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Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Vivianne Crowley



Written and compiled by George Knowles


Vivianne Crowley is a prominent High Priestess and teacher of the Wiccan way.  She is a successful best-selling author, University lecturer, Psychologist and Therapist whose work is dedicated to building bridges between Wicca/Paganism and the mainstream religions of society.


Vivianne was born of Irish descent but was raised in the New Forrest region of Hampshire, an area steeped in witchcraft history and folklore and one of the oldest forests in England.  Indeed she was raised in the same area that Gerald Gardner began his exploration into witchcraft and that of another famous witch, Sybil Leek.


Her mother had strong psychic abilities which included precognitive dreams, she helped to make Vivianne aware from an early age that there was more to the world than the five senses could detect.  She was educated in local Catholic and Protestant schools, which gave her an understanding of the different religions and spiritual traditions that made up the community.


As a child, Vivianne spent much of her time playing in the New Forrest attuning herself to the ways of nature.  She felt the energy of the trees and the spirits of the earth, and watched and learned from the turning of the seasons, her whole world seemed to be a magical place.  Occasionally she would come across old circles formed by witches long past gone and wondered about the rites they had held there.  By the time she was eight, she was practicing and testing her own abilities with practical magic.  On one occasion with friends from school she cast a rainmaking spell, which allegedly "did produce rain".  She also began to teach herself the tarot cards and started to give readings to other students on the school bus.


By the time she was 11, about the same time Gerald Gardner (founder of the Gardnerian tradition) and Alex Sanders (founder of the Alexandrian tradition) were gaining prominence in the news, Vivianne learned all she would from the media stories and all she could read about witchcraft and covens.  At her all-girls school she gathered together some friends and formed her own coven.  She improvised and designed her own initiation rite based on the photos and stories she had read about in the media.  Representing the Goddess, she would stand with her legs apart and have the initiates pass through them, a symbolic enactment of being reborn.  However her coven activities were soon curtailed as the school authorities closed her down, but not because of any religious bigotry (witchcraft was never even mentioned), merely because nearby residents had complained about the noise they were making


Vivianne was sure of her destiny and was only 14 when she decided that she wanted to take a formal initiation as a witch.  Until this time she had mainly looked at witchcraft as a practical craft, a means of helping people with herbs and healing.  Now with all the publicity surrounding Alex Sanders and his wife Maxine, she began to see that witchcraft had a spiritual side, one in which women could play a prominent role.  She applied to the Sanders’ coven in London for initiation but they turned her down informing her she had to be 18 to be initiated.


Undeterred, Vivianne waited and studied all the resources she could lay her hands on.  She left the New Forrest and entered the University of London where she eventually earned a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in Psychology.  Upon turning 18 she reapplied to the Sanders’ coven in London and was accepted and initiated.  The Sanders’ whom she greatly admired suffered marital difficulties and separated in 1973, after which the London coven underwent major changes.  Not happy with of these changes Vivianne left and joined a Gardnerian coven.


A few years later she meet her future husband Chris who at the time had no interest in Wicca, this soon changed however as he was quickly taught and initiated by Vivianne.  They were married in 1979 and established their own coven which they still maintain to this day.  Over the years many covens have hived off their original and the Crowley’s have helped many individuals all across Britain, Continental Europe and the United States to start up their own.


Today Vivianne is a professional psychologist who lectures on the psychology of religion at King’s Collage, University of London.  She is also the adjunct professor at the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.  As well as academic work, she works in business as a management consultant and does some private counseling.  She describes herself as Jungian oriented but with an eclectic approach including transpersonal psychology.


In 1988 due to the lack of venues for the public teaching of witchcraft and as a means of introducing interested people into the craft, the Crowley’s formed the Wicca Study Group in London.  Vivianne also began teaching in Germany following up on the work done there by Alex Sanders.   The success of the Wicca Study Group led the Crowley’s to expand their teaching to other countries including North America.


Also in 1988, the Crowley’s became involved with the Pagan Federation, Vivianne as the secretary and Chris as the treasurer then president.  Vivianne also took on the role of the federation’s interfaith coordinator and served as the U.K. coordinator of the Pagan Chaplainry Services for H.M. Prisons.  Both Chris and Vivianne helped to develop the federation’s system of democratic elections and have served on its committees since 1991.





Vivianne and Chris Crowley


Vivianne published her first book “Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age” in 1989 and it soon became a best seller.  It was revised and updated in 1996 as “Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium”. In it she provides a clear and well-written introduction to Wicca as a spiritual tradition that facilitates personal growth, creativity and integration.  Her other books include: Phoenix from the Flame and Pagan Spirituality in the Western World (1994), Principles of Paganism (1996), Principles of Wicca (1997), Principles of Jungian Spirituality (1998) and Celtic Wisdom: Seasonal Festivals and Rituals (1998).


Vivienne’s contributions to Wicca and Paganism have in many ways been outstanding if not inspirational.  She was instrumental in the establishment of networking, and has led peer group support for Wiccans and Pagans in Britain and Europe.  She uses her many abilities to try and bridge our tradition into other area’s, such as: other religions, academia, psychology and popular culture.  By doing so she has established a common multicultural and spiritual ground on which Wicca and Paganism can grow.  Due to her efforts Wicca and Paganism are now recognized as serious subjects of academic and interfaith studies.


It is the task of Paganism today to give to those who seek its ways the inner knowledge, light, energy and peace with which to live our lives in harmony with one another and with all living creation and to answer the eternal questions of humankind:  "Who am I?  What must I do to to live well and honourably?  What is the meaning of the mystery of live and of the Divine?"





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

Plus Numerous Websites Resources

First published on the 18th August 2001, 17:16:12 © 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) /   


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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