By now, I’m quite sure you have heard – Margot Adler, NPR reporter and author of “Drawing Down the Moon” has passed away this morning. Furthermore, I’m quite sure you will have read a few folks remembering her, the folks who had the pleasure of meeting her. I’m – unfortunately – one of those folks. But I admired her a great deal from afar.
I first encountered Margot Adler through an obscure night-time radio program out of New York City. It was called “The Hour of the Wolf” and in 1972, it was fed through the night-time airwaves of the Armed Forces Radio network, where a young boy – just on the verge of discovering the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy, was given the fuel to feed his imagination. I never knew that was Margot Adler – and the show changed hosts from Adler to Jim Freund a few years later. I never knew who she was, but her program helped me discover new ways of connecting to my world around me – through story…through tales…and even through Myths and Legends. It would talk another fifteen years before I bumped paths with Miss Adler again.
In 1987, freshly into the United States Air Force, I started talking on a local bulletin board service with a young lady who identified herself as a witch. She was seven years older than me (what can I say – I have a thing for older women), and answered a few of my questions on Wicca. Soon, she loaned me two books – my first moments in Paganism – Starhawk’s “The Spiral Dance” and Adler’s “Drawing Down the Moon”. Between the two, it was Adler’s work that drew me into Paganism. It was her writings in that book that urged me on towards exploring deeper in my Path. It took another thirteen years before I ran across her in my readings again.
In 2010, I ran across her book “Heretic’s Heart: A Journey through Spirit and Revolution” and literally devoured it in a single sitting. It told the story of her growing up – in a world of turmoil, and finding kindred spirits in some of the most unlikely places. And it really touched my heart – reminding me of what a life of service to others was really about. And that we are all in service to others – in some manner or another. It was also through this book, that I discovered that it was Margot I had been listening to in 1972 and 1973 as a young boy. Talk about a moment of shock!
Sitting here, reading all the posts from people talking about having met her – and what a vibrant soul she was in life…I’m envious. There are a handful of authors that I would absolutely love to meet: Cat Treadwell, Nimue Brown, Joanna van der Hoeven, Philip Carr-Gomm, Brendan Myers, and a few others. Margot Adler ranked right up there. Reading her books, it felt as if she were talking directly to me – like we were sitting at a table in coffee shop, enjoying the moments with whatever was on the pages of the chapter. That’s something that each of those writers I mentioned also do for me…and I think that’s one of the reasons that Margot will be missed. Because her warmth and personality seemingly leak right from the words on the pages – and she becomes more than an author, even to those of us who never had the chance to meet her in this Life.
She will be missed in this incarnation, may she have just as much inspiration for others in her next…