Judith, Anodea (1952-)
Judith, Anodea (1952-)
Anodea Judith, Pagan priestess and former president of the Church of All Worlds, was born Judith Ann Mull on December 1, 1952, in Elyria, Ohio. She was raised in the Church of Christ, Scientist, but rejected Christianity as a teenager. She entered Clark University with the idea of becoming a therapist, but did not like the concentration on academic psychology as opposed to training in counseling. She dropped out, became an artist and moved to California in 1973. In 1974 she began a course of study at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
The year 1975 became a turning point in her life. She radically changed her lifestyle which included becoming a vegetarian, stopping smoking, practicing yoga, and engaging in fasts. Along the way she had a vivid out-of-body experience in which she saw a book on the chakras (the sense organs of the spiritual body as conceived in tantric thought) written by herself. She began to teach workshops and classes in the San Francisco Bay area on such topics as yoga, the aura, and psychology. She also spent a significant amount of time by herself in the backwoods, and as she attuned herself to nature she changed her name to Anodea Judith. As she was going through this change, she read Zsusanna Budapest's Feminist Book of Light and Shadows and met Tim Zell (now known as Oberon G'Zell ), the founder of the pioneering Neo-Pagan organization, the Church of All Worlds. Through the church she received some consciousness of the changes she was undergoing and came to see herself as a Pagan.
Judith quickly became a leader in the Church of All Worlds and worked with Gwydion Pedderwen (1946-1982) on the development of Annfin, the church's sanctuary. In 1978 she settled in Berkeley and became involved in a number of Pagan activities. She assisted Isaac Bonewits with the publication of Pentalpha, the Druid journal. She worked with author Marion Zimmer Bradley in the Aquarian Order of the Restoration. Professionally she gradually gave up her art to concentrate on bodywork (including bioenergetics and massage) and healing. In 1983 she founded Lifeways, the educational arm of the Church of All Worlds. In 1984, having been named a steward of Annfin, she moved there for 18 months, after which she returned to Berkeley to complete her first book, published in 1987 as Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System.
In 1988 she married Richard Ely, a Pagan, and they have developed an open marriage within the context of the free sexuality espoused by the Church of All Worlds. In the late 1980s Judith served a term as the church's president. Through the 1990s she has worked as a psychological counselor, having completed her degree in metaphysical psychology at the Rose-bridge Graduate School of Integrative Therapy, and continues to write.
Hopman, Ellen Evert, and Lawrence Bond, eds. People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1996.
Judith, Anodea. Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self. Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed Press, 1997.
——. The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming Mind, Body and Spirit Through the Chakras. Freedom, Calif.: Crossing Press, 1993.
——. Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 1987.