It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our long-standing Executive Director of the Foundation. Mo Maxfield has served as a Board Member and Executive Director for 18 years since the origination of our Foundation in 1996. We will miss her extraordinary spirit and consistent creative contribution to the Foundation’s mission and programs. – Angeles Arrien
Melinda “Mo” Maxfield
September 17, 1940 – January 9, 2014
Mo Maxfield left this life on January 9, 2014, after several years of failing health. She was born Melinda Cemira Harrison on September 17, 1940, in Waco, Texas, and while a counselor at Camp Longhorn in Texas, she met Bob (Robert Roy) Maxfield, whom she married in 1964. Before the birth of her daughters Melinda and Mary Jane, Mo taught high school English and did research for Encyclopedia Britannica, where she first encountered the subject of shamanism.
Mo’s interests then turned to spirituality and psychology. She began exploring astrology and became a competent astrologer herself. She went on to receive a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology. Her doctoral dissertation on indigenous drumming practices at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Menlo Park has made a significant contribution to the field of ethno-musicology. Her research has been cited in numerous journals and books. She proved through EEG tests that shamanic drumming has neuro-physiological effects that put subjects into a natural altered state of consciousness. Her doctoral dissertation was later developed into a book and CD, “Drumming the I Ching,” which is currently used in hospitals, cancer wards, and schools because of the healing impact of reducing pain and significantly assisting people with ADD and dyslexia, stroke recovery, and other medical issues.
Mo was known for her extensive work with indigenous peoples around the world: including Native American medicine men, shamans from both Mongolia and South America, and Maori elders. Mo has made a significant contribution to the preservation of indigenous wisdoms and their varied healing modalities.
She was executive director of the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research, and a board member on both the Amazon Conservation Team and The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Mary Jane, her younger daughter, tragically succumbed to leukemia while a freshman at Saratoga High School in 1986. Mo is survived by her ex-husband Bob, her daughter Melinda, son-in-law Dave Hatchett, and her two beloved granddaughters, Mary Jane and Rowan.
Mo will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and colleagues. A private memorial service will be held. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Mary Jane Maxfield Memorial Fund at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, The Amazon Conservation Team, the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research, or The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Condolences may be sent to Mo’s daughter: Melinda Maxfield Hatchett, PO Box 1123, Homewood, CA 96141