Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Memoram: De-Anna Alba, 1952-2012

May she rest in the arms of the Goddess and be renewed.

De-Anna Alba, 59. author, singer, and priestess, died on January 24, 2012 in Santa Rosa, California from complications of breast cancer diagnosed on December 23, 2010. She is survived by her cherished son Ian Robert White and her beloved life partner, Lea Pierce of Santa Rosa, California. Memorials are being planned for California and Wisconsin.

De-Anna was born on March 31, 1952 and was the adopted daughter of Robert White and Dorothy Plock White of Wisconsin. where she grew up. She moved to Santa Rosa, California in 1999 and became life partners with Lea Pierce.

De-Anna began her studies of Goddess Spirituality, Wicca and Paganism in college. In her mid-twenties, she and then partner Lugh Shin McGhee led the First Wiccan Temple of our Lady in Milwaukee. In 1978, they began studying Circle Craft with Selena Fox and Jim Alan, and the following year, joined their household and began living with them at Circle Farm, a rented farmhouse near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin which served as Circle Sanctuary's first headquarters. She continued to be part of their household at later locations in Ashton and Black Earth. She was Circle Sanctuary's first church secretary and one of its first ordained priestesses. She took the name De-Anna Alba at the time of her ordination in 1979 and registered it as her ministerial name in 1980. From 1979-1983, she worked full-time for Circle Sanctuary, assisting Selena Fox with ceremonies, gatherings, education, public relations, publications, and other work. She helped Selena in developing Circle Sanctuary's worldwide Circle Network, which continues to serve Pagans of many paths. De-Anna served on Circle Sanctuary's Board of Directors from 1980-1983 and continued to work part-tiem for Circle Sanctuary after it moved its present headquarters to its land near Barneveld WI in 1983. She was among those who sang with Jim Alan and Selena Fox on their 1980 album "Songs of Pagan Folk," one of the first albums of contemporary Pagan music. She appeared with Selena and Jim in local and national media, including national television (interviewed by Phil Donahue on NBC's Today Show) and press (Time, People, Milwaukee Sentinel). She assisted Selena with interfaith endeavors, including being part of a meeting with the Dalai Lama during his first trip to the USA in Fall, 1979.

De-Anna's matron Goddess was Cerridwen, and she felt strongly connected with Mother Mary during the last years of her life. She engaged in solitary Wiccan practice and also was active in several spiritual organizations in addition to Circle Sanctuary, including the First Wiccan Temple of Our Lady, EarthSisters (later renamed MoonSisters) a women's spirituality group within the Circle Sanctuary Community in the early 1980's, and Pagan Spirit Alliance. She was a co-founder and co-facilitator of Earth Conclave of Madison, Wisconsin, a member of the Reformed Congregation of the Goddess, and later founded her own initiatory tradition.

De-Anna's Goddess spirituality writing career began with her contributions to CIRCLE Magazine, originally known as Circle Network News. She was an editor of Circle News and among the contributors to the first Circle Guide to Pagan Resources (1979) and the Pagan Spirit Journal (1982). Later, her writings appeared in periodicals of other organizations. For the past 22 years, De-Anna was a regular columnist for the women's spirituality journal SageWoman. In addition to published articles, De-Anna was author of the book, Cauldron of Change: Myths, Mysteries and Magick of the Goddess (1993). An interview with De-Anna conducted by Lea will be published in the March 2012 issue of SageWoman. Her book on Candle Magic, will be published posthumously later this year.

She was also part owner with Lea of Indian Ridge Real Estate and with Lea founded Wine Competition Management LLC in 2007, which launched The National Women's Wine Competition, the Organic & Biodynamic Wine Competition, the U.S. Professional Wine Buyers Competition, and the NextGen Wine Competition for Millennial Wine Drinkers. Wine Competition Management received world-wide publicity including from Decanter Magazine and The Wall Street Journal for re-definining wine competitions.

This information is from a memoriam page on the Circle Sanctuary website and a SageWoman newsletter.



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Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.