lucky you - your browser doesnt play annoying midis

08/18/10 - NNHS Newsletter - Isaac Bonewits

Isaac Phillip Emmons Bonewits
(01 Oct 1949 - 12 Aug 2010)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
 We have another sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter today.     Isaac Bonewits passed away from a rare form of colon cancer at his home in Valley Cottage, NY on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at the age of 60.

  From Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH  - 08/17/10 - "Isaac Bonewits Memorial/Life in America":

To most of you, the name Philip Eammons Isaac Bonewits probably means nothing. Isaac was the author of a number of books on magic and religion; at one time, he was the Archdriud for Ar nDraoicht Fein, for which I was Vice-Archdruid and Preceptor (education director) in the early to mid-1990's. Isaac was two years younger than me, and retired as Archdruid 14 years ago due to health issues. He died Aug 12th, of colon cancer. To my children, he was "Uncle Isaac", an imposing figure in ritual, and a master of songs and puns outside of it.

At the end of this NPR story on his life and death, if you listen, you will hear my daughter
   Avens singing a hymn he wrote. 

You can find a great deal of his work on the web. Isaac and I had many theological and other disagreements; but I always considered him a true friend. I will be traveling to his memorial in NY Saturday, to offer condolences to his widow, Phaedra, and his son, Arthur, and remember him along with many of my fellow Druids. An old college friend has offered to drive several of us down and back. My friend who has volunteered his services is not a Druid, he's Jewish, of Chabad Lubavitch, who will miss Sabbath services to perform this mitzvah, this blessing, this good deed.
I am grateful to have known Isaac. I am grateful for my friend Jonathan, a Jew who will spend most of a Saturday driving Druids to the memorial service of their late, retired Archdruid. I am grateful for my friend Cathie, a conservative Christian, who despite serious disabilities and chronic pain, offered, if I were driving down alone, to accompany me. I am grateful for friends of many faiths who, hearing that not all of Isaac's medical expenses were covered by insurance, asked for the website address so they could hit the PayPal button and donate something and leave a supportive statement for Phaedra.

I am grateful to be in the United States of America, where we can worship as we please, and where differences of theology and practice do not necessarily divide us, but we are all willing to pray, stir the Cauldron, light a candle, deliver a casserole, donate to someone's expenses, because someone needs it, even if they aren't part of "our" tribe.

I feel sad, but I feel blessed.
Domi (Domi O'Brien, NNHS '64)

    Thank you, Domi - my sincerest sympathies on the loss of your friend!

From - 08/12/10:

     Isaac Bonewits 1949-2010


    Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits, founder and Archdruid Emeritus of of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, one of North America’s leading experts on ancient and modern Druidism, Witchcraft, magic and the occult, and the rapidly growing Earth Religions movement, died today after a short struggle with cancer.

Mr. Bonewits first came into the public eye when he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Magic and Thaumaturgy (1970). During his tenure there, Mr. Bonewits worked with many renowned professors including Nobel Prize Laureate Owen Chamberlain. The work he did for that degree became his first book, Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic (1971).
Isaac Bonewits
  In 1983, he founded and became the first Archdruid of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) an international fellowship devoted to creating a public tradition of Neopagan Druidry. In 1995, he retired from a leadership role due to complications from eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. ADF has grown to become the best-known Neopagan Druid group based in North America. At his death, Mr. Bonewits held the title of ArchDruid Emeritus.

During his forty years as a Neopagan priest, scholar, teacher, bard, and polytheologian, Isaac Bonewits coined much of the vocabulary and articulated many of the issues that have shaped the rapidly growing Neopagan movement in the United States and Canada.

Mr. Bonewits was internationally known as a speaker who educated, enlightened and entertained two generations of modern Goddess worshippers, nature mystics, and followers of other minority belief systems, as well as explained these movements to journalists, law enforcement officers, college students, and academic researchers.

His personal papers will become part of the American Religions Collection at the Library of University of California at Santa Barbara.

One of his most influential contributions was the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (the “ABCDEF”), developed in 1979 as a response to the Jim Jones People’s Temple tragedy. It has been translated into many languages and used around the world to evaluate how dangerous or harmless an organization might be. It was the first such scale to use theories of mental health and personal growth to judge rather than theological or ideological standards.

His other books include Authentic Thaumaturgy (1979, 1998), The Pagan Man (2005), Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca (2006), Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism (2006), Neopagan Rites (2007), and Real Energy (2007), which was co-authored with his wife, Phaedra, as well as numerous articles, reviews and essays. As a singer-songwriter, he released two albums, Be Pagan Once Again (1988), and Avalon is Rising (1992).

He is survived by his wife, Phaedra, his son from a previous marriage, Arthur Lipp-Bonewits of Bardonia NY, his mother Jeannette, his brothers Michael and Richard, and sisters Simone Arris and Melissa Banbury.

   Our deepest condolences are extended to Isaac's family, friends, and followers.

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty


Composed by Jay Barbeau for Everquest

"Kelethin" midi courtesy of - 08/18/10

Image of British artist William Worthington's Painting, "The Druid" courtesy of - 03/19/08

Celtic Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 03/13/08

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2010

Return to NNHS Class of 1965