Dunwich, Gerina (1959-)

views updated

Dunwich, Gerina (1959-)

Gerina Dunwich, a contemporary writer and Witch, was born in Illinois on December 27, 1959. As a young girl, she had vivid dreams of having been executed as a witch. She was introduced to both Spiritualism and Witchcraft in 1969 by a cousin, and found an immediate agreement with them. Shortly thereafter she read Sybil Leek 's Diary of a Witch and Raymond Buck-land 's Witchcraft from the Inside, both of which became important guides directing her to Neo-Pagan Wicca.

In 1977 she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an entertainment career. She learned astrology and Tarot and began to work on a book, The Lexicon of the Occult. She eventually became a professional card reader and astrologer. In 1980 she began a literary journal, Golden Isis, that soon focused on Goddess-oriented poetry and Wicca. She found a mate in Al Jaeker, a musician, and in 1984 they moved to Massachusetts. She landed her first book contract for Candlelight Spells, published in 1988. Through this period she became ever more deeply involved in the occult and Wicca. She moved back to Los Angeles in 1990 and then to upstate New York, to a small town near the Canadian border, in 1994.

In New York Dunwich opened an occult shop, The Country Witch, that became a focus for local Pagans. Two years later she founded Coven Mandragora, an eclectic Wiccan group; Wheel of Wisdom School, which offered correspondence courses; and North Country Wicca, a networking organization for Wiccans. In 1998 she accepted an ordination from the Universal Life Church. That same year, she disbanded Coven Mandragora and moved back to Los Angeles. There she created a new form of Wicca drawing heavily on Egyptian themes, which she called Bast-Wicca, named after the cat deity of ancient Egypt.

Through the 1990s, Dunwich wrote a series of books on the Craft, including several introductory texts, The Wicca Spellbook (1994), Wicca Love Spells (1996), and The Wicca Source Book (1996); and several reference books, the Concise Lexicon of the Occult (1990) and Wicca A to Z (1998). She has a webpage at http://www.wicca.drak.net/dunwich/main.htm.

Sources:

Dunwich, Gerina. Concise Lexicon of the Occult. Secacus, NJ: Citadel Press, 1990.

. Wicca A to Z. New York: Citadel Press, 1998.

. Wicca Love Spells. New York: Citadel Press, 1996.

. The Wicca Source Book. New York: Citadel Press, 1996.

. The Wicca Spellbook. New York: Citadel Press, 1994.

About this article

Dunwich, Gerina (1959-)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article