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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 94 - 1/13/2003
Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List?
If you were compiling the Pagan/Heathen equivalent of the famous ‘Who’s Who’ list of influential people, which Pagan or Heathen names would make it on your list? Why did you choose these people?
Which non-Pagans, but still people who are/were influential in some way to issues important to Pagans, should be on the list?
What qualities or accomplishments did you consider to be the most important in making your choices?
Finally, which people of your own acquaintance would make your private ‘most influential people in my life’ list?
| Reponses: There are 91 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| Who Cares Whos Whos? ||Jan 14th. at 4:45:41 am EST|
|Dazie Childs (WI/MN) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Ok i will admit that there are alot of wonderful people doing alot of great work in the pagan community and that they should be recognized and supported by the community but do we really need a whos who? I strive to tell people when they are doing good things that i acknowledge and appreciate them. If we need to start doing hollywood style whos whos, maybe we as a community need to try to appreciate people more on the spot. I dont mean to sound rough or snotty about it but i realized when i read the questions that all of the people who have had an effect in my life were people that very few would know.
| I Would Choose ||Jan 14th. at 5:39:06 am EST|
|Starlight Bunnybutt (FL, USA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
The most influential people I can think of for modern Paganism are Scott Cunningham and Alice Walker.
Cunningham's humor and common sense inspire me every day to explore the world with new eyes. I don't always agree with him, but he helps me define what I do believe when I diverge from his beliefs. I truly wish I'd had a chance to meet him while he was alive.
Alice Walker first inspired me when I read "The Color Purple". The raw painful climb her characters made to describe themselves spiritually touched me very deeply. When Shug begins telling Celie that the being she thinks of as "God" isn't some old white guy with a long beard but herself and everything around her, when I read that part it was like a kick in the head. I love Walker's work because not only does she speak to women about finding their own visions of the divine (instead of using the ones the men have put in place) but she also talks right to African Americans about reclaiming their own spirituality and wresting it from the ideals that white affluent men have placed upon it. "You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall."
In her essay "The Only Reason You Want to Go to Heaven Is That You Have Been Driven Out of Your Mind (Off Your Land and Out of Your Lover's Arms)" [Anything We Love Can be Saved, 1997 Random House] Walker outlines reasons why African Americans and Native Americans should return to their ancestral Pagan worships. She states many things from ecological ideals to healing the psychic breach that patriarchies have imposed on the human spirit. While she uses the much disputed 9 million deaths during the inquisition figure, her writing is textured and moving and a very compelling argument for all people, no matter what race, to explore their own spirituality apart from the collective ideals of society.
We have a beautiful mother
her green lap immense
her brown embrace eternal
her blue body everything
- from the poem We Have a Beautiful Mother
| Not Many Leaders Really ||Jan 14th. at 7:01:58 am EST|
|Sam (Holyoke, Mass) ||Age: 49 - Email |
A whos who is a classic idea, but sady I know too many of our famous pagans and with extremely rare exception none of them are worthy of much acclaim. We do need leaders and I don't consider someone that gets a book contract a leader or even 'wiser than others' . - Authors are typically just another pagan with an opinion that gets a contract, THAT in itself doesn't elevate them to me. there is no real standard for being a Pagan author. If I see wise words on the net or a piece that makes me think... THAT I give respect to.
Personally I like the non who's who folks... people like Fritz and Wren that JUST do the work and could give a rats ass about the fame. They speak with their work and not BS PR.
My who's who would consist of local folks that do the work for the community. You won't know their names but those in western mass do. they are considered friends, not celebs.
| You Never Know... ||Jan 14th. at 7:14:24 am EST|
|jade (canada) ||Age: 16 - Email |
i can't really say who specifically. i have learned so much from so many different people. i didn't really discover any authors, or anybody else like that until a few years ago. i was raised a pagan, and the most influential people in my life are probably my grand parents, they taught me to nurture myself, and nature. other than them, a lot of people are very influential to me. i can be reading a book, an article, or anything, and the writer says something that totally changes the way i look at things, or they broaden my knowledge. you never know when this sort of eye-opener will happen, and it's not just witches and pagans that are capable to do this. my life is full of amazing people, they all have a different purpose in my life. honestly, nobody is more influential to me than those i love.
| Motherly Love ||Jan 14th. at 9:07:59 am EST|
|Lady Garnet Redstone (Charlotte, NC) ||Age: 46 - Email - Web|
The one person who has had the most influence on my life and spiritual path would be my mother, Mary Greene Powell. She, more than anyone else that comes to my mind, deserves to be on the Who's Who list!
My mother taught me to respect life in all its aspects; to love even those that did not love us or believe the way we do. She taught me what she believed with all her heart, even though my father told her to put away her beliefs and to never practice them in their home.
She taught me to be honest...to always be fair and true. She taught me to have an open mind and a love for learning.
She taught me that wealth does not come from money, but from the love and devotion of all around you.
I would also add Wren Walker, Fritz Jung and the rest of the Witches' Voice staff. Their selfless work, giving of their time and energy to help the Pagans of the world find each other and educate themselves, need to be recognized and commended!
Last but not least, my Coven mates! Without them, there would be no Sacred Oak Grove Coven! Each and everyone gives their all to make our group a loving family.
My husband, Lord Grian Redlion, who is also my High Priest, my lover, my very best friend, along with all of the Coven, work so hard to help everyone they can, in any way they can, showing what a Witch truly should be!
| Who's Who ||Jan 14th. at 10:28:35 am EST|
|Ashe Winterwolf (Irving, TX) ||Age: 39 - Email |
There are so many who have influenced me on this path-
Carl Jung for contributing to our understanding of ourselves.
Someone else has mentioned Stephen Hawking, but he is worth mentioning again and again. I find him and his work fascinating and relevent to pagan thought.
The Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Alester Crowley, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn who all provided a doorway for Wicca.
All those hard working environmental groups and the ACLU, as both function in harmony with pagan ideaology.
Gerald Gardener for founding the Wiccan faith.
Ronald Hutton for sweeping away all the nonsense regarding the foundations of the Wiccan faith.
Doreen Valiente for adding poetic beauty to Wicca.
Kerr Cuchulain for fighting the good fight. I recently had the good fortune to meet Kerr and his wife, Phoenix, and found them to be charming and dedicated people.
Janet and the late Stewart Farrar for being my first teachers. I adore their books.
Judy Harrow for filling a significant gap for coven leaders and teachers. I highly recommend her books Wiccan Covens and Spiritual Mentoring.
Maeven Eller, founder and executive director of Betwixt & Between Community Center (Dallas), for showing me, up close and personal, true dedication to the pagan way.
| Special People ||Jan 14th. at 10:33:24 am EST|
|Rowan (Deep South) ||Age: 37 - Email |
I think everyone we come into contact with has an influence on us and it is only the extremely strong-willed personality who can resist influence from the people around us. We are who we hang with. I have tried in my life to surround myself with open-minded people of all beliefs in the hope that by sharing our beliefs and opinions, we can reach a better understanding of the world around us and of each other. I think it's called tolerance.
I have read some books and even just passages by people that stuck with me forever. I liked what they had to say and how they said it. I couldn't begin to make a list but I have always loved science fiction/ fantasy type books and not just for the escapism. I feel that being able to imagine these things that the author is describing can really help keep the reader open-minded and willing to accept new ideas, willing to accept the possibility of the impossible.
I guess the most influential people to me would be the best friends I have had along the way. Some have gone on and others have decided to stagnate for awhile, (I still pray for them), some are with me nearly every day and I am very thankful. I try to tell them how wonderful they are at every chance I get. If we read something we like, it is very simple to go to a web site and thank that person for their encouraging words, great insight and unfailing diligence. The founders of this web site are excellent examples of people doing it for the love of doing it. We need more of these people in our midst.
I have been on my particular path all my life but I didn't know I what the path was until I was a teenager. I was raised a christian and I still use a lot of things from the Bible because it so often runs parallel with basic tenets from other religions. I am eclectic because I see good things everywhere and I can't bring myself to limit my beliefs to one tradition. I have the people I have met on my path to thank for that. What a wonderful blessing a good friend is!
Pioneers, inovators, risk takers, are all around us. There are endless amounts of knowledge to be had out there. If we don't keep learning, we stagnate, and all the work others have done for our freedom of expression, speech, press, all that suffers if we stagnate.
People who impress me are people who do for themselves as they are able and most of us are able more than we think we are. People who have fought against great odds, overcome obstacles so great that I can't even imagine the things that have run through their mind, the pressures they have had to deal with -- they come out on top and are wiser and tougher for the experience. My best friend is the perfect example, he's been on his own since he was a teen and now he is successful, content with his profession, able to support himself and help others. He is loving, caring, honest and doesn't play stupid games, that in itself is very rare. He probably doesn't know that I strive to be more like him everyday and everyday I realize something new that is wonderful about him. I tell him all the time how special he is to me and how I admire him for all he's accomplished completely on his own.
We need to encourage and nuture these special people, these good friends while they are among us. We shouldn't let the opportunity pass us by.
| Pagan Influences ||Jan 14th. at 11:15:45 am EST|
|Jeff Kincaid (Lynchburg, VA) ||Age: 40 - Email |
People new to Paganism/ Wicca have it so much easier than us old farts did when we started our quest. The wealth of information that is available to the seeker now is staggering. There are many influences that I have heard listed over the years. Parents, Grandparents, favorite Aunts, Uncles, and a whole host of other family members. There are the writers of course that are synonymous with Paganism/Wicca ( Cunningham, Buckland, Ravenwolf, Gardener, to name a few). Of the writers,I personally have been the most influenced by Scott Cunningham. His gentle easy style and way of looking at things was a comfort in a tumultuous time of my life. I can not say that I have much in the line of family influence, my family is historically Pagan. The biggest Pagan influence in my life has been, ironically not a Pagan at all. It is Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. Growing up in a self inflicted Star Trek world taught me values that were almost at odds with some of the "acceptable level of prejudice" present within my family structure. I learned to be reponsible for my own actions, spiritually and mundanely from the not-so-hidden, hidden messages in the Star Trek shows. I learned tolerence and acceptance on a much broader range from Trek, than I did while being forced to attend the famlily Baptist church. Once I grew older and started gathering info about the Craft, I started noticing similarities in the way that Roddenberry's characters interacted with one another (ie- The Vulcan concept of IDIC, or Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) and the way non-judgemental, accepting way of the Craft. I haven't had the time yet to read other responses, so I may come off as a major geek here, LOL, but that's ok.
Peace and Light,
oh and Live Long, and Prosper
| My List....in No Paticular Order. ||Jan 14th. at 12:31:12 pm EST|
|Wynterwake (Ohio) ||Age: 32 - Email |
My list reflects the postitive of my experience with the craft. It reflects people who the average person coming to the tradition might stumble across..and my thoughts on each.
1: Scott Cunningham: Some people are dismissive that his work is simplistic, but I say he is a fine writer when you are getting to know just where you are and helps to examine what you wish to get out of your coming to the goddess.
2: Andrew Buckland: agree or not this feelow was the fist..and I do mean the first writer I found in bookstores. as such I place him on my list for helping to bring his studies to the mainstream.
3: WitchVox: makes the list as a whole for being there to lend a voice and a friendly arm to read and interact in the community.
5: Kerr Cuhulain: I enjoy his work as to me he reflects in a way to allow us to see how we are seen by society and that reflection in itself leads to wisdom.
My list in itself is definately not complete as there are many, many more people who I feel are very important to the Pagan Community. That being said the common theme I find looking at these names just now is that their work is "reader friendly". You may in time not follow something that say "Buckland" would do as his path diverges, but how many of us came to this path Via a "Big blue Book".
As to my personal list, for me there is but one to be simple.
Lady Rhia who opened my eyes to the wonders of nature, the Lady and the Lord.. and Importantly ro what was already in my being to begin with.
Though we have lost touch in this all to hectic world you model of openess and friendship with unwavering kindness deeply left its touch in my life and I hope to someday reach to such heights as you soared.
Blessings and bounty to all this brilliant new year!
| My List....in No Paticular Order (Correction) ||Jan 14th. at 12:51:39 pm EST|
|WynterWake (Ohio) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I meant Ray Buckland....
Where ever did I get Andrew.
| Famous Unknowns ||Jan 14th. at 12:52:58 pm EST|
|Liorah Starcrow (Greene RI) ||Age: 54 - Email |
First and foremost on this list would have to be my Iniator, who influenced my Life more than any person alive, or dead..Stockbridge Chandler. Then would come the person who initiated him, but much more well known, The Lady Gwen Thompson. Then, would come the person who deserves to be first as she was bravely "out" when most of us were hiding in the shadows(or not born yet), The Lady Sybil Leek. She, more than anyone,inspired me to become a Witch in the first place. Next, would be Betsy Ashby, of Out of the Dark whose unfailing patience has seen me through some tough times and whose unselfish devotion to the enlightenment of many through her work is to be applauded(standing)with great admiration. Lest I forget,Fritz and Wren Walker, without whose devotion, our opinions would go unposted and most of us would be in the dark about what is what . Diane Des Rochers,aka"Grotonwitch" is certainly a person whose devotion and contributions should not go un-mentioned.Her "Grotonwitch's Grimoire" is the source of many informative articles and essays that would slip by un-noticed if not for her.Robert Mirabal, although not a witch (and maybe not even a Pagan or Heathen)should be on this list because of his awesome talent as a musician and bringer of wonderful sights and sounds of Native American dance fused with modern dance(see "Tales from a Painted Cave" and "Spirit" on PBS).Also to Shea Thomas whose research and diligence have brought to light "The Wiccan Rede Project", an important work to be sure. And last , but no means least,Lord Theitic of the NECTW.His unselfish devotion to keeping the works and dreams of Lady Gwen Thompson alive through tireless and unpaid research are the most monumental amount of work done by anyone so far as I know to bring an almost lost traditon back to life. P.S. To all of you known and unknown who "Keep The Faith" in good times and bad, in darkness and alone sometimes .Loved and unloved.I say "Keep on keeping on".Blessed Be.
| DAVEN! ||Jan 14th. at 1:35:25 pm EST|
|Sireana (South Carolina) ||Age: 30 - Email |
Daven of davensjournal.com would definitely be a good choice for a Pagan who's who list. This man juggles a regular full time job, family, free online magick classes, a very groovy website, and goodness knows what else. His dedication to teaching, his fairness, and his honesty are remarkable. He is doing a tremendous service to the Pagan community through his teachings...
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