[Editor’s Note: In retrospect, Dr. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Founding Director and Co-editor of RTM, has recently nominated Rosemary Mattingley as Co-founder of RTM for her essential role with an unflagging commitment at the time of beginning years and to this day. This essay is a response to that nomination. We are truly blessed and privileged to have Rosemary with us! Thank you, Rosemary!]
Thank you deeply and sincerely, Helen, for the honour of nominating me as Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the Return to Mago E-Magazine.
I’m so grateful for what I’ve learnt and experienced in so many ways over these four years since RTM started. It apparently came about because I signed a petition against construction of the Jeju Island naval base in Korea, which is opposed by most locals.
I would have signed even if I hadn’t had any connection to Korea. However, I wouldn’t have been so deeply touched for the need to sign if I hadn’t been fascinated by Korea since the age of nine and if I hadn’t visited Korea with my mother in 1982. A few years previously, she had attended a conference where she met a German man whose wife was originally from Jeju. When we went to Korea, we met him and his family in Seoul, and visited his wife’s family in Jeju.
So when I saw the petition against the Jeju naval base five years ago, I signed immediately, and was soon added to the ‘No Naval Base on Jeju!’ group on Facebook. The thought of such construction and what it was destroying really tore my heart. Helen, who was also a member of that group, sent me a friendship request and added me to the Mago Circle on Facebook.
In mid 2012, she posted a request in the Mago Circle for editors for her new venture, the Return to Mago E-Magazine. As I try to be open to new possibilities, especially where I can learn and serve using my skills, I hesitantly offered to be an editor, while stressing that this was not my field so I knew next to nothing about Magoism or Goddess. Helen took up my offer, and RTM developed from there, with a great deal of hard work on her part. Since childhood I have loved folk stories, and have pursued various esoteric paths for years, so I could see connections to and expansions of those deep interests in this new editing work.
I studied Japanese at university in Australia, then received a M.Ed. degree and worked in Japan, doing both paid and voluntary work. It was during my eight years there that I visited Korea and studied some Korean at adult education classes. I also visited Taiwan, China and Mongolia, to which I had an inexplicable attachment at the age of seven. So I was already very familiar with East Asia when I joined RTM and was delighted to use this knowledge for RTM editing. After leaving Japan, I travelled, studied and worked in various capacities in different parts of the world: three years on the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan, six months in Turkey and the Middle East, two years in Europe, and nine in South Africa. After returning to Australia 11 years ago, I spent a short time on Australian Aboriginal country, helping to finalise a dictionary cum encyclopaedia that a man from the Adnyamathanha community had been compiling for 25 years. I learnt and studied a lot about different cultures and faiths in all of these regions, and have been surprised and pleased how often this understanding and knowledge has been useful in RTM editing.
Through RTM, I have learnt so much about Magoism and Goddess. And, at Helen’s gentle insistence, I’ve learnt blogging skills, which I’ve also used for my mother’s and my blogs. (My mother is an author who has had more than 50 books published.) Most importantly, through RTM work and through participation in the 2014 Mago Pilgrimage, my inner life has broadened and deepened through Magoism, a spiritual path which I had had no idea existed before I met Helen.
I love the way life spirals and brings me back to somewhere I have been before, whether it’s an actual place or an inner path, yet at a much more profound level. And I love the way it brings openings that I’d never dreamt of. How could I have known when I wanted to find out about Korea at the age of nine, or in my desire since 1982 to visit Korea again, that I would be Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the Return to Mago E-Magazine and experience Magoism? As well as my mother’s connection to Korea that took me to Jeju, I believe that I have connections across this and other lifetimes that brought me back to Korea and Magoism. So it’s fitting that I’ve worked to build the foundations of the Return to Mago E-Magazine.
My blog: nur810.wordpress.com