The Pagan Who’s Who series contains information about current and recent notaries which have contributed to, or influenced the modern pagan scene. Some names you may know already, some you may not, but all these people are dedicated and hard-working in their own particular specialised fields. For pagan, spiritual, occult or faith matters who from the last generation influences and inspires you?
Isaac Bonewits was an American Druid – for many, even after his death in August 2010, he was and remains the American Druid. Beginning in college, on finding himself interested in magical and occult subjects, Bonewits became heavily involved with the new and burgeoning neo-pagan culture in the United States, initially through a short and relatively unsuccessful stint in Anton LaVey’s ‘Church of Satan’ (unsuccessful from the Church’s point of view, that is: not necessarily from Bonewits’ own). Departing the Church following increasing disagreement with LaVey and disillusionment with the aims and principles of Satanism, Bonewits wandered through a number of other groups, settling in none, before finally finding himself a place in the Reformed Druids of North America. From there, he quickly established himself as one of the foremost neo-pagan writers, campaigners, commentators and of the 1970s, 80s and 90s and into the 2000s, until his death.
Some of his well-known books include Bonewits’ Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca; Bonewits’ Essential Guide to Druidism, and The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters and Drummers. He’s also written and produced two albums of pagan-themed music and a number of audio lectures through the Association for Consciousness Exploration.
Isaac’s website remains online, maintained by his wife Phaedra Bonewits as a memorial.