This page is dedicated to those who have helped shape this community for the better. Each year, we will take the opportunity to recognize the contributions and uniqueness of these individuals, and to offer them gratitude by spotlighting them here.
This repository of elders and community contributors is created with the hopes of educating future pagans about our community’s history, the challenges we have overcome together, and the vision of those who led us to where we are today.
If you have someone you believe should be recognized nominate them on the Honoring Community Elders nomination page
(All bios are written by the individual unless otherwise noted.)
Grey Cat – 2014
Literally “born on a mountaintop in Tennessee” Greycat’s first 17 years were spent just a few hundred yards from where crossed the veil. In between she lived in multiple states and countries. Sometime around 1980 she read Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler. This lead her to study with Michael Ragan of the Temple of Danann for her first with a lot of help from Amber K. Within a few years she found herself with students of my own. This first class of five all made it to initiation and formed the nucleus of NorthWind. NorthWind has grown bigger, split, grown smaller, hived, added new students, lost them or sent them on to form their own branch of the Wiccan tree. It is ususally said of NorthWind is “that we split off from our original teachers.”
When asked about her “Wicca Stuff” GreyCat’s usual response was “I’ve gone to quite a few festivals, been dumb enough to let myself be elected to office of some organizations, and retired to lick my wounds and get over it all.”
Grey Cat was the author of “Deepening Witchcraft: Advancing Skills & Knowledge”, and a contributor to several other books, including “Exploring the Pagan Path: Wisdom From the Elders,” and the Chas Clifton-edited “Witchcraft Today” series. Grey Cat served as the editor of The Crone Papers for four years, and had held leadership positions within the Covenant of the Goddess and Ar n’Draiocht Fein. Grey Cat founded the NorthWind Tradition of American Witchcraft, and was an elder is several other American Witchcraft traditions.
Perhaps Grey Cat’s largest contribution to modern Paganism was her outspoken advocacy for elders within our communities, and the need to ground our traditions in wisdom and hard-won experience. She was part of a larger movement towards acknowledging the aging of the Pagan community’s first and second waves, and the changing spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those populations. “Deepening Witchcraft,” which was published in 2002, along with similar books like Ellen Cannon Reed’s “The Heart of Wicca: Wise Words from a Crone on the Path,” published in 2000, were seen as a corrective to a Wiccan/Witchcraft community that had become overly focused on younger adherents, “101″ instructional tomes, and unbridled eclecticism in the 1990s.
Grey Cat was a much beloved figure for many Pagans who treasured her wisdom and plain-speaking, her absence will most certainly be felt. May she rest in the arms of her gods, and return to us again. Pitzl-Waters, J. (2012, April 02). GreyCat 1940-2012.
Thorne Crossroads – 2015