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Lady Epona, High Priestess of the Faerie FaithDr. Patricia “Pat” Marie Zook, DVM, better known to the Pagan community as Lady Epona, passed away at her home in Decatur, GA on Sunday, May 29, 2016, at age 65 after battling cancer, COPD, and congestive heart failure. Epona was known in the Pagan community of the Southeastern United States as High Priestess of the Faerie Faith (www.faeriefaith.net).

Epona played a pivotal role in the development of the Faerie Faith as we now know it. Between 1979 and 1981, she worked with Mark Roberts, who had previously partnered with Morgan McFarland, the creator of the McFarland Dianics in Texas. Combining teachings and materials from Roberts’ Hyperborean path and his own experiences with McFarland and his earlier studies, Epona explored and expounded upon Faerie Faith. Using the lessons imparted by the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar and the Huna system, Epona emphasized a strong sense of ethics and a focus on personal transformation.

Over the years, Epona impacted many lives. She was the High Priestess of several covens in the metro Atlanta area, including the Coven of the White Horse, the Garden Club, and the Mud Witches. She was constantly exploring alternative practices to see which had merit and could enrich Faerie Faith, and encouraging her students to do the same. As a mystery tradition, Faerie Faith has few dogmas and secrets; rather than shroud our tradition in secret, Epona was quite willing to share lessons of the tradition freely with the Pagan community at large (“scattering seeds” as she called it).  She also recognized that each autonomous High Priest or Priestess would grow the tradition in new ways, and that this growth was necessary to the tradition’s evolution and survival.

Lady Epona, High Priestess of the Faerie FaithEpona birthed many high priests and priestesses, and her legacy of high priest/esses includes (but is not limited to) her student Linda Kerr, and Linda’s students Imré, Marsha, Kryss, and Cliff Landis. For the last two years, Cliff and his partners Adam and Jeremy served as Epona’s caretakers throughout her illness and hospice care. Even though Epona retired as a veterinarian, she never retired as a High Priestess. Epona’s thirst for wisdom and community was relentless, and even in her last weeks of life she was sharing her knowledge as a Reiki Master and passing on lessons to her great-grandchildren in the Craft.  She will be missed and remembered by all who knew and loved her.

A service to celebrate the life of Lady Epona/Pat Zook will be held on Sunday, June 19th at 4:00pm at the Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Ave., Clarkston, GA 30021.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Gwinnett Animal Hospital’s Good Samaritan Fund, 2184 McGee Rd, Snellville, GA 30078.

A ritual to celebrate the life and work of Lady Epona will be held at the FallFling Festival, October 6-9, 2016, Roxanna, Alabama.

— Co-authored by Linda Kerr and Cliff Landis

 

I had a great time presenting at the Georgia Archives Institute this morning, and the Class of 2014 was both engaged and engaging when it came to archival technology!  We covered a lot of information in a very short amount of time, so (as promised!) here are the slides from my updated presentation. Thanks again, everyone!

I had a great time today hanging out with the next generation of public, academic and corporate archivists at the Georgia Archives Institute.  I was delighted to be speaking about archival technologies, including archival management software, digital collections management software, and presentation and access software.  The students were welcoming, inquisitive, and engaged, all of which is wonderful to see!  We talked about the exciting opportunities and challenges presented to us in the future of archives and libraries, and it was great to hear their questions and perspectives.

Below you can find my presentation slides from the session.

Thanks again, folks!

Life can be tough some times.Cliff & Momma Landis

A month ago yesterday, my mother died.  She and I were very close.  I always considered her one of my best friends, which was a blessing to me as I grew up.

Mom was staying with us at my house while she recovered from a back injury.  She had a stroke on Saturday, June 16 and died on Sunday, June 17th, 2012.  I have since given the eulogy at her funeral, helped organize her organ donation with my sister, sent a lot of thank-you cards, begun cleaning out her house, made up a spreadsheet of her financial accounts, paid some of her bills, and started closing down all her online accounts.

I have good days where I find old photos and notes, and remember good times from growing up.  I have bad days where I find things that made her cry, or see where sadness and exhaustion took her willpower away from her.  Some days I just feel numb.  I keep getting the impulse to call her and tell her about little things, or to let her know that I made it back up to Atlanta safely.

So yeah, life has been tough.  Work has been tough.  I spend most of my “off” hours sorting through the remains of her life, trying to organize and clean it up to make some sense of everything and to create a lasting memorial of her for the family to share.  I don’t sleep so well any more.  I try to eat well and exercise, but that’s tough too.  I don’t like to whine or gripe, in general — most of you know that I have a tendency to be “solutions focused” — but this is something that has no solution.  I’m going to miss her forever.

But there’s a lot of good memories to comfort me, and a lot of great folks that have been very supportive through everything.  I haven’t been my normal upbeat, hyperactive, do-ALL-the-things self lately, but everyone’s been pretty understanding of that.  I anticipate it’ll be several more months before things start to return to normal for me.

So yeah.  That’s it.  Life can be tough some times.

The last two weeks have been spent going back and forth between Valdosta, Athens and Atlanta, visiting family, friends, and loved ones.  There were a few surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant, and without going into too much detail, here’s what I learned:

  1. Intimacy is much better than fame.
  2. Cultivate your friends carefully — quality is always better than quantity.
  3. There comes a point where we become caretakers to our parents, and our parents become like our children.  It’s terrifying, and yet it allows us to lovingly serve those who helped us become who we are, in a way that truly brings balance to the circle of life.  I hope I have a long, long time to serve my many Mothers (both biological and spiritual) in this way.
  4. We all want the dignity of making our own decisions, without feeling pressured or harassed.
  5. Doctors know a lot about one thing.  But they don’t know everything.
  6. When we’re hurt, scared, and in pain, it’s always best to have an advocate at our side to help.
  7. I am love, and you are too.

Here’s hoping this finds you right where you need to be.  All my love to you and yours!

Cliff