Gullveig Press is the only National Resource Center for Pagans in Prison. We network with the few Pagan Prison Ministries in the U.S. and independently search for resources that may improve the quality of life for Pagans in prison. We are usually the first place for prison Chaplains, volunteers, and incarcerated Pagans and their loved ones to contact for information.
Gullveig Press is a non-profit organization dedicated to locating, creating and distributing high quality materials for spiritual and psychological growth to Pagan residents, Chaplains, volunteers and others involved with the prison system. Created and led by Heather Awen, author, editor and publisher of Steel Bars, Sacred Waters: Celtic Paganism for Prisoners, Gullveig Press has a small volunteer staff both in and out of prison as well as occasional paid assistants. Awen’s personal money and all profits from Steel Bars, Sacred Waters sold to the general public via Amazon or this website are used to send free copies to books-to-prisoners organizations and prison Chaplains or libraries. Over 100 copies are now in American prisons.
If you would like to purchase a copy for someone in prison or work with incarcerated Pagans, a copy costs $12. For those not involved with Pagan Prison Ministries, the cost is $24 if ordered directly from Gullveig Press. Chaplains and Pagan Prison Ministries may receive a free PDF copy by contacting us.
The creator of the ALL Religions Prison Chaplain Resource List, Awen maintains the largest collection of free resources available to prison Chaplains and residents. The Resource List includes Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Native American Traditional, Jewish, Christian, Islam, and General Spirituality. If you work with or advocate for prisoners and would like a list of the ALL Religions Prison Chaplain Resource List, please contact Gullveig Press.
Awen sends around 35 free written materials about Wicca, Heathenry, African Diaspora Religions, and other Pagan religions directly to the Chief Chaplain of Illinois DOC, Chief Chaplain of New Hampshire DOC, and all prisons in Vermont as email attachments. She also works with Chaplains in Idaho and California state prisons. All of these Chaplains receive Awen’s Prison Rites, described below.
Most Pagans in state prisons cannot meet unless they have a volunteer present, which is sadly rare. Pagans generally do not volunteer and so a Buddhist volunteer may double as volunteer for the Pagan groups. For this reason, Awen was asked to write solitary rites for important Pagan holy days. These may be performed with only tap water, pencil, paper and the body. Eight times a year Awen emails three 2-page rituals: one for Wiccans about the Sabbat, one for those involved with Orisha Religions, and one for Heathens. They provide historical background information on the holy day and easy to do rites to celebrate them. To be included on the Gullveig Press Rites mailing list, please contact us.
Gullveig Press produces the Pagans in Prison Resource List. Copies are made for residents in prison and mailed to Pagans in prison looking for pen pals. Via word of mouth, Gullveig Press receives requests for the Pagans in Prison Resource List. If you would like a copy, please contact us or give our mailing address to any incarcerated Pagan: P.O. Box 126, St Johnsbury, VT 05819
Awen coordinates the Pagans in Prison Marketplace. She also helps loved ones of Pagans in prison find resources on other topics about incarceration.
The majority of people in American prisons are there for drug-related charges. In most Western European nations or Canada, people charged with the same crimes would spend 6 months in jail or be put on probation. Who is imprisoned is a political decision and in the U.S. that decision is still often made by the failed War on Drugs. We believe that healthy communities, counseling, education and Transformative Justice are more effective ways to heal the damages caused by addiction in our society than warehousing human beings.
Pagans in prison are asking for support. Gullveig Press is responding.
Gullveig Press gratefully accepts donations of postage stamps! If you would like to donate money for printing and mailing the Resource List, we have any account at Capitol Copy in Montpelier VT. Please tell manager Annabel that it’s for the Heather Awen Nonprofit account or email us for PayPal instructions. email@example.com 802-223-0500 32 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
In honor of Armstrong Diaz. “And I miss you more than all the others, This one is to you, my brother!” – Jim Carroll “People who Died”
“Armi Dee” was an important part of Gullveig Press. He insisted that everything we did was high quality because he said that economically poor people always were given crappy things and expected to feel grateful. His art is in Steel Bars, Sacred Waters along with his lessons from art school. Armi designed the cover from Carl Fairweather’s painting and laid out the book’s design. He was diagnosed with cancer and we were blessed with Alexandra Rena’s enthusiastic willingness to finish the job.
Armi was a street medic in the Tompkins Square “riots” and was mistaken for a “leader” of them. There was no leader, only an overzealous police force protecting the gentrification of a neighborhood having nonviolent protests that included people like Buddhist Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. With no one to call for bail, he was held for months in the infamous Riker’s Island prison until the charges were dropped. To stay alive, he used his art skills to barter for safety. We were friends before that time, bonding over squatting and comic book art, and his amazing daughter continues his legacy helping others as the IT department for a woman with severe chronic illnesses (me, Heather Awen). I have never lost anyone so important to me. A brujo who changed the world in subtle ways that few noticed but all benefited from, he was greatly influenced by his Suncha with whom he now reunited and too many friends who died too young.
He was the best friend I ever had.
Armstrong Maximillian Diaz, 49, of Pawtucket, originally from The Bronx, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 after a brave and lengthy battle with cancer. Armi overcame many hardships and lived life on his own terms. From the age of 15 he survived by living in abandoned buildings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with other homeless teens and young adults, many of whom became lifelong friends. While homeless he attended Manhattan Comprehensive Night High School and subsequently became an apprentice cook at the now-defunct Times Cafe. He then worked in several restaurants in Ithaca, NY where he rose through the kitchen ranks to the position of saucier. He later attended Bunker Hill Community College and graduated from Massachusetts College of Art. His artwork was exhibited in several gallery shows over the years, and much of it focused on his childhood in The Bronx and his experiences while homeless. He was a stay at home dad to his beloved daughter, Duvessa for many years. He most recently worked at the Busted Knuckle Bicycle Shop and as a custodian, bartender, and volunteer chef at the German American Cultural Society, where he was also a longtime member. Besides his daughter he leaves behind countless friends and family who loved him.