Monika Roleff (Imogen Crest)

Work of Monika Roleff

Rosetti's Beloved
Lemurian Artefacts
White Owl Island Photographs
Golden Grove
Golden Grove Gallery
Imogen Crest at the Hermitage
Bath House
Hemitage Solitude
Lemurian Abbey


Archelogical Treasures returned to Hermitage
Frankincense Road
Archelogical Treasures for Trade
Market of Senses at Suakin
Imogen Crest at Pilgrims Well
The Black Madonna

Crest Hermitage Nature Store

Imogen Crest offers a wonderful collection of apparel and collectible items in her rooms at Cafe Press Nature Store. Support her artistic endeavours by purchasing here.

Hermitage Publications

The Amazon Queen, le Enchanteur, Baba Yaga and Heather Blakey each go to Hermitage Publications when they want unique publishing ideas. Imogen Crest (Monika Roleff) provides personal advice and creative suggestions for travellers on the Silk Road.

return to Soul Food Cafe


Imogen Crest takes to the Hermitage

The harried halls,
the market stalls,
the many balls,
the crying calls -

Weary of the
corridor of war,
through history,
I take to the

I sit and learn
what is of value,
thought of as odd
to spend time in
myself as One.

The oak shields
my stone sill, the
eagle sits on the
tower, the wind
brings a banner
of gifts to me.

Odd it is not -
to seek what is
true. It is odd
not to, if
you know what I

Yours, if only for now,
- Imogen Crest.

A self-confessed workaholic at times, I have been writing for thirteen years in the world of novels, hopefully now on the verge of publication. Fascinated with turn of the 19th century thought and life, this is the period in which I write. The scene is always set somewhere in Victoria, Australia, the home state I know best and was born in, and many hours have been spent collating photo files, pictures, books, biographies, journals of country research trips, and having many a fascinating conversation. All of this creates a picture of the times, which have their origins firmly entrenched in history. I believe that everything is related and is birthed from the time that precedes it. Myth, psychology, personal dilemmas, and social mores and superstitions all feature in my work. I love colour, rich history and great stories, hence my liking for 18th and 19th century authors, the favourites have to be E.M. Forster and Jane Austen for people portraits. George Eliot and those like her, our local Miles Franklin and Henry Handel Richardson all feature in my rich tapestry of thought.

A background in textiles and management led me to an appreciation for art and commerce, then onto administration, studying writing workshops and a Diploma of Arts, leading to an appreciation of the many different kinds. Various esoteric and Jungian readings added food for my soul and I fell in love with writers like Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Marion Woodman, and the book that really changed my life was “Myth of the Goddess” by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford. Jay Ramsay’s poetic writings on the process of Alchemy interested and inspired me. I found this other world drew me in until it took a sabbatical to really focus on my authentic life path. It was a risk but one I was prepared to take, no longer to have art and soul riding second place to work and commerce. What I read changed my life, and I hope what I write will similarly give something back to the pool that nurtured me. Writing, photography, women’s mysteries, and healing is my daily practice. My father and mother gave me a rich European history to draw from. My father is a tenor and taught me about music appreciation, so I love opera, music and myth.

My mother taught me about ancient civilizations from a very early age, and I have always been captivated by Egypt, Rome and Greece. She is very clever with the arts and has worked with copper, enamelling, clay and gemstones. A large family surrounds me, and we were taught to think and express, to imagine and play as children. They divorced when I was seventeen, and things were difficult for a while, but I always managed to go back to the basics of what lay there in the foundations. This has taught me compassion and understanding of people who have been through similar experiences, and also taught me to be realistic about life. My great grandfather was a teacher at a school in Germany, conducted male choirs, and fostered the miniature garden society. This society made community gardens for city dwellers, with small animals for people to gather in. There is a strong involvement in arts and community work in our family, and also in writing. My uncle wrote the history of Mercedes Benz in Australia and my brother-in-law produces and narrates history videos. Music also figures among the descendents of both clans on each side.

So, it was with great fortune I arrived at the gates of the Lemurian Abbey, what seems like many moons ago. Actually, I felt like I was coming home. Welcomed so warmly by the Abbess and the residents, I slipped gratefully into the creative regions of this wonderland. My love of nature must have come from my great grandfather, who was conscious of man’s need for green and to have creatures around him, also led me to study the healing properties of plants. Nature is a wonderland of endless surprises and spiritual growth, which drew me magnetically to the nature mystics, ancient and not so ancient. Emerson, Thoreau and Suzuki are great impressions. It was inevitable I would develop into the Hermit, Imogen Crest, who now runs the Hermitage and makes sure the green “sometimes” solitude is always there to nurture and provide respite for the weary traveller on the Soul Food Silk Road. Feel safe travellers, as you are guided by trusty hands in every region. Welcome to another world.