Holli Emore, Wild Garden editor, is the founder and priestess of Osireion and Executive Director of Cherry Hill Seminary, where she previously served as Chair for the Board of Directors. Committed to building interfaith relationships, Holli is a member of the board of directors for the Interfaith Partners of South Carolina. Holli often teaches public groups about the rapidly-growing NeoPagan religions, and has served as a regional resource for law enforcement and victim services since 2004. Holli is the co-founder of the original Pagan Round Table. Osireion is a Pagan tradition which draws its inspiration from the religions of ancient Egypt. You may find Holli’s 2012 book, Pool of Lotus, on Amazon or Lulu. Contact her at holli @ sc.rr.com.
H. Byron Ballard, BA, MFA, is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has served as a featured speaker and teacher at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference and other gatherings., and she has been active in interfaith circles in the Asheville, N.C. – Western N.C. area for years. Byron’s writings have appeared in print and electronic media. Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press). She blogs as “Asheville’s Village Witch” and as The Village Witch for Witches and Pagans Magazine. Her pamphlet “Back to the Garden: a Handbook for New Pagans“ has been widely distributed and her first book “Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo” (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on “Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet”. Contact her at www.myvillagewitch.com, byronnotthepoet @ gmail.com
Xander Folmer is a Norse Pagan Anthropology student, who grew up in a very diverse household. Every adult in his family followed a different religion. His Father is a first generation Pagan, his Mother is a Conservative Baptist, his stepmother is a Mormon, and they lived with a New Age Hindu roommate. Despite the common misconception that children raised in a multi-faith household are somehow doomed to be lost, or confused, this family embraced the concepts of acceptance and tolerance, and those ideals gave the family direction. Thus, when Xander left home, married a strong Jewish woman, and moved in with a Baptist roommate, the family was intrigued but hardly surprised! Being able to successfully navigate a religiously pluralistic environment has been an essential for most of his entire life; he hopes to utilize those skills here and honor his family’s legacy.
David Dashifen Kees is a web application developer who feels strongly that the simple exchange of information can be an action of the highest good. Active in interfaith for about a decade, Dash has been a guest on religious panel discussions, has presented to diverse groups about Paganism, and been involved in interfaith activism. Currently, he’s working with a variety of other Pagans exploring the creation of a Pagan Chapter for the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. A solitary eclectic, he lives in Massachusetts in an interfaith marriage with his partner, a Catholic, two dogs, four cats, and four snakes. Dash blogs (irregularly) at http://technowitch; you can contact him at dashifen @ dashifen.com.
Carol Kirk, BS, MS (Known as Lark in the Pagan community) has been a practicing Wiccan for nearly 30 years. She is the High Priestess of the Oak, Ash, and Thorn Tradition, and founding High Priestess of Tangled Moon Coven. She is finishing up her Master of Divinity in Pagan Pastoral Counseling through Cherry Hill Seminary. Since moving to Huntsville, AL in 2010, she has been active in the interfaith community providing several interviews to the local paper regarding the beliefs and practices of Wicca and Paganism. Carol is a member of One Huntsville, an interfaith group dedicated to addressing social issues in the greater Huntsville area. In addition, Carol works as a volunteer, interfaith chaplain at Huntsville Hospital where her work focuses on assisting families dealing with end-of-life issues. Carol shares her busy life with her husband of 31 years, and a small herd of cats. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Jess Matz — In addition to her personal and group practice as a priestess of Apollo, Sunweaver works as interfaith clergy with a diversity of religious groups in the Middle Tennessee area. She is a founding member of the Rutherford County Women of Faith and has worked with the area interfaith center, Wisdom House, to help bring positive awareness to the non-Abrahamic religions. She is a fiber arts enthusiast as well as a mother, and has a Master’s degree in biology.
Aline O’Brien, known among her co-religionists as M. Macha NightMare, is an internationally published author (Witchcraft and the Web, and Pagan Pride: Honoring the Craft and Culture of Earth and Goddess, and, with Starhawk, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying), ritualist and all- round Pagan webweaver. A member of the American Academy of Religion, the Marin Interfaith Council, the Nature Religion Scholars Network, the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), and the Advisory Council of the Sacred Dying Foundation, Macha speaks on behalf of Paganism to news media and academic researchers, and presents at colleges, universities and seminaries, and teaches on the broomstick circuit. She is Adjunct Faculty at Starr King School for the Ministry and currently chairs the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary, the first and only seminary serving the Neopagan community. www.machanightmare.com
Drea Parker – Drea Parker, a Pagan of the Pantheist-Naturalist-Taoist flavor, is of the opinion that having open, non-judgmental conversations about what we each believe will help create a more tolerant, understanding world. Having studied the world’s religions over the past 20 years, and as a recent graduate from Salem College majoring in religion, Drea feels that interfaith work is the most open way to create a bridge of understanding between people of different faiths. She wants to make sure that society knows that interfaith work is not a merging of religions/faiths/beliefs, but simply an understanding that creates respect and tolerance among them, helping to dissolve the need to control each other. Drea works with a trainer who has over 30 years experience teaching people how to come from their hearts and not their heads in personal and professional matters. In her downtime, she is a Coordinator of Compassion, working to bring her hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., global recognition of being a Compassionate City. Drea lives with her two feline boys, Felix and Maxwell, and loves to spend time with the deity of Nature.