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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 8,660,754  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 91

Lurker/Post Ratio: 360 to 1

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 

Publish Or Perish Jan 17th. at 12:19:39 am UTC

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

Daven's Journal As A Fine Example Of Info.dissemination Jan 16th. at 10:18:40 pm UTC

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

My Votes Jan 16th. at 8:29:09 pm UTC

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!+]]

One Missed One Jan 16th. at 8:02:44 pm UTC

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.

Auntie Glenn Jan 16th. at 7:07:02 pm UTC

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

My Who's Who... And Pagan Hate Sites Jan 16th. at 6:00:24 pm UTC

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.

My Top Ten Jan 16th. at 5:52:29 pm UTC

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).


So Many... Jan 16th. at 5:33:16 pm UTC

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.

Who's Who List Jan 16th. at 5:04:27 pm UTC

Max Tucker (Alva, OK.) Age: 27 - Email

1. Scott Cunningham
2. Gerald Gardner/Alister Crowley
3. Raven Grimassi
4. Farrar/Farrar/bone
5. Isaac Bonawits

I would ad these people to any pagan who's who list. For, at least in my opinion these 8 people have done a lot for pagans, in regards to opening the mind's eye.

Influential Pagans Jan 16th. at 4:24:56 pm UTC

Datura (South Africa) Age: 20 - Email

Hi there!

I would like to just add my quick thoughts here, with a perhaps not so popular opinion.
Thinking back over my journey of discovery these past four years I would have to say the most influential people were my friends and teachers here at home.

But one of the most influential public pagans would have to be the webmaster of Now I know a lot of people look at that URL and immediately get incensed - but there really is a lot of well thought out, rational, intelligent and honest work to be found on that page. I highly recommend it to anyone new to the path of Wicca who has learnt most of their religion from the multitude of "Wicca for beginners" sites scattered around the 'net. Aside from correcting a number of misconceptions this site also points newbies to well researched, academic and accurate sources for learning about witchcraft, magic and the history of pagan religions.

So - to 4 at WWS - thanks for helping me and so many I know snap out of self-delusion and embark on a serious path of research into religion and magic.

Datura Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

A Short List Jan 16th. at 4:14:40 pm UTC

Kea Erisdottir (US) Age: 38 - Email

Tamarra & Richard James, Wiccan Church of Canada -- They've done long term, meaningful work in terms of Pagan/Wiccan education, temple building, clerical support of their community. The prison ministry of the WCC, at last asking, has a recitivism rate of ZERO because of the thoughtful way in which prisoners are brought back home and helped back to a productive life.

Tarostar -- Who, among other things, is an amazing man whom I admire because of his towering knowledge of the occult and his high personal standards.

The Church of the Iron Oak -- Who fought their case until they won against the local governments who were complicit in their persecution and attempting to limit their religious freedom.

Hadrea@Sword and Shield -- Who runs a very good BBS for Pagan Polytheists and well-behaved visitors of other faiths.

Drew Campbell -- For his ground breaking work in Hellenic Reconstructionism. One of the principles of Hellenion.

Kyrene Ariadne -- Founder of Hellenion and now working on a mysteries project called Ai Mystai. I personally admire her strong vision.

Sannion -- A Hellenic writer whose essays are thought provoking and entertaining.

Kveldulf Gundarrson
Freya Aswynn
Edred Thorsson

Non-fluffy Who's Who... Jan 16th. at 3:56:53 pm UTC

HrappR (New Jersey, USA) Age: 36 - Email - Web

Garman Lord, Swain and Eric Wodening, Edred Thorsson, James chisholm, Steve McNallen, Valgard Murray, Piperskegg Ullerson, Lavrans Reimer-Moeller, and all the others in the forefront of Heathenry. Some are authors, some are leaders, one or two are just doers. All are fine folks.

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