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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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13873 news items

CBS Local

CBS Local
Thu, 21 May 2015 08:56:15 -0700

... and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) ...

seattlepi.com (blog)

seattlepi.com (blog)
Thu, 21 May 2015 10:33:13 -0700

Seahawks linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis tweeted Wednesday that he has been cleared to participate in Seattle's OTAs, which begin next Tuesday. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images). As a rookie in 2014, Pierre-Louis spent most of his time on special teams for ...

The Courier

The Courier
Fri, 22 May 2015 04:43:06 -0700

Detective Chief Inspector Scott Cunningham, who led the major investigation, said: “Leslie Carrington was the victim of a senseless and unprovoked attack from a person who was supposed to be his friend and trusted by him. "Tammy Hoggan's alcohol ...

The Independent

The Independent
Mon, 18 May 2015 15:41:15 -0700

ESI Regional Vice President Scott Cunningham said the hotline was set up in an effort to connect the community directly with the company in order to “keep open communication” with residents concerned about Big Run's operations. He said the hotline is a ...

NBC Bay Area

NBC Bay Area
Tue, 19 May 2015 08:56:15 -0700

Rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper (above, at Alabama) will be on the field with Raiders veterans for the first time this week. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images). For the first time, the Raiders' 2015 draft class will be on the field with ...
Foster's Daily Democrat
Wed, 20 May 2015 14:56:15 -0700

BRENTWOOD — The Rockingham County Sheriff Department released the following arrest log for May 11-12. Jonathan Scott Cunningham, 29, of 26 Maple Street, Dover, was charged May 11 on a Judge's order to arrest for failure to appear for arraignment ...


Fri, 08 May 2015 16:01:08 -0700

Markham told WWL-TV in a recent interview that he and Mayfield then approached the other three board members – Dan Forman, Gerald Duhon Jr. and Scott Cunningham -- and asked for library foundation money to support the Jazz Market project. Markham ...

Headlines & Global News

Headlines & Global News
Tue, 19 May 2015 10:45:11 -0700

The Kansas City Royals could be a dark horse candidate for Johnny Cueto. Johnny Cueto is likely to get traded before this year's deadline, but where will he land? (Photo : Scott Cunningham/Getty Images). The Cincinnati Reds have lost their last three ...

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