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'.

◉ The Doreen Valiente Foundation have a website you can visit to learn more about this key Elder.

◉ Buy Philip Heseltons biographical book  Doreen Valiente - Witch

◉ Doreen's Books: Where Witchcraft Lives The Rebirth of Witchcraft, Witchcraft for Tomorrow, An ABC of WitchcraftNatural Magic, Witchcraft A Tradition Renewed (with Evan John Jones), Charge of the Goddess (Doreen's poetry - released posthumously).

◉ Read an article by Doreen that appeared in Psychic News on the 13th January 1962 here.

◉ Read a San Francisco News Article (December 7th 1962) about Doreen Valiente here.

◉ An article Doreen wrote about Witchcraft, which appeared in Predicition (May 1964) can be found here.

◉ An article about Doreen's involvement with the Witchcraft Research Association, formed in 1964, can be found here.

◉ Pentagram, probably the first magazine about witchcraft ever published, features several articles by Doreen. You can read Pentagram here.

◉ You can find an article featuring Doreen which appeared in the Brighton Evening Argus (April 25th 1984) here.

◉ A' Which' on the Witches - another article about Doreen from the Brighton Evening Argus (March 1st 1972)

◉ You can find a short YouTube video of Doreen's magical beneficiary, John Belham-Payne, saying something about Doreen's passing, in 1999.

◉ You can watch another YouTube video about Doreen Valiente's final residence getting a 'blue plaque' of recognition.

◉ Watch a YouTube Video called Doreen Valiente - Mother of Witchcraft.

◉ There are several articles about Doreen Valiente online and  in French here.

◉ 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 CauldronThe Zodiac ExperienceHigh Priestess-The Life of Patricia CrowtherWitches SpeakWitches Were For HangingSecrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches TarotWitchcraft in Yorkshire. Witch BloodFrom Stagecraft to Witchcraft

◉ It's a Night For the Witches - an article that featured in Sheffield Star (30th October 1965)

◉ The Eye of the Witch Goddess - an article by Justine Glass about Arnold Crowther's painting. Prediction (June 1966)

◉ An article about Midsummer from the Weekend Telegraph (June 17th 1966), featuring Patricia can be found here.

◉ You can find an older article about Patricia taken from Weekend (June 17th-23rd 1981) here.

◉ Far Out wrote an article about Patricia in the 1990's. Read it here.

◉ http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/c/crowther_patricia_c.html - article about Patricia.

◉ Listen to this YouTube clip featuring a young Patricia Crowther singing  'Lord Of The Dance'

◉ There is a page about Patricia Crowther in French here.



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.

◉ Read an article about Eleanor that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph (May 3rd 1964) here.

◉ Ray Bone gave an interview in Tit Bits (June 6th 1964), you can read it here.

◉ 'Real Witches At Work' - featuring Eleanor Bone. Life (November 1964)

◉ There is an interview with Eleanor Bone online here.

◉ 'Witches in Britain' - featuring Eleanor Bone. Weekend Telegraph (May 21st 1965)

◉ There is a page about Eleanor Bone in French here.

◉ Watch an amusing short video from 'Witchcraft 70' which features Eleanor Bone here.

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.

◉ Fred's books: Fifty Years of WiccaReligion without Beliefs,

◉ There is an article about Fred, taken from the 'Far-Out' Magazine here



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 UsDancing 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)

◉ There is a small interview with Lois in Saga Magazine, 1966 here

◉ You can find a small article about Lois which appeared in Psychic News on the 12th August 1961 here.

◉ There is a page about Lois Bourne in French here.

◉ Lois Pearson - A Witch in Suburbia article from 'Voices From The Sixties'



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'.

◉ June Johns wrote a book about Alex entitled King of the Witches a small review from Time (1970) magazine about this book, can be found here.

◉ 'Black magic rites on Cheshire Hillside' article from the Manchester Evening Chronicle and News, (Sept. 15th 1962)

◉ Why I Am A Witch by Alex Sanders - another newspaper article from Manchester Comet (June 30th 1965)

◉ Read the article  'England's Nude Witch Cult' which appeared in the American publication Swank in March 1966

◉ You can read a newspaper article about Alex, written by Eric Maple and taken from The Sun (October 29th 1970) here

◉ 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)

◉ Legend of the Witches is a film from 1970 which features Alex Sanders and other Coven members. Buy it here and see the DVD Intro here

◉ 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.

◉ Watch Secret Rites  - a 1971 documentary which Sanders appeared in.

Watch Luigi Scattini's 1970 film 'Witchcraft' featuring Alex and Maxine Sanders.

◉ The Occult Experience was a 1985 program featuring various occultists including Sanders. You can watch it on YouTube here.

◉ Alex has the last laugh in this Brighton Evening Argus (May 2nd 1988) article about his passing.

◉ A Men Only interview with Alex, from the 1973 can be read here.

◉ Alex Sanders was also an advisor on the 1966 film Eye of the Devil

◉ Watch a video clip from a 1970 documentary about Alex Sanders here

◉ Watch a video clip of Alex Sanders doing a Fire Spirit ritual here.

◉ Alex is featured in this 1989 video 'Earth Magic' a copy of which can be found 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'.

◉ For more information about Edith, please see Philip Heselton's book, Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration.



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.

◉ Jack gave a small interview which appeared in the Sunday Times (October 27th 1963). Find it here.

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.


◉ You can find an interview with Dayonis taken from the Daily Mail (November 3rd 1958) here.



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.

◉ View an image of Donna's final resting place here.

◉ See a photo of some beads, reputed to be a set that Donna wore in the circle.

◉ You can see a photo of Gerald and Donna together in Gerald Gardner: Witch by Jack Bracelin


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.

◉ Read Philip Heselton's article about Barbara Vickers here. This was first published in The Cauldron in May 2008.