Rita Moran, a co-founder of EarthTides Pagan Network and a guiding spirit of Pagan community for many years, died Monday, March 14, 2022, after a brief illness.
In her long life (she was often shy of revealing her actual age), she acted as a Pagan teacher, celebrant, musician, organizer, ritual writer and performer. She carried her values out in her “real” life as a bookseller and political activist.
She often told stories about her past careers as a photographer in the ’70s (who advertised in The Village Voice “we photograph anything,” and did), and as a union advocate and trainer of emergency medical technicians in New York state. She had also been active with the Monmouth Community Players and Central Maine library organizations.
She was one of the first two out-of-the-broom-closet Pagans to attend the Democratic National Convention. She was a founding board member of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association and a part of interfaith clergy efforts to advocate for equality for LGBTQ+ Mainers.
In 2007, the Christian Civic League chose to attack Rita, then chair of the Kennebec County Democrats, for her participation in what he called “one of Maine’s thriving underground pagan worship circles,” publishing her private contact information. Pagans from around the country donated to the county Democratic committee and bought from Rita’s then-business, Apple Valley Books in Winthrop, to show their support.
We invite those who knew her to post memories here, and to offer private prayers for the comfort and peace of her spirit and the comfort and healing of those she leaves behind.