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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Passages
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Article ID: 9013
Posted: February 6th. 2005
Days Up: 4,250
by Pagan Communities
In the early 80's, at a women's conference in Dublin, I met Asphodel Long. She was sitting in the front row in the room where I was speaking, and from the moment I entered, I was aware of her. Her presence was commanding; to this day, I remember her as tall and imposing, although I may be utterly inaccurate as to her physical size. She was full of questions after I presented my research on sun goddesses, but her questions were asked generously, to open conversation rather than to show off her extraordinary learning, so soon the whole room was absorbed in dialogue. We shared time together during the rest of the conference and, though we never spoke again, we corresponded for the last twenty years; in recent years she has been an active participant on the Goddess Scholars listserv. Each missive or article from Asphodel reinforced my earliest impression of her as a woman for whom research was a passion, and for whom finding even the slightest shard of new goddess information was a pleasure only secondary to sharing that with her huge network of correspondents.
I know nothing of what Asphodel did with that information in her own spiritual practice, but I suspect she was a nature mystic who found the Goddess in every part of this world. I base that on some poems she sent me not long before she was diagnosed with cancer last fall. I was editing a special issue of the newsletter of NILAS, the academic organization devoted to totemic literature and art, and Asphodel sent me several poems in which she described a sensuous spirituality responding to the living essence of plants. I deeply regret that the journal was published the week after Asphodel passed, so that she never saw her work in print in that forum. But just as those poems will now reach out to others, so her questing spirit will, I trust, continue to inspire other goddess scholars and artists.
-- Patricia Monaghan, [Website]
From: Daniel Cohen, her executor (thanks to Judy Harrow):
Magenta Wise and Gregory Nelson, who manage Asphodel Long's Web site at http://www.asphodel-long.com , have now updated it. The site now mentions her death. More important, it now has a Guestbook, where people can leave comments, appreciations, memories, etc.
Very many thanks to them for this fast work. Please pass this message on to any person or mailing list who would be interested.
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