Participants

 

Duane Clemons: Former Marine Corps Sergeant, currently a rural mail carrier. Kansas resident my entire non-military life. I came to recognize my Pagan path in my mid thirties, although I now know it was there all along and before. My grandmother was a witch, something I came to understand long after she was gone. Mostly an eclectic solitary Pagan. Council of Elders member of the Ancient Riders Pagan motorcycle club. Graduate of Topeka West high school. Advanced aviation electronics training (USMC) Constitutional scholar and student of history…ongoing. Former Republican, I am now a registered independent. I consider myself sort of a passive Anarchist, not looking to overthrow the government, but prepared for when it does happen. Disgusted with the graft and corruption which flourishes in the present two party system, and do not hold one party above the other. I know both good and honest Reps and Dems, but they are in the minority.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson: Hrafnkell Haraldsson is a 53-year-old Minnesota Heathen now living in Indiana. He has degrees in history and philosophy and is the founder of Mos Maiorum Foundation, an educational non-profit dedicated to the study of Paganism as ethnic religion. He works as a freelance writer focusing on Pagan, environmental and progressive issues.

Jeff Lilly: Jeff Lilly is a druid, linguist, and author of the blog Druid Journal, where he writes about druid things — meditation, relationship with Spirit, soulful fulfillment in scholarship and art, reconnecting the ancient with the modern, creating beauty, and healing the world. Professionally, he is a computational linguist, with a focus on socio-linguistics, historical linguistics, lexical semantics, and lexicography; so he has a keen interest not only in the minutiae of the working of the human mind, and the centrality of its manipulation of symbols, but also the broader patterns of social change and development. He has published papers on conversational implicature, dialect analysis, lexical semantics, and syntactic universals. Spiritually, he was raised Zen Buddhist in the culturally conservative South, and is now a revivalist druid. He has worked in the fields of internet search, text-to-speech processing, and the defense industry, and is the father of four children. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his fiancée Ali and their black cat, Cu Gwyn.

Rita Moran: I’m a first generation American, coming from an immigrant family. I was the first person in my family to go to high school. I’m a retired educator, currently co-owner of a local independent bookshop in central Maine. Pagan background/affiliations: founding board member of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association, board member of EarthTides (Maine Pagan networking group), co-founder of Immanent Grove, member of the Ancient Riders Pagan Motorcycle Club. Education: BS in Communications from Cornell, MSLIS (MS in Library and Information Science) from Pratt Institute, CIS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) in Educational Administration from State University of New York, New Paltz (graduated with certification as a school district administrator), formerly instructor and program administrator in the Office of Special Programs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, in addition to many years teaching and administration at the K-12 level. Political involvement: I am currently chairperson of the Kennebec County (Maine) Democratic Committee, as well as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Maine Democratic Party, and a member of the Maine Democratic State Committee. I was an at-large national delegate for Obama at the national convention in Denver as well.

Sebastian Page: Sebastian Page is a practicing solitary Wiccan residing in Alberta, Canada. A retired US Navy veteran currently employed by the Government of Alberta, he lives in Edmonton with his wife and two children. Self-described as a conservative libertarian, his areas of interest and studies over the last twenty five years have revolved around politics, religion, philosophy, and psychology. You can find his personal blog, here.

Nick Ritter: Nick Ritter has been Theodish since 1996, and resides in Minnesota with his family. His interests revolve mainly around language and religion – especially in their interplay in ritual speech and poetry – as well as the science and art of ritual. Nick is also very interested in the preservation of human cultural diversity, including religious and linguistic diversity; as such, he is keenly interested in the preservation and reconstruction of indigenous cultures, particularly indigenous religions. He has no particular political affiliation that determines his opinion on any given political matter, but instead likes to think about the relationship between outward forms of political issues and the deeper realities that underlie them.

Eric Robbins: I’m a former teacher, now a small-business owner in Central Maine, where I’ve lived for nearly all my life. Pagan background/affiliations: I trained in two of Maine’s first covens, and have been leadership in an increasingly eclectic series of Covens, working groups, and Groves ever since. Founding board member of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association, founder and board member of EarthTides (Maine Pagan networking group), co-founder of Immanent Grove, founder and Council-member of the Ancient Riders Pagan Motorcycle Club.  Education: BS in Education from University of Maine at Orono. Political involvement: I am a long-time member of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee in Maine, and organizer of Maine’s first chapter of Drinking Liberally, in Augusta and Waterville.

Cara Schulz: Cara Schulz currently works for a publisher in the Events industry. Since 1989, she has also been a Radio and TV Broadcaster in the USAF, produced the News for an ABC affiliate, then moved into Advertising Sales and Sales Management. In 2009, she was elected Tamias (Treasurer) for Hellenion. Hellenion is US-based religious organization (501[c][3]) dedicated to the revival and practice of Hellenic polytheism. Cara considers herself a politically Conservative libertarian, but has no Party affiliation. She generally votes for the person whom she believes will accomplish the least while in office. Favorite political motto is “Gridlock is good.” Favorite political quote is by Thomas Jefferson, “That government is best which governs least.” Cara lives in Minnesota with her husband, Tracy, and her son, Justin. When not working or involved with Hellenion, Cara enjoys attending Sci-Fi conventions in costume and putting the “camp” in camping at the Sacred Harvest Festival.

Alison Leigh Lilly began her academic study of Paganism in college and her spiritual practice of Druidry soon after. She has been a vocal pacifist since at least the age of twelve, and she was born an anarchist, like everyone else. Growing up a laid-back liberal Catholic, her deep commitment to poetry and peace, both rooted firmly in her love of the natural world, led her to explore the mystic traditions of the world religions, including Sufism, Buddhism and Taoism, before eventually landing her squarely in the round hole of Academia, where she graduated valedictorian of her class, humbly accepted her degree, and ran for it. She now lives a life of voluntary poverty, trimmed with green, in the lovely, half-empty city of Pittsburgh. She devotes much of her time to cultivating a spiritual life founded on peace-making, poetry, creativity and active, embodied engagement with the inner and outer landscapes of wildness, wilderness and nature (she writes about this work regularly on her blog, Meadowsweet & Myrrh). She has continued to study pacifism as both a political philosophy and a spiritual perspective, and has watched with as much surprise as anyone else as her notions of anarchism slowly blossom in the same way games emerge among children on the playground, full of joy and running, with nobody keeping score.

Ryan Smith: Ryan has been a practitioner of Asatru for the last four years and involved in the Pagan community for the last thirteen. He has a degree in history and works for an Internet startup in San Francisco. In his spare time he organizes the San Francisco Pagan meetup, an open networking group. Ryan’s politics are very progressive but isn’t married to the Democrats or the Republicans thinking both deserve criticism when it is due.

Wooly: I’m an eclectic witch who discovered magic through books in the early 70s and am currently part of a small Coven in Texas. In the past, I was involved with the Council of Magickal Arts as well as several more transitory groups and used to contribute articles to WitchVox and CMA Accord but today stay firmly in the broom closet and so will write from that perspective. Politically I’m proud to have never registered with either party. Perhaps the closest I come to mapping to a single party would be Libertarian but even there I have differences. Professionally I’m a computer geek with a technical degree. My travels have taken me around North America and Western Europe and I try to stay current from many perspectives instead of from just a US-centric viewpoint. I welcome informed debate (in the classical sense of the term) but deplore the current state of political discourse that seems to consist of yelling unsupported sounds bites at your opponents without listening in return.