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Before anything else—thanks to Alexis Masters for designing my first web site and redesigning the beautiful site you’re visiting now. Alexis is my hera. First she taught me how to get the text I’d written into the editing pages. Then she taught me to resize the photos and get them on the pages. Now she’s teaching me how to make links and get them on the pages. With patience and persistence, she is proving that even though I’m terminally educated (the Ph.D. is called the terminal degree), I am still educable. But she did all the really hard parts, of course, like making tables on the two pages where the covers of a dozen books I've edited are shown and creating the collage of theater tickets (she used about 10 percent of the 10 percent of my ticket archive that I sent her). Do you want a spectacular web site? Talk to Alexis.
Thanks also, and again, to Sacred Source for giving me permission to use their image of Sophia. Sophia is not the goddess of wisdom. Strictly speaking, she is not a goddess at all. She is holy wisdom embodied. Visit the Sacred Source site to see and purchase statues large and small of goddesses and gods, plus art, jewelry, and music.
I believe that Elizabeth Cunningham is the best writer of Goddess fiction living on the planet today. We’ve been friends since before either of us had a computer. Five or six years ago we spent a lovely afternoon walking around Greenwich Village and Central Park talking about our publishers. We also spend time together whenever she comes to the Los Angeles area. The last time she came to a bookstore in Venice, I drove up and she and her husband and I walked down the street and found a terrific restaurant. What did we talk about at supper? What else--our publishers. She’s the author of the Maeve Chronicles, a trilogy that is becoming a quartet of wonderful novels about the Celtic Mary Magdalen. My favorite of her novels, however, is How to Spin Gold, which is a retelling of the Rumpelstiltzskin story with a nameless female protagonist as the mysterious spinner. Visit Elizabeth at High Valley. Elizabeth and Maeve also share a blog (really!). Take a look.
I first met Patricia Kelly in 1988 at a tarot symposium in Los Angeles. You know how it is when you meet someone and you just know you’ve known them forever? That’s how it was with us. She lived in Queens, New York, at the time, and she flew across the continent twice to visit me. I also sent her chapters as I wrote them of the novel that grew up to be Secret Lives.Not by email. Via the postal service. (That’s how long ago that was.) She gave me excellent feedback. Patricia now lives in Santa Barbara. She writes beautiful haiku and takes stunning photographs. Take a look. After she read about Domineditrix, the editors' goddess, in Finding New Goddesses, Patricia sent me a silver star paperweight with Domineditrix engraved on it. It's right here on a stack of paper on my desk.
Sherry Wachter and I met on a listserv. Later, I embroidered two little samplers for her that said Ars Gratia Pecuniae (“Art for the Sake of Money”—the true motto of every artist I’ve ever met). She’s a book designer. After I’ve edited your book, go to Sherry. She’ll lay out your pages and give you production values that will make you proud of your book. She's doing Secret Lives right now, and she's also doing books for three or four of my authors. Hooray for Sherry!
Even though we live on opposite edges of the continent, urban shaman Donna Henes and I seem to have been struck by the same idea at the same time. In the 21st century, the so-called traditional Maiden-Mother-Crone paradigm (which was really invented by Robert Graves in his 1948 book, The White Goddess) requires updating. Women live longer now. We stay active longer. After we get the kids out of the house, we still have enough energy to serve our communities in new ways. The solution? Maiden-Mother- Queen-Crone. We’ve both written and taught about the Queen phase of a woman’s life. To learn more about Donna’s work, go to her website.
The Rev. Dr. Charlene Proctor, founder of the Goddess Network, is another friend I knew via the Net before we met in person. Char is an author, a Oneness facilitator and blessing-giver, and a spiritual peacemaker. I edited her latest book and every so often I get a batch of her web articles to edit
I’ve been interviewed on Womens Radio at least four times a year for several years. Most of the time, Pat Lynch and I talk about the current solstice or equinox, but in October, 2009, I gave her a 20-minute audio tour of my collection of witches. You can listen to it by clicking here (remember to turn on your sound). I also write and post stories and revisionist fairy tales to Womens Radio.
I first studied the tarot back in about 1976, but I quit reading when I got tired of people asking me the same questions all the time. I once tried to learn astrology, but I never quite understood it. So I turn to friends who are experts. One of these is Elizabeth Hazel, who is the proprietor of the Kozmic Kitchen. Liz is the creator of the lovely Whispering Tarot, and when she writes about astrology, she does so in plain English and with an attitude I like a lot. I’ve edited one of her books and now we’re working on a book about the lady asteroids. Liz also illustrates my stories on Womens Radio.
Judith Laura and I became friends on a listserv devoted to Goddess scholars when I asked her for advice on blogging. She’s an expert blogger. Medusa Coils is where, she told me, she is “fiercely defending and bravely exploring Goddess and spiritual feminisms.” The blog includes (but is not limited to) monthly events listings, monthly summaries of related blogs, and reviews of relevant books and DVDs.
Max Dashu probably knows more about the Goddess and goddesses around the world than anyone else in the world. She and I have been friends for several years, and when she comes to SoCal for a speaking gig, sometimes she stays with me. And reads her way through my bookshelves. Which leads to very entertaining and instructive conversations. Max has interesting web sites you should check out. Her Suppressed Histories site is about real women and global vision, with articles, image essays, and video clips on women's history, goddesses, female shamans, mother-right, and patriarchy. Max is also an artist. I'm proud to have one of her pieces hanging on my wall. Finally, she offers courses and videos on the history of women and goddesses that she calls cultural transformations.
As the author of Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess, written in 1987, Carol P. Christ is one of the pioneers of modern feminist spirituality. Carol and I met when she was doing a book tour for She Who Changes: Re-Imagining the Divine in the World. We talked about how process philosophy and neopaganism are very much alike, though I’m sure Alfred North Whitehead could not have foreseen that parallelism when he invented process philosophy in the first half of the 20th century. Carol also leads Goddess Pilgrimages to Crete.
Jon Harwood and his wife, Margaret, and I have been friends for many years. They're both artists. (Margaret painted the cover for Quicksilver Moon.) They live in a small town a couple hours south of me, where Jon takes photographs, teaches people to make the best use of their digital cameras, and curates art shows. He’s interested in an old fashioned technique called gum bichromate photography and regularly sends me gorgeous new photos to admire.
When Ellen Feld sent me a note and asked me to contribute a blog to her site, Feathered Quill, I said, "I sure will!" I started in October, but then I got real busy (rewriting this site, among other things). Now I'm back again, but what I contribute are book reviews instead of blogs. Feathered Quill is a terrific site, primarily book reviews (of books in 20 categories) and author interviews.
The black and white headshot was taken by my daughter-in-law, Jennifer Phish Ardinger. She also took the photo of me and the little witch for Secret Lives. It's the most recent of the photos of me. Most of the other photos of me and the photos of the cats were taken by my friend Jon Harwood. The two homecoming photos (me and John Bierk and me outside the SEMO bookstore) were taken by my friend Rex Finnegan. We went to college together. The photos of Michael and me were taken by another fan whose name I've never learned. The Stonehenge photo was taken by Myfanwy Ashley. Charles was clever enough to take his own picture. The photo of me on the How I Work page was taken (about ten years ago) by my friend Cyndy Laurasdotter. The photos of my brother's "Goddess of Fruits," my 2010 collage, and my witch collection were taken by my friend Allene Symons. The photo of Poets' Corner is copied (with thanks) from Wikipedia.