“Women’s stories are as powerful, inspiring, and terrifying as the goddess herself. And in fact, these are the stories of the goddess. As women, we know her because we are her. Each woman, no matter how powerless she might feel, is a cell within her vast form, an embodiment of her essence, and each woman’s story is a chapter in the biography of the sacred feminine.” Jalaja Bonheim
My personal story has always been one of hybridity. I am an adopted woman and I have an adopted daughter. She is a woman of color. My biological daughter is married to an Egyptian man. Both my son-in-law and my grandson are Egyptian. As an adoptee I was grafted from one tree and placed on another. I walk in-between cultures, races, religions/spiritualities & families. It’s no wonder that my writing doesn’t easily fit into one genre. The same can be said about my spirituality.
My walk with the Goddess/Divine Feminine has had many faces. It has been a lifelong journey that allowed me to walk on many diverse paths. My beginnings into spirituality/religion were influenced by parents that had very different faiths. My father was Roman Catholic. My mother Protestant. There were endless debates over where I should attend and what I should learn. I was drawn to my father’s religion. I was fascinated by all the life size statues, especially Mary.
Eventually my path shape-shifted into a BA in Bible Studies at a Pentecostal College in North Carolina. After graduating I left behind the narrow-minded world view that the college held, my rose colored glasses and the suffocating misogyny. I did manage to take some powerful tools with me–a strong devotional and prayer life, pastoral and teaching skills and an ability to lead and write inspiring rituals for many of life’s transitions/experiences.
Shortly after my departure I found myself embarking on the path of the Seeker. I encountered Paganism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Native American studies and a host of other practices but it was the Path of Witch that spoke to my soul. I found my first High Priestess listed in the back of the book, Drawing Down The Moon. I was thrilled to discover she lived in the same small midwestern town that I resided in. I showed up on her front porch and asked if she would teach me. I had no idea that this might be inappropriate. Thankfully, she invited me in and my education in Witchcraft began. My teacher was deeply rooted in traditional Witchcraft–but she was also my first introduction to Hindu Gods. She had a personal connection to Durga that was separate from coven work.
I thought I had finally found my home but I learned there was still more I needed to experience. A year later I was living in Seattle Wa.
In 1999 I completed a year long intensive study with Outer Grove In Seattle. We met weekly for a year and a day. One of the teacher’s partner was on a Hindu/Yogic path. I found myself drawn to his practices as much as I was to the Witchcraft studies. I was fascinated by everything he had to say. I connected to the imagery, the chanting–all of it. I discovered the power of mantras. I view them as spells. There was a woman in our group that was a part of a Hindu temple. She gifted me with two saris. When she gave them to me I had a sense that my path/life was going to get interesting.
My husband and I moved to Lenox Massachusetts a few months after I completed Outer Grove. I immediately began studying at Kripalu Yoga Center. I fell in love with the life size statues, practices, classes and all that they had to offer. I worked in the mailroom in exchange for classes and I attended community circles. Kriplau became my second home. During this time I was introduced to my Guru and have been engaged with her ever since. During this time of radical transformation I continued my Witchcraft studies and received my 3rd degree from Chalice Well Coven. These two practices became braided together. One of our coven members was also a Yogini that taught at Kripalu. She came to the house and helped me create my first altar to Ganesha. I remember watching in awe as she moved gracefully between the two practices creating a lovely unique flow.
My Witchcraft and my Yogic/Divine Feminine Studies do not always dovetail. I spent a large portion of my life vacillating between the two. I think I was looking for a neat and tidy practice. But that isn’t how I experience life. It’s messy–littered with contradictions. There is a lot to learn from standing at the crossroads-where life intersects. Understanding and remaining open to this reality has been a life-long practice. I do not fit neatly under one umbrella. My spirituality mirrors this truth. I engage with puja & ritual. I have a mantra/japa/meditation practice. I study Yogic Philosophy as well as Witchcraft and Paganism. I dance in the moonlight and call on my ancestors. I have an Indian Guru. I am a devotee and a Priestess. I write under the influence of the moon and often my ancestors. I am deeply connected to the Irish Goddess Brighid. She is the core foundation of my practice. I honor her in both her water and fire aspects. My Hindu/Yogic Gods & Goddesses, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Sarasvati and my beloved Kali/Durga also inform my practice. All have altar space in my home. I wear a sari when I am preforming a puja and a white flowing gown when I am working with the Goddess Brighid. Both practices nourish me.
Recently I determined that most of my journey was been about the Mother–this is what drew me to Mary. This is what propelled me forward. This is what continues to sustain me. It has also been the foundation of healing from adoption issues and not having an available Mother figure.
All these experiences have informed my life in ways I never could have imagined. I have learned how to see the hand of the Mother in all aspects of life. I am still learning, changing and working on integrating all I have studied in order to forge my unique dance with the Divine Mother/Goddess
Some of My Studies
Graduated Goddard College with an MFA in Creative Writing, Feb 2011
BA in Creative Writing 2005 completed at Evergreen State College, with a minor in comparative religion/psychology
Year Long study in several branches of Buddhism at Evergreen State College, 2004
Professional Intuitive/Tarot Reader, 1992-current
Yogic Studies 1999-Current
Cross Cultural Shamanism 3 year study, 1992-1995
Goddess and Pagan Studies, 1992-Current
Received my 3rd Degree From Chalice Well Coven in 2001. I am listed as Lotus Well.
Goddess and Pagan Studies, 1992-Current
BA In Biblical Studies, 1979