Category Archives: Passings

Into the Summerlands

John Michael “Micky” Monogue/Uncle Wookie/Lord Athanor

November 25, 1956- February 13th. 2012

It is with a sad heart that I convey that the Unicorn Tradition Magus and founder, Priest of the Grove of the Unicorn, and my spiritual guide and partner, Lord Athanor, has crossed into the Summerlands.

While it is a sad time for those who knew and loved him, is with joy, love, and light that we celebrate the wonder and magick filled life. It is with gratitude that we remember one who touched the lives of many, many people through his storytelling, kindness, humor, wisdom, and bountiful spirit.

Blessings and peace to all of his many friends and family of blood and of spirit.

Blessings and thanks to you Lord Athanor, I am honored to have walked with you for much of my life. May we meet again in the love and light of the Lord and Lady.

Blessings,
Lady Arden

A great man has passed beyond this incarnation around 2:50am February 13th, 2012 to return to the divine embrace of the universe. I am sure he is being reunited with those who have passed before him. When you read this stifle not your tears for the loss of such a luminary man, but let them flow freely so that they may carry the love you had for him from this world to the next. Let them be the conduit from your soul to his. Do not let this be how your remembrance of him ends however.
Honor and celebrate him for all of the love, light, laughter, wit, wisdom, and magick he brought into your life by whatever means you think best. And when you are done celebrating him, hold tightly in your heart the fire of those things he stirred inside of you and carry them with you always. I know I will.
On this day I will salute a man who was father, friend, teacher, husband, and priest whose walked through this life with a kind word to always share, a rapier wit which to coax forth laughter, a gentle wisdom that could help you find the path and show you the way even on the blackest night, and a loving heart that could heal all wounds.
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again my beloved father: Blessed Be.

In Their Service,

Ash

Lord Athanor:
I believe that all temples are sacred.

I do not believe that wisdom, compassion, or veneration are the sole province of any faith or any nation

There are many who reach toward the infinite,
yet none who can grasp it in their hand.

So let there be peace and fellowship with all who will share it.

And if their god forbids fellowship with such as I, then let there be peace upon the path they choose

Obituary

John Michael “Micky” Monogue was born November 25th, 1956 in Oxford England, and died February 13th, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. John Monogue was a resident of Decatur, Georgia since 2000. He survived by his wife Elaine, his two sons Damian and Adrian, his four daughters Maryk, Kat, Marilyn, and Alex, and his grandson Corbin. John is also survived by his sisters, Maureen, Kathleen, and Connie.  He was predeceased by his first wife, Jodi Monogue on February 8th 2006

Memorial

This is the tentative plans for John Monogue/Lord Athanor’s  public memorial service. We are still in the process of getting everything set up and organized. These plans maybe subject change. We will inform you of any change in the plans.

John Monogue Memorial Service
Sunday Feb 19th from 2-5 pm
Angora Hall
Clarkston Community Center
3701 College Avenue
Clarkston, Georgia 30021

The History of the Unicorn Tradition

In 1976 Galadriel and Athanor met Lady Rhea, a priestess and elder of a Family Tradition, and began taking classes with her in the Atlanta area. Following the end of classes, Galadriel and Athanor moved to Florida. In 1979, the two of them moved back to Atlanta and resumed their training and, under Lady Rhea’s guidance, they began teaching classes. These classes would form what would soon become the Grove of the Unicorn and would later become the basis of the Unicorn Tradition.

During a Litha ritual in 1980, Galadriel and Athanor received their Priest and Priestess initiations and the Grove of the Unicorn was officially established. This group was established as an American Eclectic grove blending influences and teachings from the Family Tradition and from the modern Witchcraft revival movement.

While many of Galadriel and Athanor’s traditional teachings were retained, many outside influences have contributed to today’s Grove of the Unicorn and to the other groups within the Unicorn Tradition. Some of these influences include teachers from other traditions and ‘adopted’ Elders who were trained in other branches of the Craft or other Mystery traditions.

In 1982, the Unicorn Tradition began branching out into other states and even other countries. Over the years several groups have hived off of the Grove of the Unicorn, and in some cases other groups have hived off of those groups, and so on. While the Grove of the Unicorn started in Atlanta, Georgia, since that time Unicorn Tradition groups have been founded in Texas, Germany, and England.

Each group within the Unicorn Tradition maintains certain of the same key ingredients- however, each also maintains its own identity and flavor. As a Tradition, each group maintains a link to the Tradition’s roots, and yet, as a dynamic eclectic tradition, each group also continues to grow and evolve with the experiences and influences of its Priests, Priestesses, and other group members. Some predominate influences in many of the Unicorn Tradition groups include myths and traditions of Phoenician, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, and Celtic origins.

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Steve Collins / Lord Senthor of Ravenwood Tradition Passes On

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

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AJC Covers Lady Sintana’s Passing; Public Memorial Info

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rick Badie covers Lady Sintana’s passing:

In 1975, Mrs. White, aka Lady Sintana, founded Ravenwood Church, the state’s first pagan congregation. By 1982, the high priestess had successfully challenged the IRS and Ravenwood became one of the first Pagan congregations in the country to be granted tax-exempt status as a church.

It was significant work, said her husband, David John White, aka Lord Merlin, the Elder High Priest of  Ravenwood, now located in Johns Creek.

“Her mission in life was to bring respect and legality to the pagan religion,” he said. “She not only won legal battles, but she won over hearts as well. Her main idea was not to convert people but to have some venue where people could learn the truth.”

Recently, Candace H. Lehrman White, 73,  had resided with her daughter in western North Carolina. She died Sept. 17 from complications of lung cancer.  A public memorial will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 at Gala Special Events, 3760 Lower Roswell Road, in Marietta.

Born on a Kansas dairy farm, Mrs. White moved from Buffalo, N.Y., to Atlanta to nurse an ill friend. She stayed and elected to follow her father into ministry but as a high priestess of Wicca, not in the Baptist faith.

Previous PNC-GA coverage of Lady Sintana’s passing:

Family Obit for Lady Sintana

Lady Sintana: Atlanta Legend Passes

Op/Ed: The Unexpected Blessings of Lady Sintana

Press Release: Founder of Ravenwood Passage

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Family Obit for Lady Sintana; No Services Planned Yet

The News-Herald has published the following obituary for Ravenwood tradition founder and Atlanta legend, Lady Sintana (Candace Lehrman White):

Candy Lehrman White, 73, of Burke County, passed away peacefully from this life while in the care of Burke Hospice and with her family by her side.

She leaves behind her husband and best friend, David White of Georgia; a daughter, Sybil L. Montello-Carswell and her husband, Victor; a grandson, Carl R. Simone, all of Valdese; and numerous friends in the Atlanta, Ga., area.

No services will be held at this time.

Valdese Family Funeral Care has the honor of serving the family.

There are no further updates regarding memorials in the Atlanta area.

Previous PNC-GA coverage of Lady Sintana’s passing:

Lady Sintana: Atlanta Legend Passes

Op/Ed: The Unexpected Blessings of Lady Sintana

Press Release: Founder of Ravenwood Passage

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Press Release: Founder of Ravenwood Passage

Press Release from Ravenwood Church, Johns Creek, GA September 20, 2010:

Ravenwood and Seminary of Wicca, Inc
10945 State Bridge Road
Ste 401-104
Johns Creek, GA 30022

Press Release
Contact: Lady Maia
LadyMaia@HouseofRavenwood.org
http://www.houseofravenwood.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 A.M. EDT, September 20, 2010

Ravenwood Church and Seminary of the Old Religion  (a.k.a, The House of Ravenwood) announced today that on September 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm, Our Founder, Elder High Priestess and Witch Queen, Lady Sintana passed over into the Summerland.  Her family surrounded her and aided her in her final journey. She is survived by her husband and best friend Lord Merlin, Elder High Priest of Ravenwood, along with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

Lady Sintana founded Ravenwood Church and Seminary of Wicca, Inc.  in the mid 1970s in an old Victorian home on Moreland Avenue.  She became a public figure in Atlanta and was known as ‘ The Lady’.

Our Lady Sintana’s life’s work was instrumental on both the local and federal level in the fight to insure the freedom for all witches to practice our religion.  Through court battles, public education and continual spiritual guidance of those drawn to our faith, Lady Sintana led Ravenwood to become one of the first churches of Wicca to receive 501(c) 3 status as a not-for-profit church.  Her pioneering efforts led to the granting of tax exemption rights, gathering rights and zoning rights for Ravenwood, setting critical precedents in the ongoing fight for religious tolerance.  Many of the privileges that Wiccans and Pagans enjoy today are the direct result of her irrepressible will and courage.

Under her spiritual leadership and training, Ravenwood developed some of the finest ritual Priestesses and Priests.  Her legacy and traditions continue through four active sister groups:  Ravenwood Church, Myst of the Wildwood, House of Dragonwood and Sage Moon Grove. These groups provide services and training within the Ravenwood Tradition.  In addition, many other groups around the country can trace their traditions and training directly to the Lady’s influence and teaching.

Lady had an exuberant spirit and was always willing to lend guidance and offer words of wisdom.   We will miss her laughter, her smile, her warm heart and support. Our thoughts are with the immediate family at this time as we share their loss and celebrate a life of consequence and impact.  She lives on through each of us who have been touched by her work.

The House of Ravenwood will hold a public memorial gathering on October 2, 2010.   Location and time TBA. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Ravenwood Church.

Lady Maia, High Priestess of Ravenwood

Lord Merlin,  Elder High Priest of the Ravenwood Tradition

Other Tributes to Lady Sintana:

House of Ravenstone Church and Seminary of the Old Religion

The Wild Hunt, a Pagan News Blog

Pantheon, the Pagan blog at Patheos.com

Previous PNC post on Lady Sintana

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Op/Ed: The Unexpected Blessings of Lady Sintana

By Star Foster, originally appeared on Patheos.com

I never met Lady Sintana, but I firmly believe she is the reason I am a Witch today. It’s kind of a long story, so bear with me.

Lady Sintana was a very public Witch, one of the few well-known public Witches who were not authors. She appeared fairly regularly in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She fought seminal court battles for Wiccan rights. She took in animals and people who needed her help. For many years her doors were always open, 24/7, and the House of Ravenwood Church and Seminary of the Old Religion was as clearly marked as any chapel, mosque or schul. When she arrived in Atlanta there wasn’t much Pagan community to speak of, if any. Today Atlanta is home to many thriving traditions and public events, such as Pagan Pride Day coming up in Oct. Her tradition has thrived with covens across the country, countless students over the years and even a trad specific festival: Ravensmeet.

For this Lady Sintana faced a never ending stream of negativity. College hazing rituals involved peeing on her porch, her front windows were broken so many times she replaced them with plexiglass, vandals attacked the house and vehicles in the parking lot, she and other women stood off a group of arsonists with sawed-off shotguns, members of the church were beaten, bullet-proof glass had to be installed at the front door, along with increased police patrols there were Ravenwood security on-site at night, a Southern Baptist Senator went on a crusade against her and all of this is above and beyond the ordinary drama within our communities.

As a spoiled modern Witch, I find it incredible the amount of hatred and persecution our elders endured. It amazes me that they were committed enough to persevere, especially because I have seen where that hatred and persecution came from.

My family was Southern Baptist and I was a typical Southern Baptist kid. Cartoons, Barbie dolls, church on Sunday and no cussin’. I was a busy kid with ballet, piano, soccer, Girl Scouts and all the other busyness with which modern kids are burdened. My parents were distressed at what they felt was the immoral nature of public school that made my older sisters ordinary teenagers rather than quiet, modest God-fearing girls. It was the late 80’s and the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare was going strong. My parents were terrified that our Halloween candy was poisoned, that homosexuals were pedophiles lurking in public restrooms and that Satanists and Witches were hiding in public schools as teachers and principals. Oprah said Satanists were organized and after our kids, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Gwinnett Daily News were full of stories about Witches. Surely my sisters ordinary rebellion and interest in pop music were due to the fact that evil and ungodliness lurks in the public school system?

All of this sounds ridiculous now. The FBI found that Satanists were not numerous, organized or abusing children but back then it was a real fear. It was this kind of fear that resulted in the persecution of the West Memphis Three. People like my parents were truly scared. The fact that violence seemed to be on the rise like never before didn’t help. No one knew that by the late 90’s all of these fears would dissipate. So I was removed from public school to be homeschooled.

Homeschooling is different from family to family. In mine it meant I was to base my education on the Bible and had a lot of free time on my hands. A lot. I went from being too busy with school and activities to think to having nothing but time on my hands. While I’d been addicted to books like The Babysitters Club before, I found I needed meatier books to occupy my time. I became a library addict and haven’t gotten over my craving for ideas since. Without knowing why I was being homeschooled except for same vague idea that I needed to be protected from the “world” I found myself unknowingly subverting my parents intentions.

This good Baptist girl began studying Lutheranism, Catholicism, history and politics. When in the late 90’s I got my first computer and internet connection, it was as if I’d died and gone to heaven. With no school or other organized activities to occupy me, I spent endless hours on the internet where I ran across an article on Wicca. Six hours or more of following link after link after link I realized I’d found my spiritual home.

Had I remained in public school in the busy round of church, school, scouts, lessons and maybe even debate or cheerleading, would I have become Wiccan? I doubt it. I think I’d have become an entirely different person, perfectly content with the busyness of modern life.

Yet, because Lady Sintana was fiercely public and open, scaring the bejeesus out of my conservative Baptist folks, I was given a thoughtful contemplative childhood, which led me to carefully consider the merits of an unusual faith, find it satisfying and embrace it wholly. I could have been the Christian soccer mom who petitions to get the Witch out of her neighborhood. I could have been the Sunday school teacher who held prayer warrior meetings in my home to drive the local coven from my town. It’s an alternate future I can see quite clearly for myself. The person I once was quite probably would have become the sort of person who would have been a very judgmental un-Christ-like Christian.

Eventually my parents even stopped attending church as the evils of the world also existed there. In my cocoon of books, and eventually the internet, I became quite a different person. I am the person I am today because of Lady Sintana. Had she not been public I would not be writing for you here today. The wave of negativity that the conservative South sent her way had some positive outcomes, particularly in my case.

I would not be a Witch if not for Lady Sintana. I certainly wouldn’t be a public one had she not paved the way. There are many things she should be remembered for and many things for which Atlanta Pagans thank her. For me, I am grateful that she chose to be a public Witch because it had positive consequences she could not possibly foresee. I just wish I could have thanked her in person.

And years later, when I was still in the closet, my mother told me why I was removed from public school. It was all I could do to keep a straight face.

The Wild Hunt post regarding Lady Sintana’s passing.

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Lady Sintana: Atlanta Legend Passes

Last night around 6pm the founder of the House of Ravenwood Church and Seminary of the Old Religion and the Ravenwood Tradition of Wicca passed away peacefully.

Lady Sintana began House of Ravenwood in the early 70’s, operating a 24/7 open spiritual center for Wiccans on Memorial Drive.

It is expected that Ravenwood elders will issue a statement today. We will have more information regarding Lady Sintana’s passing and information on any memorial services as it becomes available.

House of Ravenstone memorial.

Newspaper clippings of Lady Sintana and House of Ravenwood.

Lady Sintana profile on The Wild Hunt.

Brief profile on Lady Sintana from Chas Clifton.

If you have photographs, stories or information regarding memorial services please contact pncatlantabureau@gmail.com so we can make these available to other Pagan news bureaus and services.

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