Carpenter attended the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and earning his master's degree in psychology in 1979. He began his career as a school psychologist. For five years he lived in a cabin by a lake, deepening his rapport with nature.
In the early 1980s, friends introduced Carpenter to a UW professor of philosophy who had Pagan interests and was involved with Circle, which had already been formed by Fox. He recommended books to Carpenter, and interested him in attending some Circle events. The first came in 1982, when Carpenter attended a program sponsored by Circle featuring Starhawk. In 1983, he attended Circle's annual Pagan Spirit Gathering, followed by involvement in more of Circle's activities.
In 1984, Carpenter moved to Circle and became publications editor, a position he continues to hold. He and Fox were married in 1986 in a two-part Pagan handfast-ing ceremony.
In the first part, they were legally married in a ceremony at the June new moon, attended by family and a few friends. Margot Adler officiated. The second part was a large ceremony at Circle's Pagan Spirit Gathering—again with Adler officiating—held in Eagle Cave, Wisconsin's largest onyx cave.
Around this time, Carpenter became interested in pursuing more academic work. Through his interests in humanistic and transpersonal psychologies, he met Stanley Krippner, a psychologist at the Saybrook Institute in San Francisco, California, who has long been involved in research into parapsychology, healing and altered states of consciousness. Carpenter enrolled in a doctoral program at Saybrook in 1988, focusing his academic work on Paganism, which was attracting the attention of scholars. He was nominated for "Best Essay of the Year" in 1992 and 1993 at Saybrook, and in 1993 received the Parker Scholarship for research.
In 1994 he was awarded a Ph.D. with distinction in psychology, Saybrook's highest graduate honor. His dissertation concerned the nature of Pagans' experiences with the Divine, how those experiences impacted life, and especially how they influenced ecological views and actions.
Carpenter is an author of essays and articles on various aspects of Paganism. With Fox, he participates in conferences, seminars and symposia, presenting papers and workshops. He views his role as helping to articulate the Pagan worldview, explore the relationship between humankind and nature, and build international bridges of understanding. Paganism remains too diverse to espouse a unified message, and so Carpenter focuses on the ripple effects of Paganism: how people change when they understand divine immanence and a reverence for nature.
In addition to his editorial functions at Circle, Carpenter oversees administrative affairs and groundskeeping.
Cassandra In Greek mythology, a seer whose prophecies, including the fall of Troy, were ignored. She was the daughter of Priam and also was called the daughter of HECATE. Cassandra received the gift of clairvoyance by sleeping in the temple of Apollo and allowing snakes to lick her ears. When Apollo tried to seduce her, she rebuffed him, and he punished her by declaring that no one would pay attention to her forecasts. In another version of the myth Apollo fell in love with her and gave her the gift of prophecy in return for her promise of giving herself to him. She reneged. Apollo begged for a kiss, to which she consented. By breathing into her mouth, he gave her the gift of prophecy but took away her power of persuasion.
After the fall of Troy, Cassandra was taken prisoner by Agamemnon, whose death she prophesied, and which came to pass with his slaying by his wife, Clytemnestra. Another version of Cassandra's tale says she was killed in the fall of Troy.
She also was able to understand the language of animals.
cats Cats have been associated with the supernatural since ancient times. Cats are associated with either good or bad luck, HEALING or harm. In folklore, the cat is one of the favored animal companions of witches, sorcerers (see sorcery) and fortune-tellers. Superstitions about cats abound.
The cat was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who associated it with the Moon and Bast, the goddess of marriage. It also was associated with the Mother Goddess, Isis. In Egyptian art, the sun god, Ra, was personified as a cat slaying the Serpent of Darkness. Black cats were associated with darkness and death.
According to lore, virtually every sorcerer, witch and Gypsy fortune-teller was supposed to have a cat—and sometimes an owl and a toad as well. During the witch hunts, cats were FAMILIARS; they embodied demons who performed the witches' tasks of maleficia against their neighbors. Elizabeth Francis of Chelmsford, England, convicted as a witch in 1556, said she kept a white spotted cat named Sathan, which, whenever it performed a job for her, demanded a reward of a drop of her blood (see Chelmsford witches).
Witches were said to be able to assume the shape of a cat nine times, presumably because a cat has nine lives. Black cats were said to be the DEVIL himself. Throughout medieval Europe, black cats were routinely hunted down and burned, especially on Shrove Tuesday and Easter. A cat accused of being a witch's familiar usually was killed by being burned alive. Cats were also used in witches' spells. In the trial of John Fian, Scotland's most famous witch, in 1590-91, Fian and his coven were accused of trying to drown James VI (JAMES I) and Queen Anne on their voyage to Denmark. The witches allegedly christened a cat, tied it to a dismembered human corpse and threw
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