Remembering Waverly Fitzgerald — Writer, Teacher, and Calendar Priestess

Waverly FitzgeraldWaverly Fitzgerald was a writer, teacher, and calendar priestess who studied the lore of holidays and the secrets of time for decades. She shared her research and her thoughts on her Living in Season website, in her book Slow Time, and here on the Amber Lotus blog. We were very sorry to learn that Waverly passed away in December 2019. We will miss her deep wisdom, clever insight, and generous spirit.

Her friend Joanna Powell Colbert shared these beautiful thoughts after Waverly’s passing:

I am mourning the loss of my beloved friend Waverly Fitzgerald, who died Friday night of cancer. I am not at all surprised that she left us on St. Lucia’s Day, calendar maven that she was. We had conversations over the years about how many people who walk the Wheel of the Year during their lives tend to leave on a significant date. Marija Gimbutas died on Brigid’s Day 1994, our friend Helen Farias died on Autumn Equinox 1994, and another friend died on Winter Solstice 2013.

I posted a photo of St. Lucia in the doorway Friday night as I was holding vigil for Waverly along with an entire community of her friends, our candles glowing on altars in all our homes. I imagined St. Lucia aka Freya arriving in her golden chariot drawn by cats, gathering Waverly up, and heading out across the starry sky — their pathway lit by blazing candles.

My head is bowed in grief and grace. I will miss you so much, my friend.

The Wild Hunt shared the sad news with their community:

Fitzgerald was based in Seattle and wrote both fiction and non-fiction, though many Pagans may remember her for her work on The Beltane Papers with Helen Farias. Fitzgerald became editor of the Beltane Papers in 1994 after Farias death and continued in that role until 1998 when she resigned to focus more on her writing and teaching.

Fitzgerald was a noted folklorist and published several books of interest to Pagans: Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life, and several books that focused on the crafts and customs and rituals surrounding Pagan celebrations, most notably: Celebrating Spring Equinox and Celebrating Summer Solstice. Her writing also was featured in the publications Sagewoman and Gnosis. 

She taught classes online, for Hugo House in Seattle, and also offered correspondence courses through her site, School of the Seasons. In 2014 she opened her own publishing company, Rat City Publishing.

She is noted by others for being kind, talented, and generous — especially in the aid she provided to many writers, both aspiring and well-established, with her wellspring of knowledge.

What is remembered, lives.


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About Amber Lotus Publishing

We publish calendars, weekly planners, and greeting cards that nurture your heart, renew your soul, and expand your mind. Sharing the diversity of world cultures and sacred traditions as well as the inspiration and beauty of the natural world is our passion. We focus on illuminating the sacred dimensions of everyday life — healthy living, mindfulness, creativity, and earth awareness. WE PLANT TREES to offset our carbon footprint — more than ONE MILLION and growing! Each year we plant over 20 times the number of trees used to create our products

10 thoughts on “Remembering Waverly Fitzgerald — Writer, Teacher, and Calendar Priestess

  1. Claudia

    Thank you so much for the post about Waverly. I was a huge fan of hers, and so sad to hear of her passing. I feel fortunate to have a couple of her publications.

    Reply
  2. Janis Wildy

    As it is coming up to a year without Waverly, I appreciated reading this. Will be lighting a candle on St. Lucy’s day for Waverly, a great teacher and writing mentor and friend.

    Reply
  3. Emily Anderson

    I am discovering this heartbreaking news only now, having searched for a new writing class with Waverly. I’m in shock. She is the only teacher who has read and commented, with a keen eye and a full heart, on some of my work– because I trusted her. She was a treasure. Trying now to make sense of a hole in the world. Thank you for your beautiful tribute.

    Reply
  4. Teresa

    While so sad to hear this news, in belated and seemingly random fashion (in an online search for her name as I think about my own spring customs) I am glad she was in the world. Her curiosity and independence and expressiveness enlivened my own. My condolences to her daughter and others close to her.

    Reply
  5. Shaw Fitzgerald

    I just found this and wanted to thank you so much for this beautiful remembrance of my mother. She was such a shining light in the world.

    For the last two years, between Santa Lucia’s Day and the Winter Solstice, I have kept a candle burning from dusk until bedtime. My mom loved rituals, and it makes me really happy to have invented one to honor her.

    Reply

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