Seasonal Salon


With deep sorrow we write that Debby Dell Zygielbaum has left us to tend the gardens of unseen realms. She was the Goddess' harvest priestess, a tireless worker for the good of the earth and the animals and people who share it. An active and compassionate priestess of RCG-I, she was also a longtime member of Diana's Grove Circle. We grieve with them, and with her wife Kerrigan, and her families of birth and work. And, following her lead, we also extend compassion to the young man driving the truck that hit her car.

Deb Z

Zygie received her degree in women's studies and biology from Scripps College. Her early career took her to Australia and Costa Rica, where she worked to support native plants and people. She served as horticulturist at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens in Claremont CA. For many years she was the vineyard manager for Robert Sinskey Vineyard in Napa Valley, prioritizing the health and safety needs of her workers. As a member of board of Napa County Farm Bureau, she led the Napa Organic Group to promote sustainable farming practices. Always aware of the connection between work and community, she was actively involved in the Farm Bureau's political and education initiatives.

Her career specialization was viticulture, the growing and harvesting of wine grapes. Her passion was organic farming using holistic, ethical and ecological methods. She practiced the art of cooperatively working with native plants and animals through her role as mindful shepherd, tending flocks of vineyard sheep as an integral aspect of sustainable farming. She also advocated for wildlife like barn owls as partners in the vineyard. To all of her farming activities, and in her social justice work, she brought deep conviction and the courage to express her beliefs assertively.

She was a brilliant and talented sister-priestess of RCG-I. We will remember her bouncing into a room, dancing in the temple in ritual, teasing and joking with other women, advocating forcefully for earth and human rights. As a member of our ordination team, she created beautiful and mysterious spaces to welcome newly ordained priestesses. Like any good farmer, she also worked tirelessly behind the scenes, organizing, taking notes, and tending our website. She was both passionate and compassionate, mischievous, bold, brassy, playful, opinionated and altogether larger than life. She was also gentle and sensitive, always offering her hand and her full attention to women in need.

We mourn the loss of her talent and her boundless energy. And we know that if she has left us so suddenly and unexpectedly, it's because she had something really important to do that won't wait. We can be sure that she is walking the vine even now, growing and harvesting the gifts of the Goddess for the good of all, and singing along the rows.

Sid Reger is an independent scholar, educator, and artist, whose passions are mythology, prehistoric art, and bringing goddess lore into women's lives. She is an ordained priestess of RCG-I and the president of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology. She lives in western PA where she and her temple dog are instructed daily by her two cats.

Category: Winter Solstice 2018