Katrina “Foxglove” Kessler 1989 – 2012

Katrina “Foxglove” Kessler 1989 – 2012 April 27, 2012

On April 21st, Katrina Kessler, known by many in the Pagan community as Foxglove, passed away after a car accident in San Diego, California. An up-and-coming figure in our community, Kessler worked at the World of Witches Museum in Salem, starred in, and helped produce, “The Young Witches of Salem,” did reporting and production work with MagickTV, and hosted the video series “Foxglove’s Lost and Found.” Shortly before her death she was working with a community service organization called The Circle in California.

“Katrina had left the Museum and moved on to California, where she was part of a group who traveled around to help Pagans in need. Katrina and I still spoke frequently and were still working on collaborative projects. We last spoke just a few days ago, which all the more grateful for now, and in that conversation she spoke about being very happy with her new life and the directions it was taking her in. That is how I will always remember her, not as the omni-competent Museum Manager, nor as the gifted video artist, but as a passionate and idealistic young woman hurtling into a bright future that truly excited her. Her soul’s journeys will take her to a different future now than we spoke of that night, but one that I pray will be just as bright and as exciting to her in its own way.” – Rev. Don Lewis, The Correllian Tradition

Katrina Kessler, Selena Fox & Lexi Renee at PantheaCon 2012

“I am thankful that I was able to spend time with Katrina Kessler on several occasions, including as part of my speaking engagements in Salem, Massachusetts in 2010, and most recently at PantheaCon 2012 in San Jose, California this past February.  Katrina was bright, caring, creative, & dedicated to helping others.  Like a shining comet, she brought a beautiful brilliance to this world and was gone too quickly.  May we take comfort in knowing that she lives on in the cherished memories of those of us who knew her, in the lives she enriched with her service & wit, & in her creative works.  Blessed Be.”Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary


“In our community, leaders emerge in each generation that make a difference. In Katrina was that wonderful balance of compassion, intelligence and drive that made her a effective young leader. Her goals were to help organizations that would make a difference, and she was learning from the leadership directly. Even though she had her life cut short, as the Goddess so needed her elsewhere, she had already been a major force for creating a movement for Young Pagans, through her video and her actions. She is an example that the next generation of Pagans can be and are truly amazing. I will truly miss her physical presence and honor her spirit for what she taught me.”Ed Hubbard, Witch School International

Author and prominent Salem-based business-owner Christian Day said that “she was a warm, kind, and magical person. Those closest to her have been blessed with a most wonderful guide in the realms of spirit.” Terry Milton, “The Stone Lady,” who worked closely with Kessler, adored her “enthusiasm for life, and her ability to inspire others.”

“During the fall, Katrina did daily postings of the “wisdom of the elders” on Facebook, and collected words of inspiration or advice or wisdom from you and I, Therese, Phaedra and “elders” associated with the museum. I often thought it was ironic that Katrina was asking for our “wisdoms”  when she appeared to have  so much more wisdom in her short years than all of the “elders” combined.”

There will be a wake at the Dockray and Thomas Funeral Home in Canton, MA, on Sunday from 4 – 8. The Memorial service will be at 10 AM on the morning of Beltane Eve. There is a page at the Dockray site where people may leave condolences for Katrina’s family. There will also be an on-air memorial for Katrina on Pagans Tonight Radio on Friday, May 4, at 8 PM Central / 9 Eastern.

Speaking personally, it is always a great loss when our future leaders, activists, and thinkers are struck down prematurely. Sometimes, I think that there is such an emphasis on our elders and “big name Pagans,” and who will inherit their mantles in the next ten or fifteen years, that we sometimes don’t see the young people in their teens and twenties who are absorbing our teachings, attending our talks and rituals, and volunteering for our efforts. The men and women who will represent us to future generations. I had heard from Ed Hubbard that Foxglove had very much wanted to meet and speak with me at PantheaCon 2012, and I now very much regret that this never happened. We always assume that with the young there will always be more time; years, decades, of time to make a connection, to pass the torch, but fortune can be fickle, and we can lose our brightest sparks in an instant.

If there is a lesson in the tragic passing of Katrina “Foxglove” Kessler, it is to always honor the contributions of the young, to make passing the torch a daily occurrence, and to ensure that “Pagan community” is always a multi-generational endeavor. May Foxglove rest in the arms of the gods, and return to us again.

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22 responses to “Katrina “Foxglove” Kessler 1989 – 2012”

  1. Katrina was an amazing gal. I’m so glad I had a chance to work with her when I was in Salem last October. I still can’t fully process that she’s gone. She had so much to offer and had already done so much, it just doesn’t seem possible we’ve lost her. May the Gods hold her close and if it is her path may we be so fortunate that she return to us again.

  2. I met her in Salem a bit over a year ago. Spending time with her and the Rev. Don Lewis was one of the highlights of our trip. May her star blaze in the Otherworld.

  3. In one of those “accidents” that happen especially at Pantheacon I got to have breakfast with Katrina at the random group table in Sprigs. We had a long and lovely conversation about her taping various folks. Her enthusiasm was contagious. It is always a shock when the oh so young and promising leave us…

  4. That’s tragic and sad news. My deepest sympathy goes to her family and friends. May her soul take flight to her deepest desires, and find home in the lands she longs for. 

  5. May her wake be a cheerful one where her life is celebrated, not her death mourned. and be wary of fundamentalists who would seek to tarnish her name through charges of damnation for her beliefs. 

  6. While I met her only last Samhain in Salem, when I was working out there, I had the sense that it wouldn’t be the last time I’d see her, unfortunately, I was wrong.  The remembrances that have been posted here and elsewhere remind us how important our young people are and should be a reminder that they set the stage for our future as a community a thing that is sadly forgotten sometime.  Katrina was a great example of a future leader, I hope her example reminds us that young people are not to be ignored in our community but nurtured with our knowledge and compassion (and yes, patience sometimes also!). 

  7. Pagans, please let us understand that the way of the automobile is not under the rede of harm none.

  8. Foxglove was one of the most giving
    people I have ever known.  Her home was constantly open and full strays,
    and for a time, I found myself among them.  If someone needed a bed for
    the night or had no money for food, she would make sure that they had
    it..  When a friend came out of the broom closet to his
    parents and found himself without a place to live, Foxglove gave him a
    place to stay until he could work things out with them.

    She was passionate about her job at the World
    of Witches Museum in Salem, MA where she worked as a manager and tour
    guide and where she produced her film projects.   and
    educating the public about what Wicca and Witchcraft was and more
    importantly, what it wasn’t.  At the end of a tour, she would turn to
    the group and ask them “Are you ready to meet a real Witch?” She would
    then get down on the level of any children in the tour and reach out her
    hand to shake theirs as they gasped and realized the real Witch had
    been among them the whole time.  Thousands of people who would otherwise
    never have contact with a Wiccan (that they knew of) had their
    misconceptions shattered by this cheerful, friendly young woman who was
    nothing like the stereotype they expected.

    Fox also reached out
    to other young Wiccans and Pagans with her many video projects.  She
    created live-streamed classes about tarot and other forms of
    divination.  Her video blog, Foxglove’s Lost and Found, shared
    the wonder and magick she found in everyday objects.  She was
    instrumental in filming Tituba Temple’s live rituals which allowed
    Wiccans who did not have access to a group, coven, or temple to share in
    rituals every Saturday night.

    The Young Witches of Salem Project was
    Foxglove’s first and last feature length film.  It is a documentary
    about the people who worked in the Museum.  Like all of her work, she
    saw the project as a way to reach out to both the Pagan and Non-Pagan
    community.  She wanted the film to display positive role models for
    young Pagans and to help people outside of the community understand that
    Wiccans and Witches are not crazy, evil, or something that exists only
    within the confines of fiction. The film is a testament to her
    dedication to spreading religious tolerance  and her desire to create a
    dialogue between Pagans and Non-Pagans.

  9. Though I never had the honor of meeting Katrina our community has had a profound loss in her passing.   My condolences to her family and all of the pagan community.

  10. I never met this bright young lady but the waves of pain from those who did lap against me. I find myself missing a person i don’t know. May you all find peace as I am sure she will. Blessed be.

  11. I didn’t know Katrina, but I’m sad to hear of her passing.  My thoughts are with her friends and family.  I wish her blessing as she passes through the veil. Young people like her really inspire me to do reach out and do more in my community. 

  12. Thank you for this sensitively written remembrance, Jason. I send my deepest sympathies and condolences for this tragic loss to all those who knew and loved her. May the spirit of Katrina / Foxglove  never be forgotten by any of us here as she journeys to the Beautiful West.

  13. Tis a great shame to loose some one so young and vital in our community . My condolences to her freinds and family . Unfortunatly never got to meet her.     Kilm

  14. Thank you for your work, Katrina Foxglove. Blessed be your spirit, and blessed be your memory. Waes hal!

  15. The good people always leave too soon.  I wish everyone a healthy mourning of this wonderful girl and that we can all learn from the great things she’s done, the type of kindness she  exhibited, and the wholeheartedness with which she set out to teach the world. 

  16. Thank you Jason -this is a beautiful article and is much appreciated by all of Katrina’s friends. She was a truly good person who could never do enough for others, and a great talent. She is deeply missed.

  17. I never met this woman, but I am broken-hearted at her loss. What a powerful story. My most sincere condolences to those who knew her in this life.