Born in New York City, Elizabeth Guerra grew up with a family from varying ethnic and spiritual backgrounds. Her father was born in Puerto Rico, as was her paternal grandmother, who was an Espiritista (Spiritualist) specializing in exorcisms. Her maternal grandmother emigrated to the U.S. from Barbados as a child during the early part of the twentieth century, and her family was very much involved in the Spiritualist movement during and after the Victorian era. Elizabeth’s family experiences on both sides exposed her to the occult sciences from a very early age. Spiritually, in 1989, Guerra discovered Wicca and was initiated into both a traditional group and an eclectic group. In 2000, she received her Third Degree Initiation from Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. Over the years, she has written many articles in local periodicals, has appeared on radio, a local news program, and has been interviewed in two documentaries. For many years, she has studied the ancient sites of Ireland and conducts tours each year. Today her spiritual journey has taken her on a different path and she no longer practices any one religion, considering herself to be simply “spiritual”.
Professionally, Guerra holds a degree in Human Services from Springfield College and is certified in addiction counselling. She is employed as the Northeast Senior Marketing Representative for a well-known alcohol and drug treatment centre. She currently resides in New England. Stewart Farrar: Writer On A Broomstick (soon to be reissued by Skylight Press) is her first major book. For information please see the author’s website.
Well known in pagan and esoteric circles, Clapham born Janet Farrar is a teacher and author of various books on Wicca and Neopaganism. She has become one of the most public faces of Wicca, having appeared as a model for book covers and illustrations in several of the best-read books on the subject. Farrar was initiated into Alexandrian Wicca by the tradition’s founders, Alex and Maxine Sanders, and would go on to become one of “England’s most eminent and respected modern day witches.” (Knowles). It was in that coven she met Stewart Farrar, her future husband and co-author.
The Farrars began running their own coven in 1971, which Janet left a year later to explore Kabbala with a ceremonial magic lodge. After relocating to Ireland with her husband she appeared in multiple illustrations for early books about Wicca, including the cover of the paperback version of Margot Adler’s 1979 classic, Drawing Down the Moon. She also posed for many of the photographs in the 1981 issue of Eight Sabbats for Witches, a work that included material they wrote for the Alexandrian Book of Shadows before leaving to form their own ‘Reformed Alexandrine’ enclave. The Farrars co-authored four books together before being joined by Gavin Bone (see photo above) in 1993 in what has been referred to as a ‘polyfidelitous relationship.’ The three of them co-authored two more books, The Healing Craft and The Pagan Path, before Stewart Farrar’s death in 2000.
Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone have continued to author books, while lecturing around the world. The title of their 2004 book, Progressive Witchcraft (later revised as Inner Mysteries), is the description that the couple prefers for their current religious practice. They have authored some eleven books between them, including The Pagan Path, a study of Paganism worldwide, The Healing Craft, a healer’s workbook for Pagans, The Complete Dictionary of European God and Goddesses, and the recent Progressive Witchcraft. In addition to important work in trance-prophesy, trance-possession and ecstatic ritual and they are very active in certain enclaves of the pagan community, as explained on their website:
We are active members in The Aquarian Tabernacle Church Ireland and have links with several covens in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. We run a progressive coven in Ireland called Coven Na Callaighe, which is part of Teampall Na Callaighe that includes an open worship group.
Skylight Press will be reissuing Stewart Farrar: Writer on a Broomstick (formerly published by R.J. Stewart Books), an important work that commemorates the life and work of Stewart Farrar, a man Ronald Hutton has referred to as “the third and last of the great male figures who have formed Wicca” (after Gardner and Sanders).