Keynote Speakers 2016

Keynote Speakers 2016

Nikki Bado

Nikki Bado (Iowa State) authored Toying With God: The World of Religious Games and Dolls, with Rebecca Sachs Norris (Baylor 2010) and Coming to the Edge of the Circle: A Wiccan Initiation Ritual (Oxford 2005, 2012), which explores initiation as a multi-perspectival process rather than a linear simple three part progression.  She has written on the pedagogical nature of embodied ritual practice, the philosophy of Kūkai, and the Triple Goddess in Wicca. She has been a Wiccan priestess for forty years.

As a Visiting Research Fellow at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Japan, she did fieldwork on ritual and pilgrimage. Bado is currently working on two books, The Vagina Festival Comes First:  Fertility Festivals in Modern Japan and Returning the Body to Belief: Ritual and the Embodied Nature of the Divine.  Bado co-edits the Equinox Studies in Contemporary and Historical Paganism book series with Chas Clifton and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft and The Pomegranate:  The International Journal of Pagan Studies.  She is the founder and co-editor, with Shawn Arthur, of the new Body and Religion Journal (Equinox Press).


Gus diZerega

Gus diZerega combines a formal academic training in Political Science and decades of political activism with decades of work in Wicca and shamanic healing. He is a Third Degree Elder in Gardnerian Wicca, studied closely with Timothy White, who later founded Shaman’s Drum magazine, and worked intensively with Antonio Costa e Silva within the context of Brazilian Umbanda  for six years.  He has given workshops and talks on Pagan spirituality and on energy healing in the United States and Canada. He currently contributes frequently to the online Pagan site Witches and Pagans as well as to the interfaith Patheos.

DiZerega holds a PhD in Political Theory with extensive teaching and publishing experience in mainstream academia here and abroad. He has organized or helped organize several international academic conferences as well as the online journal Cosmos&Taxis.

His newest book, Faultlines: The Culture War and the Return of the Divine Feminine, (Quest, 2013) is an in-depth study of the crisis in American society and government from a Pagan perspective. 2014. It received an “IPPY” Silver Award from the Association of Independent Publishers for Faultlines  rating it no. 2 nationally in New Age mind, body, spirit book of 2014.

His first book, Persuasion, Power and Polity: A Theory of Democratic Self-Organization, (Hampton Press and Institute of Contemporary Studies, 2000) explored democracy as a complex adaptive system differing radically from states and so misunderstood when understood as one.

His second, Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience (Llewellyn, 2000), won the Best Nonfiction of 2001 award from the Coalition of Visionary Resources.

His third, Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and a Christian in Dialogue, (Lion Hudson, 2007) was coauthored with Christian Philip Johnson.

His art frequently appeared in Shaman’s Drum, and the ecological journals Wild Earth, and The Trumpeter.