Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ten Pagans Who Made A Difference in 2012


# 10 Ed Hubbard

Ok, I know Ed can be a controversial individual in our community. Even I have had some consternation in my communications with Mr. Hubbard over time. What you may not know is that when called upon to help heal many of the past hurts in our community Ed stepped up, worked with individuals who were not always kind to him and focused on what was good for the community. Many of our so called leading Elders and Interfaith leaders found themselves unable to do this. Ed I applaud you for your ability to put personal history aside and act in the interest of the entire community. In 2012 you made a difference.

# 9 Star Foster

Ms. Foster’s contribution to our community is without question.  Her establishment of a Pagan presence on Patheos exceeded anything that has gone before in terms of intelligent discussion and debate. Star deserves a vote of thanks from the entire community for blazing a trail that many online sites are now following and expanding upon. While Star is no longer with Patheos, her impact on the community will be felt for many years to come.

# 8 Cara Schulz

Those who attend events in the Mid West are sure to know Cara for her unique mini events at festivals. On a more serious note Cara is the managing editor of the Pagan Newswire Collective. If leading Pagans is like herding cats then it would be fair to describe Cara’s job as doing so after adding a bulldog. Always accessible, social, even tempered and willing to listen Cara has navigated the waters of multiple issues that have had high potential to explode this year. The grace she exhibits in accomplishing her duties is a great example for the entire community.

# 7 Holli Emore

When it comes to someone focused on obtaining achievements that benefit the entire Pagan community there is no one who comes to mind as quickly as Holli Emore. As Executive director of Cherry Hill Seminary her dogged pursuit of accreditation and efforts to establish Cherry Hill as an institution that resources the best minds in Pagan culture and studies establish her as not only a Pagan who made a difference, but also one who will continue to do so in the future.

# 6 Michelle Mueller

In most cases individuals make this list for specific accomplishments. In the case of Michelle Mueller, the opposite is true. Her place on this list represents recognition of her many involvements in the Pagan community. One cannot participate in serious discussion of Pagan issues or attend academic conferences without becoming aware of Michelle’s many contributions and involvements.  If there were a “whose who of Pagandom” this individual would be listed under dozens of categories.  She deserves to be recognized for all she does as Pagan leader.

# 5 Luisah Teish

If you do not know who Luisah Teish is, you have missed not only a massively inspirational force in the women’s movement, but also one of the most profound and funny speakers I have ever had the pleasure to hear speak. Luisah’s client list reads like the top ten most inspirational women in the world for good reason. Check her out and you will wonder why she has not landed on this list before.

# 4  David Grega (posthumously)

When David died the future of our community suffered a great loss. His voice was the voice of challenge, insight, debate and hope for the future. Mr. Grega was my friend, my foe and an incredibly talented pod caster. Even in his death an important and difficult conversation was sparked in the Pagan community about health; David would like that! You will be missed. Our community could well use more like you!

# 3 M. Macha NightMare

Many would expect to see Macha on this list due to her many accomplishments, perhaps as a leader of Reclaiming or due to her continual activism around social justice. In this case, however, it is her willingness to walk away and take her own road that prompts her listing.  In publicly leaving a tradition that has been part of her practice for decades, Macha stands as a great example of having a personal relationship with the Goddess.  While I have great respect for Reclaiming, my respect runs even deeper for those who I witness making tough decisions and seeking growth in their path. Macha, you are an inspiration to us all.


# 2 Melissa Murry & Ruth Barrett

The process of weaving a new thread into the fabric of social justice is often messy, angry and lead by loud voices of righteous indignation.  On a rare occasion leaders step forth who approach anger with reason, compassion and understanding. Such was the case when Ruth and Melissa addressed the issue of transgender inclusion at this year PSG. These two women set a great example of how conflict can lead to understanding and agreement when listening and mindfulness result in progress. 

# 1 Margot Adler

No Margot is not on the list for having written one of the classic Pagan books. No she is not on the list for her work at NPR. No she is not on the list because she gives a great talk on Vampires.  Margot Adler makes the top of this years list as someone who is continually accessible, consistently traveling to meet and speak to new Pagans.  More than one person new to the Pagan path have told me that having a conversation with Margot is like visiting with an old friend.  For being the classiest of the class acts in our community Margot deserves recognition for all she has done in 2012. Some people depend on past accomplishments, others like Margot continue to raise the bar on what service to the Goddess looks like.



Crystal Blanton said...

I think this is a fantastic list!!!!! And I am so happy to see people like Star, Cara, Ed, Melissa & Ruth, Macha and also Michelle Mueller!!! Michelle was the editor of my book.

Thank you for doing this every year. I love reading this list.

Oriana said...

I would add T Thorn Coyle. Her activism and call to service inspires me daily.

Pagan In Paradise said...

Oriana, I attempt each year to publish a fresh list, I agree with you, T-Thorn Coil has been #1 on the list in the past.

YNieves said...

Pagans truly stepped it up this year. Congrats to all!

Millie said...

Congratulations to all of you! I especially want to that Ed Hubbard for all that he does for the Pagan Community & for our Correllian Tradition...We love you ED! Congrats!

Calla said...

I love that you used my photo from the War of 1812 Party we hosted at Pagan Spirit Gathering last year! Fun times, fun times....

Robin said...

This is interesting. I don't know of many of these folks. And I haven't heard of some of these conversations (like the one on health) in our community. Where is all this stuff happening? How can these ideas and discussions be disseminated to the many of us who are doing our thing locally?

Ed Hubbard said...

I do not belong on this list even remotely. Not even a little bit. Thanks but it is extremely misplaced.

Millie said...

Oh, yes you do Ed!

Pagan In Paradise said...

There have been some questions as to why there are people on this list whom I have had some disagreements with. Simply stated their opinions of me and my personal opinions of them were not part of my thinking process in developing this list. These individuals have made significant contributions worthy of recognition. The idea that friends would more often make the list defeats the purpose of the list. In addition to this personally I find that those who confront and challenge me are the ones I learn the most from ,they call me to introspection and re evaluation. Blessings to all who make a positive contributions to our community!

Broomstick Chronicles said...

Thanks for your kind acknowledgement, Peter.

Yours in changing culture,

Michelle Mueller said...

Thank you so much! -Michelle

Jeremiah said...

Damh the Bard, for his music and celebration of the old ways. Always willing to spend time with anyone wishing to speak to him. A great understanding of Druidery and how it fits into the world today.

Nicholas Farrell said...

I am so glad you put Dave on this list! He deserves every bit of recognition he gets!

scurvy dog said...

Miss you Dave.

Pagan In Paradise said...

I miss him also!

Pagan In Paradise said...

If you read this list and wondered "what about" please post a list of your own. Taking the opportunity to recognize Pagans making significant contributions builds community and washes away some of the drama our community sometimes engages in. So join the party and post your list of Pagans who walk their talk!

Kris Bradley said...

Love your choices, even the ones I was not familiar with (but will definitely be keeping an eye out for now).

I might have added Yeshe Rabbit in there somewhere.

Blaze Johnson said...

I would add Lady Watersong. Why, because she was the teacher of so many who have stepped up and become leaders. She does not seek the limelight. She is the perfect embodiment of the Goddess incarnate. She had a major role in developing the Pagan community in Utah, though, as is often the case, she is forgotten or demonized. Now days, she lives a quiet life surrounded by nature. But she is still available to any and all who seek her out.

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