Artemisia phoned me yesterday morning to let me know that Allan had passed over, because, she said, I was one of the rather few people he considered a friend and had asked her to call. Since his health had been declining for years, this was not a surprise, but it was nevertheless sad.
Allan had sent me a memoir to be used in my Hippie Commie social history of the NROOGD. In it he said that he had seen the pictures of us in that Look magazine of 1971 and had come to California to look for us. He did find us; he was trained by Geri DeStefano in the Isis Rising coven in the mid-1970s. He was very involved in the creation of the Covenant of the Goddess, designing the original masthead for the COG newsletter and serving as a local and national officer during its first years.
He went on to found Silver Star, working at first with Clair, later with Rita. Silver Star lasted well into the 80s. Silver Star was one of our more radical and liberal covens, and it became the ancestor of about 90 percent of the NROOGD covens that have existed since then. Allan, like Lady Chandria and several others, was also active in Grady McMurtry’s OTO chapter—the only such chapter then in existence—and so helped create Thelemic Wicca, at just about the same time that the late Ralph DesRosiers was inventing a similar mix for his Coven of the Chthonioi within the Order of Ganymede in Boston.Allan later moved east, where things ended up not going well for him. When he got in touch with me, I suggested that his friends in the NROOGD, especially his previous coveners, might be able to help him move back to California. That did work out. Perhaps that small bit of help from me was a reason why he still considered me a friend.
Later yesterday, I got back to my project of creating playable e-files with MuseScore (rave, rave) of the music I had written for our Eleusinian commemoration at Mabon. (I plan to post all that on the Eleusinian Mysteries group files when I’m finished.) For some reason it occurred to m that I should finally transcribe the “Agyrmos,” my editing and setting of the speech that the Sacred Herald gave on the Painted Porch in the Agora of Athens, announcing the beginning of the preliminary rituals that prepared for the Mysteries, on the day of the full moon nearest to the fall equinox. As I was doing that, I remembered the day when a lot of us gathered to rehearse the full score of the ritual in the fall of 1975, when I discovered that Geri was a superb pianist. Allan had been cast as the Sacred Herald that year. Then I remembered that he had been the first person I had ever heard sing the Agyrmos, at that rehearsal—and I cried a little, finally, remembering him.