Letter From a Founder: The Creation of Joan of Sparc

Can you empathize with me when I say that I’ve lived moments of devastation? To me, this is when it feels like nothing makes sense, the world turns inside out and suddenly nothing will ever be the same.


I’ve lived through my fair share of such markers in life and at times felt as if I barely escaped with my body intact. What I have experienced through overcoming each of these obstacles is the very real threshold and commonality between death and birth. In order to be born, something must die. If we look at the metaphor of becoming a mother, we see her maidenhood left in the past, we see the womb return into the miracle of which it was created, and a fetus transitions into a baby.


The most difficult of moments have proven to be the most rewarding in sowing seeds for a new life. Yet, there is no skipping the arduous, as we need the challenge to fortify a new self.


On one such day, I was in bed with a fever flushing through every cell of my body. It was late spring and I could barely open my eyes to watch the new aspen leaves flutter in the breeze. I began to melt, and it wasn’t looking good. Internally, I felt myself dying, dying to ways of thinking, limiting beliefs, fears, and false avenues of purpose. It was really hard and I was desperately uncomfortable. The heat began to rise and I could have imagined bursting into flames. I was alone and moaned in my achiness for God to help ease this suffering.


Two days into sweating through my mattress, I felt a power rumbling in my core. Feeling the impossible, a mountain began to form from within me. Volcanic new earth was pouring through my inner world, establishing a new root, and new ground from which to stand. I had been living through the most powerful death of sorts for over a year at this point, yet this moment was visceral, climatic, and it was happening now.


When a mountain is birthed inside your body, there isn’t much room to avoid or deny it. It was here and it was Joan of Sparc. Only days before had I been playing around with the name, vision, and possibility until right then and there, Joan of Sparc arrived.


However, the power itself was unnamable, the essence was an eternal fire, the vitality was undeniable and I could only be. I had just witnessed some form of a miracle from within and couldn’t fully understand what I had experienced. Although, I did know that my life had just changed and that I had received a profound gift to continue to facilitate that change in some way.


Values, guiding principles, philosophy, and vision. These elements create new worlds and originate from the thoughts we think, the emotions we feel, the words we speak and the actions we take. This new world inside of me was feminine, powerful, of cosmic fire, and ready to birth a co-creation to bring it to life.


Who is Joan of Sparc?

Joan represents the archetype of a young warrior maiden who, through her devotion and deep inner listening, led both men and women to victory.  She leads by example, listening, communing with that which is greater, following her intuition and inner knowing, even while others may judge her for being crazy or insane. She is willing to put her life on the line for truth and is relentless in her mission of faith.


While Orléans was the setting of historical liberation under Joan’s leadership, today’s battle is in the inner planes of our own mind. The conflicting armies of duality exist within our own thoughts. The victory is freedom from the self-destructive aspects of self. 

Perhaps Joan is brought to the heart of our heart, the Being of our essence, the guiding principle toward our emancipation from these self-sabotaging chains. 


Joan of Sparc is the outcome of my personal journey of beginning to free myself from those said chains and a way to share what is possible with all women, everywhere. Ultimately, we all have to do the work as no one else can liberate us. However, we can walk together, arm-in-arm and show up for the greatest work of our lives, the inner work of reclaiming our power.


The Wake-Up Call

“WAKE UP!!” A piercing scream shook through my cranium as I stared blankly into the mirror. I had lost 15 pounds, blackness circled my eyes, and my lifeforce was but a glimmer. I braced myself on the cool Italian marble of our Venetian hotel bathroom at 4:30 am, finally hearing the internal call to recognize the precariousness of my situation.


I could no longer hide from the truth, although I had tried with all of my might. I really, really wanted the life I had chosen for myself to be real…but it wasn’t. I was terrified of the alternative because I had been ‘trained’ to think anything else beyond our beliefs was representative of the anti-Christ. I found myself living in a false paradise of my own creation: I was married to a man I thought I knew, surrounded by a community that would later shun me because I had a different perspective on life, and participating in one of the greatest betrayals to my own inner being I could have ever imagined.


Overcoming Fear

Despite my fear of leaving the detrimental comfort of ‘the familiar’, a power much greater than me took over, piercing the veil of illusion that held me in paralysis. My inner strength surged like adrenaline, and clarity ensued as my greatest weapon.


I met my adversaries, both in the eyes of others, as well as in my own mind. I had given over my authority, my power, and my ability to think for myself. Was another really to blame? In the end, the only way I could reclaim all I had given away was to trace my own thoughts and behavioral patterns that led me to succumb to such predatorial situations in the first place.


I am eternally grateful to the grace of God for saving my life and for inspiring a new path of possibility. This journey of deep healing, forgiveness of self and others, and taking responsibility for my actions have taught me numerous lessons that I can’t imagine having learned any other way than being brought to my knees. In the darkest moments of my life, I found reprieve in the damp fertile soil that embraced my simultaneous death of the old and rebirth into the new.


Women are the superheroines of the future. Through empowering the feminine, revering our Earth Mother, and healing our masculine, a new future is not only possible but attainable. Deep listening, intuition, and a natural rooted strength provide the foundation for new ways of relating to each other based on inner knowing. In recognizing that no one else will do the work for us, we can also rest into the collective support we can provide as we cheer each other on through the individual heroine’s journey of reclamation.


If Joan of Sparc can help and inspire others who have in some way given away their power (in relationship, to a guru, a boss, or a belief, like low self-esteem, for example) and gain authority over mind, body, or livelihood, then I will have contributed to our greater community in a positive way by transforming the devastation I lived through into something useful. Motivation arises in an effort to share what I have learned, having walked through a humiliating fire only to burn away what was keeping me imprisoned within my own mind. Today, I am enthusiastic to say, it is possible and if I can overcome hell on earth, so can you. 

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Inner WorkSarah Engelhart