Born: 9th February, 1967 in Ottawa, ON
Residence: Oakville, ON
Life and Times
Ben Gruagach is an eclectic Wiccan practitioner who has been active in this spiritual path since the early 1980s. He has worked as a solitary and with a number of different Wiccan groups in both Canada and the United States. His most recent groups are the Willow Moon coven, an egalitarian eclectic Wiccan coven based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and the Oak Moon coven based in Oakville, Ontario Canada. Ben lives in Oakville with his same-sex spouse, two sons, a rather demanding geriatric feline named Bub, and a feisty young dog named Paques.
His Wiccan philosophy is based largely on the work of Doreen Valiente, Stewart and Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, Ray Buckland, Raven Grimassi, Fred Lamond, Sybil Leek, and Scott Cunningham. He also draws from the work of Starhawk, Victor and Cora Anderson, Paul Huson, Jean Houston, Lupa, Taylor Ellwood, Jan Fries, the Cultus Sabbati, and Mike Howard. He considers Brian Froud to be a true artistic visionary.
Ben sees Wicca as an Earth-revering magickal religion based on the idea of balance, worship of both a Goddess and God, celebration of the eight annual sabbats and monthly phases of the moon, and the idea of deity as immanent as well as transcendent. His personal ethics are guided by the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what you will," and the Principles of Wiccan Belief. He considers the Charge of the Goddess to be the closest thing Wiccans have to a universal holy text.
Above all, Ben sees the diversity within Wicca and the Pagan community to be our most valuable strength. Diversity is the Way of Nature!
Ben has had articles published regularly in Circle Magazine as well as a number of online periodicals such as the MysticWicks.com Magazine, the ecauldron.com newsletter, and the Northumberland Mystical Gatherings newsletter. He has also been an active participant in online Pagan forums since the pre-internet days of PODSNet, and has essays appearing at Witchvox.com, Sacred-Texts.com, and on his own website, WitchGrotto.com. He was interviewed for a Lance and Graal podcast on the topic of fundamentalism within Wicca, and for the article "Be-Witched" by Tyler Steele in the US gay lifestyle magazine Instinct.
Ben is the author of an intermediate-to-advanced Wiccan book, "The Wiccan Mystic," (Chapters.ca) as well as a collection of Pagan-themed crossword and word search puzzles, "Pagan Puzzles,"(Chapters.ca). When he's not writing he likes to spend his spare time reading, taking photos, and watching sci-fi and fantasy movies.
On the Web
- Ben's website WitchGrotto.com
- Ben is a forum guide in the Books, History, and Wicca sections at MysticWicks.com
- http://www.librarything.com/home/bgruagach to see a list of Pagan and occult books Ben has in his personal collection