The interviews are done!

Today I had a new signal about my project to write a biography of Isaac Bonewits. From a post I made on Facebook: I was cleaning out old stuff from a bookshelf, and I found a pile of Isaac Bonewits' papers that I never got around to sending to the University of Santa Barbara. In an extra…

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Lost and Found and What’s Next

A couple of days ago, Christopher Chase sent me some pages from an old issue of The Crone Papers that mentioned Isaac Bonewits. (Christopher, brother to Sabrina Chase of Blue Star, is on the faculty of the Philosophy and Religious Study Department at Iowa State University.) After I downloaded the pages, I went through my usual practice…

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The shipping is done!

The last remaining boxes of Isaac's papers are out of my apartment. They're on their way to the University of California at Santa Barbara's Religious Studies Collection. I used to think that the stuff Phaedra Bonewits and I were sending to UCSB was just being warehoused somewhere. If you click on the above link, you'll see I…

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The scanning is done!

After working on Isaac Bonewits' biography on-and-off for eight years (mostly off), I've finally completed one of my key tasks: To scan in all his files and papers. (The exception is if Phaedra Bonewits sends me any more boxes of Isaac's old material.) So what's next? Send all the remaining physical files, papers, and calendars to the…

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Otter Voice Notes

I'm still working on the biography of Isaac Bonewits, though I admit my progress has been slow. I periodically scan more documents from the last boxes of papers Phaedra sent me. One big issue with my research was transcribing interviews. I have about 70 hours worth of interviews so far, with still a few more to go.…

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For old pagans with deep closets

I seem to be slowly moving back to working on Isaac Bonewits' biography. I've let it lie fallow for about two years, mainly because I became frustrated at my attempts at some hard-to-reach interview subjects. Recently, Phaedra Bonewits has tried to identify the original members of the American Council of Witches. She was kind enough to forward…

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A light at the end of the transcription tunnel?

According to David Pogue, the latest version of Dragon Dictate is capable of transcribing interviews. Based on the example in the article, the results are limited. Still, it offers hope that by the time I'll need it for the biography, there'll be some form of software that will let me turn 100+ hours of interviews into text…

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Bull of Heaven – a review

In the past few years, modern pagans have started to reclaim their history. As Ronald Hutton points out, pagans have always had a strong sense of “history” (an interest in past events), but not always in “historicity” (understanding what actually happened, as opposed to what you wish had happened).

Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon traces the factors that led to the founding of the modern Neopagan Witchcraft movement. Philip Heselton’s Witchfather focused on the life of one important individual: Gerald Gardner. In other words, Hutton told us about the times, Heselton told us about a life.

Michael Lloyd’s Bull of Heaven: The Mythic Life of Eddie Buczynski and the Rise of the New York Pagan does both. It does it a way that’s engaging to read. I’d never heard of Buczynski before Margot Adler recommended this book to me; now I understand his impact on the Craft.

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