A Note on the Creating of Religion

I know Philip Heselton hoped to find (but did not assume that he would) evidence that Gerald Gardner's friends were practicing a rudimentary form of Gardnerian Craft in the 1930s. As he shows in Witchfather, he did not find any.He discovered quite a few people in Gardner's circle of occultist friends who may have had a coven of sorts in the late 1930s, and some of whom may have worked with or cooperated with Gerald and Edith in founding the first coven after the war, but what they most … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VII: A Church for Witches

After the second Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting in June 1974, Gwydion and I continued to discuss the problem of how to organize a "church" for Witches, now that we had a reason not to have to include Pagans in general. In a way, it was like trying to set up an organization for anarchists—so that one could be the Anarch. There were already organizations whose members were individual Witches, but these were not meeting the need.Most Witches at that time clearly believed that one normally b … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VI, The Second PEC

In discussing the first Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting afterward, Gwydion, Alison, I and several others realized that we had not arrived at a specific proposal for an organizational structure because, in fact, the Pagan groups represented at the meeting did not have enough common ground to define any goals or structures. The PEC had focused on Pagan religions, excluding the magical lodges, political associations, and metaphysical churches, yet we still differed on what we did, how we worked, … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, Part V, 1974-1975

Here begins what will become Volume IB or II of the finished book. As I mentioned, many important changes took place in 1973 within at least half a dozen different Traditions. As a result, the period 1974 to 1979, which I will now begin covering for the whole of the USA and parts of Canada, requires a new chapter. I’m starting with events in California in the mid-1970s, not because they were the only developments at that time, but they turned out to have national implications.Focusing first o … [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...]

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...]