[Star Foster is the rather opinionated editor of the Pagan Portal at Patheos.]
Roger Tier, known to the Pagan community as Myrddin, has recently passed and Pagans are remembering his life:
“He was always very moral and principled. He was also a very reclusive and private person.” – Margot Adler
“I first connected with Myrddin back in the 1970’s and am among those remembering and giving thanks for the many contributions he & Crystal made to the Craft & Paganism … and to animal care & to world peace.” – Selena Fox
Here’s the memorial posted on Witchvox:
In Memoriam: Myrddin (1947-2011)
In Memory of Roger Tier
Roger Tier, often known in the international Pagan and Wiccan community as Myrddin, died from natural causes on October 31, 2011. He was at home in New Brunswick, NJ.
Roger was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1947. He worked as a production manager in various printing and design firms in Manhattan and New Jersey. For many years he and his wife Crystal made their home on Staten Island.
Roger was a quiet, unsung leader in Paganism and Wicca. He and Crystal founded The Gaia Group in 1973, which he described in this way:
“.an initiatory Earth religion with Wiccan roots. Our primary goals are the care and protection of Mother Earth through both magical and practical means, and the continual creation of a sound and meaningful initiatory system that produces strong and effective Initiates to carry on our work.”
Roger and Crystal taught, held workshops and initiated students for three decades, and The Gaia Group has various granddaughter covens throughout the US. In the Cold War years of the 1980s they led an international Peace Network, spread via journal and newspaper notices, and word of mouth. The Gaia Group’s focus was Earth-healing and activism, and they inspired peace and healing work across the globe. Roger and Crystal worked closely with the Covenant of Unitarian-Universalist Pagans at various times in their history. They also supported various shelters, and for many years had a home full of animals, wonderful books and ringing laughter.
He is survived by Crystal, who is in poor health and in a nursing home.
Memorial arrangements will be privately held. Any donations in Roger’s name may be sent to: Best Friends Animal Society, in southern Utah, www.bestfriends.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
(An animal shelter and sanctuary they have supported for many years.)
As Doreen Valiente wrote in her “Elegy for a Dead Witch”:
Farewell from this world, but not from the Circle.
That place that is between the worlds
shall hold return in due time. Nothing is lost.
The half of a fruit from the tree of Avalon
shall be our reminder, among the fallen leaves.
This life treads underfoot. Let the rain weep.
Waken in sunlight from the Realms of Sleep.
Roger will be sorely missed by his family, his Initiates and his many more-than-human companions. May the journey be smooth and the well-deserved rest happy, Roger.
Merry meet again.
— by Francesca Howell (in conversation with Crystal)