Educated at the Vancouver and Vienna Waldorf Schools, I attended Corpus Christi College and Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia and earned my a Diploma in Christian Studies. After finishing my Masters in Divinity I decided to pursue my PhD in esotericism; but study part-time so that I could work, travel and study Celtic folk music.
In 2004, Dr. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke agreed to supervise and mentor me while I wrote a dissertation on “Heresy and Esotericism in the Writings of Evelyn Underhill.” (She wrote a seminal work in 1915, Mysticism, and was respected so highly in England that she became the first female to ever educate clergy in the Church of England.) Dr. Goodrick-Clarke had just left the University of Wales, Lampeter for a Chair at the University of Exeter. At Exeter, Dr. Goodrick-Clarke pioneered the Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO).
In 2005, I moved to Ireland and got wrapped up further in music, travel and especially Irish language and culture. I began writing several works of fiction a year, never really letting anyone read it. But writing just to read the stories I wanted to hear during 5 years of essentially being on the road…
With the Recession in 2009, I lost any hope of financially finishing my Ph.D. and funding options for Canadians fell through. By the end of 2009 my health had also come to crisis, I weighed over 400 lbs and did not yet know I had Celiac Disease (just thought I was addicted to food, despite how little I ate.) I returned to Canada by 2010 and began to truly explore my health.
By 2012, my health finally in recovery, if still a ways off, I had the chance and funding to finish my doctorate, but sadly on August 29th Nicholas passed. He was a tremendous man, great scholar and wonderful support to my research. I loved his sense of humour and his sincerity of heart.
I had lost a lot of interest in the academic system before beginning my doctorate. Travel and music seemed more real. Now, looking back, I am not shocked to see how much of my opinions about myself were very influenced by being a “celiac”. Fortunately, as well, my musical skills learned in Ireland and touring the world (I have played over 200 shows a year since 2005) allowed me to scrape by without taking a cent of government money for disability or anything else. This alone I think gave me the self-esteem to work hard on learning to live and even be healthy with such a horrible disease as C.D.
I am publishing my three completed books on scholarly subjects. I am working on a fourth.
I am editing my first novel to publish, and have more to edit after that.
This should take some time. I will continue to record music and create fun, though often low quality YouTube videos.
Healthier than ever before, and no longer in chronic, debilitating pain; I look forward to the road ahead.
I hope you will enjoy some of the journey with me.
Elegwen Ó Maoileoin, M.Div.