OBITUARIES: DECATUR: Jodi Monogue, 49, Wiccan high priestess
Published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on February 16, 2006
Holly Crenshaw - Staff
As a spiritual leader of Atlanta's Wiccan community, high priestess Lady Galadriel often found herself fielding uneducated questions about the nature-based religion to which she had dedicated her life.
Her manner was so easygoing, though, and her knowledge so vast that Lady Galadriel---also known as Jodi Monogue---was a natural at dispelling confusion about what it means to be a witch.
"She always had such an easy laugh and was absolutely delightful to be around, so she brought a lot of warmth to her role as a high priestess and witch queen," said her friend Deniz Zoeller of Sandy Springs, also known as Lady Larina.
Joanne Yokell Monogue, 49, of Decatur died Feb. 8 at Emory University Hospital of complications from a liver transplant. The body was cremated. Memorial service plans will be announced. Wages & Sons Funeral Home, Stone Mountain, is in charge of arrangements.
Ms. Monogue, who was born in Nyack, N.Y., joked in a 1999 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that she was reared as a "good little Jewish girl" but became interested in paganism when she moved to Atlanta in the 1970s to attend Oglethorpe University.
She was working as a receptionist when she spotted an ad for a class on Wicca, also known as witchcraft or the Old Religion.
"That's how I met the goddess, and I've been in her service ever since," she said.
In 1980, she and her husband, John Monogue, a high priest known as Lord Athanor, founded the Grove of the Unicorn, an eclectic branch of Wicca that draws from a variety of cultures and Celtic, Druid and other indigenous religions.
From its initial 35 members, the grove spawned a national denomination of Wicca that has since grown to more than 1,500 participants, and Ms. Monogue rose to national leadership roles.
As an ordained high priestess, she lectured, wrote books, counseled its members and led meetings in her house that often drew dozens of people.
She worked occasional jobs outside the home, most recently as a legal assistant, and was completely dedicated to her high priestess duties, her husband said.
Charlie Moody of Doraville said she was such stimulating company that sometimes their conversations would go on for days.
"We'd break for our jobs and break to sleep, but then we'd pick right back up where we left off and go on for another six hours," he said.
Ms. Monogue was so well-informed about Egyptology that when she traveled to Egypt on vacation, bystanders hung on her every word, her husband said.
"She would point to an inscription on a wall and be talking about it so knowledgeably that people would start following her around like a tour guide until she stopped talking."
"Jodi was a walking encyclopedia of esoterica," he said. "She probably had 6,000 books on the metaphysical, and we broke three librarians trying to catalog it all. But she could tell you exactly what was in that book on the third shelf with the brown cover."
"Sometimes we'd play 'Stump the High Priestess' and I'd hit her with questions up to and including, 'What's the gestation period of an Egyptian dung beetle?' and she'd answer, 'X number of days unless it's the rainy season.' "
Published in Circle Magazine, Spring 2006
Lady Galadriel (Jodi Monogue), Pagan priestess and elder, has journeyed to the Summerland after a long struggle with liver disease and a transplant from which she tragically did not recover. She crossed the veil on February 8, 2006. According to her long time friend, Danae, "Lady Galadriel was a gentle and influential leader. Throughout the years she and her husband, Lord Athanor, have consistently satisfied the need for community, quality classes, and a safe haven for hundreds of Pagans." Galadriel's accomplishments include co-founding, with her husband, the Grove of the Unicorn, a Wiccan tradition, and the Autumnfest gathering. Her writings, such as the New Wiccan Book of the Law, are also part of her legacy. Lady Galadriel was a strong advocate for religious freedom for Pagans in the military, and collaborated with Lady Liberty League and other activists on this and other Pagan civil rights endeavors. Galadriel was active in Covenant of the Goddess, including serving a term as First Officer. Danae adds: "Lady Galadriel was a great organizer and a pillar of the Pagan/Wiccan community. Her passing leaves a deep legacy in the hearts of those who were gifted with her acquaintance; and her beauty, directness, rituals, and teachings will live in our memories forever. Her friends and loved ones are united in sorrow at Lady Galadriel's passing, but also in joy at having known her." A private memorial rite was held on February 11 and a larger memorial service is being planned for March 12. Condolences may be sent to her husband, Lord Athanor, Grove of the Unicorn, P.O. Box 13384, Atlanta, GA 30324 USA.