Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, 85, passed peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 7 surrounded by family. He was Chairman and the driving force behind Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., the oldest and largest publishers of New Age, metaphysical, self-help, and spirituality books in the world.
Weschcke was a life-long student of a broad range of metaphysical, spiritual and occult subjects, which led him to the purchase of the Llewellyn publishing company in 1961. He relocated the company to his home on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The mansion was said to be haunted and became the subject of many investigations and news stories through the 1960s and 1970s and remains well-known to this day.
Authors and booksellers referred to Weschcke as “the Father of the New Age” because of his early and aggressive public sponsorship of astrology, magic, metaphysics, paganism, parapsychology, tantra, Wicca and yoga. Weschcke and Llewellyn contributed to the burgeoning New Age movement in the 1960s and 1970s, sponsoring Gnosticon Festivals, opening an occult school and bookstore, and publishing the occult newspaper Gnostica. He is a former Wiccan High Priest and played a leading role in the rise of Wicca and Paganism during the 1960s and 1970s. In the fall of 1973 Weschcke helped organize the Council of American Witches and became its chairperson. He was also the 7th Past Grandmaster of the Ordo Aurum Solis.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Babson College, studied law at LaSalle University, and advanced study toward a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Minnesota. In 1959 he was elected president of the NAACP’s Minnesota branch and elected vice president of the ACLU’s Minnesota branch. In addition to book publishing he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry, furniture manufacture, and real estate management. With Llewellyn, he has worked in all aspects of the business and has co-authored ten books with Dr. Joe Slate of Athens, Alabama.
Carl is survived by wife Sandra and son Gabe, his wife Michele, and their three daughters. Sandra is president and treasurer of Llewellyn Worldwide and Gabe serves as vice president. They plan to carry on Carl’s legacy championing of alternative approaches to mind, spirit and body.
The public memorial took place at O’Halloran & Murphy in Woodbury, MN.