Article Specs |
Article ID: 3719
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,500
Times Read: 8,285
Type of Passage: Death
Date of Passage: November 12th. 2001
Author: Donia Clear Spring
Posted: November 14th. 2001
Times Viewed: 8,285
It is with a heavy heart that I pass along this news. Ron Parshley, also known as Lord Sylvanus, has passed to the Summerland this week. Ron hosted a radio show in the northeast for years and was openly pagan when the word as we know it was still being defined. He was active with P.A.N. in this area and a recognized Elder of our community for many years.
Ron touched so very many people that I know there is no way of getting this message to them all, so I ask the assistance of those with e-mail lists and contacts in spreading these words.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday, November 17th - which as fate would have it, is also Ron's birthday. The service will begin at 7:30 pm and will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa located at 11400 Morris Bridge Road in Tampa, Florida. Please bring balloons.
For directions or additional information, please contact Paulette Cadwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-740-0339.
Lady Donia Clear Spring
from Judy Harrow
Ron Parshley was the strongest healer the Northeast has ever known. He was the first to even show me the possibility of spiritual healing, and taught me most of what I know.
We used to have an annual gathering in an old barn. Sleeping space on the ground floor, rituals and workshops in the attic above. The attic roof was supported by pillars made of rough tree trunks, with some patches of bark still on them. The floor was equally rough, and even had some protruding nails. One year, somebody lacerated their foot pretty badly on that floor. Ron did touch healing and within an hour there was not even a mark. Later I heard a similar story about one of Ron's students, working as a bowling alley manager, whose arm was mangled by a pin-setting machine. Healed completely in one weekend.
I had a tumor removed, along with one of my ovaries, in 1968. Naturally, after that, I watched myself pretty carefully, got regular check-ups, etc.
Eventually, I got a frightening result from a Pap smear. I was sent to a clinic for a biopsy. But the gathring took place during the weekend after I'd had the test and before the results came back from the lab. Ron always said that the best window of opportunity for healing was when you weren't sure of the diagnosis -- the thought form of illness not yet fully set.
I was napping when they all went up to the attic for that healing Circle -- had not a clue of what they were up to. Ron led it, of course. Afterwards, somebody told me that they'd raised the roof when they raised the cone.
The biopsy came up clean. That was February, 1980. No relapses.
Over the years I'd phone Ron whenever anybody I cared for was seriously, frighteningly ill or hurt. After he moved down to Florida, we didn't do such a great job of keeping in touch. So, the running joke was that I would open those conversations with "don't you hate people who only get in touch when they want something from you?" Of course, he was always willing to help -- and always effective.
From long ago and far away, I will miss him. Blessings on his further Path.
Nov. 15th, 2001
from Dian Firebearer Mueller
Dressed in black, complete with clerical collar and a large pentacle necklace, Ron Parshley was always ready to speak up for Pagan rights, whether in a custody battle or going head to head with reactionaries. He was enormously generous with his time, offering healing help whenever asked, networking the community, teaching neophytes and Third Degrees, leading rituals, and serving Pagan organizations. He was equally generous sharing his vast library with Pagan scholars.
I will fondly remember: primping and hugging him as he embarked on a long trip to testify at a hearing; hours spent enwombed in his library/altar room; his remarkable wit and good humor in leading discussion groups; his steadying and centering presence in ritual; the incredible warmth pouring from his hands and heart as he worked healing with me when I was seriously ill.
For these and many other fond memories, I honor Ron and thank his wife for sharing him with us. I pray that the Lord and Lady will ease his passage to the Summerland where he will find good company, good food, and good debate!
Dian Firebearer Mueller
Nov. 16th, 2001
from Carl J McLaughlin
The first time I met Ron was when I was at the first of the annual gatherings in an old barn that would eventually be the site for future gatherings. I was 24 at the time and just starting my formal training. I was the one who had lacerated my right foot on the floor on some protruding nails during a ritual; the same ritual that Judy Harrow was at. After the ritual was over Ron came to my bedside and looked at the injury. His facial expression said it all. In the best way that I could remember he spoke in such a comforting voice, that everything would all right and performed a healing that one could say was miracle. The next day after I took off the dressings that covered the injured toe, what was once split in two, requiring a surgeon's sewing expertise, was now one.
A year or so later my familiar was diagnosed with a sickness so bad that the veterinarians wanted to put him to sleep. They had said that my cat had a tumor the size of an apricot pit in his stomach that prevented from digesting any further. My wife brought my cat home and called Ron explaining the situation. Ron told us that he would petition Baaste on our behalf and to have courage. Low and behold within 48 hours my familiar regurgitated an unknown material, not hair ball, or organic material that anyone could identify, and lived for another 12 years before meeting Baaste.
There was also the time that we were at a mid-winter gathering at the old barn. The owner of the site knew of our religious background and had indicated that the site was not doing well that winter due to the lack of snow. The site had many ski trails but without snow, she was not getting any bookings. Ron looked at her and said "There will be snow by morning". Even though the weather reports indicated that there was no precipitation due in the area it snowed. And snowed and snowed... That was a Friday night. The following Sunday morning the owner came back indicating that there was more than enough and "when will it end?" Ron looked at her and said "By the afternoon". Not long after noon the clouds departed and sunshine prevailed.
You shall be missed Lord Sylvanus. In the words of Victor Anderson " ... Farewell dear friends and loved ones, I must take my leave. To wander through the Summerland a while..."
Nov. 16th, 2001
from Anita Stewart - aka the Tarotlaydee )0(
Ron and I started talking on the phone in the early spring of this year and then I finally met Ron in person through Beth duLac, one of his students, on May 1st. We all attended the County Commissioners Meeting for the Fortuneteller's Ordinance that is in effect here in Pinellas County and then went out to lunch afterwards. He had some great ideas on how to fight the Ordinance and when we finally met, impressed me as an elder that I could learn alot from. I had hoped at that early point in our friendship to at some time in the future be taught by him. He attended the first ritual for the Temple of Oroborus Rising last May. This was our Beltane Ceremony on Sand Key Beach and he also came to our next open ritual for Midsummer. As we were a new group at the time, he did a lot in the way of encouragement and advising and keeping us going when times got rough or we gotdiscouraged. Ron and I had talked over the phone many times since then regarding the way of our Coven and the Temple and other political work that I was doing. Just recently he had called me and told me that he was developing a course for elders and would like me and my High Priestess to attend. I was thrilled about that, but told him that it would not be before the first of the year and I was really looking forward to looking over his library and sitting at the feet of this wise man to acquire more knowledge...he was definitely one of the smartest men I had ever had a chance to converse with! But all was not serious with him all the time...one of our best times was a nostalgic long story-telling during our Midsummer feasting...where all of us in attendance told wild and crazy stories of our youth in the 60's--as the feasting went on, the stories got wilder and crazier and we laughed and roared and just had the best time!!! Ron could certainly brighten up a room! Now I think of the time lost, and how I would have liked to have had a chance to get to know him better...and how I looked forward to learning more from him! And how I thought that we HAD until next year...I wonder if the Goddess will send me another mentor like him. One never knows when the path through this life will end. Ron's light of caring and devotion to others and the Craft will never go out!
aka the Tarotlaydee )0(
Secretary of the Temple of Oroborus Rising
Nov. 16th, 2001
from Elisabeth duLac
On Monday November 12th, 2001 the Craft lost a great man.Ronald Parshley was a dear friend to many in the Tampa /St.Pete and Pasco county areas. He also counted Laurie Cabot, the late Alex Sanders, the late Stewart Farrar and wife and Priestess of the Craft Janet Farrar Bone, Gavin Bone, Gavin and Yvonne Frost, Margot Adler and many other fine Craft notables knew Ron from his days as a radio annoucer in Worcester, Mass.
An intiate of the Alexadrian Tradition of Wicca for over 30 years Ron was one of the first, if not THE first , to have a Pagan Radio Program show in the Mid 70's .He was a founding member of the Pagan Allied Network (aka P.A.N.) and an Elder of the Tampa Universalist Church Circle on Morris Bridge Road.He is survived by his wife and soul mate of over 20 years of mariage, Roberta Parshley. He was my friend of 10 years, mentor and a father figure for me.He will be greatly missed until we all get a chance to meet again on the other side.
I am sure I have forgotten much as he was a man of many great accomplishments.The greatest of which were his many students .I count myself lucky to have had such a wonderful and great teacher.Although his heart pulled him from this world to the Summerland he will live on in the hearts of those you loved and cherished him. Ron would have been 58 this Saturday November 17th.I believe Ron would have wanted us to celebrate this next great intiation of his , and so we will do our best despite our grief , to do so for him.
Blessed are those who have passed on to the Summerland.
His loving student,
Nov. 16th, 2001
from Leigh and Fred Griffith
We first met Ron when we found him on our doorstep in August of 1981. We were living in the boonies of Maine and were hosting a Lammas gathering. Ron heard about it from someone and made the four hour drive north from Massachusetts. This was the beginning of a long and deep friendship with both him and his wife. He became a regular visitor (even though he found it difficult to sleep where it was so dark and quiet)!
Since the early 1980's, we've been holding public Beltane celebrations at Popham Beach. One year, rain squalls were coming through and, while one friend was standing out on the beach trying to keep the squalls away, Ron was huddling in the lee of a huge piece of driftwood with us, coaxing the storm on!
It came on undiminished...
Another time Ron and his wife were tenting on our property. Ron was awakened by his wife who was sure she heard a bear near the tent. After straining to hear the bear, Ron began to laugh and explained that what she was hearing was our St. Bernard dog, snoring!
In addition to being a great healer and teacher, as already explained by others, Ron had a way of empowering everyone he met. He helped us to realize that growing and harvesting our own food and animals here in the woods is as much an expression of the Craft as the ceremonial rituals being done by those in the cities.
From a distance, Ron became our valued mentor and High Priest. We were privileged to work with him to create the "National Alliance of Pantheists" in 1985, and worked monthly with him and others until he and his wife moved to Florida. At that time the distances became too great to manage. Although we talked on the phone many times, we only got to see him one more time since then.
Ron had a great influence on our faith, our ritual practices, and much of our core knowledge. While gone in body, we are happy to say that his spirit lives on in all of us who remember him.
May he always be blessed;
Leigh and Fred Griffith
Nov. 21st., 2001
from Carol Anderson
Ron was a man and priest with great heart, fiery mind, quick-witted tongue and wild humor. He was a powerful healer of both the body and the spirit. He was an articulate, passionate defender of numerous freedoms. I'm tremendously glad that I met Ron in 1981 at MAPCCAF (in the days before it became Panthea). He had officiated at the Minotaur ritual; a memorable rite indeed! His healing rituals astounded me with their energy and power. But what I cherish most was the joy of his friendship. I remember the gabfests, the walks between Mrs. Duncan's canteen and the Charming Bar, later the long-distance phone calls, the caring and the laughter.
Ron was a warm-hearted warrior. He engaged with wisdom, love and mirth. When fundamentalists would come calling, he'd cheerfully invite them to see his altar and to come to a circle. He served as an occult-advisor to local law enforcement and worked to promote understanding and acceptance. At one time, a local Wiccan group was being shot at as they held outdoor rituals. The local police were sympathetic to and supportive of the pagans. An officer explained on a TV news show that the pagan beliefs were not that different from his own! Ron also battled to defend a spectrum of rights and freedoms. He served as an abortion clinic escort when local clinics were being attacked by those he called the "anti-choice" movement. He was generous in his listening, in his caring, in his counsel and in his humor. He was a man of great kindness. And razor-sharp wit! He was fascinated with an encyclopedic range of subjects. And had strong opinions about most of them! He was a wonderful person to have in my life, even at long-distance.
I feel that my world has turned a little colder with Ron's passing. But I like to think of Ron at the feast table amidst, perhaps, Alex Sanders and Stewart Farrar. The atmosphere will grow brighter and warmer. There'll be passionate conversation. And Ron will make the hall echo with laughter.
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again dear Ron.
Nov. 25th, 2001
from C. Eric Robbins
Ron Parshley was among the first group of Pagans that I ever circled with, back in the early days of Chicken Street Lammas in Starks, Maine. I only recently found out that my convoluted lineage goes back to him, which pleases me greatly; I was always impressed with him, and hope to have inherited even a little bit of his qualities. Of my very fond memories of him, here are just a few.
One of Ron's interests was music, and from him we learned to sing (as a team effort) "The Chastity Belt Song". He always did the best "Sir Oswald returns" verse, with lovely rolled r's. Leigh Griffith usually had the "fair maiden" verses, but I think I remember once Tziporah Klein did that part.
Ron put some of NAP's bylaws language into lovely tongue-in-cheek overblown legalese. I can still hear him saying, "I'll bet there's nobody at the IRS with the vocabulary to figure out that this means 'don't take yourself too seriously', so they'll just leave it in!"
We visited Ron at his house once when the producers of the TV show "Eye on L.A." came across the country to film real Wiccan ritual. It seems that Ron, then in Lawrence, Massachusetts, was the nearest person they could find who could pull together several Wiccans willing to be filmed. We've come a long way, partly because of people like Ron! My memory of his house is all books. Piles of books on the floor, floor-to ceiling shelves overstuffed with books, spinner rack crammed full, chairs covered with books...I don't know how we got half-a-dozen of us around a candle with room for the film crew in that wonderful library-room of his, but somehow we managed!
Ron was a strong magician, a thoughtful friend, and brought many things to any room he walked into--song, laughter, bawdiness, strong healing magic, intellectual discourse, real warmth, and a passionate interest in the progress of Paganism. What a treasure we had in him! I will remember him always, and always fondly.
C. Eric Robbins
Nov. 26th, 2001
Donia Clear Spring
Location: Tampa, Florida
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