Guest Post: Passing of Myrddin (Roger Tier)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  November 7, 2011 — 4 Comments

[Star Foster is the rather opinionated editor of the Pagan Portal at Patheos.]

Roger Tier, known to the Pagan community as Myrddin, has recently passed and Pagans are remembering his life:

He was always very moral and principled. He was also a very reclusive and private person.” – Margot Adler

I first connected with Myrddin back in the 1970’s and am among those remembering and giving thanks for the many contributions he & Crystal made to the Craft & Paganism … and to animal care & to world peace.” – Selena Fox

Here’s the memorial posted on Witchvox:

In Memoriam: Myrddin (1947-2011)
In Memory of Roger Tier

Roger Tier, often known in the international Pagan and Wiccan community as Myrddin, died from natural causes on October 31, 2011. He was at home in New Brunswick, NJ.

Roger was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1947. He worked as a production manager in various printing and design firms in Manhattan and New Jersey. For many years he and his wife Crystal made their home on Staten Island.

Roger was a quiet, unsung leader in Paganism and Wicca. He and Crystal founded The Gaia Group in 1973, which he described in this way:

“.an initiatory Earth religion with Wiccan roots. Our primary goals are the care and protection of Mother Earth through both magical and practical means, and the continual creation of a sound and meaningful initiatory system that produces strong and effective Initiates to carry on our work.”

Roger and Crystal taught, held workshops and initiated students for three decades, and The Gaia Group has various granddaughter covens throughout the US. In the Cold War years of the 1980s they led an international Peace Network, spread via journal and newspaper notices, and word of mouth. The Gaia Group’s focus was Earth-healing and activism, and they inspired peace and healing work across the globe. Roger and Crystal worked closely with the Covenant of Unitarian-Universalist Pagans at various times in their history. They also supported various shelters, and for many years had a home full of animals, wonderful books and ringing laughter.

He is survived by Crystal, who is in poor health and in a nursing home.

Memorial arrangements will be privately held. Any donations in Roger’s name may be sent to: Best Friends Animal Society, in southern Utah,;
(An animal shelter and sanctuary they have supported for many years.)

As Doreen Valiente wrote in her “Elegy for a Dead Witch”:

Farewell from this world, but not from the Circle.
That place that is between the worlds
shall hold return in due time. Nothing is lost.
The half of a fruit from the tree of Avalon
shall be our reminder, among the fallen leaves.
This life treads underfoot. Let the rain weep.
Waken in sunlight from the Realms of Sleep.

Roger will be sorely missed by his family, his Initiates and his many more-than-human companions. May the journey be smooth and the well-deserved rest happy, Roger.

Merry meet again.

— by Francesca Howell (in conversation with Crystal)

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Caliban

    Oh, for goodness sake!

    No disrespect for Myrddin here, who I am sure will be missed by those who knew him.

    But how long is it going to take those of us who pride ourselves on being in tune with the natural cycles to say someone died.

    Death happens. We don’t know what happens to the soul. We know what happens to the body. It doesn’t pass. It dies. His did, yours will, mine will.

    Samhain was a week ago. Do we really have to hide from mortality again this soon? Maybe we should think about this. After all, Samhain is when he died.

    Kudos for the Witchvox obituary for using the D-word. I don’t see a need to euphemise it. At best it’s silly. At worst, it’s denial.

    • Anonymous

      This. Even if you believe In reincarnation, our bodies still die. There is no harm or shame in admitting the fact, only in acting as though it somehow won’t happen to us if we don’t say it.

    • Anonymous

      Ahhhh! Wassa matta li’l un? Do you not understand sentimentality or grace? We live in a world of vulgar (common) people, places, and things. When exceptions to that rule leave us, some people mourn, some people pay their respect, and some do both. There is no dishonor in showing respect to the living when they pass beyond the veil… it is to honor them. In this time of passing through Samhain and approaching the full moon, I can only say, “Howww oooo, heee, heee, heee, howww, oooo.” Get some respect!

  • The obituary made his hometown paper and it was prominently mentioned that he was Wiccan, sponsored the local Witches’ Ball, and that he was deeply involved in the organizations mentioned above. That was an awesome tribute.