Reverence is the way of radical respect. It recognizes and honors the presence of the sacred in everything — our bodies, other people, animals, plants, rocks, the earth, and the waters. – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
As the seasons change and we move into the fall months, discussions of ancestor reverence and the Mighty Dead become more prominent. Seasonal ancestor altars are erected and many practices engaging our connection to those who have transitioned from their physical existence become the focal points of our traditions. These very practices are a part of many different cultures, and are not exclusive to Paganism or Polytheism by any means.
OHIO — Raymond Buckland is known in Pagan circles as the man who brought Gardnerian Wicca to the United States of America. His name graces the cover of more than 40 books on Pagan and occult topics, published over the last 47 years. That history is more than enough to cover in the course of just one interview, but despite his prolific writing and years of teaching, Buckland has also found time to keep busy with quite a number of non-Pagan activities. These activities are wide-ranging and include, in his own words, “acting and the theatre, music (jazz, ragtime, bluegrass, etc.), art (illustrating books, cards, filmstrips, etc.), comedy (both writing and performing), ultralight flying, sports cars, screen-writing, all types of writing, especially fiction and non-fiction,” not to mention occasional stints of stand-up comedy. Given the vast number of things that continue to keep Buckland’s days full, narrowing the scope of conversation to just his Pagan activities seemed, at the very least, to be a kindness to the reader. Indeed, the fact that he was able to respond to questions at all suggests that some powerful time-bending magic might be at work.
Perspectives is a monthly column dedicated toward presenting the wide variety of thought across the Pagan/Polytheist communities’ various Paganisms.
The Wild Hunt asked four members of the community their opinion on the subject of elders. These community members include Taylor Ellwood, managing non-fiction editor of Immanion Press and author of Magical Experiments; Cara Freyaswoman, Freya priestess, co-founder of the Vanic Conspiracy and blogger; Glenwaerd, a Commissioned Army Officer, witch, current board member of The Gathering for Life on Earth and former member and leader of The Order of Scathach; and Shauna Aura Knight, author, teacher and activist. Do you use the term ‘Pagan elder’? Why or why not? And if so, what’s your personal criteria for defining a Pagan elder?