Carl L. Weschcke

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"Carl L. Weschcke, dubbed the “Father of the New Age,” is the Chair of Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., a leading publisher in the new Age movement, and founder of Gnosticon and the Gnostica School for Self-Development, which established the Twin Cities as a major center for New Age thought. A lifelong student of a broad range of metaphysical, spiritual, and psychological subjects, Weschcke devotes much of his time to the study of quantum theory, kabbalah, self-hypnosis, and psychology." [1]

"Weschcke traces his interest in metaphysics to his grandfather, a theosophist whose books he began reading at an early age." [1]

Carl notes:

"I was interested in becoming clairvoyant, and hoped that there was a way that was more appealing than the life-long yogic practices described in my grandfather’s books. Wearing a blindfold didn’t do a thing, however, and I went on to work with candles with better success.

"In 1949, Gerald Gardner, writing as “Scire. O.T.O. 4 = 7,” published his novel High Magic’s Aid in which he describes the initiation of a Witch in a manner now familiar to many of us. He describes the old Gods of Love and Laughter and Peace and Content, and the dread lords of the Outer Spaces, and the passwords, “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.”

"Reading Gerald’s book, I finally felt at home. I bought more of Gardner’s books and even wrote to him — and he kindly answered me. In our correspondence I asked him what he knew about the ‘perverse’ Witch’s Cradle. He responded that he knew about it and sensory deprivation for clairvoyance and out-of-body travel, but there was nothing perverse about it. He went on to say that he couldn’t tell me more because of his oaths, but that he could refer me to others that could. Thus I encountered several more British correspondents.

"At this same time, I was studying everything Crowley and Dion Fortune wrote, and was a mail order student of the Society of the Inner Light, through which I later met Gareth Knight. Most of my work was Kabalistic, but also very diverse: I devoured the books of Manly Hall, Rudolf Steiner, Blavatsky, Besant, Leadbeater, and others. I was also a mail-order student of AMORC Rosicrucians.

"It wasn’t until, decades later, when I published Ray Buckland and Lady Sheba, that I came back to Witchcraft. I was initiated by Lady Sheba along with several others who became our coveners.

"Later, under my direction, Llewellyn sponsored the Gnosticon Festivals, which included public Wiccan ceremonies (including my handfasting) and we attracted Wiccans from the Twin Cities, Chicago, Madison and Cincinnati. Wicca was becoming more well-known, and I did a half-hour documentary for local television and responded to numerous requests for radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews. There was a lot of that public “service” work, and it eventually became too much to handle along with business and family, so I declined further invitations and requests: by then many other groups were organizing to give Wicca a positive public face, and I concentrated on the business side of publishing for the Pagan community...

"I never gave up the dream of being a publisher and when, in 1959, I saw a classified advertisement offering a small astrological publishing company for sale, I responded. The original owner, George Llewellyn, had run the business for over fifty years and passed away in 1954. " [2]

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References

  1. startribune A supernatural plan, organizational web page, accessed June 15, 2014.