A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, 1967-1973, Part II

Here continues descriptions of the groups that were involved in the series of “council” meetings in California that led to the founding of the Covenant of the Goddess in 1975. Fred and Martha AdlerTwo figures little appreciated in Craft history are Fred and Martha Adler, who lived in Hawthorne, CA, and were two of the relatively few Witches who cooperated with Hans Holzer in the late 1960s. According to his Truth About Witchcraft, Martha, convinced she had been a Witch in a previous life … [Read more...]

Imagine Jesus Holding Hands with the Goddess

I am not satisfied with any “mainstream” version of Christianity or any particular Tradition within the Craft movement as being an adequate spiritual path for our times. Using Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled as an objective measurement, both fall far short of what is needed.One cannot talk about both Christianity and the Craft in the same breath IF if one defines them in such a way that they share no common ground at all. Certainly a Christology that defines Jesus as the Lord of Glory, a … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, 1967 to 1973, Part I

In the preceding blogs in this history series, I have been describing what was happening with the Craft movement in the US up to the early 1970s. There is one more installment I need to present, on “Witchcraft in the Heartland,” but it is being vetted by some friends, including Orion Foxwood, since I am unsure about the details for some of the groups discussed.I needed to describe what was happening outside of California in the early 1970s, because many of those groups figure directly or ind … [Read more...]

Post-Doctoral Witchcraft (or something like that)

I am thinking about how to teach what I actually know, which is far more than just the Craft, although I would include the advanced but non-oathbound information I have about the Craft, and about religion in general, about spiritual progress, how to reinvent oneself, how to shed all the pernicious nonsense our society teaches to children. For the Craft aspect, the capstone would have to be taught in circle, under oath, without any monetary tuition being paid. I have no clue at the moment how I … [Read more...]

Initiates to the Sea

I apologize to my loyal and very much appreciated readship that I have not posted anything for quite a few days. Life has been difficult. Perhaps I'll write more about that.In the meantime, I am posting here, after much thought, what is perhaps the most significant poem I have ever written. Please notice that the first stanza is spoken by Alta, my second wife, whom I would never have left if I had not become manic.  It begins as a dirge for the child we lost, who would have been my first c … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: The BosWash Strip, Alexandrians and Others

Alexandrian Tradition is, in terms of ritual, a minor variant on Gardnerian Witchcraft, although its adherents now far outnumber the orthodox Gardnerians. The tradition goes back to Alexander Sanders (1926-1988), who in 1963 was initiated by Pat Kopanski, an initiate of Patricia Crowther, and allowed to copy her Book of Shadows. As soon as Gerald Gardner died, Sanders began claiming that he had been initiated as a witch at age nine by his grandmother and had received the Book of Shadows from … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: The Family Tree of the New England Coven of Traditionalist Witches, Part II

The New York Coven of Welsh Traditional Witches was founded about 1970 by Edmund Buczynski (1947-1989), Herman Slater (1938-1992), and Leo Martello (1930-2000). All three were among the first to publicly defend gay rights within the Pagan movement, long before the rise of the Gay Rights movement.Ed, who had been working in Lady Gwen’s NECTW coven, brought her rituals to New York and, working with Slater and Martello, gradually rewrote them into the rituals used by the NYCWTW and its d … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: The Family Tree of the New England Coven of Traditionalist Witches, Part I

The New England Coven of Traditionalist Witches was founded in North Haven, CT, in the late 1960s by Lady Gwen Thompson (Phyllis Healey, 1928-1986), who claimed that her family tradition originated in Somerset, England, and was brought to the United States by way of Nova Scotia. This material, she said, was handed down through many generations and blended with popular occultism to become the present form that she named NECTW. Not all who are born into a family tradition are destined to follow … [Read more...]

The Letter to Theophilus, Part III

[This is the last installment of a hypothetical letter that could have been written by Christian Gnostics who believed in sacred sexuality. There really were some. For more explanation see  the "Preview of the Letter to Theophilus" three days back.]Of Baptism as the First InitiationFor their first initiation we lead our students to a place with living water. They descend into the water skyclad, and we baptize them, saying, "Into the name of the unknown Father of the universe, into Truth, … [Read more...]

The Letter to Theophilus, Part II

Of Saint Mark the WonderworkerThe blessed Saint Mark the Wonderworker drew many men and women into our company as students and initiates, teaching skills and celebration of our abilities and gifts.In consecrating the sacred cup of thanksgiving, Mark prayed to the Goddess Charis to drop her sacred blood into the cup that all may be inspired and empowered by it, saying, "May that Charis who is before all things, and who transcends all knowledge and speech, fill your inner being and … [Read more...]


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