Shekhina Mountainwater

Ariadne’s Thread
goddess book
Hi all–

I am sorry to pass on the news that Shekhina Mountainwater passed on Saturday this last weekend.

Shekhina was for decades active in goddess circles and her initiating energy moved many projects into being. Shekhina was also an early Maize contributor, part of our Maize web of wondrous wimmin . Ariadne’s Thread is her well known book on goddess magic teachings.

Cat Heron informs us that Shekhina, who succumbed to cancer, was lovingly tended in her transition by a circle of goddess women who sang her into the light.

Our hearts are with Shekhina in her Journey and to her extensive family and friendship circle.

Love to you all,

This is communication space for the AMaizing wimmin of Maize Magazine. To post a comment, question, or announcement, send email to



Filed under Lesbians Around The Globe

2 responses to “Shekhina Mountainwater

  1. Subject: (Maize Magazine 112) Santa Cruz Sentinel story about Shekhina Mountainwater’s life and commun ity comments
    Date: August 27, 2007 5:29:20 PM CDT

    Dear Jae,
    I am sending you a copy of the text of the story in the local Santa Cruz sentinel about Shekhina Mountaiwater’s life followed by comments from her beloving community. While I participated in community circle and shared her writing with my friends, I did not truly know her personally. The story opens many rays of light on her life so i send it on to you. Love, Cat Heron
    Shekhina Mountainwater – Santa Cruz Sentinel
    Local News followed by comments

    August 14, 2007
    Shekhinah Mountainwater (1939-2007): Author, singer, spiritualist found truth in goddess myths

    SANTA CRUZ — As she lay dying on the bed inside her Santa Cruz home, her last words were, “It’s better now.” And with that, Shekhinah Mountainwater, a key figure in Santa Cruz’s alternative spiritual culture, died Saturday after battling uterine cancer for more than a year and a half. She was 67. She was surrounded by friends and family. On Monday they recalled her impact. They said it was not only in the way she lived her life, but in the way she left it: courageous in the face of pain. Then, finally, peacefully. She was a healer, a tarot reader, a teacher, a singer, a musician, an author, a goddess, a pagan, a witch.

    “The good kind of witch, not the bad kind,” her friends and family pointed out Monday, occasionally motioning to her body, which lay a few feet away inside a plain wooden coffin in the backyard; occasionally they spoke to her. “She was dedicated to her work and changing the world,” said son Frey Faust, who followed in his mother’s artistic footsteps by becoming a dance teacher. “She was a creative mother, and she was very disciplined as an artist herself. Nature was important to her. Values were important to her. She was never interested in monetary wealth”.

    While thousands of Santa Cruz residents could fit that very description, what made Mountainwater’s life so interesting is that she dedicated her life to empowering women long before it became fashionable. And she never let up. And it wasn’t a political movement along the lines of feminism, although that was certainly important to her. It was a spiritual movement — one whose roots can be traced to an ancient time, long before Judaism and Christianity “came to be,” said daughter Angel Brandwein, who, as a child growing up in Ben Lomond, would sing and dance with her mother and older brother in front of the old Cooper House in downtown Santa Cruz.

    “She was always at the forefront of any new movement whose purpose was to enlighten and unravel the patriarchal regime,” said Brandwein, who now lives in Phoenix and works at Arizona State University. “She was the original beatnik, the original hippie; she was always anti-establishment”. She sang and played acoustic guitar in the same coffee houses as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell in the 1960s in New York’s Greenwich Village, before eventually moving to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, then settling in Santa Cruz, where she lived for 35 years in the same house on Effey Street.

    Born Ellen Adler on Oct. 24, 1939, she was raised in New York and attended Bard College for a few years before she set off on her own in an attempt to become a folksinger. Over the course of her life, however, Mountainwater would adopt a long line of names before settling on her final one, Shekhinah — “the female aspect of god in ancient Judaism,” her daughter said. “Her name changes represented her journey in life at the time and the discovery of a new part of herself,” she added.

    In 1991, she wrote “Ariadne’s Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic,” a book about feminist spirituality and magic. “You may have heard of the five steps or keys to magic,” she writes. “See, know, will, dare and keep silent. Those correspond to the five elements of the witch’s star, as spirit, mind, action, emotion, and body”. Or, perhaps, a more prophetic line would be this one: “Great are the life forms that let us eat them/Some day our bodies too will be food/Great is the goddess who makes things so yummy/Great is the woman who cooks it so good”.

    In December 2005, however, Mountainwater was dealt a blow when she was diagnosed with cancer. Soon, she found herself having to mix alternative methods of healing, such as herbs, massage and acupuncture, with modern-day practices such as chemotherapy and radiation. The chemotherapy may have taken her beautiful hair, friends say, but it didn’t take her soul, or her fire, or the goddess within her. “She taught us how to find the goddesses in ourselves. She taught us how to hold ourselves sacred,” said Juniper Spring, a close friend. “That’s what made her so special” What neighbor Cindia Boyle said she will miss most of all is their day-to-day friendship. “She was always here,” said Boyle. “And now she isn’t”.

    Contact Tom Ragan at
    Shekhinah Mountainwater
    Born: Oct. 24, 1939.
    Died: Aug. 11, 2007.
    Occupation: Author, artist, healer, teacher, spiritual leader.
    Survivors: Daughter Angel Brandwein of Phoenix; son Frey Faust of Santa Cruz; brother Seth Adler of San Francisco; father Bill Adler of San Francisco; and three grandchildren.

    Services: 10 a.m. today at Soquel Cemetery, 550 Old San Jose Road. A public memorial will be announced in coming weeks.

    Jay8/14/2007 3:19 PM
    May the Gods and Goddesses comfort her family and may her trip into the summer lands be joyus!

    Huntress Crone8/14/2007 4:04 PM
    The Earthly Plane has lost a beautiful woman. The Summerland’s rejoice in her arrival. A guide for so many women to their true self, she will be missed here and her work will still carry on for many more years.

    Mary Jo8/14/2007 9:37 PM
    May you be blessed on your way.

    RadiantSwan (BhaktiMoon)8/15/2007 6:52 AM
    Baruch Dayan Emet…..

    Ein Od Milvado…..

    May her memory serve as a blessing…indeed it will… Mother Shekhinah you will be missed but your legacy will live on.

    Lynn Jacob8/15/2007 9:31 AM
    Shekinah was the living embodiment of a sweet, loving, nurturing, strong, and tough daughter/sister/mother/crone woman. She taught us that many things can be true at the same time.
    She will be dearly missed.

    Lynn Galliano8/15/2007 3:27 PM
    Our hearts and love go out to our friends Angel and Jesse, and their extended family.
    Lynn and Melody

    disalu8/15/2007 3:30 PM
    Glad you were here elder Sister, glad you spoke out, glad you weren’t afraid of what others might think.
    The Circle is open, but never broken….

    Polly8/15/2007 3:35 PM
    Shekhinah, beautiful sister, you will be missed and remembered dearly.

    Aranea8/16/2007 11:39 AM
    Dear Sister you will remain forever in my heart and may your good works continue to shine and teach those that follow the path of truth.

    the Tarotlaydee )0(8/16/2007 6:53 PM
    To Shekhinah, the spiritual mom of many! U will be missed but your pain is gone now! I know that you will keep speaking to me through your writings. I will make sure that your legacy remains constant!

    Lady Isadora8/16/2007 9:15 PM
    Blessed Shekhinah, beloved fellow priestess and Goddess songstress, fabulous Faery Bard and fervent Lover of the Muse, we will NEVER forget you and the profoundly unique legacies you left to the Womanspirit community. Rest and reincarnate in joy, dear sister. From me a mermaid croon to sing you home.

    Brigid8/17/2007 1:23 PM
    May the Goddess she served so well welcome her with open arms and grant her peace and rest, and her family and friends comfort in their time of sorrow.

    SilverScarletHawk8/17/2007 1:53 PM
    She soars to the loving arms of The Great Cosmic Mother! Muse, Friend, ForeMother of the Womenspririt Movement. We honor You, We honor You! Blessed Priestess, I treasure all the many profound, powerful Goddess circles… stir the pot, stir the pot! My tears flow down on Mother Earth, but I rejoice, knowing you shine in the warmth of The SummerLand! Creatrix, Sweet Sister Shekhinah, I Honor You! I feel your wonderful Spirit, I see your beautiful smile; we hear your songs and chants, your great wisdom encircles your Sisters! You circle around the boundaries of the Earth!
    In Her Service Priestess SilverScarletHawk

    Macha NightMare8/17/2007 2:01 PM
    May the torn thread of her life be woven whole into the great, mysterious Web of Life.
    In love may she return again,
    M. Macha NightMare

    Kitty8/17/2007 4:24 PM
    I will always remember what you taught me and the light you shone on my path.
    Blessed be and forever remembered …

    Priya8/17/2007 10:07 PM
    Beloved Sister Shekhinah,
    Thank you for showing me the way of the Goddess, and blessing me with your magic. May your spirit dance within her heart always.
    Blessed Be Ma!

    Rhiannon8/18/2007 5:01 AM
    Your book taught me as a beginner and then served as a general reference. The prayer on the last page I use to close so many of my private rituals. You are missed.

    Olwen Moondancer8/18/2007 8:09 AM
    Farewell dear Priestess. May you be enfolded in the arms of Goddess.

    Cate8/18/2007 2:31 PM
    Goodbye, sweet and wise sister. We will remember you, and we will honor your wise and loving spirit.

    Devora8/19/2007 9:45 AM
    Shekhinah, one of my first teachers, I will always remember you in your wild garden with your beloved cat. I am forever grateful to you for opening my eyes and spirit to my spiritual path. Blessings on your journey dear one

    Ldy Rev Altariel S8/19/2007 11:06 AM
    Goddess hold our Dear Shekhinah to your bosom, and help those who love her to move through their stages of mourning swiftly.
    So Mote It Be

    Maire Raven8/20/2007 8:48 PM
    May the Blessings and Love of the Goddess enfold you always,Shekhinah. Many thanks for the songs and teachings- you will be remembered and She who is remembered, lives!

    Fae Gypsy Judith8/20/2007 11:02 PM
    Priestess, poet, and teacher, I regret never meeting you in the flesh. Your words have influenced my magick for years now. May Goddess ease your journey to the Summerland and may you find peace and rest in Her heart. So Mote It Be!

    Kira Knight-Mckay8/23/2007 8:44 PM
    Goddess Bless you,Shekhinah…my mother,SilverScarletHawk,spoke so highly of you&your wonderful Goddess magic/teachings/songs/wisdom/sisterhood…I Honor You!…She soars high…in the arms of The Mother! AHO!!!

    Dr. Tonya8/24/2007 5:25 PM
    Beloved SiStar! I so enjoyed the time we spent in conversation. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world and doing the work that you were born to do! You are loved by many!Bony Old Crone…A-sitten’ all alone…A-stirrin’ Her pot…And makin’ a moan… Peace, Love and Goddess Blessings!

    GrannyMoon8/24/2007 6:11 PM
    My dearest sister! I will never forget you, your beautiful voice and the haunting melody that you sang to me on your last birthday.
    May Goddess bless and keep you in Her loving arms. Blessed be, GrannyMoon

    Holley Diana8/25/2007 7:05 AM
    Dear sister,
    May your journey be blissful and complete. I was blessed to have known you and to have shared time in your garden and home also with my sister Elena and your circle of womyn. Blessed be! Holley

    Jeannette Morrone8/27/2007 8:13 AM
    I will miss you sweet Sister!
    But know we will meet again In the Grove!
    The Circles of Sisterhood are infinite and unbreakable!
    Love Jeannette
    send email to

  2. GaiaDianne

    Thank you, dear Sister and High Priestess.
    You will be so missed; the world seems a little grayer today….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s