Panegyria: 30 Years ago this Month

Heading of the first Panegyria issue

Pete DavisFor thirty years, Panegyria has aimed at connecting the Pagan communities and individuals in the greater Seattle area. During the early 80’s the scene was filled with a disjointed community consisting of small groups, and scantily published newsletters. Pete “Pathfinder” Davis saw a need for a more comprehensive publication to showcase and bring together the voice of the Seattle-area Pagan community.

On a warm, summer-like evening in 1983, the soon to be founders of Panegyria, Pete Pathfinder, Thia and Althea Whitebirch, stood on Lord Hill just outside of Monroe. As they stood in Thia’s backyard around a hand-dug well, they asked guidance from the Goddess on whether or not they should create a publication. When trying to bring together a community, it can sometimes backfire on you. They were concerned about just such a backlash.

Pete, Thia and Althea came away with the feeling that creating the publication was what Goddess wanted. From that point of origin and into the present, Panegyria has succeeded in bring the the community together through news, voice and fellowship.

Panegyria Pan“It wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has if it didn’t make a difference,” Pete says as he rests after a long career; looking back at the fruits of his journalistic labors.

Panegyria gave those in the Northwestern United States a chance to feel like they were a part of a community. Their work was published, appreciated and respected. Other publications that did not have the resources to stay afloat found a new medium to continue having their voice heard. Many different newsletters found their lives extended through the pages of Panegyria. It also provided a means for people to learn about Wicca and the Aquarian Tabernacle Church without having to search high and low for material – it was all in one convenient place.

From these humble beginnings beneath the twilight of the Pacific Northwestern skies, a dream was formed around the ear of the Goddess. The prayers of our founders traveled through the blessed waters of the Mother, and delivered to her their sacred message: “By thy will so mote it be.”

It is because of her answer that Panegyria has, for 30 years, continued to bring you articles of note, subjects of a sometimes controversial nature, rituals, event reviews, editorials, news of new groups forming, the passing of esteemed loved ones, graduation notices and everything in between to help seekers receive the sacred words the Goddess has laid out for them.  It has been 30 years as of this month that Panegyria has continued to bring knowledge and togetherness to the Pagan community in the Pacific Northwest and abroad. Follow us through the rest of the month to find out who made it that way, what labors of love were put into it and where the future leadership sees Panegyria going in the next 30 years.


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