The Iris Fund Project

The Iris Fund Project is an outgrowth of a vision to honor women's spirit and creativity that was first conceived by Eclipse Neilson, who led WomenCircles for 26 years before creating the WomanSoul program at Rowe in 2013. 

 The Iris Fund provides support for art projects that emerge directly from the heart of WomanSoul camp and the women who attend it.

 In the spring of 2014, Rowe bought a home located at 312 Zoar Rd. Along with providing much-needed guest space, it also will house the Women's Library, which was created from the Iris Fund. It will be a nurturing space filled with women's art, women's literature, women's videos and -- most important of all -- women's spirit. We are working to make it wheelchair accessible.

 Profits from the sale of the art funded through The Iris Fund Project and donations to it will be used as seed money for additional projects.

The following projects have been funded through an Iris Fund grant and published by Star Meadow Press, a subsidiary of the  Rowe Center. We are grateful to the artists for their participation in the program.


Mother-love is vital to every human being. We need it, we thrive on it, and sometimes we resist it. It is the bond at the foundation of every attachment we will ever have. But what happens when our mother connection goes askew or completely disappears? 

Motherghost: A Journey to the Mother

By Eclipse Neilson 

Motherghost: A Journey to the Mother looks directly at the powerful complexity of mother-love through the perspective of a woman who lost her mother as a child. After an astonishing secret about her past is revealed, Robin sets out on a journey of myth and fantasy to find the answers to her identity. As she begins to explore her life and the people in it, she discovers that our mothers live on inside us, and can empower or cripple us in our adult lives – even when they are absent. We laugh and cry with her as she searches for the facts about her early beginnings – facts that only her mother, who abandoned her as a three-year-old, would know. There is one problem: her mother has died; and yet, to heal herself, she must find a way to reconnect with her mother, even if she is only a ghost.

Eclipse Neilson is a visionary artist and political activist for both human and animal rights. She has led workshops on eco-feminist spirituality for over three decades and is the director of WomenCircles at the Rowe Center. She is the founder of the Magaian Way, a program that teaches visionary practices and offers lectures nationally. She has received numerous grants for her programs and work with children and adults within educational communities. Her programs, under the auspices of Project A.W.A.R.E. (Awareness with Art-Related Education), bring hope and new perspectives to communities about the powerful beauty of our Earth. She has recently designed C.O.P.E. (Circles of Peace Education), a cutting-edge program that addresses bullying in schools by inspiring peace within the hearts of our children. The future is now! She teaches youth to empower themselves so that they will grow up to become leaders and citizens of the world.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The Iris Fund, a WomenCircles’ project providing support for women’s art and for establishing a Women’s Library at Rowe.

Available for $15 plus shipping.

Grief is a universal experience of living, yet the process often seems mysterious and incomprehensible. A new book from Star Meadow Press reveals the mystery of grieving and offers understanding and hope.

Valley of the Shadow

By Patricia H. Bangs

Valley of the Shadow is the story of the author’s grief process following the death of her childhood sweetheart and beloved husband, Lloyd R. Jones, in 2003, after 57 years of marriage. It also explores the tension between an aging body and the mind’s capacity to keep growing.

Drawing on a strong spiritual foundation and mystical insights, the author invites the reader into the process her mind went through as she dealt with the practical problems of daily living after her husband’s death. Although the body may be aging, the author believes, the mind is always capable of growing to higher levels of perception and maturity.

Patricia, a Massachusetts native born in 1926, early in her marriage lived with her husband at the Naval Base of Dutch Harbor, Alaska where he served as Supply Officer and she taught school in a Quonset hut.  After her husband retired from the Navy, the couple lived in Connecticut and later in Massachusetts. They retired to Vermont in 1986. They raised a daughter, Polly, who lives in New Hampshire. 

Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The Iris Fund, a WomenCircles’ project providing support for women’s art and for establishing a Women’s Library in the new Green Guest House.

Available for $10 plus shipping.



Poems by Laura Davies Foley 

Laura Davies Foley’s poems have appeared in Inquiring Mind, The Georgetown Review, The Newport Review, and in the anthologies In the Arms of Words: Poems for Disaster Relief and The Still Puddle Poets. She received the Grand Prize in the 2005 Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest. She holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and is the honorary Poet Laureate of Valley Insight Meditation Community. Mapping the Fourth Dimension (Harbor Mountain Press), is her first collection of poetry. We are pleased to offer her second book, Syringa, through Star Meadow Press.

More info available at:

Available for $15 plus shipping.


Wing & Bough

Artwork and Words by Eclipse Fey

Wing and Bough transports us to a quiet place, deep within ourselves, where the stillness of the soul of nature and the beauty of the human heart commune. 

Eclipse Fey's love of nature and the mystical is evident in all her work as an artist. At an early age she began to draw images of birds, the forest, and the mysteries of nature. She is the author and illustrator of The Singing Forest Deck, The Journey To The Heart Divination Cards, and The Moon In Hand. She has exhibited nationally and has received a variety of grants for her art programs and work. Prints are available and she can be contacted through the Rowe Center or at

This book of mystical nature drawings and inspirational messages of spirit is available for $15 plus shipping.


I  Am Broccoli!*

* Cartoons, Stories, and a recipe

By Laura Loewen

The whimsical cartoons and stories by Laura Loewen have a rare blend of sophistication and child-like silliness. Read the story of Edwin the limping carrot! See parallel universes explained in a bird cartoon! Try the recipe for stuffed sesame seeds! This is a world view from a different angle and it charms the spirit.

Laura Loewen is a cook, musician, cartoonist, artist, writer, and stand-up comedian who has been surprising and delighting women at WomenCircles for almost 20 years.

Available for $9.95 plus shipping.


An Evening with Annie 

CD by Annie Hassett

WomenCircles is pleased to announce Annie Hassett’s first CD, An Evening with Annie. Annie has been on staff at WomenCircles for many years and is the female lead singer in the band Gangly Heart, famous for playing at Members and Friends weekends. Accompanied by long-time friend and band member John McClellan, Annie rocks us to old favorites like "Pink Cadillac" and "Mustang Sally" and moves us to tears with her performance of "Like a Ship in the Harbor" and "Imagine". Annie has performed many concerts at Rowe and now you can experience An Evening with Annie.

Annie’s CD available for $15 plus shipping.


Mother Earth: Revisioning the Sacred

A video by Mary R. Hopkins

This informative video explores how deeply the male point of view is embedded in our culture, uses art history to demonstrate how Western culture has lost touch with the Goddess, and shows how modern women artists are restoring the balance of male and female through their work. Women's spiritual circles, women clergy, Comparative Religion and Women's Studies instructors, and individuals who feel cultural dissonance will find this material to have an integrated point of view through which they may enjoy spiritual support and comfort. This video is also excellent for discussion groups. The Iris Fund of UURC&CC helped fund this video.

More info available at:

Purchase price of each video is $25 plus shipping.

Order on-line or call (413)339-4954 or e-mail info [at] to order yours today.

There is a shipping charge of $4.95 per order.

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