This guestbook records the entries made in the first year after Asphodel's passing.
We have reopened it for those who might wish to commemorate the centenary of her birth by sending us a comment
I was so saddened to learn of the passing of asphodel, my dear friend and feminist sister, and someone who had given me such support when i was pregnant with my son in 1990. i am sure her spirit is dancing wild and free and her works will be read, and learnt from by the next generation of feminists - marlene 29 dec 05
Julia Bolton Holloway
Dear worthiest Friends of Asphodel, I, too, am one, a hermit in Italy who treasures in her theological library the magnificent book, In a Chariot Drawn by Lions. Asphodel's name is a blessing, Sister Julia
Asphodel and I were too close for me to feel like saying much. But I would like to share the end of the talk I gave in honour of her at the recent Goddess Conference in Turkey that Lydia Ruyle so kindly dedicated to her. In the biblical Book of Wisdom of Solomon, on which she had worked for "In a Chariot Drawn by Lions", verses 22-23 of Chapter 7 give a long list of attributes of divine Wisdom.She once used these words as a dedication to my mother, but the person to whom they are most applicable is Asphodel herself. "In her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle …beneficent, humane … loving the good."
I would like to record my deep admiration and affection for Asphodel Long. I met her on a handful of occasions between 1993 and 2003 and found her to be both quietly inspiring and marvellously provocative. We met in two related contexts: academic study of the Goddess and support for the work and reputation of Robert Graves (in memory of whom Asphodel composed a beautiful elegy). In the first of these subjects we did not always concur. Indeed, I learned of Asphodel's death only when I asked Carcanet Press, in May, to send her a complementary copy of my edition of Graves and Patai's Hebrew MythsÐÐincluding an analysis of the book with which I was conscious Asphodel might strongly disagree! In both convergence and divergence, however, Asphodel was a gracious and generous scholar; a pioneer in her several fields of study and someone with a rare and passionate gift for unifying academic work with outreach to bruised human beings. The influence she leaves and the love she inspired will be, I am certain, enduring memorials to her. Bob Davis University of Glasgow July 2005
Asphodel was a dearest and most special friend, whose advice saw me through many crises over the last 30 years and continues to guide me now. She always had a great eye for the right organisation and the true course of action (and immediately after she died, when I was missing her desperately, her recommended charity the Who Cares Trust was able to help me immediately on an urgent matter). Asph's most lasting legacy to me is a very real and physical one: the novels we always loved to swap and lend. We used to joke about her leaving me the Georgette Heyer collection, which we both adored - I never guessed that Asphodel would gift me her whole fiction collection to enjoy and share. Asph's grandson Chris and his partner Anita stored all the books perfectly at their home in Portslade until my partner and I could bring the boxes back to London. Since then, I've felt I am with Asphodel every single day, because the books just breathe her mind and the pleasures we had in common. The core is a splendid range of light fiction, especially thriller writers, and other more serious works which fell outside of Asphodel's main scholarly collection which has gone to Dr Williams' theological library. Going through the books has been such a joy, even more because lots of them are almost exact duplicates and the feeling of mental companionship and recognition is deepened. I have taken about one-third of the collection for myself, and now I'd like to share the remaining books among Asphodel's friends and those who love the authors and herself. A full list follows. I am able to send books by post, answer enquiries or meet up for book-viewings. My phone number is 0207 267 8198. My e-mail adress is : firstname.lastname@example.org Amanda Sebestyen Large sets of Asphodel's favourite authors: Margery Allingham (16 books) Agatha Christie (41) Georgette Heyer (historical novels 22, thrillers 10) Nicholas Freeling (6) William Haggard (8) Michael Innes /J.I.M. Stewart (21) PD James (5) Emma Latham (9) Ngaio Marsh (23) Ellis Peters (26) Dorothy Sayers (6, including 3 sequels co-written by Jill Paton Walsh) Nevill Shute (5). Plus smaller sets of: John Buchan (2), Manning Coles (3), Leslie Charteris (2), GK Chesterton (3), Amanda Cross (3), Colin Dexter (2), Conan Doyle (3), Frederick Forsyth (3), Antonia Fraser (3), Geoffrey Household (3), Ross MacDonald (2), John Masters (2), Mystery Short Stories anthologies (3), Robert B Parker (2), Josephine Tey (3). Single hardbacks from Asphodel's collection: Eric Ambler - Journey into Fear Dickens - Bleak House Maurice Goudeket - Close to Collette WJ Lock - The Beloved Vagabond Betty MacDonald - The Egg & I Merejkowski - The Forerunner Axel Munthe - The Story of San Michele TF Powys - Mr Weston's Good Wine Barbara Skelton - Tears Before Bedtime & Weep No More [memoirs] Angela Thirkell - Private Enterprise Vercors - The Insurgents E.J. Worbose - Singlehurst Manor Dornford Yates - Anthony Lyveden Margueurite Yourcenar - The Memoirs of Hadrian Hardback anthologies: Great Spy Stories (Le Carre, Ambler, Fleming, Francis Clifford) Winter's Crimes (Simon Brett, Ellis Peters, Julian Symons) Single paperbacks: Bernard Bastable - Dead, Mr Mozart James Branch Cabell - The Cream of the Jest Peter Cheyney - It Couldn't Matter Less Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White Durrenmatt - The Pledge George Eliot - Silas Marner Barbara Erskine - House of Echoes Leon Feuchtwanger - Power [originally Jew Suss] Erle Stanley Gardner - The Case of the Counterfeit Eye Dennis Holt - Prince of the West Hammond Innes - The Lonely Skier Koestler - Darkness at Noon Lampedusa - The Leopard Jean Plaidy - The Queen from Provence Simon Raven - Brother Cain Simenon - Maigret Goes to School CP Snow - The Masters Rosemary Sutcliff - The Lantern Bearers Polly Toynbee & D Walker - Did Things Get Better? [New Labour's record].
Thanks to the obituary on Witch Vox I just now became introduced to Asphodel Long. What a blessing and yet what a sorrow to know that these are the last of her insightful writings. I would love to honor her memory by continuing to pass around her works and thus keep her alive. Having just read her piece on the Imbolc Journey, I smile through my tears and am thankful that she passed on this illuminating day! May Goddess gently cradle her in warm pink light and please return her to us soon for her next re-appearance! Lovely, lovely soul! Brightest Blessings, Asphodel, and Merry Meet again! Mary.
Nicola, Melissa & Asher Bloom
Our lovely Asphodel Who laughed with us, humoured us! made us feel special and always welcome. Spending time with you, listening to you and sharing our lives with you was an honour. You blessed us with a beautiful poem on our big day and was always there with words of patience and encouragment when we became parents sooner than expected. We remember you always. Love the mashigana blooms ***
I'm so sad to hear of Asphodel's death. She was such an inspiration and touchstone of kindness, clarity and integrity. Working with her was such fun. I'm so glad that some of the photos on this beautiful memorial site show her smile.
Deb E. Dee
Oh, wonderful grace did I find myself so lucky to have been introduced to Asphodel through her work and to correspond with her in her final year. Blessede the Great Goddess, and I thank her and Asphodel for the Love, courage and Wisdom embodied in the work and person of Dear Asphodel.She shines on in Texas.
Asphodel's contribution to the Goddess movement was immense. The contribution she made to my own personal and academic development was equally huge. One of the greatest honours I had was to be able to express this in published form in the edition of Feminist Theology for her 80th birthday. You will be greatly missed, but you have left us a legacy that will take many, many lifetimes to honour and explore. Blessings & Love.
I miss Asphodel so much. She was a very good friend to me, we were supportive of each other and had many many fantastic and interesting discussions/debates about anything and everything under the sun!! Judging by a lot of the comments on here Asphodel really inspired and touched many people. R.I.P dearest Asphodel, I still feel your warmth and wisdom. Dolores.
I honor Asphodel, her life and her writings and beautiful spirit. I would ask those who know of Goddess to continue to communicate and share your knowledge. I have just discovered Her and am now seeking to know Her better. I have two daughters who are in their twenties who need Her also. Blessings to you all.
Asphodel was a wonderful friend, great company and terrific with not only women but men. She was charming, polite, dignified and an example to everyone. She taught me to think about things I had never considered before and to look at other things in a different light. She was so often able to understand intuitively what I was struggling to say. I will miss her.
A sincere thank you for this beautiful online memorial to our dear Asphodel. May her radiant spirit, strength of purpose, and tenacious wisdom live on within all who knew and loved her.
I met Asphodel at a funeral, of Lucy Aviva Scott who was a sort of grand-daughter of Asphodel's, in 1975. Miriam Scott's Lucy Poem (written before Lucy was born) is the memorial of that time -- of those times. Last week I said goodbye, at Asphodel's funeral. The 70's were a good time, I think. People were holding change in their hands. Time Out had pages of AgitProp listings; groups abounded; political theatre, art and discussion were active and available. Later, in the 80's, we were left with the small change of the reaction. Possibly the Goddess Movement was the major exception to that retrenchment of the 80's, and I hope it continues to rediscover and publish the truth. Asphodel thought I was an examplar of the new man -- and through me, though really through Miriam -- she met Daniel who is too unique to be an examplar. I'm pleased to consider Daniel my contribution to Asphodel, though he contributes himself. He's the only one I can ask about the Riemann Hypothesis, and possibly I'm the only one who asks him such things, anymore. Now I'm much more of an old man -- but my life was touched by Asphodel and I am very grateful. I'm coming to the age at which Pauline changed to Asphodel, and flourished. Others are describing that flowering on these notes, and her significance ... to the world. I will only add that she is also deeply personally significant, as an inspirer of individuals, even me.
what an inspiring lady! she will be missed
Years ago I met Asphodel at a conference in Dublin. Her intellect and the depth of her spirituality, as well as her warmth and gentleness, were immediately evident and drew many of us to her. She too made the trip to New Grange, where she led a ritual among the standing stones near the entrance. It was a deeply moving experience that I mark as one of the pivotal events of my life. I will always cherish the memory of Asphodel's sweet, intent face, surrounded by blowing locks, as she reverently invoked the Goddess. Dear Asphodel, your life made such a difference. In gratitude, ave atque vale! Johanna
Few who have passed over to the Summerlands will be as missed as dear Asphodel. A very rare woman with whom we were so pleased to spend such treasured times. Bright Blessings. Jack Pleasant & Helene Hodge.
Asphodel...I attended your 'Female Aspects of Deity' course many years ago in Brighton - your words and wisdom gave shape to my religious and spiritual life then, as they have continued to do so...thankyou for this more than I can ever say. With love as you journey on beyond the veil.x
Thank you, Asphodel, for giving me the Goddess in my own language. May Her good earth keep you, and may Her ever-growing spiral of life enfold your spirit.
Perhaps Asphodel's greatest legacy (besides her friendship and support to so many women) was her birthing, leading and sustaining of the feminist-orientated 'Goddess Movement' here. I met Asphodel about 35 years ago and was immediately drawn to her as soon as we met. I am so pleased to have had her friendship. My own life has been immeasurably richer for having known her. I am especially grateful to her for founding 'The Matriarchy Research and Reclaim Network' which seemed to start it all off in those early days. This was a group which first met in her 'squat', later in her new home and elsewhere and in which we met a whole range of interseting and committed Goddess-orientated women who shared ideas, food and small ceremonies and which published an early information-packed and inspiring newsletter. Asphodel was a tutor in 'Labyrinth Women's Workshops' which I ran in the late 80's, and taught with me in 'Women and The Goddess' extra mural classes at London University and in an adult education class at Brentford in West London where she inspired even those who had never thought about either feminism or The Goddess seriously before. For a while I had the great privilege to be her supervisor when she was doing reserch for a Ph.D. on the Wisdom Goddess and The Female in Deity, the eventual result of which was her book 'In a Chariot Drawn by Lions' which has been appreciated by so many other women. We also shared an interest in writing poems on The Goddess and Women's Spirituality and her book 'Athene Revisted' is a delight as are her poems in the annual 'Lunar Calendar'. She, like The Goddess was Wisdom and Wit ..a caring person, an excellent communicator with her own brand of (sometimes apparently disorganised) effeciency, a politically motivated yet original feminist thinker. She gave so many women such insight into their own power and possibilities. After she left London, we met in many meetings, in hotels on train stations and I visited her many times in Brighton but due to distance and to other heavy committments, only once in Rye. We kept in touch by letters, cards, phone and e-mail and she never once (even last December when she was already quite ill) forgot to send to me on my birthday ..usually the lunar calendar or some other Goddess-related gift. At the time of her funeral (I couldn't actually be there) I had a very mystical experience walking on a hill, looking out to sea from Wales across the Severn Estuary and to England beyond. As I walked I found three highly symbolic objects at my feet(and which I have written about elsewhere) which felt like true signs from Asphodel herself. She will always remain in our hearts and minds and in our thoughts. I'm sure her work will continue to inspire not only those who remain but those who follow on. Her life was truely special. May The Goddess bless you Asphodel as you move on in your journey. Blessed be.
Jacqueline (Jaki) daCosta
Asphodel, it was an honour to know you and a privilege to work with you.We will always sip champagne and eat smoked salmon together in loving friendship.
As one who never met you, but so benefited from your works, I render salutations, felicitations and gratitude. May your rest in the garden be all that you require, and may your return bring the garden to earth. You've brought that day as close as a breath, or a sigh. Blessings, Yvonne O.
It was an honor to be in contact with Asphodel in reprinting one of her brilliant essays in our radical feminist journal on her experiences finding and honoring the Goddess. Our contact though brief was inspiring and we gained much from her words, her passion, and her dedication. She will be missed. In sisterhood, Nayiree for Rain and Thunder
Always 'Pauline' to me; always meeting in different situations and places; my auntie, problem and puzzle-solver, friend and confidante. Love, Norm
Asphodel enriched my life. Her wealth of wisdom, scholarship and experience offered with the genuine gift of friendship. I am sure that her influence will continue to resonate and her work continue to inspire. Thank you Asphodel.
I knew Pauline Long as a fellow working journalist and a personal soul mate who helped me tremendously through the most difficult period of my life. This was from 1970 to '75, when I suffered a messy matrimonial disengagement, the cot death of an infant grandchild, and several more comparable shocks. Pauline specialised in textiles, first as a staff writer for "Drapers' Record" and later working for the International Wool Secretariat, while my field was science and engineering. This professional overlap gave us much in common as a unit, in additional to our many shared interests in the political and natural world around us. I highly valued this very special relationship. It slowly faded away when Pauline morphed into Asphodel, though we remained good friends. We kept in touch by email, and I visited her several times at her Brighton flat. But from the very start the strongest bond we had was my daughter Miriam, who has written her own tribute.
God rest you; you were an inspiration.
Good night, Asphodel. You will wake in another mornining, in another space. May you revel in your new place in the universe! Only knew you through your friend, Daniel, who loved you so much, but that human thread made me love you, too. Hugs around your shoulders, sister, Patsy
You have created almost sign, symbol and text my ritual for Imbolc..could not resist reading the work, Very creative,
Dear Asphodel, you brought such richness into the lives of so many women that you will always be part of us, within our thoughts, our laughter, our pain, our joy, our sorrow. More than anyone I know, you are so often there when beauty goes through us; you are there in what we write and think, love and understand. You are there in the strength and beauty of the earth, in its curves, its sensuality, its texture, its gravity and its lightness. Your death can never be an end, you are woven into the breath of everything that is alive. See you!
Dearest Asphodel You were my friend and mentor and hero as you were to so many others.We went back before the Goddess movement and so I knew you too as a successful working journalist, mother, and politically engaged Jewish woman - lively, insightful, witty and the most exciting of communicators. You later brought these wonderful grounded qualities to your work as an educator in feminist theology and spirituality.I owe you my first learning in Judaism. I was privileged to be your editor on your Wisdom book ("Chariot"). You were so excited that I was beginning university level study (Environmental Science) in later life just as you had done and hoped it would lead to a new life for me as it had done for you.I look back with love and awe on 34 years of friendship and support. Thank you for all you have given to all who knew you. May your memory be a blessing.
Go Gently into that good night, Sweet Sister...and rejoice in your continued journey beyond the veil as the Goddess welcomes you home.
Many thanks to One who Helped open the doors so long shut to those who thirsted for Truth. May the Mother's love enfold you and welcome you Home.
Asphodel and I became friends the moment we met and that has changed my life. She became and remains, my muse and inspiration for things which have happened and those yet to come and she taught me the true meaning of wisdom. From an email sent a short time ago she wrote " another journey on the way..." That new journey has begun, dear friend and we wish you "blessed be".
I am grateful for Asphodel's life of leadership in the Goddess movement and am especially personally grateful for her pioneering work bringing us knowledge of Wisdom Goddesses, Asherah, and other Goddesses of the Ancient Near East. I am grateful for this website, where, in her graciousness, Asphodel continues to share her knowledge. And how grateful I am that I was fortunate enough to meet Asphodel on this new adventure of interweaving we call the Internet, the Web. Rest now in the arms of the Goddess, Asphodel, in peace and renewal.
Asphodel Long manifested the Great Mother Goddess in all her aspects. I was blessed to meet her in Anatolia in 1990 on the trail of the mother goddess there. Asphodel's clear vision of the divine feminine was an inspiration and gift to me. Her sparkling blue eyes, brilliant mind and persistent encouragement embodied the Goddess, empowering those whose lives she touched. The Goddess Conference at the Ephesus Museum, Turkey, July 20-23, 2005 will be dedicated to Asphodel Long, her life and work.
It's hard to find words to describe the enormity of the loss of Asphodel in our communities and in our lives. I think of her as a queen of revolution - she certainly helped me to make a revolutionary transformation in my life and she was so gifted at saying complex truths in such a simple way and naming all that is wrong in our societies. Her scholarship and intellect were always a source of exhilaration and joy to me. In the land of the living where we reside, I shall try to pass on the loving encouragement that she gave me to other younger sisters who are coming on up to raise Her and ourselves. I was blessed to know Asphodel - may many flowers grow on the graves of the dead.
Sandy Hutchinson Nunns
Her life enriched the life of all she touched. I value so many things, but especially the wholeness she brought to whatever she did, wrote or talked about. I never heard her say a bad word about another person, only stressing the positive in others. Thank you for all your many gifts and talents which you shared so freely.
Asphodel Long`s contribution to the Goddess Movement is one of the most important and far-reaching ever made. Also individually, she touched lives and they were changed forever.
ASPHODEL'S MANTLE In her death she passed on her mantle, knowing we are now ready.
I shall remember Asphodel for her scholarly wisdom, great social awareness and her genuine kindness. She was a positive presence in so many circles, and I have no doubt that her influence will endure with a keen relevance to us all.
Comments written in the centenary year will be found below.