Ministers

In Memoriam: Gloria Villanueva (1948-2008)

Gloria VillanuevaGloria Gonzales Villanueva (1948-2008) was a member of Circle Sanctuary since 1983 and served as an Circle Sanctuary minister and Wiccan priestess since 1993. Gloria was born in San Antonio, Texas on Good Friday, March 26, 1948 and died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the sun set at Yuletide and Christmas Day on Thursday, December 25, 2008.

Over the years, Gloria, a Mexican-American whose heritage included indigenous Mexican roots, worked closely with Selena Fox and others on a variety of Circle Sanctuary interfaith, international, and multicultural projects. She served as a teacher, translator, advisor on indigenous relations, and curandera. In October 1992, Gloria represented Circle Sanctuary in Mexico at the multitribal international gathering of North, Central, and South American indigenous peoples held in Mexico City and at ancient Mexican sacred sites as an alternative to observances of the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Carribean. In addition, Gloria has presented workshops and helped facilitate ceremonies at Circle Sanctuary festivals, including the national Pagan Spirit Gathering.

In May 2008, Gloria was diagnosed with stomach cancer and began treatment. She went into remission for several months in Autumn 2008. Although more cancer emerged and she died, Gloria lives on through her many contributions to Circle Sanctuary and Paganism and through the many lives she has blessed.

Gloria is survived by her husband Martin, and by her daughter Carolina and her sons John, Matthew, and Alberto. Other family members include her grandchildren Veronica, Matthew, Joseph, Adrianna, Alyssa, Mya, Tatiana, Dakota, Margarita, Gloria, and Thomas, and her great grandson, Alberto Jr. (AJ) -- and her brothers and sisters, Gerald, Carolina, Abe (Michelle), Margaret (Mark), Roseann,and Rudolph, and nieces, nephews, and other relatives, plus many friends and associates. This listing of family is adapted from Gloria's obituary published in the Racine Journal Times on December 28, 2008.

A memorial service and related events for Gloria were held on Friday, January 2, 2009 at the Maresh-Meredith and Acklam Funeral Home, 803 Main Street, Racine, Wisconsin. Visitation was held from 3-5 pm, followed by a multicultural and interfaith service conducted by Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary from 5-6 pm. The service included a Wiccan Elemental farewell by Selena and expressions of remembrance by some family, friends, and co-workers. As Gloria requested, Selena burned some copal, sacred incense from ancient Mexico, to bless the site and ceremony. Pagan, Indigenous Mexican, and Hispanic Roman Catholic sacred art adorned the altar, including images of Our Lady of Guadelupe/Tonazin/Great Goddess. After the service, many of those attending the service joined together at a dinner in the fellowship hall of a nearby parish church.

gloriav markerOn the morning of Saturday, January 3, 2009, Rev. Selena Fox conducted an interrment service at Holy Cross Cemetery Chapel, 5600 Holy Cross Road, Racine, Wisconsin. Following this service, Selena and several close family members interred some of Gloria's ashes in the cemetery next to Gloria's mother's grave. At her request, some of Gloria's ashes will be interred at her husband's family cemetery in Mexico and at Circle Cemetery at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve in Wisconsin.

Memorial Donations in Gloria's memory can be made to Circle Sanctuary.

 

 



Memorial Tributes

NameRev. Selena Fox
Locationforest near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Date2008-12-29 12:18:04
Many thanks for the love, friendship, good times, and support we shared over the years. Your strong, bright spirit blessed many lives in addition to my own ... and helped make this world a better place. Thanks for your strong commitment to and work for peace, women's issues, environmental preservation, social justice, religious freedom, racial equality, and multicultural and international understanding. Blessed Be!
NameJerrie Hildebrand
LocationMassachusetts
Date2008-12-29 13:54:04
Blessings to you dearest Gloria on your journey. Thank you for the gifts you have given to all of us through the years. I will celebrate your shining spirit.
NameLinda (Blue Heron)
LocationSouth Milwaukee
Date2008-12-29 14:18:04
Although I did not know her well, I and my daughter spent a pleasant evening talking with Gloria around the bonfire at Circle. She is one of the many people at Circle who I thought "I will talk to her again and get to know her better". Now, sadly, I have lost the opportunity to do this. To those who knew her better and will miss her greatly, I wish to say "I grieve with thee".
NameKathleen Dale
LocationMilwaukee, WI
Date2008-12-29 15:01:59
Gloria will be sorely missed. I really appreciated her insights and input when my friend Angela died in 1997. Her broad experience and friendly ways were a comfort to all. Blessed Be, Gloria!
NameMama Cat
LocationStockton, IL
Date2008-12-29 15:31:02
Gloria will be sorely missed. She was a wonderful person who cared deeply for all she met. May the Goddess welcome you with open arms and heal all your troubles, and may the God lend His shoulder for all those who are left here without you. Blessings on family and friends. Mama Cat, Four Winds Sanctuary
NameAedrien Wynn
LocationFreeport, IL, USA
Date2008-12-29 15:54:32
~*~ Gloria's family and friends have our deepest condolences. We know she will be missed very much. ~Blessings, Aedrien Wynn & family
NamePhoenix
LocationMissoula,Mt. USA
Date2008-12-29 16:34:57
I am with heavy heart with the loss of your family member. I never met Gloria, but read a lot about her. I lost my mother a year ago and it has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Time heals all, so give yourself time. I am always hear with an open heart and mind if anyone needs to talk. I am so sorry for your loss. Love Phoenix
NameLady Lunar Whisper & Lord Wm. Blackfire
LocationPalm Beach Gardens, Fl.
Date2008-12-29 17:23:52
Within the passing of light, and to all of those you've touched with spirit and in flesh. As acorns fall and are gathered up, so are we. Even though the winters come and go and leaves sprig and fall, you must have been as the oak itself to not be forgotten. As the oak grows through the years we can only see it's beauty and strength. As you must have been Gloria, a mighty oak within the forest, continuing to grow even though the forest blocks the light. As the oak you shall not fall and when you do it is because like now a new shape and form and reason need be. For those that have been left here it will be sad, but they will not forget the person you are. Peace go with you and have a safe journey home, Blessed Be.
NameDavid Nelson
LocationGresham, OR USA
Date2008-12-29 17:36:17
Blessings to Gloria, family and friends during this time of transformation. I'm on the distribution list for Circle Sanctuary and am honor and inspired by the work that Gloria and everyone at the Circle Sanctuary has been up to over the years. Namaste' & Bright Blessings
NameLady Raivyn WindDancer
LocationMinot AFB, ND
Date2008-12-29 18:13:52
The Temple of the Sacred Moons sends the deepest of condolences to Gloria's family and friends. May Peace enter your pained hearts at this time. Brightest of Blessings ^v^Rev. Lady Raivyn WindDancer^v^ Temple of the Sacred Moon
NameDawn Allen
LocationDundee, NY USA
Date2008-12-29 19:15:18
My condolences to her family. I'm sending some healing energy, in hopes that it helps in some small way. Her family will be in my thoughts and prayers in their time of mourning.
NameDee
LocationArdmore,Ok,USA
Date2008-12-29 19:36:24
Gloria was always a good friend and readyly avaliable when you needed her at wisteria and psg,I enjoyed many talks with her these last couple of years... My thoughts go out to her family at this time,may she jhourney safely to the summerlands... Dee
NameRev Debra S Lippitt
LocationCollingdale, PA 19023
Date2008-12-29 21:12:52
Be it known that the Temple of Gaia Incorporated sends their deepest condolences for Gloria's family and friends. May Gloria rest in peace in the Goddess's arms. Sorrowfully, the Reverends Debra and Cal Lippitt
NameLady Bronwyn
LocationV C Highlands, NV
Date2008-12-29 22:14:44
I never met this Priestess, but can see how much loved she was, both in what was written about her and in the pictures I just looked at. May she rest peacefully in the Arms of The Goddess until such time that she is reborn.
NameKLCavanaugh
LocationIll
Date2008-12-29 23:11:36
May the Great Mother gather you in her arms and give you peace in your journey,Blessed be, Karen
NameMelinda
LocationLloyd, Florida, USA
Date2008-12-30 07:32:17
To Gloria's Friends and Family, I don't know any of you, as I just recently found Circle Sanctuary online. I can see that Gloria was very loved and will be missed by many. My heart goes out to you all. Her face in the pictures on her special memory page reflects a beautiful and gentle spirit. I will say a special blessing prayer for safe journey for Gloria, her friends and family. Peace and blessings to you all. Aho, Melinda
NameAutumn Fell
LocationRockford, IL
Date2008-12-30 10:50:30
Gloria, although you have passed on your spirit's bright shining continues to warm my heart. Through conversations shared at Circle (walking to Spirit Rock on an absolutely perfect summer afternoon) and at PSG (offering chamomille tea along with your wise words in the sweat lodge) you gently taught me how to find courage, strength and healing within my self. You will be missed so much; I will always cherish the blessing of knowing you and the times we shared. My condolences to Martin, your children and grandchildren; may Spirit and their memories of your warm spirit offer them strength and peace.
NameLisa Johnson
LocationTomah, Wi
Date2008-12-30 11:40:52
Our beautiful Sister will be sadly missed by all who knew her.....Blessed Be to her on her journey to the Afterlife....May the Goddess watch over us all in this time of mourning.....BB )O( Lisa
NameChante' Waste' win Susan Roth
LocationHot Springs SD.
Date2008-12-30 13:06:23
For my dear friends in Spirit; We have been blessed by the presence of a very special woman. She is a true ayes'ka, a bridge, between the worlds. The worlds of Native American and Native European Spirit. She shares her love of mitakyue' oyasin; all our relations; with all she meets, here and at Home. I will always treasure my dear friend and hold close our times together. Later,my sister, Chante'
Namekarl
Locationusa
Date2008-12-30 13:58:27
Blessings dear one upon your chosen journey. Though healing was there for you in the flesh, your struggle with it was felt and known. Healing is often but a release of that which did burden us and we choose a direction accordingly. Release brings peace ... Enjoy your peace. Thanks for sharing your essence here amongst us. karl here ...
NameValley
LocationGreen Lake WI, USA
Date2008-12-30 15:11:22
Thank you for so many good times, laughing like mad at PSG, sweating together, long talks, long cries and for sharing your love of life. As I write, I can hear your beautiful voice singing the praises of our Mother Goddess. That love shone through to all the pagan inmates you worked with, you are the beloved priestess to so many. May your family find comfort and peace. Now get outa' here ya crazy crone. With all my love fairwell dear friend, fairwell.
NameNicholas Sea
LocationHopkinsville, Kentucky
Date2008-12-30 18:27:51
For me Gloria has been a connection to Native Peoples and their ways, out of Mexico and other parts of the Americas. She introduced me to a number of people and their work, which profoundly changed my view of what is possible in this life. I honor her for the work she did to include Circle in the Walk Across America in 1991/1992 by the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, a 500 year memorial of resistance; and for her work sharing knowledge of the Days of the Dead out of Mexico (not the least of which was her wonderful traditional foods she shared with us throughout the years). Her work with women and the Sweat Lodge have been profound and long appreciated. Her leadership, strength, and compassion as a minister within our community and beyond will have its impact for many years to come. All the very best Skye
NameNancie Clark
LocationHopkinsville, Ky. U.S.A
Date2008-12-30 19:27:23
I met Gloria at Circle many years ago; upon first meeting Gloria she greeted me with a hug and a smile. In fact she always greeted me with a hug and a smile. She was just that way...her smile could warm anyone's heart. Genuine, strong, passionate, and kind...she will be missed. Goodbye for now Gloria and thank you. To Martin and family: may you find comfort and peace. With Many Blessings, Nancie
NameLouise Lin
LocationBristol WI
Date2008-12-31 18:43:49
Gloria came several times to our Women's Group in Racine and was always so much fun. The sharing her energy and making people feel special were just a natural part of her wonderful Spirit. I will miss her.
NameJane Spratler
LocationMadison,Wi
Date2008-12-31 19:52:59
I remember Gloria from years ago at Circle.. one memory is of her grandchildren and my daughter,Rhianna,playing together.Gloria also made the best tamales I've ever had.. whenever she would bring them to an event.. they were the first to disappear. Gloria,you brought kindness and love to this world .... my condolences to Gloria's family and friends . . . Jane Spratler
NameNorma Eiler-Bounk
LocationTipton, IA USA
Date2009-01-01 09:48:19
Gloria was very dear to me, indeed, to our whole family. She was one of the first people we met at our first Circle event, the Autumn Equinox celebration in September of 1989. I was immediately drawn to her by her warmth, her wonderful smile, her sense of humor. She was one of the most loving people I have ever met; in the 19 years I have known her, I don't remember her ever saying an unkind word about anyone. She was one of the friendliest people on the face of the planet. I loved her dearly, and I will miss her very, very much. Circle events will not be the same without her. Adios, Gloria. May you be surrounded by light, laughter, and love in the Summerland.
NameDan & Sandy Moeller (Oakbear)
LocationNekoosa Wi 54457-7519
Date2009-01-01 10:49:33
Gloria We now have now a heavy heart, We had not seen you for quiet some time, but do now and will always be proud to call you our friend. We hope to see you the next time around. And again hope to be your friends. In Peace,Love and Light Oakbear & Morgan
NameRev. Mari Powers
LocationCambridge WI
Date2009-01-01 12:50:54
Acknowledgement The dead are not gone, For we carry them with us in our sigh of longing for them to be with us again. They whisper in the turning leaves of fall, walk softly in the shadows and slip into our dreams. When I wandered where the astral meets the real, you were an unexpected specter. In this place your spirit and your touch is made living flesh again. I will always remember you, your eyes and how your glance brought light into my life. From you I learned, that you know a Witch, by looking in her eyes. And that paths once joined, can change a person's direction forever. By Mari Powers
NameKathy Aretz
LocationRacome WI
Date2009-01-01 19:04:53
To be Gloria's friend was an honor and a priviledge. I have known Gloria for more than twenty years. She and I would share many secrets and moments that we would promise never to tell anyone about. She was my best friend and I will miss her terrribly. We would laugh and talk for hours at a time, yet when we were apart and would get back together it would seem as if no time had ever passed. I remember taking her granddaughter Veronica to Circle when she was little and now she is grown with a child of her own. Time goes by so fast that it seems as if we are all standing still. I loved and will truly miss Gloria (Glo) but I also know that we will meet on the other side some day. Blessed Be
NameMeghan Doran
LocationMonona, WI
Date2009-01-01 20:33:03
As a member of Circle Sanctuary I had the pleasure of meeting Gloria and hearing some stories about her very interesting life. She had a kind smile and was friendly and funny. My heart goes out to her family and friends.
NameChris
LocationFox Point WI
Date2009-01-02 14:21:47
Met Gloria almost 10 years ago, her vibrant energy was felt back then. Will miss one of those great people who come into our lives, and even if for a short period, share so much of themselves. thoughts go out to the family, blessings will be said, and best wishes sent with every candle lit in our circle at home.
NameSir Joe Raymond
LocationColorado Springs, CO
Date2009-01-05 10:34:08
It is with great sorrow that the Guardians of the Sacred Circle learned of the passing of Gloria Villanueva. The Guardians of the Sacred Circle wish to extend their condolences to Gloria's family, to Selena Fox and Circle Sanctuary. Sir Joe Raymond Guardians of the Sacred Circle Commanding
NameStardust (Susan)
LocationMt. Horeb
Date2009-01-21 16:45:50
I first met Gloria Gonzales in 1979 at University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Like me, she was a non-traditional student. At that time, that was defined as a significant lapse of more than 4 or 5 years between high school graduation and college graduation. In simple terms, that meant that we were older students. We were part of a first wave of change to the historic status quo. This occurred simultaneously at universities around the nation. Non-traditional students returned to further their education after an interrupted period. They tended to be women. Many, like Gloria, had children. The fact that Gloria was Hispanic-American was even more non-traditional and different. I lived in Kenosha. She lived in Racine. On campus, Gloria was an activist with outspoken opinions about unfairness. I met her when she protested the unfair tenure process for a progressive open-minded professor. He wasn't exactly mainstream in his thinking, and the general beliefs held that this was the real reason he was being excluded. She was an activist for women's safety and rights as well as for civil rights and better education for Latinos. I was attracted to activists who stood up to make the world a better place for humanity, to make the world a better place for living life. On campus, I was in training to be a political scientist. I learned that government was defined as the collection and distribution of the goodies. The general quality of life depended upon who got those goodies. Initially, I found my voice as a journalist. As the news editor of the university news weekly, I met Gloria covering a tenure story--the political world affecting the hierarchical power in the university. The formula for tenure appeared to contain unpredictability. I admired her daring vulnerability. We hit it off immediately and became great friends. We were the same age at a university where most of the students belonged to a younger generation. We were both fire signs. We fanned each other's enthusiasm to go after what we wanted. She said that our relationship meant a lot to her. She told me that I had said and done things that made her life better. Mysteriously, Gloria was aware that I took a lot of heat for my friendship with her. I minimized this. I didn't understand why our relationship was discouraged by some peers with whom I also had daily contact. I felt they simply didn't have their minds open enough to embrace diversity. I ignored them. I didn't let them influence me. I felt the major difference was that Gloria talked louder, more passionately, and swore. I found her ethnicity fascinating. Most other women on campus were soft, quiet, demure, and didn't swear. They blended in. They were boring next to Gloria. They often passively accepted the obstacles placed in front of them. In those days, it was rare for students to not be white. Gloria was a beautiful, alluring dark woman with long flowing hair. She was colorful and stood out. The chemistry between Gloria and me was strong. Our personalities complimented each other. Gloria and I celebrated each other when we saw each other. It didn't matter to me who saw that. In the 1980s, we were both activists in a large and popular local peace group--the Racine/Kenosha Nuclear Freeze Group. I served as the leader of the Kenosha contingent at one point. This group often had 100 people at its monthly meetings. When we did a protest march, up to 200 people showed up. Peace protests were always social events in Racine. This group promoted "nuclear-free zones." Gloria's path and my path diverged at times. After graduation, I worked over-time hours in Cook County Illinois at a book publisher as a mid-level manager. She worked at Milwaukee Technical College in Milwaukee counseling students. We were busy on our personal paths--driving long distances to work in different cities far from where we lived. We continued to see each other in our non-paid work as political activists. Our relationship was tended and rekindled at these events. Both of us were involved with another group even more dear to Gloria's heart--Central American Solidarity Coalition. This was another peace and human rights group focused on injustice to humanity, primarily regarding the indigenous populations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Chiapas, Mexico. Gloria was active in this group in the 1980s and early 1990s. I attended all the big events, despite working so far away in Illinois. I was active in small ways in the 1980s. By 1994, I had moved to Racine from Kenosha. After I moved to Racine, I was extremely active in this group. I served on its board and steering committee for about a decade. I continued to see Gloria at events that I helped sponsor and organize with speakers from Central America. Often, I worked with Maria to do this. Repeatedly, Gloria told me that Maria was her best friend. I observed that much of the Hispanic community uniquely treated Maria as if she was connected to Gloria and Gloria's family. Living in the same city for the first time, we were back in contact. She still worked at MATC in Milwaukee, and this ate up most of her time. She gave me her work number in case I needed to get a hold of her. We visited each other at our homes from time to time. For the next two or three years, we talked about an hour every week, often on the phone. We talked about the college days, about politics, and about life. Gloria spoke about her new boyfriend, Martin, as being so wonderful and kind. I rarely saw Martin. He quietly passed through the room in which we were. Gloria told me that he was from Mexico and didn't speak English much. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Gloria's work, children, and Martin began to take up all her time. She stopped doing a lot of activist work. She faded out of my life for a while she was on her family path. We only saw each other at events or unexpectedly on the run. She told me that she had married Martin. I told her that I was involved in the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation and that I really liked the people and enjoyed the creativity and support of other women. We embraced the divine feminine. We believed in a God that looked like us. We studied the history of the divine feminine in the world's religions. This group was inclusive with women. I thought that she would like it. I encouraged Gloria to come to specific events and picnics. She informed me that she was familiar with this group. I knew that I had been a member in regular attendance for nearly a decade. I was aware of everyone who had attended only one meeting during my membership. I assumed that her familiarity must have been in the distant past, prior to my association with this group. She told me that she preferred a different group. I believe that she mentioned Circle at that time. These communications occurred quickly on the run. I didn't understand what Gloria meant because a lot more obstacles were created when what was happening was not locally where I was. She came to one or two picnics on the beach with the UUWF group. These were mostly social occasions with potluck, chants, and a fire inside a metal fire pit. We came back into each other's lives when Gloria and Martin moved to Superior Street in Racine. Gloria threw a birthday party for Martin the first summer they lived on Superior Street. Maria and I were there. Everyone else was Gloria's children and grandchildren. Everyone was outside in the back yard--happily eating and partying. The sun was shining. It was hot. It was wonderful. The food was delightfully ethnic Mexican. Afterwards, Maria and I helped clean up the kitchen. Gloria took me to the far back of her yard to show me a surprise. An intriguing woods carved a rectangle into her back yard. We walked into it and became invisible to the others as the green leaves covered us. This was a very private wood. It felt like a sacred place. Gloria said this was what she really loved about this place. She said this was her private wooded altar. It was an amazing space that magically blended into the background. It already existed before they moved there. I didn't realize that it was there until Gloria showed me. We talked once a month for about an hour. Gloria confided her deepest fears and worries to me. These will stay confidential. She was so passionate. She did a lot, and I noticed that she reached a point where her energy suddenly was drained and that she needed to lie down and relax. We talked about this. She had to get up too early to drive a long way to work every morning, and she did it. She usually went to bed early. I thought she had undiagnosed fibromyalgia. She felt it was from not getting enough sleep. She talked a lot about her family. She deeply loved Martin, her children, and her grandchildren. They were each and every one sacred to her. She always described Martin as being a kind, respectful, understanding, egalitarian husband who let her have the freedom to do what she needed to do. They split the cost of all their bills down the middle. It was important to her that she contributed her half always. After I moved to Mt Horeb, Gloria often stayed at my house. She brought a green cot that she put up in my living room. Gloria would debate about coming and then decide to come usually only a day or two before she did. Often, she changed her mind, too, depending on what was happening with her family. When I came to Racine, sometimes I stayed at Gloria and Martin's house. She put me in the beautiful bedroom across from the bathroom on the first floor. It was a grand bed in a nice room. She told me that sometimes that she and Martin slept there, but mostly they preferred sleeping upstairs. We would lie down on the couches in Gloria's living room and just talk for hours until we found it hard to stay awake. Gloria never had a loss for things to talk about. I listened a lot. We talked about traveling to Mexico together. She wanted to go to a particular health spa in Mexico. She did go to Mexico a couple times with Maria. Gloria passionately longed to do sweat lodges. I arranged for her to do sweat lodges with Pam and Bobby. Bobby is an Ojibwa shaman with roots at Lac du Flambeau Rez. I thought Gloria was just going to sleep at my house and follow my directions to the sweat lodge, as I didn't feel this same need to do sweat lodges. At first, Gloria passionately insisted that I help her find Global Visions in Spring Green where these women's lodges were being done for each season at that time. I waited all day while they did the 4 doors. Gloria was a strong woman. I generally do not do sweat lodges as I have a neurological condition that counter-contradicts being overheated without a way to escape and cool down. Once a person participates inside a Native American sweat lodge, they cannot leave unless the leader calls to open the door. A request can be made, but the ceremony must usually be completed first. Gloria insisted that I come with her each time she came up to go to the sweat lodge. She didn't want to go alone. As a good friend, I honored her requests. One day at a sweat lodge in the cold winter when the ground was frozen, Gloria, Pam, Bobby, and the others persuaded me to do the sweat lodge. I did it that day. The part of my body that touched the frozen earth between blankets was cold. My upper body was sweating from the heat of the fire and stones. Afterwards, a large hard resin-like piece of dried sweat came out of a long-standing lump on my face. It looked like a small piece of frankincense. As usual, Gloria wanted to get home as fast as possible. She couldn't wait to get back to be with Martin. It was a 3-hour drive. Pam and Bobbie sent their blessings when they learned that Gloria passed over to the other side. Another mutual friend, Earthwalker, also lit candles and said prayers for Gloria during the service. I called Gloria as soon as I found out from Selena that Gloria was sick. I continued to follow-up with her. I did my best to inspire hope in her that she could beat this stomach cancer. Everything I said to her contained that hope. She was depressed. She didn't think she would make it. Her doctor wasn't saying hopeful things to her. As she went though the chemotherapy, she didn't have the energy to talk much. This was a change from the Gloria who once had energy to keep talking on and on, even when she was tired and laying down. I last talked to her in October. I didn't know that she had experienced a brief 3-week remission until after she had passed on. Selena kept me informed. Selena magically stayed composed through the memorial service and the funeral service. Gloria's granddaughter read the obituary. Selena drew together the various elements of Gloria's life in ceremony. She identified Gloria as a healer, a medicine woman, and one of her ministers. Copal was burned. She identified that corn was important in the Mexican traditions. Gloria's energy was celebrated. Repeated references were made as to how Gloria always managed to find good everywhere. Gloria was presented with a service award from Wisconsin LuLak--the oldest and largest Latino human rights organization in the USA. Selena said that Gloria had been involved with the Walk Across America: 500 Years of Misunderstanding Columbus. I had worked for Walk Across America in its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio with the Executive Director Mark Stansbury. I met Victoria at that time. Apparently, the Lakota people gave Gloria a pipe to carry. In the Ojibwa understanding, The Creator gave the pipe to all persons in the beginning as a means to talk with The Creator. The various races lost the pipe over the centuries, except the indigenous peoples. Now, the indigenous peoples are sharing the pipe with all the races and colors of people as well as genders. Controversies about the pipe hang on, as it is only the people who make too much of certain distinctions, such as race and gender. It's an honor to be a pipe-carrier. The pipe is a tool to convene with the Creator. I saw Louise and Mary Lou there from the UUWF. Several people from Circle had driven a long way to be there, including Mari. A piece of fragrant pine and rosemary passed from person to person at the funeral service. Kathy from the UUWF and from Gloria's workplace was there with her husband. She had been close to Gloria. Gloria's favorite incense was burned--copal, Mexican frankincense. As frankincense, in general, is my favorite incense, too, I was curious if there were any differences or distinctions between that and copal. It filled the air with sacredness. Almost everyone participated to form a circle that actually was shaped as a cross with Gloria's crematory box at the head of it. This shape just formed naturally and organically from the way the furniture was arranged, and I think it symbolically represented the merging of the Christian and Earth traditions. Then, hugs of support were exchanged. Those present were encouraged to take flowers to remember Gloria. Afterwards, Selena put in symbols of the directions, and copal, pine, and rosemary into the crematory box. Martin put the rosary into it. Selena put in Gloria's pentagram ring as well as a Lady of Guadalupe pendant. Selena put in a gift from herself and some herbs. Selena asked me and the folks from Zion to watch over the belongings while she went with Martin and the family to the gravesite as they put Gloria in the ground. I picked 2 roses, 3 purple flowers, and some greenery for Martin. I gave them to Martin when he returned. He thanked me. I will miss Gloria. She was her own person.
NameRev. Selena Fox
LocationCircle Sanctuary, Barneveld, Wisconsin
Date2009-04-26 13:08:39
On Friday afternoon, May 1, at 2 pm, we will be remembering Gloria, celebrating her life, and honoring her request to have some of her ashes placed at Circle Cemetery at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld, Wisconsin. This ceremony is being held as part of our Beltane Festival. Thank you, Gloria, for your support of Circle Sanctuary over the years and for your many contributions to our community. We also appreciate your support of our Green cemetery project and your help with international and multicultural networking. Blessed Be, Gloria.
NameMoonWater
LocationBetwixt
Date2009-04-29 13:53:49
I hold you up in prayer this day as well as your family and brothers and sisters of faith whom mourn your passing from them.
NameRev. Linda Deisenroth
LocationSprakers, NY 12166
Date2009-04-29 14:58:50
The members of the Correllian Nativist Church International share with me and the Ecliptic Shrine our condolences. May her soul find its way home.
NameJim S Smith
LocationBoise, Idaho, USA
Date2009-04-29 17:29:26
To pass from this Life, Is to enter the next Life, In the glory of the Divine, To each in one's own time, Just as the flowers fade, The Seeds of rebirth are made, When thy time here is over, Let thy Spirit shine like a Nova! - Jim S. Smith ( Dragon's Eye ) I wish you all Peace, Love, and Enlightenment. May the Creator, and all helpers thereof, be a blessing unto thee, in the all the Creation and whole Universes. Whereas we take this time to learn, embolden ourselves, and to seek enlightenment, to our Creator's desire, that we, someday, will realize the Ultimate Dream: The Dream of Creation itself. Again, In Peace, Love, and Light - - Jim