APOLLONIUS OF TYANNA
Apollonius of Tyana was a wandering sage and magician in the early Roman Empire. Apollonius was famous for his psychic abilities, miraculous healings and physical apparitions.
Apollonius was born in Cappadocia, in what is now Turkey, during the reign of the Emperor Augustus. During his lifetime Apollonius wrote numerous books and letters, including a famous biography of Pythagoras. Almost all of these writings are now lost, though some fragments survive.
Apollonius is said to have traveled widely throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Notably Apollonius is said to have traveled to India where he met his disciple Damis, who accompanied the sage thereafter and later wrote a biography of Apollonius, which is now lost.
Apollonius was especially revered by the Severan Dynasty, particularly the Empress Julia Pia Domna, who commissioned Philostratus to write a biography of Apollonius.
Lydia Ann Beckett (nee Spurgeon) was born in on May 31, 1871, and lived most of her life in Indiana and Illinois, though she also traveled extensively. During her lifetime Lydia Beckett was well known as a painter of landscapes and Americana.
In her early life Beckett was a devotee of the Roman Goddess Venus, and established a classical revival Temple in honor of this Goddess. In the late 1890’s Lydia Beckett took a tour of Italy. One of her goals was to bring back a piece of marble from an ancient temple of Venus. Lydia was unable to find marble from a Temple of Venus however, and had to settle for a bit of marble from a Temple of Diana –which she would soon after regard as being an omen.
During her trip Lydia met and became acquainted with Charles Leland. Leland presented Lydia with a galley copy of the as yet unpublished “Aradia, or The Gospel of the Witches.” After this Lydia adopted Aradian practice, a form of Italian Stregheria as filtered through Leland.
Back home in Indiana Lydia changed her classical revival Temple of Venus into an Aradian Temple of Diana, and introduced Aradian practices to the US Midwest heartland. Among those she influenced was her friend Caroline High Correll, who adopted Aradian ideas.
In addition to Leland, Lydia knew a number of other figures in the magical community of the day, including Aleister Crowley. Lydia was among those who helped support Crowley in his latter days when he was in straightened circumstances.
In 1937 Lydia Beckett and her daughter Athalo “Atsie” Lawrence opened the Lawrence Museum of Magic and Witchcraft, showcasing historical items as well as items from then-contemporary figures such as Crowley. At first the museum was a small display within the Lawrence home –eventually it encompassed several rooms. The Lawrence Museum would remain open daily for over fifty years.
In addition to her Aradian practice Lydia and her husband, Rev. Henry C. Beckett, were also prominent in the Universalist Church. Universalism taught that all religions are valid paths to Deity and allowed for the expression of Pagan ideas in a low-key manner.
Lydia Beckett spent her last few years in deteriorating health. She died on December 21, 1953, at age 82
Phillip Isaac Emmons Bonewits was born in Royal Oak Michigan on October 1, 1949.
Isaac first came to fame while at the University of California at Berkley. UC Berkley allowed students to create their own degree study program. This allowed Isaac to graduate Berkley in 1970 with the first ever Bachelor of Arts in Magic and Thaumaturgy. This was the first degree of its kind from an American university, and at the time and for some time after was a great embarrassment to UC Berkley. Today however, this is looked upon as the first ever degree in Pagan Studies. While at Berkley Isaac became involved with the Reformed Druids of North America, becoming an initiated Druid Priest in 1969.
In 1971 Isaac published “Real Magic” a groundbreaking examination of magical ideas and practice from a modern perspective. In particular “Real Magic” expounded upon Isaac’s understanding of the Laws of Magic, using a modern, systematized approach. The book was an immediate success and remains immensely popular to this day.
From 1973 – 1975 Isaac was the editor of Llewellyn’s “Gnostica” magazine.
In 1979 Isaac created his "Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame" in which he outlined a checklist of items intended to determine whether a group was or was not a dangerous “cult”.
In 1983 Isaac founded the Ar nDraiocht Fein, a Druid Fellowship more commonly known as the ADF. The first public announcement of the ADF was at the Winterstar Festival in 1984. The ADF is unique among Druidic organizations in that it focuses not only on Celtic religion but upon all Indo-European religions. Isaac served ArchDruid of the ADF until 1996, when he stepped down accepting the title of ArchDruid Emeritus. The ADF focuses not only on Celtic but on all Indo-European religions.
On July 23, 04 handfasted fellow Pagan leader Phaedra Heyman Bonewits. The ceremony was presided over by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart of the Church of All Worlds together with an Arch Priestess of the Correllian Tradition.
Isaac was married five times, and has one child, Arthur Lipp-Bonewits. Isaac Bonewits died on August 12, 2010
Gleb Botkin was the son of Dr. Eugene Botkin. Eugene Botkin was physician to HIM Nicholas II of Russia and died with the Tzar at Ekaterinburg.
Gleb Botkin grew up with the imperial children, and later would be a lifelong supporter of Anna Anderson’s claim to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
Gleb Botkin was also the founder of the church of Aphrodite.The Church of Aphrodite was founded in Long Island, New York in 1938. One of the earliest Pagan Churches in the US, Botkin had to fight for the right to register the church legally, eventually arguing his case before the Supreme Court.
Botkin taught that Aphrodite was the supreme form of Deity, and that the creation of the universe was like a woman giving birth to a child. The Church of Aphrodite also taught that patriarchal civilization had created most of the world’s problems, and that only a shift toward matriarchy could fix the world.
Gleb Botkin died in 1969, and the Church of Aphrodite did not long survive him.
Among the best known Wiccan authors, having published over sixty books. Raymond Buckland has written many books on Wicca, magic and the occult, as well as several novels.
Raymond Buckland was born into an English Romany family in 1934, in London, England.
Buckland was initiated into the Gardnerian Tradition of Wicca in 1963 by Monique Wilson, then Gardner's High Priestess. Buckland is credited with bringing Gardnerian Wicca to the United States, and at one time acted as Gardner's agent and spokesman in the U.S.
Buckland published his first book, "A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural" in 1969. He followed this in 1970 with "Witchcraft Ancient and Modern" and "Practical Candleburning Rituals". Also in 1970 Buckland published his first novel, "Mu Revealed", under the pseudonym of "Tony Earll".
Other works by Buckland include: "Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft": "Gypsy Witchcraft and Magic": and "Witchcraft from the Inside: Origins of the Fastest Growing Religious in America".
In 1973 Buckland opened what he termed "The First Museum of Magic and Witchcraft in the United States", a project he had been developing for some time. The contents of Buckland’s museum are now in Cleveland, Ohio
Leaving the Gardnerian Tradition in the early 1970s, Buckland founded the Seax Wicca Tradition, which was intended to be more open and democratic in structure.
In the early 1980s Buckland and his then wife established the Seax Wicca Seminary, a correspondence school of Wicca which at one point had more than 1000 students. Buckland also practices Pecti Wicca, a form of Scottish Wicca.
In 1992 Buckland retired from active leadership and has since pursued a solitary path, but remains a prominent authority and lecturer. Buckland has also enjoyed some success as a technical consultant and scriptwriter in the entertainment industry.
Rt. Rev. Deena Celeste Butta was a Arch Priestess of the Fellowship of Isis. Lady Deena was born in Chicago as Deena Welgarz on June 1, 1950.
Lady Deena had a long and varied career in the Pagan community, ultimately achieving her most prominent role in the Fellowship of Isis.
Lady Deena became a member of the Fellowship of Isis in 1977, the second year of its existence. Lady Deena also belonged to Chicago’s Earthstar Chicago Lodge from 1979 – 1984. She belonged to the Society of Janus from 1984 - 1987
Lady Deena took part in the Parliament of World’s Religions in 1993, as
part of the Isian delegation, taking part in the grand procession and the Isian Mystery Play, as well as hosting M. Rev. Olivia in her home. During the Parliament Lady Deena was created a Priestess Hierophant of Fellowship of Isis.
After this Lady Deena was charged with developing a Fellowship of Isis Convention in the United States, an event originally envisioned as being similar to the annual Fellowship of Isis Convention in the UK. From this was born the annual Fellowship of Isis Chicago Convention, beginning in 1994 the Fellowship of Isis Chicago convention would become one of the Fellowship of Isis’ premier international gatherings. Lady Deena would lead the convention for eighteen years, until her death. The convention continues annually to this day.
For many years M. Rev. Olivia Robertson, co-founder and International Head of the Fellowship of Isis would travel annually to the United States, making many appearances including the Fellowship of Isis Chicago Convention. During her time in Chicago Lady Olivia would invariable stay with Lady Deena, and take part receptions, tours, and other events collateral to the Convention. Lady Olivia would later pay tribute to Lady Deena as having been “…one of my greatest friends…” on the Fellowship of Isis website.
The Fellowship of Isis Chicago Convention involved many conventional presentations and activities, but was particularly distinguished by the annual performance of an Isian Mystery Play, which set the theme for the year and served as the climax of the event. The Mystery Play is an important feature of Isian liturgy, but the way that the Mystery Play was handled in Chicago was said to be unique, in that they were mounted with the same level of detail and skill as full-blown theatrical productions, featuring elaborate costuming and choreography. Each year the
Mystery play would begin with a ritual dance enacted by the Priesthood, which could often be strikingly beautiful. These magnificent productions were among the reasons that the Fellowship of Isis Chicago Convention was so successful.
Lady Deena was also known for her alliance with Rev. Don Lewis and Ed Hubbard, which resulted in the Fellowship of Isis Chicago Convention being promoted through their Round Table Magazine,
Telepathic Radio program, and later Magick TV. Because of this many radio and video interviews exist with Lady Deena, Lady Olivia, and other prominent Isians who attended the Conventions, as well as videos of many of the Mystery Plays enacted.
Lady Deena also edited the Isis Seshat Journal and held the standing of Dame Grand Commander in the Noble Order of Tara and Arch Druidess in the Druid Clan of Danu. In addition Lady Deena was also a member of the Fellowship of Isis Arch Priesthood Union.
In her private life Lady Deena was a professional librarian from 1978 and a specialist in Genealogy from 1999. Lady Deena continued in her career as a librarian until shortly before her death.Lady Deena was listed in the Who’s Who of American Women in Year 2010.
Lady Deena died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease on January 27, Year 2013, just a few months before the death of M. Rev. Hon. Olivia Robertson.
Laurie Cabot was born March 6, 1933, in Wewoka, Oklahoma, while her family was en route from their old home in Boston to a new home in Anaheim, California.
In 1947 Laurie and her mother returned to Boston to further Laurie’s education. Around this time Laurie was befriended by a woman she met at the library who encouraged her interest in psychic things and encouraged her to study alternative spirituality. The woman eventually revealed that she was a Witch. This Witch began training young Laurie, and prepared her for her initiation, which she received at the age of 16, in 1949.
In the 1950s and ‘60s Laurie pursued a career as a dancer. She married twice and had two daughters, Jody (B. 1963) and Penny (B. 1965). After the end of her second marriage, Laurie moved to the north end of Boston and made an oath that she would live thereafter as a public Witch, adopting ritual robes and stylized makeup as everyday-wear.
Soon after, Laurie moved to Salem, already known as the “Witch City”.Laurie now began teaching classes in ‘Witchcraft as a Science’ as part of the “continuing education” program at the local Wellesley High School.
In 1970 Salem became the recipient of tremendous publicity as the “Bewitched” television program shot a number of episodes on location there. The following year Laurie Cabot opened “The Witch Shop”,
Salem’s first metaphysical shop, located at 100 Derby St. She would subsequently establish “Crowhaven Corner”, and her present shop “The Cat, the Crow, and the Crown” located on Pickering Wharf just up the street from the World of Witches Museum.
In 1973 Laurie Cabot established “The Witches Ball”, an annual event she has hosted ever since.
In 1977 Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis awarded Madam Cabot the Massachusetts Patriot Award for her work with special needs children, and proclaimed her “The Official Witch of Salem”.
In 1980 Madam Cabot became a member of the executive board of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, one of the first public Witches to hold such a position.
In 1986 Madam Cabot founded the WLPA, or “Witches League for Public Awareness.” The WLPA was a civil rights group and media watchdog dedicated to advancing the Witch community, and for many years was one of the leading organizations in the World of Witches.
Laurie Cabot leads the Cabot-Kent Temple in Salem, and is Head of the Cabot Tradition of the Science of Witchcraft, a pre-Gardnerian form of Witchcraft based upon ancestral and modern practice and adhering to the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law of Return.
Madam Cabot is the author of many books including “Practical Magic: A Salem Witch’s handbook” (1986), “Power of a Witch” (1990), and “The Witch in Every Woman” (1997), among others.
Dorothy Clutterbuck Fordham was born on January 19, 1880 in India. She was the daughter of Thomas St. Quentin Clutterbuck, a British military officer.
As an adult Dorothy Clutterbuck came to live in England, where she spent many years as an unmarried woman of independent means. In 1935, at the age of 55, Clutterbuck married Rupert Fordham. Fordham died in a car accident in 1939, and it was subsequently revealed that they were not actually legally married at all, which began a highly publicized fight over Fordham’s estate. Dorothy St. Quentin Clutterbuck died on 12 January 1951.
A figure surrounded by tremendous controversy, Dorothy Clutterbuck
was identified by Gerald Gardner as the High Priestess who taught and initiated him as a Witch in the 1930s. Gardner also claimed that Clutterbuck’s materials were “fragmentary” and that he had found it necessary to augment them with more Ceremonial elements –which if true suggests that her practice may have been closer to eclectic Wicca.
For many years Gardner’s detractors alleged that Dorothy Clutterbuck was in fact an entirely fictitious creation – but in the 1980s Doreen Valiente successfully proved that Clutterbuck was indeed a real person.
It has since been alleged that Clutterback could not possibly have been what Gardner claimed she was – that she was in fact a devout Christian of the most conservative sort. However she lived for years with a man to whom she was not actually married which seems an unlikely thing for a devout Christian of the most conservative sort to do. Moreover her “diaries” have been shown to contain highly Pagan themes, including overt devotional references to Classical Pagan Deities as well as to the Fairy Queen, which would seem to be the Smoking Gun.
As for Clutterbuck’s coven some have suggested that it was connected to George Pickingill, while others suggest that Clutterbuck was inspired to found it by the writings of Margaret Murray.
The most popular of all Pagan authors, Scott Cunningham’s short life established a remarkable and enduring legacy in the world of Witches.
Scott Douglas Cunningham was born on June 27, 1956, in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Scott was introduced to Witchcraft by a classmate in High School, and would go on to become a member of the Serpent Stone Family, receiving his Third Degree High Priesthood through them. Later Scott would also study under Raven Grimassi.
A prolific author, Scott would write a total of twenty-two books on Witchcraft and magic –several of which were published posthumously. His book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, is considered the definitive treatise on Solitary Witchcraft by many, and is among the most popular books on Witchcraft ever written. In addition to his works on metaphysics, Scott also published a number of romance novels, writing under his sister’s name.
Scott Cunningham died in 1993 at the age of thirty-six from AIDS related cryptococcal meningitis.
Some of Scott Cunningham’s many books include: Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic (1983). The Truth About Witchcraft Today(1988), Living Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (1988)