Memorial Altar CPC Gathering 2010

Memorial altar at CPC Summer Gathering
honoring former guest teacher,
Alexei Kondratiev, 1949-2010

Alexei Kondratiev, 1949-2010

Noted Celtic scholar, linguist, and author, Alexei Kondratiev died Friday morning around 1 a.m., May 28, 2010, apparently of a heart attack. His writings on Celtic religion and spirituality included the remarkable book, The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual. His book was highly influential on both Celtic-oriented Druid groups and the Celtic reconstructionist movement. Kondratiev was a passionate defender of Celtic language and culture, and advocated that Pagan religions drawing from Celtic culture should study the living Celtic languages and communities.

In addition to his insightful writings, Kondratiev was fluent in all six livng Celtic languages and conducted classes on the Irish language at the Irish Arts Center in New York since 1985. He was an officer in the Celtic League American Branch. He was an amazingly skilled and learned linguist, as he spoke a total of at least 60 languages, 20 of them fluently.

Alexei Kondratiev was a co-leader and priest of the Protean Mnemosynides (Children of Memory) Coven. He served as priest in both the initiations of Myth Woodling and Thoron Woodling into the Protean tradition of the Gardnerian lineage in July 2008.

Kondratiev is survived by his life partner, Black Lotus (Len Rosenberg), his sisters, and mother. A memorial was held for him in New York City on August 22, 2010 at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgenger Center.

In 2008, Alexei Kondratiev was a guest teacher at the CPC Summer Gathering and helped lead the Kali puja with Black Lotus. During the puja, Alexi lead a recitation of the 108 names of the Hindu Goddess, Kali. He also taught at Maryland's Ecumenicon and Sacred Space conferences. He was a frequent participation and occasional speaker at science fiction conventions. He attended the Darkover fantasy convention in 2008 with Black Lotus, where they participated in CPC's Tea and Tarot party.

Among his many other interests, Kondratiev was an avid bird watcher and had a wealth of information on the subject of avians and bird habitats.

Someone once commented shortly after his death, "When Alexei died, it was like a library burning down." He will be sorely missed.

We will never, never lose our way
to the well of her memory,
and the power of her living flame,
it will rise again.
Like the grasses, through the dark,
through the soil to the sunlight,
we shall rise again.
We are thirsty for the waters of life,
we are moving.
We shall live again.

--written by Black Lotus in honor of Brigid, Alexei's deity. Sung at Alexei's memorial on Sunday, August 22, 2010.

Memorial altar for Alexei at a Lammas celebration (2010) in Maryland.

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