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Between The Worlds
A Spiritual Gathering For Men Who Love Men

Keynotes from previous years
Each year, BtW strives for a keynote speaker

Kirk Thomas - 2017
Kirk Thomas is an Archdruid Emeritus of Ar nDraiocht Fein : A Druid Fellowship (ADF) and an ordained Senior Priest in that religion. He is also the author of, “Sacred Gifts: Reciprocity and the Gods”, available on He holds a Masters degree in Celtic Studies from the University of Wales - Trinity St. David as well as a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts from the University of New Mexico and a Certificate from the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, UK. A resident of Washington State, USA, Kirk co-owns a retreat center and organic farm called Trout Lake Abbey, located at the base of Mt. Adams. He has built an impressive stone circle and Druidic sanctuary there where he plans to open an ADF seminary and intentional community. He spends much of his time traveling for ADF, visiting groves, solitaries and festivals, presenting on various topics and participating in public, group ritual

Orion Foxwood - 2016
Orion Foxwood is a traditional witch, conjure-man and faery seer; and, the author of "The Faery Teachings" (RJ Stewart Books), "The Tree of Enchantment", "The Candle and the Crossroads" and "The Flame in the Cauldron" (Weiser Books). He was born with the veil (the second sight) in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he was first exposed to faith-healing, root-doctoring, faery lore and the second-sight practices of southern and Appalachian culture; and he has continued learning and teaching these spirit-doctoring practices in workshops, intensives and lectures across America and other countries. He is the founder, and primary instructor, in the House of Brigh Faery Seership Institute, where he teaches a multi-year teaching program in the "Tree of Enchantment" lore, practices, traditions and skills. He is a co-founder of Conjure Crossroads (CC), which is a collaboration between five (5) seasoned root-workers and witches focused on preserving and promoting the healing and helping benefits of southern root-work, witchcraft and other folk traditions. CC hosts the annual Folk Magic Festival in New Orleans. He is also a co-founder of Conjure-Craft along with Susan Diamond, which hosts an annual "Meeting of Magical Minds" conference in Santa Cruz, CA and he is a co-founder of the "Witches in the Woods" gathering also in Santa Cruz. He is the Founding Elder of Foxwood Temple, a coven dedicated to passing on the traditional witchcraft of his elders. He holds a Master's Degree in Human Services.

Check out more info on Orion Foxwood:
Orion Foxwood

Michael Nolan - 2015
Michael Nolan is an herbalist, author and professional gardener known as The Garden Rockstar for his irreverent, high energy style. His spiritual connection to the nurturing properties of the plant world is always front-and-center, especially in his work as a food and nutrition educator.

Teaching people about the healing power of herbs and edibles is a life-long avocation, and he has a particular fondness for rebuilding the Earth as a tireless environmental steward through composting food and yard waste. Michael's philosophy is based on a personal and integrated relationship with the Earth and her inhabitants. His practice centers on the knowledge that a truly spiritual being is healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Check out more info on Michael Nolan:
The Garden Rockstar

Gede Parma (Fio) - 2014
For Between the Worlds 2014, our keynote: Gede Parma (Fio) is an initiate of traditional and contemporary Witchcraft and has written threebooks on the subjects of Western Paganism,Witchcraft and Shamanic-Ecstatic Technique. Gede was born in Bali and is of Balinese and Anglo-Irish descent, and grew up in Queensland, Australia where he helped to co-found the WildWood Tradition of Witchcraft. She experienced the phenomenon of shamanic sickness at the age of 13 and shamanic dismemberment at the age of 18. Don't worry – he was rebirthed! Gede is the descendant of healers and seers on both sides of hir ancestry.

Gede experiences hirself as non-gendered or 'genderful' (as you may have noticed) and prefers no particular pronouns. In fact many of ze's beloveds refer to him as 'pudding'. Trans or queer experiences of (non)gender are a sacred thread in the rich tapestry that is shamanism the world over.

Gede spends his time actively promoting conscious engagement with Place and the Planet, teaching and writing about Witchcraft and Magic, and deepening connection with the Many Bright and Cunning Spirits that people this Cosmos. Ze is also a Reclaiming Witch, a modern tradition of the Craft co-founded by several individuals in California, most famously Starhawk, author of The Spiral Dance. Reclaiming does the work of (re)uniting politics with spirituality and is an activist and ecofeminist expression of Witchcraft and Paganism.

Gede is devoted to wonder, awe, connection, reclamation of paradise, erotic theology, beholding beloveds, love, truth and wisdom. You may find Gede's books, writings, classes, and updates at

Alaric Albertsson - 2013
For Between the Worlds 2013, our keynote: Alaric embraced polytheism in the summer of 1971, and has never looked back! Over the past four decades his personal spiritual practice has developed as a synthesis of Anglo-Saxon tradition, country beliefs, herbal studies and rune lore. For Alaric, a reverence for the earth and respect for ancestral and indigenous spirits are fundamental defining qualities of Pagan religion. He is the author of Travels Through Middle Earth, Wyrdworking, and To Walk a Pagan Path.

During the 70's, living in the Ozark mountains, Alaric had the opportunity to talk with rural people with traditional customs - moon lore, weather lore, healing superstitions - passed on for generations. During this time he was also influenced by spiritist traditions. He eventually moved to Kansas City, where he served as Vice President and on the Board of Directors for the Heartland Spiritual Alliance during the 1990's. In 2001, on the day of the winter solstice, Alaric left the Midwest and moved to Pennsylvania, where he currently resides.

Alaric and his partner Scott co-founded the Saxon inhíred Earendel in 2003. Like all inhírdas, Earendel is an extended family and not open to the public, but its members strive to foster a greater public awareness and appreciation of Pagan Saxon traditions in southwestern Pennsylvania. As an author, speaker and drýmann, Alaric himself travels around the United States giving presentations and classes throughout the year. His website is:

Michael Thomas Ford - 2012
For Between the Worlds 2012, our keynote: Michael Thomas Ford is the author of The Path of the Green Man: Gay Men, Wicca, and Living a Magical Life and numerous other books ranging from humor to horror, literary fiction to nonfiction. His work for adult readers includes the best-selling novels What We Remember, Changing Tides, Full Circle, Looking for It and Last Summer, and his five essay collections in the "Trials of My Queer Life" series. His work has been nominated for 11 Lambda Literary Awards, twice winning for Best Humor Book and twice for Best Romance Novel. He was also nominated for a Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award (for his novel The Dollhouse That Time Forgot) and a Gaylactic Spectrum Award (for his short story "Night of the Werepuss"). He maintains a blog at:

Justin Crockett Elzie - 2011
Justin Crockett Elzie is a self-described Renaissance Man: both a writer and actor in New York City. He served fourteen years in the Marine Corps, four of those openly gay. His first book, Playing By the Rules, about his experiences as a gay Marine, was published in November 2010. He continues to write about environmental, political, and civil rights issues, is a blogger for the Queer NYC blog team, and is working on his next book. His website is:

Trebor Healy - 2010
Recipient of the 2004 Ferro-Grumley and Violet Quill awards for his firstnovel, Through It Came Bright Colors (Harrington Park Press), Trebor Healey is also the author of 5 poetry chapbooks and a collection of poems, Sweet Son of Pan, (Suspect Thoughts, 2006), as well as a short story collection, A Perfect Scar & Other Stories (Harrington Park Press, 2007). He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco (Manic D Press, 1994) and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic (Routledge, 2008). His short fiction and poetry were nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. Trebor lives in LA where he is completing his new novel, Faun.

"As for Master Trebor, he is a ring-bearer, a torch carrier, the legitimate bastard son of an endless line of bastard sons howling in the wilderness--dating back through Lorca, Cavafy, Whitman, to Catullus, Strato and beyond. For as long as man is commanded to roam these sacred woods, somewhere, from some lone hilltop, licentious yet austere, this voice will ever be heard to howl. And Trebor is just this wolf. Hear his voice and tremble."

—Gavin Geoffrey Dillard,
author of The Naked Poet

Web Site:

Rich Wandel - 2009
In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, BTW is very proud to welcome Rich Wandel as our keynote speaker. Mr. Wandel is an elder of Gardnerian Wica, a co-leader of New York City’s Polyhymnia Coven, and a former national board member of the Covenant of the Goddess. Rich comes to BTW with over 20 years of experience as a Wiccan Priest, and more than 40 years in the Gay Liberation movement. As the second President of the Gay Activists Alliance, Rich helped to guide the post-Stonewall push for gay rights in New York City. Holder of an MA in History from New York University, he is the founder of the renowned New York LGBT Community Center's National History Archive. His keynote address, Stonewall 40: Living the Myth, will reflect on the legacy of the Stonewall riots, bringing together both the "myths" of our people and a sense of our own priesthood.

Storm Faerywolf - 2008
Storm Faerywolf is a Feri initiate, Witch, mystic, warlock, and priest. He holds the Black Wand, a title that was conferred upon him in a rite by several initiates, including Feri Grandmaster Cora Anderson. He is the holder of his own line of Feri - Bluerose. Storm teaches classes and workshops across the US, and is the editor of Witch Eye: A Journal of Feri Uprising. Information on Storm Faerywolf may be found at

Sparky T. Rabbit - 2007
Sparky T. Rabbit - singer, songwriter, ritual-maker, and gadfly - has created and performed rituals from the mountains of Colorado to the steps of the Supreme couth in Washington DC. He as worked and played with radical faeries, "changing" men and "Iron Johnnies", Witches and Wiccans and Heathens (oh my!), artists of carious stripes, and bears of many shapes and sizes. To keep folks on their toes, he and his friends have been stirring the cauldron on a regular basis, both at festivals and in local Pagan communities.

He has been writing songs and chants for decades. In the early 90's, he and his singing partner Greg Johnson released two albums of seminal Pagan music as the a cappella duo Lunacy. Sparky and his work have appeared in numerous publications, including Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler, The pagan Book of Living and Dying by Starhawk and M. Macha NightMare, Never Again the Burning Times by Loretta Orion, and Witchcraft Today edited by Chas H. Clifton. He also knows a thing or two about consensus process.

For the last nine years, he has been exploring the religious heritage of his Swedish and German ancestors. Known among Heathens by his family name Bruner Soderberg, he is Freyr's friend.

Ron Long - 2006
Ron Long is an established international voice in the study of homosexuality and religion.

He is a graduate with High Honors in Religion from Kenyon College, Gambier, OH. After graduation, he studied philosophy as a Fulbright Scholar at Alberts-Magnus University, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, in what was in 1968 "West" Germany. He holds both master's degrees and a doctorate in the study of religion from Columbia University, NY.

Ron has taught at both Vassar College and Columbia. He currently teaches as part of the full time faculty in the Program in Religion, Hunter College, City University of New York. As part of the offerings there, he teaches courses in dualistic traditions, in contemporary theology, and in the theory of religion. His primary offerings, however, are cross-cultural studies on such themes as death, the erotic, the environment, and--of course--homosexuality in religious perspective.

He has been for many years a member and erst-while co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Gay Men's Issues in Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion, and his published writings are all focused on spiritual issues of gay men. He is published on both sides of the pond, in both German and English. His essays and reviews have appeared in such publications as the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review, The Journal of Men's Studies, and Theology and Sexuality. Most are soundings of the ethico-religious commitments at the heart of gay secularity. His 2004 release from Haworth Press, Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods, is a study of homosexuality and masculinity in the thought and practice of a representative sampling of the religious traditions of the world. Most recently, he has been interviewed by Toby Johnson for the White Crane Journal.

Although his academic teaching career at the university level spans almost thirty years, for those years he was but an adjunct he also worked as a professional trainer in a gym and a professional ballet dancer, performing with such companies as Pittsbugh Ballet and New York City Opera Ballet. Of the latter, he laughing quips, "When Beverly Sills and I performed together in the same production, we always got a standing ovation!

"Ron's keynote address entitled "Finding Our Place" will discuss what the history of gay people in religion tells us about who we are as men who love men.

Toby Johnson - 2005
Toby Johnson, PhD is past editor of White CraneJournal and author of eight books. three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of Joseph Campbell, his teacher and the "wise old man" of his personal journey, to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualties and the mystical experience of homosexuality. Former Catholic monk turned comparative religion scholar, San Francisco hippie, gay psychotherapist, community organizer, writer, gay bookstore operator, B&B host, Johnson was one of the regular presenters at the Texas-based Shaman's Circles in the 1990s, and one of the organizers of the 2004 Gay Spirituality Summit. Since 1984, he and Kip Dollar have been partners in life and in business and champions of long-term gay relationships. They were the first male couple registered as domestic partners in the state of Texas. Toby Johnson's current book is provocatively titled GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us About the Nature of God and the Universe. He is especially fascinated by the Buddhist myth of the androgynous Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, which can be interpreted to describe the central "Self" of the universe, residing in each and every sentient being, as a sweet, sensitive, attractive young gay man.

Christopher Penczak - 2004
Christopher Penczak, author of Gay Witchcraftand Outer Temple of Witchcraftwill present the keynote address at Between the Worlds 2004. Christopher will also be presenting workshops, giving readings and signing books.

SilverDrake Fey - 2003
Drake Spaeth, PsyD (aka SilverDrake Fey) is a clinical psychologist, shamanic practitioner, and writer. As a former active-duty Air Force officer, he also serves as Circle Sanctuary's military members support minister. He has served as a consultant for the Armed Forces about issues pertinent to Paganism and engaged in interfaith dialogue work with military chaplains of different religious traditions. In addition to conventional training as a psychologist, he has also received training from Michael Harner's Foundation for Shamanic Studies and regularly performs soul retrieval work and other types of shamanic healing. He has been trained by Dr. Erika Fromm in hypnotherapy and Dr. Brian Weiss in past-life regression techniques. He has led many pathworkings, inner journeys, and visualizations centering around Celtic and Teutonic archetypal imagery. He has presented training workshops in divination, counseling techniques, crisis intervention, and the role of spiritual crisis in mental illness. For the past nine years, he has helped to coordinate Psyche's Grotto, a center for peer counseling and grounding/centering at the annual Pagan Spirit Gathering. His interests include analytical (Jungian) psychology, Celtic and Faery shamanism, Taoism, Kundalini Yoga, and the Western Mystery Tradition. Dr. Spaeth is the founder of Hermetic Journeys, an organization dedicated to masculine spiritual issues and spiritual growth. A frequent contributor to Circle Magazine, he is currently working on a book series presenting Jungian and shamanic perspectives on mental illness, derived from several ideas presented in his doctoral dissertation.