Pagan Elders and Pagan Libraries

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 25, 2007 — 5 Comments

The Delaware News Journal has a very nice interview up with Ivo Dominguez Jr. (author of “Castings: The Creation Of Sacred Space”) and Jim Welch on the eve of Dover Pagan Pride Day. In addition to the usual introductory questions about Wicca and Paganism, they also discuss the New Alexandrian Library Project, which they hope to build on the “Seelie Court” 102-acres of land owned by members of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel.


Ivo Dominguez Jr. (left) and Jim Welch.
Photo by Chuck Snyder.

“There is no place where all the ephemeral material related to magical communities is stored. And there is no focal point for scholarship about all faiths. So the library will collect material that’s from the esoteric or magical end of all faiths. It won’t just be pagans. We’re open to Hinduism, Christianity, Islam – any faith. We’re calling it the New Alexandrian Library Project, after the great Alexandria Library in Egypt. The original library was a place where people of different faiths interacted. It was one of the best times for interfaith interaction. We want the new library to be a crossroads for scholars. And we want our community to develop greater scholarship. Librarians at colleges have books on esoteric topics. But acquisitions specialists don’t know what to buy and the books are often not properly cataloged. Newsletters and in-house publications can be preserved at this new library. And we hope it will be the jumping-off point for monographs and things that are not profitable but worthy of being published. Sometimes people say they want to start accredited pagan seminaries and you can’t do that unless you have access to a library.”

To help raise money for the library, the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel is holding a special fund raising event on Labor Day weekend that features esteemed occult author and practitioner Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki leading rituals and talks. Also of note is their upcoming “Between the Worlds” interfaith esoteric conference, which features a very impressive* line-up of teachers and practitioners.

Kudos to The News Journal for this nicely done article.

* Seriously, it is a very impressive line-up. I’m currently looking under my bed to see if I left any spare piles of money lying around.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Al

    I believe the University of California, Santa Barabara, has a huge collection of pagan and occult materials from the 1960s onwards coming from J. Gordon Melton’s original collection. I’d rather send the stuff to an academic institution than a bunch of pagans as I think the former’s organization made hold together longer.

  • T. Thorn Coyle

    Just FYI, Seelie Court has been in existence since 1984, and the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel incorporated as a “church” in 1993. The land and the library are both set up to continue after the deaths of any of the Assembly members.It may not look as stable as a university, but is pretty darned stable – particularly as Pagan orgs go.

  • T. Thorn Coyle

    Just FYI, Seelie Court has been in existence since 1984, and the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel incorporated as a “church” in 1993. The land and the library are both set up to continue after the deaths of any of the Assembly members.It may not look as stable as a university, but is pretty darned stable – particularly as Pagan orgs go.

  • Chas S. Clifton

    Al Billings is correct: UC-Santa Barbara has a big collection on new religious movements, including contemporary Paganism.I sent them seven or eight cartons of Pagan magazines myself.

  • Cathy, Wise Weeds

    About five or six years ago I met Ivo at the Crossroads event in Virginia Beach where he spoke on the Kabbalah and also led a Healing ritual. I was very impressed with both his workshop and his ritual and suspect very strongly that any project he’s involved with will be handled with care and dilegence. (As a vendor over the years at a lot of events, it takes a bit to impress me!)