in Community, Goddess

A candle to light her way. Photo by Lunaea Weatherstone.

I have been grieving since I first got the news yesterday around noon that Patricia Monaghan has passed away. For over 30 years, she has been a beloved teacher, mentor, and inspiration to me, both through her books and in person. I had not seen her in years, but we were still in touch. I wish I had told her recently how much her work continues to nourish me. I hope she knows it now.

Patricia Monaghan

From Selena Fox at Circle Sanctuary:

Goddess scholar, poet, author, professor and women’s spirituality elder Patricia Monaghan died yesterday.  She was born February 15, 1946 and died of illness yesterday morning, Sunday, November 11, 2012 at home near Black Earth, Wisconsin with her husband Michael McDermott by her side.

Kindle a candle and call on Brigit to aid her journey in the Otherworld and to bring comfort to her husband and to all mourning her passing.

More about her, her life, her writings, her work, her legacy can be found at these and other sites:


I keep remembering the early days of the women’s spirituality movement, in the 80s, when Patricia’s books were like our Bibles. We were all young and on fire to change the world back then. Bringing the Goddess out of hiding, into the light of day.

And you know what?   We did.

We really did.

Blessed be, dear sister, rest in the Mother’s arms.

Update: Beth Owl’s Daughter published a lovely tribute on her blog here, followed by a poignant message from Patricia’s husband Michael McDermott.  Blessed be.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Sarah Stockton

    Thanks for this Joanna. I’m saddened by her loss. I had hoped to meet her someday and thank her for her work but more importantly, I’m sad for those who knew and loved her.

    November 12, 2012, 8:09 am Reply
    • Joanna

      Thank you Sarah. I think you can thank her now. :-)

      November 12, 2012, 11:10 am Reply
  • Carey

    Joanna, Thank you so much for writing this. Since yesterday, when I heard of her passing, I have been somewhat drifting about looking for someone who had written something where I could read it, and land. I felt like I lost a Mother. She had been inspiration and a teacher, yet I had never met her in person. How could I be feeling such an ache I kept asking myself. But you have here in your words given wings to my feelings and tossing thoughts. Nourished. Yes, she nourished my spirit and my spirituality. When I had had very few resources, and now, when there are so many of you who through your work nourishes me. Her writing gave my very young and budding glimpse of my own spirituality, of The Goddess food and deep nourishment. She was a Mother-Teacher. The Goddess is Alive! Blessed Be.

    November 12, 2012, 9:17 am Reply
    • Joanna

      I love what you’ve written here, Carey. So glad you were able to “land” here. And I am so grateful that Patricia’s work is part of my own lineage, that I pass down to others. We are indeed a “nation of women with wings,” as the old Libana song goes. Hugs and blessings to you.

      November 12, 2012, 11:15 am Reply
  • Kim Antieau

    I feel the same way. It reminds me to make certain the people in my life know how much they mean to me. Love you, Sister Joanna. Your friendship means such a great deal to me, and I’m sure Patricia knows how much her work meant to you.

    November 12, 2012, 9:36 am Reply
    • Joanna

      Love you too, Sister Kim Mermaid. :-) Our bonds with each other are important. I am grateful for blogs and social media that keep us connected, but mostly I am grateful for how we spill the work of our hearts out onto paper, in words or art, and how our work nourishes each other and people we will never meet in person. I am grateful to have been part of the rebirth of the Goddess (or as they say nowadays, the “Divine Feminine”) in our time.

      November 12, 2012, 11:18 am Reply
  • Mary Sharratt

    I was so shocked and saddened to hear this news. She wasn’t all that old, either. It feels so sad to lose our elders. I guess that means that “our” generation has to take up the torch now.

    Rest in the arms of the Goddess, Patricia. May your work and life be remembered and celebrated by the living as you sail into the realms of the Ancestors.

    November 13, 2012, 3:41 am Reply
    • Joanna

      Mary, she was just 66, not so old. Same age as my mother when she died.

      I just heard that Patricia’s long-awaited anthology on Brigid will be released on February 1st. Now that will be a true gift! Her legacy lives on.


      November 13, 2012, 7:00 am Reply
  • Anna

    I am so saddened by her passing… 66 is not old at all.Like others here i had hoped to one day be honoured and meet her in person even though i live across the ocean. Her book “A red haired girl from the bog” was a dear companion when i was joyrneying in Patricia’s and my beloved Ireland. Mostly i feel sad for the mourning of her loved ones and that our Ways lost such a beautiful soul. Of course she is not truly lost to us, her work is here and she can whisper behind the veil. I hope that she will find her way to the arms of the Great Mother Brighid.

    I am looking forward to Brighid’s anthology.

    November 15, 2012, 12:18 am Reply
    • Joanna

      I loved “Red Haired Girl from the Bog” too, Anna. I think I lent it to someone who was going to Ireland, and it never came back to me.
      Her work will indeed to continue to nourish us, even as our hearts are heavy.

      November 15, 2012, 7:05 am Reply
  • Shell

    I’ve read several of her books too. I’m sad to hear she passed away, she will live on in the knowledge she provided in her wonderful books.

    November 15, 2012, 1:51 pm Reply
    • Joanna

      Thank you Shell. Blessings to you!

      November 16, 2012, 6:36 am Reply
  • Indigene Theresa Gaskin

    I was so saddened by this news. I have so many of her books and she was a mentor for me in my mind. She was an amazing gift to our times. I know that a spirit as awesome as hers, will be here again, so that the future will have the wonder of her gifts again. Blessings to you for letting us all dwell in her memory.

    November 17, 2012, 6:42 pm Reply
    • Joanna

      Thank you, Indigene. Hugs and Blessings.

      November 18, 2012, 7:36 am Reply
  • Carolyn Cushing

    No! This is a cumulative No for the loss of this season! But, yes, to her legacy and the books that she gave us. I just posted recently on her FB that I was looking forward to it. Why are these wise and creative people being taken from us? Maybe we are challenged to take on their legacy.

    November 18, 2012, 3:32 pm Reply
    • Joanna

      I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy these days, Carolyn. Perhaps you’re right, and part of our legacy is to carry on theirs. Hugs & Blessings to you my friend.

      November 19, 2012, 5:59 am Reply

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I've been blogging since 2003 on Creativity, Tarot, Earth-Honoring Practices, Seasonal Lore, Goddess Spirituality, and more.


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