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.
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 in the US from www.thelunapress.com. Box 15511, Kenmore Station, Boston MA 02215-0009 and in the UK the following books are available from: Penny at The Cot, Ovingdean Road, Ovingdean, BN2 7BB, UK.
All copyright enquiries should be made in writing to Penny Barham (address above)
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. Again, this book is available from Penny at The Cot, Ovingdean Road, Ovingdean, BN2 7BB, UK and in the US from Luna Press, Box 15511, Kenmore Station, Boston MA 02215-0009. Website: www.thelunapress.com. 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, Onlywoman 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 1990-99; GoddessingRegenerated,Malta, 1997-9; Gravesiana, Oxford 1998.
A 1992 video by her has recently been digitised and can be found on YouTube.
Chariot photograph by Eahr Joan
All works © Asphodel P.Long
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