I remember one of the first time I spoke with him outside of the busy madness of events. It was after a Great Lakes Witchs Council event (Yes, I know it is not spelled properly. That is on purpose. I will tell that story another time.). I had just scarfed down several confections and he pointed out the smudge of frosting and sugar on my mouth. It was a little thing, I know, but it opened up a conversation that gave me a whole new perspective on what it must have been like to grow up at his time of youth in Detroit.
It has almost been a year, close to a turn of the Wheel, since Michael Wiggins transitioned from this life and into the Lands of Summer. The loss of his smile, his snark, his joy of life, leaves a tangible absence in our psychic space here in Michigan’s Pagan world. The poignancy of that lack rung like a chime through our hearts as he was honored at the opening of ConVocation 2017 by his wife, family, and friends.
Last year, I wrote that
I did not know how true those words would play out in the future.
The Phoenix Cafe continues to honor his legacy by hosting Toys for Yule, and being a welcome and safe space for all. The spirit of creativity and artistic freedom there is an ongoing testimony to his mark. With every event, concert, showing, or gathering, the legacy continues to enrich us.
It was candid and unexpected conversations that are missed the most, now. Although the showman that he was would fill up the space of any room, it was the quiet introspection – with wry commentary – that made him a figure in my personal landscape of ideas. And I miss that, deeply, as do others who held space in that ballroom this February.
So, it has been a year – almost, and I have to wonder. If he were here, what would he make of us, this Pagan Michigan system of families? Would he look at us and smile? Or would he do his classic Michael Wiggins Judgement Shade-Turn? I guess we’ll find out on the other side. He won’t be hard to find. Just look for the gentleman holding court, dressed in steampunk, accompanied by a suspicious squirrel, larger than death, and doing it all with style.
Still giving honor where it is due. Gentleman, husband, father, entertainer, and more. And most strikingly, the only man who was able to fill a room with Pagans and get them to sing “Hallelujah”.
We miss you, Michael Wiggins. Hail the Mighty and Beloved Dead.