page is dedicated to noted pagan leaders who have contributed the most to
the International Pagan Movement and have passed on to Gwlad yr
Hav (Summerland) We are losing a great resource of individuals who
were there in the beginning of the resurgence of Paganism. Don't let
any more of our elders die without recording their story. This
Obituary is a combination of The Dynion Mwyn History page (www.dynionmwyn.net/SecretHistory.html
) and a list compiled by
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, George Knowles, Angie Buchanan, and
many others in the Pagan community
What is Remembered, Lives…
Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders and Elders
Since records began Samhain has been considered a night of
occult power, when the veil between the unseen world and ours is at its
thinnest, a night when the spirits of our departed are free to roam. As
such, Samhain has always been considered the best time to honour our
ancestors and other departed souls. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, George Knowles,
Angie Buchanan, and many others in the Pagan community have been working
together to construct a list of contemporary departed “Pagan Founders,
Pioneers and Elders,” those who have died over the past 100 years. These are
the people whose dedication and inspiration has helped shape the foundations
of our beliefs to-date. Please all light a candle this Samhain and let us
remember them. ....Oberon
[PLEASE CIRCULATE. IF YOU HAVE ANY NAMES TO ADD, PLEASE LET OBERON AND
Jonas Jaunius Trinkūnas (Krivis) (founder of
Lithuania’s Pagan revival Romuva; ethnologist and folklorist; Vilnius,
Stanley Modryzk (Founder of Pan Pagan Festival, Chicago, &
Witches International Craft Association [WICA]) (8/15/??-1/28/2014)
Donald Michael Kraig (Grey Council; author, Modern Magick
& Modern Sex Magick)
“Starwood is a big college of alternative thinking and
alternative spirituality that suddenly appears like a carnival or
circus. The tents go up, it stays there for a week, and then BOOM it’s
gone, til next year. We have 140 or more classes from 9:30 in the
morning till 6:15 in the evening–sometimes as many as 12 at a time. You
can learn about Druidism, Ceremonial Magic, Wicca, Tibetan Buddhism, and
Native American Practices. We have classes on psychedelia and
psychology, and different “movement systems” like tai chi, yoga and
aikido. Past speakers have included Timothy Leary, quantum physicist
Fred Allen Wolf, Paul Krassner, and Steven Gaskin, who created the Farm,
the biggest hippie commune in America. It’s all included in the cost of
As Rosenbaum puts it, he was
“a student of an eclectic array of
spiritual paths, philosophies, and illuminating pursuits,” and it was
that wide-ranging desire to experience and know that drove his life. In
addition to his work with ACE and Starwood, he was
Robert Anton Wilson’s lecture agent
for six years during the 1980s, played guitar & percussion with Ian Corrigan
and Victoria Ganger in the bands Chameleon and Starwood Sizzlers, and was
published (and interviewed) in a number of Pagan-themed publications.
Tributes to Rosenbaum
are already flooding his Facebook profile, but I think the most apt was
posthumous status update from Jeff Rosenbaum himself, which I think does
a good job of capturing his spirit. Quote: “At 6:23 pm EST tonight I
crossed over and left my body behind. My friends were by my side, the
Firesign Clones were playing on the TV. It was calm and peaceful. Thank you
all for your good wishes and support. Don’t worry about me, I’m fine.”
What is remembered, lives. ADDENDUM:
Here’s an obituary written by close friend Ian Corrigan.
Taliesin of Avalon
Isle (David Osley) (Highlands of Tennessee Samhain Gatherings)
The Celtic Knotwork
Ferret Graphic dividers below, were drawn by Alicia Folberth for an SCA
publication about 15 years ago. More of her art can be found at the
Panthean Temple -
Thomas T. Clauser
(Radagast the Bard) (2/18/1944-1/20/2013)
(Fellowship of the Spiral Path; Elder of Bay Area Pagan community)
Deena Celesta Butta (Fellowship of Isis
Madeleine McPherson (Founder of several covens including
Sanctuary of the Crescent Moon, Rochester, NY) (6/23/1965-2/13/2013
Captain Dennis Presser (Circle Sanctuary
environmentalist, foundering member Order of the Pentacle) (11/10/58-2/16/13)
Quentin Rasmussen (High Tor Gardnerian
Lineage & various other Covens) 3/30/2013)
Bronwynn Forrest Torgerson (author of One Witch's Way)
Stuart Wilde (author of over 20 books on Spirituality & Personal
Development; considered one of the greatest metaphysicians who ever lived;
founder of the Taos metaphysical tradition) (9/24/1946-5/1/2013)
(Laura Janesdaughter) (ArchPriestess, Temple of Isis Pelagia) (??-5/25/2013)
Dal Burns (Gypsy
Stargiver) (Gwydion’s partner on Annwfn 1980-’82) (7/2/1951-6/5/2013)
Craig Pierce (Elder, Iron Web Coven of
Austin, TX) (1957-6/20/2013)
Tom Davis (Elder, Gaia Tradition of Austin, TX) (7/18/1945-6/27/2013)
(Magickal Cauldron and Goddess Gather—Mendocino, CA. Astrologer, Priestess,
Wisdom Keeper, singer, songwriter, radio personality KMUD) (10/3/1943-9/9/2013)
Moonbloode (Andraat) (NROOGD, OTO—San Francisco) (1/6/1947-9/14/2013
Stephany Lyn Rasmussen (Joyce & Quentin
Rasmussen’s last child; all were instrumental in the 1970s working and teaching
with Gardnerian covens & groups) (4/10/1960-10/10/2013)
Jim Ware (Morgyn)
(CAW, Chicago. President of Illinois Mycological
(prominent Australian Pagan author of several books on Shamanism including
Don Juan, Mescalito & Modern Magic) (10/1/1947-10/15/2013)
(Pathways New Age Books Music & Gifts, St Louis; OZ’s first Craft teacher)
Dawn Decker (Feri Trad; major Annwfn supporter)
(author of When the Drummers Were Women) (1951-10/28/2013)
Lady Olivia Robertson (Co-Founder Fellowship of Isis) (4/13/1917-11/14/2013)
"The Goddess is not just the
female version of God. She represents a different concept," says Merlin Stone,
author of "When God Was a Woman." While the Judeo-Christian God is transcendent,
the Goddess is located "within each individual and all things in nature,"
she says. When God Was a Woman Time Magazine 1991 Merlin Stone
1931 – 2011 (born 9/27/1931 and died 2/23/2011)
In Search of Merlin Stone
by Bobbie Grennier
Marilyn C. "Merlin" Stone passed away on February 23, 2011
from complications caused by an extended illness. She was born September 27,
1931 in Brooklyn, New York.
Merlin loved education and was a devoted student. She
attended New York State College where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in
Art Education, Albright Art School, California College of Arts and Crafts where
she earned her Doctorate of Philosophy, and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England
for five years of independent studies.
Merlin Stone is best remembered for her impressive literary
body of work. From 1971-1976, she traveled to Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Crete,
Greece, among others, where she uncovered the lost Goddess culture. She wrote
about her discoveries in two landmark books: When God was a Woman (originally titled The Paradise Papers)
and Ancient Mirrors of
Womanhood – Our Goddess and Heroine Heritage.
She also wrote a third book called Three
Thousand Years of Racism, and she was also
published in many magazines and anthologies.
She was a noted American Artist and Sculptor, working her
craft from 1958-1967. Merlin Stone’s artwork still stands throughout the state
of New York, and she received a personal letter of thanks from Robert F. Kennedy
for the loan of her art work which was on display in his New York City office.
To say that Merlin Stone changed the religious landscape is
an understatement. Her work influenced the budding Women’s Studies Departments
with thoughts of women’s theology and history. She fostered new thinking
throughout the academic world. In the same way that Marija Gimbutas gave women
their own historical record of artifacts, Merlin Stone gave women their own
Merlin Stone was recognized by liberal thinkers. She once
wrote, "…Yoko [Ono] and John [Lennon] had taken turns reading "When God was a
Woman" to each other. I knew they had the book because I had been asked to
autograph a copy for them. …it touched me deeply."
There is so much more to say about Merlin Stone’s life,
much of it we are just beginning to understand because Merlin led a very private
existence. With the help of her life-partner, Len Schneir, and her two
daughters, Cynthia Davis and Jenny Hirst, we are creating three memorial
1) a DVD documentary called "In Search of Merlin Stone"
chronicling her life.
2) a book of the same title featuring remembrances,
personal influences and white papers, all focused on Merlin and her body of
3) The Benefit Memorial Celebration on September 24, 2011
in Clearwater, Florida.
The Benefit Memorial Celebration will take place at the
Unitarian Universalist Church, 2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater, FL 33764. This
celebration of Merlin Stone’s life is in production, and updated information
will be posted on the www.MerlinStone.net website. You may also donate to Merlin
Stone’s Memorial Fund at the www.MerlinStone.net website. All donations are
"I want the world to remember her for the goddess she was,"
said her life-partner Len Schneir. "I must admit that it took me a long time to
finally believe and fully trust the Goddess and Merlin; everything I am is
because of her wisdom."
If you have a Merlin Stone story, photo, audio recording,
video recording to share, etc. please contact Z Budapest. (www.ZBudapest.com)
The September 24th Memorial will be streamed live onto the Internet; details
will be announced at the www.MerlinStone.net website.
She touched the hearts of women and men globally; Merlin
Stone is recognized and remembered most by her contemporaries:
Today, we are no longer spiritual orphans of the world. It
was sister Merlin who gave her entire life to this sacred reclaiming. All of us
stand to thank her for this very potent gift of the legitimized woman spirit.
When you came back with "When God was a Woman," and enough material for its
follow up, "Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood," we all knew you had found the
cultural Goddess mother lode. You are much too hard to let go!
-Zsuzsanna Budapest, author of The Holy book of Women’s Mysteries and
"In the beginning … God was a woman. Do you remember?"
Those words still give me chills. "When God was a Woman" changed my life. I
remember Merlin’s penetrating wit and intellect and her wild henna red hair. She
will be missed. Blessed be! - Carol P. Christ, author of Rebirth of the
Goddess and She Who Changes
Few people have inspired me like Merlin Stone and her work.
Because of her I found Goddess; deity, archetype and ideal. Because of her, my
life has been filled with inspiration, meaning and direction. Thank you beloved
Merlin Stone. May you smile down on us and guide us from that special resting
place in the arms of the Mother. - Karen Tate, author of Sacred Places of
Merlin Stone’s work brought knowledge of the Divine
Feminine to the consciousness of the Western world. We are very grateful to her
for her pioneering work. – Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D., author of Sacred
Display and Whence the Goddesses
Merlin Stone was a great inspiration when I first read
"When God was a Woman" in the early 80?s. It spoke to something deep inside me
and affirmed my own knowing. We all owe her gratitude for the Goddess work she
did. - Kathy Jones, author of The Goddess in Glastonbury and Priestess of
Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess
She [Merlin] was so, so amazing. I am really saddened to
learn this —as it came like a shock. I knew her pretty well in the days when my
book was happening. What a terrible loss–but what a great gain for women in our
time! She opened up so much for all of us—and it was because she wanted to be a
sculptor and was searching for empowered images of women–that’s how she came
upon all the goddess images. The story is very amazing. - Gloria
Orenstein, author of Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism
I remember Merlin when we met in 1986 to film Goddess
Remembered in San Francisco. She was not originally scheduled to be at the
‘dinner party’ we filmed but mysterious forces made it possible for her to
arrive in SF just in time. I enjoyed Merlin’s contribution to the conversation
we filmed and especially enjoyed some pleasant hours months later in New York
with her. I feel her passing very much and remember her life as one of the great
blessings all women have shared. In love may she return again. - Donna
Read, director of Goddess Remembered, The Burning Times, and Full Circle
Ardath Elizabeth "Beth" Saunders
Stanford (Bone Blossom) (co-founder of Reclaiming Tradition Craft)
Sharon Mitchell (Lady Bastet) (HPs Our Lady at the Shoreline,
Gardnerian Witch Queen) (3/1/1947-1/12/2011)
Kenneth Grant (Head of the Typhonian Order, operator of New
Isis Lodge during the 1950's, and spiritual heir to Aleister Crowley) (5/23/1924-1/15/2011)
Tammy Breckenridge (Tzaddia
Morningstar) (Summerland Grove minster) (7/4/1971-1/20/2011)
Merlin Stone (author,
When God was a Woman) (9/27/1931-2/23/2011)
Steve Collins (Lord Senthor)
(Elder of Ravenwood Church, Atlanta, GA; headed Pagan band
(Texas CMA, CAW Fred Nest) (1/24/1967-3/9/2011)
first met Lady Circe when she asked if one of her students could open a
Witchcraft Botique in Atlanta (in those days she practiced the "Old" Etiquette
where you asked permission to establish a Coven when you were entering someone
elses Turf, especially if there were no other Witches around.) I of course
agreed to meet with the student (she was a stripper by the name of Sintana) and
went to a adult club on Peachtree Street. When she finished a set, she
came down to meet me and the priestess that accompanied me. She explained
what she was going to do and verified that she had been initiated by Lady Circe.
I wrote back to Lady Circe and agreed to Sintana moving into Atlanta. Per
an agreement I had with Lady Circe, I watched over Sintana and even taught for a
short time at her botique, the House of Ravenwood. Sintana was later
initiated by Circe and Lord Cyprian (see below) to a third degree. Circe
was an excellent Tarot reader and we had several conversations as to where she
received her training. Sorry to see another Pagan Leader die. There
have been so many....Rhuddlwm Gawr
Following is from the Circle of the Sacred Grove
In Memory of
Lady Circe (Alliance of the Old
What intrigued me most about Lady
Circe was that she really lived life with a passion. She had had so many varied
careers! She had such a dramatic flare for things! She was so magnetic! For me
she was the mysterious door to the Craft. Open just enough to invite me to
explore, but not enough to spill all the secrets. These she would dole out, one
by one, as she felt her students were ready, in weekly classes. I discovered
early on, though, that the best learning opportunities were in the kitchen with
her or sitting around the dining room table. Inevitably, a story would start; a
small adventure from her early days as a witch. Hidden in the stories were
lessons, complete with catch phrases, about how to live a Wiccan life.
"Let the spider run alive, your
business, then, is sure to thrive." "If you would walk the witch's way, observe
with care the child at play." I never tired of the stories (there were so many)
and now, I have a few of my own, including an adventure or two with her.
Lady Circe was outspoken. She meant what she said, said what she meant and
always meant to speak her mind! She never worried about what others thought.
"(I) fear nothing from my lips". She had a way of shaking you loose
from your old ways of thinking with her no-nonsense, commanding voice. She
didn't have time for wimps. If she saw strength in you, she expected you to use
it. Once while I waited several minutes to get her attention in her busy
kitchen, she said impatiently, "Bona Dea! You are too damn polite! Speak up!
Say what you have to say!"
She stressed to all of us, that: "How you carry yourself is most important."
Protocol, etiquette and physical presence are what the outside world sees and
they would know witches by what they see in us.
Lady Circe had a soft, motherly
side, too. She would give you whatever you needed, without hesitation. People
down on their luck occasionally came to her door and she would instruct us to
give them food from her refrigerator (especially if there were children
involved) even if that depleted her own supplies. If it was advise you
needed, she would get out her tarot cards and remind you that you had the
strength to deal with whatever the problem was. You left, sometimes with herbs
or oils, but always with the feeling that if Lady Circe thinks you can handle it
and things will turn out all right, then you can and they will! I feel her
presence every time I light a candle, every time I blend incense or oil, every
time I need a reminder of how strong I really am. She is still with me, as she
is still with all who love her. Blessed be, Mother Circe.
Donald D. Harrison (Church of
Eternal Source) (5/31/1931-1/7/2004)
Andrew Chumbley (past Magister of
Cultus Sabbati) (9/15/1967-1/15/2004)
Donna Cole Schultz (Pagan Way,
Chicago, IL) (5/15/1937-3/31/2004)
Alison Harlow (Covenant of the
Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson
(brought 1734 Tradition to U.S.) (12/11/1942-8/4/2004)
Robert Larson (co-founder and Arch-Druid of Berkeley
Grove of RDNA) (9/31/1943-8/6/2004)
Judy Carusone (Isian,
HP of Lady of the Sacred Flame) (d. 9/21/2004)
EVAN JOHN JONES - 8/31/2003 Initate of Robert
Cochrane and co-author of 'Rebirth of
Witchcraft' with Doreen Valiente and a number of other books on Traditional
Witchcraft passed from this Realm on Sunday, August 31 2003, aged 67.
I met Jessie in her apartment near the port of Canaveral in Florida back in the
early 80s. She was a very happy go luck person. We talked
about Magick Spells, about our common acquaintances, and where we had traveled
during our life. Upon leaving that night, she autographed three of her
books which had been published by Llewellyn and I autographed one of my books
(The Quest) and presented her with it.....Rhuddlwm Gawr
passes into the Summerland Monday, March 20, 2002 Patricia, her daughter,
"In accordance with her final wishes, she was cremated and her ashes will be
spread over the Wicker family graveyard in Kentucky. We sent with her, to be
mingled with her ashes, a copy of THE BOOK OF SHADOWS, because it was such a
part of who mother was. She had accomplished many things in her life, but the
publication of that book was her proudest moment. She spoke often and fondly of
Carl and Sandra and her association with Llewellyn. She was so thrilled when
Llewellyn chose to re-issue her books for a new generation and died knowing her
works were not forgotten."
publisher Carl Weschcke on Lady Sheba’s historical impact & influence on Wicca -
Feature Story New Worlds issue 14
Blessed Be A traditional Witch by heritage, Lady Sheba was one of the first
people this side of the Atlantic to make the Craft public. Her efforts were
instrumental in the growth of modern Wicca in the United States. On August 13,
1971, Lady Sheba registered “the American Order of the Brotherhood of the Wicca”
in Michigan, marking an important step towards the legal recognition of Wicca as
later, Llewellyn is re-issuing The Grimoire of Lady Sheba, the first Wiccan
grimoire ever published in the United States.
Lady Sheba hand-copied this grimoire at
the time of her initiation into her first coven. She also added spells and
ancient ritual practices handed down for generations in her family tradition.
This beautiful hardcover edition of The Grimoire of Lady Sheba is an
indispensable guide for anyone interested in the history and practices of the
Craft. Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, president of Llewellyn Publications
and himself a leading figure in the Wiccan community, took time to speak with
New Worlds about Lady Sheba, her books, and the future of Wicca.
New Worlds: Why did you decide to re-issue Lady’s Sheba’s The Book of Shadows
and The Grimoire of Lady Sheba?
Carl Weschcke: I
had wanted to reprint both these books for years, but had hoped to do so with
new material from Lady Sheba. We had lost touch with her a number of years ago,
and tried to contact her through all the addresses we’d ever had without
success. And then we heard that she had passed away. We were reluctant to
merely reprint the books without regard to her relatives and again sought
unsuccessfully to locate her heirs. Finally, as the result of a listing on
eBay for a signed copy, we did locate her daughter and learned that Lady Sheba
is indeed alive and living in retirement. She was eager to have the books
brought back into print, but did not feel anything new should be added to these
NW: How did you meet Lady Sheba?
CW: She wrote to
me back in the late 1960s. We invited her to come to St. Paul and she brought
the manuscript for The Book of
Shadows with her and we signed a publication contract. She said that the Goddess
had instructed her to come to Llewellyn. It was at this same time that I
was working with a small group of people in our own coven, and Lady Sheba
initiated us into her tradition. Following that first visit, Lady Sheba
visited us yearly to participate in the annual “Gnosticons” that we sponsored in
Minneapolis, and to meet with the growing number of local Wicca.
NW: What was it like to study with Lady Sheba?
CW: My study with
Lady Sheba was largely informal since I had long been involved in the study and
practice of Ritual Magick, had corresponded with Gerald Gardner, and had done a
great deal of experimentation with our own group. Lots of questions and her
answers exchanged by correspondence.
NW: Did you have any unusual experiences?
CW: There are a
number of “stories” I could tell, but a few stand out. Before I talk about them,
however, I do want to remark that the early 1970s was the time of the “Witch
Wars” during which people were surfacing all over the place claiming this
lineage or that, and most of them were name-calling and challenging each other.
As Isaac Bonewitz once characterized it, people were essentially saying: “My
Tradition is better than yours!” And very few of them had much to prove their
claims. It was also a time of intense interest in Wicca, and many people were
attracted to some unsavory “teachers” who abused and mislead them.
Some people have criticized Lady Sheba for breaking vows and publishing secrets.
Her response was that the Goddess instructed her to do so. Others wrote that she
was an impostor who had no “tradition” and no “power.” I learned differently.
When Lady Sheba
initiated me—willing me “the Power” as she described it—I was taken totally by
surprise for I had anticipated little
more than a symbolic drama. Instead, I first had a psychic vision of her
standing as if at the threshold of creation itself, calling powers into her own
body. Then I was thrown out of my physical body and watched “lines of energy”
passing from her hands through my body. I felt as if I was undergoing a
cleansing and readjustment of my etheric matrix. I felt the Power as my own to
pass on to others.
Another time Lady
Sheba held out her “Queen’s Necklace” [pictured in the Grimoire of Lady Sheba]
for me to kiss. As I did so, I felt my astral self grow and extend far up above
my physical body, and I was filled with bliss. My psychic awareness and
perception has remained at some level greater than before this experience.
more amusing story, concerned an editorial discussion. One of our editors had
wanted to change the archaic language in the Book of Shadows and Lady Sheba
wrote from Michigan and said absolutely not. Later, that evening, our editor’s
husband and one of our bookstore employees were laughing about this in a local
Minneapolis bar. He appeared at work the next day with complaint of the most
severe headache of his life. Two days later I had a letter from Lady Sheba
writing that she had been “out on the Astral” and had witnessed this bar talk.
“I took my Holy Book and hit Ron on the head with it.” It was enough to make a
NW: What was the response from the public when Lady Sheba’s books were
originally published in the early 1970s?
CW: Both positive
and negative, as can be perceived from some of the above. Lady Sheba referred to
herself as an “American Witch
Queen” at a time when this very concept was anathema to most people who
perceived in it a declaration of a theological hierarchy—the very antithesis of
what attracted most of us to this non-institutional Nature-based free religion.
Now the queen concept is more often seen in terms of “daughter” covens and
recognition of lines of succession. Indeed, the truth of such succession lies
within the actual transmittal of “Power” as I truly experienced it in my
initiation. She had the Power. And I presume she still does. I believe I still
NW: How has the Craft changed since these books were originally published?
CW: Witchcraft has
become Wicca, and Wicca has gone “mainstream.” Even though non-institutional
(independent from theological
colleges and professional clergy )people practice the Craft across the land and
Wicca is respected and honored as a legitimate spiritual path.
Some groups have
freely chosen to go “legal” and secure IRS recognition. Some have established
colleges to grant ministerial
degrees. Many have not. And all have found truth and satisfaction in their
NW: What would you say to younger Wiccans who feel that the Wicca as practiced
by Lady Sheba isn't’t the same Wicca that they practice today?
CW: I am sure that
many do and should. Wicca has evolved. And Wicca should evolve. It may be “the
Old Religion,” but spirituality is not static, and we are moving into a New Age
of expanding consciousness. Wicca has and is serving the needs of many people
not only in America and Europe, but in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
provides the personal religious experience that many hunger for and have not
found in the traditional churches and
temples of so-called “organized religion.” And because it is personal, it has
been free to evolve just as its practitioners have freely evolved. That’s the message of this New Age: that we grow as individuals and
accept personal responsibility for our role in planetary well-being. We are
“co-creators.” What we believe and what we do shapes the world in which we have
our being, and Wicca (and Magick) teaches us that thoughts are real and
NW: Now that Wicca has become more accepted as a religion, do you think that
people still need to follow the Laws as published in the Book of Shadows? If
not, what is their purpose in modern Wicca?
CW: The “Laws” of
The Book of Shadows have served their purpose. In many cases they were practical
rules suited for the times
when they were set down. In other cases they represent knowledge expressed in
ways suited for personal and group guidance. They are, in many cases, “principles” for the practice of a magical religion. For
some, I think they express a basic set of ethical concepts very much suited for
the times in which we live.
They should be
read, and they should find “life” in the minds of the readers. As living
principles and concepts, they will grow and
serve to mature the magical personality of the practitioner.
And this is
important. The Laws should come alive in the Wiccan as should the symbols and
tools of the Craft. One’s athame should live within the psyche; as should the
wand, the cords, and other magical and religious implements. And the images of
God and Goddess. If only “external,” they will lack “Power.” Take them within,
and they live, and evolve.
Kay Gardner (Pagan
feminist musician) (2/8/40-8/28/2002)
Sam 'Bear" Gwyn - Georgia United States
- April 24, 2002
Pattalee Glass-Koentop "Lady
Phoenix" - Isian Wicca/Dianic Wicca - High Priestess/Teacher - United
Lady Sheba (Jessie Bell) - American
Wicca - Founder - United States - 2002
Donjon of MoonRose, HP (a Founder of the
American Tradition of the Craft; Founding & Life Member of the Witching Well
Research Center since 1972; Fellowship of Isis Member since 1978; Elder,
Lone Star Council of the Covenant of the Goddess in 1979.)
Baba Raul Canizares (Oba, Santerían priest,
author, artist, musician and professor of religion who founded the Orisha
Consciousness Movement) (9/24/1955-12/28/2002)
article was adapted from the obituary presented by Hexagon Media, 63
Wilbury Crescent, Brighton, Sussex, BN3 6FH, UK For more information go to
Bone was an English Witch who was instrumental in the revival of modern
Witchcraft. She was born in London, England and was the daughter of
a Headmistress of a School for Girls. Because of her parents, she
received a wide and varied education.
An experience in early childhood
after a family pet died convinced the young child that reincarnation existed and
from that time on she began to read on subjects connected with folklore, magic
During the Second World War,
Eleanor was drafted to Cumbria in the North of England and became friendly with
an older couple. On one occasion conversation fell to reincarnation and Eleanor
said she believed in it – the couple revealed that they were hereditary Witches.
They Initiated Eleanor into the Cumbrian tradition in 1941 and she practiced
with them for four years before returning to London at the war’s end.
In London, Eleanor married ad
settled down running a home for the elderly. Later she was introduced to
Gerald Brosseau Gardner and the two became friends. Eleanor was made a
Priestess of one of Gardner’s covens. Her connections in the magical and
mystical world included the mysterious ‘Dafo’ of the New Forest coven, Jack
Bracelin, Patricia Crowther, Doreen Valiente and Sufi teacher Idris Shah, of
whom she was particularly fond.
Visiting Dafo on many occasions
Eleanor learnt that the New Forest coven were a hereditary coven that followed
the old ways of the Hampshire region. She was a close confidant of Dafo and
learnt that the coven believed to have been formed at the time of the death of
King Rufus in the Norman era. Dafo told Eleanor during intimate discussions that
among the Witches present at the famous spell against Hitler were herself,
Dorothy Clutterbuck and Gerald Gardner.
During the late 1960’s Eleanor found herself being called upon to speak about
the Craft. One memorable appearance on a US television chat show, had Eleanor
seated next to the eccentric English Witch Sybil Leek. An exchange of dry witty
insults ended when down-to-earth Eleanor was asked to turn Sybil into a toad and
replied, ‘Why should I improve on nature’.
The sixties saw a multitude of
coffee table books on Witchcraft and Eleanor was always willing to pose for the
photographer, skyclad with sword in hand or spend time talking to authors,
journalists and researchers. Motivated by trying to represent Wicca in a
positive light her hope was that modern society would finally accept Wicca as a
legitimate religion alongside Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc.
Visiting Tunis in 1968 to see the
grave of her old friend Gerald Gardner she was informed by the Chaplain that the
Tunisian Government was turning the cemetery into a public park. The Chaplain
said that if she wished to disinter her friend’s remains and move them to a
cemetery out of town then that could be arranged. Donations made by members of
the Craft made this possible and his remains were laid to rest close to the
ancient city of Carthage, once a prominent religious Centre of the Great
Goddess. Eleanor arranged all of this in honour of her fellow Witch without ever
mentioning it again publicly.
In her coven working Eleanor (Rae)
Bone initiated a great many people. This remarkable Witch was responsible for a
tremendous growth of Wicca in Britain, alongside Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente
and Patricia Crowther Two of her most famous pupils were Chris and Vivienne
Crowley. Eleanor used ‘low’ or ‘country’ magic rather than the Garderian Wicca
she had practiced in the fifties and slowly returned to the ways she had learnt
in Cumbria. Some footage of her rites exists but the sensationalist US film
‘Witchcraft ‘70’, wrongly describes Eleanor as a Satanist!
Retiring to Cumbria in 1972, she
lived in the tiny village of Alston. From here she lived a private life away
from the burgeoning Witch cult that she had helped form.
The origin of her title ‘Matriarch
of British Witchcraft’ is now unknown but there is little doubt that she enjoyed
a special regard within the Witchcraft community. Her name commanded the respect
of most Witches largely because she chose not engage in wrangles or disputes
preferring her rather mystical stance on the Craft. One incident that Eleanor
did decide to get involved with was to counteract the sensationalist propaganda
being generated by one particular publicity seeking coven who were bringing the
Craft into disrepute. The result was that the entire religion nearly got banned
once more by the British Establishment until Eleanor, Patricia Crowther and
Doreen Valiente stepped in. Thanks to their combined efforts they managed to
persuade the media, Parliament and the public that the Craft was a harmless
religion dedicated to harmony with nature.
In later years when Eleanor was
approached by the Pagan Federation in 2001 to be listed as an honoury member she
politely declined. Privately, she stated that part of the reason for this
decision was that she did not recognize several of the traditions supported by
the PF as she believed their origins to be spurious.
However, she was far from inactive
during her final years and gave an interview for a Newcastle paper on
Witchcraft. After the elderly Witch was inundated with correspondence from young
people yearning to know more. In the summer of 2001 Eleanor gave her final
performance at the annual Occulture festival. In a live link-up from her home
the Cumbrian Witch spoke about the origins of modern Witchcraft. The historic
address discussed little known facts about the New Forest coven. Her final
comment on the live link-up was that she was proud that Wicca had finally taken
its place side by side with other world religions. She reminded people that when
she had first practiced the Craft it had been illegal. Her live link-up at
Occulture received a standing ovation.
In August 2001, Eleanor stated
that she would soon be "called back to the Old Gods" and made preparation to
wrap up her affairs which included publishing her book.
With failing health not helped by
the harsh weather of the Cumbrian hills ‘The Matriarch of British Witchcraft’
finally passed away on September 21st 2001. She was buried alongside
her husband Bill on unconsecrated ground at Garigill cemetery.
Victor Anderson - Faeri Witch -
Author - Poet - Founder of Feri Trad)
(5/21/1917-9/20/2001) United States/California - 2001
Ron Parshley - Pagan - Elder - Healer
- United States/Midwest/Florida -2001
Ronald Genzoli (CAW)
Joyce Rasmussen (Lady Tara) (High Tor Gardnerian
Paul Tuitain - Witch - Author -
United States - 2001
Pauline Campanelli - Author - Witch
- United States -
ARE RAPIDLY LOSING THE FOUNDERS OF THE WICCA MOVEMENT! FIRST DOREEN
VALIENTE AND NOW STEWART FARRAR!!
Stewart and Janet Farrar came to our 1991
Gathering of the Tribes held at the Renaissance fairgrounds outside of Atlanta
Georgia. They were very impressive and extremely knowledgeable about
Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft. Stewart and Janet have been the
initiating force throughout the 80's and 90s of the Witchcraft Movement, through
the publishing of their many books....Rhuddlwm Gawr
"The son of a bank official and schoolteacher, Stewart
Farrar was born on the 28 June 1916, at 239 Winchester Road, Highams Park,
Walthamstow, in what is now the London borough of Waltham Forest. Stewart
Farrar's interest in the occult field came very much as a late vocation, having
had little more than a passing interest in many other philosophies including
communism and Marxism.
"By the time he met Alex and
Maxine Sanders, the well known London witches, in late 1969 he was, in his own
words, an "interested agnostic". In the process of writing his first
non-fiction book, What Witches Do, having warmed to its themes and philosophy,
he was initiated into the Craft on 21 February 1970. What Witches Do
proved to be a milestone for the Craft for many reasons. It was perhaps
the first book written from the inside as it were, with a sense of sobriety and
intelligence, which many of its cloak and dagger, garbled predecessors lacked.
In Stewart’s own words, it filled a gap. It combined an overall
survey of the basic beliefs and practices of a modern witch with a new witch's
reactions to the process of learning those beliefs and practices. It
is still recommended reading for serious minded students of the Craft today.
"Stewart with his wife Janet,
moved to Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland, in the spring of 1976 and it was here
that they began to produce the first of their own independent writings.
Here, immersing themselves in rural Irish tradition and culture, they formed a
coven nucleus and worked out ritual drama for their Eight Sabbats for Witches
published in 1981.
"They spent a short time in the
west of Ireland before moving to a rural backwater in Swords close to Dublin
City where they began working on another milestone The Witches Way (1984).
From here they moved to Beltichburne near Drogheda and then on to Kells, County
Meath where they produced The Witches Goddess (1987); The Life and Times of a
Modern Witch (1987); The Witches God (1989) and Spells and How They Work (1990).
Stewart and Janet co-authored with Gavin Bone, a qualified nurse, The Pagan Path
(1995) and The Healing Craft (1999).
"Stewart also wrote seven
witchcraft novels of which Omega was perhaps the most outstanding and
idealistic. It depicts a world ravaged by man's corruption, his rape of
the planet and the final coming to terms with a New World through the philosophy
of Wicca. I think it is fair to say that Stewart Farrar did more
than any Craft writer on this side of the Atlantic to expound the spirit of
Wicca in its 'purest' form since Gerald Gardner.
"Certainly, he has few, if any
contemporaries that can rival him for sheer volume alone. His
rational, intelligent and easy to read style of writing has proved immensely
popular and has given witchcraft the 'respectable' image it needed for so long.
Farrar was not without his critics who were quick to dwell on his occasional
misdemeanors in the field as sometime spokesman for the Craft movement.
These however, with the passage of time, along with the critics, will be seen as
inconsequential storms in a tea cup.
"Suffice to say that Farrar was,
is and may remain the most prolific writer on the subject of contemporary
witchcraft that perhaps the world has ever known. He more than anybody
else has put his shoulder to the wheel of the Western Mystery Tradition to make
Wicca a viable and workable path for many to tread."
Peter J. Doyle -Dun Laoghaire, County
Dublin. Ireland. 7th February 2000
After an extended illness, Taliesin Winn, the sole surviving
elder of the Dynion Mwyn Welsh Family Gwyddon (Witchcraft) tradition, died
quietly in his sleep. This is the tradition from which Y Dynion Mwyn Welsh
Witchcraft tradition derives. Taliesin always claimed that his
family was related indirectly to the Gruffydd family which was that of Llewelyn,
the last true prince of Wales. He also variously spelled his name Winn,
Wynn, or Wynne, which would lead one to believe that if indeed this was his last
name, he didn't want anyone outside a select few to know who he really was.
For the last few years, Taliesin lived with a companion, on a
small island off the coast of Scotland, writing and meditating. He
survived the passing of his sister by only a few months. The following
information was extracted from his journals and will serve as his Eulogy:
"Taliesin Winn, was born in the forests of North Wales.
During his early years, because of his father's government position, the family
traveled throughout europe. They returned to England in 1938, and
the children were sent to live with relatives in Wales. In September,
1940, their father and mother were killed in the Blitz bombing of London during
the Battle of Britain. He and his sister were take in and raised by an
uncle and auntie in a small village near the town of Betws y Coed. It was
here they learned of his families heritage of Druidism and Witchcraft as they
met Y Dynion Mwyn (welsh fairies) at Fairy Ring near Betws y Coed, and swam with
the water sprites in the local river. He lied about his age and entered
service with the British army in the early 1940s, and was part of the D-day
invasion at Normandy in June 1944. On June 26th he was wounded during what
he called the battle of Epsom, and was sent back to England to recuperate.
"In November 1945 his uncle and auntie decide to visit relatives
in the United States, obtained a work visa, and the family including Taliesin
and Patricia, his sister, moved to the state of New Jersey. They lived
near Trenton until 1959. Taliesin did not like that part of the United
States, but he attended classes at a nearby college and after graduation,
returned to England. His sister, aunt and uncle soon followed.
After a year of traveling in Europe and England, he returned to North Wales and
says he was very happy to get back to his home.
"Over the next few years in between working at various jobs, he
continued his occult studies and spent a great deal of time with his auntie who
was an herbalist and Offieriadess (something like a priestess or elder) of
CLICK ON ORIGINS HERE He
learned of the energy of the mountains through doing "Cave Workings" and hiking
near Mt. Snowdonia.
"In 1962 while visiting friends, he met a gentleman named Roy
Bowers who he says inspired him to begin teaching. He says he organized
the family's records and brought together the first class from outside the
family. Ruth (Gwendolyn) Wynn, a cousin, studied with the family and
carried the religion to London where she taught the old ways until she passed
on; Sarah (Cerridwen) Wentworth, a cousin, was his Offieriadess
until 1987; R. (Math) Johnson, another cousin emigrated to Australia where he
passed on the tradition until his death in 1989, and D. (Gwydion) Jones took the
tradition to Patagonia (a region of Argentina) where he teaches today.
"In 1965 Rhuddlwm Gawr met Sarah Wentworth while on holiday in
Majorca. She invited him to London and then they drove to Wales where he
was introduced to Taliesin. Rhuddlwm stayed in Wales and studied The Old
Ways with the Winn family. In 1966 Rhuddlwm returned to the US and
established the Coven and Church of Y Dynion Mwyn in
"Taliesin taught the Old Ways until 1996 when he turned over the
leadership of Dynion Mwyn to his sister who became chief elder until she died in
Taliesin was responsible for opening up the Welsh tradition to
outsiders. His dying wish was that the basic philosophy of the Welsh
tradition be available to all through the internet, and that seekers be given a
"Taste of Wales" through home study classes. Y Dynion Mwyn sponsors his
page on the net at:
Lord Rhuddlwm Gawr and Lady Cerridwen Gawr, of the United
States, have inherited the leadership of Dynion Mwyn.
"Taliesin, we never got along, but
I respect you and hope that wherever you are, you are finally happy and
Dr. Leo Louis Martello was a
member of the Universal Federation of Pagans and was involved in the conference
call which officially organized and created the federation in 1993. He had
much to say about the philosophy he thought should be emphasized by the
Federation. He will be missed....Rhuddlwm Gawr Co-Facilitator, UFP
January 2001 Community Spotlight
Dr. Leo Louis Martello
The first community spotlight of the NYC Pagan Resource Guide serves as a
memorial to the late Dr. Leo Louis Martello who was a very active and prominent
member in the local NY community until his death near the end of June, 2000.
Since the 1960's Dr. Martello has contributed much to civil and gay rights, and
his 'colorful and outspoken' manner added to his reputation for being a
formidable opponent in these matters.
Born in 1931 in Massachusetts and descending from Sicilian Witches (known as
streghe) of which he knew nothing about, Leo was raised catholic, spending much
of his early years in a catholic boarding school. Having psychic
experiences at an early age, Leo began studying palmistry and Tarot with a Gypsy
and by age 16 was making radio appearances and giving handwriting analysis.
At 18 Leo moved to NYC where he attended several colleges focusing on
psychology. It was during this time that he learned of his ancestral heritage
from cousins who claimed to have been watching him for several years as a
potential candidate for the Old Religion. He was told of his grandmother, who
was renown in Sicily for her magical skill, and on September 26, 1951 Leo was
initiated into his cousins' secret Sicilian coven.
It wasn't’t until 1969, shortly before the publication of his first book on
witchcraft, Weird Ways of Witchcraft, that Leo decided to go public as a Witch
in order to promote the truth about Witchcraft. During this time he was
contacted and initiated into Gardnerian, Alexandrian and Traditionalist
Among his many accomplishments, Leo was the first public Witch to champion the
establishment of legally incorporated, tax-exempt Wiccan churches as well as
paid legal holidays for Witches. He founded the Witches Liberation Movement and
the Witches International Craft Association (WICA) to further his work in civil
liberties. Leo later formed the Witches Anti-Defamation League (later renamed
the Witches Anti-Discrimination Lobby), which by 1980 had chapters being
established in every state of the United States dedicated to ensuring Witches’
One of his most well known achievements in New York occurred in 1970 when the
city parks department refused to issue Leo a permit for a Samhain “Witch-in” he
had organized in Central Park. After securing the aid of the NY Civil Liberties
Union and threatening to file a law suit for discrimination against a minority
religion, the city parks department relented and the Witch-In, attended by
around 1000 people, was filmed into a documentary.
Dr. Martello worked as a writer, graphologist and lecturer, making many public
appearances to educate others about the Craft and to speak at major Pagan
Festivals and Gatherings. He also officiated several ceremonies at the NYC
Witches Ball. He authored several articles and books, including Witchcraft: The
Old Religion; How to Prevent Psychic Blackmail; Your Pen Personality; The Hidden
World of Hypnotism; and Witches’ Liberation and Practical Guide to Witch Covens.
Sadly, Dr. Martello died near the end of the end of June 2000. Following Leo’s
wishes, Rev. HPS Lori Bruno of Medford, MA. an elder of Leo’s tradition and
administrator of his estate, had his remains cremated. Lori also officiated a
very moving memorial service in NY in October 2000 at the Gay and Lesbian Center
where many people shared their experiences with Leo throughout the years. It was
a touching service, and I will always remember the wisdom of Leo’s that Lori
shared with us: “The strong find a way, the weak find an excuse.” Dr. Leo Louis
Martello truly lived by these words, and because of his convictions, secured a
great amount of the freedom we now take for granted.
It is with great sadness and heavy
heart AREN, formerly know as WADL, mourns the passing to Summerland of Dr. Leo
Luis Martello, our founder.
Dr. Martello will be sorely missed by both AREN and Our Community his wisdom,
guidance and advice were both sought and respected by all Traditions. While Dr.
Martello was of the Strega Tradition his sage council and advice was sought by
Witches and Pagans of all Traditions. Dr. Martello freely offered help to any
who asked or needed assistance when discrimination arose.
Dr. Martello was the first to recognize a need for someone to publicly speak for
the Pagan/Witch Community when he founded Witches Anti-Defamation League (WADL)
later changed to Witches Anti- Discrimination Lobby then to Witches
Anti-Discrimination League,. Dr. Martello lovingly nurtured this fledgling
organization through its growth pains and established it as a voice for equal
rights for Our Community.
Dr. Martello was a prolific author, writing several books on Our Craft that are
still considered to be some of the best reference works written.
Dr. Martello retired from public life in the early 1990's however his advice was
still sought by many leaders and groups.
Per his wishes his remains have been cremated by the Administrator of his
estate. The following Memorial has been issued by Dr. Martello's Trinacrian Rose
Coven (Church) based in Medford, Massachusetts:
It was with a heaviness of heart,
that we announced to the magickal community the unexpected passage of Dr. Leo
Louis Martello, who crossed over into the Sumerland at the end of June 2000.
Born of a Sicilian immigrant farming family during the Depression Era, he
eventually settled in New York City where he lived most of his adult life and
through to his death.
Leo was the first to sponsor a public magickal circle in New York back in the
70s when Witchcraft as a religion was little-known, let alone public. During his
life he consulted to a number of traditions and covens and aided in the
development of their unique books of shadows. He was a respected elder of the
Trinacrian Rose Coven (Church) based in Medford, Massachusetts.
During his life, Dr. Martello founded the "Witches Anti-Defamation League".
later renamed the "Witches Anti-Discrimination Lobby" (WADL), as one of the
first Witch and Pagan Civil Rights organizations in the USA. Its existence
eventually spawned many similar groups with similar names long after Leo passed
its operation on to other capable hands.
Leo Martello was an author of a book and manuscripts on the "Craft of the Wise"
from his perspective of a Sicilian heritage. His works were the first to be
published in the USA regarding Sicilian Witchcraft within the constraints placed
on him by his elders.
Following Leo's wishes, Rev. HPS Lori Bruno of Medford, MA. an elder of Leo's
tradition and administrator of his estate, had his remains cremated.
This memorial web page and guest book has been set up to offer some insight into
his life and teachings.
Stories, remembrances, or messages of condolence may be posted at the memorial
web site, or may be sent to Lori Bruno per below.
Those seeking to issue a more substantial remembrance may wish to consider
making a donation in Leo's name to their local HIV/AIDS related charity or local
animal shelter. Both were favorite charities of his.
Within these pages are included some of Leo's writings, and a biography written
by Lori Bruno which has also appeared in the Llwellyn Almanac. It is reproduced
here with the permission of the author.
Questions, inquiries, or other letters may be forwarded to:
The Estate of Leo Martello c/o Lori Bruno 33 Everlyn Ave. Medford, Ma. 02155 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Alexandrian Wicca, Ireland) (6/28/1916-2/7/2000)
Ayeisha (Keepers of the Ancient
Mysteries, Baltimore-DC area) (d. 1998)
Annette Hinshaw (PEN, ESBAT, WPPA) (d. 2/22/1999)
Arlen Riley Wilson
Bodfish (Founder of
independent RDNA newsletter, The Druid Missal-Any) (4/20/1943-6/30/1999)
Sandy Kopf (Covenant of the Goddess) (d.
Bradley (The Mists of Avalon) (6/3/1930-9/25/1999)
Grechon Leigh (founder
of SageTree in Michigan) (d. 7/18/1999)
Williamson also played an important part in the development of Wicca in
England. Cecil Hugh Williamson was born 18 September 1909 at Devon, England
and raised at Piccadilly in London. His father was a naval officer and Cecil
was often sent to the home of relatives during his father’s absence.
During his life he claimed to have met
several village witches, who taught him craft basics. He also encountered
Aleister Crowley, Sir Wallace Budge and Margaret Murray. His grandmother was
an astrologer and Cecil worked for a medium as a young boy. He later worked
as a tobacco farmer in Rhodesia, Africa, and for the Home Office in England
during World War II; there, he was asked to set up the Witchcraft Research
Center to monitor the threat from occult activities of Nazi astrologers and
occultists. He says he witnessed a large-scale magical ceremony designed to
undermine Hitler's power, which involved 40 Canadian airmen draped in
blankets embroidered with symbols from the Key of Solomon. (This might be
where the rumor of Witches doing a ritual to ward off a German invasion,
might have come from.)
After the war, he tried to open a
witchcraft museum in Stratford-on-Avon, but resistance from local people
made him move it to Castletown, Isle of Man, where he opened the Folklore
Center of Superstition and Witchcraft. There wasn't much money to be made
from this endeavor, and he funded it with money from his wife's restaurant,
the Witches' Kitchen. A few years later, Williamson sold this museum to
Gerald Gardner (who named it the Witches' Mill - See Gerald Gardner Above)
and then opened another witchcraft museum at Windsor.
It was here he claimed to have met a
hereditary witch named Rosa Woodman. She is said to have bestowed the
position of Witch Protector of the Royal House of Windsor, before she
died. However, Cecil's high profile brought him to the notice of the royal
household, who convinced him to move away.
Cecil moved to his museum in the
Cotswolds, where local Christians burned down part of it. He then moved to
Boscastle in Cornwall and opened his witchcraft museum there. He retired in
1996 and turned over the Museum to Graham and Liz Crow. By his own account,
Williamson had worked with over 80 wise women and participated in over a
thousand magical workings during his life. He died in 1999.
Doreen Valiente (Ameth)
September 1st 1999, Doreen Valiente passed away to the Summerland.
Doreen was the mother
of Wicca, one of the fastest
growing religions in the Western World. Her books introduced
literally hundreds of thousands of seekers to the concepts of Wicca and
Witchcraft. She brought them knowledge, love and power and taught that the
Goddess is alive and well.
While many seekers claimed to be
initiated by their grandmothers, and collected initiations like stamps,
her honest humility prevented her from ever calling herself 'Queen of the
Not only was she responsible for
Wicca's early growth, but she created the beautiful liturgy of poetry and
ritual, which most witches refer to today when they obtain their first Book of
Goodbye Doreen, we will miss you
was born in 1922 as Doreen Dominy in London, England. After she began
experiencing psychic episodes when she was young, her Christian family
placed her in a convent school, which she walked away from at the age of
fifteen. By her late teenage years, Doreen was manifesting clairvoyant
abilities. In 1944, she married Cosimo Valiente, a refugee from the Spanish
Civil War. In 1952, she says she wrote to Cecil Williamson, who put her in
touch with Gardner. She is best known as being Gerald Gardner’s first High
Priestess. She also rewrote his magickal workbook into what has become known
as the Gardnerian Book of Shadows.
Valiente is the most important liturgist in the
history of Modern Pagandom. Sure not everyone
recites her Charge of the Goddess but
it’s familiar to just about everyone. Valiente
took some of the rather rudimentary rituals of
early Witchcraft and turned them into poetry.
Her influence on how we speak the language of
Paganism will still be felt in a hundred years,
and that’s an amazing achievement.
Doreen is one of the unifying threads of
Modern Paganism. She researched the beginnings
of Modern Witchcraft with Stewart and Janet
Farrar, and worked with Robert Cochrane. She was
one of our first historians, when it comes to
Pagan History Books Valiente’s The Rebirth
of Witchcraft is an essential text (and a
book I treasure and have re-read at least a
dozen times). She was also a leading light in
the attempt to build Pagan Community in Great
Britain. When Valiente is called “The Mother of
Modern Witchcraft” it’s not an exaggeration.
Doreen Valiente is widely regarded as the
co-creator of Wicca. Shortly after Gardner made known his claims that he had
been initiated into a surviving Witch cult, he was joined by Valiente, who
collaborated with him in the creation of rituals. Valiente also wrote a
number of poems for the use of Wiccans as well as a several books on the
subject such as An ABC of Witchcraft, Where Witchcraft Lives,
Natural Magic and Witchcraft for Tomorrow . Witchcraft
for Tomorrow has been particularly useful, outlining the main Witch
gatherings, both seasonal and monthly, as well as providing a simple Book of
Shadows containing rites and rituals. Spurred by the challenge from academic
skeptics, such as Professor J. B. Russell, Valiente attempted to provide
evidence for Gardner's claims concerning his initiation, most notably by
finding documents that Dorothy Clutterbuck existed. Valiente is credited as
the 'Mother of Modern Witchcraft', and played a critical role in re-writing
much of Gardner's original ritual material.
After the death of both her mother and
Gerald Gardner in the same year, Doreen cast off her Gardnerian mantle and
was initiated by Robert Cochrane into a traditional, hereditary branch of
Witchcraft. The 1960's brought fresh public perceptions. The sexual
revolution, contraception, peace movements and social upheaval led to
old-fashioned ideals being swept away. Witchcraft was no exception.
Suddenly Witches, in particular Sybil Leek and Alex and Maxine
Sanders, became media personalities and actively courted the publicity. The
Old Guard of Wicca still refused to yield and come forward, shunning all
contact with anyone outside the Craft.
Doreen was one of the few who managed to find a middle ground;
never denying paganism or fearing to speak out in its defense, yet still
maintaining the traditional low-key approach to Wicca. The Cochrane
initiation only strengthened this position and allowed Doreen to move away
from internal politics, which were beginning to emerge within the Gardnerian
However, Doreen soon
became disillusioned by Cochrane and noted his obsession with ‘witch
potions’ that eventually led to some unfortunate consequences. Cochrane died
at Midsummer, 1966.
Doreen was the author of ABC of Witchcraft
Past and Present, Witchcraft For Tomorrow, Natural Magic, and The Rebirth of
When Doreen addressed the National
Conference of the Pagan Way in 1997, she stated her opinion that "organized
religion is nothing but a curse to humanity." She died at Brighton Sept 1,
"Come yea as the charm is made!
Queen of heaven, Queen of hell,
Horned Hunter of the night
Lend your power unto the spell,
And work our will by magic rite!
By all the power of land and sea,
By all the might of moon and sun
I call the Earth to bind my spell.
Air to speed it well.
Bright as Fire shall it glow.
Deep as tide of Water flow.
Count the elements fourfold,
In the fifth the spell shall hold."
Valiente, Doreen; "Witchcraft for Tomorrow"; Phoenix
After an extended illness, Gwen Winn, the
Elder of the Dynion Mwyn Welsh Family Gwyddon (Witchcraft) tradition, died
quietly in her sleep. She is survived by her brother Taliesin Wynne.
Until January 1999, Gwen had lived in
London, England with her daughter Sarah. Upon learning of her terminal
illness, she and Sarah moved near Cardiff, Wales. The following information was
supplied by her brother Taliesin and others and will serve as a Eulogy:
Patricia "Gwen" Winn, was born in Italy
the 21st of December, 1934. Her father was in foreign service and the family
traveled throughout europe. They returned to England in 1938, and
the children were sent to live with relatives in Wales. In September,
1940, their father and mother were killed in the Blitz bombing of London during
the Battle of Britain. She and her older brother were taken in and raised
by an uncle and auntie in a small village near the town of Betws y Coed, Wales.
It was here they learned of his families heritage of Druidism and Witchcraft as
they met Y Dynion Mwyn (welsh fairies) at Fairy Ring near Betws y Coed, and swam
with the water sprites in the local river.
In November 1945 her uncle and auntie
decide to visit relatives in the United States and obtained a work visa for that
purpose. The family including Patricia and Taliesin, moved to the state of
New Jersey. They lived near Trenton until 1959. Gwen related that
these were the happiest days of her life. She loved the United States, and
when the family moved back to Wales, she wanted to stay.
In Wales, she continued her occult studies and spent a great
deal of time with her auntie who was an herbalist and Offieriadess (something
like a priestess or elder) of Dynion Mwyn. CLICK ON ORIGINS HERE She and her brother learned of the energy of the
mountains while doing "Cave Workings" and hiking near Mt. Snowdonia.
In 1962 she relates that her brother met a
"Roy" Bowers who he says inspired him to begin teaching. She and her
brother brought together the first class from outside the family.
Ruth Wynn, a cousin, studied with the family and carried the religion to London
where she taught the old ways until she passed on; Sarah (Cerridwen) Wentworth,
a cousin, was his Offieriadess until 1987; R. (Math) Johnson, another cousin
emigrated to Australia where he passed on the tradition until his death in 1989,
and D. (Gwydion) Jones took the tradition to Patagonia (a region of Argentina)
where he teaches today.
In 1965 Rhuddlwm Gawr met Sarah Wentworth
while on holiday in Majorca. She invited him to London and then they drove
to Wales where he was introduced to Taliesin and Gwen. Rhuddlwm stayed in
Wales and studied The Old Ways with the Winn family. In 1966 Rhuddlwm
returned to the US and established the Coven and Church of
Y Dynion Mwyn in Landover Maryland.
Taliesin taught the Old Ways until 1996
when he turned over the leadership of Dynion Mwyn to Gwen, who became chief
elder until she died.
Lord Rhuddlwm Gawr and Lady Cerridwen
Gawr, of the United States, have inherited the leadership of Dynion Mwyn.
"Gwen, you were as wonderful lady and we
will miss you very much."...Rhuddlwm Gawr
Rhuddlwm Gawr and Cerridwen Gawr -
Kennesaw, Georgia USA. 13 January 2000
CECIL WILLIAMSON - NEO-PAGAN,
HISTORIAN, FOLKLORIST, AND WISE MAN 1909-1999
On Thursday, 9th December 1999, at
10:00am., Cecil Williamson Died peacefully and passed from this world into the
care of the Old Ones, in Devon, England after a long illness aged 90 years.
An eccentric elder statesman of the Craft, he was, from the age of seven,
totally committed to the furtherance of the Old Religion and its customs.
Founder of the Witchcraft Research Centre, Museum of Magic & Witchcraft at
Castleton on the Isle of Man and the Witches' House Museum at Boscastle, North
Cornwall, he will be missed by many.
Although Cecil has gone from us to join the Ancestors, we will hold his memory
in affection and respect until we meet again. At his own request there was
no funeral service. All who would like to mark his passing are asked to conduct
their own ritual at 10:00pm GMT Sat 18th December. They will be linked to the
many friends and colleagues who will be remembering Cecil at that time.
(member of Bricket Wood coven, ran Fiveacres naturist club, co-author of
biography Gerald Gardner Witch) (6/2/1926-7/28/1981)
Jack Bracelin is
the author of Gardner's biography, "Gerald Gardner, Witch", (published 1960)
now out of print, although still available 2nd hand, and in libraries. (In
Crafting the Art of Magic, Kelly claims that this book was actually written
Idries Shah, and
simply published under Bracelin's name. Kelly offers no evidence of this)
In Idries Shahs Biography on Wikipedia it talks about Idries Shah's
friendship with Bracelin, Gardner and Robert Graves.
that his Book of Shadows dates from 1949, although in The Rebirth Of
Witchcraft, Doreen says that Bracelin was a "relative newcomer" in the
mid-1950s. Two sources claim that Bracelin helped Gardner write "The
Laws". In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen states that she did not see The
Laws until the mid 1950s, when she and her partner Ned Grove accused Gardner
of concocting them in order to reassert control over the coven. Bracelin was
in the Gardner led coven during the break up of the group, and it seems
reasonable that he did in fact help with their composition. Although Doreen
claims that the reason for the coven break up was the fact that Gardner and
Bracelin were publicity crazy, there was another reason, which was the
installment of a new lady into the coven, effectively replacing Doreen as
HPS. This is also the main reason for Gerald's Law which states that the HPS
will, "...gracefully retire in favor of a younger woman, should the coven so
decide in council." Needless to say, Doreen was not impressed, and she and
Ned left the coven under very acrimonious circumstances. It was quite some
time before Doreen had contact with Gardner again, and they never quite
regained the degree of friendship that had previously existed. Bracelin died
Bill Mohs (the
Mohsian Tradition) (??-1981)
Sybil Leek (Diary
of a Witch) (2/22/1917-10/26/1982)
Monique Campbell Wilson (Olwen) (1923-1982)
(the Faerie Shaman; CAW; Greenfield Ranch pioneer) (5/21/1946-11/9/1982)
Jane Roberts (Witches
“Pat” Patterson III (Georgian Wicca, Bakersfield, CA) (11/18/1920-11/6/1984)
(sci-fi author, More Than Human, Venus Plus X) (2/26/1918-5/8/1985)
McMurtry (OTO, San Francisco) (10/18/1918-7/12/1985)
author and poet.
von Ranke Graves and most commonly Robert Graves was an English poet,
scholar/translator/writer of antiquity
specializing in Classical Greece and Rome, and
novelist. During his long life he produced more
than 140 works. Graves's poems—together with his
translations and innovative analysis and
interpretations of the Greek myths,
his memoir of his early life, including his role
in the First World War,
Good-Bye to All That,
and his speculative study of poetic inspiration,
The White Goddess—have
never been out of print.
created a modern mythology from the stories of
our ancient past, and in the process introduced
concepts that would become an important part of
the Pagan world view. The “Maiden/Mother/Crone”
archetype comes directly from the writings of
Graves, as does the story of the Oak King and
Holly King. Graves took ancient myth and gave it
a fresh spin, providing it with a new resonance
for the 20th Century. The only downside to
Graves’ re-imagination is that much of what
should be considered prose poetry is looked at
as inarguable fact. While Graves is not always
read directly by Modern Pagans his thoughts and
ideas have been picked up and spread by a
multitude of Pagan writers and teachers. In
Pagan Circles, he is best known for The White
Rhuddlwm Gawr met his first teacher, Sarah
Llewellyn about 5 miles from where Robert Graves
lived on the Island of Majorca.
Lady Gwen Thomson
Barney C. Taylor
(“Grandmaster Eli”) (Druidic Craft of the Wise) (1/30/1916-1/24/1983)
Campbell (The Power of Myth) (3/26/1904-10/30/1987)
Alex Sanders (Orrell
Alexander Carter) (King of
the Alexandrian Witches) (6/6/1926-4/30/1988)
Robert Anson Heinlein (Stranger
in a Strange Land) (7/7/1907-5/8/1988)
Buczynski (Lord Hermes) (Minoan Brotherhood, NYC) (1/ 28/1947-3/16/1989)
LORD CYPRIAN - (1983)
Lord Cyprian was born and raised
in Nashville Tennessee. He loved nature and grew up on a small farm. He was a
loving husband and the father of 4. He loved plant life and
collected many different types of native plants. He was initiated into the wicca
lifestyle through a coven in England and until his death in 1983 served the lord
and lady well as a High Priest and teacher and mentor. He filled all these
roles well. This is one of the many articles he wrote during his time
I believe in the Goddess and her consort, the God. They have made my beautiful
Earth and created me, it's guardian. I will not profane Their Creation.
I am their Custodian of all life and I gladly bear my duties. The God and
Goddess have given me Mind and Body and Spirit and with these I worship Them;
not through fear but in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. And when
this life is ended I will return to the God and Goddess for rest and strength
and wisdom. When I am prepared, They will return me to my beautiful Earth
to live again amongst those I love. So Mote It Be!
Barbara Vickers (Gerald
Gardner’s first initiate) (7/13/1922-1973)
Arnold Crowther (10/7/1909-5/1/1974)
Dafo (Edith Woodford-Grimes 1887-1975), Gerald
Gardner’s first High Priestess.
Dafo was might
have been the first Witch High Priestess, and
was undoubtedly Gerald Gardner’s first High
Priestess. It’s impossible to know just how
influential Woodford-Grimes was to the Modern
Craft, but she was certainly there at its
beginnings in the late 1930′s. Dafo was one of
the original members of Gardner’s Bricket Wood
Coven, and was present at the initiation of
Doreen Valiente in 1953. Dafo distanced herself
from the Craft and Gardner in the late 50′s,
wishing to remain anonymous and out of the
public spotlight. Only in recent years has her
vast contribution to Modern Paganism become
widely known and acknowledged.
Edith Rose Wray was born 18 December 1887 at Malton
in Yorkshire. Her father, William Wray, was an engineer at the local
waterworks. They lived in a house located on a Roman road, nearby to an old
spring dedicated to the Lady. Edith became a teacher of music and elocution.
In 1920, she married Samuel Woodford Grimes, who had been born in Bangalore,
India in 1880. They settled in Southampton, and had a daughter named Rosanne
in 1921. Edith’s marriage was a difficult one for her, and when her daughter
became a young woman, Edith moved with her to Christchurch in 1938. Along
the way, Edith had become involved with a group of hereditary Witches, and
she had a wealth of knowledge about village Witchcraft.
In Christchurch, Edith became a member of the
Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship, and in 1939, she joined with Dorothy
Clutterbuck to create the Mill House Coven. Later that year, Edith initiated
Gerald Gardner into the coven. When Edith’s daughter married in 1940, Edith
moved to a house at Walkford, close to Gardner’s house in Highcliffe. During
the War, she and Gardner spent much time together, and afterwards, she
became the first High Priestess in Gardner’s Bricket Wood Coven in 1949.
When the Witchcraft Laws were repealed in 1951 and Gardener started to
publicize Witchcraft, Edith decided to drop out to avoid exposure, and in
1953, she was replaced with Doreen Valiente as High Priestess.
Phillip Peter Ross Nichols (6/28/1902-4/30/1975)
(Rex Nemorensis / The Fish) (1892-1977)
(Delphic Coven, Lander, WY) (d. late ‘70s)
Walter Ernest Butler (British occultist
and esoteric author) (1898-1978)
Ernie Mason (hereditary Witch in the group who
initiated Gardner) (9/1/1885-2/26/1979)
Susie Mason (hereditary Witch in group who
initiated Gardner, sister of Ernie Mason) (8/22/1882-3/30/1979)
Monica English (traditional Witch from East
Anglia and member of Bricket Wood coven) (1/8/1920-9/30/1979)
Eric Neumann (The
Great Mother) (1/23/1905-11/5/1960)
(best friend of Dorothy Clutterbuck and probably a member of the group who
initiated Gardner) (6/10/1878-7/8/1963)
Margaret Alice Murray (God of the
Murray was a well respected Egyptologist and
mostly a serious academic (books like God of
were obviously meant for a general audience) but
is also a major figure in the Modern Pagan
Revival because of her books on Witchcraft and
the Horned God.
It’s easy in retrospect to dismiss Murray’s
Witch-cult in Western Europe (1921).
Murray’s hypothesis that the innocents killed in
Europe’s “Witch Trials” represented a secret
underground pagan religion has been dismissed by
a majority of scholars today, but the theory
continues to hold a lot of power in Modern
Paganism. Regardless of how factual the Murray
hypothesis is, it became one of the founding
myths of Witchcraft, and as a result Modern
Paganism. In addition to providing a mythology,
Murray provided the terminology that would
become a part of many Pagan traditions. We use
words like coven and esbat because they were
words that Murray used.
Murray redeemed and legitimized the word
“witch.” After reading Murray you want to
practice Witchcraft and you want to be a Pagan.
Her history of the Horned God in God of the
Witches is everything you want a Pagan
archetype to be. She traces the worship of Old
Horny back to the Cave of the Three Brothers in
France and its portrait of “The Sorcerer” to Pan
and Cernunnos and then later Robin Hood.
Murray’s Witch Religion is a faith of joy and
exuberance and I’m certain that it influenced
countless people to want to be Witches.
She also endorsed Gardner’s version of
Witchcraft writing the introduction to Witchcraft Today back in 1954.
Without Murray it’s possible that early
Pagans might have all called themselves Druids
or Heathens and the empowering mantle of witch
would have never been worn in Contemporary
Paganism. Certainly the influence of Murray’s
“Witch-cult Hypothesis” will continue to fade in
the coming decades, but her other contributions
to Modern Paganism will continue. Besides even
if Murray’s theory isn’t exactly true in the
literal sense I think many of us will continue
to feel a kinship with the women (and men) who
were needlessly murdered in the name of religion
Murray was made Assistant Professor of Egyptology at the University
College of London in 1924, a post she held until her retirement in 1935. In
1926 she became a fellow of Britain's Royal Anthropological Institute and at
the age of 90 became President of the Folklore Society. Murray's best known
work, The WitchCult in Western Europe, was published in 1921 .
Her thesis expounded the view that an underground Pagan resistance to the
Christian Church had existed across Europe and was organized into covens of
thirteen worshipers, who were dedicated to a male god. This religion, dating
from the Neolithic period, survived unnoticed throughout the Christian era
up to its uncovering at the hands of the Witch hunters in the mid-fifteenth
century. Despite Murray’s assertions that the cult practiced human
sacrifice, it was of curiosity to those in the twentieth century with an
interest in folklore and Paganism. It allowed for the freedom of women and
recognized their importance, whilst being open to sexuality and resisting
Church oppression. In this respect Murray's ideas can be seen in the context
of the then popular view of a romanticized rural England, which stood in
contrast to industrialization and the massively destructive and horrific
conflicts of the early part of the century.
Murray’s work has been roundly criticized by academic historians and it
is agreed in those circles that her ideas were the result of misinterpreting
and exaggerating evidence taken from limited sources, as well as the
falsification of some documents. A quote from Professor J. B. Russell's
History of Witchcraft summarizes the academic position: "the Murray
thesis on the whole is untenable. The argument for the survival of any
coherent fertility cult from antiquity through the Middle Ages into the
present is riddled with fallacies" .
The God of the Witches  , published in 1931, expanded on Murray’s claims that the Witch cult
had worshiped a Horned God whose origins went back to prehistory. She
asserted that the Witches' confessions of worshiping Satan proved they
actually did venerate such a god.
Murray's works were to become bestsellers from the 1940s onwards, and,
for a number of decades, were generally believed to be true. Until recently
her writings were highly regarded in many Wiccan circles. However,
especially after Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon, which continued
the exposé of Murray’s ideas  and has been well received by many modern
Witches, this influence has declined markedly. Nonetheless, Murray’s ideas
had a profound effect on Gardner and many currently used Wiccan terms derive
from, or are influenced by her work such as the Wiccan term the "Old
Religion", as well as concepts like the coven, the Esbat, the Wiccan Wheel
of the Year, and the Horned God.
Gerald Brousseau Gardner (6/13/1884-2/12/1964)
Gerald Gardner was born June 13, 1884 in
Blundellands near Liverpool, England. Because of his asthma, Gerald was sent
to travel in Europe during the winter with his nurse. Eventually, they
traveled to Ceylon, Borneo and Malaysia. Although Gerald spent much of his
early years working on tea plantations, he was fascinated with archeology
and local customs, and eventually published an acclaimed book titled Kris
and Other Malay Weapons. He eventually obtained a position with the British
government as a rubber plantation inspector, customs official and inspector
of opium establishments.
Gardner made a great deal of money in the
rubber market, retired, and returned to England in 1936. He eventually
financed a series of archeological trips throughout Europe and Asia Minor
and joined the British Folklore Society. In June 1938, he joined the newly
opened Rosicrucian Theater at Christchurch.
Gardner stated that late in 1939, Dafo,
whose real name we believe was Mrs. Edith Woodford-Grimes, the Maiden of
‘New Forest’ coven, initiated him into the Crotona Fellowship and its inner
Witchcraft core. But he received his training from Dorothy Clutterbuck who
you will hear about later. Dafo and Dorothy are the only tangible links
between Wicca and The New Forest coven.
The Fellowship of Crotona, a Co-Mason
lodge, was highly experimental, and practiced Theosophy and Rosicrucian
ritual. This "Fellowship" claimed to be connected to a surviving English
coven of witches who met in the New Forest area of England. It's inner core
was trying to reconstruct country witchcraft rituals along the lines of
Margaret Murray's books, "as all magical lodges were doing in those days"
according to Cecil Williamson.
Gerald indicated to several friends that
he had found "everything he had ever looked for in his life". He wanted to
publicize it, but met strong resistance from the other members of the group,
who feared for their jobs and their standing in the community.
Gardner’s initiator used the pseudonym of
Dafo because it was still a criminal offence to be a Witch (the Witchcraft
Act of 1735 was repealed in 1951). Dafo was a leader or at the very least, a
key member of the original New Forest Coven
Gardner stated of his initiation in "The
Meaning of Witchcraft": "I realized that I had stumbled upon something
interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word, "Wica" which they
used, hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old
Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took
the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things."
In this quote, Gardner spells Wicca with
only one "c". In the earlier "Witchcraft Today" (1954) and "High Magic's
Aid" (1949), the word Wicca is not used. He gave an explanation of the
"As they (the Dane and Saxon invaders of
England) had no witches of their own they had no special name for them;
however, they made one up from "wig" an idol, and "laer", learning,
"wiglaer" which they shortened into "Wicca". "It is a curious fact that when
the witches became English-speaking they adopted their Saxon name,
"Wica"." We know now that this explanation is not historically correct.
In "An ABC of Witchcraft Past and
Present", Doreen Valiente does not have an entry for Wicca, but when
discussing Witchcraft, does mention the Saxon derivation from the word Wicca
or Wicce. In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, however, she accepts Prof. Russell's
derivation from the Indo-European root "Weik", which relates to things
connected with magic and religion.
Even Gardner’s detractors (and there are many) can’t deny
his accomplishments. To put it simply Gardner was the first person to share with
the world what would become a long-lasting religious and/or magickal tradition
that most of us today would recognize as Pagan. His “Wica” had four quarters, a
magick circle, a Goddess, a God, and a High Priestess. All of those elements
existed before Gardner, but had never endured together for decades until
It also doesn’t matter if Gardner was
initiated into a coven back in 1939 or
completely made his Witch Religion up. If he was
initiated and his faith tradition traces back to
that group then he’s the great revealer, sharing
a new religion with the rest of the world. If he
simply assembled the various pieces that make up
Modern Witchcraft then he’s the great architect,
the creator of a religious tradition that has
now taken a seat next to the other great
religions of the world. If you were to ask my
opinion, I think Gardner exists somewhere
between revealer and architect, someone who was
probably initiated into something back in 1939
and then added to it.
Wicca has been the most
dominant branch of the Pagan tree for the last
Gardner himself was no doubt influenced by
Druids like Ross Nichols and most likely
encountered New Orleans Voodoo when he visited
the United States back in 1947-48. Gardner’s
interests were wide-ranging and he absorbed
influences from various spiritualities.
Gardner’s version of Witchcraft was the first
public and long-lasting Pagan religion of the
Doreen Valiente strongly supported
Gardner's claim of traditional initiation, and published the results of her
attempt to prove the existence of Dorothy Clutterbuck in an appendix to "The
Witches' Way" by Janet and Stewart Farrar. It is a very good piece of
investigation proving that Old Dorothy actually existed. In the recently
published "Crafting the Art of Magic", Aidan Kelly makes the outrageous
claim that Gardner, Dorothy, et al, created Wicca one night following a
social get together! Of one thing we can be certain: whatever its origin,
modern Wicca derives from Gardner and because of Gardner’s efforts,
traditional hereditary traditions such as Dynion Mwyn/Y Tylwyth Teg, have
been able to "go public."
In 1947 Gerald met Aleister Crowley, who,
after three more meetings gave Gerald a charter to revive the Ordo Templi
Orientals (OTO) or The Order of the Oriental Templars) in Britain. The fact
that Gardner's OTO charter was hand written by Gardner but signed by Crowley
may have led some who saw both the charter and Gardner's workbook to believe
that Crowley had written the Witches workbook himself. Ye Book of Ye Art
Magical was on display at Ripley's Witchcraft Museum at Fisherman's Wharf in
San Francisco and later stored in their vaults until it was purchased
by Tamara James, a Gardnerian Witch in 1987. Sometime after he started his
first coven, Gardner started using the term 'Book of Shadows' to refer to
the Witches' workbook. He rewrote his Witches' workbook several times in the
early days of his coven, and Doreen Valiente said the earliest book she saw
had no title.
Drawing heavily from the Golden Dawn
material, Gardner created a Grimoire in his own handwriting around
1948. This Grimoire, still in existence in the Gardner collection in
Toronto, Canada, was begun during the Second World War. It is clear from
this manuscript that the coven, which initiated him in 1939, had given him
almost no information at all. His ideas of the Craft at that time were very
fragmentary, but he turned those ideas into a tradition of secret inner
teachings about magic and goddess worship. These ideas gradually evolved
into an outer religion for the masses that emphasized the erotic and added
nudity (working skyclad), from Roman initiatory mysteries, to the ritual.
The manuscript material gradually changed
as Gardner's own views shifted from the elite ceremonial magick of the
Golden Dawn, that improved the fragmentary workings of hereditary groups
(techniques later taken up by almost all Witches), to elements of outer
pagan religions that would make Witchcraft more appealing to the masses fed
up with institutionalized religion -- a more natural magic, transforming the
intellectual rituals of the Order into simpler rituals that could be
performed by ordinary people. Gardner claimed that he didn't want to see
Witchcraft die out, and that his efforts at recruiting members and starting
covens to practice his form of Witchcraft was directed at that goal.
Gradually new ideas, which would later
become the teachings, laws, and rituals of the Wicca religion, worked their
way into the material. He added neo-pagan ideas derived from Margaret Murray
and Charles Leland. He also adopted ideas from Robert Graves, E. O. James,
and other writers. Gardner taught many influential pupils, and many of these
later created their own branches of Wicca.
In the Summer of 1947 Gerald sailed for
the United States and met with Jack Parsons, an OTO official in California.
Parsons was one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and
inventor of the fuel that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon; in 1972, a
crater on the dark side of the moon was named in his honor.
Magickally, Parsons had been deposed as
acting Head of the Agape Lodge of the OTO in California (the only active OTO
Lodge at the time) by Crowley. Apparently, Parsons had neglected the Lodge
because he was obsessed with manifesting the power of Babylon on earth; he
and L. Ron Hubbard (say Scientology) had been spending time in the desert
invoking BABYLON of the Stars to appear in the flesh.
Parsons was very interested in the idea of
witchcraft and invoked spirits so regularly that he constantly had others
banishing the results of his work at the Lodge. Parsons had written about
what he thought would be a coming resurgence of witchcraft on several
Upon his return from America, Gerald
abandoned his plan to become the OTO head in Britain, and wrote "Ye Boke of
ye Arte Magickal as a compendium of rituals for a revived witchcraft." He
then founded a nudist club in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, as a cover for
In 1949, he published a more detailed
novel, High Magic's Aid, under his magickal name in the OTO, Scire.
Scire was the name Gardner took as a member of Crowley's branch of the OTO.
Aleister Crowley had given Gardner his O.T.O. degree and Charter in 1946.
This book, like Gardner's own religious beliefs, combined the more natural
forms of magic with high ceremonial. In his introduction to the book,
Gardner says that:
"The Magical rituals are authentic,
partly from the Key of Solomon (MacGregor Mathers' translation) and
partly from Magical MSS. in my possession."
In the novel, witches worship a horned god
but no goddess. By late 1949, when Gardner participated in an OTO ritual
with Kenneth Grant to invoke extraterrestrial entities using some of A.O.
Spare's methods, he had a small working group of Witches.
Gardner and Crowley on several occasions,
discussed Gardner's OTO Charter and how Crowley was going to make changes
that Crowley felt were needed in the OTO. One of the changes Crowley wanted
was the setting up of many small groups of initiates instead of centrally
located main temples.
Gardner returned to the US in 1950 to
confer further with Parsons, who in the meantime, had written instructions
for creating a Thelemic Order based on paganism and witchcraft.
In 1951 the Witchcraft Act was repealed in
Britain. Gardner began to publicly promote Wicca as an old religion, which
had as some of its precepts, a love of life and a belief in the sanctity of
nature. He claimed that its deity was "The Lady" or Goddess, and her consort
"The Lord" or Horned God. Cecil Williamson transferred his Museum of
Witchcraft to the Isle of Man and Gerald became his "resident witch" and
started giving interviews.
In 1952, Dafo is said to have introduced a
thirty-year-old raven-haired lady to Gerald (other sources said she wrote to
Cecil Williamson who put her in touch with Gardner). So began Doreen
Valiente's first footsteps along the path of Wicca. A year later, in 1953,
Doreen received the first-degree initiation into the Craft, given (as
tradition demanded) by a member of the opposite sex. Gardner conducted the
initiation himself on Midsummer's Eve. He had just traveled from his
witchcraft museum on the Isle of Man to attend the Druid Solstice gathering
at Stonehenge where he was to loan the Ancient Druid Order his ritual sword.
On this journey he dropped by the home of Dafo and initiated the young
Doreen, whom he had met the previous summer.
Gardner used his Book of
Shadows from the late forties up until 1953 when he initiated Doreen. He
claimed the material was taken directly from the New Forest Coven and was
the remnants of the Old Religion, which had been passed down through the
ages. His astute student Ameth (the name given to Doreen) noticed that one
passage read out by Gardner was taken from Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass.
On this point, Doreen took Gardner to task and he replied that the Wicca
rites he had received were fragmentary and he had filled them in the best he
could. He gave Doreen his Book of Shadows saying, "Can you do any better?"
She did, replacing much of the Crowley and Masonic material with her own
verse. She reconstructed the documents into a logical, practical and
workable system, leaving us with what we know today as "Wicca". Thus most
scholars identify 1953 as the true date of the commencement of Gardnerian
Wicca in England.
In 1953 Gerald bought the Museum of
Witchcraft from Cecil Williamson, who returned to England and founded
another museum at Boscastle in Cornwall (which he sold in 1997.)
In 1954, Gardner wrote Witchcraft Today,
his first non-fiction account of witchcraft. In this book he supported the
theories of Margaret Murray of an ancient organized religion of witchcraft
in Europe. This book started a rush of new recruits for Gerald's coven and
new covens began to arise all over Britain.
He proclaimed that Witchcraft was to have
a new beginning as Wicca. Wicca would be the new and correct way to address
Witchcraft and a Witch would now be called a Wiccan. Gardner created a way
of thinking that soon spread all over the United States and Britain. He
adopted laws for Wiccans to emulate, but one and only one became the
standard: "Do what you will, and it harm none."
Post-1957, Doreen severed contact with
Gerald because of his willingness to be interviewed by the press and his
attempt (in her opinion) to subvert her authority. In "The Rebirth of
Witchcraft", she explains that as the coven's High Priestess, she felt that
by speaking to the press, Gardner was compromising the security of the group
and the sincerity of his own teachings. Doreen introduced a set of rules
called the "Proposed Rules for the Craft" which would prevent any members of
the Craft from speaking to journalists or writers without permission from
the Elders. Gardner was fully expected to follow these rules but retaliated
with the claim that the Craft already had a set of traditional laws. He then
sent the members of the coven "The Old Laws" - documents containing
practical advice and theology. Doreen didn't believe these "Old Laws" were
authentic and parted company with Gardner. However they did later restore
their friendship but never to the same degree as before.
Older coven members went with Doreen, but
she dropped Gardnerian rituals after a year, looking instead for more
"authentic" country witchcraft. Younger members stayed with Gerald. Dayonis,
who had previously been the coven's Maid, became Gerald's new High
Between 1952 and 1961, Gerald initiated
Pat and Arnold Crowther. This was the start of the Sheffield line. In her
books, Pat Crowther writes that she was initiated in 1961. In 1962, her maid
Pat Kopinski left her "because Pat refused to give her a 2nd degree." Pat
Kopinski, in turn, initiated Alex Sanders, founder of the Alexandrian
In 1959, Gardner wrote "The Meaning of
In 1960 Gerald raised the late Rae Bone to
2nd and 3rd degree. Rae is the ancestress of the Whitecroft line in England.
His wife died in 1960, and in 1963
Gardner's niece Monique Wilson initiated an Englishman named Ray Buckland
who introduced Gardner's form of witchcraft to the US.
Gardner died in 1964 while on a
Mediterranean cruise and returning from Lebanon. He is buried in Tunis.
Robert Cochrane/Roy Bowers
(Clan of Tubal Cain,
1734 Tradition) (1/26/1931-7/3/1966)
(aka Robert Cochrane) was born 26 January 1931 in London, England. It is
said by some that Bowers' immediate family members practiced some form of
witchcraft, and some ancestors were hanged for being Witches. Roy met
Taliesin enion Vawr, one of the authors of this book, in the early 1960s,
and, according to Taliesin’s recently available journals, they traded
information, including rituals and esoteric knowledge.
Robert Cochrane's origins are obscure, but
we know he was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition and met Doreen
Valiente through a mutual acquaintance in 1964. Upon meeting Doreen, he
claimed to be a hereditary witch, from a different tradition to Gardner's,
and as Doreen confirmed, was contemptuous of what he called "Gardnerian"
Bowers was trained as a blacksmith, and
formed a coven he called the Clan of Tubal Cain, around the same time that
Gerald Gardner started his first coven.
Doreen believed Bowers coined the term,
"Gardnerian". Doreen said she was completely taken in by Cochrane and for a
while, worked with him and the "Clan of Tubal-Cain" as he described his
tradition, which was also known as "The Royal Windsor Cuveen", or 1734.
Later Doreen claimed she found out Bowers was a fraud and left.
Bowers' early coven or tradition was
claimed to be a recreation of his understanding of Celtic mysticism welded
to the Witchcraft philosophy he learned from his first teacher. Bowers
taught in the manner of the Druids, with poetic riddles and oral teachings.
He and his wife Jean successfully combined traditional Witchcraft elements
of the sacred landscape with Druidic methods of training and practice, and a
guided meditation for creating an astral temple as a magickal tower
sanctuary (from one of the sources for his philosophy, magician William
Gray). His followers called his teachings the '1734 Tradition' after one of
his training puzzles concerning the name of the Goddess.
The figures "1734" have an interesting
history. Doreen gave an account of them in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, which
contradicts what Bowers described in a letter to Joe Wilson, dated "12th
Night 1966", where he says, "...the order of 1734 is not a date of an event
but a grouping of numerals that mean something to a witch. The number One
becomes seven states of wisdom. This is the Goddess of the Cauldron of
inspiration. The number Three is the Queen of the Element fire, which
belongs only to Humankind, and the Blacksmith God. The number Four is the
Queen of the Wind Gods. The Jewish orthodoxy believes that whomever knows
the Holy and Unspeakable name of God has absolute power over the world of
form. The name of God, spoken as Tetragrammaton breaks down in Hebrew to the
letters YHVH, which is Adam Kadmon (The Heavenly Man). Adam Kadmon is a
composite of all Archangels - in other words a poetic statement of the names
of the Elements. So what the Jew and the Witch believe alike, is that the
man who discovers the secret of the Elements controls the physical world.
1734 is the witch way of saying YHVH." (Cochrane, 1966) But, it is related
by Doreen, that in fact 1734 was the date stamped on the bottom of a copper
plate that Doreen purchased for Bowers, so he could have a proper plate for
the Sabbat cakes.
Taliesin Enion Vawr met Roy in Wales in
the 60s. Taliesin wrote in one of his journals, that he had two feelings
about Bowers: that he was enlightened by the Muse but also took liberties
with the truth.
The followers of Bowers do not use a Book
of Shadows; his teachings are embodied in a series of articles he wrote in
early British Witchcraft publications such as Pentagram, and in the many
letters he wrote to Joe Wilson. Bowers believed that different types of
vision contained the various approaches to truth: Poetic Vision -- inward
access to dream images and symbols; Vision of Memory -- remembers past
existence and past perfections; Magical Vision -- undertakes part of a Triad
of services and contacts certain levels; Religious Vision -- admission to
the True Godhead, part of true Initiation; and Mystical Vision - divine
union with the Godhead, with only energy present. Roy died in 1966.
In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen
elaborates upon the circumstances surrounding the death of Bowers: the facts
are that he died at the Summer Solstice of 1966 of an overdose of poisonous
herbs. Some misdirected Craft tradition believes that he became in fact, and
of his own choice, the male ritual sacrifice that is sometimes symbolically
enacted at the height of Summer. But it was Taliesin’s opinion that he was
depressed and took his own life
The Royal Windsor Cuveen disbanded after
Cochrane died, only to be reborn from the ashes at Samhain that year under a
new name - The Regency. All of its early members were from the Royal Windsor
Cuveen, and they were under the leadership of Ronald White. The Regency
proved to be of great importance to the development of the Wicca, although
its existence was kept a closely guarded secret, and even today, there are
relatively few people who have ever heard of it.
Meetings were held in North London, at
Queens Wood. Members included Ron White, Doreen Valiente, John Math, founder
of the Witchcraft Research Association in 1964, and editor of Pentagram
magazine, and Tony Kelly, founder of the Pagan Movement. At its height, more
than 40 members frequently attended rituals, which tended to be the
dramatic, pagan kind rather than the ceremonial associated with high ritual
magic. Some of the rites have been incorporated into modern Wiccan rituals.
The Regency operated fairly consistently for over twelve years, finally
disbanding in 1978. The Membership roll reads like a who's who of British
Wicca. In the mid 1960's Joe Wilson, corresponded with Bowers and eventually
brought his teachings to the US.
Harvey) (Daughters of the Triple Goddess, Framingham, MA) (6/21/1899-6/21/1969)
(Australian Pagan artist) (2/22/1879-11/21/1969)
Gleb Evgenievich Botkin (Church of
Clutterbuck (significant member of group who initiated Gardner)
Dorothy Clutterbuck was born in Lahore, India on 19
January 1880. Her father was a Captain in the 14th Sikhs of the British
Indian Army. When she was a young woman, her family returned to England to
further her education; her father was by then a Lieutenant-Colonel. Dorothy
was an independent thinker, with a strong interest in folklore, fairies and
Witches, and fancied herself a painter. After her family moved to the New
Forest area in southern England, she discovered and became friends with
hereditary Witches. In 1935, Dorothy married Rupert Fordham in London and
settled into a large house in the New Forest. Their marriage didn't last,
and Dorothy later became known as a wealthy spinster. She turned her house
into a theater and started a theater company called the Mill House Players;
this was made up of a few dozen local people, and Clutterbuck paid for all
of their costumes. When the Rosicrucian Society Crotona Fellowship moved
into the area, Dorothy and some of her Witch friends joined the Fellowship,
where they rubbed shoulders with a number of Co-Masons, a group of
intellectual women interested in the occult. In 1939, a group of persons at
a Fellowship Meet decided to start a number of new Witchcraft Covens in the
New Forest area, and Dorothy Clutterbuck was nominated to lead one of them.
Later that year, one of her coven members called Dafo (Mrs. Edith
Woodford-Grimes), initiated Gerald Gardner into the coven. Dorothy had met
Gardner, who also lived in the New Forest area, at meetings of the
Rosicrucian Society Crotona Fellowship. Dorothy kept extensive daily
diaries, which she wrote entirely in verse; in one of her entries she voiced
the belief common among hereditary Witches that the most important of the
Sabbats was the Summer Solstice. Dorothy Clutterbuck died 12 January 1951,
six months before Witchcraft became legal in England. After her death, many
of her magical tools were placed on display in the Witchcraft Museum on the
Isle of Mann.
Pamela Colman-Smith (Pixie)
Jack Parsons (OTO, rocket scientists at JPL) (10/2/19146/17/1952)
Lydia Becket (Aradian Temple
of Diana; Lawrence Museum of Magic & Witchcraft) (5/31/1871-12/21/1953)
Sir James George
Frazer (The Golden Bough) (1/1/1854-5/7/1941)
(Violet Firth 1890-1946)
founder of the
Society of Inner Light and author of The Sea
Priestess and Moon Magic.
is one of the most important occultists of the
20th Century. Fortune’s
magickal career began with a membership in the Golden Dawn, and ended with her own
Society of Inner Light.
Most interest of her writings are her fiction
works, specifically The Sea Priestess,
The Goat Foot God,
and Moon Magic. Her fiction provides a
template for Modern Pagan Ritual and
remains highly influential (though probably more
so in Great Britain than in the United States).
She also wrote accessible works on the Kabbalah
and psychic self defense. While Fortune would
have probably never thought of herself as a
Pagan, she certainly did have a relationship
with many Pagan deities at various points in her
Adriana Porter (“Rede of the Wiccae”) (c.1850-1946)
Aleister Crowley (“The Great Beast”) (10/12/1875-12/1/1947)
The handprints of the Great Beast are all
over Modern Paganism. From the way Crowley
refined the magickal rituals of the Golden Dawn
to his poetry and language, Uncle Al has had a
huge impact on what most of us do on a day to
day basis. Much of Crowley’s language and poetry
was “borrowed” by both Gerald Gardner and Doreen
Valiente when assembling much of the liturgy
that would come to define British Traditional
Witchcraft. While there’s a lot of doubt about
just how religious and spiritual Crowley was,
poems like Hymn to Pan capture the
Horned God at his randiest, and Crowley’s work
also call out to female deity, most notably
“Sweet Nuit” in The Book of the Law.
Many of Crowley’s idea were inserted nearly
whole scale into early Witchcraft, most
certainly “an it harm none, do what you will” is
a re-imagining of “do what thou wilt shall be
the whole of the law.” Crowley’s re-writing of
OTO Ritual was almost certainly influenced many
English Witches. His practice of sex magick may
have led to practices such as The Great Rite.
Time has not been as kind to Crowley as it
has to the others on this list. Books like Magick in Theory and Practice
have a rather limited appeal, and while we often
use fragments of Crowley’s words and writings in
ritual, the context is often different. I’d
probably make the argument that Crowley gave
much of Modern Paganism its structure and spine
along with certain ambiance, but he didn’t
become our heart or soul.
Rosamund Sabine (probable matriarch of group into
which Gardner was initiated) (2/5/1865-5/6/1948)
Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903),
Folklorist and author of Aradia.
Leland was an American born folklorist best
known in Pagan circles for the books Aradia:
Or the Gospel of the Witches and Etruscan Roman Remains, books that are
still studied and agonized over 100 years after
their initial publication. Aradia is one of the most influential texts
in the history of Modern Pagandom, and while the
Witchcraft in Aradia is a bit more
mean-spirited than modern varieties, there are
still many similarities. Much of the material in
Aradia has been adapted and re-worked
over the years, extending its influence even
further. The Charge of the Goddess is
found in Aradia, with the more famous
Doreen Valiente version using much of the
language originally translated from the Italian
by Leland. There are many arguments about the
historical veracity of Aradia, but no
doubts about its influence.
There is a legend that states that George
Pickingill was a Witch Master at Canewdon, where witches have been known
since the early 1800's. Two of these witches were Lady Eliza Lodwick and
Mary Ann Atkinson, wife of the local vicar. These two sisters were
originally named Kerstemans. A former Witch Master of Canewdon, Cunning
Murrell, died in 1860. Pickingill possessed a wooden whistle which legend
says he used to call the witches to a Meet. Local tradition has it that
there will always be at least six witches in Canewdon, "three in silk, three
in cotton" (that is, three high born and three lower class). In 1959, a 94
year old gardener from Canewdon named Arthur Downes stated that his great,
great grandfather had been a Pickingill and a witch in Canewdon, and that he
himself had been initiated into the Pickingill tradition at Beltaine 1950 in
Essex near the River Crouch, at which time there were nine witches in
According to Cecil Williamson, Aleister
Crowley had sent Gerald Gardner to Canewdon to investigate George
Pickingill, who was said to be the master of nine covens throughout Britain,
and to have held witch meets in the graveyard of St. Nicholas' church. Since
the witches of Canewdon have a sinister reputation, modern witches have
tried to distance themselves from the tradition.
There are some Witches who claim they are
descended from one of "George Pinkingill's Covens", but it is extremely
unlikely that he was connected with Gardner, or any other modern Wiccan in
any way. Pickingill died in 1909 at the age of 93, whilst Gardner was still
Eric Maple is largely responsible for the
Pickingill legend, which was expanded by Bill Liddell writing under the
pseudonym Lugh, in "The Wiccan" and "The Cauldron" throughout the 1970s. It
is said that Mike Howard still has some of Liddell's material, which he has
never published, and there is nobody in the British Craft who has given any
credence to Liddell's claims.
In the book, "The Dark World of Witches",
published in 1962, Maple tells of a number of village wise women and cunning
men, one of who is George Pickingill.
Accompanying the article is a photograph
of an old man with a stick, holding a hat, which Maple describes as
Pickingill. This photograph has subsequently been reused many times in books
about witchcraft and Wicca.
Cunning Murrell was
born James Murrell in Essex, England in 1780 and died in 1860.
Cunning Murrell was born James Murrell in Essex,
England in 1780 and died in 1860. He lived for many years at Hadleigh, where he was often
consulted by the locals to heal animals. He lived in the same area as his
younger contempory the witch George Pickingill, and he is often mentioned in
the controversy that exists about Pickingill and his real or supposed
influence on modern paganism. Murrell was also an astrologer and
an herbalist. He was well known for his use of iron cast witch bottles to
summon witches. A number of local stories attest to Cunning Murrell's
psychic powers, and he left behind a number of homemade books full of
magickal lore, including one he had inherited from a previous Cunning Man
named Neboad. Cunning Murrell died 16 December 1860, after another Cunning
Man from Rayleigh worked magick against him by a witch bottle.
Cunning Murrell and George Pickingill added a great
deal to the magickal lore and capabilities of the Witches of that era.
Information on Murrell can be hard to find.....much
of it is in an article by Arthur Morrison in The Strand Magazine of
1900, "A Wizard of Yesteryear" links as follows:
Each link a double page of the journal. Arthur
Morrison was an author of light realistic fiction, his "Martin Hewitt,
private investigator" was a more realistic alternative to
Sherlock Holmes, both
Holmes and Hewitt appearing in the The Strand Magazine. His novel
about Cunning Murrell can be found online.
A useful article about Cunning Murrell by Eric Maple can be found in the
journal Folkore (1961 or 1960). To access it online though you need to
subscribe to JSTOR.
The term "cunning man" or "cunning woman" was most widely used in southern
Midlands, and in
Wales. Such people were also frequently known across England as "wizards",
"wise men" or "wise women", or in southern England and Wales as "conjurers"
or as "dyn hysbys" in the
Welsh language. In
Cornwall they were
sometimes referred to as "pellars", which some etymologists suggest
originated from the term "expellers", referring to the practice of expelling
evil spirits. Nineteenth-century
used the term "white
witch" to refer to cunning folk.
Liddell (or Liddel) MacGregor Mathers (8 or 11
January 1854 – 5 or 20 November 1918),
Liddell (or Liddel) MacGregor Mathers (8 or 11
January 1854 – 5 or 20 November 1918), born
Samuel Liddell Mathers, was one of the most
influential figures in modern Occultism.
He is primarily known as one of the founders of
the Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn, a
order of which offshoots still exist today.
Mathers along with fellow co-founder William Wynn
Westcott was responsible for much of the
ritual and magical practice in the HOGD.
In addition to his work with the
Golden Dawn, Mathers translated many old
magickal texts into English, making works such
as The Lesser Key of Solomon and The
Book of Abramelin
more accessible to the majority of the English
speaking world. His work as a translator
resulted in increased popularity for magickal
systems such as the Kabbalah and the Enochian
language of John Dee. For the last ten years of
his life Mathers lived in France where he
promoted a religion dedicated to the goddess
adopted several of the Magickal symbolism found
in The Key of Solomon, which he incorporated
into his version of Wica or Wicca.
William Butler Yeats (Golden Dawn)
Eliphas Levi, French occultist, magician, and
Constant was born the son of a shoemaker in
1810. At an early age he caught the attentions
of a Parish Priest who arranged for Alphonse to
be sent to the seminary of Saint Nichols du
Chardonnet and latterly to Saint Sulpice. It was
here that he studied Roman Catholicism with the
intent of joining the Priesthood.
He gave up the
collar of Catholicism to become an Occultist in
the nineteenth century. Some claim he was thrown
out of the Church for his heretical views or as
the story goes for “preaching doctrines contrary
to the Church.” Before his death in 1875 Levi is
said to have reconciled with the Catholic Church
and died having received last rites.
While alive he
followed the esoteric path and adopted the
Jewish pseudonym of Eliphas Levi, which he
claimed was a Hebrew version of his, own name.
Although known for many books on ritual Magic,
Levi is perhaps best known for his work
regarding the alleged deity of the Knights
Templar, the Baphomet.
modern magic as we know it wouldn’t exit. Levi
was a huge influence on The Golden Dawn, and on
the American Albert Pike who rewrote the Masonic
Scottish Rite. Levi wrote about magic like a
scholar, attempting to define its practice and
use. He also created some of the first occult
correspondence tables. Anytime you match a tarot
card to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet you are
borrowing an idea from Levi. He also popularized
the figure of Baphomet (for better or for worse)
and wrote extensively on Lucifer as the
Vawr of Dynion Mwyn had documents claiming to
have been written by Levi and mentioning rituals
which Taliesin incorporated into his
teachings...Taliesin's ancestors evidently knew
Levi...we strongly recommend his writings to get
an idea of the occult knowledge available in the
Russian mystic, founder of Theosophy, and author
of Isis Unveiled and The Secret
Why she’s on
this list: Blavatsky is one of the most
important occult figures of all time, and has
been called “The Mother of the New Age” on more
than one occasion. Blavtasky’s writings helped
introduce the Western World to Eastern concepts
and ideas. Reincarnation? Karma? Both were ideas
injected into the Western occult milieu by
Blavatsky. She was also an independent woman who
travelled the world in the 19th Century and
founded her own religious movement.
(Lawrence Museum of
Magic & Witchcraft)
Julie Tower (Tower
who have significantly
influenced our modern
Pagan world over the
past century, and have
now left us:
Frank Baum (The
Wizard of Oz)
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock
Holmes; The Lost World)
Besant (Founder of
Phillip Lovecraft (the
James Matthew Barrie (Peter
Edgar Cayce (the
Thompson Seton (Boy
Rice Burroughs (Tarzan
& John Carter of
Clive Staples Lewis (The
Chronicles of Narnia)
Huxley (Brave New
World; Island; Doors of
Morrison (The Doors)
Tolkien (Lord of the
Gershom Scholem (Founder
of modern academic study
Roger Joseph Zelazny (Chronicles
of Don Juan)
Hoffman (discovered LSD)
Cornelius “Bud” Railey
Philip José Farmer (Image
of the Beast; Flesh;
Shlain (The Alphabet
vs. the Goddess)
Theodore Roszak (The
Making of a Counter
Munro (AKA Saki) (18
December 1870 – 13
August 1858 – 4 May
Dunsany (Edward John
Moreton Drax Plunkett)
(24 July 1878 – 25
McMaken Eager (June 20,
1911 – October 23, 1964)
Bloch (April 5, 1917 –
September 23, 1994)
William S. Burroughs (A
February 5, 1914 –
August 2, 1997)
Madeleine L'Engle (A
Wrinkle in Time)
(November 29, 1918 –
September 6, 2007)
Bradbury (August 22,
1920 – June 5, 2012)
the rest of the
(besides H.P. himself
and Robert Bloch)
Robert E. Howard (Conan
(January 22, 1906 – June
Henry Kuttner (April 7,
1915 – February 4, 1958)
Clark Ashton Smith (13
January 1893 – 14 August
Fritz Lieber (December
24, 1910 – September 5,
Frank Belknap Long
(April 27, 1901 -
January 3, 1994)
the man who not only
gave us black & white
magic, but made mice
Walt Disney (December 5,
1901 – December 15,
and an old SCA member
(Yang the Nauseating) &
author of humorous
Robert Lynn Asprin (June
28, 1946 – May 22, 2008)
the comic book writer
who created Doctor Fate,
Zatara and the original
Sandman (also Hawkman,
Flash, and others)
Gardner Fox (May 20,
1911 – December 24,
And so many others
we have known whose
lives and works made
our Pagan world what
it is today. But
what is remembered,
Please add whomever
else you can think
of, and let me know…
Thank you Oberon
for giving us
all this list of
remember. I am
going to save
this in my files
and of course in
my heart. This
us to thank
It is a gift to
memory of names
into our hands
and for us to
reflect on their
legacy. What is
in our hands now
lived? I asked
before she died
about my work
Path. I told her
come to me in
vision and was
asked of me to
bring into form.
I denied this
though I was
praying to serve
the Goddess. I
didn't feel that
I had any
right to bring
forward the work
on the archetype
of the priestess
and that some
how it would be
blessed me to go
forward with my
work because I
was being asked
to and said,
"Where do you
think it all
years later I
continue to be
blessed at what
meets us there
and the beauty
that has come in
from that door.
I tell women
each time that
this is not
from her bones
and psyche where
she lives in us
all. I thank her
for the blessing
into any place
She kissed my
fierce loving to
be in this
elders ask us,
"What is our
legacy while we
Oberon, though I
hope we have
years, when your
time comes at
this portal we
you for all you
have given to us
and good Samhain
to you, ALisa
is thinking of
line on one of
“Daring to Feel
"Isn't it funny
how you get
come and go till
at the portal."
If you are interested in
HERE or on the Red Dragon Below.
You will be taken to a page which will reveal the gateway to
Click on the below
image and read the Quest - you will discover the secret
Grail of Immortality. Then click on and read the Way and finally The
Word. The three books are available in
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For information on all individuals and
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Dynion Mwyn, contact us at http://www.dynionmwyn.com/contactus.htm .
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