As a young girl growing up on the Californian coast, I was fascinated by all aspects of religion and spirituality. Being “born to magic,” I sought refuge in spirituality and mysticism to escape my turbulent family life. I come from an intercultural family–my Scottish-Irish dad was raised as a Christian and my mother came from an Eastern European Jewish family. Although I was brought up in a secular Jewish milieu, we celebrated both Jewish and Christian holidays. Frequently I attended Mass on my own and read Roman Catholic writers, including the mystics and those contemporary Catholics dedicated to social justice.
After spending a dozen years in ashrams in the US, I emerged as a single mom with a baby daughter (now 29) and a strong desire to start college. I graduated summa cum laude with an honors BA in religion from California State University, Chico, and then moved to Cambridge to enter a graduate program at Harvard University. In 1992, I graduated with a master’s degree in religion from Harvard Divinity School. I then traveled to the UK to pursue doctoral work in Western esoteric traditions under the late Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, PhD, at the University of Exeter and the University of Wales, Lampeter. I received a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2008.
Siobhán in the New Mexican wilderness
Photo credit: Carla del Mar
I’ve written three books: Invoking Mary Magdalene: Accessing the Wisdom of the Divine Feminine (Sounds True Publishing, 2006); Gnostic Healing (with Tau Malachi, published by Llewellyn Worldwide, 2010) and Priests, Gnostics and Magicians (Apocryphile Press, 2014). In addition, my writings have appeared in numerous academic journals and popular periodicals, including: GNOSIS: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions; Parabola; Theosophical History; and Quest Magazine, among others. I’ve also published short fiction, essays, and poetry in various anthologies.
For many years I worked as an independent scholar–teaching, lecturing, and leading retreats throughout the US as well as in the UK and Ireland. I’ve taught in Naropa University’s MA program in religious studies as well as at Naropa University’s School of Extended Studies.
I live in Denver, Colorado, and am at work on a memoir about my ten years of living in US Hindu religious communities.