Pagan Studies

Steel is tested and shaped on the anvil. Here, we try every Pagan idea on the anvil of history, hammered by insight and intellect, to forge a Pagan Future.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Pantheon Foundation: building 21st Century Pagan infrastructure

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

When talk is not enough, it is time to build.

This month, with the Claremont Conference on Contemporary Paganism and PantheaCon, I’m taking the month off from my regular blog post to announce the formation of a new Pagan service organization: the Pantheon Foundation.

We are a California non-profit religious corporation applying for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. Our mission is to provide IRS group exemptions for Pagan organizations through fiscal sponsorship, develop Pagan ministry, study the history, promote the culture, and advance the social welfare of Pagans and the Pagan community.

If you will be at PantheaCon, come to our launch reception, Saturday night at 9pm in Suite 1060.

You can find us on-line at and on FaceBook, Twitter and Google +.

Fiscal Sponsorship

The Pantheon Foundation will provide fiscal sponsorship for Pagan organizations, enabling them to have bank accounts, lease meeting space, procure insurance, and receive bequests and donations, as well as have access to legal and accounting services.


The Pantheon Foundation will advance the study of Pagan history, culture and religious practice, through funding and administering scholarships and research grants, sponsoring conferences and creating educational facilities. For example we plan to offer scholarships to 2nd year or later Master of Divinity students at accredited seminaries awarded on the basis of an essay on the nature of Paganism and Pagan ministry. We will offer research grants to scholars to produce works on Pagan religion, culture, and policy.  Also, the Pantheon Foundation sponsors conferences of religious, scholarly, and cultural leaders to share their work, their art and to worship. Likewise we will create educational facilities to advance Pagan religion, scholarship and culture.

Media & Publishing

The Pantheon Foundation will establish new and support existing Pagan media outlets. We will assist them with fundraising campaigns, developing organizational capacity, and see to their accounting and legal needs. We will also seek to advance Pagan journalistic quality. One such important Pagan media outlet which we plan to support is The Wild Hunt news blog. The Foundation will also publish works generated by grant-receiving scholars and other supported research projects or other documents of interest to the Pagan community, such as the many ancient untranslated Pagan texts.


In addition to educational conferences, the Pantheon Foundation will sponsor religious observances and cultural festivals, and such other events as support of the Foundation’s religious, educational, cultural, and social welfare mission.

Social Justice Advocacy

The Pantheon Foundation will engage in social justice advocacy similar to the Lady Liberty Headstone Project which lobbied the Veterans Administration so that Pagan Military Dead could be buried with headstones marked with Pagan religious symbols. The Foundation will also provide relief and legal services to Pagans facing discrimination by the State and in the Justice system. One example of this kind of work is the case of the Maetreum of Cybele, a monastic Pagan community in Catskill, New York, that was seeking religious property tax exemptions and faced discrimination.

Social Welfare

The Pantheon Foundation will support the social welfare needs of Pagans by establishing resources and facilities to care for Pagan ill and elderly. One such planned project of the Foundation is the Tara Webster Memorial Hospice & Care Fund, which will collect and provide funding to caregivers serving the invalid and dying in the Pagan community in need of hospice care or in home support due to medical needs.

The work is just beginning.

Last modified on
Sam Webster is a Pagan Mage, one of the very few who is also a Master of Divinity, and is also currently a Doctoral candidate in History at the University of Bristol, UK, under Prof. Ronald Hutton. He is an initiate of Wiccan, Druidic, Buddhist, Hindu and Masonic traditions and an Adept of the Golden Dawn founding the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn  in 2001. His work has been published in a number of journals such as Green Egg and Gnosis, and 2010 saw his first book, Tantric Thelema, establishing the publishing house Concrescent Press. Sam lives in the San Francisco East Bay and serves the Pagan community principally as a priest of Hermes.


  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 12 February 2014

    That sounds like you are off to a good start. I wish you well and hope you can avoid the pitfalls that have alienated many pagans from some previous attempts at forming an umbrella pagan organization. Blessings.

  • Sam Webster
    Sam Webster Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    Hi Graybeard, thanks for your comment.
    Since it is worthwhile to know our challenges if we hope to succeed, I would very much appreciate you enumerating the pitfalls you see. Having been around a while, I have some idea, but your insight would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    Hi Sam. Looking at your web materials the initial organization appears to be very heavily focused on CA/Bay Area leadership and meetings to be a national group in scope. Perhaps that is understandable because every group has to begin somewhere. I won't point fingers at any prior group that made enemies as often as friends, but since you've been around a while you undoubtedly could name some. I tend to be cautious of pagan groups that devolve into political agenda activist groups rather than religious organizations. I have also seen too much of "Our way or the highway" kind of organizations. Last year's VP (and respected pagan author) should not end up on this year's "enemies" list. That's how "consensus" always fails.

    I do wish you well. May your fledgling organization become a model of success and well respected by all Pagans.

  • Sam Webster
    Sam Webster Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    Thanks, Graybeard. Yes, most of us are Bay Area and Jason of The Wild Hunt is in Eugene Oregon, but that aside, you are right on both counts. We are starting with those we know and spreading out from there. Got to start somewhere and reputation in both directions counts. We hope to earn the national community's trust and expand over time.
    And as we are primarily a religious organization, the social justice activism can be no more than 20% of our budget by law, but we wanted the ability to help in projects like we cite. But internal Pagan politics, that will have to be a matter of wisdom and professional behavior. Ever a challenge, but that is the aspiration.
    Thanks for your insight!

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    So, Sam. Does that mean you are starting out by excluding all the pagans who have different views on so-called "social justice" agendas? Gerald Gardner was a career colonialist and political conservative. Would he and those like him find a place in your social justice advocacy organization? I'm trying to understand where you are going with this. Not all pagans share lock step opinions on political and social issues. The Bay Area has a reputation for some pretty radical stuff.

  • Sam Webster
    Sam Webster Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    Not sure what you mean, Graybeard. One person's radical is another's passe. However our goal is to help with specifically Pagan religious issues, like the two cited above.

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    I hope it works out Sam. May the Lord and Lady guide your path.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information