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Valire'brand Bio - 8 / 24 / 2009

I'm Valire'brand, a 58 year old transgendered female. I first heard the Wild Hunt at age 10; this and other experiences led to my break with my Presbyterian upbringing at age 15. Oddly enough, I became an agnostic with an interest in Ceremonial Magick. I first started acting on that interest in 1972. It was as an agnostic magickian that I started attending the Gnosticons in the early '70's. I also connected with several other magickians about that time—in Omaha. In '74 I was in circle, when I received the old-tap-on-the shoulder from what I now recognize as the Grimfather.

Two years after I got out of the AirForce('74), I moved to Minneapolis and was initiated into Wicca('77). My first ritual was a Drawing Down the Moon. I was a first degree at the time, but I had about 5 years of ceremonial experience to draw on. I went thru my second degree in Four Winds, while also working in Earthsea, an experimental group. In '79, I received a Consecration ritual under a full moon. I asked for and received my ministerial credentials. My strengths at that time were mystical and ritual based. In '83, I developed the Yair'yemund, a ritual that caused quite a stir when I led it for MCOW—after restricting it to 2nds and above. Well, the rite requires some solid effort from it's participants: it's not a gimme ritual!

About '85, I started working on a FourFold approach to Wicca that evolved into Twyern Wicca. My Stand, Spiral Ash, is still my focus on my spiritual path. At about this time, I created Process, a five lesson series for teaching ritual quickly and, more importantly, thoroughly.

I was one of the co-founders of WiCoM in '88, where my ministerial status helped the group schism from MCOW. In early '90, I joined the teachers of Twisted Willow, where I still teach (using Process and Infinite Digression, a uniquely useful technique). As a hobby, I was involved in a Viking Era reenactment group, where I quickly found that half the group was at least proto-pagan. Needless to say, I encouraged the trend by runecasting and practicing Viking Age religious activities at events. At the same time Volkhvy was WiCoM newsletter editor, I wrote a runic advice column for the newsletter.

Alas, family problems and my growing awareness of my transgenderedness forced me to cut back my activities. There was just not enough time for everything. I maintained my position in Twisted Willow, but dropped the Viking Age Club, and advice column. I even cut back on my attendance to WiCoM rituals so that I could grapple with my personal issues. I resolved those issues in '01 and slowly, I am expanding my activities within the community. I'm an unofficial greeter at the Coffee Cauldron and lately I've been networking with local Heathenry. I've been involved in Volkhvy's Mentoring Elders project since it's inception and am learning more than I teach; the ideal state for a teacher! As the Mentoring Elders project expands, it becomes even more fun and more interesting.

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