Hey there, I’m Sarah Van Etten Leupold. I’m a whimsical adventurous spirit; you can often find me perched on a mountaintop or sprawled out in a meadow.
I came up with the idea for Sacred Unraveling through my own spiritual journey. I was raised in the fundamentalist Evangelical Christian movement, where there were very strict predetermined ideas of what was acceptable, holy, and sacred, and what was considered rebellious, evil, and profane.
As a young adult, I started to explore outside of the strict beliefs I was raised with and discovered, to my surprise, that the sacred is often found with the profane. I explored outside of fundamentalism and found God there. I saw that the most beautiful examples of God and God’s love were often wrapped up with what was considered sinful by the church.
As a response to my exploring, I was rejected by my church of origin and suffered emotional abuse and spiritual trauma, resulting in a complex PTSD diagnosis. I lost everything to encounter God authentically, and yet I gained the most precious faith; faith in myself as good and created exactly as the divine intended, even in my “waywardness” and queerness. Faith in the true goodness of the divine Spirit as a God who would never send beautiful souls to hell, but a God that can be found by anyone of any religion, culture, or background; a God of Oneness.
I came to believe that all people are part of this divine web of life and we all encounter facets of this beautiful Life Source from our own unique perspectives – we may use different words and rituals to engage with this divine, or we may not choose to focus on the divine at all, but we are all part of this Universal Oneness, and we all are accepted and we all are inherently good.
I currently identify as a Progressive Christian and/or Christian Mystic, because mysticism and the progressive Christian tradition are the avenues that I use personally to engage with the transcendent reality. I am deeply convinced that the very act of unraveling our firmly held doctrines and dogmas is sacred; that when we unravel a tightly crafted structure we can then see the light come streaming in that was previously walled out.
I worked as a Progressive Christian Reverend for seven years and then co-founded an intentional living community called The Cove and led a trauma-support group that met at The Cove. At present, much of my spiritual practices and community action are based on my writing and Tarot Reading as well as connecting with anyone I can who has a story of spiritual trauma, empowering each other by speaking our truths and sharing healing resources.
Much of my writing is poetry and creative nonfiction representing my spiritual journey, my trauma and healing, my deeply spiritual experiences with nature, a call to action politically or spiritually toward fundamentalist religious folks, encouragement to those deconstructing their beliefs, and more recently, grief; after the heart-wrenching experience of losing my fiance and love of my life in early 2021. My fiance Caleb played a life-changing role in my trauma healing and instilled in me much of the peace and self-assuredness that shapes Sacred Unraveling today. Caleb encouraged me to share my words more publicly – he wanted the whole world to hear me. My hope is that by putting these deeply mysterious, confusing, soul-shattering and transformational experiences to words, others may find guidance and empowerment in their own journeys to go on and change their own worlds.