Another Pagan Elder Passes
(Birmingham, Alabama) by Freeman Presson via PNC-Georgia 3/17/2011
[Note: We will be updating this article daily as more information is received.]
Steve Collins, widely known for his years playing joyous Pagan music, both solo and with the band he founded, Moonstruck, passed away on the afternoon of March 14th, 2011.
Known within the Ravenwood Church of Wicca as Lord Senthor, he was a 3o High Priest who served the tradition in various capacities for over 30 years, most recently as High Priest of his local coven, Children of the Cauldron.
He was also a member of a Cherokee bloodline tribe, the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama. He always honored his American Indian roots alongside his Pagan spirituality.
Plans for a public memorial service in the Anniston, Alabama, area were under development at press time.
Many people remember him fondly. His FaceBook wall is filling up with tributes, and the response to our request for remembrances follows:
“He was a pioneer in the world of Pagan music. He started when there were very few folks singing songs for the Old Ones and he inspired many others to walk that path. Everyone in pagan music owes him a debt. I will miss him.” — Arthur Hinds, Emerald Rose
“He could play nearly any instrument at all, and had been performing professionally since age 11. The festivals, mine and others, just won’t be the same without him and his music. The sound of his flute at drum circle will especially be missed. He first played music for my festival, Moondance, in 1994, and played at nearly every one of my festivals since then. Moondance 2011 will be dedicated to him, and we will honor him during the weekend.” — Linda Kerr, Church of the Spiral Tree and organizer of Moondance and FallFling Pagan festivals
“I knew him from the local Pagan music scene. He supported local Pagan music, was very generous about letting other bands use his equipment, and often organized music for gatherings. — Sara aka Sarsen, member of the band Medieval Funk
“Lord Senthor was very devoted to his land, particularly the circle space. An excellent musician and host, he managed to be warm and formal at the same time. His graciousness and warmth exemplified what every Craft leader should be.”
– Lord Peregrine, Sage Moon Grove, California
My Craft name is Tabhorian [tavorian], though some know me by my older name, Earendil. My wife’s is Sidhogi na Crannah [shee-og na craw-na]. My lineage is via Lady Artanis to Lord Merlin, and Susan’s is via Lord Adrianne to Lady Sintana.
L. Senthor and L. Epona were introduced to me by my then HP Ossian Gillebert in Gainsville (aka Lord Adrianne to the older folks) at Samhain after I had broken off with my Carrollton coven in 1991. Senthor and Epona lent a sympathic ear.
Our new Gainsville coven where I met Susan and others attended a few rituals with the Children of the Cauldron in Alabama, and also with their subgroup in Atlanta, and we were all good friends. When Susan and I were handfasted down at ‘The Mill,’ they gave us a really nice terracotta bas-relief of Demeter, that we have kept above our altar from that day to this.
Ossian died of cancer about 6 years ago and had his wake down at Limerick Junction Pub. Senthor came at the same time and we all sat down together and talked the whole night. It was a wonderful wake. When I say he was a man of peace, and a consoler, I refer to this night. We were excellent to each other. The last time I saw Senthor was at the Lady’s (Sintana) memorial last fall. He spoke to us all, and sang several of the old songs afterwards.
Lord Celeborn and Lady Brighid and their group and Lady Artanis and her sons and I are all pretty bummed and shocked about this. It is through our faith in the Lady and Lord and a belief that we will all meet again and love and be reunited with the Hidden Children that gets us through tough times like this.
– Tabhorian of Ravenwood Tradition
“As a vendor at Pagan Festivals, I often set up right across from the stage and heard his Southern-Pagan songs so many times I can still hear them in my head now (years later). We would both arrive early and stay late, so I had many nice late-night conversations around the fire with him during these times. He was a good man, a worthy priest of the Goddess, and I am glad to have known him.” — Zebrine Gray, Trustee of Tara Dhatu
“We knew Steve for many years, both individually and through working with him at various Pagan gatherings. Not being ‘Trad’ I never worked with him in Circle, but as small as the Pagan music world used to be we all worked our own brand of collaborative magic (Pagan music) for years: shared sound systems, did setup and takedown, coordinated music and the like. We spent many weekends camping and making music over the years. He’ll definitely be missed.” — Clyde Gilbert, Emerald Rose
“I am very thankful for his years of service to the Pagan Community through his teachings, his music, and his leadership. I, like many others, mourn his passing, but take comfort in knowing that he lives on in our memories and in the many lives he has blessed.” — Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary
Edited to distinguish Ravenwood Tradition from Ravenwood Coven 3/17/2011:18:02