Late last night, Friday June 28, the Isian Priestess Veronica (Morgana) died, surrounded by her partner, family, loved ones and several inner plane beings. Her death was one of the most divine acts I have been privileged to assist in.
I first met Morgana 17 years ago when she came along to the EarthDreaming coven we were running. Upon first meeting there arose in my mind, unbidden, suitably altered words from CRF Seymour when meeting the priestess Christine Campbell-Thomson (Hartley): “at last, we have a priestess of Isis in the coven”
While Morgana and I were deep soul friends we would rarely socialise or keep in touch regarding daily matters – we mostly missed each other’s birthdays. At the same time, we both knew each would be there for the other when needed – and we were. Our love for each other was about the work, the priestessing and the service we both felt called to share.
Morgana was, and is, one of the best and most dedicated priestesses I have ever known. Her spirit of service and personal integrity allowed her to soar while others trudged along or vaguely glided a little on the strength of others.
Over the years we ran several long magical training groups together. We had the dubious honour of being co-recipients of curses from some of the more immature Wiccan folk for our temerity to teach in public. I never felt these at all, but they sadly forever after made Morgana view Wiccans in a less than favourable light.
She was instrumental in working with me in the Wings of Isis and later I had the deep honour of providing the contacts and writing much of the liturgy for her Servants of Isis. This remains the best esoteric ritual work I have ever written and brought through. Sadly, like much of Morgana’s work this has not had the exposure it deserved.
Always concerned with personal and spiritual integrity, Morgana held the bar high and subsequently there were far fewer who tutored under her than there should have been. She leaves no expanding network of groups and classes; no online presence and no published corpus of knowledge. This is often the way with real magicians and real priestesses, of which Morgana was both. Her legacy lies in her love, the work she has done, the privileged few who were trained and initiated by her, her family, her housing co-operative and countless others she helped and healed over the years.
Morgana grew up in South Africa under apartheid and was forever aware of the political and social nature of individual lives. She worked for and supported social justice her entire life. We shared a common understanding of the intertwining of the spiritual and the personal, the political and the magical. Her exposure to injustice helped contribute to Morgana’s somewhat sceptical view on the innate goodness of human nature. In the last months, as she was unconditionally supported and loved by many, many people who recognised her and loved her, she was stunned. As always, she opened herself to change, and during the last months, even as cancer ravaged her body she was fully and completely healed.
Here I must also say something about the kindness of strangers. Morgana was held and supported by the published work of a few special modern occult authors. Two of which have new and important books coming out later in the year. Realising she would be dead before then, I asked for manuscript copies to read to her, and both authors, who did not know Morgana from a bar of soap, responded instantly and expansively, emailing copies. I feel so lucky and blessed to be part of such a broader tradition where such kindness and compassion is the norm.
There is a tendency for people to romantically eulogize the dead, noting only the positive aspects of their life. I won’t cheapen the memory of Morgana with this, as there were times her obstinance and tendency to get carried away drove me to distraction. During her last phase of illness, I sometimes felt like pulling my hair out at what I saw as a refusal to stare death in the face. However – and all blessings to her – a wise magical author correspondent whom I shared with this advised me to relax and to know that priestesses are human as we all are, and at the final time it would all come together. And this is exactly what happened. I have never seen such grace and deep transformation, such open acceptance and conscious walking into death than I did last night. All around were stunned, and even those with no practice, no faith, were transfigured by Morgana’s last act of beauty on the earth.
I will miss her forever.