Circle Network News
Circle Network News, founded in the early 1980s as a newsletter
serving the then relatively small Neo-Pagan community, has
grown into one of the most stable and largest circulating periodicals
devoted to the concerns of contemporary Wiccans and
Pagans. Now a substantial 32-page tabloid, Circle Network News
originates from Circle Sanctuary, a Wicca center in rural Wisconsin,
and home to Circle, one of the older Wiccan fellowships.
Circle was founded in the 1970s by Selena Fox, the driving
force behind the founding of Circle Sanctuary as a nature
sanctuary retreat and conference center for the use of Pagan
worshippers of every tradition.
Each issue of Circle Network News is built around a single
theme for which articles, comments, and letters are solicited
from the readers. The accumulated articles, which may take up
as much as half the content of the issue, cover all aspects of the
topic from a global perspective and include reflections on mythology
from far corners of the Earth, new rituals that integrate
the theme, and speculations on how the theme related to Goddess
Each issue also features a set of columns of interest. The
‘‘Lady Liberty League Report,’’ for example, carries news of religious
freedom issues that affect Pagans. The Lady Liberty
League arose in the 1980s in response to continuing problems
faced by Pagans, especially the loss of jobs following their boss’s
discovery of their religion, and courts’ refusal to give Pagan
parents custody of their children following a divorce. The
‘‘Pagan World News’’ column keeps readers aware of notable
happenings within the community, especially actions manifesting
the culture’s acceptance of Wiccan practice. The ‘‘Pagan Academic
Corner’’ carries news of a growing community of Pagans
who have acquired advanced degrees in religious studies,
sociology of religion, and related fields, and are focusing their
research on topics of primary interest to Pagans. (The Pagan
community has been unique among new religious communities
that have arisen in the West since World War II for its nurture
of an academically trained intelligencia.)
Networking has been a major objective of the periodical.
Different columns carry notices of Pagan groups around the
country, other Pagan periodicals, and notices of isolated Pagans
seeking pen pals. The second largest segment of each
issue, the ‘‘Magical Market Place,’’ consists of ads of products
and services primarily produced by Pagans for Pagans.
Circle Network News is directed totally to the Pagan community
and makes no attempt to build a more general reading audience,
hence it provides one of the better manifestations of the
world of contemporary Wicca and Paganism. Not a newsstand
periodical, though distributed through some Pagan-oriented
stores, it is available by subscription from Circle Sanctuary,
P.O. Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572. Information about Circle
Network News is also available from the Circle Sanctuary’s website,
Circle Network News. Mt. Horeb, Wis., n.d.
Circle Sanctuary. April 25,