Patricia Monaghan (February 15, 1946, - November 11, 2012) was a poet, a writer, a spiritual activist, and an influential figure in the contemporary women's spirituality movement. Monaghan wrote over 20 books on a range of topics including Goddess spirituality, earth spirituality, Celtic mythology, the landscape of Ireland, and techniques of meditation. In 1979, she published the first encyclopedia of female divinities, a book which has remained steadily in print since then and was republished in 2009 in a two volume set as The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. She was a mentor to many scholars and writers including biologist Cristina Eisenberg, poet Annie Finch, theologian Charlene Spretnak, and anthropologist Dawn Work-MaKinne, and was the founding member of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, which brought together artists, scholars, and researchers of women-centered mythology and Goddess spirituality for the first time in a national academic organization.
Throughout her career, Patricia's work has dealt with issues of spirituality, especially women's spirituality. In 1979, she published the first encyclopedia of female divinities, a book which has remained steadily in print since then and was recently republished in a two volume set as The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. She has also published an encyclopedia of Celtic myth, The Encyclopedia of Celtic Myth and Folklore. She has edited a three-volume collection of essays entitled Goddesses in World Culture, published in late 2010 by ABC-CLIO.
Patricia brought her lifelong interest in Ireland together with her commitment to women's spirituality in The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit, a travelogue of Irish heritage sites and their relation to goddess figures. Her other books on this subject are The Goddess Path and The Goddess Companion, both introductory books on the subject; Wild Girls: The Path of the Young Goddess, a group of stories for girls about youthful goddesses; and Magical Gardens, a book of garden designs based in mythology that was reissued in early 2012.
A practitioner of qigong, za-zen and several other forms of meditation, Patricia collaborated with yoga teacher Eleanor (Teri) Viereck to write the encyclopedic Meditation: The Complete Guide , which was published in 1999. A revised and expanded edition was recently published, including several new sections and expanded resource lists.
A longtime member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), Patricia is also a companion of the Fourth Order of Sts. Frances and Clare, an interfaith religious organization. She taught workshops on women's spirituality through the Women's Thealogical Institute and the Temple of Diana.