Friday, January 22, 2010

Alison Harlow Biography

Alison Harlow Biography Cover As a practicing Witch and Feri Priestess, Alison Harlow was an early influence in the modern neo-pagan movement of America. She was the founder of the “Vanthi” line of Feri witchcraft, a co-founder with Gwydion Penderrwen of “Nemeton” an early pagan magazine and networking organization, a co-founder with Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart of the “Holy Order of Mother Earth” (HOME) a monastic sanctuary dedicated to nature, and a founding member of the “Covenant of the Goddess” an International organization of Witches.

Susan Alison Harlow was born on the 29th of August 1934 in New York City. Her education began at the City and Country Grammar School in Greenwich Village, before moving on to New Lincoln High School were she graduated in 1952. To further her education she then enrolled in Bard College, but in 1953 eloped with one of her professors and spent the next 5 years in Bogota, Columbia. While there she enrolled in Columbia University studying Cybernetics, from where she gained a Master’s degree in Mathematics in 1958. This started her on career in computers working for IBM as a programmer and systems analyst in Hawaii and California. Later in life she put her professional skills to good use in the health care area of computer programming.

In 1962 Alison met her second husband Randall Garrett, an American science fiction and fantasy author. Garrett was a long time contributor to Astounding SF and other science fiction magazines during the 1950s and 1960s. A prolific author he was best known for his Lord Darcy books and the novel Too Many Magicians. Alison and Garrett were married in New York City in 1963. When his father died later that same year, they moved to Austin, Texas, and lived in his house for several years before moving to San Francisco in the mid 1960’s. In 1966 both Garrett and Alison became founding members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). Shortly after they devorced and went their separate ways.

In the early 1970’s Alison bought a 220-acre plot of natural woodland situated on Greenfield Ranch near Ukiah in California. Greenfield Ranch was a huge 5600-acre parcel of land that had been subdivided into a number of plots in the 1950’s. Through the 1960’s early 1970’s as plots of the land were sold off, it quickly developed into a large “New-Age” homesteading community. Alison called her own plot of land “Coeden Brith” (Welsh for Speckled Forest), which she intended to turn into a natural nature sanctuary.

In 1975 sonsored by Alison as a founding member, the “Covenant of the Goddess” (CoG) was founded and organised from Coeden Brith. Elders from many diverse traditions met together at Coeden Brith in response to the rise of interest in Witchcraft, feminism and enviromentalism. The elders drafted a lasting covenant between each other and formulated bylaws for the new organisation. The bylaws were ratified by 13 member covens during the Litha summer solstice celebration that year. Later that same year at Samhain on the 31 October, the COG was incorporated as a non-profit religious organisation. Today the COG is one of the oldest and largest nondenominational organizations supporting Witches in the United States.

Situated adjacent to Coeden Brith is another 55-acre plot of land that was bought by Alison’s friend and Feri mentor Gwydion Pendderwen in 1976. Gwydion called his plot of land “Annwfn” (Welsh for Underworld) on which with Alison’s help he co-founded “Forever Forests”, an ecological mission aimed at healing the planet by planting trees. A year later in 1977 Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart of the Church of All Worlds (CAW) moved onto Coeden Brith as caretakers, and Together With Alison co-founded the “Holy Order of Mother Earth” (HOME), a monastic sanctuary dedicated to nature.

Aside from Coeden Brith, Alison lived in Oakland and Palo Alto during the 1970’s, before moving in 1982 onto a 32-acre plot of land in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Scotts Valley, California. There she created a residential cooperative community called “Eclectia”, where she remained living in the same home until her death on the 13th of June 2004was a feminist and political activist supporting civil rights activities in efforts to find peaceful solutions to the world’s problems. She served on the Women’s Commission of Santa Cruz County for the last 8 years of her life, and was an active member of: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), The American Association of University Women (AAUW), The National Organization for Women (NOW) and WomenRise for Global Peace.

Alison was a beloved and respected member of many pagan communities. She was a craft practitioner of Feri tradition of witchcraft for over 30 years and remained a staunch defender of women’s rights and civil liberties throughout her life. On the 13th June 2004 after a brief battle with cancer, Alison Harlow passed away into the Feri land of her ancestors. She died surrounded by her blood and magical family, among them: her third husband Doug and their children, her sister Linda, her niece Rebecca and several members of her Feri tradition.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Janus Lacinius Therapus - The New Pearl Of Great Price.pdf
Anonymous - Full Moon Ritual Group
Aryeh Kaplan - Sefer Ha Yetzirah
Robert Bruce - Treatise On Astral Projection

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