Lady Sintana

Lady Sintana - Candace Lehrman White 1937-2010

3rd Degree Elder, Witch Queen & Founder of Ravenwood Church of the Old Religion

Lady Sintana founded the Ravenwood Tradition of Witchcraft, & started the Ravenwood Church & Seminary of Wicca in 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia at a time when Paganism was not widely accepted.

“They burned crosses if they could get near enough, & they would come with Molotov cocktails. They would come with pickup trucks, shotguns, Doberman dogs, & gas cans. The lighthearted ones would come to do a little initiation experience like the Georgia Tech football players. They would try to piss on the Witches’ porch. They would throw rocks, bottles, coke cans, fire on the sacred circle where we did our rituals.” – Lady Sintana, “People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out”

Over the years she not only worked to gain acceptance for modern Paganism in Atlanta, but made great strides for the civil rights of all Pagans through her many court battles. She was a giant within the world of Traditional Crafte, & leaves behind an impressive legacy. For more than thirty years, The House of Ravenwood has fulfilled its purpose of offering education to those seeking information about Wicca & the traditional Crafte, as well as providing a place for seekers to study, learn & grow in the path of the Old Religion. Ravenwood was instrumental in winning legal recognition for Wicca as a valid religion in the United States. Ravenwood survived many challenges & was one of the first churches of Wicca to receive 501(c) 3 status as a not-for-profit church.

There are many who have come to Ravenwood for training & spiritual development over the years & attained ministerial status. Some have formed their own groups & work to perpetuate & ensure the integrity of Lady Sintana’s vision. Others have become elders in the tradition & continue to offer valuable support & counsel to coven leaders. This rich network of individuals & groups is an important part of what makes our tradition a “living” tradition—diverse, vital & strong.

Ravenwood Church & Seminary of the Old Religion announced that on September 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm, Our Founder, Elder High Priestess & Witch Queen, Lady Sintana passed over into the Summerland. Her family surrounded her & aided her in her final journey. She is survived by her husband & best friend Lord Merlin, Elder High Priest of Ravenwood, along with her daughter, son-in-law & grandson. Our Lady Sintana’s life’s work was instrumental on both the local and federal level in the fight to insure the freedom for all witches to practice our religion. Her pioneering efforts led to the granting of tax exemption rights, gathering rights & zoning rights for Ravenwood, setting critical precedents in the ongoing fight for religious tolerance. Many of the privileges that Wiccans & Pagans enjoy today are the direct result of her irrepressible will & courage. With a warm heart & a deep since of gratitude & respect, Ravenwood remembers Lady Sintana. Lady had an exuberant spirit & was always willing to lend guidance or offer words of wisdom. She had a kind hand with animals. While in Atlanta, she helped nurse wounded birds back to heath. In later years, she always helped any animals that looked for aid at her door & was the caretaker for some lucky kitties. Lady Sintana will always be remembered. For those that knew her, it was an honor. For others that did not have the chance to meet her, her legacy of teaching & tradition will live on.

Her contributions to Wiccan civil rights cannot be measured. Having been trained by many in the Traditional Craft community including Lord Sariel from the Isle of Man & Lady Circe of the Brotherhood & Sisterhood of Wicca in Toledo, OH, Lady Sintana founded Ravenwood Church & Seminary of Wicca, Inc. in the Little Five Points area of Atlanta in the 1970s. Throughout her life, she served as a renowned & respected Craft Elder who was known for her outspoken commitment to promoting public education & understanding of the Old Ways. There were countless many who loved her, some who feared her, but never one who forgot her. We are all in her debt. With her passing, we lose yet another of the Elders who have shaped & formed our heritage & identity today. May we honor her memory & legacy by living truly, honestly & sincerely in keeping with the Old Laws & sacred teachings of our various Traditions. Journey well in Love & Trust, Great Lady. May we meet, & know, & love one another again in days & lives to come.