The Spider

Brought to you by The Springfield Pagan Community


Hey guys,

The printed copies of Litha Edition of The Spider will be on the shelves at your favorite distributors by the middle of the week. If you would like to read it before then here is the PDF copy of Litha Edition

Jeannie Brazeal

If you want to print our newsletter or are seeking an older edition (Midsummer 2013 to present day) please see the Archives page. 

EDITION: Yule, Bitter Moon, Oak Moon 2013

Regarding Pat’s Doctorate of Divinity

I never expected there to be a prize.  All the years I have worked to educate people about Paganism was just doing what needed to be done.  Then, out of the blue (for me, at least), Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the board of directors of the Church and School of Wicca awarded me with a Doctorate of Divinity.  As they pointed out, this is not something you pay for nor is it earned by study.  It’s awarded, in my case, for hard work and not giving up, I guess.  When G&Y called me to tell me I had gotten this thing, my first response was, “oh, okay.”  I was dumbfounded.  My second response was, “what do I have to do?”  Then there was a flood of questions like; did I have to go there to get it and who else is getting one?  I have four dogs and five cats.  Travel can be complicated.  I knew that G&Y wanted to establish a legacy, which was okay.  But why me?  G and I had butted heads more than once over teachings, the differences in our beliefs and lifestyles.

Over the years, as we both grew up and mellowed out a little, we grew to respect each other.  I have always loved Y for her brains, her sense of humor and her determination to love her Scorpio.

We’ve known each other from 1974 and now and then we would not talk for a while, sometimes because of disagreements and sometimes we were just distracted by our lives.  But we had so much in common; kids, family, making a living and trying to educate people around us so the kids could go to school and not be picked on, or so Pagans could keep a job and not be fired for religious reasons.

When I first began questioning the standard religious stuff that was all around us, I was attracted to many of the concepts of Paganism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Wicca.  My family lived in Joplin, Mo, and it was 1958.  I was 15 and desperate for answers when I wasn’t even sure of the questions.  My dad was becoming a Mason and he also had Rosicrucian books in the family library (along with Reader’s Digest condensed versions of classics and best sellers - nobody’s perfect).  I asked him all sorts of questions and he let me read any of his books.  I learned about one version of reincarnation and Lemuria and that was great but I needed more.  Mom gave me a book called “The Compleat Art of Witchcraft” by Sybil Leek and it helped me a lot.  Dad sent me to the Joplin library.  All I could find was a book called, “The Devils of Louden” and it was about some nuns and a priest and it was stupid.  I approached the librarian.  She wore an old lady dress, old lady shoes and old lady hair.  She took me to the science fiction section.  I never knew her name but I will always love her.  I met Asimov, Sturgeon, Heinlein.  I was in these high school classes for gifted kids (snort) and I had plenty of time to hang out with the “brains”, the “nerds” and we all read science fiction.  We formed the Communist Science Fiction Book Club.  Each of us bought what we wanted to read and after we read it we threw it in a cardboard box in the back of the chem lab and everyone had access to it.  Since I was the only girl among a small group of smart mouthed boys, I got to be the secretary and each summer I took the box home and brought it back in the fall.  When we graduated, they gave me the box of books.  Those science fiction books gave me a lot of comfort my freshman year in college. 

I got married to a high school sweetheart and had two wonderful kids who are now wonderful adults.  I was still asking questions.  I found G & Y in the back of a supermarket tabloid which made me question the source but they had to be better than those darn nuns and devils. 

I contacted them and my life has not been the same.  They didn’t answer all my questions but they encouraged me and even pointed out some sources for information.  And they have remained good and reliable friends.

Years went by and I had many adventures.  Our lives were threatened in Northern Arkansas.  We were homeless for a while.  We finally landed in Springfield, Missouri, and I rented a dump so we could keep the dog(s).  The kids and I started a newsletter called The Web until we found out that there was a group called the Web so we changed the name to The Spider.  We did that for a few years and then we had the opportunity to go on public television so we produced the Pagan Show for fifteen years.  Fifteen years.  We showed Pagan kids growing up, we showed Sabbats with drums, chanting and singing.  We did comedy...Mr. Bill, the 6'4" imp.  We did tragedy. Freddie from Central America, whose father was a Santerian Priest, died and we showed a passing over ceremony.  A great loss. 

After fifteen years, the rules changed and the television show quit public access for a while so we went back to the Spider.  The kids have grown up and have kids of their own and good people from the Pagan Community work together to publish the new Spider.  You’re reading it.

So...I was blundering along.  Me and Mr. Bill, aging Priest and Priestess, doing an occasional wedding or funeral, sponsoring an occasional, Sabbat circle, going to other people’s activities, stuffing ourselves at picnics...and then there’s this phone call and a certificate.  (They spelled my middle name wrong.)   The people who got this award are Ronn Koester, Raven, Frank Barney, Darlene Barney, Lady Rae Blackhood, Janet Farrar, 

Margo Adler...and me.  Does this mean I am Somebody?  Since the School of Wicca is a real registered school in Missouri, the Doctorate is real.  I better be careful that my head doesn’t swell up bigger than my butt. 

One of the goals of this group of people is to “do a little toward lowering the internal friction in the Wiccan/Pagan Community”.  Thank you, G & Y.  Thank you.  And all you readers out excellent to each other.

Dr. Pat Allgeier