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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
| Pagan Who's Who ||Jan 15th. at 12:28:32 pm EST|
|AJ Jarvis (Rhode Island) ||Age: 17 - Email |
If I had to list the most influential people in the modern pagan movement, out of all the colorful characters we've seen, the list could not be complete without Gerald Gardner. He's my no. 1 choice, considering that modern Wicca developed from his books. Granted, Gardner was not without fault and I don't agree with all of his ideas, but I have a gut instinct that The neo-pagan movement may have ended before it began without his contributions.
After Gardner, Doreen Valiente, the mother of modern witchcraft. Without her, we would not have the Charge of the Goddess, and Wicca without the charge of the goddess seems unthinkable.
Next is Scott Cunningham. No witch should be without his work, whether they are traditional coven-oriented or a solitary. His books are beautiful tributes to the Lord and Lady.
One group of people who have to be realized for their importance are the scholars like Murray, Gimbutas and Graves. Everyone knows by now that Wicca's ancient origin claims are at best a little sketchy, but at least with the help of these and other hisotrians we can make Wicca closer to the religions of our pagan ancestors.
And finally, as much as so many of us are loath to admit it, Aleister Crowley's OTO and other cabbalistic groups of the early twentieth century helped flesh out the ritual aspects of early Wicca, so they too should be thanked for their contribution.
| People Who've Made Me Feel Good About Myself (Known) ||Jan 15th. at 1:19:41 pm EST|
|Lunae (rural, STL area) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to see the Bill Moyers' special with him. I consider him my PaPa since my mother cannot know who her father was. I chose him as a child.
The Dalai Llama
Obviously His story is one of incredible endurance and love but really for his actions and the things he has said. He's someone I want to be like.
Francesca de Grandis
Her way is clear and fun. Her writing is for "real people," as they say. I've considered writing to her but never gotten around to it. She is a true Seeker, in my eyes. Anyone *attempting* to do all she does deserves praise.
These are the ones I most admire.
| Sully Erna ||Jan 15th. at 1:29:44 pm EST|
The lead singer of Godsmack claims he never wanted to become the "poster boy" for Wicca but for the first 2 years after the band Godsmack's debut album, Godsmack and Wicca seem to go hand in hand. The band's official message board even has a forum for Wicca on it and the board is full of Pagans and people just discovering the Craft. Not to mention you if you go to a Godsmack concert, everywhere you turn is a pentacle.
Erna is out of the broom closet and is quite open to the media about his faith. He's a 3rd degree Witch in the Laurie Cabot Celtic tradition. He's studied under Laurie Cabot for around ten years and even had her and their coven in the video for the song "Voodoo" which features a Wiccan ritual.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Who's Who ||Jan 15th. at 2:53:46 pm EST|
|KaLee (Ripley, WV) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I must agree with Texas Whisper. I have met Yvonne and Gaven Frost and they are truly wonderful people. They have inspired me greatly and their strength to fight for what they belive in, even now is amazing.
I also think of Scott Cunningham, whose books I recommend to any newer pagans. He is thorough and he is a very interesting read.
It has been a long time since we all first heard of Tempest Smith, but she reminded us to stand up for other people, Pagan or no, because of the tragedy that occured to her.
Also I think Amber K is a good find, the good people here at Witchvox who have let us know that we are not alone, and anyone who dares to set out on their own path instead of taking the easier roads others have paved and prodded them down.
| Perhaps I Am Old Fashioned... ||Jan 15th. at 8:09:22 pm EST|
|jeannette (San Diego) ||Age: 25 - Email |
It would be a toss up between Doreen Valiente and Marion Green.I choose both of them because they are more "witchy" than "wiccan". Doreen Valiente was one of the original witches to stand up publically and voice her beliefs. She has contributed much to the modern wiccan/pagan community. Her influence is felt even stronger now since she has passed on than when she was alive. I wonder if she had any concept of how influencial her writing and contributations to the community would be. I put Marion Green on the list because she is one of the few authors that I really enjoy because it is not the "same old, same old". Most of the newer books on the craft are all the same. She has a wonderfull approach to older ideas/ideals and wonderfull ways to apply these ideas to our everyday life. She is expert at recomending ways to apply modern symbolism to ancient holidays.
We should thank them both as they have contributed sooo very much to our craft.
| Influential Pagans ||Jan 15th. at 8:27:46 pm EST|
|Elaine (Schertz, TX) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, Scott Cunningham, Starhawk.... to name a few. Personally I would add Alice Walker to that list; though she is more known for her activism, she is the first person who introduced the concept of female Deity to me. Blessed Be!
| Scott Cunningham ||Jan 15th. at 9:18:59 pm EST|
|Miranda (Charleston, SC) ||Age: 19 - Email |
A very influential and insightful Pagan writer. I think almost every solitary I know started on A Guide for the Solitary Practioner. He wrote about Wicca and its practice from a very practical viewpoint. His writing has an amazing amount of clarity in advising both experienced and inexperienced Pagans on a wide range of subject matter. Cunningham has truly managed to achieve immortality and a breakthrough in accessibility to Paganism as it is known.
| Who's/Who In New Orleans ||Jan 15th. at 9:28:42 pm EST|
|Donna Fransen (New Orleans, LA) ||Age: 48 - Email - Web|
I have been involved in the local Pagan community here in the New Orleans area for the past seven years. I have met wonderful people here, including Lady Mimi at Esoterica and Sally Glassman of the Voudon community. But the most influential person in my life the past years has been the Reverend Velvet Rieth, APS.
Rev. Rieth co-founded Covenant of the Pentacle Wiccan Church-ATC in 1994 to give the local Pagan community a place to pray with like-minded others. Since the founding of this church, it has branched into numerous teaching circles, a food bank, and a hospital chaplaincy program. The most important contribution that she has made, however, is the founding and continuing work as the ONLY Wiccan prison ministry program in the state of Louisiana. Rev. Rieth began this work in 1996 and for the first 18 months traveled every other weekend to establish this program at Allen Correctional Center in Kinder, LA. Since that time, five prisons have been added to this list with active working circles in them, including an inmate on Death Row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, LA. This past week, Rev. Rieth has been invited to work with the Federal prison system here in the state and is also working with chaplains in other states across the country to help educate them on Wicca.
These accomplishments alone would be enough for many, but for me, she is also much more. She is not only my pastor and friend, but I am proud and honored to call her my sister. She has been there for me and many others in our times of need. In the face of personal adversity, she has stood strong and guided us. She is, to me, the Wo/Man of the Year.
| Just My Opinion ||Jan 16th. at 4:39:53 am EST|
|Cougar (Zanesville, OH) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I wouldn't choose anyone. Why do we have to cheapen the Wiccan experience by playing popularity games like "ooh, vote for your favorite witches celebrity!!"? It's bad enough that teenagers are playing "The Craft" and Covens have become Mini-Churches. Wiccan leaders set up supposed unbiased online communities but only so they can hear themselves preech Wiccan Doctrine and sell their hand-crafted, mass produced crap they call "essential crafting tools".
With that opinion expressed, I would give honorable mention to Mr. Crowley and possibly Konstantinos for their ground breaking journeys into the feared and avoided sides of the Craft. Not to say that others haven't traveled down similar roads, but these are the names I have heard.
| Ralph Blum Hehehehehehehe ||Jan 16th. at 10:21:16 am EST|
|Sean (USA and Canada) ||Age: 35 - Email - Web|
I would sat Ralph Blum for his Rune book and the controvesy it has started over the Blank Rune.
And to all the other Rune authors out there who's Names I dont know. Thank you
| Help....I Can't Choose!! ||Jan 16th. at 10:29:42 am EST|
|Lisa (New Jersey) ||Age: 31 - Email |
When I sat and pondered this question many names came to mind. I have read many books about Wicca and Paganism and have found many to be enlightening and some just rather foolish. At first, I was going to write the names of these authors and their contribution to the Wiccan/Pagan community. But, then I realized the true person that started me on the path to Wicca. Her name is Diane, and she is my mother. When, I was the tender age of eight my mother bought me a pack of tarot cards. She herself didn't follow any particular doctrine or religion but that instance of the opening of my psychic mind brought many possibilities that I would not have explored without her nurturing that within me. She never once said that I could not be what I envisioned myself to be and for that I place her in the class of the most influential Pagan/Wiccan person in your life catergory.
| Pagan Who's Who ||Jan 16th. at 11:18:00 am EST|
|Branowen (Mesa, AZ) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
The Goddess, and therefore essentailly every pagan who has ever served her. I think every one of us plays a huge part, not just the celebrities. And for that, I would thank all of us.
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