About OCHRE

OCHRE Journal of Women’s Spirituality is a peer-reviewed, academic, online journal published as a student-initiated project of the Women’s Spirituality program at California Institute of Integral Studies. OCHRE provides an interdisciplinary and international forum for discourse on women’s spirituality among a diversity of voices.

OCHRE is dedicated to engaging, quality scholarship in a multiplicity of forms—academic research, poetry, artwork, and multimedia presentations. By including artistic works alongside more traditionally academic articles, OCHRE seeks to challenge and expand the boundaries of scholarship in academia. The Journal recognizes and acknowledges all these forms as valid ways of knowing, exploring and communicating wisdom, each form having its own strengths and limitations. All published pieces undergo a rigorous review process by the Editorial Council, Student Review Board, and International Editorial Board. The International Editorial Board is composed of traditional and non-traditional scholars distinguished in their respective fields.

OCHRE strives to engage the academic and larger communities in an embodied, intellectual, and creative reflection on the spirituality of women and the sacred feminine. To ensure access by a wider range of individuals, OCHRE is published online and all content is made available without subscription fees. Additionally, decisions are made collaboratively, supporting a cooperative way of working and interacting. It is hoped that this conversation will lead to personal and cultural transformation.

About the Name

Choosing a name for this Journal of Women’s Spirituality provided an exciting challenge: How best to denote the wide range of women’s spiritual traditions, the long history of women as sacred beings, and the power of women’s spirituality to create meaningful change in both our personal lives and global communities? After considering many options, we chose the name OCHRE.

Ochre, a natural mineral, has a long history of symbolizing the ongoing cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth, and expresses the essence of women's spirituality in a way that embraces many cultures, times, and perspectives. Ancient cultures in Africa, Western Asia, and Europe used red ochre to render specific objects and places sacred—especially female figures, temple entrances, and burial sites. The bright, rust red color is believed to have represented women’s menstrual blood mysteries and honored the cycles of life. Its use has been documented from the late Paleolithic epoch until today.

By invoking the history of this ancient mineral, OCHRE Journal of Women’s Spirituality seeks to honor the creative life-force and the corresponding power and sacredness of women.