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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
| The Most Influential Pagans In My Life Today. ||Jan 17th. at 2:12:02 pm EST|
|Lynne Coughlin-Penrod (Long Beach,WA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I would have to say first of all,Catrina Lewis,for being the one to have bought me my first real wiccan book. We study together off and on since July of 1994. The most famous pagan I know is Sully EErna of Godsmack, his lyrics just hit the right notes for me and they have a meaning that anyone can determine for themslves.Then there is my good friend Steve E. ,he may no longer be with us but he watches over me, he was a high priest as a young man then chose to be a solo practioner.
| Community Folks ||Jan 17th. at 4:39:23 pm EST|
|maxomai (Portland, OR) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Most of the people I would nominate to the "Who's Who" list are not famous authors or other unreachable super-stars, but local community leaders. They provide the real backbone for the Pagan movement.
So my nominations -- which are not meant to be all-inclusive, as this is just off the top of my head, and which probably contain spelling errors and other errata:
Brig Rainweaver, co-founder, Lyceum of Trees, Portland, Oregon
Sienna Newcastle, former owner of Laughing Bird bookstore and current director of M.A.G.I.C., in Vancouver, Washington
Gerald del Campo, author and Qabalist, Portland, Oregon
Rowan, director of Portland Reclaiming, founder of the Magical Activism Cluster, Portland, Oregon
Sebastian Rowanson, founder of Pagans' Night Out, Portland, Oregon
| Greetings Pagan America And All The Ships At Sea. ||Jan 17th. at 4:53:13 pm EST|
|Walter Winchell (New Richmond, WI) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Let's go to press.....
First, one needs to define the principles involved. That is, what are the qualitifications? How does one get on a who's who list? There are, after all, a lot of Pagan and Heathens who have done good things, yet no one has ever heard of them. Conversely, there are a fair number of more or less total idiots who are famous for one reason or another, but have not done the world or their communities much good. And there is an even larger group of famous, productive, Pagan and Heathen authors who are definite "up and comers", but who have not yet achieved the enduring positive influence to go on such a list.
Ok, my method: I will include Pagans, Heathens and CRs who have had the most influence on people within their communities. Note that my inclusion of someone is NOT necessarily an endorsement of them, their views, or their behavior.
1. Gerald Gardner: Come on, would there be modern Pagans without him? Well, sure, but they'd all be Asatru. The guy who founded the modern Pagan movement has to be #1.
2. Starhawk: How many thousands of feminist and leftist Pagans got started with Stahawk's books? How many thousands of no longer leftist Pagans got started with Starhawk's books? If you became a Pagan between 1979 and 1990, chances are it was either her book or Margot Adler's book which taught you about Paganism. In addition , she practically created the whole idea of Pagan Activism, and influenced a whole generation of Pagans, even if they didn't start with her. To put it another way, her writings directly changed the spiritual beliefs of about 100,000 to 150,000 people, at the absolute minimum.
3. Margot Adler: She only wrote one book that I know of, but it was VERY influential. Once again, if you became Pagan between 1979 and 1990, she probably had some influence of your life. This means another 100,000 to 150,000 people were changed by Margot Adler's one book.
4. Scott Cunningham: Scott's books were awfully simple and accessible. Too simple, perhaps, in many opinions. But, man, were they accessible. If you became Pagan between about 1990 and 1995, chances are you got many of your ideas, both right and wrong, from Scott Cunningham. Ok, well that's about another 150,000 or so people whose lives he influenced.
5. Silver Ravenwolf: A lot of people don't like her, and I have mixed feelings personally. Still, anyone who is a one-person industry has to be included in a who's who list. At least half the Pagans, and most of the fluffies, who got started after 1995 did it with a Silver Ravenwolf book. That's anywhere from 500,000 to a million people. Fluffy Bunny Wicca wasn't invented by Silver Ravenwolf, but she sure spread it around. And in so doing, made the Pagan Community a lot bigger, a lot stronger, and quite a bit more annoying.
6. Raymond Buckland: Bucky has seen better days, and some of his writings are, ah, a little embarassing. Do YOU think you really could forge an athame on a kitchen stove? Do you really think he met a Pict named Aidan Breac (Bucky pronounces it Bee-ack), who taught him Pecti-Wita? Still, he WAS the first public Wiccan in North America, and if you got into it before 1979, chances are he introduced you to Paganism. Now, that's only 50,000 to 100,000 people, but at a very early date.
7. Wren and Fritz: Netpagans extraordinaire, these two are helping to forge the Pagan Community on the net into a politically aware, coordinated, powerful force. They have made the Pagan Community far more focussed, far less diffuse, and generally a better place. The coordination on TWV has almost certainly made a huge difference in a number of cases around the country. People who would have gotten away with bad behavior against Pagans ten years ago, today get half-a-million protest letters, thanks to Wren and Fritz.
8. Isaac Bonewits: He sure looked more imposing fifteen years ago, didn't he? Today, Isaac is a bit of a has-been, but he essentially created modern American Pagan neo-Druidism. The NRDNA, ADF, Keltria, and a whole raft of other groups all owe their existence to his fertile imagination and inspiration. Celtic Reconstructionism is essentially a reaction against Isaac's ideas, which makes him, ironically, its founder, in a bass-ackwards sort of way.
1. Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson: The most influential guy you've never heard of, Sveinbjorn pulled Asatru out of its post-WWII doldrums, and essentially re-founded it, on more scholarly, less right-wing lines. Without him, there would be Germanic Heathens, but they would mostly be Nazi Skins, and not Asatru as we know it.
2. Stephen R. McNallen: He should probably get a boobie prize for the whole embarassing Kennewick Man caper, and for some of his remarks in recent years to the press, but he DID found the first North American Asatru organization, the Viking Fellowship, back in the '70s.
3. Stephen Flowers, aka Edred Throsson: Ok, so he's a Setian, also known as a Satanist in Egyptian drag. And, he did indeed let that influence how he does his Asatru. Still, he founded the Ring of Troth, and was the biggest promoter of Asatru from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Without him, Asatru would today be about half as big, or less, and even more populated by racialists and other people even less desirable than Setians.
4. Stephan Grundy, aka Kveldulf Gundarsson: What is it with Asatru guys named "Steve"? Kveldulf's books took over after Edred self-destructed, and kept Asatru going. In the Ring of Troth, his work is practically Holy Writ, and still the most influential stuff in a large majority of American kindreds and hearths. _Rheingold_ was a damn fine novel, too.
5. Garman Lord: Another guy you've never heard of, Garman founded Theodism, Anglo-Saxon Tribalist Heathenry. Theodism isn't big, and probably never will be, but it has had a host of imitators, including lots of Celtic, Baltic, Slavic, and what-not tribalists. If theods, tuatha, toutas, or other tribes ever get big, they'll owe it to Garman.
1. Tadhg MacCrossan: A very unpleasant little man, and forgotten today, but his book "The Sacred Cauldron" pretty much introduced CR to America, from France, where it had existed for fifty years. Almost all CRs are to some extent still working on a project which MacCrossan started, and doing better at it than he did.
2. John Wright, aka Iain Mac an tSaior: The founder of Clannada Gadelica, and its leading light for about ten years, he has defined many of the issues, attitudes, and practices of contemporary CR. Unfortunately, the flaming self-destruction of CnG also has left a large number of tuatha living in virtual seclusion, afraid of outside contact.
3. Alexei Kondratiev: The leading CR scholar today, tho' he does not call himself CR. Still, his research, books, and ideas are a major influence on what makes up the modern CR ideology. Also French, despite the Russian name. Are you noticing a French Connection here?
4. Erynn Rowan Laurie and John Machate: Leaders in early CR on the West Coast, and her ideas are still influential. Still, she doesn't do or write as much as she used to, so her stock is falling......
5. Virutally every CR around: CR is so small that almost anyone active in it at all will have some influence, and maybe a lot. A few honorable mentions include: Breandan Warren-Maxwell, Kym NiDeoreainn, Terry Carey, Greaghior macIain, Aedh Rua UiMhorrighu, and Padraig macIain, all of whom will no doubt be seen as legends by future generations..........
| My Who's Who ||Jan 17th. at 5:50:35 pm EST|
|Mordewis ap Llys (Asheville, NC) ||Age: 50 - Email - Web|
| Who's Who: Honorable Folks ||Jan 17th. at 6:55:48 pm EST|
|carl de malmanche (alt.religion.wicca.moderated) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Often in the list of Who's Who we get to see the authors, the travellers, and other personality types. Forgotten are the everyday folks that contribute so much of the true heart of any endeavour.
In this vein I would nominate Baird Stafford from the alt.pagan and alt.religion.wicca and .wicca.moderated as being a real comunity builder. He has been a stone of compassion and work since long before the 'net became public or fashionable. I would also bet that he plays his part in life offline as well.
| So Many ||Jan 17th. at 7:54:25 pm EST|
|SiliverfireChaos (B'ham AL) ||Age: 21 - Email - Web|
One person to the 'Whos Who' list that I can think of is a person I met recently through an e-group.
A truly inspirational writer of my aquantance is Daven. His writting is thought provoking and makes me sit back and re-evaluate my reasons for doing some of the things in my magic life. I have learned a few things, find others I don't agree with but respect, and think others could find a lot of real lessons in his writing and his website.
Why Daven? He researches his work, he has done his homework and knows what he is talking about. He asks question where he is unsure, takes constructive critsism, AND is open to suggestion. It isn't often you find writers or researchers who will do that.
My personal list is longer though (I don't get out much in the 'pagan' community).
I want to thank Four of Why Wiccans Suck. Finally I know I am not the only person out there who studies the deeply occult. I also know there is someone else out there that has their head screwed on right and doesn't think that because your 'LHP' automatically makes you a.)Christian in disguise b.)evil c.) a Satanist (though I have no problem with them or d.)not a real 'pagan'.
Much thanks to a wonderful couple, Sky Dancer and Freeman, who have shown me I have much to learn but are willing to help me find who I am (especially Sky). You have shown me the true definition of Left-Hand Path (to honor and rever the Divinity within me and that sometimes the individual or small group comes before the masses).
Warm thanks to the love of my heart and partner of my soul. You are teaching me the lessons that of Will that I will need later.
| The MOST Influential Person In My Path Of Wicca ||Jan 17th. at 9:19:43 pm EST|
|Gillian Barker (New Mexico) ||Age: 40 - Email |
Melinda Horn has been THE most influential person in my new Wicca life. A very close and dear friend, Mendi has been an inexaustive and very supportive help to me. No question is too much, no rtequest too labor-intensive. She has sent me reams of information, and will continue to be my mentor.
| My Take On The Who's Who... ||Jan 18th. at 3:14:04 am EST|
|Shawn Nolan (Coombs, British Columbia, Canada) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Scott Cunningham for making it easier for the solitary practitioner, and for everyone els for that matter...
Robin Skelton for being a Professor at a local University and being an open teacher of the craft, including having a Wiccan "Chrich" on Campus...
Ted Andrews for making psychic powers something easily understood...
Melita Denning and Osborn Phillips for bringing the Ogdoadic tradition to light and for making Psychic Self Defense accessable to the masses...
Dion Fortune and here successors like Gareth Knight to bring Psychology and Magick together for us...
Judy Hall, and Marion Weinstein for giving us a deep look into Magick.
Dian Stein for making Reiki available to the masses...
Marion Zimer Bradley for her books Firebrand and also the Mists of Avalon series...
Mercedes Lackey for here Diana Tregarde mysteries, and her other contemporarie novels of witches and shamans, also for her Elemental Masters series...
George Lucas for his movie Willow and for the books he wrote continuing on in that series that explain magick very well...
Jim Henson for his movie Labarynth...
For the Various Reiki masters that taught me over the years, as well as for Kirk who showed me the way... And for Grandma who told me about ghosts and Russian Witches and tea leaf reading and...
| (I Don't Know What You Are Asking For.) ||Jan 18th. at 10:36:48 am EST|
|Nancy Beront (upstate New York) ||Age: 52 - Email |
I have been most influenced by the author Scott Cunningham, as I am a solitary. I have read many books, but I seem to identify most with him. My two adult daughters are also solitaries (we live at distances from each other)and we have similar but different paths. Whenever we are together we share rituals, but for the most part, I am completely alone and his advice has been invaluable and encouraging. Most other books make me feel that I would be a "failure" if I didn't have a coven of a certain number, that did certain things, etc., but I feel comfortable and get results with my path.
| Personal Top Pagans ||Jan 18th. at 10:37:08 am EST|
|willow (ottawa) ||Age: 40 - Email |
As with so many, there are those who "wrote the books" who will always top the list. And they have all been mentioned, altho i think Phyllis Currott was missed. Her book "book of shadows" was amazing.
my list would have to be personal and no one anyone here would know them but, this is an opportunity to thank them and let them know how they've influenced me. So, first and foremost, i want to thank my ex-husband who, by his actions, sent me to the pits of despair which led to my spiritual journey in search of light and truth. (no chuckling now, it's true) I'm sure i'd have found my way here eventually but... well.. 'nuf said. It's history. To Pastor Barry and Pastor Denny for both turning their backs on me during that time and showing me just how much community there really was in the Pentacostal Church. To both of them i would have to say a heartfelt thanks because NOW i know what it is to be truly "SAVED".. :o)...(yanno, feels good to finally get this of ones chest LOL)
Last but not least to my very very special ONE who lives so very far away from me. So far, yet always near. He was always there to answer questions and to guide. Shared freely of his knowledge and love. Thank You!!
(and i don't mean that one from the UK either!!!! rofl..)
| I've Been Doing Alot Of Thinking On This Question..... ||Jan 18th. at 11:57:56 am EST|
|silverwinterrose (Spartanburg, SC) ||Age: 46 - Email |
and have found that I have been influenced by many great Pagans/Witches/
Heathens....I have read and admired Scott Cunningham, whom may be simple
but is a great starting point for those new to the Craft, Raymond Buckland,
Starhawk and more...There has been just as many books and articles that
don't seem to have the quality of info needed to help those who are
seeking the different paths of our Religion. When I first started on my
Path 2.5 years ago..I was eager to read everything I could get my hands on
and as I progressed I became quit 'picky' to what I was allowing into my mind.
My Path has evolved since my beginning and now I feel I am starting to understand
and find enlightenment in my choices.
And even tho I have had the ability to study and read some fine information
I have to say that the one most influential person in my life would have to be:
She is my youngest daughter with whom I have had the priviledge of sharing my life with.
She introduced me to Witchcraft about 5 years ago and I came to understand and
seek the knowledge 2.5 Years ago..We have been able to encourage and help each
other along the way..Without her I feel I would still be trapped in a world of
much sadness and depression..She started me on my Path to the Goddess and for
that I will be forever grateful.
Brightest Blessings to All
| Whos Who ||Jan 18th. at 12:16:13 pm EST|
|bearmother (ks) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Patricia Monaghan, Angelina Dawn and Deirdre M. Murphy would be at the top of my list for their Goddess poetry. Of non-pagan heros, Joseph Campbell for showing me the "Power of Myth" and Richard Wright for his "Between The World and Me". Jo helped me to see beyond cultural boundaries, whereas Wright's details of a hate crime are forever burned into my mind so that I don't forget. Of local favorites; Dr. A., a native of India, whom (with a quiet conviction) assured me that Sati WAS NOT a current practice of the Hindu faith. Then theres my friends at the Enchanted Willow; for listening, teaching and keeping me up on local pagan events. And the hubby guy, who is my best friend.
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