Samuel Wagar & Formalizing Wicca

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.

MUSIC

  1. Damh the Bard – The Cauldron Born – The Cauldron Born
  2. Omnia – Earth Warrior – Earth Warrior
  3. Rowena of the Glen – How Did We Get This Far – Book of Shadows
  4. Emerald Rose – Fire in the Head – Songs for the Night Sky

As a bonus, the oft mentioned Tengger Cavalry:

Denice Garrou: Teaching Paganism through Fiction

(RevKess grew a brain again and decided to try doing show notes during the show! Bear with him.)

KaliSara and RevKess were joined by Denice Garrou, a visionary author who uses the written word to share her understanding of Paganism, spirituality, and magic with her reading audience. Denice grew up with horses and uses the horse as her muse. That is evident with her Dragonhorse Saga:

“What if who you truly are is lost from your memory just to keep you alive? A love story that must endure the transcendence of time and dimensions. Young Shion’s life ripped from her, bound by a prophecy she herself had made a lifetime before, has become a seeker of the forgotten knowledge. She must fulfill her quest to relearn and regain her inherent power, before she can reclaim her life and the memory of her one true love. A thought provoking jaunt, back to a time when magic was forbidden, gypsies and witches were hunted, and dragons no longer lived, or didn’t they?.”

Denice Garrou

Denice Garrou, from her Amazon.com author page.

Sumayah, book two in the Dragonhorse Saga:

“Would you forsake your life and your love to save those you have never met?
Book 2 takes us back to how it all began; back to Shion’s lifetime as Sumayah. She is caught in a web of two loves; the mysterious one promised to her and the Fae Prince trying to save his realm. This tale of love begins in the ancient realm of Lemuria, a realm of unspeakable beauty and magic thought to be only a myth by the human race.
But, there is blood on the moon as impending invasion threatens the lives of those who live there.
Sumayah soon learns her life is not her own and is thrust into a world of uncertianties and sacrifices.”

Her target audience starts at age 14, but she has won some measure of success with readers of all ages – especially women over 50. Listening to her speak about her experience as a writer and where her ideas come from it can become clear as to why she has gained such popularity.

In her writing Denice brings in Lumeria, the Illuminati, and much more including the mythic city at the center of the Earth – Agartha.

Denice also has delved into what she calls “light romance” that turned out to be a little bit more than just a romance. Candlelight and Cobwebs: “Curses are real . . .
Rosalind never thought about ancestral curses until she inherited an estate called Wynterhaven in the mountains of Colorado, from a family she never knew she had.
Upon entering this sprawling estate, she is hit with visions, déjà vu, and plenty of bumps in the night. She soon finds her new home is inhabited by a gift-bearing raven, an extremely large black cat, and a talking skull.
Through the candlelight and cobwebs, she finds her great-grandmother’s diary, a book of shadows that takes her back to 1918 and a time of heightened interest in archaeology, spiritualism, and secret societies. Learning of her great-grandmother’s previous life as an Oracle of Delphi, Rosalind takes yet another step back in time to the ancient Greece of Alexander the Great, finding a time of misogyny, sexual freedom, and the continual political binding and dissolution of Goddess worship.
Follow along with Rosalind as she is taken through the forbidden history of her lost past and discovers curses, the occult, mystery, and a love story that transcends time and mortality.”

Denice spoke at length about fellow author Dolores Cannon, an early hypnotherapist that specialized in past life regressions. One book in particular was mentioned, The Search for Hidden Secret Knowledge. She also spoke of her own regression.

MUSIC

  1. Wendy Rule – Firehorse – The Wolf Sky
  2. Nathaniel Johnstone – Stone Woman – The Antithythera Mechanism
  3. Spiral Dance – The Ninth Wave/Over the Nine Waves – Notes of Being