Born: Born April 10, 1973 in Vancouver, BC
Residence: Delta, BC
Angela Gallant is a Wiccan priestess, poet, and musician living in British Columbia. A healer and advocate within her community, she has played an active role in the development of BC Wicca.
Angela was born April 10, 1973 in Vancouver, BC. Her family, while Canadians for almost 200 years, originally came from Ireland and held firm to the cultural influence of the emerald isle. Gallant was raised on Irish music during her childhood and enjoyed whatever Irish culture that could be found in British Columbia. It was this influence that guided her later in life to a Celtic pantheon for her Wiccan practice. Angela's childhood was inspired by the arts with involvement in ballet from ages 4 through 12 and learning to play several instruments during her participation in school music programs. The creativity and artistic expression learned during her childhood formed the foundation of her enjoyment of singing, poetry, painting Celtic knot work, and writing ritual as an adult.
After graduating from Queen Elizabeth Secondary School in 1991, Angela worked in offices and law firms until moving to the Okanagan. She then attended the Penticton campus of Okanagan University College to obtain a Practical Nursing Certificate in 2005. Gallant had originally been enrolled in the BScN (RN) program but then switched to the LPN program due to the demands of her separation and eventual divorce.
Angela comments that the biggest influence to her spiritual path outside of the Wiccan community was her step-father who taught her to ask, "why?" As a child, Gallant attended a Pentecostal church to be formed into what she saw as a "good little Christian girl" while her parents drank practically non-stop in their home. The disparity between church and home life came into focus for Angela at the age of 10 when her mother remarried. Gallant's new step-father brought interesting new ideas into her world including asking her, "why?" every time she tried quoting church indoctrination and the bible. At the time Angela had assumed that her new step-father was trying to dissuade her from her church beliefs, but learned later in life that he had merely wanted her to know why she was getting involved. By the age of 12, Angela found herself starting to frequently ask the question "why?" of herself and the world around her. The answers didn't fit what she could see as being logical, which lead her into a subsequent period of spiritual limbo. When Gallant eventually met up with Paganism and then Wicca, the answers she found there were more fitting with her beliefs about life, nature, and the universe.
Part of Angela's understanding of the natural world and the development of her ethics came from her involvement with the Girl Guides of Canada. The Girl Guides and her biological father both frequently took Angela camping, hiking and fishing which developed a strong love and bond with nature. The familiar question of "why?" would often arise during her teen years about pollution and the impact of human society upon people and the Earth. Angela found that the original Guiding Law was a significant foundation for her adult beliefs leading her to be highly respectful, ethical, and mindful of her impact upon others and the world.
Wicca and Community Service
In 1990, Angela moved out on her own to complete her high school education away from the negative impact that alcohol was having in her family's home. Gallant formally dedicated herself to the Wiccan path as a healer and advocate in 1994 after having been introduced to Paganism through friends she had met in gaming groups and the SCA around the time she had left her parent's home. She then continued as a solitary practitioner for many years within the Pagan community of the Lower Mainland of BC, occasionally attending coffee cauldrons, Wicca 101 classes, and The Gathering For Life On Earth with Lisa Forryan (one of Angela's initial mentors). It was at The Gathering For Life On Earth where Angela first met Sam Wagar establishing a friendship/mentorship that has lasted ever since.
In 1999, Gallant moved around BC with her then husband eventually landing in the South Okanagan after meeting with Diane Morrison (Lady Sable) of Vernon, BC. Diane and Angela became part of a hub of Okanagan Paganism that inspired community, spiritual growth and public rituals. This group (first called "Okanagan Pagans" and then later known as "Okanagan Pagans Group"), communicated through the Internet Yahoo groups to arrange public rituals, coffee cauldrons, and eventually Okanagan Pagan Pride Day (from 2002-2006). Morrison and Gallant spearheaded most of the public activities of OPG and have both been featured in local newspapers ("much to the surprise of our respective employers," humorously notes Gallant).
In 2001, Morrison and Gallant, along with another older lady, began to create a musical group called Triune. Triune recorded a Yule CD along with a couple single original songs. Unfortunately, the distance of the Okanagan Valley and life itself, ended their musical endeavour. "Wake the World" was written and put to music by Angela and recorded by herself and Diane Morrison. For a time, "Wake the World" was very popular on an Internet-based Pagan radio station that has long since disappeared.
Gallant's family grew with the birth of first her daughter in 2000 and then the birth of her son in 2002. Both children were born at home with the assistance of Registered Midwives just as Midwifery had become accepted in the Okanagan of BC. In 2005, Angela became a Licensed Practical Nurse and separated from her husband with the divorce finalized in 2006. Since then, Gallant has met her current life partner and is happily expecting the arrival of another child September 2009.
In 2005, after many conversations and meetings with Samuel Wagar, Diane and Angela both joined and founded temples within the Congregationalist Wiccan Association of BC (CWA-BC) with Diane's husband Erin Currie and Gallant's longtime friend Mike Zult. Diane and Erin created a Temple in the North Okanagan, while Mike and Angela created a Temple in the South Okanagan. Both temples have performed public rituals, provided Wicca 101 classes, met with the curious, and advocated for equality in the workforce. The CWA-BC holds authority to perform legally binding marriages in BC and the two temples have had the pleasure of performing many legally binding Wiccan handfastings in the Okanagan. In 2008, Gallant left the CWA-BC to pursue other variations of learning and service on her spiritual path, leaving Mike Zult to continue with the Temple.
In 2004, Angela was officially initiated into the Pagans for Peace tradition to her first degree, even though she had previously passed that experience, and in 2005, received her second degree initiation. Gallant has since spent her time teaching those who seek the Gods on a Wiccan path along side of Diane, Erin, Samuel, and Mike.
In the summer of 2009 Angela and her family moved to Delta, BC to re-establish their connections with the community there. Gallant's current goal is to pursue her spiritual music and poetry, continue her outreach to the community through teaching not just wiccan practices but also Family Health and Doula services, and to extend her artistic inspirations into painting and sketches.
Philosophy and Vision
Beyond providing classes in Wicca 101 to her community, Angela also teaches workshops in wordless chant and ritual dance. During Gallant's time with the SCA, she learned belly dance and has since incorporated that tradition of dance into her ritual style. Angela sees these workshops as a means to help others free themselves of the shyness that can occur in group ritual, especially in skyclad rituals. She has found that when people find the freedom to express themselves through voice and movement, they suddenly begin to speak out for themselves and begin self-advocating for their own rights.
While Gallant has participated in 'hands-on' forms of spiritual healing, most of her healing work is based in spiritual counseling. When approached by people for answers, Angela works to empower them with the guidance to find those answers within themselves. Angela's home has been a teen drop-in crash space over the years when friends of friends' kids would find themselves unable to go home that night, or ever, and needed a safe place to sleep, food, and respect (by themselves and from others). Now and again, the young adults that used to come by for assistance still visit Angela to visit or seek guidance for answers that they are currently seeking.
The inspiration for Gallant's study into maternity began with her first pregnancy through an awareness of the deplorable conditions that some pregnant women and their families are forced to deal with when they lack other options or knowledge. The lack of knowledge regarding rights and options, or the unwillingness to distribute that knowledge, is where Angela found her voice as an advocate. She has since sought to provide the advocacy birthing families need for their health through the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual demands during this period of their lives. Angela has found that this role draws upon her resources as a priestess, a healer, a nurse, and a woman.
Angela lives a rather natural lifestyle, looking to natural foods and ways of living as cures to some of life's avoidable health problems. While not a herbalist, Gallant maintains a respectable knowledge of herbs and turns to her friend Diane Morrison, a certified herbalist, for specific knowledge and advice.
Angela raises her children in full knowledge of her Wiccan beliefs and allowing them to attend both family and public Sabbats. Both children were "wiccaned" in their infancy and Gallant keeps an open conversation with her children about other beliefs and their right to choose when they wish to. Angela is mindful never to force her children to join in circle, however, she humorously notes, "it is very difficult to keep them from participating, especially when it comes to the chants, the quarter calls and serving the 'cakes and ale.'"
Poetry and Music
- Autumn Has Come, Lyrics
- Feel The Draw Of The Elements, Poem
- Goddess Brighid Calls To Me, Poem
- Hear The Howls Of The Wind, Poem
- I am a Tree, Poem
- Let It Rain, Poem
- Rumble Shaking, Poem
- There She Is, Poem
- Wake The World, Song/Lyrics
In the News
- Wiccans Ring In Season, Penticton Western News (March 23, 2008)
On the Web
Biographical information provided by correspondence with Angela Gallant (2009).