as meditation par excellence. 

The Cosmic Christ will usher in an era of renewed folk art, of the awakening of the divine powers of creativity in all persons.

Study is spiritual praxis. 

See Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, p. 126.

See also Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion, p. 133.

And Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 179 and 199.

And Fox, Wrestling with the Prophets, p. 45.

Banner Image: Native American Powwow Dancing in Browning, MO. Photo by Larry Rana for the United States Department of Agriculture. Wikimedia Commons. 

Queries for Contemplation

What is your preferred form of spiritual practice?

Recommended Reading

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

Wrestling with the Prophets: Essays on Creation Spirituality and Everyday Life

In one of his foundational works, Fox engages with some of history’s greatest mystics, philosophers, and prophets in profound and hard-hitting essays on such varied topics as Eco-Spirituality, AIDS, homosexuality, spiritual feminism, environmental revolution, Native American spirituality, Christian mysticism, Art and Spirituality, Art as Meditation, Interfaith or Deep Ecumenism and more.

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8 thoughts on “Creation Spirituality Honors Native Peoples and Creativity”

  1. Avatar

    I love ‘cosmic contemplation’ as a spiritual practice, Visio Divina with the stars. Brian Swimme led a form of this practice today, inviting our wondrous gaze and reciprocity with the JWST image “The Pillars of Creation.” I thought of Meister Eckhart: what I/we gaze upon is gazing back at me/us. Following on the practice Matthew invited a time of silence.

  2. Avatar

    It is “The Twelve Blessings”, a cosmic teaching given – we believe – by Jesus through Western Master of Yoga, George King on twelve consecutive Sundays in 1958 while he employed a deep samadhic trance. It is a literal cosmic extension to the Sermon on the Mount. Easy to dismiss without trying it out but, as with all things, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. More information can be found at

  3. Avatar

    I would to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the tradition of Creation Spirituality for helping me become more aware and sensitive to the Special Love and Beauty of Feminine Spirituality and Indigenous Spirituality… My main spiritual background on my spiritual journey has been the universal Mystical Contemplative Spiritual traditions… Just as our True Heart Selves~Eternal Souls are unique images/manifestations of our Beloved co-Creator~Source, humanity has had many beautiful rituals and traditions to express our Love, Joy, and gratitude for our Creator~Source’s ongoing LIVING PRESENCE of LOVING Diverse ONENESS within, through, and among Us in All sacred physical and non-physical spiritual dimensions and multiverses of our BELOVED CREATION & COSMOS….

  4. Avatar

    I don’t have any preferred one, but they all start with an attitude of attention and awareness and openness, from gratefulness practice for every little thing, to centering prayer, to the Welcoming Prayer, forgiveness prayer, lovingkindness prayer, and more formalized prayers and rituals like the laying on of hands and anointing in the healing service of the Episcopal Church that is nearby my apartment building. Just being in nature and noticing the glory of the sky and clouds, plants and creatures, is sufficient to bring joy. Music, performing arts, pictorial arts and all other creative endeavors bring joy. Thank you for the Jingle Dress Dance video–just delightful.

  5. Avatar

    Oh, and Richard, don’t forget that besides referring to the Divine in Feminine terms and having Native Americans on staff, he also had a WITCH! (Starhawk). They tried to burn us all at the stake, but I guess they missed a few. 😀 I have to say that when I started my journey exploring the Divine Feminine, Starhawk’s books were a lifeline for me. I consider her a mentor.

  6. Avatar

    I don’t have a preferred spiritual practice, as I weave together what speaks to my soul from a variety of Spiritual and Religious pathways, authentically being and living in a personal unique relationship with the living Spirit of God, the Great Mystery, the Great Spirit, She Who Is; also none by many other Sacred names… that presence and essence that is within, for and moving through the all and the everything of creation… which includes myself.

    Through this intimate experience, my faith, hope and trust in the reality of this Sacred communion, union and companionship of relationship with; is deepening… and so is my understanding and acceptance of who I am… I too am apart of this mystery that is continously unfolding, evolving and emerging… becoming known… through converging with this Great Mystery/Spirit… that creates and births all that which exists.

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