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Pagan Leadership Institute Presenters

Rev. Selena Fox (she/her) Selena Fox is Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary and among the founders of Pagan Spirit Gathering. Selena is a teacher, ritualist, writer, chant-crafter, podcaster, chaplaincy administrator, interfaith networker, life passages guide, and spiritual psychotherapist. Selena has a MS in counseling and does consultations, readings, and counseling by zoom and telephone with clients of many paths and places. Selena hosts a monthly podcast, Circle of Nature, and presents workshops and rituals via in person and virtual gatherings across the USA and internationally. She is author of Goddess Communion and other works, and also shares some of her rituals, meditations, chants, photos, and other creations through social media.  Selena is a Pagan civil rights and religious freedom activist and is Executive Director of Lady Liberty League. Selena is an environmentalist and founder of Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve and its Circle Cemetery, a national Pagan burying ground and one of the first Green cemeteries in North America. Selena has been active in interfaith and social justice endeavors since the 1960s and serves on the national Faith Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and on the Board of Wisconsin Faith Voices of Justice. Selena is founder of the Circle Craft tradition which blends together ancient and contemporary Pagan folkways, multicultural Animism, HedgeWitchery, and Nature Spirituality.

Chip Brown (he/him) is a retired attorney and historian. He has served and continues to serve Circle Sanctuary as legal advisor on church and cemetery matters, having assisted with establishing the formal county and state registered and regulated Circle Sanctuary Green Cemetery in 2010. Chip has been an administrator and special issues director for the PSG for 25 years. He has been affiliated with Circle Cemetery sunce 1982. Chip practices his spiritual path within the Circle Nature Religion umbrella. Chip's spiritual beliefs and practices include not only elements of his ancestral Delaware Indian religion, but also religious elements of his Celtic, Nordic and Roman Pagan ancestors. Chip incorporates modern and ancient techniques for transformation and healing work in his practice. He lives off-grid in NW New Mexico, within the traditional lands of the Navajo, Puebloan and Apache peoples with his wife, where they are building a home and farm, producing food for their local community, and working with the Navajo Nation to implement food sovereignty programs and principles into the Navajo Nation Code

Rev. Eldritch (he/him) is a minister with Circle Sanctuary and lives near Washington, DC. Eldritch is also a Radical Faerie, a Priestx of Stone Circle Wicca and coordinator of the LGBTQ Interfaith group "Center Faith.” Eldritch has 30 years of experience in event planning, public relations, and community organizing in LGBTQ and Pagan communities. In his professional life he holds a masters degree that includes teaching the dynamics of group identity, sociolinguistics, and cross-cultural relations. He retired from program management work in the federal government after three decades at the Temple of Minerva (The Library of Congress). Eldritch writes music, liturgy and rituals that inspire community cohesion

Rev. Jewels (she/her) grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, enjoying the magick of the land before transplanting to Indiana. She is the mother of two young adults as well as a rescue dog and a plethora of cats. She loves working with her home tribe in Fort Wayne, Three Rivers Pagans, as well as the greater Pagan community, and is an ordained minister with Circle Sanctuary where her passion is Pagan academia and shadow work. She is the local co-coordinator of Fort Wayne Pagan Pride, now in its 9th year. If you don’t find her behind her computer working on research or working on her next fiber art project, she’s probably out in her community garden. She’s been out of the broom closet officially since 2009 but has always talked to the God and Goddess in nature around her.

Rev. Jake (they/them) holds an MDiv in Urban Ministry and has provided spiritual care and leadership for over 30 years. Their work also includes developing vanguard harm reduction services for people experiencing homelessness and/or involved in sex trading, managing a residential treatment unit, chaplaincy in a psychiatric hospital, providing training on a wide array of cultural competency and evidence-based practice topics, and direct public action on a wide range of justice issues. They are an earnest student of Nonviolent Communication, a Certified Naturalist, and an avid devotee of vegan nutritional and homeopathic / naturopathic healing. They founded and co-coordinate the Social Justice Center, the Magenta Luncheon, and several other programs at PSG, and serve on the MTP Coordinating team.

Rev. Minerva (she/her) is the Admissions Coordinator, PracticumCoordinator, and Portfolio Coordinator for Circle Sanctuary’s Ministry Training Program (MTP). She was ordained in 2019 after completing the MTP herself. She teaches, occasionally, and serves as a mentor when called upon to do so. She is dedicated to the continual improvement of the program and to the success of MTP Students.

Minerva is also the Assistant Director Circle’s Lady Liberty League. LLL is a group of volunteers who assist Pagans in handling situations when their constitutional right to practice their faith has been violated. Minerva has been working with LLL for nine years. 

In addition to the above, Rev. Minerva serves the Circle community in other ways. She has coordinated events at Circle. She was an area (gate) coordinator at the Pagan Spirit Gathering for 12 years. She was a volunteer team lead for cemetery work at Circle’s green cemetery. Rev. Minerva participates in interfaith work offering a Pagan voice to others at faith-based events.

Minerva has a strong sense of social responsibility. In addition to being dedicated to the Circle community, she is involved in public service to her city. She served in her city council for five years and now serves as mayor of the municipality. Rev. Minerva retired from Federal service in 2012 and from her private law practice years before that. She has earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science; a Master’s of Global Leadership and Organizational Development; and a Juris Doctor. Spiritually, Minerva identifies as a Threshold Witch who practices in the liminal times and spaces of life.

Rev. River Higginbotham (he/him) connects and brings passionate concern for pagan community into the world in many ways. He is passionate about ritual, particularly embodied and ecstatic forms – using voice, chant, movement. River helped start and sustain the St. Louis Pagan Picnic, he is the co-author, along with Joyce Higginbotham, of several books on Paganism. As a Circle Minister since 2018 he is a leader of the CS Ministry Training Program and has been part of the CS delegation to Parliament of the World’s religions since 2009.

Becky Malke (she/her) is from Madison, Wisconsin and has been a lifespan religious educator for nearly 20 years. Her philosophy is that parents and guardians are the primary religious educators for their children. She has been Wiccan for 27 years and is currently in Circle Sanctuary's Ministry Training Program.

Dennis D. Carpenter, Ph.D. (he/him) is Professor Emeritus of Psychology, author, photographer, environmentalist, meditation teacher, and Circle Sanctuary Minister. He assists with the administration of Circle Sanctuary, its community, publications, land, and cemetery. His current interests and activities include Ecopsychology, Nature Spirituality, Yoga, Pilates, Cardio Interval Training, Nature Mindfulness, and Meditation. He presents workshops in person and online about the health and wellness benefits of experiences in Nature and the potential of such experiences to strengthen ecological awareness and activism.

Rev. Sharon Stewart (she/her) is a Circle Sanctuary Minister with a passion for educating people on their End-of-Life Options.  She is a long-time Certified Death Midwife and Hospice Volunteer, a Certified End-of-Life Practitioner, NODA (No One Dies Alone) trained, a Green Burial and Home Funeral Advocate, member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, as well as a Reiki Master Teacher.  She also serves on Circle Sanctuary’s Green Cemetery Board.   Sharon has worked long and hard to normalize death, by serving as an advocate for countless families to allow for the most beautiful death as possible for their loved ones and to foster healing for those who remain.  She also works with families to create the most touching rituals, vigils, home funerals, and funeral services.

Dia (she/her) is a pagan activist, author, community leader, sister, wife, partner, mother, musician, and a person challenged with a disability. Dia is a founder and current President and High Priestess of the progressive-minded Willow Dragonstone Community & Coven,LLC, in Gwinnett County Georgia. Her writing reflects a life filled with a wide range of different experiences. Her first book was released in 2015 and she has focused on boots on the ground ministry serving locally and throughout Georgia. Crabtree travels with Cas, her service dog.

Mars Sylvanius / Brandon Hendrix (he/him) is a Minister in training for Circle Sanctuary and the managing director of the Lady Liberty League, Circle’s legal outreach program. Mars has been a lifelong student of paganism and enjoys nothing more than a warm tea on a cool summer’s night.

Marshall (Raven) Lyons (he/him) (MS in Counseling Psychology; PhD student) is a long-time PSG coordinator and attendee. Raven has a passion for social justice in organizational structures and systems. He wants to share his learning and tools that we can use regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity.