Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
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
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.
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.
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
Empowerment for Everyone (November 2009) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr.
Joe H. Slate
through Self-Hypnosis (March 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H.
Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G. (August 2010) by Carl
Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate
and Your Subconscious Mind (December 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr.
Joe H. Slate
Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment (August 2011) by Carl Llewellyn
Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate
to Past Lives & Future Lives (December 2011) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
& Dr. Joe H. Slate
Projection for Psychic Empowerment (July 2012) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke &
Dr. Joe H. Slate
for Psychic Empowerment (July 2013) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H.
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
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
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 God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
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 / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A 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 Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
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:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar and Totem Animals) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Unicorn / Wild 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
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
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:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Pioneers: Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others
Aidan A Kelly / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda Metteyya / Allan Kardec (Spiritism) / Alphonsus de Spina / Amber K / Ann Moura / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Balthasar Bekker / Biddy Early / Barbara Vickers / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christopher Penczak / Christina Oakley Harrington / Cornelius Loos / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Donald Michael Kraig / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edain McCoy / Edward Fitch / Eleanor 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 Holzer / Helen Duncan / Hermann Löher / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Heinrich Kramer / Idries Shah / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / Ivo Domínguez Jr. / Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jean 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 Spence / Lodovico Maria Sinistrari / Ludwig Lavater / Madeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Michael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" / Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Martin Antoine Del Rio / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Olivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Paul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school / Peter Binsfeld / Philip Heselton / Raven Grimassi / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Richard Baxter / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘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 Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir 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 Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / Walter Ernest Butler / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna 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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