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About Pagan Way Witchcraft in Chicago

by Dianis Lucien

Pagan Way Witchcraft in Chicago, and indeed many Craft and Pagan groups around the country past and present, trace  their origin and  Initiatory descent to the Temple of the Pagan Way in Chicago. In fact, my own first experience of Initiatory Craft was through the Temple of the Pagan Way; and so, with deep affection, I offer this  introduction to the Mother Temple of Pagan  Way Witchcraft in Chicago.

The Temple of the Pagan Way (Uranus)

The Temple of the Pagan Way described itself as an Initiatory Temple, and its goal  as restoring the Temples of Initiation of the ancient  Mysteries. The Temple distinctly understood and described itself as practicing Initiatory Craft. However, there was some ambivalence among the members about using the  words "Witch" and "Witchcraft".

Some of the members  felt the words "Witch" and "Witchcraft" (rather than the shorter form "Craft") carried too much baggage, because of the  negative connotations of the words to the average person, and would therefore be detrimental  to the Temple's goals. In an article published in Vol. 1, Issue 4 of the long-defunct Pagan magazine Earth Religion News in 1974, announcing that the Temple had changed its name from "Temple of the Pagan Way" to "Temple of Uranus", the High Priestess and High Priest wrote:

"We shall remain what we always have been....the  home of an ever-growing and active temple of occultists - pagans, witches, magicians, whatever you may wish to call us."

This official ambivalence toward the words "Witch" and "Witchcraft" (not denial,  but certainly not active espousal except by and as individual Initiates) is reflected in the fact that while some of the Pagan groups  descended from the Temple identify themselves as practicing Wicca, or other forms of  Witchcraft, there are also some that do not.

And this is as it should be, for a Temple whose goal was to restore the ancient Temples of Initiation. For not  all those who worshipped at the ancient Temples were Initiates of  the Mysteries, and so a modern Temple that dedicated itself to reviving the ancient Mysteries gave birth not only to Initiatory Mystery groups, whether Wiccan or otherwise, but  also to many non-Initiatory Pagan groups with  rich traditions of worship and celebration of the Old Gods of Paganism.

For further information about the Temple of the Pagan Way (Uranus), look at:

History of the Temple
Structure and Organization

Contact Information:

The Temple of the Pagan Way (Uranus), and its daughter the Calumet Pagan  Temple, are both no longer in  existence. However, information about groups deriving from them may be found at:The Midwestern U.S. Pagan FAQ in the sections on groups and organizations in the various Chicago-land areas.

You may also return to:

The index of English Traditions of the Craft.
The Beaufort House home page.

written by Dianis Lucien
updated: May 15, 1998
document TPW-TRAD © 1998 Dianis Lucien (D. W. Piper)