Isaac Bonewits

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Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits (October 1, 1949 – August 12, 2010[1]) was an influential American Druid who published a number of books on the subject of Neopaganism and magic. He was also a liturgist, singer and songwriter, and founded the Druidic organisation Ár nDraíocht Féin, as well as the Neopagan civil rights group, the Aquarian Anti-Defamation League. Born in Royal Oak, Michigan, Bonewits had been heavily involved in occultism since the 1960s, prior to his passing in 2010.


Personal life

Bonewits was born in 1949 in Royal Oak, Michigan as the fourth of five children; his mother and father were Roman Catholics. Spending much of his childhood in Ferndale, he was moved at age 12 to San Clemente, California, where he spent a short time in a Catholic high school before he went back to public school to graduate from high school a year early. He enrolled at UC Berkeley in 1966; he graduated from the university in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in Magic,[2] becoming the first and only person to have ever received any kind of degree in Magic from an accredited university.[3]

Bonewits was married five times. He was married to Rusty Elliot from 1973-1976. His second wife was Selene Kumin Vega, followed by marriage to Sally Eaton (1980–1985). His fourth wife was author Deborah Lipp from 1988–1998. On July 23, 2004 he was married in a handfasting ceremony to a former vice-president of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Phaedra Heyman Bonewits. At the time of the handfasting, the marriage was not yet legal because he had not yet been legally divorced from Ms. Lipp, although they had been separated for several years. Paperwork and legalities caught up on December 31, 2007 making them legally married.[4] Bonewits had one child, Arthur Shaffrey Lipp-Bonewits (born 1990), from his marriage to Lipp.

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