Home > Episcopal Labyrinths, Occult, Wisteria-Ohio > Wisteria, Ohio – Part I – Introduction & Background

Wisteria, Ohio – Part I – Introduction & Background

12 October 2009

Today we begin trundling down a circuitous path in its own right, one I discovered whilst doing research on Episcopal labyrinths.  It seems that our diocese has within its geographical boundaries, a place set aside for people who practice the occult.  I am not writing this series to get in the faces of the pagans who inhabit this place;  rather, I am writing because it is apparent to me that many Christians (and I am preaching to myself here as well) have been naive about this place, their practices, and our own practices, for far too long.  The series is an attempt to rectify that shortfall. 

Wistoria, Ohio entered onto my radar screen recently, while I was reading an article by one Carl Teichrib.  Teichrib is an interesting character who apparently runs his own think-tank, and supports himself and his family from subscriptions to his site.  I suspect that Carl is a kindred spirit, and that we will be spending some time looking through some of his articles on this blog.  If I am lucky, I may even correspond with the gentleman at some point.

Apparently, Wisteria is the venue for a well-attended pagan gathering.  Teichrib writes,

“..one of America’s largest witch, shaman, and neo-pagan assemblies, the 2005 Pagan Spirit Gathering at Wisteria, OH, held a night-time Summer Solstice Labyrinth ritual, which was described as a “transformative, walking meditation through an all night labyrinth formed by 1000 lighted candles.”  “

Teichrib is in fact, pulling his punches a bit.  This blog e.g., reports several occult events in Wisteria from 1997 until 2005.  One pagan website even made note of a series of visits by television media during the 2004 Wisteria event.

So where exactly, and more importantly -what- exactly, is Wisteria, Ohio?   

Well, Wisteria does not appear on recent US Census records.  Here is some data (population estimates, for the year 2005), regarding small Ohio towns:   Brice Village (80);  Elgin Village (49);  Holiday City Village (48);  Miltonsburg Village (28);  New Bavarian Village (78);  New Rome Village (58);  Rendville Village (48);   Johnstown Village;  which I assume is the Johnstown immediately NorthEast of Columbus (and geographically closest to Wisteria OH), is estimated to have 3,883 residents as of 2005. 

It seems that if there is as little as 28 people in the same place who want to be a town, they can do so.  The residents of the Wisteria community seem to want a bit more privacy. 

My best answer to what Wistoria, from a civic point of view, is:  more than a glorified campground;  less than a particularized municipality.  The Wisteria website puts it this way –

“Our residential area is home for Wisterian families. We are developing a model for cooperative stewardship of common ground. To learn to live in harmony with the natural world, we seek to cultivate ways of life in which we can beautifully and safely thrive.
Wisteria is near the city of Athens and the Ohio River. As an intentional community we are organized as a land development and stewardship corporation. Decisions are made at monthly meetings, by a super majority of 75%, but we always attempt to meet everyone’s needs in our decisions. All members are shareholders who elect a Board of Directors. Members are organized by households. There are currently 14 households. Each household owns and votes shares of our privately held corporation. Wisteria is not your everyday corporation, it is much more… “ ..
..We’ll explore the “much more,” aspects, in future installments.  Unfortunately, I cannot explore everything on this one, and present it, all at once.  It’s too big to do that, and frankly, I find the subject matter wearisome. 
– Elder
  1. 7 November 2009 at 6:46 AM

    Hello Elder Oyster,

    Every once in a while I google my name just to see where it might pop up, and I noticed it in this blog posting on Wisteria. I also took note that you may be interested in corresponding, something I’d be more than happy to do.

    I’m including my web-based email in the contact box above. If you use it, the email will be routed to my webmaster, then in a day or two it will be forwarded on to myself (depending on how busy my webmaster is). After that, I can reply to you through my personal account. The reason for this end-run is simple: I’m not sure how private your blog comment space is (many aren’t), and I’m not too keen on my personal email being out in the open.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!
    Carl Teichrib

    P.S. you have some important articles on your site – we certainly are living in challenging times.

  2. Elder Oyster
    7 November 2009 at 2:26 PM

    Hi Carl,

    I am honored.

    No worries about wanting to keep your email private. I think WordPress is set up such that I am the only person who sees it, and it is kept private from visitors to the blog.

    Yes, we certainly do live in challenging times.

    Yours in Him,
    – Elder

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