Patricia Monaghan 1946 – 2012

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  November 12, 2012 — 8 Comments

“I’m a bit uncomfortable, truth be told, with being seen as an expert, because there is always so much more to learn. I see myself as a perpetual student of the goddess.” – Patricia Monaghan

Word quickly emerged yesterday that Patricia Monaghan, a pioneer in the contemporary women’s spirituality movement, and author of books like The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations, and Rituals and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit, had passed away. An accomplished poet and academic in addition to her work in the realm of women’s spirituality, her output was hugely influential on a generation of modern Pagans, Goddess worshippers, and Goddess scholars. Her encyclopedias on goddesses and heroines, later collected in one work, were touchstones for many books by a number of authors that followed. Already, many who have worked, taught, and shared scared space with Monaghan have spoken out about her enthusiasm for life, her deep wisdom, and her role as an inspirational figure in their lives.

Patricia Monaghan

Patricia Monaghan

“She was one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people I have had the pleasure of working with. Every email we exchanged, every phone conversation we had, inevitably veered off the topic of her manuscript and into other fun nooks and crannies [...] I would say was one of her main characteristics—how enthusiastic she was about everything she loved, and how encouraging she was of every single person on a personal level. I hope to take that spirit forward and be just as connected to and supportive of people in my life.” – Elysia Gallo, Acquisitions Editor, Llewellyn Worldwide

“I’m still stunned by the news of the passing of Patricia Monaghan. She was one of the first authors who I met and she welcomed me with open arms into the Loyal Order of Pagan Authors. She encouraged and mentored me. She gave advice and first hand Irish info to me on the last book I wrote, the Feast of the Morrighan, and generously gave me life strategy and business lessons while we shared a plane ride together, making her seat mate move so I could sit next to her for the flight. I still remember her pulling me into the dark corner of the hotel bar in Denver and saying “I hear your pretty good at tarot… I need a reading” and then we started our time together. Though we didn’t see each other in the flesh that often, she was a huge influence upon me and I miss her.”Christopher Penczak

“May we take comfort in knowing that she lives on in her creative works and the many lives she touched. Brigit guide her passage to the Otherworld. Brigit aid us in our mourning. Brigit Blessings.” – Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary

“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.” – Joanna Powell Colbert

In addition to the many accomplishments listed above, Monaghan also taught at Chicago’s DePaul University School for New Learning, co-founded the Black Earth Institute in Wisconsin, and was a noted wine connoisseur. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Michael McDermott. May she rest in the arms of the Goddess, may she return to us again, and may her friends and family be comforted.

I will update this post once official memorial information has been posted.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Jean

    Sorry to read of her passing. I met Patricia in Fairbanks, Alaska in the 1970s where she was teaching classes at the local community college. I have always been delighted to hear of her success over the years through her researching, teaching and writing.

  • Krystal H.

    I consider Patricia Monaghan a spiritual mentor of sorts. Even though I’m not on that path anymore, her books were immensely helpful to me as a spiritual seeker. “The Goddess Companion” and “The Goddess Path” are sitting right beside me right now, and I still pick them up and read them from time to time.Her writing is nothing short of inspiring and passionate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1364241138 Trevor Curtis

    Met her only once, when I interviewed her husband, Robert Shea, about his role as co-author of the Illuminatus trilogy. Nice lady, great author.

  • http://www.lippsisters.com/ Deborah Lipp

    She was a dear friend and a true mentor. She was the first person who really helped me conceptualize the shift from writing to writing a book. We saw each other at events periodically, and kept in touch via email. I am still staggered by this loss.

    Pat was warm, passionate, very funny, playful, and brilliant. She was the first women’s spirituality scholar I met who valued scholarship above the myth of the matriarchy. I’ve used her poetry in ritual. Her book O Mother Sun is unique and on the required reading list I give to my Pagan students.

    As a friend, as a teacher, as a scholar, as a poet…the world has lost someone truly special.

  • Kathy Bennett

    How great a task than to completing her life here & go to the Summerland of happiness & love!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.cassebennethum Elizabeth Casse Bennethum

    From the earth we are born to the earth we return.
    The cycle of life continues.

  • whitewolf

    Rest in Peace. May you have a safe journey. Goddess Bless

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