Remembering Shekhinah

don’t often discuss or talk about my spiritual leanings on my blogs
because for the most part, think people make too much of it. I don’t
care much for people who shove their spiritual or religious bent in my
face and so I don’t do it to others. Even in passing. I am past the
years where I need to wear my beliefs on my sleeve and past the time in
my life where I feel the need to explain, justify or even label what my
spirituality is. When I think of God or a Higher Power, I think of
something feminine, distinctly womanly. Sometimes it is nature,
sometimes it life, sometimes it is a specific goddess, almost always
referred to as the "Goddess". It is, for me, what it is. And it is not
static. It is fluid and evolves as I evolve.

However, many years
ago, when I was searching for a power greater than myself, I was not so
sure. It was then when I found the Goddess. It was comforting and
empowering to know the spirit/energy/power that was out there running
the show wasn’t a wizened old, man with a long white beard or young man
whipped and nailed violently to a cross to die.

At this
time in my life, I explored women’s spirituality. I identified for
years as a witch. I cast spells, maintained several altars in my home
and studied all manner of pagan religion, trying each on I suppose to
see how they fit. It was during this time that I discovered a new book
called Ariadne’s Thread written by Shekhinah Mountainwater.   A foremother of the women’s spirituality movement, Shekhinah designed Ariadne’s Thread as a
workbook for students of the Goddess, it a book chock full of
information about goddesslore and exercises to open up your mind and
inspire creativity. I learned about the phases of a woman’s life and it
here that I first read about cronehood. Ariadne’s Thread helped to
change my world and shape my spirituality.

years later, when I was a contributing co-editor of a women’s
spirituality journal, I was able to spend time working with Shekhinah
doing an interview and a piece about her altar. I was honored to work
with this wise woman and grateful for the opportunity. I lost personal
touch with her in 2000 when I resigned from the magazine and underwent
my last spine surgery. However, I kept tabs on her through her
discussion list and sent periodic notes.

When Shekhinah was
diagnosed with cancer in 2005, I sent her a note and we kept in touch
sporadically. I watched as she struggled valiantly to keep a positive
attitude and share her real self with those on her discussion list.

morning I opened my e-mail to find Shekhinah had crossed over on
Saturday. I was sad and elated: sad for us and and elated that
Shekhinah was now on the the other side, perhaps beginning a new

And so today I have spent time today remembering what I
learned from Shekhinah; from her wisdom; from her knowledge. I thank
her for her willingness to share her knowledge, strength and humanity
with the world. Without her contributions, women’s spirituality would
not be as diverse or lush.

Shekhinah  Mountainwater
October 24, 1939 – August 11, 2007

"She changes everything she touches, and
everything she touches, changes".
~ Starhawk