Elders of The Wica
As I knew Charles Clark, this website is slightly more focused on him and the Scottish Wica. However there were of course several other Craft Elders that became leading lights and helped to ensure the Crafts survival. On this page you will find some information about a few of them.
Doreen Valiente (Ameth) (1922-1999)
Doreen is well-known in the world of Witchcraft. Not only did she know Gardner and many of the other early Wica, but she also explored other traditions of Witchcraft. Her inquisitive and questing personality meant that she amassed much knowledge, which helped her to write several books on the subject. A woman truly worthy of the title 'The Mother of Modern Witchcraft'.
◉ Doreen's Books: Where Witchcraft Lives The Rebirth of Witchcraft, Witchcraft for Tomorrow, An ABC of Witchcraft, Natural Magic, Witchcraft A Tradition Renewed (with Evan John Jones), Charge of the Goddess (Doreen's poetry - released posthumously).
◉ Watch a YouTube Video that has been copied from a 1989 video called 'Eartth Magic' which features Doreen Valiente. The quality isn't great but is still interesting to hear her. It can be found here.
Patricia Crowther (Thelema)(1927- )
Patricia is another well-known High Priestess who has done much for the Goddess movement and has written several books. For many years she was married to Arnold Crowther, the stage magician and acquaintance of Aleister Crowley's. Patricia lives in Sheffield with her husband, Ian.
◉ Patricia's books: Lid off the Cauldron, The Zodiac Experience, High Priestess-The Life of Patricia Crowther, Witches Speak, Witches Were For Hanging, Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches Tarot, Witchcraft in Yorkshire. Witch Blood, From Stagecraft to Witchcraft
◉ http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/c/crowther_patricia_c.html - article about Patricia.
Eleanor Bone (Artemis) (1910-2001)
Eleanor Bone was originally initiated by hereditary Witches in Cumbria and then later joined the Wica, in 1960. Two of her initiates, Madge and Arthur Worthington (founders of the Whitecroft 'line'), were ultimately responsible for a large number of initiations in the UK which went a long way to ensuring the Craft's survival.
◉ witchcraftandwitches.com/witchcraft/witches-eleanor-bone/ has an article about Ray Bone.
Fred Lamond (Robert) (1931-2020)
Fred Lamond was a member of the Bricket Wood Coven near London for many years. He used to talk regularly on the subject of Witchcraft and wass also quite well-known in the IT world.
Lois Bourne (Tanith) (1928-2017)
Lois Bourne (Hemmings/Pearson) was another member of the Bricket Wood Coven. She has written several books about her experiences and her first book on practical magic was recently published.
◉ Lois' books: Conversations with a Witch, A Witch Amongst Us, Dancing with Witches, and Spells to Change Your Life. Lois also produced a small pamphlet under the name Lois Hemmings, about witchcraft in the English town which produced both Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General; and Cunning Murrell called Witchcraft and Manningtree (C1946)
Alex Sanders (Verbius) (1926-1988)
Although Alex Sanders did not really know Gardner, his contribution to the survival of Witchcraft can not be denied. Initiated into the Wica in 1962, his enthusiasm, magical knowledge and approach, attracted many people seeking initiation. Alex, along with his onetime partner Maxine Sanders, were highly flamboyant and their Craft activities created some of the more sensationalist headlines of the 1960s and 70s. Today, initiates tracing their lineage back to Alex are usually referred to as 'Alexandrians'.
◉ Stewart Farrar, a writer who was later to become associated with the Craft, first met Alex when he had been sent by his newspaper to interview him. You can read the articles that Stewart subsequently wrote here:-Reveille (Jan 10th 1970) and Reveille (Jan 17th 1970)
◉ A recording entitled 'A Witch Is Born' was made of the initiation of Janet Farrar (nee Owen) by Alex and several others in 1970. It was reissued in 1994, listen to it here. Buy it on its Amazon page here.
Edith Woodford-Grimes (Dafo) (1887-1975)
Edith Woodford-Grimes was a close companion of Gardner's for many years. It is thought that she may have been the person who introduced Gardner to the New Forest Coven, and whom Gardner often referred to as 'the witch'.
Jack Bracelin (Seamus) (?-1983)
Jack Bracelin ended up running the Five Acres Sun Club for Gardner. This was also where 'The Witches Cottage' was placed; a small hut that became the location for meetings of the Bricket Wood Coven. Jack is also attributed with being the writer of Gardner's biographer Gerald Gardner: Witch, though it was actually written by Idries Shah and was first published under Shah's own publishing label, Octagon Press.
Monique Wilson (nee Arnoux) (1923-1982) and Campbell Wilson (Olwen and Loic) (1923-?)
For more information on the Wilson's, please visit my Scottish Wica page
Thelma Capel (Dayonis)
Dayonis was involved with the Bricket Wood Coven in the 1950's and replaced Doreen Valiente as the High Priestess after Doreen left. In the late 1950s, she emigrated to Canada and a few years ago gave a talk about her experiences in the Craft.
Donna Gardner (1893 - 1960)
I feel that this page would not be complete without Donna Gardner, wife of Gerald. Whilst the traditional viewpoint is that Donna was not involved in Gardner's Craft activities. I believe that she would at times, participate in rituals. She was the High Priestess for Charles Clark's own initiation.
When time gives me some, I would like to write up my research into Donna Gardner and her involvement in the Wica.
Barbara Vickers (Morven) (1922 - 1973)
Barbara Vickers appears to have been amongst the first, if not the first, woman Gardner initiated. Recent research by Philip Heselton has shown that she had certainly received her initiation by November 1950. Doreen Valiente also met Barbara and mentions her in her writings.