Sunday, March 27, 2016

In Memoriam: Lydia Ruyle 1935-2016, Creator of Goddess Icon Spirit Banners

updated 3/31/16, with addition of second video
updated 4/21, 4/23 with additional links at end

Lydia Ruyle, artist and scholar, died yesterday in her home state of Colorado of brain cancer diagnosed about a month ago. She was 8o. She was known internationally for her Goddess Icon Banners honoring female deities around the world.

She was an artist scholar emeritus at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, which established a Lydia Ruyle Room of Women’s Art, a scholarship in her name, and gave her a lifetime achievement award. She received her BA degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and MA degree from from UNC. She also studied with Syracuse University in Italy, France, Spain, and with the Art Institute of Chicago in Indonesia. She worked regularly at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy and Columbia College Center for Book and Paper in Chicago. For a number of years, she led women’s pilgrimage journeys to sacred places around the world. Among the countries where her Goddess Icon Spirit Banners have flown are: Australia, Canada, Britain, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Ghana, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Japan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China and the U.S. She is author of Goddess Icons Spirit Banners of the Divine Feminine  (2002), and Goddesses of the Americas: Spirit Banners of the Divine Feminine, published this month. She received the 2013 Brigit Award for excellence in the arts from the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology.
I became personally acquainted with Lydia on a internet discussion list where she kept us up to date on her many fascinating experiences with her banners. Perhaps the most remarkable one was her experience surrounding the disappearance and then reappearance of 40 of her banners. She allowed the story to be posted on this blog under her byline and the title , Forty Goddess Banners Take a Detour in 2014.” When I contacted Lydia several years ago to ask if I could use her banner art on the cover of the third edition of my book, She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother, she did not hesitate to say yes, and gave me innumerable banners from which to make my selection. I will always be grateful for her generosity.

May all the Goddesses of her banners surround her with love and blessings, and may she rest in their arms and be renewed.

 Here is a You Tube video with Lydia’s banners and other goings-on, first shown at a conference several years ago; music is Jennifer Berezan’s “Returning.”

update 3/31/16: The following video is copyright 2015 by filmmaker Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost. It is narrated by Lydia Ruyle and has autobiographical material beginning with her childhood.

Links with more information about Lydia Ruyle:

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Judith Laura

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