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Goddess activist,  Writer, Teacher, Feminist Theologian

"When we raise Her, we raise ourselves,
When we raise ourselves, we raise Her."
Asphodel P. Long


This year is the centenary of Asphodel's birth. We encourage those who knew her or were influenced by her to commemorate this by mentioning her name in print, in talks, and in rituals or gatherings. And also to add to the Tribute Guestbook by using the contact form.

Born in 1921 in the U.K. of refugee Polish Jewish parents, Asphodel (formerly Pauline) Long  has been called a grandmother of the Goddess Movement in Great Britain. 

She was a founder member of the European Society of Women in Theological Research, the London Matriarchy Study Group (1975) and the Matriarchy Research and Reclaim Network (1980). She received a degree in  Theology at London University in 1983 at the age of 62.  In 1996 she was the first Sophia Fellow at the University College of St. Mark and St. John, Plymouth.

Her course "Female aspects of deity" was offered by the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sussex in an unbroken cycle from 1987 to 1994. The syllabus, included Goddesses of the World, Goddesses of Britain, and Goddesses of the Ancient Near East. She was joined by Magenta Wise who gave several classes on ritual and celebration in the same series.

From 1993 to 1996 she was a tutor in the Feminist Theology outreach programme of the University of Wales at Lampeter, again focusing on "Female aspects of deity"; the programme led to the award by the university of the Certificate in Feminist Theology, and was accepted at various colleges as credit towards a BA in Religious Studies.  She taught a similar course in 1996 at the University College of St. Mark and St. John in Plymouth.

Asphodel is an author of numerous writings on Goddess topics and also on Jewish women's history and on antisemitism. Her book, In a Chariot Drawn by Lions: the Search for the Female in Deity (The Women's Press, London 1992; Crossing Press, Freedom CA 1993) is a discussion of Wisdom Goddesses, looking at goddesses in Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern traditions, researching into the background of Western culture with emphasis on Hochma/Sophia - her reign, her banishment and return. The book also addresses a theme, now commonplace among biblical scholars, though not yet known to the general public, that the ancient Hebrews were not monotheists, but worshipped both the god Yahweh and the goddess Asherah. Scholarly material is used in an accessible manner and analyses the causes of misogyny. Although out of print from the original publishers, this book is available from Tony Long, as is Athene Revisited (Asphodel`s complete set of poems).

In a Chariot Drawn by Lions - £6.50 incl. p and p Athene Revisited -£7.50 incl. p and p. Enquire for non-UK prices.

In a Chariot Drawn by Lions has been republished in an electronic format free of charge by Goddess Ink as one of their legacy pdf series.

All copyright enquiries should be made to Sara Longova .

tanit02 Asphodel's articles on "The Goddess Movement in Britain Today" (Feminist Theology, a scholarly journal published by the Sheffield Academic Press, January 1994) and "The One and the Many: the Great Goddess Revisited" (Wood and Water 53, Winter Solstice 1995 and Feminist Theology, May 1997) have also been influential.  

 Asphodel's book of collected poems Athene Revisited  (Writers Workshop, Calcutta 1999) is bound in sari fabric and handcrafted in India. Some of these poems have appeared in Voyages, Women's Poetry Publishing Collective, London 1977;  If Women Want to Speak what Language do they Use?, Beyond Patriarchy Publications, London1977;  One Foot on the Mountain, Onlywomen Press, London 1979;  Panakeia, London 1980;  Bread and Roses, Virago, London 1982;  Arachne, Matriarchy Research and Reclaim Network, London 1984-91;  Wood and Water, London 1985-99;  Lunar Calendar, Luna Press, Boston 1990-2015; GoddessingRegenerated,Malta, 1997-9;  Gravesiana, Oxford 1998.

A 1992 video by her has recently been digitised and can be found on YouTube.

Asphodel's archival material is held in the Feminist Archive South at the University of Bristol. Bliss Russell, who has worked towards cataloguing this archive, will be talking about Asphodel at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference this summer and also presented a pre-recorded offering on her centenary for Glastonbury goddess temple celebrating Asphodel's life and work, which is available on the Temple's Facebook page.

Read the Elegy by Joe Winter, Asphodel's elder son.

Chariot photograph by Eahr Joan

All works © Asphodel P. Long

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