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 I

The Letter to TheophilusMy dear Theophilus, all the brothers and sisters send you greetings in the name of the Lord and the Lady. I will endeavor to answer your questions concerning the teachings of our founders and of all who have preserved the true mysteries of our faith.The Origin of the True ProphetOur community in Alexandria was founded by our Holy Queen, Mariamme Magdala, wife and successor of the True Prophet Jesus, before she fled for safety to the land of the Gauls. Her … [Read more...]

A Brief History of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn, Part II

By February 1973 only five people had survived the year of training in the Spiral Dance Coven; the Full Moon Coven worked the Red Cord initiation for them in February and March of 1973. Now for the first time, there were Red Cord members of NROOGD who were not members of the Full Moon Coven, which therefore decided to transfer responsibility for running NROOGD as a whole (and particularly the Sabbats) to a new Red Cord Council, which would consist of everyone with a Red Cord from a coven … [Read more...]

A Brief History of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn, Part I

Having been a co-founder of the NROOGD and a ringleader in it for its first decade, I naturally have at least ten times more information about it than about almost any other Craft or Pagan group. Trying to include all that in the general history of the Craft that these blogs are aiming toward would have totally unbalanced it. Putting it together in my Hippie Commie Beatnik Witches has solved the problem. Here I will be giving a much more general overview of the NROOGD, in about as much detail as … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder

I posted a blog yesterday, essentially about the frustrations of being a writer trying to ferret out the truth about all things religious, as well as about the nature of consciousness, sacred sexuality, quantum mechanics, a lot else, and how they all interrelate—that sort of writer, but not an entertainer. You can find that blog here:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/aidankelly/2012/12/of-blogging-and-poetry/A few very kind readers posted comments about how much they do value my work. That h … [Read more...]

The Pagan Way

In a strict chronology, I should next be discussing events in California and New England in the late 1960s, but, given the problem of many developments all happening more or less simultaneously, I think it will be clearer if I wrap up some later history of the Pagan Way movement, since I have covered its origins.In creating the Pagan Way, Joe Wilson, Ed Fitch, John Hansen, and the other members of the Committee of Correspondence created a form of Witchcraft that was Gardnerian in all but a … [Read more...]

Raymond Buckland and Seax-Wica

In my last blog about the Gardnerians, I indicated that, because of changes in his life situation, in 1973 Ray Buckland found himself at loose ends. Further, after a decade of administering the Long Island coven, he had come to see some disadvantages in the Gardnerian Tradition as received from Lady Olwen, particularly its hierarchic structure.The “Old Laws” or “Ardanes,” which both Doreen Valiente and I have established were not written until 1959, do provide for two kinds of governing struc … [Read more...]

Last Day of the Mysteries / Preview of a New History

Boedromion 23:The final events at Eleusis included the rite of the Plemochoai, top-shaped vases, which were tipped over, one toward the east, the other toward the west, just about at sunset, to pour a libation down into the earth, perhaps into a chasm (See Athenaios 11.496.)  It was probably also on this last day, and perhaps as part of the same ritual, that "looking up to the sky they cried `Rain!' and looking down at the earth they cried `Grow!'" (Given by Proklos on Plato's Timaeus, p. … [Read more...]


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