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Scott Cunningham
Born June 27, 1956
Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Died March 28, 1993(1993-03-28) (aged 36)
Occupation Writer

Scott Douglas Cunningham (June 27, 1956 – March 28, 1993) was a U.S. writer. Cunningham is the author of several books on Wicca and various other alternative religious subjects.

His work Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, is one of the most successful books on Wicca ever published;[1] he was a friend of notable occultists and Wiccans such as Raymond Buckland, and was a member of the Serpent Stone Family, and received his Third Degree Initiation as a member of that coven.

Early life[edit]

Scott Cunningham was born at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, the second son of Chester Grant Cunningham and Rose Marie Wilhoit Cunningham. The family moved to San Diego, California in the fall of 1959 due to Rose Marie's health problems. The doctors in Royal Oak declared the mild climate in San Diego ideal for her. Outside of many trips to Hawaii, Cunningham lived in San Diego all his life.

Cunningham had one older brother, Greg, and a younger sister, Christine.

When he was in high school he became associated with a girl whom he knew to deal in the occult and covens. This classmate introduced him to Wicca and trained him in Wiccan spirituality. He studied creative writing at San Diego State University, where he enrolled in 1978. After two years in the program, however, he had more published works than several of his professors, and dropped out of the university to write full-time. During this period he had as a roommate, magical author Donald Michael Kraig and often socialized with witchcraft author Raymond Buckland, who was also living in San Diego at the time.


In 1980 Cunningham began initiate training under Raven Grimassi and remained as a first-degree initiate until 1982 when he left the tradition to pursue a solo practice of witchcraft.[2]

Cunningham practiced a fairly basic interpretation of Wicca, often worshipping alone, though his book series for solitaries describes several instances in which he worshipped with friends and teachers.

He also believed that Wicca, which had been a closed tradition since the 1950s, should become more open to newcomers.

Cunningham was also drawn to Huna and a range of new age movements and concepts that influenced and coloured his spirituality.


In 1983, Scott Cunningham was diagnosed with lymphoma, which he successfully overcame. In 1990, while on a speaking tour in Massachusetts, he suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis. He suffered from several infections and died in March 1993. He was 36.[3]

Published works[edit]


Cover of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Cunningham's most successful book

Art by Robin Wood[edit]

Several of Scott's books include black and white drawings and (in some editions) cover art by the Wiccan artist Robin Wood. Among these books are Magical Herbalism, Earth Power, and Earth, Air, Fire, Water.


Film references[edit]

Cunningham's Wicca book in the film Never Say Macbeth

Never Say Macbeth, a 2007 film, is based around a group of actors who battle the curse of Macbeth by using Scott's book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. This film was released on DVD by Vanguard Cinema in August 2008.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "His books on Wicca led to a steady rise in his popularity, and he soon became one of the best-read Wiccan authors of his time. Sales of his most popular book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (Llewellyn, 1988), reached over 400,000 copies by the year 2000" http://www.controverscial.com/Scott%20Cunningham.htm
  2. ^ Harvey, Graham, Listening People, Speaking Earth: Contemporary Paganism, Hurst, 1997, pp.50, 231
  3. ^ Harington, David & Regula, Traci, Whispers of the Moon: Life and Work of Scott Cunningham, Philosopher, Magician, and Modern-day Pagan, Llewellyn, 1996
  4. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1053889/


  • Several of Scott's own books contain autobiographical text.
  • Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft.
  • Raven Grimassi, Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Cunningham — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

739 news items

Journal and Courier
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:03:45 -0700

Five Lafayette men have been charged with several drug-related charges after they were allegedly caught selling heroin and cocaine to an undercover police officer. Nicholas Scott Cunningham, 30; Preston Michael Maslin, 32; Anthony David Owen, 41; ...


Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:18:38 -0700

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images Todd Gurley scored four touchdowns in No. 12 Georgia's win over No. 16 Clemson. In the second half, Gurley showed why he's among the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, as he ran wild to finish with a career-high 198 ...


Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:39:10 -0700

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images Under fire for making racially charged comments about a player, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence Friday. "My hope that this time away from the Hawks organization allows him the ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 06:18:45 -0700

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham – There are better books on herbalism. There are better books on incense-making and creating dyes and inks. There are better magickal formularies. But no other book I know of gives you ...


Sat, 13 Sep 2014 11:53:21 -0700

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images Under fire for making racially charged comments about a player, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence Friday. Koonin said the Hawks' failures were not limited to Ferry's comments or ...


Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:07:30 -0700

"Over the course of the last week, the Hawks have let down our players, our employees, our fans and the city we love. Our shortcomings have been broadly shared -- including how we have failed to operate well internally and externally. It has been ...

PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:30:00 -0700

Georgia Institute of Technology is the first elite institution to offer an entire computer science graduate program in a MOOC-style format. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images. ATLANTA – Dary Merckens was in the Outer Banks of North ...

Philly.com (blog)

Philly.com (blog)
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 05:56:15 -0700

Leonard Floyd #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after making a tackle against the North Texas Mean Green at Sanford Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images). Travel Deals. $50 & up -- Las Vegas ...

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