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First issue1974
Final issue1984
Based inWolf Creek, Oregon

WomanSpirit (Fall 1974 - Summer 1984) was a lesbian feminist quarterly founded by Ruth and Jean Mountaingrove and produced collectively near Wolf Creek, Oregon. It was the first American lesbian/feminist periodical to be dedicated to both feminism and spirituality.[1][2] Many of the contributors to WomanSpirit were, or became, well known within the women's spirituality movement.[3] It had 40 publications, covering topics such as ecology, goddess myths and rituals, feminist theory, and divination. Its submissions included articles, photos, letters, book reviews, artwork, and songs.[4]


WomanSpirit was founded by Ruth and Jean Mountaingrove in 1974, who had a vision for a magazine that was "international and radical feminist. We wanted a cultural revolution—a total reordering of institutions and values. It was to be a modest magazine with grand goals."[5] In 1978, they bought and moved to Rootworks, their lesbian land. From 1979 to 1984, they produced Womanspirit in the barn they built ("Natalie Barney"). Women who came to work on the different issues could stay on the land for however long they needed to or could.[6]


At the height of WomanSpirit's circulation, it was distributed to 91 women's bookstores, 10 countries, and had over 3,000 subscribers.[3][5] The existence of Rootworks and WomanSpirit has been credited by many women for bringing them into rural Oregon to participate in the women's land movement.[7]

After it folded, Jean Mountaingrove suggested that an index be made and Christine Menefee offered to make one.[8] It was published in 1989[9] and is out of print, but has been useful for researching feminist and women's history.[8]

Notable contributors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Long, Linda; Gage, Carolyn (2008). "A Lesbian Archivist Discovers A Hidden Literary Treasure in Southern Oregon". The Lambda Book Report.
  2. ^ Christ, Carol (2000). "Womanspirit". In Kramarae, Cheris; Spender, Dale (eds.). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues. Routledge. pp. 2050–2051. ISBN 9780415920889.
  3. ^ a b Griffin, Wendy. "The Land Within". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  4. ^ "WomanSpirit". WomanSpirit. 2008. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b Summerhawk, Barbara; Gagehabib, La Verne (2000). "3 Political Circles: Shaping a Community's Response". Circles of Power: Shifting Dynamics in a Lesbian-centered Community. Norwich, VT: New Victoria. p. 68. ISBN 9781892281135.
  6. ^ Mountaingrove, Ruth; Mountaingrove, Jean (1985). "Rootworks". In Cheney, Joyce (ed.). Lesbian Land. Minneapolis, Minn: Word Weavers. pp. 125–128. LCCN 85016866.
  7. ^ Burmeister, Heather Jo (2013). Rural Revolution: Documenting the Lesbian Land Communities of Southern Oregon (Masters thesis). Portland State University. doi:10.15760/etd.1080.
  8. ^ a b Menefee, Christine (2011). "The WomanSpirit Index".
  9. ^ Menefee, Christine (1989). Womanspirit Index: Your Comprehensive Guide to the Decade of Women's Spirituality, 1974-1984. ISBN 978-0962103513.

Further reading[edit]