Never having heard of Petra, in Jordan, Dorothy (Chickee to her friends) went there on a whim. While exploring Petra with her family in the 1970s, Chickee found herself profoundly affected by the ruins of the ancient city. She became fascinated with Petra's ancient people. She wondered what their arts for living were like, as well as their traditions for death. At the time of her visit in Jordan her goals were modest. One goal was to encourage her sons to perceive themselves as global citizens by way of their father's Middle Eastern heritage. She also had always hoped to provide her sons with a well-rounded cultural and academic education. Seven years after her trip Chickee had her first encounter with a feminine Presence. And so her dialogues with the Goddess began. Recognizing that she needed an authentic vocabulary to articulate these experiences, she entered areas of inquiry beyond what she learned as an undergraduate. As a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Delaware, Chickee received an endowed fellowship for a Master's degree in English Literature. Her dialogues with the Presence led her to dip into ancient history, archaeology, depth psychology, quantum physics, transpersonal psychology and the evolution of consciousness, and additional study of ancient religion and mythology.
In recent years Chickee attended both Jean Houston's Mystery School and her Social Artistry Training Program. Chickee herself has created programs around the theme of the Divine Feminine, one titled: "Coming Home to Our Bodies: The Radiant Body of the Goddess." Chickee says, "My hope for readers of Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power is that they will feel they are experiencing the voice of the Goddess. Every woman is part of Her Story, emerging in our times, a story which includes affirmation of women's wisdom and the spiritual power of the feminine."
Family continues to be vital to Chickee. She, her husband, two sons, daughter-in-law, and two grand-daughters have the good fortune to live in the same city where they frequently enjoy each other's company. Books continue to be among her best companions, as they have from childhood. Chickee Atalla is currently developing a sequel to Conversations with the Goddess.