RITA MORGAN (1947 – 2019)
The Salt Lake City and Los Angeles Pagan communities have lost one of their Elder members. Rita Morgan, Hearth Holder and Witch Mother of the Ced Tradition and family line, joined the ancestors after succumbing to renal disease on the morning of September 23, surrounded by family.
Rita was born on August 11, 1947, and grew up in Venice, California. She descended from a long line of millers who left Hertfordshire for the New World, landing in Massachusetts.
The Witchblood started to manifest itself when Rita was about seven, but since she was raised in a strict Mormon household, it was rigorously suppressed. Through her teenage years, marriage, and young single motherhood she struggled with her spirituality.
One morning she woke up with the words, “Come on, you know you don’t believe in any of this.” Realizing the truth of that statement, she started investigating many other avenues of spirituality, such as the Edgar Cayce Association and Rosicrucianism. Already having a predisposition to witchcraft, her path led her firmly in that direction.
Finally, her path crossed with Griffin Ced, the Devil and Father of the Ced line. Rita and Griffin have led the Line and Tradition in the United States for the past 27 years, and for the past two decades have been working on building community and the Ced Tradition.
Rita was committed to community service and was an owner and the store manager of the Crone’s Hollow Store in Salt Lake City. She was also a teacher and led many public rituals in both Salt Lake City and Los Angeles through the Green Man Store.
A memorial has been scheduled for November 1, 2019.
Rita had an affinity for Bengals, and at one time had three. Her first Bengal was named Melusine and was with her for 17 years who she considered her familiar. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, consideration of a donation be made to Southern California Bengal Cat Rescue.
What is remembered, lives.
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CHRISTEL SZOPIERAY SPARKS (1953 – 2019)
In the early morning hours of September 28, Christel Szopieray Sparks joined the ancestors. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary shared the sad news.
Christel Sparks was part of the Wisconsin Pagan Community for many years. She and her husband John interfaced with Pagans of many paths, groups, and events in Milwaukee and in the Madison area. They attended Circle Sanctuary’s public Winter Solstice Pageant in Madison, Wisconsin from time to time over the years as well as some other Circle Sanctuary events.
In January of 2010, Christel and her husband, John joined the Madison chapter of the Polish Heritage Club of Wisconsin. The PHCWI was “founded in 1979 to promote Polish Heritage through educational, cultural and social activities, a non-profit, non-political organization.”
Christel was a supporter, under her maiden name of Szopieray, of The Order of the Good Death, “a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists” whose mission is “exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality.”
Christel was also a supporter of wild places. She wrote to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in support of the Wild Horse Consent Decree: “Doesn’t what we as citizens want matter at all? Why does business come first and destroy irreplaceable resources and beauty for the rest of us who don’t benefit by those business interests at all or indirectly where there is another way to get there?”
Rev. Angie Buchanan, Earth Traditions shared that Christel “was always very interested in our events, and in my work with the Parliament of World Religions. She gave generously, to help fund some of the work we were doing but was only occasionally able to attend events due to both she and John’s health conditions.”
Buchanan added, “At her request, I visited her several times while she was on her journey, starting shortly after her first diagnosis, which was a complete surprise, instigated by someone who noticed one side of her face drooping at a social event, and insisted she go to the hospital. They thought she’d had a stroke. We did some healing touch, hand and foot massage and lots of talking. I sat vigil with her two nights before she died. She was already unresponsive. She was a huge advocate for education and has helped finance several young people in our community to attend college.”
Fox added that Christel was involved in a variety of charitable endeavors and helped with Pagan networking. “We are thankful for all her good works,” she wrote. Christel will be among those remembered during our honoring of Beloved Dead during Circle Sanctuary’s Samhain Festival, October 25-27 at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve.
The service for Christel will be held Friday, October 18, 2019, at Hughes Barn in Cambria, Wisconsin, with visitation at 1:00 pm and the service at 3:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, Christel requested donations be made to the following charities:
Jason Luther Benefit
c/o Glen Luther
N4743 Lowville Road
Rio, WI 53960
Living Hope Food Pantry
103 Spring Street
Fox Lake, WI 53933
What is remembered, lives.