April 16, 1946 – July 28, 2014
uthor of the influential work, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, Margot Adler was a beloved Wiccan priestess, lecturer, and noted NPR radio journalist whose impact on the public perception of Paganism was groundbreaking. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Adler spent much of her childhood and later adult life in New York City. Educated at the University of California, Berkley, and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Adler was a lifelong activist, noted for being a part of some of the most famous Free Speech Movement protests of the 1960s. In the 1970s, Adler undertook the effort to correspond with and understand different Neopagan individuals, groups, and traditions around the country, out of which Drawing Down the Moon was born, and which effort also inspired her own embrace of Gardnerian Wicca and the ecology movement.
Adler's friend and contemporary, Elizabeth Cunningham, writes in her tribute, "Margot became a beloved member of the extended Neo-Pagan community and her keenness of mind and generosity of spirit helped to shape its evolution. She had a gift for leading others in the amazing wealth of ecstatic song and chant that flowered in the Neo-Pagan movement. I had the good fortune to participate in a number of rituals she led and still sing songs I learned from her."
In early 2011, Adler was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She died three years later on July 28, 2014 at the age of 68, despite being almost symptom-free through most of that time. Adler was cared for in her final months by her son Alex.
❧ Read a tribute piece to Margot Adler by West Virginia Public Broadcasting
❧ Read "In Memory of Margot Adler" by Elizabeth Cunningham
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1963 – April 10, 2011
he Pagan community was saddened to hear we'd lost another great light with the passing author Bronwen Forbes into the Summerlands. Forbes passed away on April 10th, 2011 from a heart attack. It is also known that she was suffering through a battle with cancer and was on chemotherapy at the time of her passing. Forbes was the author of Make Merry In Step and Song: A Seasonal Treasury of Music, Mummer’s Plays & Celebrations in the English Folk Tradition and The Small-Town Pagan’s Survival Guide: How to Thrive in Any Community, both from Llewellyn Worldwide; but she is perhaps best known for her warmth and sweet disposition.
In addition to her books with Llewellyn, Bronwen also authored the humorous Pagan-themed novel, Mint Juleps, Mud Pie and MacBeth, and several pieces for Pagan magazines and web sites including Circle Magazine and The Witches' Voice. Forbes was also a co-founder of the Free Spirit Alliance, a spiritual networking organization serving the Pagan and Pantheist religious communities.
❧ Read Jason Pitzl-Waters of The Wild Hunt's tribute to Bronwen Forbes
❧ Forbes' official WitchVox Profile
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PHILIP EMMONS ISAAC BONEWITS
October 1, 1949 — August 12, 2010
e were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of celebrated Elder, Author, and Priest, Isaac Bonewits, into the Summerlands. Bonewits, who founded the seminal American Druid organization, Ár nDraíocht Féin, or A.D.F., passed into the loving arms of the Gods on Thursday, August 12th, after an intense battle with cancer.
Bonewits was widely considered to be America's leading authority on ancient and modern Druidry/Druidism, Witchcraft, magick, and the occult, having penned eight books and numerous articles on the same during his lifetime. He was a frequent commentator on the growing resurgence of Earth-based spiritual consciousness in our modern times.
At the age of only twenty, Bonewits made history as the first student to receive a fully-accredited Bachelor of Arts degree in magic, which he earned from the University of California in 1969.
Credited for having ignited the spark of Neopagan Druidism here in America and noted for his support and advocacy of the polyamorous lifestyle, Bonewits was a cantankerous, oft-curmudgeonly yet much-beloved pillar of the Pagan, Earth-based religious community. His famously wry sense of humor and penchant for puns gave rise to the terms "bonewitsian" and "bonewiticism."
Bonewits is survived by his loving wife Phaedra, his son Arthur, his mother Jeannette, his brothers Michael and Richard, and his sisters, Simone Arris and Melissa Banbury.
A public memorial for Bonewits was held on Saturday, August 21, 2010, at the First Unitarian Society of Rockland County, New York.
❧ Read the WitchVox Article Isaac Bonewits (1949 - 2010): A Tribute
❧ Read the A.D.F. Official Biogrpahy of Isaac Bonewits
❧ Watch the videos of the Celebration of the Life of Isaac Bonewits
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February 14, 1949 — May 28, 2010
Alexei Kondratiev was a towering scholar of the Pagan community and is very much missed. An author, linguist, and teacher of Celtic languages, folklore and culture, Kondratiev taught Irish language and Celtic history in Manhattan, New York from 1985 until his death on May 28, 2010. Nine editions of his highly acclaimed book, The Apple Branch, were published in English and Spanish between 1998 and 2004. At various times, he taught all six of the "Living" Celtic languages.
Kondratiev graduated Columbia University majoring in anthropology and linguistics. He also studied Celtic philology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris. His studies at both schools included archaeology. He also took music courses at Mannes College in New York.
Kondratiev was a frequent participant and speaker at science fiction conventions during the 1980s. He attributed his gradual attraction to Neopaganism to his contact with science fiction fans who had become Neopagans. Kondratiev was initiated into the Proteus tradition in the early 1990s. After his initiation, he joined Mnemosynides Coven. Kondratiev remained a member of Mnemosynides but continued to identify as a Christian for the remainder of his life.
His knowledge of Celtic mythology and language made Kondratiev a frequent guest speaker at conventions, conferences and retreats, especially events with an emphasis on magic, Neopaganism and Wicca.
Kondratiev penned four books in his lifetime, Devoted to You: Honoring Deity In Wiccan Practice (co-authored with Judy Harrow, Geoffrey W. Miller, and Marueen Reddington-Wilde), Celtic Rituals: A Guide to Ancient Celtic Spirituality, The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual, and Learning the Celtic languages: a resource guide for the student of Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Manx, or Cornish.
An openly gay man, Alexei Kondratiev was often accompanied at conventions and conferences by his life partner, Len Rosenberg (1951-2010), who died less than five months after Kondratiev on October 15, 2010.
❧ Read Circle Sanctuary Tribute: "In Memoriam: Alexei Kondratiev"
❧ Read "Alexei Kondratiev, 1949-2010" a tribute by CPC
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