Q&A with Lynne Sedgmore, author of Goddess Luminary Leadership Wheel: A Post-Patriarchal Paradigm

What is Goddess Luminary Leadership Wheel: A Post-Patriarchal Paradigm about and why did you write it?

I believe that the world desperately needs new and radically different ways to lead effectively through difficult and complex issues. My book resets and transforms contemporary leadership by weaving together Goddess spirituality, feminism, Teal approaches and the best of mainstream leadership. My vision is to co-create a world wide community of Goddess Luminaries, equipped to lead through the benign power of living and leading through a collaborative, leaderful post-patriarchal paradigm. I synthesise 40 years of senior leadership learning, experience, experimentation and success with my extensive spiritual exploration and wisdom.

My book is a deep expression of my soul, and is an interactive experience between Goddess, myself and the reader. It is a developmental path offered through the form of a Wheel designed around the four seasons. It has eight dimensions, four shamanic ones – Goddess Gnosis, Luminary Archetypes, Elements and Moon phases. Plus four leading edge leadership approaches – the Luminary Leaderful Way, States of Being, Paths of Power and Ways of Knowing.

It felt the right time to share how I view leadership. I could never accept the conventional, hierarchical, patriarchal, power over, controlling, heroic, individualistic and competitive approach of most mainstream leadership. I have consistently experimented with a different and better way, in which I didn’t have to sell my soul or compromise my values to be an effective and inspiring leader. 

The Goddess Luminary Leadership Wheel book is the culmination and synthesis of my life and a way of offering service from my privilege. It wasn’t a conscious decision or a burning desire to write the book. During the quiet and solitude of COVID isolation it emerged. It is based on the course that I founded and have been facilitating since 2019. Women, men and non-binary people have completed the course.

Initially the teachings came through me in poetic form as the Goddess Charge to Her Luminaries. The book formed from being present to what was arising with a cyclical Wheel structure which felt appropriate for the non-linear way in which leadership manifests in real time, in any context. While writing I spent time in moonlight, walked the land and meditated to foster and allow what flowed through me. I performed rituals and asked for guidance and inspiration. I reflected on my own leadership journey and what had helped me most in all of my numerous leadership roles as an executive and non-executive on over 40 different organisations and communities. 

2. What do you mean by a Post-Patriarchal Paradigm? What would that look like and how would you implement it?

The Luminary Way is implemented simply by living and modelling it, one by one, group by group, until enough of us co-create a critical mass and global community of Luminaries consciously leading in a way that challenges current patriarchal leadership practices.

The lens through which most mainstream leadership approaches are understood is that of the privileged white male, frequently excluding individuals from non-dominant identities, including women. A patriarchal leadership paradigm is one steeped in dominator hierarchy, individualism, materialism and power over. It relies on controlling others as it believes others cannot be trusted and it is motivated from fear. It negates rather than embraces our spiritual lives. Too many organisations, and countries, are functioning with self obsessed heroic, charismatic or individualistic leadership models. Leadership literature is still dominated by male writers and most leadership constructs are white, male, heteronormative and western centric. I feel strongly that current leadership paradigms have failed women, as well as many men and non binary people. They continue to do so as they foster the continuation of binary thinking and solutions that don’t challenge or work to remove institutionalised sexism. I have spent my life simultaneously working within and challenging patriarchal conventions. It’s what I do as an edge-walker and a change agent. My Luminary leadership paradigm is Goddess centered and feminist and consciously develops, enhances, encourages and fosters the fullest potential of everyone. I articulate a leadership style that leads from love. Not a “fluffy” kind of love, but a deep, authentic love that can be tough and fierce and challenging as well as kind, embracing, expansive and empowering. I include emotional and spiritual and somatic intelligences, not just the intellect. I am calling for leaders to develop and live a mix of masculine and feminine characteristics, step into their fullest potential and spiritual expression, as well as being skilful and appropriate to their context.

3. You mention the  world desperately needs new and radically different ways to lead effectively through difficult and complex issues. Can you give some examples.

Being Luminary involves remaining present, calm, authentic and competent while facing any difficult truths. At its heart is knowing how to be present and staying open hearted, as well as being aware, authentic, adaptive and holding clear and healthy boundaries. Luminary leaders see the interconnection of everyone, engage through meaning-making and encouragement rather than fear or compliance. When needed, they do what is necessary to create safety and trust. They exhibit high emotional intelligence. In their communications and interactions they show genuine empathy and care, without being overwhelmed, or people losing confidence in their ability to act, especially amidst the myriad crises currently facing the world. They communicate effectively through social media and never shy away from saying and doing what they believe is right. They don’t play aggrandisement games or make overreaching, unfulfilled claims, and take full responsibility for their successes and mistakes, without blaming anyone else. They network and work collaboratively to co-create new solutions. They have genuine humanity, professionalism and competence. They build trust and are trustworthy. They understand their own shadow and unconscious behaviours and are willing to own any mistakes.

I describe in my book some of the characteristics, and practical actions, of national female leaders leading their countries in Luminary ways through the first stages of the COVID pandemic,  very differently than some of their male counterparts. Men, women and all genders can be Luminary.

4. How would you apply these principles of leadership to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

The main challenge in answering this question is that this invasion is taking place within a completely different paradigm than the one I am talking about. Putin is clearly functioning from a place of fear, of power over, of control and divisiveness. The conventional patriarchal paradigm.

On the other hand President Zelenskiy is exhibiting a form of leadership which has many of the characteristics of the Luminary way. He is considered heroic but isn’t trying to be the top dog. In my view he is giving genuine selfless service to his country and his citizens, from his role as President. He is exhibiting many of the facets of Luminary power – power with, for, on behalf of, and through. Ukraine has resisted Russia for far longer than anyone thought possible. He has inspired others to step into their own leadership and service. People are driving to Ukraine to help transport people out to safety. NATO allies are coming together in collaboration and an unprecedented show of unity to offer their support to Ukraine.

I believe that the Ukrainians, even though they may ultimately be invaded and defeated, are living their authentic truth and behaving with heart, courage, awareness, authenticity and adaptability. Thousands upon thousands of people Ukrainians are exhibiting being Leaderful, stepping up to do what needs to be done, working together to get supplies to the right place, extraordinary actions from a place of love, loyalty and collective commitment to help each other within the most tragic and difficult, life-threatening circumstance.

The whole point of the Luminary leadership and the Leaderful path is to create oases of Luminary practice, inside and outside of communities. To do what you feel is right from the depth of your own spirituality or true self,  beyond your shadow and ego constraints. To step up and lead in such a way that you are being true to a higher/common purpose and to serve everyone else in your community, organisation or country without the limitations and biases of conventional leadership practices, and to stop all oppression. 

I would love world and national leaders to show interest in being Luminary and to begin leading from this paradigm. I outline in my book the places where Luminary alumni are taking Luminary ways into the world within a wide range of organisations.

5. What is Goddess spirituality and what does that look like?

Goddess spirituality is an embodied path and sees sacredness in all of nature rather than seeing nature as something to be dominated, exploited or controlled. It celebrates the bounty and beauty of female and male bodies as well as nature’s abundance. There is a direct relationship with the cyclical and natural elements of air, fire, water and earth, as well as the land, animals, moon and sun. It includes an earth-based sacred relationship to Gaia with both darkness and light included. Birth and death are renewal and transformation. Goddess ceremonies include singing, movement, circles, dancing, eating together and walking on the land. Some experience Goddess  as both immanent (from within) and transcendent (beyond self). Others know Her through interconnection, as a relationship, or as oneness. For some Goddess is a personal deity, for others an impersonal energy such as love, beauty, flow or the source of all being. For many Goddess is physically, spiritually, energetically and personally everywhere within the earth, web and matrix of all life. She is the presence of love and the Birther of all.

For me, Goddess spirituality is a conscious and disruptive choice to oppose and challenge patriarchy and patriarchal religions. I experience the Divine in female form through a liberating and embodied path through the turning of the seasons, in every life form, through other people and in the fullest expression of my female body. Goddess is She of 1000 names, and more, appearing in many shapes and forms throughout time, landscapes, cultures and space. I am panentheistic, seeing Goddess inside and beyond me. My direct knowing of Goddess holds paradox, intimacy and deliciousness within the visceral knowing of a loving, benign, creative, birthing universe. Goddess is verb, rather than a noun.

As a Priestess of Avalon I have dedicated to Goddess in the form, tradition and lineage of the Lady of Avalon in Glastonbury, England. Having explored a range of faith traditions and spiritual paths I have “come home”, in my sixties, to my Brythonic Celtic heritage.

6. What have you learned about yourself through this writing process?

Writing the book enabled me to integrate my own Luminary teachings to a greater depth and to understand my Goddess spirituality more deeply. I learnt how to allow my writing to flow 

organically. It was a very easeful and enjoyable experience. I feel I healed into another deep level of self understanding. Although I have created many leadership programmes this one is a direct expression of my soul and spirit, my own unique creation. There is a vulnerability in bringing it out to a broader audience, but by the time I had finished it, I was ready to do so.

I wrote as and when I felt inspired to, not to any schedule or deadline. I wrote for myself not a publisher, and was thrilled when Tim Ward of Changemakers wanted to publish it. I also discovered how much I enjoy writing a long book, it requires structure, time and form as well as inspiration. I had only published poetry before and had been preoccupied with the form of each individual poem. My Doctoral thesis had very clear academic requirements to follow.  Writing 65,000 to my own structure was a whole new experience.

7. Anything else

I am currently writing a book on Presence and will write a second Luminary book which focuses more on collective ways of facilitating and leading, sharing the content of Spiral 2 of my course. I am always writing poems so a fourth poetry collection may form.

Thank-you for taking the time to interview me.

My website link is 


My book Goddess Luminary Leadership Wheel can be found at Amazon 


And at Glastonbury Goddess Temple Gifts 


My two poetry collections Crone Times and Healing through the Goddess are also available at Amazon and Goddess Temple Gifts 

The details of the Goddess Luminary course are at