Paxson, Diana L.

Diana L.Paxson (1943– ) Pagan, Wiccan and author of fantasy fiction and Pagan nonfiction. Diana L. Paxson has been a leader in Pagan and Wiccan activities.

Paxson was born in 1943 and grew up in California. In 1964, she graduated from Mills College, and in 1966 she earned a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of California.

Paxson was a founder of the Society of Creative Anachronism in 1966 and also was a first officer of the CovenAnt oF the Goddess.

Paxson’s sister-in-law was Marion Zimmer Bradley, whose ceremonial lodge gave Paxson her first Pagan Initiation. In 1978, Paxson joined Bradley as a founder of the Darkmoon Circle, from which came the Fellowship of the Spiral Path. In 1982, Paxson was consecrated as priestess of the Fellowship.

Paxson has been especially active in the Heathen tradition of Asatru; she is the founder and gydhja (female equivalent of a godhi, the Asatru spiritual leader) of the Hrafnar tradition in Berkeley, California, and is an elder and board director of the Troth (formerly the ring of Troth), an international Heathen organization. She edits Troth’s journal, Idunna. Her nonfiction Pagan books centre on the Heathen tradition, Taking Up the Runes and Essential Asatru.

Paxson has published more than 70 fantasy short stories and numerous novels, including nine historical fantasies. Her best-known works are the Chronicles of Westria novels and books in the mists of Avalon series, which she took over from Bradley. She served as the western regional director of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. With Z Budapest, a longtime friend and collaborator, she coauthored Celestial Wisdom for Every Year of Your Life (2003), an astrological guide.

In addition, Paxson plays the folk harp and composes music and designs and sews period costumes. She lives in her literary household, Greyhaven, in Berkeley.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.