Isaac Bonewits (Born October 1, 1949 in Royal Oak, MI, Died August 12th, 2010 in Pomona, NY) was an influential member of the America Pagan community and the co-founder (with Shenain Bell) and Archdruid Emeritus of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship and the Aquarian Anti-Defamation League, which was devoted to protecting the interests of members of minority religions. One of the elders of the Pagan community, he has been a spokesman for the community with journalists and law enforcement. He was the first person to graduate from a Western educational institution with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Magic and Thaumaturgy which he did through UC Berkeley’s individual group study program in 1970.
Bonewits was a long-time proponent of the establishment of official Pagan seminaries and full time paid Pagan clergy. The latter idea is not popular with the Pagan community at large and earned him much derision for trying to be a “professional Pagan” and expecting the community to “pay his bills for him”, though this attitude now seems to be changing.
Isaac Bonewits succumbed to cancer in August 2010.
One of his notable contributions to our community is the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame which is an invaluable tool for new Pagans, witches and occultists when considering new or continuing membership to questionable organizations within (and without) the community.
He was the author of several books
(These are Amazon Affiliate links)
- Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic
- Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism
- Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work
- The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters, and Drummers
- Authentic Thaumaturgy
- Rites of Worship: A Neopagan Approach
He has co-authored:
- Real Energy: Systems, Spirits, And Substances to Heal, Change, And Grow with Phaedra-Bonewits
- Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca
- Mysteries of Druidry with Brendan Cathbad Myers
- The Study of Witchcraft: A Guidebook to Advanced Wicca with Deborah Lipp
- Essential Asatru: Walking the Path of Norse Paganism with Diana L. Paxson
And has contributed to
More information at http://www.neopagan.net
Accusations of Sexual Misconduct
Accusations of sexual abuse by Mr. Bonewits surfaced in 2017 in the book The Last Closet; the Dark Side of Avalon written by Moira Greyland in 2017. The accusations concerned sexual acts with the author when she was only 6-years old and acts with another, unnamed child of the same age in the early 1970s. A formal comment was issued by ADF and family members also commented expressing shock and disbelief. Read more about this at The Wild Hunt.