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Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Frederick McLaren Adams



Written and compiled by George Knowles


“The natural fountainhead of human endeavor is not reasonable utility but extravagant mythopoeia.  The myths and dreams of Paradise, common to all peoples, predict future actualities for this Planet.  Trans-cultural images of the glowing orchard of innocent love constellate from the Collective Unconscious an evolutional FIAT of Cosmos.”

Frederick Adams, “Oracles of the Faerie Faith (The Faerie Manifesto)”, 1970


Frederick McLaren (Charles) Adams II was born in 1928 and raised in an up market  suburb of Altadena, Southern California.  As a child he showed an early talent for drawing and drew countless pictures of Madonna and child.  He was also a prolific reader and was greatly influenced by the works of Sir James Frazier, Margaret Murray, C. G. Jung, Robert Graves and the Greek myths.  Throughout his early education at school he regularly achieved high grades, but proved to be a rebellious freethinker and resisted any form of indoctrination.


After finishing High School, he studied Psychiatry at Stanford University and Philosophy at Pomona College in Claremont, California.  He also earned an honors degree in Cinematography from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.  In 1951 he was drafted into the US army as an Officer serving with the Signal Corps as a photographer before being honorably discharged in 1955.


Returning to graduate school at the California State College in Long Beach, California, he next studied Anthropology and Graphic Art.  It was here a year later in 1956 that he had a life changing vision of the Goddess (he called it his “thunderbolt experience”) and was inspired to found a Goddess and nature worship group.  To that end he founded the Fellowship of Herperides (named after a Greek myth of an apple orchard in paradise), a Neo-Pagan Hellenic group dedicated to the Goddess and wild nature.  Later in 1959, he re-formed Herperides into a multi-family group sanctuary advocating vegetarianism and optional nudity in Sierra Madre, California.


After his “thunderbolt experience”, Fred became a prolific writer outlining his ideas on feminine divinity, and this he continued to do throughout life.  While he contributed many articles, art-work and illustrations to the regular media publications of his day, much of his work was published in his own group newspaper/magazine Korythalia, in which he has left a magnificent legacy of essays, drawings and paintings (see notes below).


“Faerie Goddess” by Frederick Adams


In 1953 Fred married Maria Elena Gutierrez who later bore him a son Fred Jr., however the marriage didn’t last and they divorced in 1958.  Four years later in 1962 he met and handfasted Russian born Svetlana Butyrin who became his lifelong soul mate.  Together they made a handsome couple, but each being strong characters their relationship was sometimes volatile and tempestuous, each taking time out for relationships with others.  Fred was even marriage for a time to the artist Jane Chafin, but in the end they would return to each other agreeing they were soul mates.


Svetlana leading a Feraferian ritual; photo credit: Harold Moss


On the 02nd August 1967 as a continuation of the Fellowship of Hesperides, Fred and Svetlana co-founded Feraferia (a double Greek word meaning Celebration and Wildness), a Neo-Pagan group dedicated to the wilderness of nature and the Goddess.  Feraferia was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in California making it one of the oldest Neo-Pagan organizations in the United States.  Shortly after, the first issue of their popular newspaper/magazine Korythalia was published featuring many of Fred’s prolific writings, rituals and Goddess artwork.  Inside the cover of each issue was the statement:  Feraferia is a Pagan fellowship for the erotic celebration of Wilderness Mysteries with Faerie style and grace, and for the lyrical unification of ecology, mythology, and sacrament.  In such play-love-work may women and men be reunited with Great Nature, each other, and their own beings...  In many ways Feraferia kick-started the advance and growth of the Goddess worship movement in America during the 1970’s (see notes below).


In 1969 Fred together with Oberon Zell-Ravenheart of the Church of All Worlds, Carroll “Poke” Runyon of the Ordo Templi Astartes and other prominent group leaders of that time convened the Council of Themis, the first Pagan interfaith council and the first attempt to unite the various Hermetic, Neo-Pagan and Ceremonial magic groups in the United States.  According to a history by Aidan Kelly, the purpose of the Council was to create an umbrella organization for Pagans, magicians, and members of similar religions that could provide the benefits of having a legal church but without creating problems of orthodoxy or orthopraxy.   The Council of Themis functioned until early 1972, when schisms broke out over the expulsion of alleged undesirable members, and unable to reconcile the differences between such diverse groups, the Council was forced to disband.


Throughout the 1970’s Feraferia flourished for about another 15 years, but then slowly became less visible as many of its original members left to pursue their own life journeys.  Fred and his lifelong soul mate Svetlana eventually retired from public life but continued to create art and ritual on a small scale.  In 1996 they built a sacred labyrinth in Nevada City, California, and there held Feraferia celebrations, including a “Themis II” reunion for former membership of the Council of Themis.


After suffering from an aggressive form of melanoma, Fred Adams died on Saturday the 09th August 2008 at the age of 80.  The memorial service took place on Sunday the 28th of September 2008 at the Mont Salvat Temple and Hermatage of the OTA Lodge in Pasadena, California.  Two years later on the 06th May 2010 his lifelong soul mate Svetlana Butyrin also passed away at the age of 75.


May they rest in peace.


Note’s:  taken from various websites...


Jo Carson is a member & President of the Board of Feraferia and is Fred's literary executor.  She states that most of his collected artworks and books are now in storage, but it is hoped in the future a Feraferia library will be created in which others can research and become inspired by some of the same sources that were so important him.  When Jo first became associated with Feraferia she was an aspiring filmmaker and sought to make a film about it.  With Fred’s approval she produced a film called “A Dance For The Goddess” in 1973-76.  In it she used time-lapse photography to place Feraferia’s seasonal rites in the context of the unfolding seasons over a years’ time.  She say’s “Pagans loved it; but it was a bit mysterious and odd for the general public.”


Jo Carson


Jo was also a documentary film producer and in the late 1980’s began filming interviews with Fred in order to preserve his ideas and teachings.  The film also includes location footage of many of the ancient sacred sites around Europe, Britain, the Mediterranean and the United States.  Fred encouraged her to include in the film interview with other prominent Pagan visionaries, primarily women.  The film was called “Dancing With Gaia”, and after taking twenty years to complete it was premiered at the Fairfax Documentary Film Festival in April 2009.  A trailer of the film with biographies of the speakers, location photos and more information can be found on Jo’s website at:


Poster for Jo Carson’sDancing With Gaia.”


The original Feraferia has inspired two new Feraferia groups, one in New Mexico and one in Amsterdam:


Peter Tromp founded the Amsterdam Feraferia group also runs the Feraferia website, which can be found at:  Peter has published a number Feraferia rituals in Europe and intends to make all the Feraferia rituals available over time.


Dancer Karen Ann Whitmore (aka Lady Serena) who maintained a close friendship with Fred and Svetlana in their later years has created a paradisal sanctuary in New Mexico, where she celebrates Feraferia-inspired festivals with dance and music.  She can be contacted at


Much can be found on the internet about the early work of Fred and his group, and 10 years of copies of his beautifully illustrated newsletter “Korythalia”, are archived in the University of California Santa Barbara’s American Religion Collection, contact:


Feraferia’s early newspapers, published in 1967


Also, The Church of the Hermetic Sciences has republished a beautiful edition of Fred’s gently erotic “Nine Royal Passions of the Year: Seasonal Celebrations of Cosmic Love Play.”


Other sources:


Written and compiled by George Knowles © 09th August 2016



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) /   


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:


Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras





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


Abramelin the Mage /  Agrippa 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” /   Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /  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-SmithParacelsus /  Patricia 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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