Last night, peacefully, Marione Thompson-Helland left the physical plane.
Marione was the Editor of The Beltane Papers, coordinating an all-volunteer group of women as we collected articles, poetry, recipes, reviews and information celebrating women. She first volunteered for TBP after reading issues #1-#4 and has been the editor since 1996. The mother of six, grandmother to nine, Marione earned a degree in Womenâ€™s Studies. Born in California in 1938, Marione was an early participant in the Witch movement, continuing her practice after she moved to Bellingham, WA in 1992.
The women of The Beltane Papers have spent more than 20 years being spirited women, speaking our mind, and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable. It’s part of our philosophy that we don’t expect everyone to like or agree with every point of view expressed in any given issue. We have always hoped that it encourages our readers to think, and that they find something in each issue that speaks to them personally and that they are left with a comfortable feeling of fulfillment after reading it.Â In her time as Editor, Marione kept that assertive spirit bright.
Issue #38 was published in August, delayed by a month by the news of her diagnosis with Stage IV lung cancer. In her honor, the other volunteers picked up where Marione no longer could do the work. In her honor, people donated the money we needed to replace the shortfall of a distributor’s bankruptcy and increased printing costs.
Marione Thompson-Helland was a guiding light for me. A general request for help led to my becoming the Review Circle Coordinator almost 10 years ago. The two of us became more than colleagues and something less than old friends. We simply haven’t had time enough to be old friends. She was the Crone who oversaw my birth as a Queen, I was her staunch supporter.
An amazing, gifted, joyous woman has left this phase of existence, and the hole gapes wide in her absence.