Monica Sjoo is dead.
She died on Monday the 8th of August, of cancer, surrounded by her loving
Monica was an artist, a writer, one of the early, powerful visionaries
of the women’s spirituality movement. Her book, The Great Cosmic Mother,
brought the hidden history of the Goddess back alive, and her paintings
transformed ancient images and symbols into contemporary icons of female
I first met Monica in 1985, on a walk with women activists from the
Greenham Common Peace Camp, that began in Avebury on Beltaine and crossed
the military firing ranges of Salisbury Plain to celebrate a wild, powerful,
illicit ritual at Stonehenge during a lunar eclipse. Monica was strong,
blunt, sometimes painfully honest, gruff, brilliant and courageous.
She faced huge losses in her own life with courage and creativity, and
wrote with truthful self-revelation of her own griefs and disappointments.
She continued to paint, write and create.
The last time I saw Monica, she came for a night to the Earth Activist
Training I was coteaching in England. She presided over the ritual we
were having that night in her wheelchair, sitting by the fire like an
embodiment of the Crone herself. We told stories, of the walk and the
Stonehenge ritual, of Greenham and the antinuclear actions of the eighties,
of the early years of the feminist spirituality movement. The younger
women activists—and the men—listened with rapt attention to a history
most of them had never heard. Monica seemed strong, at peace, complete.
That is how I will remember her, her silver hair shining in the firelight,
her eyes alight. One of the mothers of the women’s spirituality movement
is gone. May the Goddess embrace her, take her into her loving arms,
and bring her strong, creative spirit around the circle to rebirth.
9 August 2005
Sjoo (her website)
come from Sweden originally my images are inspired by pilgrimages
in the Celtic World as well as to Andalusia in Spain, to Malta
etc. The indwelling spirits in the sacred spaces speak to me in
visions and dreams. The goddess taking many different forms is
again rising within us in these too dangerous times when our mother
earth who gives us life and spirit is now so threatened. We must
fight for her, on life's behalf. I am an Eco Witch, an activist,
a lifetime feminist. I'm also a writer and co-author with Barbara
Mor of "the Great Cosmic Mother; Rediscovering the Religion of
the Earth" and sole author of "The Norse Goddess" and "Return
of the Dark/Light Mother or New Age Armageddon". Blessed Be.
more on Monica Sjoo:
space with Monica Sjoo by Leslie McIntyre
Her poem: NEARLY
FULL MOON, AUTUMN EQUINOX 1986
Monica Sjoo Collection
women writers and artists