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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.
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7970 news items

Monterey County Herald
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:15:00 -0800

As I read the story (Feb. 18) about Monterey County offering cities $10,000 in matching funds to hire their Miami-based consulting firm, a few questions came to mind: Is this the same firm that proposed a billion-dollar light-rail line from Fort Ord to ...

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:19:29 -0800

ATLANTA - APRIL 24: Craig Sager poses for a picture during a game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

CBS Local

CBS Local
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:40:45 -0800

BOSTON (CBS) – It's been seven years since the Boston Celtics hoisted their last championship banner. The 2008 title, which gave the C's the most NBA championships of any franchise at 17, was the product of a remarkable team formed in the offseason yet ...

Live Design

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Tue, 03 Mar 2015 06:03:45 -0800

Lighting designer and programmer Scott Cunningham selected the equipment from the inventory of Morris Light & Sound in Nashville. He's deploying 40 new Clay Paky Mythos fixtures, 24 A.leda B-EYE K20s, 14 Sharpys and 24 Sharpy washes in the lighting ...

Miami New Times (blog)

Miami New Times (blog)
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:05:32 -0800

Ever since then, it has been a fun jaunt through Miami's world of STEAM-E (acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Entrepreneurship), with speakers like P. Scott Cunningham, Denise Jacobs, Nick Gelpi, Vanessa Garcia, Avra Jain, ...
The Independent
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:03:45 -0800

ASHLAND After warning citizens things may get worse before they get better in regard to odor issues with Big Run Landfill, officials with the site's parent company EnviroSolutions Inc. are speaking more confidently about remediation efforts. ESI Region ...

CBS Local

CBS Local
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:58:11 -0800

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86. Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details. Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington ...


Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:56:15 -0800

Kyle Korver #26 and Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks celebrate after a score against the Orlando Magic on February 27, 2015 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images). Kyle Korver #26 and Kent Bazemore #24 ...

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