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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
| So Many... ||Jan 16th. at 5:33:16 pm EST|
|Jennifer (Indiana) ||Age: 35 - Email |
Pagan: Gerald Gardner, Aleister Crowley, Alex Sanders, Laurie Cabot, Isaac Bonewitz, Selena Fox, Margot Adler, Scott Cunningham, the Farrars, Sybil Leek, Doreen Valiente, Diane Stein, Kerr Cuhulain, Raymond Buckland, Wren & Fritz Walker, Gwen Thompson, Tempest Smith...Ronald Hutton and Robert Graves.
Non-pagan: Matthew Fox, Stephen Hawking, the Dalai Lama, Joseph Campbell, Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi.
Personal influences: Karen, Connie, and Lucky...they know who they are.
| My Top Ten ||Jan 16th. at 5:52:29 pm EST|
|Shea Thomas (Washington, DC) ||Age: 35 - Email - Web|
I may be cheating because not all of these folks are still on this side of the Summerlands, but a few of my own personal who's-who would be:
1) Isaac Bonewits (Founder of the ADF)
2) Doreen Valiente (Wrote most of our major poems)
3) Gerald B. Gardner (Among other things, initially popularized Wicca)
4) Gavin and Yvonne Frost (Founders: Church & School of Wicca)
5) Raymond Buckland (Among other things, helped start the idea of solitairy practice)
6) Llewellyn George & Carl Llewellyn Weschcke (Of Llewellyn Publishing)
7) Lady Gwen (Gwynne) Thompson (Its hard to find a tradition that hasn't borrowed from her)
8) Ronald Hutton (An amazing academic scholar... and he writes about Pagans! Oh my!).
9) Starhawk (The Spiral Dance, The consensus decision making model, and Reclaiming).
10) Dana McLean Greeley (First President of the Unitarian Universalist Association formed in 1961)
11) Wren Walker & Fritz Jung (Oh, no particular reason).
12) Robin Wood (Artist and writer extraordinaire and maker of an amazing Tarot deck).
13) Cecylyna Dewr (Founder, Executive Director, International Pagan Pride Project).
| My Who's Who... And Pagan Hate Sites ||Jan 16th. at 6:00:24 pm EST|
|Jen Forrester (KC, Kansas) ||Age: 57 - Email |
Datura Dearest, I really hope you have some postive influences and real names to add to your who's who list - surely you must.
What is oddly missing from WWS is WHAT this guy/gurl IS FOR or personally believes in. All I see is bitchy and sarcastic rhetoric not unlike that found at your every day pagan message board . (good looking web site though)- His/Her approach is classic and pulls in folks that buy into this sort of 'speak' - "wow, we are needy, insecure and want to be powerful and for sure..... WE DO NOT WANT TO SUCK! so remind us of how wrong we are and how dead-on you are". - How sad.
"I have no problem with Wicca. It's the Wiccans I can't stand." - (Nice! - Tell us more oh wise one! - Who CAN you stand?) Not surprisingly the younin' that crafted WWS has no name, no email, no icq, and no forum (although he/she promised one last september).
So who are MY influences? my Who's Who? People who HAVE names and DO Create things... Dorreen, Gerald, Janet & Stewart, Sybil, Wren and Fritz, COG, Issac, Alex, Raven G. AJ, Selena, Laurie, Ainsley, Margot, Starhawk, Kerr AND the many KC Pagans that have had a wonderful influence in my life; Mike N, JD, Angel, Randal Mitzi, etc... I thank these Pagans here and now for caring more about going somewhere than just bitching.
Don't worry WWS... Hate sites will always have an audience.
| Auntie Glenn ||Jan 16th. at 7:07:02 pm EST|
|Sue McCullough (Oakland, CA) ||Age: 43 - Email |
I'd nominate Glenn Turner.
She owns the Ancient Ways store in Oakland, which has been to the San Francisco bay area what Magickal Childe was to New York. She has been organizing PantheaCon for 10 years now. She's also been organizing the Ancient Ways Festival for 19 years. She's one of the founders of the NROOGD tradition, which started in San Francisco in 1967, and she deserves the lion's share of credit for keeping the tradition going when other founders had moved on with their lives.
She's been active in Interfaith work for I-don't-know-how-many-years, and was the first Wiccan member of the Berkeley Interfaith Counsel. She was one of the founding members of Covenant Of the Goddess (COG). And I'm sure I'm forgetting 20 other things she's done...
Without Glenn, the face of Paganism in this country would be very, very different.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| One Missed One ||Jan 16th. at 8:02:44 pm EST|
|Daven (Nashville, TN, USA) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I think that we are missing Mike Nichols. He's been around for a long time now, writing his essays that have found their way into just about every Book of Shadows.
| My Votes ||Jan 16th. at 8:29:09 pm EST|
|Emma Gonzalez (NYC) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I had forgotten about Why Wiccans Suck! I read that site & got a kick and the pants & got serious! about my new path. [[+Jen Forrester, did you really want the author to say Wicca sucks! You should do ((_this_)) instead like I do!?? I didn't think so..+]]
I would also like to add Joseph Campbell, even tho he's not a pagan! But I have his whole lecture tape set and no one knows as much about paganism as he does. I learn more every time I listen.
And Alestair Crowley, because none of us would be here if he hadn't made it popular again! [[+And I'm not a Thelema either!+]]
| Daven's Journal As A Fine Example Of Info.dissemination ||Jan 16th. at 10:18:40 pm EST|
|Silverspring (Nor CAL) ||Age: 36 - Email |
This site is one of the best I have ever seen for well researched, well thought out informationa nd resources, instead of the absolute dreck and drivel FILLING the net and obscuring the values, beliefs and very souls of pagans today. No load of obnoxious gifs, no nonsense, no assine "sparkly trails" or fairies floating on the page, making it impossible to load! If you are a seeker looking for SERIOUS information instead of crap/pap, this is a fine place to start.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Publish Or Perish ||Jan 17th. at 12:19:39 am EST|
|Aurora (Pennsylvania) ||Age: 22 - Email - Web|
It seems to me that most of the Pagan Who's Who are authors. The ones who have written the most seem to have the most fame. There is a tendency for quantity to override quantity. What I am about to say next does not mean that I have not found wisdom in the works of the following authors.
Doing a search on Amazon for Silver RavenWolf, I got 30 hits. That's 30 books of Wiccan non-fiction and fiction she has written or collaborated on since To Ride A Silver Broomstick came out in 1993. 30 books in 10 years. She is a best selling pagan author and a lot of people buy her stuff first, because bookstores stock it and she has a very conversational, almost light-hearted tone.
In searching for the late Scott Cunningham on Amazon, I got 49 hits. The earliest publishing date I found was Magical Herbalism in 1983. Several of these hits can be discounted, because apparently there is more than one Scott Cunningham. So, I estimate approximately 30 titles in 20 years. Many of Scott Cunningham's books are references however, like Magical Herbalism, the Encyclopedia of Gem, Crystal and Metal Magic, Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.
These are probably the two best known Wiccan authors.
However, not to be forgotten are Starhawk, Margot Adler, The Farrars, and of course, Gerald Gardner himself. But there are Wiccans who don't have the foggiest of what any of what Gardnerian Wicca means or what the man's books said, because he wasn't there to tell us the same thing over and over again. He didn't have an agent, and he predates Llewellyn. You can't walk into your local B Dalton and find his latest best seller. The number of Wiccans/Pagans in the country has probably doubled in the past ten years. And in those ten years, the market has been flooded with introductory Wicca texts. I believe this encourages shallowness of faith. THe seekers stop seeking, thinking they've found all they can find. All these authors I have mentioned are my Pagan who's who. But I feel there are many in the New Generation of Witches (to borrow a term from Silver RavenWolf) who don't understand where Wicca came from. We have to understand our past as a religion to have a clear view of our future. So when you're out at Barnes and Noble picking up the latest pack of Tarot cards or a book of quick and easy spells to make life perfect, Check out Spiral Dance and Drawing Down the Moon.
Non-Pagans that I feel have influenced me -- Stevie Nicks, Tori Amos, The Dixie Chicks (I wanna walk not run, I wanna skip and not fall, I want to look at the horizon and not see a building standing tall...)
My friend SiouxWolf started me on the path a long time ago with Amber K's True Magick. Circle sisters Verde and Eleisyn are also big influences. We are all helping each other seek how to be better stronger women. My mom also influenced me to think for myself and not just blindly follow someone who claims to be an authority.
The qualities I use for determining this is mostly the strength of influence. It saddens me that the Pagan Who's Who of today seems to be comprised of high-yield authors. It reminds me of the bureacracy of academia. Those who do not publish, perish, and are forgotten by the community. Remember that the path is not just a book tour.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Dion Fortune ||Jan 17th. at 12:24:06 am EST|
|Sue Brown (Washington) ||Age: 999 - Email |
For me it was Dion Fortune as she was part of the Golden Dawn and had wrote very good material on the occult including Psychic Self-Defense, perhaps one of the best. This gave me a great deal of insight into the world of the Occult and she was one of the few I felt who managed to succeed in being positive in her Magick Practices, unlike many others in the Golden Dawn that turned to more black magic, not mentioning names, as realize one is quite popular and considered genius, and perhaps so, but I preferred Dion Fortune's approach to it. Just casting my vote for one I feel was one of leaders towards a pagan type ritual magick, in a sense.
| I Wish To List And Honor: ||Jan 17th. at 1:43:23 am EST|
|karrie9 (Kenosha, WI) ||Age: 42 - Email |
What matters to me? Purpose, Attitude, Willingness to Explore, Clarity, Influence of the Healthy-Provoking Type, Character, Actions to Match, Dedication, Excellence and Honor.
Isaac Bonewits for his most excellent, outstanding, ground breaking, excellent, concise work as well as many years of dedicated work in many capacities.
Phyllis Currott for her excellence in writing, shining example, influence on many others, and her chosen projects.
Kerr Cuhulain gets a special welcome and honoring for his books, message of personal responsibility and awareness, and his "Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies" on witchvox.
Selena Fox for her activism, written and other work in many areas, including Circle Sanctuary and her support for Rev J. Witch & many others.
Amber K for her most excellent work and clear focus.
Starhawk for her rather prolific work and activisim, as well as her most captivating way with words.
Dark Wyccan for his well put and timely message of specifically regarding balance, ethics, and honesty.
Wren and all the Witchvox staff for their daily work and dedication that enables so much for so many.
For the crone who introduced me to Wicca and various disciplines: Ginnie, you are amazing and your gifts are still giving. I know you are still working and doing a great service not only for your community, but it goes beyond that.
Mary K. Greer for work with Tarot and Tarot For Yourself workbook.
Vicki Noble for her excellent work with Motherpeace.
Personal ty's and mention:
Chrissy, ty you for your many notes and support!
Prairie Witch, Ivy W (CA), Alpha Wolf, Warwick, Crone Mosh, Heath, Masha, El, Grey hare, and many others... you know who you are.
Others I Desire to Honor and Mention (dont' know if they are pagan):
Debbie Ford for The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.
Margo Adair for her Working Inside Out Tools For Change and other work over the years.
| My Three Choices For Who's Who ||Jan 17th. at 2:47:23 am EST|
|Ruadhan O'Sheridan (Salt Lake City, Utah) ||Age: 35 - Email |
First of all, I want to say that if any of these people find out about this nomiation of mine, I will probably be roasted alive and served on toast in Hollandaise sauce. However, here goes . . .
My first choice of nomination would be Michael Finnegan Rhys, current First Officer of COG, as well as First Officer for the last two years. For many years in his local community of Salt Lake City, Utah, Finn in his own way nurtured the local pagan community in a way no other person has. He, along with others, created what was Quickbeam Circle, which made paganism, and witchcraft in particular, accessible to the seasoned, solitary or seeker in a place where Craft was mostly underground. An entire new, and younger community coalesced about this group in its many incarnations over the course of 14 years and helped to network the beginnings of new covens, marriages, and organizations locally that would never have happened to this point without Quickbeam. Later, just before the demise of Quickbeam Circle, Finn stepped aside as "community desires" diverged from his vision. He has changed many of his former personal focuses toward Interfaith work and service, building bridges, and supporting new community endeavors such as Salt Lake City's first Pagan Pride Celebrations last Mabon. Although there is no COG presence in Salt Lake save himself, his words are still listened to by a variety of people of all levels of experience in this community. He will be the first to say he has no people skills, but he has a way of expressing local concerns or mythological imagery with a storyteller's skill. He articulately speaks of current focus or past perceptions abandoned with clarity, mirth and the excitement and enthusiasm of the newest seeker and keeps the listener curious as to what may come next. He can deliver advice or insights that both inspire or anger, but with a ring of authority that keeps one's attention rivetted.
My second nominee would be Betsy Ashby. Not for the work she does keeping the Gathering of the Tribes in Virginia going, but for another reason that some people might find "negative". Betsy Ashby is the owner and founder of the Witch Wars yahoo group which is an unmoderated and uncensored mailing list of everything from high ideals and speculation to venomous attacks and airing of grievances for the larger pagan community. This underutilized forum could be the clearinghouse of issues and communities in seemingly unresolveable conflict. This service can be used as a place for people to air grievances, concerns or even bring both sides of conflict together for possible resolution, or merely for both sides to air their sides. Betsy has taken a topic that all of us would like to avoid or deny and has put a new spin on it--seeing if this forum can make a positive difference, or at least being an experiment and crucible of pagan thought, interaction and even vitriol. Betsy participates with an even, yet light hand, but that seems to be the magick of letting the forum take one where it will. She may be the anchor and listmom that can make all of this happen, but she also gives one the sense that she is on this journey with us, wherever it will lead us.
My third nominee would be M. Macha Nightmare. I had the great pleasure and opportunity to meet and get to know a little bit this woman who has taken pagan awareness and clergy training into a very uncomfortable area for most of us: death. Pagans in general talk of death as a part of life, but it is still something that is not often discussed, experienced or is even fearful to us. Macha teaches through her workshops a guide to navigating the reefs that death presents us with both mundanely, spiritually and among our communities. I was moved to tears by the power of the visualization exercise that was part of the workshop I attended. This information and experience are both things I highly recommend to pagans as a new perspective on what has become part of trite expressions and Samhain observances in the Pagan world. I particularly have to recommend this workshop to any who are or aspire to be clergyfolk in our communities. M. Macha Nightmare is also a very approachable and friendly woman who showed great interest in our local community, environment and connections.
So each of these people spin considerable threads in the web of our larger community, but in places where we do not often look; between the webs, behind a leaf or around the edges. I am not sure how familiar folks may be with any one of these folks, but each of them are worth your future attention and support.
| My Vote Is For Starhawk ||Jan 17th. at 8:57:40 am EST|
|Rhiana (Hawaii) ||Age: 33 - Email |
She's out there applying her magick and her brains to issues that threaten Momma Gaia and all of Her children. Instead of offering us "fluffy bunny" or self-serving new age hype to pad her own pocketbook, she writes books, lectures and spends a lot of time on the front lines (and behind bars) protesting things like the poisoning of different regions by nuclear radiation. She takes all the meaning behind Wicca and applies it where it's urgently needed--to help save the planet and make a real difference here. Her books are extremely well researched and written, and THE FIFTH SACRED THING seems chillingly to be accurate with the current Bush Administration. I'm an activist on that front, and there is a lot of things he's doing that isn't in the mainstream media that are really alarming, such as armed military troops standing over forced "vaccination" shots to children in public schools throughout the country as mock "anti-terrorist" drills. There are no exemptions, and the shots cause illness, some seizures, and a few deaths. Many well reputed doctors are saying the shots are dangerous, and severely weaken the immune system. These are the same shots tested on US soldiers in the Gulf War that are responsible for "Gulf War Syndrome".
Magick is about causing change. And with that comes a lot of responsibility to ourselves, our children, our communities, our home (Gaia). Starhawk has a deep integrity and is an incredible model of what you can do with knowledge and magick as your tools. So many times when I was disheartened about an issue, I discover that the action/ritual worked, and we feel the sly smile on the Goddess's lips.
I am deeply grateful for the impact this woman has made on my life, and for the work she has done to serve all of us. Not to mention she substantially elevates the image of "witch". Thank you, sister.
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