(Tribute) In Memory of Barbara Mor by Harriet Ann Ellenberger and others


March 8, 2015

International Women’s Day

Dear Barbara,

Now that you’ve flown free of your body, I won’t bother with e-mail — I’ll just talk to you.

Listen, Barbara, you fought the good fight for women and for earth and for all of earth’s children. What that English soldier said of Jeanne d’Arc, I say of you: you were a brave captain.

Even now, your words are re-igniting the fires of female genius. And this will continue, and spread.

For myself, I will do what you wanted me to do — write until I fly away too.

Brave captain, faithful friend, on this day I salute you.

See you in the morning …


The patriarchal God has only one commandment: Punish life for being what it is. The Goddess also has only one commandment: Love life, for it is what it is.  [Great Cosmic Mother, p. 430]

 Now is the time to make again sacred our experience.

Witch power, it is said, cannot truly die, since it is a real power of the real cosmos. It can’t die, it can only be forgotten—that means it can also be re-membered, as the serpent can be awakened from its tranced sleep at the bottom of the spine and induced to rise, to become again the luminous flying bird of the imagining mind. Once we thoroughly understand how and why patriarchy acquired its power over us—the power of an entrenched mistake over the minds and lives of all people—once we understand and feel clearly that the fight of witch women is also the fight of earth’s people everywhere against mechanical subjugation and exploitation—once we reestablish the magic link between the individual psyche and the earth’s vital energy flow, between all-evolving matter and all-evolving spirit, and learn to encourage and teach others to do the same, in a loving return to what we always wereperhaps then, in the final time of crisis, the Serpent Goddess will shake herself loose from her deep exiled sleep in the earth’s belly. Perhaps the serpent of life’s flowing energy will begin to rise again, all luminous and of the earth, and the children of the Great Mother will rise up with it, and the universe will be our home again, as before. This flight is not an escape, but a return.

The only way for human beings to survive the end is to return to the beginning. [Great Cosmic Mother, pp. 430-31 — these are the final three paragraphs of the final chapter of the book, a chapter titled “Respell the World”]

The animism of primal peoples has been called “childish.”  In fact, it is a profound, experiential perception of the evolutionary relation between all life forms as the manifestation of the original one—the first cell from which all life multiplied, the original cosmic egg. When human survival depends on such a sensitive rapport with the environment—as it always has, and always will—such a conception is not infantile, but crucial. Human survival does indeed depend on a sacramental relation to nature. Now that this relation has been betrayed, and destroyed, we know how important it was. And is. A sacramental bond between our earliest human ancestors and the natural world was the primary factor in our evolution—not simply as a physical species, but as conscious beings. For this bonding set up a resonance in which all art, all religious ritual, all magic-alchemic science, all spiritual striving for illumination was born. As primal people have always experienced it, when you look and listen to nature, something appears, something always speaks. Animism is still a valid relationship. If “modern man” neither sees nor hears, the fault is in his dead sensorium. [Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), p. 80.]


“For me, feminism makes no sense unless it goes to the root of the problem: the life-hatred inherent in patriarchal religious and social systems.” [http://monicasjoo.org/pics/misc2/015p-misc2.htm]


From Helen Hye-Sook Hwang:


Dear Barbara,


Hello! I am still reading and learning what you had to say during your “journey of creative female endurance.” As I write this, the phrase, “journey of creative female endurance,” suddenly creates a swirl with water and blood inside of me. And my eyes are wet. My throat is about to choke with a sharp cry. I take it as a sign of communication between us. A talk without saying words, a meeting without seeing with eyes. That is in fact how our primordial ancestors in the Mago Stronghold communicated! You have invited me to Our Homeward Land that you have shown women and men, a passage of our returning journey to the Great Mother, whom I call Mago. Look forward to co-creating “the magic future” that you envisioned. I will be perusing The Great Cosmic Mother with Sisterly love and gratitude.


Blessed be all,
Helen Hye-Sook Hwang


A wheel is direction’s energy (also a steering device, a will). Among circling and exploding stars: how do we dare to live? I look in my cracked mirror. Personal<–>political<–>cosmic. With The Great Cosmic Mother I’ve made a journey of creative female endurance. The book, readers say, gives us back our HerStory. Women’s creation of human culture, our epic struggle to imaginatively survive and transform the world to which we gave birth: our collective story amazes, enrages, energizes us. Individual lives are illumined and empowered by it. Women, and men, are returned to themselves. My small epos, the book’s writing and after, underscores (I hope) this theme. Female spirit, the goddess in us, is not fragile or new; not an invention of privileged women or an escapist New Age elite. We are tough and ancient: tried by a million years of ice and fire. On enormous and minute wheels of pain and beauty we have turned. The spinning wills of witches transmute our experience into worlds: dream into real, need into art, difficult fact into daily vision. Skilled in memory, muscled by quantum leaps, we return to tell and respell our story. Sometimes, uphill; against odds and harsh winds: my metaphoric saga is Everywoman’s. Knowledge of our truly revolutionary past can resolve our present dilemmas. Daughters of earth, all this whirling past is in us, of us. We are powered by experience. Now we can create and consecrate our globe’s next turn: the magic future. [Barbara Mor, October 1990, “PREFACE: WHEEL LIFE,” in Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), p. xvi.]


Read Meet Mago Contributor Barbara Mor.

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Reblogged this on FeistyAmazon and commented:
Yes! Cosmic Mother changed my perspective and the task of us Witch Womyn is deep and profound and ancient. We are the Guardians of Mother Earth…