With now more than 300 million users (almost the same number as people living in the United States), Facebook has become an important part of our society. Friends, college roommates, second cousins, your first love—you can connect to them all on Facebook. Not too long ago, Facebook introduced the option for organizations, bands, and other groups to set up what are considered to be “fan pages;” these are pages that are not for the agency or individual to maintain their circle of friends, but rather for their fans to connect with each other and that of which they are a fan.
With that in mind, we here at Llewellyn set up a fan page for Scott Cunningham a few months back. While Scott passed into the Summerland in 1993, we felt that it was important for all those who were touched by Scott and his writing (millions of pagans the world over) to have a place to connect with each other, and to express their gratitude and respect for such a magnificent individual. We watched this page grow from its infancy to one that is now a hotbed of activity with almost seven hundred fans. People have left many beautiful comments about what Scott meant to them, to their spiritual path, and to the Craft as a whole.
Prior to the 1988 release of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, it was almost expected that if you were going to follow the path of the Witch that you be initiated and join a coven. Wicca changed that, expressing Scott’s view that Wicca should be more open to newcomers so that all could practice this beautiful faith. Cunningham’s classic introduction is about how to live life magically, spiritually, and wholly attuned with nature. It is a book of sense and common sense, not only about magick, but about religion and one of the most critical issues of today: how to achieve the much-needed and wholesome relationship with our Earth. It is due in part to Scott Cunningham and his books that solitary Wicca became such a strong tradition among pagans.
Reader Jane Luchi, posting to the Scott Cunningham Fan Page on Facebook, had this to say:
“I cherish every one of his books that I have so far. It [was] his books that got me moving the correct direction on this wonderful path I'm on now. I hope that one day in my next life or one of my next [lives] our paths are able to cross so I can finally meet him. Scott is very much missed and I think he would be amazed [at] how strong the Wiccan Community in the States has become. Blessed Be.”
Many people can cite the first Scott Cunningham book as being the one that changed their minds, their hearts, and their lives. Often, these were teens or young adults questioning themselves and the world around them, looking for answers. But even for those who discovered the writing of Scott Cunningham later in life, there is no mistaking the admiration and love that these individuals have for him; even those who never had the chance to meet Scott knew him personally through his writing. His books reached across not only decades, but also across the world.
“Un ringraziamento di cuore ad un grande scrittore...grazie scott, con te sono cresciuta nel mio cammino spirituale…i tuoi libri saranno per sempre legati alla mia adolescenza e alla mia voglia di crescere spiritualmente!” (“A thank you from the heart to a great writer…thanks, Scott, with you I grew on my spiritual journey. Your books will be for always connected to my adolescence and to my desire to grow spiritually!”), said Sabina Fiorentini.
If there is one thing that Scott Cunningham did, it was write with passion. He was especially enamored with the earth and all the plants She provides us, and this came through in his books. His love of the Craft was inscribed on those pages for all to read. At the same time, he was a very humble individual, who believed fully in the Three-Fold Law (the belief that whatever you do will come back to you with three times the force). As Kim Susan Legge puts it, “I like the way Scott cut through all the crap…and assumed [that] people had a brain. He is still one of my [favorites].”
“[H]is influence is indescribable. I bought my first of Scott's books in 1984, Magical Herbalism, and was never really the same! My involvement in the Craft waxed and waned over the years through my teens and early twenties, but I have Scott to thank for a perfect, gentle, positive introduction to the energies that have influenced my life in every way! I look so forward to reading the new volume of his previously unpublished work. Brightest blessings always, Scott, may we drink mead together in the Summerlands one day!” said Facebook user Kelly Fisk.
While Scott died more than fifteen years ago, his books remain in print (others, like his recently-discovered manuscript for Cunningham’s Book of Shadows, have been published posthumously). His influence is palpable now, and will remain so well into the future. Just as several decades have now grown into the Craft with Scott’s books being known classics, his books will continue to usher future generations onto their respective pagan paths.
As Glory Vernon so eloquently put it, “We lost him too soon...I am grateful that we are blessed with his books. Scott's pebbles in the lake continue to ripple and affect new generations of seekers and healers. I teach from his books and have two or three copies around of each one most of the time...I have gifted The Truth about Witchcraft Today to many, many people...I buy them 10 at a time. They make a perfect gift to a concerned parent of a searching teen...Bless you, Scott. Thank you for your Light.”
Visit the Scott Cunningham fan page on Facebook to read more inspiring stories, share how his work inspired you, and discuss his great works.