We are sad to mark the passing of Goddess scholar, poet, author, and women’s spirituality elder Patricia Monaghan, who crossed over this past Sunday, November 11. Monaghan was the author of a number of influential books on Goddess spirituality, as well as the spiritual memoir and travelogue The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog.
The Wild Hunt has a lovely obituary up — head over to read more about Monaghan’s accomplishments and contributions. Or, even better — order one of her books and find out for yourself about this beloved figure in our community.
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Patricia’s husband Michael McDermott writes:
I am devastated by the loss of my beloved wife and partner in all things, Patricia. I am also filled with gratitude and love for all the wonderful things said about Patricia. She has left our lives and yet she will live long. There is a huge hollow in me and in the life and all the things that Patricia and I did and will do.
She traveled a journey with cancer these last 2 years. It was a journey of hope and disappointment. It was a journey that included her work, whether it was finishing the paperback version of Goddesses and Heroines, how to strengthen the Black Earth Institute, the decorating scheme for the Wisconsin house after we moved from Chicago, or how to control the temperature in the new root cellar. She was concerned that we had not yet put away the dried beans from the garden. On Friday evening, we were working on editing a manuscript until 11:30 at night. She died at home in my arms on Sunday morning at 3:45AM.
She didn’t like to be called brave, though she was. She didn’t at all like being called a force of nature, but she was. She didn’t like it when people said, “How can you do so much?”, but she “did” from morn ’till night. We would work hard all day on many things and then say, “Well, at least we got a little bit done.”
Patricia was a scholar, artist, spiritual practitioner, and leader and political activist. She was a gardener and literally a path creator. One of my favorite memories is of her pulling our large honeysuckle bushes in the wet spring soil to create a path in our woods. This creation she carried into all things, whether leading us to the goddess, to a land ethic, or to the struggle for a more just society.
There will be an informal get together at Brigit Rest (in southwestern Wisconsin) this Saturday, November 17, from 2PM to 7PM. More like a potluck where in addition to covered dishes, bring memories or mementos of Patricia. (Bring the covered dish, deserts and libations as well).
A formal ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 1 at Brigit Rest as well. There will be a service at the Madison meeting hall of the Society of Friends (Quakers), likely the same day.
Let us all honor Patricia for all the things she was and will be.