Every year this list comes out listing 10 Pagans who I highly respect for their service to the Pagan Community. Each year as the author I strive to list those individuals who I believe have had the most impact on our community. The list is subjective, yet I strive to not only list those who I “like” or have relationships with, but instead those whose contributions are beyond question. So here is my annual list. Who would be on your list? Feel free to comment!
Anyone who follows Pagan social media will be aware of the voice of Phaedra Bonewits. Over the course of this year I have seen many examples of her wisdom, grace and willingness to participate in important and sometimes divisive conversations. She makes this list because her voice is always the voice of the wise elder, calling me to deeper contemplation and insight. I value our Pagan elders and believe that Phaedra stands as a great example of what an elder should be in our community.
Too many years have gone by without this list featuring a Pagan musician. Music feeds an inner need for joyful expression and represents an important aspect of our developing Pagan culture. This is music that moves me as a Pagan and I am also in deep awe of her talent and willingness to participate in the community. Sharon Knights’ long-term contributions to our community deserve recognition and make her a Pagan who belongs on this list of top ten Pagans.
Christine Hoff Kraemer
Paganism is all about honoring diversity. Christine’s’ efforts as the Managing Editor of the Pagan Portal at Patheos are a deep reflection of this diversity. By making room for more diverse voices at Patheos she has deeply influenced my personal awareness of Pagan diversity. Further, her ability to do so without being drawn into the various “eruptions” in the world of Pagan blogging establishes her as an incredibly talented editor and leader within our community. I am thrilled to have her on this years list.
Trust in a Pagan leader can often be determined via their willingness to publicly share their personal process and struggles. If there is currently a voice in the Pagan community that best represents this principle of authenticity it is Eric. His compassion based process has had a major impact on both my personal practice and on many other Pagans I know. Eric’s profound, honest and compassion based insights have earned him a place among the Pagans who made a difference in 2014
Sam has long been an important voice in our community. His efforts this year in providing leadership with the Pantheon Foundation are benefiting the entire community. Suddenly significant efforts in the community have the ability to move forward with accountability, support and wise counsel. Building Pagan infrastructure that lasts has always been challenging. Sam’s’ efforts may well turn out to be one of the most significant developments within our community in many years. Sam I congratulate you for your real world efforts and willingness to do the hard work within our community.
No list of Pagans who made a difference in 2014 would be complete without the presence of Crystal Blanton. Her contributions to the communities understanding of social justice issues cannot be overstated. She leads the hard conversations that call all of us to a deeper understanding of the experiences of people of color in our community. While we don’t always agree, I am in awe of her passion, commitment and willingness to engage in manifesting a community where diversity is our strength. Her tireless efforts place her squarely on this list of Pagans who made a difference in 2014.
Wow, the list is long if one intends to cover Cara’s contributions to Paganism. This year I have been most impressed with her run for City Council. By believing that Pagans have a place in government and putting that belief into practice Cara demonstrated to all Pagans that we have arrived at the doorstep of representative government. Cara’s run for office stands as an example of a community member “walking their talk” in 2014. In addition, her grace and wise actions in response to an individual attempting to make her beliefs an issue in the race represent the application of wisdom and compassion in the face of hatred. Cara, frankly, you impress me!
Jason from The Wild Hunt
There is now way to measure the contributions Jason has made to our community. This year I was impressed in how Jason handled the transitions at the Wild Hunt. For many years the community has had concerns about succession planning for major Pagan Organizations. Jason, to his credit, was able though skill and wisdom, to establish a road map for succession. Pagan organizations take note, it is this kind of fore thought and planning that insures the health of our community for decades to come. Please join me in thanking Jason for his leadership, skills and service to our community. If there were such a thing as a Pagan Hero, I would nominate Jason for the honor!
Ivo Dominguez Jr.
In activism, it is always tempting to move from one popular cause to another as time passes. Few individuals have the dogged determination to take on a project that many see as “undoable”. Ivo has done just that, with his unwavering efforts in manifesting the New Alexandrian Library. This is no small task, building real infrastructure that will last for generations. In this library a legacy has been manifested for Pagans around the world. It is an outstanding accomplishment that will benefit the entire community. Let me also say that there were many people involved in these efforts, but being a list of “Ten Pagans” Ivo gets the nod for this effort. I suspect he will share the recognition around widely. The Pagan community will be filled with gratitude of their own for decades to come.
And at the number spot on the list of Ten Pagans Who Made a Difference in 2014 is:
Rarely is there a voice in our community that calls me to a deep place in considering the very foundations of the Paganism I believe in; Courtney Weber has such a voice. Her passionate environmental participation has deeply called me to be grounded in the earth and the need to protect that from which I sprang. Intelligent, eloquent, focused and authentic are a few words that express how I feel when engaging with her. Pagans would be well advised to pay attention to this voice among us. Simply stated, I believe her to be the best of what we have to offer as a community. It is my hope her passionate participation continues for decades.
So feel free to post your own list of Pagans you think are doing great things. We have many great community members!
In Her Service,