ShelleyRabinovitchShelley TSivia Rabinovitch, PhD

Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec
: Ottawa, Ontario

Life and Times

Shelley Rabinovitch holds a PhD from the University of Ottawa in Religious Studies, and is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on ritual studies, the role of women in religion, and alternative spiritualities. Her MA at Carleton University was Canada's first ethnographic study of Canadian witches, Wiccans, and Pagans from coast to coast to coast. Dr. Rabinovitch teaches (among other courses) a class on "Magic, Witchcraft, and Occult Phenomenon" at the University of Ottawa, where approximately 1,000 students become her academic "initiates" yearly. She has been a past guest of honour at Gaia Gathering, Canada's National Pagan Conference.

Shelley has written two books on Neo-Paganism and Wicca: The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism (with James Lewis). New York, Citadel Press, (paperback edition 2004; hardback edition 2002), and 'An Ye Harm None': Magical Ethics and Modern Morality (with Meredith Macdonald), Citadel Press, 2002. As well, she has chapters in: The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, James R. Lewis (ed.), and in Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, (James R. Lewis, ed.). Her academic articles on paganism include: 2004,"We're Not Them: Antipathy Between Modern Neo-Pagans and the New Age", Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies (ASANAS) academic journal, V. 1, #2 (United Kingdom); and 2000, "Heal the Universe, Heal the Self: Bateson's Double Bind and North American Wiccan Practice", Diskus V. 6, 2000, article #58.

Anahita-Gula is the public Craft name of a woman who looks suspiciously like Shelley, and who has published literally dozens of articles on Wicca and Neo-Pagan practice since the 1980s in British, American, and Canadian publications including the much-lamented Hecate's Loom. A-G has penned numerous prayer-songs and poems over the years as well occasionally teaching and/or performing them to audiences from Starwood to the National Pagan Conference. She first joined a coven in the early 1970s.

Anahita-Gula is a Dianic initiate, Alexandrian first degree, and Gardnerian third degree (with a daughter-coven in the USA). She is currently the member of a coven from the south of England, a place she does not visit NEARLY frequently enough. She was fortunate enough to have spent time with Doreen Valiente in her waning years (again, not nearly enough time), and is said to do a not-bad imitation of the Grand Lady, particularly when describing peanut-butter-and-watercress sandwiches. Many years previously, she was lucky enough to spend time while visiting B.C. with Robin Skelton and Jean Kozacari, discussing both their early years as pagans and what they thought was important about being a witch. She still treasures a "sleep stone" given to her by Robin as an aide to slumbering on overnight buses while traveling across the country on her MA trek. A-G is a somewhat reclusive pagan although there are periodic reports of sightings in the Montreal to Toronto corridor now and again…

Published Works

On the Web

Biographical information provided by Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch