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Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


 Christopher Penczak


Written and compiled by George Knowles

"Christopher Penczak is a modern day Witch, Author, Teacher and Healing Practitioner.  His practice draws upon the foundation of both modern and traditional Witchcraft blended with the wisdom of mystical traditions from across the globe.  As a practitioner and teacher of Shamanism, Tarot, Reiki, Herbalism, Astrology and the Qabalah, his goal is to build bridges of understanding and practice between different esoteric systems, finding the threads of truth that transcend individual times and places, weaving them together into new paradigms for the next age."


Christopher Penczak is a modern day Witch, Author, Teacher and Healing Practitioner.  His practice draws upon the foundation of both modern and traditional Witchcraft blended with the wisdom of mystical traditions from across the globe.  As a practitioner and teacher of Shamanism, Tarot, Reiki, Herbalism, Astrology and the Qabalah, his goal is to build bridges of understanding and practice between different esoteric systems, finding the threads of truth that transcend individual times and places, weaving them together into new paradigms for the next age. 

He is an award-winning author of over seventeen books, is a faculty member of the “Northeast Institute of Whole Health” and an Ordained Minister of the “Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. of Florida”.  He is a High Priest of the “Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft” and the founder of the “Temple of Witchcraft” system and tradition.  As an international speaker, Penczak travels extensively and maintains full time teaching and healing practices across the United States.

Christopher Penczak was an only child born to Ronald and Rosalie Penczak in Lawrence, Massachusetts on the 10th May 1973, but they later moved and he was raised with an Italian/Polish family living in Salem, New Hampshire, just over the State-Line from where he was born.  During an interview he states of his parents:  Overall my parents were very cool.  I was very close to my parents as an only child.  I was extremely close with my mom and still am.  Growing up, I was less close with my Dad, particularly in our teen years, but we are really close now.  My mom was a homemaker and my dad worked for Raytheon doing government contract work a lot.  He travelled quite a bit, so there were some times when it was just me and mom for long stretches.”

After twelve years of Catholic school and becoming an avowed agnostic, Penczak initially pursued an interest in Chemistry, this stemming from a childhood fascination with Alchemy and Herbalism.  As a youth, he had an out of body experience; he passed out in a fourth grade science class, but observed the whole scene in spirit form from above the room.  Then later in high school an apparition of his recently deceased great Aunt visited him.  These two experiences made him question his dedication to science and pursue a study of the mysticism and the occult, as well as following his own natural artistic pursuits. 

In 1991 Penczak attended Lowell College at the University of Massachusetts as a vocal major, later earning a Bachelor of Music Performance/Music Business degree in the Class of 1995 and then set his sights on becoming a full time performer.  While studying classical voice, he founded a band called “Doctor Soulshine” that fused mystical imagery and shamanic concepts to traditional heavy rock music. 

While in college a long time friend and teacher introduced Penczak to the principles of Witchcraft, Meditation, Tarot and Spell-work.  At first he was sceptical, but a later experience with a healing spell at a full Moon ritual was enough to convince him that there was truth to these ideas and he sought to understand more.  He took classes with Laurie Cabot, in her Cabot Tradition with an emphasis on ‘Witchcraft As A Science’

Laurie Cabot

He soon became fascinated with the science and philosophy of Cabot’s teachings for she based her Witchcraft in sound thinking and personal experience.  A psychic healing experience left him with a sense of empowerment and spiritual connection.  After his initial training, Penczak studied with an assortment of witches, shamans, yogis, psychic readers and healers in the New England area, developing his own eclectic path of personal Witchcraft.  He later focused on the healing arts, and completed training as a Reiki Master (teacher) in the Usui-Tibetan and Shamballa traditions and certification as a flower essence consultant and herbalist. 

After graduating from college (In ????), Penczak began work at the A&R department of Fort Apache, a recording studio and record label in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He soon found himself leading meditations and ritual groups for friends seeking to know more about the Craft.  During his time in the Boston area, Penczak experimented with the ideas he later wrote about in his book “City Magick: Urban Rituals, Spells and Shamanism (2001  -  Red Wheel/Weiser).  The initial ritual group he created formed the nucleus of the first Temple of Witchcraft series. 

Although having no real interest in teaching formally, Penczak received a message during a meditation in 1998 to start teaching and writing.  Thinking it was his imagination; Penczak ignored it, saying to himself “I'm too busy with my music career.  If you want me to teach, give me the time.  The following week he was laid off from work and although the economy was booming with job opportunities, Penczak had no luck finding a position in the music industry, or a more traditional office job. 

In an effort to find some sort of work he posted a few flyers about meditation and witchcraft classes at a local shop, and the response was immediate, and he soon began teaching classes in his home.  After the release of his first book “The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development” (2002) - he was soon being asked to present workshops at new-age stores, festivals and book-signings, and his career took off.  Penczak’s practice focuses on introspection, encouraging others to find their own path and create their own traditions while having a solid foundation in the art, science and spirituality of Witchcraft. 

From 1997-2002 Penczak published “The Second Road Newsletter, A Journal of Alternative Spirituality”, a quarterly community forum for not only Witchcraft and Paganism in New England, but also for other traditions of spirituality and healing.  He wrote many articles for local and national publications including:  Wisdom, Horns & Crescents” and the “Green Egg”.  He has also contributed as a columnist to both the “New Witch and New Worlds” magazines.

In 2000, Penczak became Ordained as a Minister by the “Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. of Florida”.  Since then he has been a part-time faculty member at the “North Eastern Institute of Whole Health” and a founding member of the “Gifts of Grace Foundation”,’ a non-profit organization in New Hampshire made up of individuals from diverse spiritual backgrounds dedicated to joyful service to the local communities.  He also serves on the “Council of the Between the Worlds Queer Pagan Brotherhood Festival” as director of publicity.  In 2002, he graduated from a medicinal herbal-apprentice program and is the owner of “HelioLuna Flower Essences”.

Penczak is a founding member of the “Coven of a New Dawn”, which has been operating in various incarnations since 1999; he is also a co-founder of the gay men’s group “The Circle of the Sacred Thyrsus” (2006-).  In 2008 Laurie Cabot initiated him as a High Priest in the Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft, alongside Sully Erma of the rock band Godsmack.  Today he continues to offer workshops for the Cabot Academy of Witchcraft. 

To date Penczak has penned seventeen books on spirituality, witchcraft, healing and magick and has won multiple awards, most notably from the ‘Coalition of Visionary Resources.’  He continues to write books and articles while holding down a full time teaching position and a healing practice in New Hampshire, where he lives in a polyamorous relationship with his partners, the roleplaying game designer and developer ‘Steve Kenson’ and Reiki master ‘Adam Sartwell.’



Steve Kenson and Adam Sartwell

Penczak is a prolific author, and his books have received numerous awards.  In 2002, his book City Magick won Best Magic Book from the Coalition of Visionary Retailers.  In 2003, he won the same award for The InnerTemple of Witchcraft.  In 2004, he received multiple awards from the Coalition of Visionary Retailers, including a tie for Best Book of the Year for The Outer Temple of Witchcraft.

A Select Bibliography:

Llewellyn titles

2002 - The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development

2004 - The Witch's Shield: Protection Magick and Psychic Self-Defense

2004 - The Outer Temple of Witchcraft: Circles, Spells and Rituals

2004 - Magick of Reiki: Focused Energy for Healing, Ritual, & Spiritual Development

2005 - Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft

2006 - Magia blanca al instante: Descubre el poder de tu intención y tu palabra

2006 - Instant Magick: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Spellcraft

2006 - Sons of the Goddess: A Young Man's Guide to Wicca

2006 - The Mystic Foundation: Understanding and Exploring the Magical Universe

2007 - Ascension Magick: Ritual, Myth & Healing for the New Aeon

2007 - The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah

2008 - The Living Temple of Witchcraft Volume One: The Descent of the Goddess

2009 - The Living Temple of Witchcraft Volume Two: The Journey of the God

2009 (forthcoming) - The Witch's Coin: Prosperity and Money Magick

Red Wheel/Weiser titles

2001 - City Magick

2002 - Spirit Allies: Meet Your Team from the Other Side

2003 - Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe

Plus so many different media articles





The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft  -  by Rosemary Ellen Guiley


Plus numerous website resources collated over many years to mention.


First published on the 10th May 2020  ©  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  /  Aristotle 





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 KellyAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” Aleister 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 Duncan /   Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Heinrich KramerIsaac 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" /   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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