Annette Williams, Assistant Professor in the Women's Spirituality online MA and PhD at CIIS Annette Williams

Program Chair and Associate Professor
Women's Spirituality
School of Consciousness and Transformation (SCT)

PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies

MA, Regis University; BA, SUNY Brockport

Annette Williams holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Women's Spirituality from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco as well an M.A. in psychology with an emphasis in Jungian and archetypal approaches. A focus area has been soul healing from sexual trauma including reclamation of the powerful erotic and libidinal energies spoken to by Audre Lorde and Carl Jung, respectively. While at CIIS she continued to explore the theme of wounded female sexuality, expanding the discussion to more fully expound upon socio-cultural and historical influences. Primary research activity is presently centered on women’s spiritual power and agency within the Yorùbá Ifá tradition.

From 2009-10 she served as co-chairperson of the Goddess Studies section of the American Academy of Religion/Western Region.

An initiate within and student of the Yorùbá Ifá tradition, Annette has had the privilege of lecturing on the philosophy and lived reality of this West African religion. Her dissertation, "Our Mysterious Mothers: The Primordial Feminine Power of Àjé in the Cosmology, Mythology, and Historical Reality of the West African Yoruba," received the 2016 Kore Award for Best Dissertation awarded by the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology.


Annette Williams helps get Goddess studies into the American Academy of Religion, "Goddess Studies scholars claim their place in U. S. Academia." View article as PDF.

Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines Women and Psychedelics Forum article: “Women, Spirituality, and Plant-Based Medicines,” 2018.

“Drumming.” In Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History, edited by Susan de Gaia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2018.

“The Divine Feminine in Yoruba Cosmology.” In Goddesses in Myth, History, and Culture, edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Chapter 11. Lytle Creek, CA: Mago Books, 2018.

“Yoruba Culture Briefly Expressed.” In Naïve and Primitive: A Tribute to J. Altair. Catalog of the art exhibit of paintings by Brazilian artist and babalorixa, Joao Altair.  Porto Alegre, Brazil. August 2014.

“Jezebel. Whore?” In She Is Everywhere! An Anthology of Writing in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality, Volume 2, edited by Annette Williams, Karen Villanueva, and Lucia Birnbaum. NY: iUniverse, 2008.

She Is Everywhere! An Anthology of Writing in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality, Volume 2 received Honorable Mention 2009 – Enheduanna Award for Excellence in Women-Centered Literature awarded by Serpentina.


Book Talk: The Return of the High Priestess. Annette Williams in dialogue with author Dr. Lynn Edwards about Dr. Edwards's thrilling and intriguing mystery novel whose main characters are seemingly unbound from time. Dr. Edwards also discussed dreams, dreaming consciousness, and the implications of dreams for everyday life and reality. April 2022.

The Birth of Life and the Future of Consciousness. Views from Africa and the Diaspora: Yoruba Cosmology. Annette Williams in dialogue with Arisika Razak. October 2019.

Sharon Blackie pre-talk Interview with Annette Williams and Craig ChalquistWomen, The Anima Mundi, and the Celtic Otherworld: An Introduction to Archetypal Motifs and Characters in the Celtic Tradition from a Depth Perspective. September 2019.

"Women, Spirituality and Plant Based Medicines." Panel presentation at Women’s Spirituality, Feminism in Psychedelic Studies, and Drug Reform Activism. Women and Psychedelics Forum, November 2018.  

Radio interview:

Professor Emerita and WSE co-founder Mara Keller and WSE chair Annette Williams were interviewed for KPFA’s radio program Women’s Magazine by the show’s founder and producer Lisa Dettmer. Women’s Magazine is a weekly hour of programming that presents and discusses women’s lives and issues globally and locally from a radical, multiracial, feminist, mujerist, womanist perspective. Listen to the interview. (April 2022)

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