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Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Carl “Llewellyn” Weschcke



Written and compiled by George Knowles


Carl Weschcke was the founder and President of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd, one of the largest publishers of occult and New Age books in the world.  He was also a Magician, a Tantric practitioner, a Pagan and a former Wiccan High Priest who played a leading role in the rise and spread of Wicca and Neo-Paganism in America during the later 1950’s, 60’s and 70's. 

Weschcke was born into a Roman Catholic family on the 10th of September 1930 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Early in his life his paternal grandfather, who at the time, was vice-president of the American Theosophical Society, exposed him to metaphysics and the occult.  For his 12th birthday he presented young Weschcke with his own astrological chart.  Under his grandfather’s influence, Weschcke soon became fascinated with astronomy, religion, the occult and reincarnation.  His parents were vegetarian naturalists who practiced mind reading techniques, which they often discussed with him.  Even one of the houses they lived in had strange and mysterious thumps and bangs in the night attributed to the ghosts of the deceased former owners.  Such were the influences that shaped young Weschcke’s life and future path. 

Weschcke was educated at the St. Paul Academy and graduated in 1948.  He then went on to study at the Babson Business Institute in Massachusetts from where he graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  After graduating he went to work in the family’s Pharmaceutical business, but found the work unfulfilling.  Weschcke had a dream of becoming a publisher, which led him back to school studying for a doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Minnesota.  However, his intuitive longing to become involved with publishing caused him to leave the university before completing his courses, and in 1960 he purchased a little known "Llewellyn Publishing Co." 

The Llewellyn Publishing Co. was the brainchild of the Welsh astrologer, Lewellyn George, who founded the Llewellyn Publishing Co. in Portland, Oregon during 1901. At that time it was a small mail order business with a limited focus specializing in selling three Astrology books and Calendars.  Lewellyn George later moved the company to Los Angeles where he died in 1954.  Carl Weschche purchased the business in 1960 and moved it to St. Paul in Minnesota where he began to rebuild it.  He quickly expanded the business to include a complete line of books on Astrology and the Occult, and within a decade was publishing some thirty to fifty titles a year, including audio and videotapes.  He also launched a series of magazines including: New Dimension, Gnostica, Astrology Now, New Times and New World of Mind and Spirit. 

During the late 1950’s and early 60’s Weschcke became actively involved with the civil rights and liberties movements.  He held office in the St. Paul’s branch of NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) and the ACLU, (Minnesota’s Civil Liberties Union) where he played a major role in bringing about fair-housing legislation in St. Paul.



Weschcke reported in the St Paul's Recorder 1959


In 1964 Weschcke bought a large stone mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul and used it as both home and place of business.  The house was reputedly haunted and Weschcke had numerous odd experiences there.  He was often awakened at night by cold drafts coming in from open windows, windows he knew he had closed before going to bed.  He also heard strange noises and footsteps in the dead of night and saw apparitions of a man and woman.  These he believed were not true ghosts but the vibrations of former occupants that had been recorded in the woodwork of the building.  A newspaper article about the hauntings created an avalanche of public attention and paved the way for his media prominence in the emerging Wicca and Paganism movements.



476 Summit Avenue in St. Paul

In 1970 Weschcke opened the Gnostica Bookstore housed in a 12,000-square-foot former mortuary in St. Paul from which he also incorporated the Gnostica School for Self-Development.  The bookstore quickly became a popular gathering place for Pagans and others interested in the occult and alternative religions, and established the Twin Cities as a major centre for New Age resources.  A year later in 1971, a local convention centre manager suggested that Minneapolis could benefit from a Woodstock style annual festival.  Weschcke thought it a good idea and took the opportunity to host it.  The first of several festivals was staged later that year; called the "First American Aquarian Festival of Astrology and the Occult Sciences".  The festival attracted many of the best known Witches, Wiccans, Magicians and Neo-Pagans from all around the world.  Witchcraft rituals were conducted and Weschcke led meditations for peace and the healing of the earth.  Later festivals were re-named and became known as 'Gnosticon'. 

The following year in 1972 Weschcke himself was initiated into the "American Celtic Tradition of Witchcraft" by Lady Sheba, the tradition’s founder.  Holding coven meetings in his Summit Avenue home, Weschcke rose to High Priest and is now an Elder in that tradition.  The same year he met 'Sandra Heggum', a High Priestess in the same tradition.  They later married in a heavily publicized handfasting ceremony conducted under a full moon.  Their vows they wrote themselves, taken from old Witchcraft rituals, and guests drank from a large cauldron filled with fruit, wine and flowers.


Lady Sheba

In 1973, Weschcke helped to form and organize the “Council of American Witches” and then became its Chairman.  During his brief tenure as Chairman, he drafted 'The Thirteen Principles of Belief' statement, which he considers his proudest accomplishment for the Craft.  The statement was later incorporated into the U.S. Army’s handbook for chaplains.  That same year his wife gave birth to their son who they named Gabriel. 

By the mid-1970’s Weschcke began to wind down his public activities.  His publishing business was starting to stagnate.  Weschcke believed his constant media publicity and its resulting attention was the cause of it, and so resolved to do something about it. Selling the haunted mansion on Summit Avenue he moved the family to the country where he could spend and devote more time to them.  He restructured the business by closing the bookstore, dropping the festivals and increasing the number of book titles they were publishing.  He also included computer software to his range of audio and videotapes. 

The Weschckes continue to support the Wiccan and Pagan communities primarily through their publishing business, and many of their authors are sent to organized conferences and other events to give lectures, workshops and promote the Craft.  Today, most of their time is taken up by the demands of their business, which by the mid 1990’s had grown into a medium sized publishing house issuing about 100 new titles a year spanning the general spirituality and New Age markets.   

Their son, Gabriel, having graduated from Pace University, New York, with a master’s degree in publishing science also works for the company as a regional sales manger.  Into the new millennium as the company continued to expand, their old premises in St Paul could not contain them, and so in 2005 they moved into a new custom-built facility in Woodbury, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.  Since then they have increased the number of their employees from from 38 to 100 and doubled the size of their warehousing capacity. 

Weschcke holds two honorary doctorates, one in magick, and was for a time the Grandmaster of Aurum Solis, an international magickal order originally founded in England in 1897, but now based in St. Paul.  He withdrew from the order in 1991 and is currently not affiliated with any group.  His media prominence during the 1960's and 70's did much to bring Wicca and Paganism into the light of acceptability in a skeptical American society.


Sadly on the 07th November 2015 at the age of 85, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke passed on into that great library beyond.  His passing was peaceful surrounded by family and friends.  He is survived by his wife of 43 years Sandra who is now President and Treasurer of Llewellyn Worldwide, and his son Gabriel who now serves as Vice President.  Their plan for the future is to carry on the Llewellyn legacy of championing alternative approaches to mind, spirit and body.


May he rest in peace



Psychic Empowerment for Everyone (November 2009) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Self-Empowerment through Self-Hypnosis (March 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G. (August 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Self-Empowerment and Your Subconscious Mind (December 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

The Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment (August 2011) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Doors to Past Lives & Future Lives (December 2011) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment (July 2012) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Clairvoyance for Psychic Empowerment (July 2013) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Communicating with Spirit (August 2015) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate

Dream ESP (Due December 2015) by: Carl Llewellyn Weschcke



The Encyclopedia of Witches &Witchcraft  - by Rosemary Ellen Guiley.

Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft  - By Raven Grimassi.

First published on the 18th November 2001, up-dated 09th November 2015 © George Knowles



Best wishes and Blessed Be



Site Contents - Links to all Pages


Home Page


A Universal Message:


Let there be peace in the world  -   Where have all the flowers gone?


About me:

My Personal PageMy Place in England / My Family Tree (Ancestry)


Wicca & Witchcraft


Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is Wicca What is Magick


Traditional Writings:


The Wiccan Rede Charge of the Goddess Charge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches Chant The Witches Creed Descent of the Goddess Drawing Down the Moon The Great Rite Invocation Invocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of Chivalry A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality


Correspondence Tables:


IncenseCandlesColours Magickal Days Stones and Gems Elements and Elementals




Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /


Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /


Other things of interest:


Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) /  Esbats & Full Moons Links to Personal Friends & Resources Wicca/Witchcraft Resources What's a spell? Circle Casting and Sacred Space  Pentagram - Pentacle Marks of a Witch The Witches Power The Witches Hat An esoteric guide to visiting London SatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  Part 2  /  Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Native American Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection)  The History of ThanksgivingAuras  - Part 1 and Part 2 Doreen Valiente Witch” (A Book Review) /  Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /    


Sabbats and Festivals:


The Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)


Rituals contributed by Crone:


Samhain / Yule Imbolc Ostara /  Beltane Litha Lammas Mabon




Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron Magick Mirror Gazing




Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar and Totem Animals) /  AntelopeBatsCrow Fox Frog and Toads Goat / HoneybeeKangarooLion OwlPhoenix Rabbits and HaresRaven Robin RedbreastSheep Spider SquirrelSwansUnicornWild Boar Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat /  Rats /  Unicorn




In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  Elder


Sacred Sites:


Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /


Rocks and Stones:


Stones - History, Myths and Lore


Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:


Apophyllite  / Amber Amethyst Aquamarine Aragonite Aventurine Black Tourmaline Bloodstone Calcite Carnelian Celestite Citrine Chrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / Fluorite Garnet /  Hematite Herkimer Diamond Labradorite Lapis Lazuli Malachite Moonstone Obsidian Opal Pyrite Quartz (Rock Crystal) Rose Quartz Ruby Selenite Seraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodalite Sunstone ThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble


Wisdom and Inspiration:


Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakening The Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods I have a Dream by Martin Luther King /


Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:


Murdered by Witchcraft The Fairy Witch of Clonmel A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) /  Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-Lantern The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark


Old Masters of Academia:

(Our Ancestors)


Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagorasParacelsus /  Abramelin the Mage Archimedes AgrippaSocrates  /  AristotleAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” /  



A "Who's Who" of Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)


Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)


Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Aidan A KellyAleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” /  Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” /  Alison Harlow /   Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda MetteyyaAllan Kardec (Spiritism) /  Alphonsus de SpinaAmber KAnn Moura /  Anna FranklinAnodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey /  Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite /  Austin Osman SpareBalthasar Bekker /  Biddy EarlyBarbara Vickers /  Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel /  Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke Cecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey Leland /   Charles WaltonChristopher PenczakChristina Oakley Harrington Cornelius Loos /  Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" /  Dion Fortune /  Dolores Aschroft-NowickiDonald Michael Kraig Doreen ValienteDorothy MorrisonDr. John Dee & Edward Kelly /  Dr. Leo Louis Martello /  Edain McCoy /  Edward FitchEleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” Eliphas Levi /  Ernest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake /  Fiona Horne /   Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia Friedrich von Spee /  Francis Barrett /  Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft /  Gwydion Pendderwen Hans HolzerHelen DuncanHermann Löher /  Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Heinrich KramerIdries ShahIsaac Bonewits Israel RegardieIvo Domínguez Jr. /  Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick /  James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches /  Janet Farrar and Gavin BoneJean Bodin Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johann Weyer  / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" /   Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim  -  the “Hexenbrenner” (witch burner) /  John Belham-Payne John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" /  John Gerard /  John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred /  John Michael Greer /  John Score /  Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson /  Joseph John Campbell /  Karl von Eckartshausen Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" /  Lambert Daneau /  Laurie Cabot  - "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis SpenceLodovico Maria Sinistrari Ludwig LavaterMadeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMichael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" /  Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” /  Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMartin Antoine Del Rio Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” /  Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set /  Monique WilsonMontague Summers /  Nicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellarsMrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning GloryOld Dorothy Clutterbuck /  Old George PickingillOlivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis /  Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithPatricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPaul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school /  Peter Binsfeld /  Philip HeseltonRaven GrimassiRaymond Buckland /  Reginald Scot /  Richard BaxterRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" /  Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Rossell Hope Robbins /   Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) /  Rudolf SteinerSabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" /  Scott CunninghamSelena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" /  Silver RavenwolfSir Francis Dashwood /  Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough"S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  Starhawk /  Stewart Farrar /  Sybil LeekTed Andrews The Mather Family - (includes:  Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) /   Thomas AdyT. Thorn CoyleVera ChapmanVictor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" /  Vivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWalter Ernest ButlerWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest /  



Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)



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