Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pagan Interfaith Teaching

Sanctuary of Congregation Kol Shofar
Earlier this week Marin Interfaith Council sponsored an event called "Contemplative Service of Light," held in the beautiful sanctuary at Congregation Kol Shofar. The ceremony was intended to highlight the youth from various religious communities around the county.  However, since I'm just me, a Witch at Large, and because we Pagans have not yet established much in the way of lasting institutions, I had no youth to include.

We opened with everyone chanting "We are a circle within a circle, with no beginning and never ending."  If this sounds familiar to the Pagan reader, it's because it's a Pagan chant written by Rick Hamouris.*  How fine to have a chant of Pagan origin that people of many religions can relate to and sing with genuine enthusiasm.

Next the youth of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon offered a Biblical reading, followed by a period of silent meditation.

Diwali Candles
Our friends from Brahma Kumaris spoke of how they celebrate Diwali, concluding with a lovely brief meditation on the light in our bodies, extending from the point on the brow throughout our bodies, down each leg to the toes, down each arm to the fingers, and above the head.

Hannukah Menorah
The youth of Congregations Rodef Shalom (Reformed) and Kol Shofar (Conservative) told the story of the eight days of Hannukah as they lit each candle in the menorah"The ninth holder, called the shamash ("helper" or "servant"), is for a candle used to light all other candles and/or to be used as an extra light."

This lighting was followed by a second period of silent meditation, with the ringing of a bowl indicating its end. 

The youth of our local Baha'i community spoke and sang on their Seven Candles of Unity -- (1) unity in the political realm; (2) unity of thought in world undertakings; (3) unity in freedom; (4) unity of religion; (5) unity of nations; (6) unity of races** [sic]; and finally (7) unity of language --  as one teen after another lit each candle.  

After this, the youth from Unity of Marin also lit unity candles.  I was confused as to which community, Baha'i or Unity of Marin, lit which candles, since there was only one candelabra of unity candles.

Once more we sat in silent meditation until the ringing of the bowl.

Nancy Johnson from First Missionary Baptist Church in Marin City told us the history and meaning of the African-American and Pan-African celebration of Kwanzaa.  Kwanzaa is a Swahili word derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza," meaning "first fruits."  Created by Dr. Malauna Karengo in 1966, 
Kwanzaa is organized around five fundamental activities: (1) ingathering of the people which reaffirms the bonds between them; (2) special reverence for the Creator and creation which recognizes and reaffirms the bond of mutuality between the divine, social and the natural; (3) commemoration of the past which is directed toward honoring and emulating the ancestors and understanding the meaning and obligations of our history; (4) recommitment to our highest cultural values, especially our moral and spiritual ones; and (5) celebration of the Good of life, i.e., life itself, love, sisterhood/brotherhood, family, community, the earth and universe, the human person and human possibilities, our struggle, history and culture. 
Kwanzaa Candelabra
Kwanzaa is organized around seven principles, or Nguzo Saba. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle.

  • Unity - UmojaTo strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Self-determination - KujichaguliaTo define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Collective Work and Responsibility - UjimaTo build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Cooperative Economics - UjamaaTo build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Purpose - NiaTo make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Creativity - KuumbaTo do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Faith - Imani: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle
The seven candles of Kwanzaa are: three red, symbolic of the blood shed in the struggles of African ancestors; three green, representing the fertile land of Africa and the concept of hope; and one is black, representing the color of the African race.**

It's interesting to note the similarities of the various candle-lighting ceremonies: Judaism has eight; Baha'i and Unity seven; and Kwanzaa seven.  We Pagans have fires in our hearths, bonfires on hills and beaches, Yule logs, and the reborn Sun.

Last but not least, I presented a 'teaching' about light and the Sun from a Pagan perspective.   Here is text of what I read is and here is a video by Clyde Roberts .

Since the ceremony was running late, we dispensed with the final silent meditation and went directly to our closing song, Charley Murphy's "Light Is Returning."  Counting the e.e. cummings chant I sang in my talk, this makes the third piece of Pagan music in this interfaith service.  Here we are singing it, thanks again to Clyde.  The "ghosts" of light in the video are reflections from the mirror mobile hanging from the middle of the ceiling of the sanctuary.

* * * * *
*  Although this chant appears in many places around the Web, perhaps not surprisingly nearly none of them credits the author.  I happen to know Rick.  If you're a regular reader of my infrequent blogs, you know that I feel strongly about crediting the sources of chants, songs, and liturgical pieces that find their way into the common Pagan culture whenever possible.

**  Personally, I consider there to be only one race, the human race, with various expressions of uniqueness.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Confessions of a Printed Matter Hoarder

I am finally at a point where I’m forced to confront the fact that I am a hoarder.  Not a hoarder to the point where you can’t move through my house without navigating piles of stuff. That maze is pretty much confined to one room.

My hoarding is only of printed material.  I don’t hoard animals or small appliances.  Nor is my hoarding dirty or smelly, other than accumulations of dust that I tend to keep under control.  Well, I must say that spiders do love those high corners where I have books.  The incense I often burn when I’m working can increase the dust factor.  On the other hand, my respiratory allergies assure that the dust level never gets too bad.  But we’re talking excessive clutter here, not filth and squalor as I’ve seen on some hoarding sites.

We live in a condo of only 850 square feet, which for someone who grew up in spacious old East Coast homes with expanses of lawns and farmland beyond, and who spent two decades living in high-ceilinged Victorian railroad flats in San Francisco, is a bit of a comedown.  It’s a situation that forces consolidation of accumulated goods.  When I first left San Francisco to move to a very tiny in-law cottage with my young daughter, I took a truckload of books to the then-Sausalito flea market.  At that time I got rid of maybe two-thirds of my library, along with furniture and other goods.

Fast-forward to 2013, after thirty years in Marin County, and it’s clear that my love affair with books and other reading material continues unabated.  I have accumulated more than we have shelf space for.

When I moved into this condo, delighted to be a homeowner, albeit of modest digs, rather than a renter, I put up bookshelves running along just below the ceiling on two out of the three walls of the living room (one wall is a sliding glass door to the deck).  On one wall I put two rows of shelves.  I needed to keep all of what little floor space we have for living, not for a library.  I also put a shelf on one wall below the ceiling of my bedroom.  This is not counting bookcases, including a floor-to-ceiling one at the top of the stairs.

Later when my daughter, and later my stepson, moved out and the second (fortunately a bit larger) bedroom became available for our overflow, we moved in desks and computers from the crowded living room.  We also put in more shelving just below the ceiling on two walls, and hung more shelves beneath it in some places.  Again, not counting bookcases.  Also not counting the shelving in that bedroom closet, now filled with office and laundry supplies.

I realize that, in addition to being afflicted with acute bibliophilia, I also feel a compulsion to read everything that comes into/across my field of vision, including cereal boxes, catalogues and bulk mail ads.  I’ve gotten a better handle on the weekly ads that come in the mail and now toss them directly into paper recycling.  (I wish my neighbors in this complex were more conscientious about sorting their trash for recycling.)

For the past several weeks, in anticipation of accommodating houseguests in our studio/office/spare bedroom, I’ve been challenged to dig into the many boxes, cartons, file cabinets, folders, and piles of printed matter currently stacked up in that room.  Gods forbid an earthquake should strike because if it does, we’ll all be crushed under the books that will tumble from the shelves running around nearly every wall in our house!

Well, the stuff I’ve been unearthing -- old photos, interviews, publications, class outlines, correspondence (meaning old-fashioned handwritten or typed letters on paper) -- has brought up memories.

Among the real treasures:  a series of letters and postcards from her travels from my late friend Sequoia.  I will be mailing them to her biographer Kiri.  In the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, she traveled throughout Southeast Asia and India.  She wrote extensive and very detailed travelogues, and I found all of them!  As I said, a treasure.

My obsessive archiving does have a plus side in that a lot of my material is ritual scripts, class notes, old Reclaiming meeting notes, flyers, programs from Pagan events over the years, stuff no one else has kept, including one from a Summer Pagan gathering in the Oakland hills put on my the late Gwydion Penderwen and Stephan Abbot; a program from the memorial for Susan Alison Harlow; and a 1998 front page interview of myself, with photo, by the religion editor of  the Calgary Herald – believe me, an interview with a Witch on the front page by the religion editor was nearly unheard of in 1998!  This kind of ephemera, now that I’ve unearthed it, will be sent to the New Alexandrian Library in Delaware for the benefit of future scholars.

Another tremendous benefit in addition to providing a pleasant space for our guests is that I’ll have an organized, uncluttered space to work.  The piles I’ve been going through have revealed plenty of useful material for current projects.  Stuff I’d been holding onto mostly because I found it fascinating.  I knew I’d never be able to find it in the future -- and of course I couldn’t find anything I might look for the way things were anyway – so I just stashed stuff willy-nilly.  To you friends and readers who’ve been bugging me to relate my experiences of what I think was a heady time in the emergence of Pagan religions, this change in my environment bodes well.

This whole process of reviewing and culling, evaluating and discarding, remembering and pondering the meanings of this and that image, letter or flyer is just that: a process I’m deep in the midst of experiencing.  Need one mention the obvious consideration of advancing age?

In spite of the mountains of paper that’s gone to recycling, into file cabinets, or boxed for shipping, and with my guests due to land at SFO in a few hours, I’m not quite done.  But suffice it to say that I’m entering a new personal era “with visions of the past and memories of the future.”[1]

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Capitalize Pagan

                        Coalition of Scholars in Pagan Studies
                        PO Box 758, Cotati, CA 94931-0758 USA
                        Contact: Oberon Zell (
Chicago Manual of Style
ATTN: Anita Samen, Managing Editor
The University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

AP Stylebook
The Associated Press
P.O. Box 415458
Boston, MA 02241-5458

To the Editors of the Associated Press Stylebook
and the Chicago Manual of Style: A petition

November 30, 2011

Dear Editors,

We the undersigned are a coalition of academic scholars and authors in the field of religious studies, who have done research into contemporary Paganism, and written books on the subject. Pagan studies represents a growing field in academy and the American Academy of Religion has had “Contemporary Pagan Studies” as part of its programming for more than a decade. We are approaching you with a common concern.

The word “Pagan” derives from pagus, the local unit of government in the Latin-speaking Roman Empire, and thus pagan referred to the traditional “Old Religion” of the countryside, as opposed to Christianity, the new religion with universal aspirations. Paganism, therefore, was by definition pre-Christian religion. Over time, with the expansion of the Roman Church, “pagan” became a common pejorative by Christians toward any non-Judeo-Christian religion.

In the 19th century, the terms pagan and paganism were adopted by anthropologists to designate the indigenous folk religions of various cultures, and by Classical scholars and romantic poets to refer to the religions of the great ancient pre-Christian civilizations of the Mediterranean region (as in the phrase, “pagan splendor,” often used in reference to Classical Greece).
Today, the terms Pagan and Paganism (capitalized) refer to alternative nature-based religions, whose adherents claim their identity as Pagan. Pagans seek attunement with nature and view humanity as a functional organ within the greater organism of Mother Earth (Gaea). Contemporary Pagans hearken to traditional and ancient pagan cultures, myths, and customs for inspiration and wisdom.
Thus contemporary Paganism (sometimes referred to as “Neo-Paganism” to distinguish it from historical pre-Christian folk traditions) should be understood as a revival and reconstruction of ancient nature-based religions, or religious innovation inspired by them, which is adapted for the modern world. Paganism is also called “The Old Religion,” “Ancient Ways,” “Nature Worship,” “Earth-Centered Spirituality,” “Natural Religion,” and “Green Religion.”

The Pagan community is worldwide, with millions of adherents in many countries. Moreover, increasing numbers of contemporary Hindus, First Nations activists, European reconstructionists, indigenous peoples, and other polytheists are accepting the term “Pagan” as a wide umbrella under which they all can gather, distinct from the monotheists and secularists. They are using it positively, not to mean “godless” or “lacking (true) religion.”

Therefore it is understandably a matter of continuing frustration to modern self-identified Pagans that newspaper and magazine copy editors invariably print the proper terms for their religion (i.e., “Pagan” and “Paganism”) in lower case. Journalists who have been confronted about this practice have replied that this is what the AP and Chicago Stylebooks recommend.

But names of religions—both nouns and adjectives—are proper terms, and as such should always be capitalized:

Religion:            Christianity            Judaism            Islam            Buddhism            Hinduism            Paganism           
Adherent:            Christian            Jew            Moslem            Buddhist            Hindu            Pagan           
Adjective:            Christian            Jewish            Islamic            Buddhist            Hindu            Pagan           

This list could be expanded indefinitely for every religion in the world. As you can see, Paganism, like all faith traditions, should be capitalized.

Pagan and Paganism are now the well-established chosen self-designations and internationally-recognised nominal identifiers of a defined religious community. The same terms are appropriately lower-case only when they refer to ancient “pagans” since, in that context, the term does not refer to a discrete movement or culture. In short, “Pagan” and “Paganism” now function much as “Jew,” “Judaism,” “Christian,” and “Christianity” do.             
(—Graham Harvey Contemporary Paganism, NYUP, 2nd edition 2011)

The current journalistic convention of printing lower case for these terms seems to have originated with the Associated Press Stylebook, first published in 1953.  However, a new era of religious pluralism has emerged over the past sixty years. The terms “Pagan” and “Paganism” are now being capitalized in a variety of publications, texts, documents, and references, including religious diversity education resources such as On Common Ground: World Religions in America, The Pluralism Project, Harvard University, and Inmate Religious Beliefs and Practices, Technical Reference Manual, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice.

In order to assure greater accuracy in 21st century journalism, we hereby petition the AP and Chicago Stylebooks to capitalize “Pagan” and “Paganism” when speaking of the modern faiths and their adherents in future editions.

Thank you.

1.     Cairril Adaire (founder, Our Freedom Coalition: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition; founder, Pagan Educational Network)
2.     Margot Adler, M.S. (National Public Radio; Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1982; author: Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, 1979, 1986, 1996, 2006)
3.     Eileen Barker, PhD, FBA, OBE (Professor Emeritus in Sociology with Special reference to the Study of Religion at the London School of Economics; Founder and Chair of INFORM [Information Network Focus on Religious Movements]; author of over 300 publications on the subject of minority religions)
4.     Carol Barner-Barry, Ph.D. (Professor Emerita, University of Maryland; author: Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian American, 2005)
5.     David V. Barrett, Ph.D. (London School of Economics and Political Science; British sociologist of religion who has written widely on topics pertaining to new religious movements and western esotericism; author: The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults & Alternative Religions, 2001; A Brief Guide to Secret Religions, 2011)
6.     Helen Berger, Ph.D. (resident scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University; Professor Emerita of Sociology, West Chester University, PA; author: A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism & Witchcraft in the United States, 1999, 2013; with Evan A. Leach and Leigh S. Shaffer, Voices from the Pagan Census: Neo-Paganism in the United States, 2003; Witchcraft and Magic in the New World: North America in the Twentieth Century, 2005; with Douglas Ezzy, Teenage Witches: Magical Youth and the Search for the Self, 2007)
7.     Jenny Blain, Ph.D. (Recently retired from Sheffield Hallam University, previously taught at Dalhousie University, Canada, and now on faculty for Cherry Hill. Co-editor with Graham Harvey and Doug Ezzy of Researching Paganisms, 2004; author of Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic: Ecstasy and neo-Shamanism in North European Paganism, 2002; with Robert Wallis, Sacred Sites, Contested Rites/Rights, 2007; also numerous articles and chapters on Heathenry and Seidr, and on Pagan engagements with Sacred Sites.)
8.     Jon P. Bloch, Ph.D. (Professor, Sociology Department, Southern Connecticut State University; author of New Spirituality, Self, and Belonging: How New Agers and Neo-Pagans Talk About Themselves, 1998)
9.     Raymond Buckland, Ph.D., D.D. (founder of Seax-Wica; Originator Gardnerian Wica in America; author: The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism, 2002; Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft, and more than 50 other titles.)
10.  Dennis D. Carpenter, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin; author: Spiritual Experiences, Life Changes, and Ecological Viewpoints of Contemporary Pagans; co-founder, Pagan Academic Network.)
11.  Chas Clifton, M.A. (Colorado State University-Pueblo (retired); Co-Chair of Contemporary Pagan Studies Group, American Academy of Religion; editor: The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies; author: Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca & Paganism in America, 2006; with Graham Harvey, The Paganism Reader, 2004)
12.  Vivianne Crowley, Ph.D. (Formerly professor at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College, University of London, specializing in psychology of religion. She is on the Council of the Pagan Federation where she focuses on interfaith issues. She is the author of many books on Wicca, Paganism and spiritual psychology, including Wicca: A comprehensive guide to the Old Religion in the modern world.)
13.  Carole Cusack, Ph.D. (Professor of Religious Studies, Chair Studies in Religion, Arts and Social Sciences Pro-Dean, University of Sydney, Australia;  co-editor, Journal of Religious History; co-editor, International Journal for the Study of New Religions; author: Invented Religions, 2010)
14.  Marie W. Dallam, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Honors College, University of Oklahoma; Co-Chair, New Religious Movements Group, American Academy of Religion)
15.  Frances Di Lauro, Ph.D. (Lecturer, Undergraduate Coordinator, Writing Hub, School of Letters Art and Media, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia)
16.  Maureen Aisling Duffy-Boose (President Emeritus, Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) 2005-2010; VP Emeritus, Pagan Pride International 2003-2013; Board Chair, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition 2002-2005; Founding Priestess, Four Dragons Clann, 1734 Witchcraft, 2011)
17.  Robert S. Ellwood, Jr., Ph.D. (Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Southern California; author of Religious & Spiritual Groups in Modern America, 1974, 1988; Many Peoples, Many Faiths, 1976; 10th edition with Barbara McGraw, 2014)
18.  Douglas Ezzy, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Tasmania; published extensively in academic journals and academic monographs on contemporary Paganism, Witchcraft and religion)
19.  Holly Folk (Associate Professor of Liberal Studies, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA)
20.  Rev. Selena Fox, M.S. (Senior Minister, Circle Sanctuary; founding editor, CIRCLE Magazine; co-founder, Pagan Academic Network; diversity educator, U.S. Department of Justice; author: When Goddess is God (1995); contributor to Religions of the World (2002), Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America (2006), U.S. Army Chaplains Manual (1984), other works)
21.  Elysia Gallo (Senior Acquisitions Editor for Witchcraft, Paganism, and Magic at Llewellyn Worldwide; Vice President of Twin Cities Pagan Pride)
22.  Wendy Griffin, Ph.D. (Professor Emerita and Chair of the Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach; Academic Dean, Cherry Hill Seminary; Founding Co-chair of the Pagan Studies Group for the American Academy of Religion; Co-editor of the Alta Mira's Pagan Studies Series; editor: Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, identity and Empowerment, 2000)
23.  Raven Grimassi (Director of the Fellowship of the Pentacle, author: Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, 2000, and other award-winning books on Pagan-related themes)
24.  Charlotte Hardman, Ph.D. (Honorary Fellow, retired senior lecturer, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University; co-author: Paganism Today 1995; Other Worlds 2000)
25.  Graham Harvey, Ph.D. (Head of Department of Religious Studies, The Open University, UK; President, British Association for the Study of Religion; co-author: Paganism Today, 1995; Contemporary Paganism, 1997; with Chas Clifton, The Paganism Reader, Routledge, 2004; Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding religion as everyday life, 2013)
26.  Irving Hexham, Ph.D. (Professor of Religious Studies at University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; author with Karla Poewe: New Religions as Global Cultures, 1997; Understanding World Religions, 2011; and many other works on new religious movements)
27.  Ellen Evert Hopman, M.Ed. (Druid Priestess; Co-founder and Vice President for nine years, of The Henge of Keltria Druid Order and co-founder and Co-Chief for five years of The Druid Order of White Oak; author with Lawrence Bond, People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out, 1995; with Lawrence Bond, Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today, 2001; and other volumes)
28.  Lynne Hume, Ph.D. (Associate Professor and Research Consultant, University of Queensland, Australia; Faculty, Cherry Hill Seminary, Bethel, VT; author of Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia, 1997; The Religious Life of Dress, 2013; co-author, with Nevill Drury of The Varieties of Magical Experience, 2013)
29.  Ronald Hutton, Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Historical Studies, Oxford University; author: Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft, 2000)
30.  Christine Hoff Kraemer, Ph.D. (Instructor, Theology and Religious History, Cherry Hill Seminary; author of Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theology, 2012 and Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective: Divided for Love’s Sake, 2013)
31.  James R. Lewis, Ph.D. (co-founder of the International Society for the Study of New Religions and editor-in-chief of the Alternative Spirituality & Religion Review (ASSR). Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tromsø in Norway; Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wales, Lampeter; author: Magical Religion & Modern Witchcraft, 1996; The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions, 1998; Peculiar Prophets: A Biographical Dictionary of New Religions, 1999; Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions, 1999; with Murph Pizza, Handbook of Contemporary Paganism; The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements; with Jesper Petersen, Controversial New Religions; The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of New Age Religions; Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy; Legitimating New Religions)
32.  Scott Lowe, Ph.D. (Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Co-General Editor, Nova Religio)
33.  Sabina Magliocco, Ph.D. (Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at California State University, Northridge; author: Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America, 2004; Neopagan Sacred Art & Altars: Making Things Whole, 2001)
34.  Ven. Rev. Patrick McCollum (Director of Public Chaplaincy, Cherry Hill Seminary; Chaplaincy Liaison, American Academy of Religion; Minority Faith Chair, American Correctional Chaplains Association; Executive Director, National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association; President, Patrick McCollum Foundation; Religion Advisor, United States Commission on Civil Rights; Recipient, Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Pluralism; publications: California Department of Corrections Wiccan Chaplains Manual, 1998; Courting the Lady, 2000; Religious Accommodation in American Jails, 2013)
35.  J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D. (Institute for the Study of American Religion; The Encyclopedia of American Religions, 1991; with Isotta Poggi, author of Magic, Witchcraft, and Paganism in America: A Bibliography, 2nd ed., 1992; Religious Leaders of America, 1999)
36.  Brendan Myers, Ph.D. (Professor at CEGEP Heritage College, Gatineau, QC, Canada; faculty, Cherry Hill Seminary; author of The Earth, The Gods and The Soul - A History of Pagan Philosophy: From the Iron Age to the 21st Century, 2013)
37.  M. Macha NightMare/Aline O'Brien (American Academy of Religion; Nature Religions Scholars Network; Marin Interfaith Council; United Religions Initiative; Interfaith Center of the Presidio; Association for the Study of Women and Mythology; Biodiversity Project Spirituality Working Group. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary; the Advisory Council of the Sacred Dying Foundation; former Adjunct Faculty at Starr King School for the Ministry. Books: The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over (with Starhawk) 1997; Witchcraft and the Web: Weaving Pagan Tradition Online, 2001; Pagan Pride: Honoring the Craft and Culture of Earth and Goddess, 2004)
38.  Joanne Pearson, Ph.D. (co-author with Richard H. Roberts & Geoffrey Samuel of Nature Religion Today: Paganism in the Modern World, 1998; (ed), Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age, 2002; A Popular Dictionary of Paganism, 2002; Wicca and the Christian Heritage: Ritual Sex and Magic, 2007)
39.  Christopher Penczak (faculty member at North Eastern Institute of Whole Health; founder of the Temple of Witchcraft, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit church; co-owner of Copper Cauldron Publishing; author: The Living Temple of Witchcraft, 2008; 2009—and over two dozen other books)
40.  Sarah M. Pike, Ph.D. (Professor of Comparative Religion, California State University, Chico; author of Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and The Search for Community, 2001; New Age and Neopagan Religions in America, 2004)
41.  Richard H. Roberts, Ph.D. (Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Lancaster University; co-author with Geoffrey Samuel & Joanne Pearson of Nature Religion Today: Paganism in the Modern World, 1998)
42.  Kathryn Rountree, Ph.D. (Professor of Anthropology, Massey University, New Zealand; author of Embracing the Witch and the Goddess: Feminist Ritual-makers in New Zealand, 2004; Crafting Contemporary Pagan Identities in a Catholic Society, 2010; Archaeology of Spiritualities, 2012)
43.  Michael Ruse, Ph.D. (Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; author: The Gaia Hypothesis: Science on a Pagan Planet, 2013)
44.  Geoffrey Samuel, Ph.D. (Cardiff University, UK, as well as an honorary attachment at the University of Sydney; author: Civilized Shamans, 1993; co-author with Richard H. Roberts & Joanne Pearson of Nature Religion Today: Paganism in the Modern World, 1998; The Origins of Yoga and Tantra, 2008; Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West, 2013)
45.  Bron Taylor, Ph.D. (Professor of Religion & Nature, University of Florida; Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München; Editor, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture; author of Encyclopedia of Religion & Nature, 2005; Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, 2010; Avatar and Nature Spirituality, 2013; Civil Society in the Age of Monitory Democracy, 2013)
46.  Robert J. Wallis, Ph.D., FRAI, FSA (Professor of Visual Culture; Associate Dean, MA Programmes, School of Communications, Arts and Social Sciences; Convenor of the MA in Art History and Visual Culture; Richmond University, the American International University in London; author of Shamans/neo-Shamans, 2003; and numerous articles on contemporary Paganisms, neo-Shamanisms and their engagements with prehistoric archaeology in Britain)
47.  Linda Woodhead, M.B.E., D.D. (Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University, UK. She studies religious change in modern societies, and is especially interested in how religion has changed worldwide since the late 1980s. Between 2007 and 2013 she was Director of the “Religion and Society” research programme in Britain, which involved 240 academics from 29 different disciplines working on 75 different projects. Her books include Everyday Lived Islam in Europe (2013), A Sociology of Religious Emotions (2011), Religions in the Modern World (2009), The Spiritual Revolution (2005) and A Very Short Introduction to Christianity (2004). She is a regular commentator and broadcaster on religion and society.)
48.  Michael York, Ph.D. (Faculty, Cherry Hill Seminary; retired Professor of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology with the Bath Spa University’s Sophia Centre; he directed the New Age and Pagan Studies Programme for the College’s Department for the Study of Religions and co-ordinated the Bath Archive for Contemporary Religious Affairs. He continues to direct the Amsterdam Center for Eurindic Studies and co-direct the London-based Academy for Cultural and Educational Studies. Author: The Roman Festival Calendar of Numa Pompilius, 1986; A Sociology of the New Age and Neo-pagan Movements, 1995; The Divine versus the Asurian: An Interpretation of Indo-European Cult and Myth, 1995; Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion, 2003; Historical Dictionary of New Age Movements, 2004)
49.  Oberon Zell, D.D. (co-founder and Primate, Church of All Worlds, 1962 [incorporated 1968; 501(c)(3) 1970]; co-founder, Council of Themis, 1968; Publisher Emeritus, Green Egg magazine, 1968-ff; co-founder, Council of Earth Religions, 1974; founder, Universal Federation of Pagans, 1990; founder, Grey Council, 2002; founder and Headmaster, Grey School of Wizardry, 2004; Secretary, Sonoma County Pagan Network, 2010-2013; author: Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, 2004; Companion  for the Apprentice Wizard, 2006; with Morning Glory Zell, Creating Circles & Ceremonies, 2006)