Canadian Samuel Wagar joined RevKess and KaliSara for another conversation, this time with a focus on formalizing Wicca – or creating Wiccan Churches. Samuel is the founder of the Congregationalist Witchcraft Association of Canada (1991) and its British Columbia provincial daughter (2004). He’s currently HP of Ravenwood Temple of the Alberta branch of his church (2007 – there is also as Saskatchewan branch, founded in 2014) and the Wiccan Chaplain at the University of Alberta. He is enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton, studying the evolution of a fraction of the Wiccan community toward more formal ‘church-like’ service to the larger community, a process he’s been involved with now for more than a quarter century. Author of four books on theology, ritual, church organization, and a memoir.
From an article on Vue Weekly:
Wagar has been practicing Wicca since 1982. He founded a federally recognized Wiccan church, the Congregationalist Witchcraft Association of Canada, back in 1991. He also currently serves as the first Wiccan chaplain at the University of Alberta, where he provides spiritual support for the faculty, staff and students in the pagan faith, education for the general public about Wicca and engages in interfaith work. He has also been involved in activism for both religious and feminist causes for some time. He ran as an NDP candidate in BC in 1994 but was stripped of his candidacy after it became public that he was Wiccan; he took the BC NDP (then the governing party) before the Human Rights Council and won a full apology in 1995.
Hammington has been practicing Wicca since her early 20s. After moving from the strong pagan community in Winnipeg to Edmonton—where the vast majority of Wiccans and pagans were still deep in the “broom closet”—she began hosting open circles and working with various organizations to build up a community here. She founded a Wiccan church in 2007 at the provincial level, the Congregationalist Wiccan Assembly of Alberta (CWAA—essentially the provincial equivalent of the one that Wagar founded federally). There are also sister chapters in BC (2004) and Saskatchewan (2014).
Samuel talks frankly and openly about the joys and struggles of operating a Wiccan church, from the beginning of things to the present day. Like most mature Pagans, he’s not afraid to speak his mind. For that we are thankful.
Just passed the start of the second hour, Samuel mentioned a book by Nancy Tatom Ammerman: Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life. He suggests the book to those who are interested in learning how formalized community structures can greatly benefit the average person. Not just churches, but community structures in general.
- Damh the Bard – The Cauldron Born – The Cauldron Born
- Omnia – Earth Warrior – Earth Warrior
- Rowena of the Glen – How Did We Get This Far – Book of Shadows
- Emerald Rose – Fire in the Head – Songs for the Night Sky
As a bonus, the oft mentioned Tengger Cavalry: