Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Carl “Llewellyn” Weschcke
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Carl Weschcke is president of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd, one of the largest publishers of occult and New Age books in the world. He is also a Magician, a Tantric practitioner, a Pagan and a former Wiccan High Priest who played a leading role in the rise and spread of Wicca and Neo-Paganism in America during the 1960’s and 70’s.
Weschcke was born into a Roman Catholic family on the 10th of September 1930 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Early in his life his paternal grandfather, who at the time was vice-president of the American Theosophical Society, exposed him to metaphysics and the occult. For his 12th birthday he presented the young Weschcke with his own astrological chart, after and guided by his grandfather, he became fascinated with astronomy, religion, the occult and reincarnation. His parents were vegetarian naturalists who practiced mind reading techniques, and were happy to discuss occult subjects with him. Even one of the houses they lived in had strange and mysterious thumps and bangs in the night, which were attributed to the ghosts of the deceased former owners. Such were the influences that shaped Weschcke’s early life and future path.
Weschcke was educated at the St. Paul Academy and graduated in 1948. He then went on to study at the Babson Business Institute in Massachusetts graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. After graduating he went to work in the family’s Pharmaceutical business, but found the work unfulfilling. He had a dream of becoming a publisher, which led him back to school studying for a doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. However, his longing to get involved with publishing caused him to leave the university before completing his course, and in 1960 he purchased the little known Llewellyn Publishing Co.
The Llewellyn Publishing Co. was the brainchild of the Welsh astrologer, Lewellyn George, who founded the Llewellyn Publishing Co. in Portland, Oregon during 1901. At that time it was a small mail order business with a limited focus specializing in selling three Astrology books and Calendars. Lewellyn George later moved the company to Los Angeles where he died in 1954. Weschche purchased the business in 1960 and moved it to St. Paul in Minnesota where he began to rebuild it. He quickly expanded the business to include a complete line of books on Astrology and the Occult, and within a decade was publishing some thirty to fifty titles a year, including audio and videotapes. He also launched a series of magazines including: New Dimension, Gnostica, Astrology Now, New Times and New World.
During the late 1950’s and early 60’s Weschcke became actively involved with the civil rights and liberties movements. He held office in the St. Paul’s branch of NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) and the ACLU, (Minnesota’s Civil Liberties Union) where he played a major role in bringing about fair-housing legislation in St. Paul.
Weschcke reported in the St Paul's Recorder 1959
In 1964 Weschcke bought a large stone mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul and used it as both home and a place of business. The house was reputedly haunted and Weschcke had numerous odd experiences there. He was often wakened at night by cold drafts coming in from open windows, windows he knew he had closed before going to sleep. He also heard strange noises and footsteps in the dead of night and saw apparitions of a man and woman. These he believed were not true ghosts but the vibrations of former occupants that had been recorded in the woodwork of the building. A newspaper article about the hauntings created an avalanche of public attention and paved the way for his media prominence in the emerging Wicca and Paganism movements.
476 Summit Avenue in St. Paul
In 1970 Weschcke opened the Gnostica Bookstore in Minneapolis from which he also incorporated the Gnostica School for Self-Development. The bookstore quickly became a popular gathering place for Pagans and others interested in the occult and alternative religions, and established the Twin Cities as a major centre for New Age resources. A year later in 1971, a local convention centre manager suggested that Minneapolis could benefit from a Woodstock style annual festival. Weschcke thought it a good idea and took the opportunity to host it. The first of several festivals was staged later that year; called the "First American Aquarian Festival of Astrology and the Occult Sciences". The festival attracted many of the best known Witches, Wiccans, Magicians and Neo-Pagans from all around the world. Witchcraft rituals were conducted and Weschcke led meditations for peace and the healing of the earth. Later festivals were re-named and became known as 'Gnosticon'.
The following year in 1972 Weschcke himself was initiated into the American Celtic Tradition of Witchcraft by Lady Sheba, the tradition’s founder. Holding coven meetings in his Summit Avenue home, Weschcke rose to High Priest and is now an Elder in that tradition. The same year he met 'Sandra Heggum', a High Priestess in the same tradition. They later married in a heavily publicized handfasting ceremony conducted under a full moon. They wrote their own vows taken from old Witchcraft rituals, and guests drank from a large cauldron filled with fruit, wine and flowers.
In 1973, Weschcke helped to form and organize the 'Council of American Witches' and became its first Chairman. During his brief tenure as Chairman he drafted the now famous 'Thirteen Principles of Belief' statement, which he considers his proudest accomplishment for the Craft. The statement was later incorporated into the U.S. Army’s handbook for Chaplains. That same year his wife gave birth to their son who they named Gabriel.
By the mid-1970’s Weschcke began to wind down his public activities, feeling his publishing business was starting to stagnate. Weschcke believed his constant media publicity and its resulting attention was the cause of it, and so resolved to do something about it. Selling the haunted mansion on Summit Avenue he moved the family to the country where he could spend and devote more time to them. He restructured the business by closing the bookstore, dropping the festivals and increasing the number of book titles they were publishing. He also included computer software to his range of audio and videotapes.
The Weschckes continue to support the Wiccan and Pagan communities primarily through their publishing, and many of their authors are sent to organized conferences and activities. Today, most of their time is taken up by the demands of their business, which by the mid 1990’s had grown into a medium sized publishing house issuing about 100 new titles a year spanning the general spirituality and New Age markets. Their son, Gabriel, having graduated from Pace University, New York, with a master’s degree in publishing science also works for the company as a regional sales manger. Into the new millennium as the company continued to expand, their old premises in St Paul could not contain them, and so in 2005 they moved into a new custom-built facility in Woodbury, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. Since then they have increased the number of their employees from 38 to 100 and doubled the size of their warehousing capacity.
Weschcke holds two honorary doctorates, and also served as the 7th Past Grand Master of the Ordo Aurum Solis, an international magickal Order originally founded in England in 1897, but now based in St. Paul. He withdrew from the Order in 1991 and is currently not affiliated with any group. Since 2009 he has contented himself with his own writing and has published 10 of his own books, mostly co-authored with Dr. Joe Slate (see Bibliography). However, it was his media prominence during the 1960's and 70's that did much to bring Wicca and Paganism into the light of acceptability in a skeptical American society.
Sadly on the 07th November 2015 at the age of 85, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke passed on into that great library beyond. His passing was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 43 years Sandra who is now President and Treasurer of Llewellyn Worldwide, and his son Gabriel who now serves as Vice President. Their plans for the future is to carry on the Llewellyn legacy of championing alternative approaches to mind, spirit and body.
May he rest in peace
Empowerment for Everyone (November 2009) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr.
Joe H. Slate
through Self-Hypnosis (March 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H.
Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G. (August 2010) by Carl
Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate
and Your Subconscious Mind (December 2010) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr.
Joe H. Slate
Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment (August 2011) by Carl Llewellyn
Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate
to Past Lives & Future Lives (December 2011) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
& Dr. Joe H. Slate
Projection for Psychic Empowerment (July 2012) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke &
Dr. Joe H. Slate
for Psychic Empowerment (July 2013) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H.
with Spirit (August 2015) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Dr. Joe H. Slate
Dream ESP (Due December 2015) by: Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
The Encyclopedia of Witches &Witchcraft - by Rosemary Ellen Guiley.
Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft - By Raven Grimassi.
First published on the 18th November 2001, up-dated 09th November 2015 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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