“I Fell in Love with a Witch”: The Vision of Gerald Gardner

Some people argue that Gardnerians cannot claim to have the right to do something merely because Gardner did it. Yes, the historical pattern is that religious founders always have rights and privileges that their followers cannot have. I see this clearly in the three cases I know best, those of Gardner, Joseph Smith, and the Rabbi Joshua (whose Greek name was Jesus).A religious founder cannot be bound by ordinary rules of behavior, else he could not do something so extraordinary as creating … [Read more...]

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...]

In the Name of the Goddess, I Say to You . . .

All saints revile her, and all sober men Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean - In scorn of which I sailed to find her In distant regions likeliest to hold her Whom I desired above all things to know, Sister of the mirage and echo.It was a virtue not to stay, To go my headstrong and heroic way Seeking her out at the volcano's head, Among pack ice, or where the track had faded Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers: Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's, Whose eyes were … [Read more...]

A Report on Life and Writing

I’m 73, and have been writing since about age ten. I live in Tacoma with my wife, Melinda, and our three children: Evan is 19; Chloe is 14; and Isibella will be 12 on June 28. Thanks to modern technology, I now have four books available for sale. I have always been fascinated by fragmentary information. In 1965 I created a suite of poems entitled “Aeolian Transformations” out of the fragments we have of Sappho. (I think it exciting that more fragments of her work have been found among the Oxy … [Read more...]

A Tapestry of Witches: A History of the Craft in America, Volume I is now available on Amazon

tapestryofwitches

I have released the first volume of the history for which I began gathering data about 30 years ago. It covers from 1893 up to the mid-1970s. There were Witches before Gardnerian Witchcraft was introduced to America by Raymond Buckland, and there still are. The relationship between these two varieties is still a matter for active discussion. The book contains several hundred footnotes, mostly documenting the Wiccan and Pagan periodicals from which I gleaned the data about the existence of … [Read more...]

The United States Has Always Been a Pagan, Socialist Nation, Part II

In Part One I presented an argument that the USA began as a socialist nation. There are already a few people screaming that we are NOT a Socialist nation. No, that’s not what I said. I explained that I was using “socialist” in the classic Enlightenment sense as meaning a society that is governed for the benefit of all its people, not for the benefit of any minority. Of course, at the moment we have drifted far from that ideal. And, BTW, not reading what has been written is what gets freshman an F … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 29: North to Sonoma, 3

XXXI. North to Sonoma, 3 “Dotty sounds like a fascinating character," I said, "but that is one of the most improbable biographies I’ve ever heard.”Andy frowned. “Take any thread in history and it will seem improbable. So many other things could have happened. And perhaps they did. Even physicists believe there could be alternative histories. There may be a universe in which the Nazis won World War Two. There may be one in which the Padres didn’t push north to found Mission Santa Theresa. The … [Read more...]

On Not Buying into Ancient Propaganda

When I was working on Gnostic and New Testament Studies and stuff like that at the GTU in the 1970s, there was one especially important book I could not get hold of: the Panarion (“Medicine Chest for Heresies”) by Epiphanius (d. A.D. 403).  More precisely, I could not find a translation of it. The Greek text I could find, in Professor Migne’s collection of all the writings by the Church Fathers, in Greek and in Latin, from many centuries. Not a vast number of libraries own the complete set of abo … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 7: Talking About Gnostic Gospels

IX. The Work Continues"Okay," I said. "Has everyone here had a chance to read everybody’s rough drafts?”Some but not all hands went up“Not most of my people,” Megan said.“As courtesy we should at least summarize what we’re looking at,” I said. “Two of these are probably, at least in general, what we classify as Gnostic or apocryphal gospels, but a gospel for witches is almost unprecedented. Before we go riding in among the trees, can anyone give us a map of the forest? What are … [Read more...]

Why the Gods Are Infinite

A dialog about whether the Gods are infinite or not often begins with “Gerald Gardner wrote that the Gods of the Wica are ‘little gods.’” Yes, he did, but he was not very interested in abstract theology. I don’t think he was asserting that, if the Abrahamic God is infinite, then our Pagan Gods must be finite. Rather, his point was that, whereas (many) Christians believe in a God who is distant, arbitrary, angry, vengeful, and punishing, Witches believe in Gods who are nearby, kind, compassio … [Read more...]


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