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Texas Elder's Passing--Judy Carusone
Acct. ID: 147598
Notice ID: 11122
Posted: September 30th., 2004
This Notice has been viewed 3293 times
Proclaimed by: Charlayne Elizabeth Denney
Proclaimed from: Friendswood, Texas
Judith E. Carusone, Lady Bridget to the Pagan community, and known as Judy to just about everyone, passed beyond the veils on the wings of Isis on September 21, 2004.
During the years between the middle 1970's and around the fall of 1995, she was unsparing of the time, energy and talent she offered to create places where pagans could gather and learn from each other. When she wasn’t teaching or facilitating, she was preparing food and seeing that people were fed because, to her, food was an important way of showing love and caring.
Judy’s magickal linage was in the Isian tradition and she was a priestess daughter out of Pattalee Glass (Lady Phoenix) . She also worked with other traditions, including the Dianics. She studied with Medicine Hawk Wilburn when he was still working in the south and she did her Dream Quests with him. Judy, Pattalee, and a priestess named Lady Chrystal pledged to keep each other’s traditions from dying out and Judy kept that promise, weaving their magickal aspects into hers. She created Our Lady of the Sacred Flame and had it recognized as an official church in the state of Texas.
Judy was an original founder of the Council of Magickal Arts and was one of its first Directors (1981-1983) and Editors (1981-1990) and was awarded a lifetime membership in 1995. During her, time she was very active in ritual creation and workshops. In the beginning, she would "sneak" into the Xerox room where she worked and would print, copy and put together the CMA newsletter (this was pre-Accord) . She accepted submissions to the little newsletter and also put in articles of her own that she may have found or written.
CMA members remember the warmth and welcome they felt in her presence, her smile and her laughter, her way of pronouncing words with a combination of east coast and southern dialect. Many can still see her in a silky white robe with wearing a silvery mesh headdress, or the gold "scorpion crown" she wore as an aspect of the Goddess, Sekmet, in CMA's 1987 Beltane , Kadru, ritual. Judy helped co-ordinate CMA gatherings at Camp Ben McCullough & other spots in a time when Pagan Gatherings weren't an easy thing to have at all. Until 1987 when there were 150 in attendance at CMA, there were seldom more than 50 people at the gatherings, but often three different traditions officiated at three separate rituals, offering us the opportunity to experience the methods and philosophies of alternate pagan paths. Judy did much of the oversight of these events with her usual gifted efficiency and grace.
She & Pattalee (Lady Phoenix) of Dallas started a yearly Celebration Of Womanhood which was called COWS. This yearly event took place either outside of Dallas or at Beuscher State Park near Smithville. The workshops she arranged at COWs, not infrequently attended by at least 50 women, were highly informative, and the rituals both complex and rich. Even though both Pattalee and Judy have passed between the veils, there is still COWS every year outside Dallas. It has branched into two Celebrations a Year. The other is still at Beuscher and (only) the name has changed to CROWS.
Judy sponsored Moontalks, a monthly gathering where between 20 and 40 pagans could meet and become acquainted, and after the pot-luck supper, a featured speaker could share information concerning some aspect of the craft - - such as the meaning of various stones, or methods of divination - - and time would be available for conversations afterward. Sometimes an open Moon ritual would be celebrated. This was way before Pagan Night Out (PNO) . It was held at a clubhouse at her apartments, a possible risk in those days! It was a wonderful place & time to meet like-minded Wiccans and stay connected to friends you'd made in CMA or The Community!
It is impossible to fully relate the extent of the contributions that this one woman made to the CMA and Texas Pagan Community (and beyond) . Although for health reasons she was no longer openly active, in Honor of all she did, her passing is a loss to us all. What we see, still, in our hearts is Judy in her silky robes conducting handfastings and celebrations; Judy in her home with her entourage of cats; and Judy with her white dog, Puddles. We hear her voice and see her smile and we remember her lessons and her gifts of love, teaching, and warmth. We will miss her greatly and we are richer for having known her and for having been bless that she was active in the Texas community.
Judy’s life will be celebrated in a memorial service at Houston’s Memorial Park at 8:00 pm, Friday, October 1, 2004 near the baseball and picnic areas.
Charlayne Elizabeth Denney
Acting Editor--Accord Magazine
Council of the Magickal Arts, Inc.
Bio infomation courtesy Kathy and Clara Kerns, Valna Asterman, Tess, RainRiversong, and Accord Magazine--Fall 2000.
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