ACA Division Honors Social Justice Work of Counselor Who Was the First Wiccan Priestess Approved for Legal Marriages in NYC
Recipient was chair emeritus of the pastoral care and counseling department at Cherry Hill Seminary. Award to be housed at the New Alexandrian Library
Columbia, SC & Georgetown, DE: Judy Harrow, long-time Wiccan priestess and professional counselor, was honored for her social justice work on Friday March 13 2015 by the American Counseling Association (ACA) division Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) at their luncheon at the annual ACA convention in Orlando, FL.
Ms. Harrow, who died in 2014, received the group’s annual ‘Ohana Award which “honors individuals in counseling who affirm diversity and advocate for social justice in the spirit of nine elements of the indigenous Hawai’ian concept of ‘Ohana or extended family” which include “Malama: Caring, Aloha: Unconditional Love, Ha’aha’a: Humility, Mana: Spiritual Power, Na’auuo: Intelligence, ‘Olu’olu: Courtesy, Lokomaika’i: Generosity, Koa: Courage, Kupono: Integrity, Honesty.”
Ms. Harrow’s long-term service to counseling, interfaith, and religious organizations included:
- First Wiccan legally registered clergy in NYC, after five-year effort requiring NY Civil Liberties Union.
- Wrote the pastoral counseling book Spiritual Mentoring, contributed to The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, and co-authored the original Wiccan chaplains’ manual for the US military.
- Member of National Advisory Board of the Consultation on Multifaith Education and the steering committee of the Interfaith Council of Greater NY. Multiple national Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) positions. On delegation to 2004 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Board member for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Chair-emeritus of the Pastoral Care and Counseling Department at Cherry Hill Seminary.
- Two years as associate producer of the WBAI radio program “Reconnections” doing segments on religious progressives of all faiths.
- Founded the Protean Tradition of Wicca (closely derived from Gardnerian Wicca).
- Published in AHP Perspective and ACA Counseling and Values.
- Past President of New Jersey ASERVIC (Association for Spirituality, Ethics, and Religion in Counseling)
- Numerous teaching assignments and membership in multiple professional counseling organizations.
Holli Emore, Executive Director of Cherry Hill Seminary, had this to say: Ms. Harrow was crucial to the development of Cherry Hill Seminary early on, building our pastoral counseling department into a program which would meet professional standards as well as the needs of the growing Pagan community. She was also a dedicated mentor and advisor to countless individuals over the years, myself included. To see Ms. Harrow recognized by her peers is most gratifying for our Cherry Hill Seminary family.
Macha NightMare, well-known author & past president of CHS said: Judy and I have collaborated in efforts on behalf of Pagans and Paganism since the early 1980s. She had a sharp and nuanced mind and an unwavering commitment to justice. It was Judy’s commitment to Pagans in the military that convinced me that Cherry Hill Seminary should seek full accreditation. I’m delighted to see her life and her work acknowledged with this award.
Ms. Harrow’s award is to be housed at the New Alexandrian Library (NAL), a state-of-the-art university-quality research and lending library in Georgetown, DE dedicated to the preservation of Pagan books, periodicals, newsletters, music, media, art works, artifacts, photographs, and digital media.
According to Michael G. Smith, an Elder of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees: Ms. Harrow was an avid supporter of the New Alexandrian Library. She recognized the need for the Contemporary Paganism to preserve its history and cultural artifacts for future generations so they would be able to have a greater appreciation and understand their roots, their beginnings. She felt so passionately that she left her personal library in her last will and testament to the NAL. It is a great pleasure for us to see her work celebrated by her colleagues and we are honored to house her award, along with her collection, at the Library.
Contemporary Paganism (of which Wicca is a large component) is an umbrella term for one of the fastest growing religious movements. Pagans are frequently interested in connection with cycles and seasons of the earth, magic, polytheism, and direct personal celebration of ritual connection to the Divine. They tend to believe in the immanence of deity, maintain a focus on the here and now rather than an after-life, and believe the earth to be sacred. Current numbers in the USA are pushing upwards of 1 million participants, and so media, library, university, and other institutions that serve Paganism are gaining increasing national prominence. More information and links to some of the many paths of Paganism can be found at http://www.pagantherapy.com/what-is-neo-paganism/
The Counselors for Social Justice is an ACA division devoted to promoting “social justice in our society through confronting oppressive systems of power and privilege that affect professional counselors and our clients”. More information at http://counseling-csj.org/
About The New Alexandrian Library (NAL): The NAL is a state-of-the-art university-quality research and lending library in Georgetown, DE dedicated to the preservation of Pagan books, periodicals, newsletters, music, media, art works, artifacts, photographs, and digital media. More information available at http://www.sacredwheel.org/new-alexandrian-library.html .
About Cherry Hill Seminary (CHS): CHS is the leading provider of education and practical training in leadership, ministry, and personal growth in Pagan and Nature-Based spiritualties. CHS offers Master’s degrees in Divinity, Pagan Ministry, Pagan Pastoral Counseling, and Pagan Studies; as well as certificate programs and Insights short courses for the public. More information available at https://www.cherryhillseminary.org .