The Karma of Obsession

By Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
Copyright © 1995 by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

I am married to a god.

Well, no; but there are more than a few individuals out there who believe that he is: the ones who also like to think they know better than I the true nature of the man I did in fact wed, or the truth of his life, or of our personal relationship, or of their own stake and interest in all this. This belief endangers them since, logically, if my wedded consort is a god, that would make me--in the time-honored tradition of Olympus and other divine hangouts--a goddess by marriage. And goddesses--another time-honored tradition--have been known to lob the odd thunderbolt at worshipers who get up their divine noses.

The mate in question is James Douglas Morrison, better known to the world at large as Jim Morrison, lead singer of the 1960's rock group The Doors; by no means a god (at least not by choice, of which more later) but very much a man, very much a living, loving, human being. We met in 1969, when (an initiated Witch and Maiden of a Celtic coven at the age of 22) I was the editor of a national rock magazine and he was the Lizard King, just turned 25. There were suitably apocalyptic and portentous actual sparks when we first shook hands; friends from that instant, we became lovers eight months afterward, and on Midsummer Day 1970 we were hand fasted in a ceremony conducted by the founding priestess and priest of my coven. Thirteen months later Jim was dead in Paris of a heroin overdose, although he was never even a casual user and had never so much as tried the drug before.

And if I seem to linger on his (and my) story, it is only because it illustrates a weakness in the Pagan outlook that is on one hand merely foolish and on the other truly dangerous.

From his death until today, Jim Morrison has been seized and appropriated by the legions of those who know no joy, apparently, unless they are feeding off the creative and karmic energy of those they never knew in life--would have been afraid, indeed, to know in life; in the process reinventing those lives to their own needy specifications--specs that have (surprise!) little or nothing to do with how things actually were.

I see this phenomenon in other places besides the empty side of my marriage bed: people who have built their lives into the voyages of the Starship Enterprise; people who just know their true rightful selves are not regular working stiffs but kings and queens and war-dukes, if only someone other than the Society for Creative Anachronism would confirm it; who are Luke Skywalker "wannabes" wrestling with the Force (and, all too often, losing badly, because they just don't know the power of the Dark Side); who long to take oath as Free Amazons to Marion Zimmer Bradley or who dream of Impressing as dragonriders to Anne McCaffrey.

Before I proceed further, I wish to make it clear that I am not by any means anti-pretend, or anti-fandom, or even anti-fantasy. Indeed, how could I be, for I write it myself: a series of science-fantasy novels called The Keltiad (or, as I and its readers like to think of it, "Kelts In Space"). Fantasy is essential for our overall good health, and we all need at least the minimum daily requirement. But there's a big and critical difference between fantasy and delusion; and whether we choose to get our fantasy ration from the Society for Creative Anachronism or other such groups, or from television, books, or movies, we would do ever well to keep this difference firmly in mind. All is within the power of our own choices, and the balanced inclusion of fantasy into our personal mental menus is most emphatically not what this piece is about.

Ideally, what fantasy should do for us is show us a way (not the way); it's about things as they might be, even as they should be. It is not about things as they are (that's why we call it "fantasy"). It's like going to a kind of Renaissance Fair of the mind for a day (or a lifetime, if the fantasy is good enough) of relaxation and refreshment and enjoyment and removal from our own realities. And this is fine and good. But it is when people start turning other people's work and lives and even souls into some private RenFair playground of their own that the trouble starts.

For what these people are doing--the ones who worship my Jim as a god, the ones who do not just play Klingons but think they are Klingons--is as simple as it is invidious. It is living between two worlds with a vengeance; it is fannishness carried to an unwholesome and unhealthy extreme. At best, it is larceny; at worst, it is psychic vampirism. Either way, it is a sin and a crime, and those upon whose reality or creativity, upon whose life or work (we are talking here about two separate, though closely related, matters), the fannish fangs have fastened are by no means the sole victims. Almost always, the vampire is victim right along with the victimized, and no one is well served.

And all too often, those who commit such sins and crimes, against the living and the dead and their own selves, are Pagans.

As a fantasy writer, I can appreciate the temptations we as creators put before those who admire our work (I'm a fan myself, of much of the very work I speak of in this piece, so I know how it feels from both sides of the fence). Here comes along a nice attractive fantasy universe, just the sort of world we'd all like to be living in given half a chance, a few crabs here and there maybe but by and large a fine and pleasant place: all the hard work already done, everything lined out--the physical plant, the rules, the characters good and evil, the history and languages and clothes, the conflicts and alliances and systems of weapons and morality. I don't blame anyone for longing to move in, because a created fantasy world rests, if the fantasy is even halfway a good one, on solid mythological and psychological underpinnings. And the author or creator, if he or she is even halfway a good one, will have taken great pains and put in staggering amounts of time and labor to have made it so, so that it will be real and true, so that it will be attractive to readers or viewers.

The problem arises when those readers and viewers start to think that mere admiration for the creation vouchsafes them some sort of bizarre entitlement: as if by right of their enjoyment of the book or the film or the TV series (or the music, as in Jim's case), they have been handed blanket permission to lift whatever elements they might fancy for their own personal use; and, by extension, to further warp and distort those same elements from their intended context, very often clean against the stated wishes and intentions of the creators. And the greater the admiration, the more license the lifters seem to think this confers.

The other side of this debased coin is when the exact same thing is done to real people: when real (and usually safely dead, hence unable to protest or fight back or take legal or chivalric action) individuals are used as the source for the theft. And make no mistake, theft is what it is. Not a nice word, I know, but then it's not a nice concept either.

In fact, there are two distinct sorts of thievery going on here: the theft of a fictional truth and creation (let's use "Star Trek" as the example of this, since almost all of us are well familiar with its components); and, far more serious by my lights, the theft of a real person's persona and reality (Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis--let's use Jim as the example here, since he is the only one I know personally), feeding one's own inadequacies at that person's expense and at the expense of those who know and love him.

I think we can all agree that, as a rule, theft is a bad thing. (This is a good commandment no matter whose god originally promulgated it.) And theft of this sort--creativity theft, soul theft--has most particular repercussions on many, many planes, which we as Pagans cannot and should not dare to deprecate or ignore. Because when you are guilty of this kind of theft, you have not only stolen from another being, you have--listen up now--stolen from yourself. Your theft has been accomplished at the expense to yourself of your creativity, your reality; indeed, at the expense of your own soul.

When people take a template not theirs to begin with--tinkering with it, filling it with their own neediness, wrenching it from its original purpose and its creator's control--they lose track of what is rightfully theirs, their own imagination, and they fasten instead onto something that is not theirs and never was theirs from the beginning. In so doing, they prevent themselves from exploring the unsatisfied creativity that led them to do this in the first place. It is a subtle and particularly vicious cycle: If they weren't creative to begin with (since it's never the dull, stupid ones who do this), they would not be tempted to play with other people's creativity, and if they didn't embroider and obsess so on the creations of others, they'd be able to explore and fulfill their own.

We resonate to fantasy or science-fiction (or to artists like Jim) because the artists or creators have carefully made sure we shall. Even when the foundation archetypes have been "dumbed down" for mass consumption, as so often they are to meet the lowest common denominator of TV and movies, the residue of power cannot be tampered with, and remains active and alight. Who among us, after all, does not thrill with Luke Skywalker when Obi-wan first speaks to him of the Force? We have no more idea, at that moment, of what this Force thing is any more than young Luke does; but we know, as does he, that it is something of vast and critical and life­changing importance, and not to him alone. And we thrill to this in awed unison with Luke and with one another not only because the archetypal foundations are rock-solid but because George Lucas worked his fanny off to make it so.

Or, we were entranced at Doors concerts, frozen in our seats by the sheer power of psychic violence, when Jim broke on through by means of the music and took us with over the edge, showed us what was there--demons and glory, darkness and light, but all ours, and all us--and then brought us back again (I was there! I know! You'll have to take my word for it). And the thrill lay not only in the danger and the perception and, yes, the magic of the moment, but also in the excited speculation--indeed, the certain knowledge--that we would not come back unchanged, and neither would Jim.

And all this is as it should be, this is as the creators intend. But what no creator ever intends, unconsciously or otherwise, is that the beholders of his or her art should attempt to co-opt that art simply because those beholders are too damn lazy of brain or sluggish of spirit to do any thinking or seeking or creating of their own. The Holy Grail (and, yes, there are many Grails . . .) was not found by sitting in front of the tube and obsessing on Trek; the world will not be changed by staring slacker-jawed at MTV; work and query are ever the watchwords. Whom, indeed, does the Grail serve?

What we have here is the tyranny of misapplied imagination, the profligate waste of creativity and insight, all squandered on something stolen. The evil of it cannot be overestimated, and it can be fatal, even epidemic, if left chronically untreated. J.R.R. Tolkien, who understood better than just about anyone else how this works, was blunt and plain-spoken about what our response should be: We are all in prison, he wrote, our spirits shackled by the money-grubbers and the soul police and the time-servers. If we are creative persons, it is our bounden duty to escape this, and we must take as many people with us as we can.

Now this is a high and noble destiny for the humble fantasist, who wishes only to tell pleasing stories to entertain herself and like-minded others; but one, I think, we all strive both consciously and unconsciously to fulfill--not only fantasists but all artists. The pathology sets in when those whose escapes we are abetting take the escape itself for the reality into which we intend that escape to lead them.

Full-time escape is the biggest prison there is. If your idea of a good time is to put on a Klingon tire-tread headpiece every now and then and go around saying "PataQ!" that's one thing, and I say "Qapla'!" to you all. But when, for instance, people start incorporating Klingon words and concepts into Pagan rituals, giving some sort of spurious zomboid life to what was after all a thing originally created for (a) profit, (b) entertainment, and (c) Gene Roddenberry's personal artistic satisfaction, then I think I have to say, right along with Bill Shatner, "Get a life!" And I would add, "Your own life--not Jim's, not Worf's, not anybody else's life but your own."

Where, after all, are the glory, the freedom, the personal truth and honor, in recreating (stealing) someone else's vision, always imperfectly (since it is not yours to begin with, and, to be blunt, you are most likely not so talented as its creator or you would already be out there creating something of your own) and always unjustifiably? It is no freedom, but purest slavery, to make your life into a Xeroxed version of another's creative achievement. And it is nothing real.

A thousand million times graver, where are the honor and truth in stealing someone else's life, his soul even, for your own use? To turn a created fantasy into a life for you to live (out of fear to live your own, or just out of boredom) is one thing; it is quite another to hijack without permission or compunction or even a sense of wrong a stranger's very history and existence--past and present, work, loves, hates, marriage, even death--and proceed to change it all from truth and fact into a delusional construct to support your private needs. After all, how much of a step was it, really, for that smirking little obscenity of an assassin, from admiring John Lennon to thinking he was John Lennon to killing the real John Lennon because only one John Lennon at a time can exist, like matter and antimatter... It's by no means so far a stretch as one might think; and is it a difference in kind, or merely in degree?

I run into this sort of thing all the time with "fans" of Jim: not the ones who admire him honestly as a songwriter and musician and poet, but the ones who have builded him an altar out of beer cans and attitude and a vague, deeply erroneous idea, if you can call it that, that he is some sort of spiritual brother. Jim was many, many things, and no one knows that better than I, but one thing he absolutely was not was some sort of god manquÈ. His worst fear was to be made into an icon: Jim was one of the great iconoclasts of all time, one of the great image-breakers; his avowed (publicly and privately) purpose was to show people that what he was doing, they too could do--not the drinking and the drugs and the various wretched excesses, but the moving out, the breaking through, the finding of one's own Path. And however many his own lapses along that Path have been, his life and soul and art and being were all dedicated in the end to one thing only.

And that one thing was God/dess. Jim had a deity-sized hole in his life that he was trying to fill until the day he died; one of the reasons he chose as he did to wed in the Craft was that he found in our ways something that spoke powerfully to him, something he had always known, something he had been moving toward all his lives. In his early days of rock stardom, he generally described it (when the interviewer was deemed capable of comprehending) as shamanism; and it was--all the elements were present and accounted for, and being deliberately and consciously utilized by Jim for their rightful shamanistic purposes. But it was more than that, too; and when he met me, and I began to instruct him in the ways of the Craft, he also began joyfully to accept as real the mighty archetypes he had been, half-knowingly if wholly correctly, espousing all along, and to espouse me along with them.

A vulnerable soul himself, Jim became the focus for souls both far needier and far more ruthless than he, and so he has been ever since his death--a sort of poster boy for the psychic fringies. The transition was now complete, from Jim's truth to their fantasy of Jim, his actual life becoming, in the process, an inconsequential and largely inconvenient fuel cell for the juggernaut of iconization that was already rumbling down the road. He became larger than life, but be had never stopped being a man; and were he still alive, he would be appalled and furious at the iconization, and with the iconizers themselves. (In fact, he is steamed about it; believe me, I know...) It's not even about the real Jim at all anymore; it's about the self-serving perception of him put forth by those who never even knew him, for purposes of their own. And it is not real, and it is not good.

I have gone on at such length about Jim and his worshipers/vampires because I hope thereby to make the larger point. Historically, no one probably ever asked the Sacred King's wife what she thought about her consort's whole deal, or, if they did, her answer has not come down to us. But let me tell you on her behalf, she is deeply not pleased. As a Witch and priestess myself, one who has seen this sort of thing in far too many places and people, I am more than slightly alarmed.

Pagans seem more susceptible than most to this aberration: this spiritual pilfering or soul plunder, depending on how deep it goes. Almost none of those guilty of it, though, ever see it as such, and are probably even now self­righteously aghast to think I am actually accusing them of it. Because, oh, you know, they are never the ones, it's those other Pagans; they themselves are perfectly justified in their practices...

Well, you cannot dress up fannishness to pass it off as the Craft. What shall we say, then, of those Pagans who invoke the Goddess in the persona of Stevie Nicks or k.d. lang--two people very much alive, of course, who might well be expected to have extremely strong views about this sort of thing? What gives these Pagans the right--no, the absolutely staggering hubris--to think they can just pillage the ranks of the living and the dead, looting what they like, what they find attractive and resonant, from anyone at all? What makes them think, if indeed you can call it thinking, that this is a practice the Goddess would sanction--far less the soul being so raped?

We probably all know people who do this; perhaps some of us even are people who do this--all those Rainbow Galadriel Silverwindmistdancers, all those Arcturus Darkstar Raventhunderers (oh, sorry, I meant the Lord Arcturus Darkstar Raventhunderers...). There's nothing religious going on here; what it is is fannishness to the max, the side of fannishness I personally like least. Maybe even the side the Goddess likes least, since it also reduces Her (or Him, if we include the God here, though He doesn't seem to come in for anywhere near as much of it as Mom does) to the level of, well, Stevie Nicks. (I venture to say it's perhaps also the side Jesus likes least--fannishness is by no means exclusive to Pagans, you have only to observe fundamentalist Christians for about fourteen seconds to pick up on that--all those wussy mooncalf pictures, all those excruciatingly embarrassing, all-but­sexually explicit hymns...)

In a very real and very alarming sense, it's obsession with the Goddess (or Jesus) the same way it' s obsession with Marilyn or Elvis; and it is not good. Believe it. And be afraid.

As Pagans we already stand apart and removed from the mainstream world, by virtue of our own conscious choice (and all of us have made it, all of us have come to it sooner or later down the years). There are many reasons for this, of course, and whether or not this is a good and needful thing is not here under discussion.

But to then make a second, totally volitional, further withdrawal into what is after all a mere construct--whether it be the Kingdom of Caid or the Weyrs of Pern, Amber or Middle-earth, Darkover or Bajor, Tatooine or my own Keltia or even, gods save us, a Doors or Led Zeppelin or Hendrix "tribute" band (it's no tribute, and don't you ever let me catch you thinking it is!)--or, worse, into the very life fabric of James Dean or Elvis Presley, or now, alas, probably, River Phoenix or Kurt Cobain, cannot but be wholly destructive in the end, both to the one making the removal and to the ones into whose helpless reality the intruder is busy relocating uninvited.

The rationalization usually nervously offered is that such altar-building is really "just like ancestor-worship." That would be just fine with Jim as well as with me if only it were true. But it's not.

Just because someone has done something you greatly admire does not give you the right to appropriate them. You can admire them, certainly; in fact, that's what they and you both are there for. Honor them, by all means, as guiding spirits and revered dead, if such is what they merit of you. But do not dare try to steal their souls and lives and truths for purposes of your own. That will only end in tears, karmic cooties for you, big-time. These people were/are real; they do not exist simply to serve your fantasies, to be used as you please, with no regard for them as souls, no respect for their karma--or for that of the ones they left behind, if their crossing has already been made.

If the Goddess is too remote and inaccessible for you to worship except all tricked out like k.d. lang, then you don't deserve to be worshiping Her in the first place. If you think it's cool to worship my handfasted lord as a god, don't come crying to me when you get blown away (and you will be) by your own bad karma and his defenses (and he is defended).

In these dark days of superhype and media-fueled feeding-frenzy celebrity worship, far too many hapless souls seem to get derailed on the gleaming, often bloody tracks of the Personality Express--a fate deleterious not only to the derailees but to the creative engines as well. In the old days, syncretism was the norm: You had your basic local, common-or-garden goddess or god, and so did the folks over in the next 'hood--which was probably Canaan or Moab or someplace. Sooner or later, with to-ing and fro-ing, bits and bobs of your deities would graft painlessly onto the gods of your neighbors, and vice versa; or one particular deity would gather unto him- or herself the neat or nasty attributes of all the other ones. Until after a few hundred years what you had was a generic Goddess or God being worshiped over a fair-sized chunk of Middle Eastern or Celtic or Aryan or Norse real estate. Regional differences would still exist, but the larger geographic deity-entity would prevail, and serve as common holy ground for any number of folks.

Today, gods and goddesses having become generally unfashionable, it seems that in our spiritual hunger, so long unappeased, we are being fed instead a kind of media syncretism. A poor substitute; but nothing else, to my mind (save sheer unadulterated nuttiness), can explain the Goddess clothed in the aspect of Stevie or k.d., and we can all only hope that these ladies' spiritual bodyguards are doing their job in keeping the vampire vibes off them.

Because, you know, it's not a significantly large step from worshiping the Goddess as Stevie Nicks to worshiping Stevie Nicks as a goddess. (Nothing against Stevie, but come on now.) We see how it has already happened with Jim; and lest you should think I do protest too much, well, let me tell you how it is...

There are covens and other groups of various Craft persuasions, and solitaries from Berkeley to Baltimore, who have elevated him to full-fledged godhood. There have been violent psychic attacks, innumerable seance and channeling efforts, more magical invocations and spirit ripoffs than you can shake a stang at, and more than one actual grave robbing attempt (thank Goddess for those hidden cameras trained on his grave 24 hours a day). And I can't begin to tell you how many people have written me to excitedly inform me that Jim's just chatted with them via Ouija. There are Satanists who think he's simply too cute for words and wasted on the Light; there's even something that bills itself as the First Church of the Doors (and, oh, wouldn't I just love to nail a few theses to their front, uh, portal). And this is where the karma of obsession will lead you, if you are not vigilant and grounded; as we can see, it's a very long, very rocky road from just happily playing Klingons.

Getting back onto the archetype trail: I think the problem we have with archetypes and other paradigmatic fauna is that media practice has condemned them to promiscuity, has made them too accessible, too available for syncretic seizure under a sort of Humpty-Dumpty Law as interpreted by People magazine. The easier it is to access a particular archetype, the sooner that archetype is shunted aside for the media-ized version of itself--invariably a vastly inferior version, dumbed­down beyond belief, a baseborn clone offspring of the unholy alliance between slavering media and mawing audience. One can go on hoping that people will be so turned on and inspired by the clone that they will seek out the original, but one often will hope in vain; there is no control here, only a terrible sinking feeling that the copy will ultimately supplant its original, like some kudzu vine of the spirit choking off the hapless host-stock, and nothing at all can be done about it. There is as yet no weed-killer that can prevail against this sort of rot.

But, you say, what about these archetypes? What of those who may have started life as historical personages but who ended up as myths and social matrices--people like King Arthur or Robin Hood or Herne the Hunter, or even Yeshua ben Yusef? Was there maybe even some great and forceful Mesopotamian matriarch, her name something like Astarte or Ishtar or Ashtaroth or Atargatis, whose long-ago apotheosis gave us that Goddess of so many (and so suspiciously similar) names? What about Medb--was she just a Bronze-Age Celtic Marilyn? What if any parameters do we have here? What is the minimum decent interval before a person can become a paradigm?

That's a tough one. I write books that retell Arthurian and other, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, Celtic legends, placing them in an outer-space, far-future format. The myths I have so far tinkered with have had their being firmly seated in the realm of pure legend; but who really knows for certain, at this late date, how pure that legend may originally have been? Surely there is a fire-seed of truth at the blazing heart of Arthur's story: some local king, or Romanized war-lord, called, maybe, Riothamus, or Macsen, or Ambrosius Aurelianus; so then have I not done to him and his reality exactly the same thing that people are even now doing to my Jim and his, or even ours?

I don't think so. To begin with, Arthur is long dead, and so is his wife, and so are all his friends; Jim may be dead, but I'm still here, and so are the rest of us, not to mention Stevie and k.d. and Priscilla Presley and Yoko Ono. This alone seems to be reason enough, or so I would like to think, to any right-minded Pagan, to stand away, at least until we too had joined our mates, made our own crossings; or better yet, until all that generation hath passed away.

Too, I venture the opinion that 1500 years is a safe and respectful distance, and 30 years is absolutely not. But even if the distance is fifteen centuries, if the person in question is a genuine, documented, veridical historical figure, whose existence can be indisputably corroborated, I say hands off; and I will abide by that, at least where my own work is concerned, no matter how attractive a subject for fictionalization he or she might be. And, hear me Goddess, never in a million lifetimes as a subject for religious fandom.

If, on the other hand, the individual's origins or bona fides or latter end are so far lost in the mists of time as to render moot his or her life facts and manner of death (no contemporary chronicler ever mentioned Arthur by name, none ever reported how Owein Glyndwr died), then I say, with equal conviction, all's fair. So: It would be okay to mess about with King Arthur, but not with King Henry VIII, and it would really not be okay to mess about with THE King... One must never confuse or conflate quasi­mythology with current events; so if you insist on mythologizing or deifying Jim Morrison, come back in some other incarnation about two thousand years from now and do it then.

What it all comes back to is that tyranny of imagination gone awry, that failure of active thought: when something that should be used to set you free becomes instead a weapon wielded by yourself against yourself. Imagination wrongly or wastefully or inappropriately applied will only imprison you more securely than no imagination at all.

It may have all begun quite honestly and harmlessly enough, with admiration and genuine esteem, invariably for good cause. But it so easily progresses to obsession, and thence to revisionism--remaking the object of the obsession to fit your own needs--and at last it becomes out-and-out denial of anything about the obsessional object that does not fit the parameters you've imposed upon it; anything that does not, in plain words, validate your fantasy of what never happened and your denial of what actually did. This is not only nuts, it's evil, and it will hurt you, in ways you can't even begin to imagine.

Because you cannot use others' lives or artistic or spiritual achievements as iconic shortcuts to your own enlightenment: The Goddess doesn't like cheats. The selfishness, the plagiarism of spirit and art, the uncaringness, the nasty karma you are piling up for yourself, the undeserved burden you are placing on the obsessional object--all lead not to enlightenment but down into the dark. One must earn one's own reality for oneself, not borrow someone else's no matter how attractive it may appear. And what is well and honestly earned will never fail to pay off, big-time, in the end--or in the next life.

Fail to do this, and you are not merely living between two worlds but bouncing between many different ones, never truly at home in any, no world your rightful and deserved domain. It is laziness of a cosmic, and karmic, nature; it is a wrong done to yourself and to a fellow creature; and it is an insult to the gods. Is it evil? You bet. Is it stupid? Sure. Is it inevitable? Only if you allow it to be. In the name of the Goddess, no more.


Patricia Kennealy­Morrison was born in New York City and has lived there for all her adult life. She grew up in a strict, traditional Irish Catholic family who, not surprisingly, have a long history of Second Sight and other occult talents, and does not remember a time when she was not fascinated by and deeply drawn to Pagan tenets and beliefs. She became actively involved with the Craft more than thirty years ago and was initiated into a Celtic coven in 1967, becoming high priestess two years later on the founding priestess's retirement. She majored in journalism at St. Bonaventure University, where she found confirmation in her Pagan faith, and graduated from Harpur College (now Binghamton University) in 1967 with a B.A. in English literature. As editor of Jazz & Pop magazine from 1968-71, she was one of the first women rock music critics.

On June 24, 1970, she married Jim Morrison in a traditional Celtic handfasting ceremony. Morrison, who was deeply interested in the Craft, had planned to be initiated as a Witch himself on his return from Paris in the fall of 1971, he and his wife to lead the coven together as high priest and high priestess, but he died under suspicious circumstances in Paris on July 3, 1971.

Leaving the rock world forever, Kennealy-Morrison began a science-fantasy series, The Keltiad, including The Silver Branch, The Copper Crown, The Throne of Scone, The Hawk's Gray Feather, The Oak above the Kings, The Hedge of Mist and Blackmantle. She is also the author of a memoir, Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison, published in 1992.

She was a consultant to director Oliver Stone on his 1991 movie The Doors, in which she was portrayed by actress Kathleen Quinlan while she herself played the high priestess of her former coven.

She has appeared on numerous television and radio shows and written for publication outside her novels on topics that interest or incense her. She is a member of Mensa and a Dame of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, the ancient order of Knights Templar, into which she was invested in Scotland in 1990 at historic Rosslyn Chapel.

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