Waverly 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.