Some photographs show the essence of who we are. Many years ago I was sitting in my mother’s matchbox apartment in Poland, surrounded by books, dreaming my life into being. I was fantasising about leaving for faraway lands, discovering the world of great travellers, studying at universities all over the globe, and discovering what life was about. But most of all, I wanted to be a writer and share my ideas with others.
And so the story began … Through the sheer power of desire I managed to leave for Paris with ten American dollars in my pocket and a borrowed suitcase. I travelled to Toronto, studied philosophy, and published my first short story in English. Then I left for Mexico and South East Asia, teaching at universities, writing and tripping over gurus.
Although through my university education I was groomed to be (and on the way to becoming) a Catholic intellectual with degrees from the Pontifical Institute, the story I was told at the time made less and less sense. In my early thirties I made yet another unsuccessful attempt at being ‘a good catholic’. In my mid thirties my interest in alternative spiritual movements took me by surprise, first through my sudden interest in Yoga philosophy and the idea of the infinite potential within us, then through meeting two men who claimed to have discovered the tomb and house of Jesus based on their readings of the Urantia Book. The book Jerusalem Diary: Searching for the Tomb and House of Jesus was a result of my travels with them. That book was my final break-up with any kind of dogmatic institutionalised religion, and since then I have developed a keen interest in Gnostic teachings and have also experimented with elements of spiritual Tantric teaching, including an initiation in Shaktipat by a Tantric guru. This was a very dramatic spiritual awakening for me, which I have since described in many published pieces and via my Goddess News blog.
I subscribe to no religion and yet I am a passionate believer in spiritual evolution and the presence of spirituality in all aspects of our lives. Not rigid, fear-based religion but a spirituality which expands us by embracing every aspect of our humanity and divinising it. This calls for redefining spirituality and freeing it from old constraints and limitations imposed by past cultural conditioning. Goddess News, my Spiritual Blog and Newsletter are a testimony to that.
I am now settled in Melbourne with my partner Shamir and, most importantly, I keep writing, publishing and giving talks on things I am passionate about: Mary Magdalene and the Gnostic Gospels, the Divine Feminine, Sexuality and Spirituality, New Spirituality and Eco-Spirituality.
If you would like to learn more about Joanna, watch this interview with her by Medea Films for the Migrant Stories series.
or you can read her interview for DScribe here.
Joanna is nearly finished writing a novel exploring the search for the inner goddess, Mary Magdalene, romantic love and Tantra.
To be continued …