If you’re lucky, every once in a while you’ll catch wind of a super-interesting individual from your home turf that was previously unknown to you. I’m from the Metro Detroit area and only recently became aware of Marion Kuclo, an amazing woman from the same region. Kuclo is remembered by locals as Gundella, a/k/a “The Green Witch.”
Born Marion Clark in Port Huron during the Great Depression, she was raised in Northern Michigan, before eventually relocating to Garden City, which is near Detroit. She grew up Protestant, but was also taught the pagan traditions of the Wicca religion. She came from a long line of witches and traced her genealogy back to the Green Witches of Scotland, a cult active in the 15th and 16th centuries. There were three primary witch cults based around colors, and her ancestors would smear green vegetable coloring on their faces to identify themselves.
Marion became a witch when she was initiated into a coven at age 18, taking on the Wicca name, Gundella. She believed in magic, reincarnation, and that there is a universal power source within us all that can be conjured up at any time. An elementary school teacher by trade, a chance encounter when she was around 40 years of age altered her path in life. During a Halloween party in 1969, she met the Head of Psychology at the University of Michigan, which led to her teaching class there, as well as giving lectures on witchcraft off campus. By year’s end, Gundella was a local celebrity.
c. 1971 (courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library).
Seen by the community as a “good” witch, Gundella didn’t identify herself as such, believing it’s the individual who is good or bad, not the practice of witchcraft.
Wyandotte Public Library appearance, August 10, 1973.
She wrote several books, and beginning in 1975 she had her own column in the local newspaper; it was called “Witch Watch.”
More after the jump…