[It seems right to share with you some excerpts from Allan’s emails to me over the past decade or so, much of it intended for inclusion in my social history of the NROOGD. Except for light editing (fixing typos), adding some clarifications [like so], and arranging the bits in chronological order, I have left these in Allan’s own words.]
I have been a wytch since I was 14 years old. I was searching for the wytches I saw in the magazine [Look] in the early 70s. Through Seph I found them in 1974 at the Yule Sabbat, [and] by the end of 1975, I was . . . in Isis Rising, where I was initiated as a White Cord on 23 June 1975. Hazel Firestone was also given her White Cord that day. On 11 October of the same year in Isis Rising, I was given my Red Cord by Lilith, Lazuli, Ayin, Taliesin, Calypso Iris [Judy Foster], and Talitha. Later that night I was formally initiated after Calypso took me to a party at Glenna’s house, and I stayed there after everyone else went home. On 8 November 1975 I took my Garter and left Isis Rising to start my own coven.
Silver Star was the offspring of a rite attended by Claire (Artemis Diana) and me. I had worked with her in Moonseed coven, where I was often a guest. I had attended Judy’s study group for that coven and knew the members well. We recruited Tiponya (Rita, Ursa Major) and Bacchus, Moriah Strega (from Isis Rising), and Antares (from Moonseed), and all were soon initiated as Red Cords in SS. This core group became the elders of the coven.
The coven of Silver Star was officially initiated on5 February 1976. Study groups were organized inBerkeley,Vallejo, andRohnert Park, and in 1977 Sundancer (Steve), Centaur (Jonothan), Gaia Wildewoode (Nancy), Kalai (Kate), and Brighid (Gloria) were initiated as White Cords. In 1977 Artemis Diana left the coven on a leave of absence and did not return, Tiponya was initiated HPs by me at a ritual attended by coven elders on 5 March 1977, according to the ordains of the coven. In 1978 Artemis (Ardys), Greg, and Rhiannon Brigit (Julia) were initiated. Gloria, Artemesia, and Cerridwin (Megan) were initiated in 1979. Deborah was initiated in 1980 or 81. . . .
There were 13 members initiated into the coven by 1983: Artemis Diana from Moonseeds, AAndrAAt Argent Verdelet [Allan] from Isis Rising, Antares from Moonseeds, Bacchus SS, Tiponya SS, Moriah Strega Isis Rising, Sundancer SS, Centaur SS, Gaia SS, Kalai SS, Brighid SS, Artemis SS, Cerredwin, and HymuckyMuck Alpha. Jim and Elaine from [Chabria’s] Nuit Urania coven, and Isaac Bonewits and Selene of Pentalpha were frequent guests of Silver Star.
I was also in Moebius Ring coven with Erif, Ozma (Arlen Wilson), Bill andSandy, Allan W., and Anna Moonbloode; in Backslid Coven with Judy Foster, Hazel Firestone, Carlos, and Anna M.; and in West Wind Spiral with Erif, Chris and Kathy, and Anna M.
With the support of Calypso Iris and Anna Moonbloode, the majority of the open Sabbats were produced from 1977 into the 80s by Silver Star Productions.
As SS was based on a Thelemic model, “strange drugs” were often involved. The High Priest [meaning himself] of the coven was an OTO initiate, although this was not common knowledge at the time. . . . OTO just went to hell in a handbasket after Grady [McMurtry] died. And there’s that matter of the long lost original copy of Liber AL that just appeared in a basement inBerkeley. It was mighty suspicious, as the papers found inBerkeley were most likely the ones that were stolen from Carl Germers’ widow’s house back in the day.
In 1983 Anna, Brighid and Meghan [Allan’s daughters], and I leftCaliforniaand returned toMaryland.
I am still working  as a Registered Nurse, with a specialty of psychiatric nursing. I completed a masters degree in Anthropology in 2002. Our daughter Brighid completed her masters in sociology and is a therapist now. Meghan is a free soul who doesn’t like school, nor reading. However, someone in the family needs to keep it real.
Since returning to CA in October 2006 [with much help from Silver Star initiates and other NEOOGDies], I have been involved with Silver Salamander coven, whose High Priest is Greg (of SS) and High Priestess is Jutta (of Nightwing)
Q: Comparing the NROOGD to other versions of the Craft, what do you think is uniquely important about the NROOGD?
A: The NROOGD tradition is much more free to evolve as the elders of the member covens see fit. We are not bogged down in the dogma and secrecy of the Gardnerians. However, while I was in Maryland, some NROOGD elders organized themselves as the guardians of the tradition, expecting autonomous NROOGD covens to follow their version of what constitutes a member coven. I have seen HPs be called to task for not adhering to ritual format and adding or subtracting lines and introducing new rituals altogether. Coincidently, all these elders who are resistant to change are, or have become, Gardnerians.
Being of that group of folks that came into NROOGD in the early 70s, I remember . . . there was creativity in those days, at least on my own part. . . . At that time there was evolution happening among the Covens as they took the original ritual as written, and added new liturgy. Chandria was also one who believed in using the original ritual as a template and embellishing it to suit her vision. It was a time of growth, and I think we understood that the liturgy was expected to continue to evolve and flourish. In the 80s the Covens were even more iconiclastic, even changing the initiation oaths and paying less attention to the NROOGD of Full Moon Coven days.
[Artemisia and Allan married last year. Artemisia let me know that Allan passed the day before their first anniversary.]