Twelfth Conference on Current Pagan Studies Presenters

Ayamanatara is a Shaman, author, healer, teacher, trance channel, clairvoyant, mystery school initiate, kabbalist, and animal communicator.  A guest lecturer at Southern California University of Health Sciences, she was the Resident Shaman at Everyday Zen Relaxation Studio, and has worked with Cliffside Malibu, Kenneally Acupuncture & Healing Light Resource Center, and The Crystal Matrix Center, among others; is the founder of both The Healing Alliance and Present; founding faculty member of Matrix International University, advising the NeoShamanism and Earth Magick departments; and is a member of the American Botanical Council, the Sound Healers Association, and the American Society of Dowsers.

Marie Cartier is a scholar, visual/performance artist, queer activist, poet, and theologian who has been active in many movements for social change.   She teaches at UC Irvine in Film and Media Studies, and California State University Northridge in Gender and Women’s Studies.  Her Ph.D. is in Religion from Claremont Graduate University (2010), with a major in Women Studies in Religion, and an emphasis in theology, ethics, and culture.  Her book, Baby You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars and Theology before Stonewall was published by Routledge, 2013.  She has three Masters of Fine Arts Degrees, in Film, Theater, and Art.  She is co-chair of the Lesbian Feminist Studies in Religion session for the AAR and for the western region she is co-chair of the Queer Studies in Religion session and founded the Queer Caucus.

Kenneth Christensen got his start in a branch of Germanic Heathenry known as Theodism, and was a part of the Sahsisk Thiod in Virginia.  Due to the fact the Germanic Heathenry is not about striving for an egalitarian world, he left out of ideological differences and had his Navjote (initiation) done by the California Zoroastrian Center in December of 2013.   He has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Riverside.

Hannah Epstein has an MA Philosophy from the University of New Mexico.

Joseph Futerman has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis is Jungian Depth Psychology, a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Criticism.  He is licensed  by the State of California as Marriage and Family Therapist.  Joseph is also a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner and Hypnotherapist.  He is the associate chair of the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  An adept of the Golden Dawn Tradition, Joseph is also a founding member of the Fellowship of the Gods, and a member of the Kaotic Order of Adventurers, Seekers and Sorcerers, and the leader of the Magus Project.  He currently is working on a book titled Postmodern Qabbalah: Psychological Magick for the 21st Century.

Wendy Griffin is Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at CSU Long Beach.  Currently Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary, she was one of the first scholars to publish academic research in Goddess Spirituality and Wicca.  She is founding Co-chair of the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group for the American Academy of Religion, co-editor of the first academic series in Pagan Studies, and on the editorial board of The Pomegranate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies.  Editor of the anthology Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity and Empowerment, she has published numerous articles and chapters here and internationally.

Herleena Hunt has been a substance abuse counselor for 23 years, with the last 5 years working at the in prison programs  with both female and male inmates.  She is currently at the Men’s Prison in Norco California, in the SAT program.  Herleena works for the Amity Foundation, which started the first program in the men’s institution. She is also involved in the community serving 2nd officer of the Touchstone Local Council, Covenant of the Goddess.   Herleena is a RAS/CATE  Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor,  hypnotherapist, massage therapist, and a Reiki Master and Teacher.

Kimberly Kirner, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist at CSU Northridge specializing in environmental anthropology, applied cognitive anthropology, and medical anthropology.  She is interested in understanding interrelationships between cognition, emotion, and decision-making; construction of identity and community; and the way informal knowledge systems interact with policy to impact human behavior.  Her research has focused on the political ecology of American West rangelands; cultural modeling of health care-seeking behavior; and the relationship between ritual, belief, and sustainable behaviors in Pagan traditions.  Kimberly has also worked as an applied anthropologist in program design, evaluation, and fund development for the non-profit and government sectors.

Jeannette Lacey

Mark Cedar Love-Williamson is an instructor of Religious Studies, Humanities and Philosophy at Central New Mexico Community College.  He received his academic training at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.  His research interests focuses on Pagan ethics.  Cedar is also an instructor in Shamanic studies at Ardantane Pagan Learning Center.  Cedar has studied Core Shamanism, Huna and Feri.  He is a founding member of Cauldron of Awen coven, which provides training in Wicca and public ritual.  He offers ministerial and anti-defamation services to the community.  He works on the land as part of a sustainable community effort in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Armando D. Marini/Murtagh A. anDoile is an independent scholar and researcher.  He is the Director for the Pagan History Project.  He has a degree in Anthropology and has worked as an archaeologist for Brown University.  Tagh has been involved in the Pagan movement since 1968, and is a Druid and elder of the Tuatha De Danann Tradition (NECTW) and the group, Nemed na Morrigna.  Through talks given in the early 80’s, he is one of the progenitors of the Celtic Reconstructionist movement.  He was interviewed in Keepers of the Flame: Interviews with Elders of Traditional Witchcraft in America.  Contact:

Aline O’Brien (M. Macha NightMare) is a ritualist, writer, and activist, co-author of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying and serves on the Advisory Board of the Sacred Dying Foundation.  She has published two other books, and has contributed to anthologies, encyclopedia, religious studies textbooks, and periodicals.  Active in establishing Cherry Hill Seminary, Macha represents the Covenant of the Goddess, and CHS in the American Academy of Religion, Marin Interfaith Council, and United Religions Initiative, and at interfaith symposia throughout the U.S.  Currently she serves the inmates of the Wiccan circle at San Quentin State Prison.  She blogs at Broomstick Chronicles.

Marsha Scarbrough, author of Honey in the River: Shadow, Sex and West African Spirituality, is a freelance journalist, who has had over 75 articles published in national magazines .  As a graduate of the Directors Guild of America’s prestigious Assistant Directors Training Program, Marsha spent 17 years scheduling, planning and running the sets of major feature films, prime time television series, movies of the week and network sitcoms.  Since 2010, Marsha has spent her summers teaching English to speakers of other languages at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.  For more about Marsha, visit her website

Kellen Smith currently works at California State University, Channel Islands in the area of Document Management as an Electronic Records Specialist.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion from California Lutheran University and is currently finishing up her second bachelor’s degree in History from CSU Channel Islands.  She has an associate’s degree in Anthropology from Oxnard College.  Kellen is also a board member of the Ventura County Interfaith Community (VCIC) and a member of Campus Interfaith at CSUCI.

Karen Tate is a Four-times published author, social justice activist, speaker, and radio show host.  Rev. Dr. Karen Tate has been named one of the 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality and a Wisdom Keeper of the Women’s Spirituality Movement.  Her long-running radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine, on Blog Talk Radio, is considered a treasure of trove of wisdom for our time.  Karen can be seen in the internationally known documentary, Femme: Women Healing the World, produced by actress Sharon Stone and Emmanuel Itier of Wonderland Entertainment. She was recently chosen to moderate a panel and give a talk at the Council for the Parliament of World Religions.   Titles of Dr.Tate’s books include Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy and she’s edited the anthology, Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World.  For more information see

Dorothea Kahena Viale is the creator and organizer of the Conference on Current Pagan Studies. She is currently teaching at Cal Poly Pomona where she enjoys the opportunity to introduce her students to experiential activities like being born into their new lives through mask making, dancing, as well as, guiding them to be critical thinkers. This year she received an Improving the Classroom – Instructional Innovation funding grant to fund her mask project. Kahena is an ardent fan of embodied knowledge and acquires hers through raqs al-sharqi, referred to in the United States as belly dance. She shares this knowledge through her classes and sacred dance dramas. Dr. Kahena is currently writing on lived religions as shared by women, as well as, the validity of religion not based on revelation.

Annie Waters has identified as a Pantheist since 1968, and is an ordained Priestess in the Fellowship of Isis.  CAW member since 1989. Producer & Priestess for over 20 years of annual Pagan based seasonal rituals for our multi-denominational community.  She is the writer and director of ritual theater melding Pagan and Earth Wisdom with Permaculture and Climate Change education.  As a member and officer of the California Grange, Annie updated the fraternal liturgy into seasonal agricultural pageants to bring relevance for young members and new farmers. Her Forthcoming book is entitled Spirit of the Grange.  She can be contacted at