To Main Page
1601 "Pseudomemories have been acquired through dreams (particularly if one is encouraged to keep a journal or dream diary and to regard dream content as 'clues' about the past or as snippets of history), substance-induced altered states of consciousness (alcohol or other drugs), group influence (particularly hearing vivid accounts of events occurring to others with whom one identifies emotionally such as occurs in incest survivor groups), reading vivid accounts of events occurring to others with whom one identifies emotionally, watching such accounts in films or on television, and hypnosis. The most efficient means of inducing pseudomemories is hypnosis. "It is characteristic of pseudomemories that the recollections of complex events (as opposed to a simple unit of information, such as a tag number) are incomplete and without chronological sequence. Often the person reports some uncertainty because the pseudomemories are experienced in a manner they describe as 'hazy', 'fuzzy', or 'vague'. They are often perplexed that they recall some details vividly but others dimly. "Pseudomemories are not delusions. When first telling others of pseudomemories, these individuals do not have the unshakable but irrational conviction that deluded subjects have, but with social support they often come to defend vigorously the truthfulness of the pseudomemories. "Pseudomemories are not fantasies, but may incorporate elements from fantasies experienced in the past. Even where the events described are implausible, listeners may believe them because they are reported with such intense affect (i.e. with so much emotion attached to the story) that the listener concludes that the events must have happened because no one could 'fake' the emotional aspects of the retelling. It also occurs, however, that persons report pseudomemories in such a matter-of-fact and emotionless manner that mental health professionals conclude that the person has 'dissociated' intellectual knowledge of the events from emotional appreciation of their impact." -- b. TRAUMATIC MEMORY. The second possible answer is *traumatic memory*. Fear and severe trauma can cause victims to distort reality and confuse events. This is a well-documented fact in cases involving individuals taken hostage or in life-and-death situations. The distortions may be part of an elaborate defense mechanism of the mind called "splitting" - The victims create a clear-cut good-and-evil manifestation of their complex victimization that is then psychologically more manageable. Through the defense mechanism of dissociation, the victim may escape the horrors of reality by inaccurately processing that reality. In a dissociative state a young child who ordinarily would know the difference might misinterpret a film or video as reality. 1602 Another defense mechanism may tell the victim that it could have been worse, and so his or her victimization was not so bad. They are not alone in their victimization - other children were also abused. Their father who abused them is no different from other prominent people in the community they claim also abused them. Satanism may help to explain why their outwardly good and religious parents did such terrible things to them in the privacy of their home. Their religious training may convince them that such unspeakable acts by supposedly "good" people must be the work of the devil. The described human sacrifice may be symbolic of the "death" of their childhood. It may be that we should anticipate that individuals severely abused as very young children by *multiple* offenders with *fear* as the primary controlling tactic will distort and embellish their victimization. Perhaps a horror-filled yet inaccurate account of victimization is not only not a counterindication of abuse, but is in fact a corroborative indicator of extreme physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse. I do not believe it is a coincidence nor the result of deliberate planning by satanists that in almost all the cases of ritual abuse that have come to my attention, the abuse is alleged to have begun prior to the age of seven and perpetrated by multiple offenders. It may well be that such abuse, at young age by multiple offenders, is the most difficult to accurately recall with the specific and precise detail needed by the criminal justice system, and the most likely to be distorted and exaggerated when it is recalled. In her book _Too Scared to Cry_ (1990), child psychiatrist Lenore Terr, a leading expert on psychic trauma in childhood, states "that a series of early childhood shocks might not be fully and accurately 'reconstructed' from the dreams and behaviors of the adult" (p. 5). -- c. NORMAL CHILDHOOD FEARS AND FANTASY. The third possible answer may be *normal childhood fears and fantasy*. Most young children are afraid of ghosts and monsters. Even as adults, many people feel uncomfortable, for example, about dangling their arms over the side of their bed. They still remember the "monster" under the bed from childhood. While young children may rarely invent stories about sexual activity, they might describe their victimization in terms of evil as they understand it. In church or at home, children may be told of satanic activity as the source of evil. The children may be "dumping" all their fears and worries unto an attentive and encouraging listener. Children do fantasize. Perhaps whatever causes a child to allege something impossible (such as being cut up and put back together) is similar to what causes a child to allege something possible but improbable (such as witnessing another child being chopped up and eaten). 1603 -- d. MISPERCEPTION, CONFUSION, AND TRICKERY. Misperception, confusion, and trickery may be a fourth answer. Expecting young children to give accurate accounts of sexual activity for which they have little frame of reference is unreasonable. The Broadway play _Madame Butterfly_ is the true story of a man who had a 15-year affair, including the "birth" of a baby, with a "woman" who turns out to have been a man all along. If a grown man does not know when he has had vaginal intercourse with a woman, how can we expect young children not to be confused? Furthermore some clever offenders may deliberately introduce elements of satanism and the occult into the sexual exploitation simply to confuse or intimidate the victims. Simple magic and other techniques may be used to trick the children. Drugs may also be deliberately used to confuse the victims and distort their perceptions. Such acts would then be M.O., not ritual. As previously stated, the perceptions of young victims may also be influenced by any trauma being experienced. This is the most popular alternative explanation, and even the more zealous believers of ritual abuse allegations use it, but only to explain obviously impossible events. -- e. OVERZEALOUS INTERVENORS. *Overzealous intervenors*, causing intervenor contagion, may be a fifth answer. These intervenors can include parents, family members, foster parents, doctors, therapists, social workers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and any combination thereof. Victims have been subtly as well as overtly rewarded and bribed by usually well- meaning intervenors for furnishing further details. In addition, some of what appears not to have happened may have originated as a result of intervenors making assumptions about or misinterpreting what the victims are saying. The intervenors then repeat, and possibly embellish, these assumptions and misinterpretations, and eventually the victims are "forced" to agree with or come to accept this "official" version of what happened. The judgment of intervenors may be affected by their zeal to uncover child sexual abuse, satanic activity, or conspiracies. However "well-intentioned", these overzealous intervenors must accept varying degrees of responsibility for the unsuccessful prosecution of those cases where criminal abuse did occur. This is the most controversial and least popular of the alternative explanations. 1604 -- f. URBAN LEGENDS. Allegations of and knowledge about ritualistic or satanic abuse may also be spread through *urban legends*. In _The Vanishing Hitchhiker_ (1981), the first of his four books on the topic, Dr. Jan Harold Brunvand defines urban legends as "realistic stories concerning recent events (or alleged events) with an ironic or supernatural twist" (p. xi). Dr. Brunvand's books convincingly explain that just because individuals throughout the country who never met each other tell the same story does not mean that it is true. Absurd urban legends about the corporate logos of Proctor and Gamble and Liz Claiborne being satanic symbols persist in spite of all efforts to refute them with reality. Some urban legends about child kidnappings and other threats to citizens have even been disseminated unknowingly by law enforcement agencies. Such legends have always existed, but today the mass media aggressively participate in their rapid and more efficient dissemination. Many Americans mistakenly believe that tabloid television shows check out and verify the details of their stories before pulling them on the air. Mass hysteria may partially account for large numbers of victims describing the same symptoms or experiences. Training conferences for all the disciplines involved in child sexual abuse may also play a role in the spread of this contagion. At one child abuse conference I attended, an exhibitor was selling more than 50 different books dealing with satanism and the occult. By the end of the conference, he had sold nearly all of them. At another national child sexual abuse conference, I witnessed more than 100 attendees copying down the widely disseminated 29 "Symptoms Characterizing Satanic Ritual Abuse" in preschool-aged children. Is a four-year-old child's "preoccupation with urine and feces" an indication of satanic ritual abuse or part of normal development? -- g. COMBINATION. Most multidimensional child sex ring cases probably involve a *combination* of the answers previously set forth, as well as other possible explanations unknown to me at this time. Obviously, cases with adult survivors are more likely to involve some of these answers than those with young children. Each case of sexual victimization must be individually evaluated on its own merits without any preconceived explanations. All the possibilities must be explored if for no other reason than the fact that the defense attorneys for any accused subjects will almost certainly do so. Most people would agree that just because a victim tells you one detail that turns out to be true, this does not mean that every detail is true. But many people seem to believe that if you can disprove one part of a victim's story, then the entire story is false. As previously stated, one of my main concerns in these cases is that people are getting away with sexually abusing children or committing other crimes because we cannot prove that they are members of organized cults that murder and eat people. 1605 I have discovered that the subject of multidimensional child sex rings is a very emotional and polarizing issue. Everyone seems to demand that one choose a side. On one side of the issue are those who say that nothing really happened and it is all a big witch hunt led by overzealous fanatics and incompetent "experts". The other side says, in essence, that everything happened; victims never lie about child sexual abuse, and so it must be true. There is a middle ground. It is the job of the professional investigator to listen to all the victims and conduct appropriate investigation in an effort to find out what happened, considering all possibilities. Not all childhood trauma is abuse. Not all child abuse is a crime. The great frustration of these cases is the fact that you are often convinced that something traumatic happened to the victim, but do not know with any degree of certainty exactly what happened, when it happened, or who did it. 7. DO VICTIMS LIE ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION? The crucial central issue in the evaluation of a response to cases of multidimensional child sex rings is the statement "Children never lie about sexual abuse or exploitation. If they have details, it must have happened." This statement, oversimplified by many, is the basic premise upon which some believe the child sexual abuse and exploitation movement is based. It is almost never questioned or debated at training conferences. In fact, during the 1970s, there was a successful crusade to eliminate laws requiring corroboration of child victim statements in child sexual abuse cases. The best way to convict child molesters is to have the child victims testify in court. If we believe them, the jury will believe them. Any challenge to this basic premise was viewed as a threat to the movement and a denial that the problem existed. I believe that children *rarely* lie about sexual abuse or exploitation, if a lie is defined as a statement deliberately and maliciously intended to deceive. The problem is the oversimplification of the statement. Just because a child is not lying does not necessarily mean the child is telling the truth. I believe that in the majority of these cases, the victims are not lying. They are telling you what they have come to believe has happened to them. Furthermore the assumption that children rarely lie about sexual abuse does not necessarily apply to everything a child says during a sexual abuse investigation. Stories of mutilation, murder, and cannibalism are not really about sexual abuse. Children rarely lie about sexual abuse or exploitation. but they do fantasize, furnish false information, furnish misleading information, misperceive events, try to please adults, respond to leading questions, and respond to rewards. Children are not adults in little bodies and do go through developmental stages that must be evaluated and understood. In many ways, however, children are no better and no worse than other victims or witnesses of a crime. They should not be automatically believed, nor should they be automatically disbelieved. 1606 The second part of the statement - if children can supply details, the crime must have happened - must also be carefully evaluated. The details in question in most of the cases of multidimensional child sex rings have little to do with sexual activity. Law enforcement and social workers must do more than attempt to determine how a child could have known about the sex acts. These cases involve determining how a victim could have known about a wide variety of bizarre and ritualistic activity. Young children may know little about specific sex acts, but they may know a lot about monsters, torture, kidnapping, and murder. Victims may supply details of sexual and other acts using information from sources other than their own direct victimization. Such sources must be evaluated carefully by the investigator of multidimensional child sex rings. -- a. PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. The victim may have personal knowledge of the sexual or ritual acts, but not as a result of the alleged victimization. The knowledge could have come from viewing pornography, sex education, or occult material; witnessing sexual or ritual activity in the home; or witnessing the sexual abuse of others. It could also have come from having been sexually or physically abused, but by other than the alleged offenders and in ways other than the alleged offense. -- b. OTHER CHILDREN OR VICTIMS. Young children today are socially interacting more often and at a younger age than ever before. Many parents are unable to provide possibly simple explanations for their children's stories because they were not with the children when the events occurred. They do not even know what videotapes their children may have seen, what games they may have played, or what stories they may have been told or overheard. Children are being placed in day care centers for eight, ten, or twelve hours a day starting as young as six weeks of age. The children share experiences by playing house, school, or doctor. Bodily functions such as urination and defecation are a focus of attention for these young children. To a certain extent, each child shares the experiences of all the other children. 1607 The odds are fairly high that in any typical day care center there might be some children who are victims of incest; victims of physical abuse; victims of psychological abuse; children of cult members (even satanists); children of sexually open parents; children of sexually indiscriminate parents; children of parents obsessed with victimization; children of parents obsessed with the evils of satanism; children without conscience; children with a teenage brother or pregnant mother; children with heavy metal music and literature in the home; children with bizarre toys, games, comics, and magazines; children with a VCR and slasher films in their home; children with access to dial-a-porn, party lines, or pornography; or children victimized by a day care center staff member. The possible effects of the interaction of such children prior to the disclosure of the alleged abuse must be evaluated, Adult survivors may obtain details from group therapy sessions, support networks, church groups, or self-help groups. The willingness and ability of siblings to corroborate adult survivor accounts of ritual abuse varies. Some will support and partially corroborate the victim's allegations. Others will vehemently deny them and support their accused parents or relatives. -- c. MEDIA. The amount of sexually explicit, occult, anti-occult, or violence- oriented material available to adults and even children in the modern world is overwhelming. This includes movies, videotapes, television, music, toys, and books. There are also documentaries on satanism, witchcraft, and the occult that are available on videotape. Most of the televangelists have videotapes on the topics that they are selling on their programs. The National Coalition on Television Violence News (1988) estimates that 12% of the movies produced in the United States can be classified as satanic horror films. Cable television and the home VCR make all this material readily available even to young children. Religious broadcasters and almost all the television tabloid and magazine programs have done shows on satanism and the occult. Heavy metal and black metal music, which often has a satanic theme, is readily available and popular. In addition to the much-debated fantasy role-playing games, there are numerous popular toys on the market with an occult-oriented, bizarre, or violent theme. Books on satanism and the occult, both fiction and nonfiction, are readily available in most bookstores, especially Christian bookstores. Several recent books specifically discuss the issue of ritual abuse of children. Obviously, very young children do not read this material, but their parents, relatives, and therapists might and then discuss it in front of or with them. Much of the material intended to fight the problem actually fuels the problem and damages effective prosecution. 1608 -- d. SUGGESTIONS AND LEADING QUESTIONS. This problem is particularly important in cases stemming from custody/visitation disputes involving at least one child under the age of seven. It is my opinion that most suggestive, leading questioning of children by intervenors is inadvertently done as part of a good-faith effort to learn the truth. Not all intervenors are in equal positions to potentially influence victim allegations. Parents and relatives especially are in a position to subtly influence their young children to describe their victimization in a certain way. Children may also overhear their parents discussing the details of the case. Children often tell their parents what they believe their parents want or need to hear. Some children may be instinctively attempting to provide "therapy" for their parents by telling them what seems to satisfy them and somehow makes them feel better. In one case a father gave the police a tape recording to "prove" that his child's statements were spontaneous disclosures and not the result of leading, suggestive questions. The tape recording indicated just the opposite. Why then did the father voluntarily give it to the police? Probably because he truly believed that he was not influencing his child's statements - but he was. Therapists are probably in the best position to influence the allegations of adult survivors. The accuracy and reliability of the accounts of adult survivors who have been hypnotized during therapy is certainly open to question. One nationally-known therapist personally told me that the reason police cannot find out about satanic or ritualistic activity from child victims is that they do not know how to ask leading questions. Highly suggestive books and pictures portraying "satanic" activity have been developed and marketed to therapists for use during evaluation and treatment. Types and styles of verbal interaction useful in therapy may create significant problems in a criminal investigation. It should be noted, however, that when a therapist does a poor investigative interview as part of a criminal investigation, that is the fault of the criminal justice system that allowed it and not the therapist who did it. The extremely sensitive, emotional, and religious nature of these cases makes problems with leading questions more likely than in other kinds of cases. Intervenors motivated by religious fervor and/or exaggerated concerns about sexual abuse of children are more likely to lose their objectivity. -- e. MISPERCEPTION AND CONFUSION. In one case, a child's description of the apparently impossible act of walking through a wall turned out to be the very possible act of walking between the studs of an unfinished wall in a room under construction. In another case, pennies in the anus turned out to be copper-foil-covered suppositories. The children may describe what they believe happened. It is not a lie, but neither is it an accurate account of what happened. 1609 -- f. EDUCATION AND AWARENESS PROGRAMS. Some well-intentioned awareness programs designed to prevent child set abuse, alert professionals, or fight satanism may in fact be unrealistically increasing the fears of professionals, children, and parents and creating self-fulfilling prophesies. Some of what children and their parents are telling intervenors may have been learned in or fueled by such programs. Religious programs, books, and pamphlets that emphasize the power and evil force of Satan may be adding to the problem. In fact most of the day care centers in which ritualistic abuse is alleged to hate taken place are church- affiliated centers, and many of the adult survivors alleging it come from apparently religious families. 8. LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSPECTIVE. The perspective with which one looks at satanic, occult, or ritualistic crime is extremely important. As stated, sociologists, therapists, religious leaders, parents, and just plain citizens each have their own valid concerns and views about this issue. This discussion, however, deals primarily with the law enforcement or criminal justice perspective. When you combine an emotional issue such as the sexual abuse of children with an even more emotional issue such as people's religious beliefs, it is difficult to maintain objectivity and remember the law enforcement perspective. Some police officers may even feel that all crime is caused by evil, all evil is caused by Satan, and therefore, all crime is satanic crime. This may be a valid religious perspective, but it is of no relevance to the investigation of crime for purposes of prosecution. Many of the police officers who lecture on satanic or occult crime do not even investigate such cases. Their presentations are more a reflection of their personal religious beliefs than documented investigative information. They are absolutely entitled to their beliefs, but introducing themselves as current or former police officers and then speaking as religious advocates causes confusion. As difficult as it might be, police officers must separate the religious and law enforcement perspectives when they are lecturing or investigating in their official capacities as law enforcement officers. Many law enforcement officers begin their presentations by stating that they are not addressing or judging anyone's religious beliefs, and then proceed to do exactly that. Some police officers have resigned rather than curtail or limit their involvement in this issue as ordered by their departments. Perhaps such officers deserve credit for recognizing that they could no longer keep the perspectives separate. 1610 Law enforcement officers and all professionals in this field should avoid the "paranoia" that has crept into this issue and into some of the training conferences. Paranoid type belief systems are characterized by the gradual development of intricate, complex, and elaborate systems of thinking based on and often proceeding logically from misinterpretation of actual events. Paranoia typically involves hypervigilance over the perceived threat, the belief that danger is around every corner, and the willingness to take up the challenge and do something about it. Another very important aspect of this paranoia is the belief that those who do not recognize the threat are evil and corrupt. In this extreme view, you are either with them or against them. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Overzealousness and exaggeration motivated by the true religious fervor of those involved is more acceptable than that motivated by ego or profit. There are those who are deliberately distorting and hyping this issue for personal notoriety and profit. Satanic and occult crime and ritual abuse of children has become a growth industry. Speaking fees, books, video and audio tapes, prevention material, television and radio appearances all bring egoistic and financial rewards. Bizarre crime and evil can occur without organized satanic activity. The professional perspective requires that we distinguish between what we know and what we're not sure of. The facts are: -- a. Some individuals believe in and are involved in something commonly called satanism and the occult. -- b. Some of these individuals commit crime. -- c. Some groups of individuals share these beliefs and involvement in this satanism and the occult. -- d. Some members of these groups commit crime together. The unanswered questions are: -- a. What is the connection between the belief system and the crimes committed? -- b. Is there an organized conspiracy of satanic and occult believers responsible for interrelated serious crime (e.g., molestation, murder)? After all the hype and hysteria are put aside, the realization sets in that most satanic/occult activity involves the commission of *no* crimes, and that which does usually involves the commission of relatively minor crimes such as trespassing, vandalism, cruelty to animals, or petty thievery. 1611 The law enforcement problems most often linked to satanic or occult activity are: -- a. Vandalism. -- b. Desecration of churches and cemeteries. -- c. Thefts from churches and cemeteries. -- d. Teenage gangs -- e. Animal mutilations. -- f. Teenage suicide. -- g. Child abuse. -- h. Kidnapping. -- i. Murder and human sacrifice Valid evidence shows some "connection" between satanism and the occult and the first six problems (#a-f) set forth above. The "connection" to the last three problems (#g-i) is far more uncertain. Even where there seems to be a "connection", the nature of the connection needs to be explored. It is easy to blame involvement in satanism and the occult for behaviors that have complex motivations. A teenager's excessive involvement in satanism and the occult is usually a symptom of a problem and not the cause of a problem. Blaming satanism for a teenager's vandalism, theft, suicide, or even act of murder is like blaming a criminal's offenses on his tattoos: Both are often signs of the same rebelliousness and lack of self- esteem that contribute to the commission of crimes. The rock band Judas Priest was recently sued for allegedly inciting two teenagers to suicide through subliminal messages in their recordings. In 1991 Anthony Pratkanis of the University of California at Santa Cruz, who served as an expert witness for the defense, stated the boys in question "lived troubled lives, lives of drug and alcohol abuse, run-ins with the law ... family violence, and chronic unemployment. What issues did the trial and the subsequent mass media coverage emphasize? Certainly not the need for drug treatment centers; there was no evaluation of the pros and cons of America's juvenile justice system, no investigation of the schools, no inquiry into how to prevent family violence, no discussion of the effects of unemployment on a family. Instead our attention was mesmerized by an attempt to count the number of subliminal demons that can dance on the end of a record needle" (p. 1). 1612 The law enforcement investigator must objectively evaluate the legal significance of any criminal's spiritual beliefs. In most cases, including those involving satanists, it will have little or no legal significance. If a crime is committed as part of a spiritual belief system, it should make no difference which belief system it is. The crime is the same whether a child is abused or murdered as part of a Christian, Hare Krishna, Moslem, or any other belief system. We generally don't label crimes with the name of the perpetrator's religion. Why then are the crimes of child molesters, rapists, sadists, and murderers who happen to be involved in satanism and the occult labeled as satanic or occult crimes? If criminals use a spiritual belief system to rationalize and justify or to facilitate and enhance their criminal activity, should the focus of law enforcement be on the belief system or on the criminal activity? Several documented murders have been committed by individuals involved in one way or another in satanism or the occult. In some of these murders the perpetrator has even introduced elements of the occult (e.g. satanic symbols at crime scene). Does that automatically make these satanic murders? It is my opinion that the answer is no. Ritualistic murders committed by serial killers or sexual sadists are not necessarily satanic or occult murders. Ritualistic murders committed by psychotic killers who hear the voice of Satan are no more satanic murders than murders committed by psychotic killers who hear the voice of Jesus are Christian murders. Rather a satanic murder should be defined as one committed by two or more individuals who rationally plan the crime and whose *primary* motivation is to fulfill a prescribed satanic ritual calling for the murder. By this definition I have been unable to identify even one documented satanic murder in the United States. Although such murders may have and can occur, they appear to be few in number. In addition the commission of such killings would probably be the beginning of the end for such a group. It is highly unlikely that they could continue to kill several people, every year, year after year, and not be discovered. A brief typology of satanic and occult practitioners is helpful in evaluating what relationship, if any, such practices have to crimes under investigation. The following typology is adapted from the investigative experience of Officer Sandi Gallant of the San Francisco Police Department, who began to study the criminal aspects of occult activity long before it became popular. No typology is perfect, but I use this typology because it is simple and offers investigative insights. Most practitioners fall into one of three categories, any of which can be practiced alone or in groups: 1613 -- a. "YOUTH SUBCULTURE. "Most teenagers involved in fantasy role-playing games, heavy metal music, or satanism and the occult are going through a stage of adolescent development and commit no significant crimes. The teenagers who have more serious problems are usually those from dysfunctional families or those who have poor communication within their families. These troubled teenagers turn to satanism and the occult to overcome a sense of alienation, to rebel, to obtain power, or to justify their antisocial behavior. For these teenagers it is the symbolism, not the spirituality, that is more important. It is either the psychopathic or the oddball, loner teenager who is most likely to get into serious trouble. Extreme involvement in the occult is a symptom of a problem, not the cause. This is not to deny, however, that satanism and the occult can be negative influences for a troubled teenager. But to hysterically warn teenagers to avoid this "mysterious, powerful and dangerous" thing called satanism will drive more teenagers right to it. Some rebellious teenagers will do whatever will most shock and outrage society in order to flaunt their rejection of adult norms. -- b. "DABBLERS (SELF-STYLED). "For these practitioners there is little or no spiritual motivation. They may mix satanism, witchcraft, paganism, and any aspects of the occult to suit their purposes. Symbols mean whatever they want them or believe them to mean. Molesters, rapists, drug dealers, and murderers may dabble in the occult and may even commit their crimes in a ceremonial or ritualistic way. This category has the potential to be the most dangerous, and most of the "satanic" killers fall into this category. Their involvement in satanism and the occult is a symptom of a problem, and a rationalization and justification of antisocial behavior. Satanic/occult practices (as well as those of other spiritual belief systems) can also be used as a mechanism to facilitate criminal objectives. -- c. "TRADITIONAL (ORTHODOX). "These are the so-called true believers. They are often wary of outsiders. Because of this and constitutional issues, such groups are difficult for law enforcement to penetrate. Although there may be much we don't know about these groups, as of now there is little or no hard evidence that as a group they are involved in serious, organized criminal activity. In addition, instead of being self- perpetuating master crime conspirators, "true believers" probably have a similar problem with their teenagers rebelling against their belief system. To some extent even these Traditional satanists are self-stylized. They practice what they have come to believe is "satanism". There is little or no evidence of the much-discussed multigenerational satanists whose beliefs and practices have supposedly been passed down through the centuries. Many admitted adult satanists were in fact raised in conservative Christian homes." 1614 _Washington Post_ editor Walt Harrington reported in a 1986 story on Anton LaVey and his Church of Satan that "sociologists who have studied LaVey's church say that its members often had serious childhood problems like alcoholic parents or broken homes, or that they were traumatized by guilt-ridden fundamentalist upbringings, turning to Satanism as a dramatic way to purge their debilitating guilt" (p. 14). Some have claimed that the accounts of ritual abuse victims coincide with historical records of what traditional or multigenerational satanists are known to have practiced down through the ages. Jeffrey Burton Russell, Professor of History at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the author of numerous scholarly books on the devil and satanism, believes that the universal consensus of modern historians on satanism is (personal communication, Nov. 1991): "(1) incidents of orgy, infanticide, cannibalism, and other such conduct have occurred from the ancient world down to the present; (2) such incidents were isolated and limited to local antisocial groups; (3) during the period of Christian dominance in European culture, such groups were associated with the Devil in the minds of the authorities; (4) in some cases the sectaries believed that they were worshiping Satan; (5) no organized cult of Satanists existed in the Christian period beyond localities, and on no account was there ever any widespread Satanist organization or conspiracy; (6) no reliable historical sources indicate that such organizations existed; (7) the black mass appears only once in the sources before the late nineteenth century." Many police officers ask what to look for during the search of the scene of suspected satanic activity. The answer is simple: Look for evidence of a crime. A pentagram is no more criminally significant than a crucifix unless it corroborates a crime or a criminal conspiracy. If a victim's description of the location or the instruments of the crime includes a pentagram, then the pentagram would be evidence. But the same would be true if the description included a crucifix. In many cases of alleged satanic ritual abuse, investigation can find evidence that the claimed offenders are members only of mainstream churches and are often described as very religious. There is no way any one law enforcement officer can become knowledgeable about all the symbols and rituals of every spiritual belief system that might become part of a criminal investigation. The officer needs only to be trained to recognize the possible investigative significance of such signs, symbols, and rituals. Knowledgeable religious scholars, academics, and other true experts in the community can be consulted if a more detailed analysis is necessary. Any analysis, however, may have only limited application, especially to cases involving teenagers, dabblers, and other self-styled practitioners. The fact is signs, symbols, and rituals can mean anything that practitioners want them to mean and/or anything that observers interpret them to mean. 1615 The meaning of symbols can also change over time, place, and circumstance. Is a swastika spray-painted on a wall an ancient symbol of prosperity and good fortune, a recent symbol of Nazism and anti-Semitism, or a current symbol of hate, paranoia, and adolescent defiance? The peace sign which in the 1960s was a familiar antiwar symbol is now supposed to be a satanic symbol. Some symbols and holidays become "satanic" only because the antisatanists say they are. Then those who want to be "satanists" adopt them, and now you have "proof" they are satanic. In spite of what is sometimes said or suggested at law enforcement training conferences, police have no authority to seize any satanic or occult paraphernalia they might see during a search. A legally- valid reason must exist for doing so. It is not the job of law enforcement to prevent satanists from engaging in noncriminal teaching, rituals, or other activities. 9. INVESTIGATING MULTIDIMENSIONAL CHILD SEX RINGS. Multidimensional child sex rings can be among the most difficult, frustrating, and complex cases that any law enforcement officer will ever investigate. The investigation of allegations of recent activity from multiple young children under the age of seven presents one set of problems and must begin quickly, with interviews of *all* potential victims being completed as soon as possible. The investigation of allegations of activity ten or more years earlier from adult survivors presents other problems and should proceed, unless victims are at immediate risk, more deliberately, with gradually-increasing resources as corroborated facts warrant. In spite of any skepticism, allegations of ritual abuse should be aggressively and thoroughly investigated, This investigation should attempt to corroborate the allegations of ritual abuse. but should *simultaneously* also attempt to identify alternative explanations. The only debate is over how much investigation is enough. Any law enforcement agency must be prepared to defend and justify its actions when scrutinized by the public, the media, elected officials, or the courts. This does not mean, however, that a law enforcement agency has an obligation to prove that the alleged crimes did not occur. This is almost always impossible to do and investigators should be alert for and avoid this trap. One major problem in the investigation of multidimensional child sex rings is the dilemma of recognizing soon enough that you have one. Investigators must be alert for cases with the potential for the four basic dynamics: (a) multiple young victims, (b) multiple offenders, (c) fear as the controlling tactic, and (d) bizarre or ritualistic activity. The following techniques apply primarily to the investigation of such multidimensional child sex rings: 1616 -- a. MINIMIZE SATANIC/OCCULT ASPECT. There are those who claim that one of the major reasons more of these cases have not been successfully prosecuted is that the satanic/occult aspect has not been aggressively pursued. One state has even introduced legislation creating added penalties when certain crimes are committed as part of a ritual or ceremony. A few states have passed special ritual crime laws. I strongly disagree with such an approach. It makes no difference what spiritual belief system was used to enhance and facilitate or rationalize and justify criminal behavior. It serves no purpose to "prove" someone is a satanist. As a matter of fact, if it is alleged that the subject committed certain criminal acts under the influence of or in order to conjure up supernatural spirits or forces, this may very well be the basis for an insanity or diminished capacity defense, or may damage the intent aspect of a sexually motivated crime. The defense may very well be more interested in all the "evidence of satanic activity". Some of the satanic crime "experts" who train law enforcement wind up working or testifying for the defense in these cases. It is best to focus on the crime and all the evidence to corroborate its commission. Information about local satanic or occult activity is only of value if it is based on specific law enforcement intelligence and not on some vague, unsubstantiated generalities from religious groups. Cases are not solved by decoding signs, symbols, and dates using undocumented satanic crime "manuals". In one case a law enforcement agency executing a search warrant seized only the satanic paraphernalia and left behind the other evidence that would have corroborated victim statements. Cases are solved by people- and behavior-oriented investigation. Evidence of satanic or occult activity may help explain certain aspects of the case, but even offenders who commit crimes in a spiritual context are usually motivated by power, sex, and money. -- b. KEEP INVESTIGATION AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS SEPARATE. I believe that one of the biggest mistakes any investigator of these cases can make is to attribute supernatural powers to the offenders. During an investigation a good investigator may sometimes be able to use the beliefs and superstitions of the offenders to his or her advantage. The reverse happens if the investigator believes that the offenders possess supernatural powers. Satanic/occult practitioners have no more power than any other human beings. Law enforcement officers who believe that the investigation of these cases puts them in conflict with the supernatural forces of evil should probably not be assigned to them. The religious beliefs of officers should provide spiritual strength and support for them but should not affect the objectivity and professionalism of the investigation. 1617 It is easy to get caught up in these cases and begin to see "satanism" everywhere. Oversensitization to this perceived threat may cause an investigator to "see" satanism in a crime when it really is not there (quasi-satanism). Often the eye sees what the mind perceives. It may also cause an investigator not to recognize a staged crime scene deliberately seeded with "satanic clues" in order to mislead the police (pseudo-satanism). On rare occasions an overzealous investigator or intervenor may even be tempted to plant "evidence of satanism" in order to corroborate such allegations and beliefs. Supervisors need to be alert for and monitor these reactions in their investigators. -- c. LISTEN TO THE VICTIMS. It is not the investigator's duty to believe the victims; it is his or her job to listen and be an objective fact finder. Interviews of young children should be done by investigators trained and experienced in such interviews. Investigators must have direct access to the alleged victims for interview purposes. Therapists for an adult survivor sometimes want to act as intermediaries in their patient's interview. This should be avoided if at all possible. Adult survivor interviews are often confusing difficult and extremely time-consuming. The investigator must remember however that almost anything is possible. Most important the investigator must remember that there is much middle ground. Just because one event did happen does not mean that all reported events happened, and just because one event did not happen does not mean that all other events did not happen. Do not become such a zealot that you believe it all nor such a cynic that you believe nothing. Varying amounts and parts of the allegation may be factual. Attempting to find evidence of what did happen is the great challenge of these cases. *All* investigative interaction with victims must be carefully and thoroughly documented. -- d. ASSESS AND EVALUATE VICTIM STATEMENTS. This is the part of the investigative process in child sexual victimization cases that seems to have been lost. Is the victim describing events and activities that are consistent with law enforcement documented criminal behavior, or that are consistent with distorted media accounts and erroneous public perceptions of criminal behavior? Investigators should apply the "template of probability". Accounts of child sexual victimization that are more like books, television, and movies (e.g. big conspiracies, child sex slaves, organized pornography rings) and less like documented cases should be viewed with skepticism but thoroughly investigated. Consider and investigate all possible explanations of events. It is the investigator's job, and the information learned will be invaluable in counteracting the defense attorneys when they raise the alternative explanations. 1618 For example, an adult survivor's account of ritual victimization might be explained by any one of at least four possibilities: First, the allegations may be a fairly accurate account what actually happened. Second, they may be deliberate lies (malingering), told for the usual reasons people lie (e.g. money, revenge, jealousy). Third, they may be deliberate lies (factitious disorder) told for atypical reasons (e.g. attention, forgiveness). Lies so motivated are less likely to be recognized by the investigator and more likely to be rigidly maintained by the liar unless and until confronted with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Fourth, the allegations may be a highly inaccurate account of what actually happened, but the victim truly believes it (pseudomemory) and therefore is not lying. A polygraph examination of such a victim would be of limited value. Other explanations or combinations of these explanations are also possible. *Only* thorough *investigation* will point to the correct or most likely explanation. Investigators cannot rely on therapists or satanic crime experts as a shortcut to the explanation. In one case, the "experts" confirmed and validated the account of a female who claimed to be a 15-year- old deaf-mute kidnapped and held for three years by a satanic cult and forced to participate in bizarre rituals before recently escaping. Active investigation, however, determined she was a 27- year-old woman who could hear and speak, who had not been kidnapped by anyone, and who had a lengthy history of mental problems and at least three other similar reports of false victimization. Her "accurate" accounts of what the "real satanists" do were simply the result of having read, while in mental hospitals, the same books that the "experts" had. A therapist may have important insights about whether an individual was traumatized, but knowing the exact cause of that trauma is another matter. There have been cases where investigation has discovered that individuals diagnosed by therapists as suffering from Post-Vietnam Syndrome were never in Vietnam or saw no combat. Conversely, in another case, a law enforcement "expert" on satanic crime told a therapist that a patient's accounts of satanic murders in a rural Pacific Northwest town were probably true because the community was a hotbed of such satanic activity. When the therapist explained that there was almost no violent crime reported in the community, the officer explained that that is how you know it is the satanists. If you knew about the murders or found the bodies, it would not be satanists. How do you argue with that kind of logic? The first step in the assessment and evaluation of victim statements is to determine the disclosure sequence, including how much time has elapsed since disclosure was first made and the incident was reported to the police or social services. The longer the delay, the bigger the potential for problems. The next step is to determine the number and purpose of *all prior* interviews of the victim concerning the allegations. The more interviews conducted before the investigative interview, the larger the potential for problems. Although there is nothing wrong with admitting shortcomings and seeking help, law enforcement should never abdicate its control over the investigative interview. When an investigative interview is conducted by or with a social worker or therapist using a team approach, law enforcement must direct the process. Problems can also be created by interviews conducted by various intervenors *after* the investigative interview(s). 1619 The investigator must closely and carefully evaluate events in the victim's life before, during, and after the alleged abuse. Events to be evaluated *before* the alleged abuse include: ---- (1) Background of victim. ---- (2) Abuse of drugs in home. ---- (3) Pornography in home. ---- (4) Play, television, and VCR habits. ---- (5) Attitudes about sexuality in home. ---- (6) Extent of sex education in home. ---- (7) Activities of siblings. ---- (8) Need or craving for attention. ---- (9) Religious beliefs and training. ---- (10) Childhood fears. ---- (11) Custody/visitation disputes. ---- (12) Victimization of or by family members. ---- (13) Interaction between victims. Events to be evaluated *during* the alleged abuse include: ---- (1) Use of fear or scare tactics. ---- (2) Degree of trauma. ---- (3) Use of magic deception or trickery. ---- (4) Use of rituals. ---- (5) Use of drugs. ---- (6) Use of pornography. Events to be evaluated *after* the alleged abuse include: ---- (1) Disclosure sequence. ---- (2) Background of prior interviewers. ---- (3) Background of parents. ---- (4) Co-mingling of victims. ---- (5) Type of therapy received. -- e. EVALUATE CONTAGION. Consistent statements obtained from different multiple victims are powerful pieces of corroborative evidence - that is as long as those statements were not "contaminated". Investigation must carefully evaluate both pre- and post-disclosure contagion, and both victim and intervenor contagion. Are the different victim statements consistent because they describe common experiences or events, or because they reflect contamination or urban legends? The sources of potential contagion are widespread. Victims can communicate with each other both prior to and after their disclosures. Intervenors can communicate with each other and with victims. The team or cell concepts of investigation are attempts to deal with potential investigator contagion. All the victims are not interviewed by the same individuals, and interviewers do not necessarily share information directly with each other. Teams report to a leader or supervisor who evaluates the information and decides what other investigators need to know. 1620 Documenting existing contagion and eliminating additional contagion are crucial to the successful investigation and prosecution of these cases. There is no way, however, to erase or undo contagion. The best you can hope for is to identify and evaluate it and attempt to explain it. Mental health professionals requested to evaluate suspected victims must be carefully selected. Having a victim evaluated by one of the self-proclaimed experts on satanic ritual abuse or by some other overzealous intervenor may result in the credibility of that victim's testimony being severely damaged. In order to evaluate the contagion element, investigators must meticulously and aggressively investigate these cases. The precise disclosure sequence of the victim must be carefully identified and documented. Investigators must verify through active investigation the exact nature and content of each disclosure outcry or statement made by the victim. Second-hand information about disclosure is not good enough. Whenever possible, personal visits should be made to all locations of alleged abuse and the victim's homes. Events prior to the alleged abuse must be carefully evaluated. Investigators may have to view television programs, films, and videotapes seen by the victims. It may be necessary to conduct a background investigation and evaluation of everyone, both professional and nonprofessional, who interviewed the victims about the allegations prior to and after the investigative interview(s). Investigators must be familiar with the information about ritual abuse of children being disseminated in magazines, books, television programs, videotapes, and conferences. Every possible way that a victim could have learned about the details of the abuse must be explored if for no other reason than to eliminate them and counter the defense's arguments. There may, however, be validity to these contagion factors. *They may explain some of the "unbelievable" aspects of the case and result in the successful prosecution of the substance of the case.* Consistency of statements becomes more significant if contagion is identified or disproved by independent investigation. The easier cases are the ones where there is a single, identifiable source of contagion. Most cases, however, seem to involve multiple contagion factors. Munchausen Syndrome and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy are complex and controversial issues in these cases. No attempt will be made to discuss them in detail, but they are documented facts (Rosenberg, 1987). Most of the literature about them focuses on their manifestation in the medical setting as false or self-inflicted illness or injury. They are also manifested in the criminal justice setting as false or self-inflicted crime victimization. If parents would poison their children to prove an illness, they might sexually abuse their children to prove a crime. "Victims" have been known to destroy property, manufacture evidence, and mutilate themselves in order to convince others of their victimization. The motivation is psychological gain (i.e. attention, forgiveness, etc.) and not necessarily money, jealousy, or revenge. These are the unpopular, but documented, realities of the world. Recognizing their existence does not mean that child sexual abuse and sexual assault are not real and serious problems. 1621 -- f. ESTABLISH COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS. The importance and difficulty of this technique in extrafamilial cases involving young children cannot be overemphasized. An investigator must maintain ongoing communication with the parents of victims in these abuse cases. Not all parents react the same way to the alleged abuse of their children. Some are very supportive and cooperative. Others overreact and some even deny the victimization. Sometimes there is animosity and mistrust among parents with different reactions. Once the parents lose faith in the police or prosecutor and begin to interrogate their own children and conduct their own investigation, the case may be lost forever. Parents from one case communicate the results of their "investigation" with each other, and some have even contacted the parents in other cases. Such parental activity is an obvious source of potential contamination. Parents must be made to understand that their children's credibility will be jeopardized when and if the information obtained turns out to be unsubstantiated or false. To minimize this problem, within the limits of the law and without jeopardizing investigative techniques, parents must be told on a regular basis how the case is progressing. Parents can also be assigned constructive things to do (e.g. lobbying for new legislation, working on awareness and prevention programs) in order to channel their energy, concern, and "guilt". -- g. DEVELOP A CONTINGENCY PLAN. If a department waits until actually confronted with a case before a response is developed, it may be too late. In cases involving ongoing abuse of children, departments must respond quickly, and this requires advanced planning. There are added problems for small- to medium-sized departments with limited personnel and resources. Effective investigation of these cases requires planning, identification of resources, and, in many cases, mutual aid agreements between agencies. The U.S. Department of Defense has conducted specialized training and has developed such a plan for child sex ring cases involving military facilities and personnel. Once a case is contaminated and out of control, I have little advice on how to salvage what may once have been a prosecutable criminal violation. A few of these cases have even been lost on appeal after a conviction because of contamination problems. -- h. MULTIDISCIPLINARY TASK FORCES. Sergeant Beth Dickinson, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, was the chairperson of the Multi-Victim, Multi-Suspect Child Sexual Abuse Subcommittee. Sergeant Dickinson states (personal communication, Nov. 1989): "One of the biggest obstacles for investigators to overcome is the reluctance of law enforcement administrators to commit sufficient resources early on to an investigation that has the potential to be a multidimensional child sex ring. It is important to get in and get on top of the investigation in a timely manner - to get it investigated in a timely manner in order to assess the risk to children and to avoid hysteria, media sensationalism, and cross- contamination of information. The team approach reduces stress on individual investigators, allowing for peer support and minimizing feelings of being overwhelmed." 1622 The team approach and working together does not mean, however, that each discipline forgets its role and starts doing the other's job. -- i. SUMMARY. The investigation of child sex rings can be difficult and time consuming. The likelihood, however, of a great deal of corroborative evidence in a multivictim/multioffender case increases the chances of a successful prosecution if the crime occurred. Because there is still so much we do not know or understand about the dynamics of multidimensional child sex rings, investigative techniques are less certain. Each new case must be carefully evaluated in order to improve investigative procedures. Because mental health professionals seem to be unable to determine, with any degree of certainty, the accuracy of victim statements in these cases, law enforcement must proceed using the corroboration process. If some of what the victim describes is accurate, some misperceived, some distorted, and some contaminated, what is the jury supposed to believe? Until mental health professionals can come up with better answers, the jury should be asked to believe what the *investigation* can corroborate. Even if only a portion of what these victims allege is factual, that may still constitute significant criminal activity. 10. CONCLUSION. There are many possible alternative answers to the question of why victims are alleging things that don't seem to be true. The first step in finding those answers is to admit the possibility that some of what the victims describe may not have happened. Some experts seem unwilling to even consider this. Most of these victims are also probably not lying and have come to believe that which they are alleging actually happened. There are alternative explanations for why people who never met each other can tell the same story. I believe that there is a middle ground - a continuum of possible activity. Some of what the victims allege may be true and accurate, some may be misperceived or distorted, some may be screened or symbolic, and some may be "contaminated" or false. The problem and challenge, especially for law enforcement, is to determine which is which. This can only be done through active investigation. I believe that the majority of victims alleging "ritual" abuse are in fact victims of some form of abuse or trauma. That abuse or trauma may or may not be criminal in nature. After a lengthy discussion about various alternative explanations and the continuum of possible activity, one mother told me that for the first time since the victimization of her young son she felt a little better. She had thought her only choices were that either her son was a pathological liar or, on the other hand, she lived in a community controlled by satanists. Law enforcement has the obvious problem of attempting to determine what actually happened for criminal justice purposes. Therapists, however, might also be interested in what really happened in order to properly evaluate and treat their patients. How and when to confront patients with skepticism is a difficult and sensitive problem for therapists. 1623 Any professional evaluating victims' allegations of "ritual" abuse cannot ignore or routinely dismiss the lack of physical evidence (no bodies or physical evidence left by violent murders); the difficulty in successfully committing a large-scale conspiracy crime (the more people involved in any crime conspiracy, the harder it is to get away with it); and human nature (intragroup conflicts resulting in individual self-serving disclosures are likely to occur in any group involved in organized kidnapping, baby breeding, and human sacrifice). If and when members of a destructive cult commit murders, they are bound to make mistakes, leave evidence, and eventually make admissions in order to brag about their crimes or to reduce their legal liability. The discovery of the murders in Matamoros, Mexico in 1989 and the results of the subsequent investigation are good examples of these dynamics. Overzealous intervenors must accept the fact that some of their well-intentioned activity is contaminating and damaging the prosecutive potential of the cases where criminal acts did occur. We must all (i.e., the media, churches, therapists, victim advocates, law enforcement, and the general public) ask ourselves if we have created an environment where victims are rewarded, listened to, comforted, and forgiven in direct proportion to the severity of their abuse. Are we encouraging needy or traumatized individuals to tell more and more outrageous tales of their victimization? Are we making up for centuries of denial by now blindly accepting any allegation of child abuse no matter how absurd or unlikely? Are we increasing the likelihood that rebellious, antisocial, or attention- seeking individuals will gravitate toward "satanism" by publicizing it and overreacting to it? The overreaction to the problem can be worse than the problem. The amount of "ritual" child abuse going on in this country depends on how you define the term. One documented example of what I might call "ritual" child abuse was the horror chronicled in the book _A Death in White Bear Lake_ (Siegal, 1990). The abuse in this case, however, had little to do with anyone's spiritual belief system. There are many children in the United States who, starting early in their lives, are severely psychologically, physically, and sexually traumatized by angry, sadistic parents or other adults. Such abuse, however, is not perpetrated only or primarily by satanists. The statistical odds are that such abusers are members of mainstream religions. If 99.9% of satanists and 0.1% of Christians abuse children as part of their spiritual belief system, that still means that the vast majority of children so abused were abused by Christians. Until hard evidence is obtained and corroborated, the public should not be frightened into believing that babies are being bred and eaten, that 50,000 missing children are being murdered in human sacrifices, or that satanists are taking over America's day care centers or institutions. No one can prove with absolute certainty that such activity has *not* occurred. The burden of proof, however, as it would be in a criminal prosecution, is on those who claim that it has occurred. 1624 The explanation that the satanists are too organized and law enforcement is too incompetent only goes so far in explaining the lack of evidence. For at least eight years American law enforcement has been aggressively investigating the allegations of victims of ritual abuse. There is little or no evidence for the portion of their allegations that deals with large-scale baby breeding, human sacrifice, and organized satanic conspiracies. Now it is up to mental health professionals, not law enforcement, to explain why victims are alleging things that don't seem to have happened. Professionals in this field must accept the fact that there is still much we do not know about the sexual victimization of children, and that this area desperately needs study and research by rational, objective social scientists. If the guilty are to be successfully prosecuted, if the innocent are to be exonerated, and if the victims are to be protected and treated, better methods to evaluate and explain allegations of "ritual" child abuse must be developed or identified. Until this is done, the controversy will continue to cast a shadow over and fuel the backlash against the validity and reality of child sexual abuse. XI. REFERENCES. American Psychiatric Association, _Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders_ (3rd Ed., Rev.). Washington, DC: 1987. Breiner, S.J., _Slaughter of the Innocents: Child Abuse Through the Ages and Today_. New York: Plenum Press, 1990. Brown, R., _Prepare for War_. Chino, CA: Chick Publications, 1987. Brunvand, J.H., _The Vanishing Hitchhiker_. New York: Norton, 1981. Harrington, Walt, "The Devil in Anton LaVey". Washington, D.C.: _The Washington Post Magazine_, February 23, 1986, pages #6-17. Lanning, K.V., _Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis_ (2nd Ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1987. Lanning, K.V. (1989). Child sex rings: A behavioral analysis. Washington, DC: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. LaVey, Anton, _The Satanic Bible_. New York: Avon Books, 1969. Mayer, R.S., _Satan's Children_. New York: Putnam, 1991. Michigan Department of State Police, _Occult Survey_. East Lansing, Michigan, 1990. _National Coalition on Television Violence (NCTV) News_, June- October 1988, page #3. _National Incidence Studies on Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children in America_. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1990. Prattanis, A., "Hidden messages", _Wellness Letter_. Berkeley, California: University of California, January 1991, pages #1-2. 1625 Rosenberg, D.A., "Web of Deceit: A Literature Review of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy", _Child Abuse and Neglect_ #2, 1987, pages #547- 563. Rush, E., _The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children_. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980. Smith, M., & Pazder, L., _Michelle Remembers_. New York: Congdon and Lattis, 1980. Siegal, B., _A Death in White Bear Lake_. New York: Bantam, 1990. "Stranger-Abduction Homicides of Children", _Juvenile Justice Bulletin_. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Justice, 1989. Stratford. L., _Satan's Underground_. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 1988. Terr, L., _Too Scared to Cry_. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. Timnik, L., "The Times Poll", _Los Angeles Times_, August 25-26, 1985. Virginia Crime Commission Task Force, _Final Report of the Task Force Studying Ritual Crime_. Richmond, Virginia. 12. SUGGESTED READING. -- a. Cooper, John Charles, _The Black Mask: Satanism in America Today_. Old Tappen, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1990. Probably the best of the large number of books available primarily in Christian bookstores and written from the Christian perspective. This one, however, is written without the hysteria and sensationalism of most. Recommended for investigators who want information from this perspective. -- b. Hicks, Robert D., _In Pursuit of Satan: The Police and the Occult_. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1991. Undoubtedly the best book written to date on the topic of satanism and the occult from the law enforcement perspective. Robert D. Hicks is a former police officer who is currently employed as a criminal justice analyst for the state of Virginia. Must reading for any criminal justice professional involved in this issue. Unfortunately, in the chapter on "Satanic Abuse of Children", the author appears to have been overly influenced by extreme skeptics with minimal or questionable credentials in this area. The book is easy to read, logical, and highly recommended. 1626 -- c. Richardson, James T.; Best, Joel; & Bromley, David G.; Eds, _The Satanism Scare_. NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991. The best book now available on the current controversy over satanism written from the academic perspective, The editors and many of the chapter authors are college professors and have written an objective, well-researched book. One of the great strengths of this book is the fact that the editors address a variety of the controversial issues from a variety of disciplines (i.e., sociology, history, folklore, anthropology, criminal justice). Because of its academic perspective it is sometimes harder to read but is well worth the effort. The chapter on "Law Enforcement and the Satanic Crime Connection" contains the results of a survey of "Cult Cops" and is must reading for law enforcement officers. The chapter on "Satanism and Child Molestation: Constructing the Ritual Abuse Scare" was written, however, by a free-lance journalist who seems to take the position that these cases involve little or no real child abuse. -- d. Terr, Lenore, _Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood_. New York: Harper and Row, 1990. An excellent book written by a psychiatrist that provides important insights into the nature and recallability of early psychic trauma. For me, Dr. Terr's research and findings in the infamous Chowchilla kidnapping case shed considerable light on the "ritual" abuse controversy. 1627 PERSECUTION: ANCIENT AND MODERN This is the text of a talk entitled PERSECUTION: ANCIENT AND MODERN. Written by Julia Phillips, it was presented by Julia and Matthew Sandow at the Wiccan Conference, Canberra, September 1992, and was illustrated with slides of medieval woodcuts, paintings and documents. To begin, an example of religious persecution: I am told that, moved by some foolish urge, they consecrate and worship the head of a donkey, that most abject of all animals. This is a cult worthy of the customs from which it sprang! Others say that they reverence the genitals of the presiding priest himself, and adore them as though they were their father's... As for the initiation of new members, the details are as disgusting as they are well-known. A child, covered in dough to deceive the unwary, is set before the would-be novice. The novice stabs the child to death with invisible blows; indeed, he himself, deceived by the coating of dough, thinks his stabs harmless. Then - it's horrible! - they hungrily drink the child's blood, and compete with one another as they divide his limbs. Through this victim they are bound together; and the fact that they all share the knowledge of the crime pledges them all to silence. Such holy rites are more disgraceful than sacrilege. It is well-known too what happens at their feasts.... On the feast day they forgather with all their children, sisters, mothers, people of either sex and all ages. When the company is all aglow from feasting, and impure lust has been set afire by drunkenness, pieces of meat are thrown to a dog fastened to a lamp. The lamp, which would have been a betraying witness, is overturned and goes out. Now, in the dark so favourable to shameless behaviour, they twine the bonds of unnameable passion, as chance decides. And so all alike are incestuous, if not always in deed, at least by complicity; for everything that is performed by one of them corresponds to the wishes of them all... Precisely the secrecy of this evil religion proves that all these things, or practically all, are true. (Minucius Felix: Octavius) Although the language is not modern, the description of the practices could have come straight from last week's "Picture" magazine! And this is the point that I wish to make; the facts of persecution have not changed in almost 2,000 years, for that piece was written in the 2nd century AD. Moreover, the religion it condemns is Christianity, not Paganism, for Paganism at that time was the dominant state religion. In fact the author is a Christian apologist, and is attempting to rebuke what he sees as unfair criticism, by parodying the offences which Pagans accuse Christians of perpetrating. Persecution of religious minorities is quite simply that; it is persecution by a large body of people - generally those who represent "society" - against a smaller one; generally comprised of those who have either rejected, or for one reason or another, fall outside of the social "norm". 1628 Let us look at the medieval picture of the witch; society's scapegoat par excellence: here we see her - for it is most often "her" - an old, ugly woman, most likely poor, and most likely on the fringe of the society in which she lives. This is the stereotype of the witch. We know it is false; we know it has no basis in fact; however, it became an integral part of the mindset of medieval Europe, and through fairy tales, drama and literature, and more latterly, cinema, the media and television, it has remained an integral image in modern society. One has only to look to Roald Dahl's "Witches", or Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz", for proof of this. It came as a surprise to me to learn that "The Wizard of Oz" was in fact a deliberate propaganda exercise, released just at the beginning of World War II. If you remember, the magic words are: "There's no place like home"; and where was "home"? Kansas! that epitome of the WASP culture. When looking at medieval persecution of heresy, the waters are muddied by the many different causes and effects which permeate the whole matter. There was no single cause, and no single victim. It is a fact that far more women than men were persecuted; there are a number of reasons for this, not least that throughout this period, Europe was engaged in one war after another - most notably The Crusades - and men were in rather short supply. There were also several epidemics of the plague, not to mention other diseases such as dysentery and cholera, which in the Middle Ages were sure killers. Another reason is the rampant misogyny which, begun with the earliest Christians, has permeated their theology ever since: "What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a nat- ural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted in fair colours... The word woman is used to mean the lust of the flesh, as it is said: I have found a woman more bitter than death, and a good woman more subject to carnal lust... [Women] are more credulous; and since the chief aim of the devil is to corrupt faith, therefore he rather attacks them [than men]... Women are naturally more impressionable... They have slippery tongues, and are unable to conceal from their fellow-women those things which by evil arts they know.... Women are intellectually like children... She is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations... She is an imperfect animal, she always deceives.... Therefore a wicked woman is by her nature quicker to waver in her faith, and consequently quicker to abjure the faith, which is the root of witchcraft.... Just as th- rough the first defect in their intelligence they are more prone to abjure the faith; so through their second defect of inordinate affections and passions they search for, brood over, and inflict various vengeances, either by witchcraft or by some other means.... Women also have weak mem- ories; and it is a natural vice in them not to be disciplined, but to follow their own impulses without any sense of what is due... She is a liar by nature... (Malleus Maleficarum, edited by Jeffrey Russell). 1629 It is easy to comprehend the persecution of women when one is con- fronted with such obvious hatred and fear of the sex. But perhaps the most powerful impetus of the witch trials era is one which is subtly - and sometimes not so subtly! - present in all the trials; that of a pursuit of power or wealth. For an example we can look to Gilles de Rais, who as the wealthiest man in Europe (as well as Joan of Arc's military Captain), was a prime victim for a charge of heresy. Found guilty, his lands, properties and wealth were confiscated by his accusers. Curiously though he was buried on consecrated ground in the Churchyard; normally forbidden to heretics. In "The Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology", Russell Hope Robbins says: "At first, Gilles dismissed their accusations as "frivolous and lacking credit", but so certain were the principals of finding him guilty that on September 3, fifteen days before the trial began, the Duke disposed of his anticipated share of the Rais lands. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to place any credence in the evidence against him, among the most fantastic and obscene presented in this Encyclopaedia." Charges included the now obligatory conjurations of devils and demons - Satan, Beelzebub, Orion and Belial are mentioned by name - and the practice of that dreadful art: geomancy! And of course the charges included human sacrifice and paedophilia; no self-respecting Christian could exclude these crimes from charges against a confirmed heretic! There were not many who had the wealth of Gilles de Rais, but in a small parish, even the meanest property was eagerly seized, and the witch hunts became a profitable business. The victims were even required to pay for the fuel upon which they were burnt. But the laws were not consistent throughout Europe, and in some areas, if the victim confessed, then his or her property could not be confiscated, but was inherited by the next of kin. However, many of these victims were in fact devout Christians, who would be loath to confess to heresy just so that their family could inherit their land! Of course many were tortured to the point were they would admit to being any- thing demanded of them, although technically, they were only allowed to be tortured once. This is why you will read in trials records that the torture was "continued", which, of course, gets round the problem of the poor torturer missing out on his lunch and dinner. Although most heretics were women, a great many men were also taken, tortured, and put to death. This is a letter from one such victim at the notorious Bamberg in Germany; a poignant epitaph to one of Eur- ope's most hideous crimes: Many hundred thousand good-nights, dearly beloved daughter Veronica. Innocent have I come into pris- on, innocent have I been tortured, innocent must I die. For whoever comes into the witch prison must become a witch or be tortured until he invents something out of his head - and God pity him - bethinks him of something. I said: "I have never renounced God, and will never do it - God graciously keep me from it. I'll rather bear whatever I must." 1630 And then came also - God in highest heaven have mercy - the executioner, and put the thumbscrews on me, both hands bound together, so that the blood spurted from the nails and everywhere, so that for four weeks I could not use my hands, as you can see from my writing. Thereafter they stripped me, bound my hands behind me, and drew me up on the ladder. Then I thought heaven and earth were at an end. Eight times did they draw me up and let me fall again, so that I suffered terrible agony. All this happened on Friday June 30th and with God's help I had to bear the torture. When at last the executioner led me back into the cell, he said to me: "Sir, I beg you, for God's sake, confess something, whether it be true or not. Invent some- thing, for you cannot bear the torture which you will be put to; and, even if you bear it all, yet you will not escape, not even if you were an earl, but one torture will follow another until you say you are a witch." The author of this letter, Johannes Junius, did indeed confess to being a witch, and in August of 1628, was burned at the stake. He managed to send his final letter to his daughter, which ended by saying: Dear child, keep this letter secret, so that peo- ple do not find it, else I shall be tortured most piteously and the jailers will be beheaded. So strictly is it forbidden... Dear child, pay this man a thaler... I have taken several days to write this - my hands are both crippled. I am in a sad plight. Good night, for your father Johannes Jun- ius will never see you more. This letter describes more accurately than any historical treatise just how uncompromising the ecclesiastical courts were in their hunt for heretics. Witches, of course, were only one kind of heretic. I mentioned earlier that there are many causes, and many effects, to the period which is commonly referred to as "The Burning Times", or the Great Witch Hunt. It is often assumed by many people today that Christianity has been the dominant western religion for 2,000 years. This is not so. The death of Christ, which probably occurred in the year AD 30, may have heralded the new religion, but there was cert- ainly not an immediate conversion of the world to Christianity. Parts of Scandinavia remained wholly Pagan until as late as the 12th cen- tury. The British Isles and mainland Europe were converted to Chris- tianity over a lengthy period covering mainly the 4th to 9th cen- turies. Some parts have never truly been converted, and with the opening up of the Eastern bloc countries, we are now re-discovering a wealth of Pagan tradition and folklore that has been hidden for hundreds of years: initially from the invading Christian mission- aries, and then later from the various communist regimes. 1631 As the new religion of Christianity began to spread, many different sects and cults appeared within its ranks. The Pope in Rome was the nominal head, but rarely was the Pope a person of spiritual purity and ascetic tastes; the political scene in Rome has always been cut-throat and devious. A truly spiritual person would have lasted approximately two seconds amongst the clever and calculating politicians who in- fested the Papal See! The enormous wealth and power controlled by the Pope was an incentive to the most grasping and corrupt of men at that time to aspire to the Papacy. Pope Alexander VI (1492) is a superb ex- ample of the type who made it to Europe's foremost political seat of power: otherwise known as Rodrigo Borgia; father (yes, we all know Catholics practise celibacy!) of Cesare, Juan, Lucrezia and Jofre, and supreme commander of a private army of which any modern dictator would be proud. Because of their sumptuous lifestyle, their obvious disregard and contempt for vows of poverty and chastity, and their abuse of the spiritual authority invested in them, many spiritually inclined Christians rejected the Catholic Church, and instead followed leaders who lived simple, ascetic lives in accordance with the teachings of Christ. Some of these sects became very popular, and were soon perceived by the Pope as a threat to his status and power. It has been suggested that the witch trials were a direct result from the persecution of these sects. Rather than incorporate a discussion of the different sects within this talk, handouts are available which very briefly describe the main ones. The main thrust was against the Cathars or Albigensians, and the Waldensians (Vaudois), and it was their persecution which gave rise to the legal machinery which developed into the Inquisition, and the so-called witch hunts. It began with Pope Lucius III and the emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa; they met at Verona in 1184, and issued the decree "Ad abolendam", which excommunicated sects like the Cathars and Waldensians, and laid down the procedures for ecclesiastical trial, after which the accused would be handed over to the secular author- ities for punishment. The punishment decreed was confiscation of property, exile, or death. By the 12th century, burning had already become the established means of execution for heretics, and so this became enshrined in law. At the beginning of the 13th century, the Dominican Order of Friars was established, and its members were instructed by the Pope to investigate and prosecute heresy. From this simple beginning grew the awesome machinery of the Inquisition, which although never aimed particularly at witches, became a byword for terror in parts of Europe. As you can see, the motives for the heresy persecutions were not to stamp out Paganism - although that was certainly a by-product - but to remove the threat of any competition to the power of the Church (and thus to the Pope), in Rome. And the greatest threat came from other "Christian" sects, not the Pagans. The change from an accusatory to an inquisitorial process became established, and the legal mach- inery which allowed - indeed encouraged - individual psychopaths and religious maniacs to persecute at will, was in place. 1632 Have you got a neighbour who annoys you? plays loud music, or who keeps their smelly refuse next to your garden fence? Now your recourse is to the local council or the police; in the Middle Ages, you simply denounced the offender as a witch or heretic, and let the Church deal with them for you. Not only did it cost you nothing, if you were lucky, you might also inherit their property! For once you were taken as a witch or a heretic, there was little chance of escape. Certainly some victims were pardoned and released, but the vast majority were not so lucky. When you consider the style of questioning, this is not surprising: 1 How long have you been a witch? 2 Why did you become a witch? 3 How did you become a witch and what happened on that occasion? 4 Who is the one you chose to be your incubus? What was his name? 5 What was the name of your master among the evil demons? 6 What was the oath you were forced to render to him? 21 What animals have you bewitched to sickness and death, and why did you commit such acts? 22 Who are your accomplices in evil...? 24 What is the ointment with which you rub your broomstick made of...? This set of questions came from Lorraine, and was used consistently throughout the three centuries of the main persecutions. Bearing in mind that the accused HAD to answer - no answer at all, or a denial, was tantamount to guilt - you can see how easily the composite picture of the witch evolved. As Rossell Hope Robbins says: "The confessions of witches authenticated the experts, and the denunciations ensured a continuing supply of victims. Throughout France and Germany this procedure became standardised; repeated year after year, in time it built up a huge mass of "evidence", all duly authorised, from the mouths of the accused. On these confessions, later demonologists based their compendiums and so formulated the classic conceptions of witchc- raft, which never existed save in their own minds." As the new religion of Christianity began to spread, many different sects and cults appeared within its ranks. The Pope in Rome was the nominal head, but rarely was the Pope a person of spiritual purity and ascetic tastes; the political scene in Rome has always been cut-throat and devious. A truly spiritual person would have lasted approximately two seconds amongst the clever and calculating politicians who in- fested the Papal See! The enormous wealth and power controlled by the Pope was an incentive to the most grasping and corrupt of men at that time to aspire to the Papacy. Pope Alexander VI (1492) is a superb ex- ample of the type who made it to Europe's foremost political seat of power: otherwise known as Rodrigo Borgia; father (yes, we all know Catholics practise celibacy!) of Cesare, Juan, Lucrezia and Jofre, and supreme commander of a private army of which any modern dictator would be proud. 1633 It is also rather disturbing to discover just how important individual religious maniacs appear to have been in the persecutions. Rather like today, where a crusading tele-journalist, or evangelical vicar, can cause untold harm to innocent people. Without exception, these accus- ations are by those with an unhealthy mania against anyone whose theology or practices differ from their own. In the words of one modern evangelist: "if you're not fighting and winning, you're los- ing.". Conrad of Marburg, described by Norman Cohn as, "a blind fanatic", was a severe and formidable persecutor. As confessor to the young 21 year-old Countess of Thuringia, he would trick her into "some trivial and unwitting disobedience, and then have her and her maids flogged so severely that the scars were visible weeks later". (Cohn). Conrad became Germany's first official Inquisitor, and his zeal in denouncing heretics was unsurpassed. Another Conrad, a lay-Dominican Friar, and his sidekick Johannes, were also vigorous in denouncing heretics. As they moved from village to village, they claimed to be able to iden- tify a heretic by his or her appearance, based on nothing but their own intuition. They were responsible for the burnings of many people, and said, "we would gladly burn a hundred if just one among them were guilty". (Annales Wormantiensis). Their comment about appearance is an important one; as we saw earlier, the stereotype of the witch hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. We know it is false; we know that it exists only in the imagination of the persecutors, and yet how powerful and enduring this stereotype has proven to be. If we think about this stereotype, what images do we conjure up? An old woman - occasionally an old man; or perhaps a young and alluring temptress? Flying through the air on a broomstick; worshipping a devil, often in the form of a goat; trampling upon the sacred symbols of Christianity; and of course our old friend the Sabbat, with its practices of sexual license, debauchery, drunkenness and ritual murder; the latter often of children. But persecution does not restrict itself to witches; the similarities between this stereotype and that of the Jew are obvious: Jews have been persecuted throughout their history, but it is interesting to compare some aspects of their persecution with that of witches. In the 12th century, the word "Synagogue" was used for the first time to describe the meeting place of heretics. Professor Russell says that: "This usage, obviously designed to spite the Jews, was common throughout the Middle Ages, being replaced only towards the end of the 15th century by the equally anti-Jewish term 'sabbat'. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says on the subject of Jewish persecution that: "To reinforce racial and religious prejudice, the preposterous ritual murder accusation became common from the 12th century." The third and fourth Lateran Councils had already prohibited gentiles from entering Jewish service, or being employed by Jews, and further ordered that Jews should wear a distinctive badge, and live only in Jewish settlement areas. This of course was the beginning of the ghetto. 1634 As we have seen though, the ritual murder accusation was already over a thousand years old, before it was used against either the Jews or the heretics and witches. Most people know of the expulsion of Jews from Spain in the 15th century, but perhaps not so commonly known is that for about 200 years prior to the expulsion, the Jews had been massacred and persecuted. Indeed, it was against the Jews that the infamous Spanish Inquisition of the 15th century was directed. The persecution of Jews in 20th century Europe is too well-known to require further comment here, but perhaps a few comments about its encouragement would be useful. We are discussing persecution in this talk, and how persecution is manifested. Throughout history, the written word has been invaluable as a means of spreading propaganda. Even in the Middle Ages the "crimes" of the heretic were publicised by records of trials, where the "confessions" were made known to the general public. The infamous "Malleus Maleficarum" became highly influential in Europe mainly because its publication coincided with the introduction of mass printing. It had little effect in England because no English transla- tion was available until 1928. This fact alone demonstrates the power of the written word. In medieval Europe, a pamphlet describing the crimes of a convicted heretic would be pinned to a post in the town square, and those who could not read had it read to them. In 20th century Europe, pamphlets were still used by one group to spread lies about another. As we approach the 21st century, this technique is still used with very great success; for the persecutor needs to make only a glancing nod to the truth, and the lies which are published (or more frequently broad- cast) are far more scandalous than the reality! An example: soon after the launch of the Pagan Alliance, Sydney radio 2MMM broadcasted a news story about the sexual abuse of children by occultists and witches. Matthew responded immediately, and provided the station with copy documents and news clippings from Britain, proving the story to be without foundation, and a scheme by the Chris- tian fundamentalists to discredit Pagans. The news editor and chief journalist were impressed by the material, and agreed that they had been used by the fundies. However, they refused to broadcast a retrac- tion because it would be "old news". So, the damage had been done, and the fundamentalists achieved their objective. This technique was used with very great effect in the early part of the 20th century, with the circulation of a pamphlet called, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". This purported to be, "an account of the World Congress of Jewry held in Basel, Switzerland in 1897, during which a conspiracy was planned by the international Jewish movement and the Freemasons to achieve world domination." (M Howard). German nationalists made very great use of the Protocols, which it was claimed were "smuggled out of Switzerland by a Russian journalist who had placed the documents in the safe keeping of the Rising Sun Masonic Lodge in Frankfurt." (ibid) They were widely disseminated, and writing in "Mein Kampf", Hitler "denounced the Jews as agents of an international conspiracy devoted to world domination...". (ibid) We all know what happened next. 1635 The point is that although the Protocols were confirmed as a fraud in 1921, they continued to have an effect, and once published, could not effectively be retracted. This is the aim of today's fundamentalist Christian, who believes that if he or she throws enough dirt at their opponents (basically anyone who does not agree with their uncomprom- ising version of Christianity), then some will stick, and the battle will be won. This is the strategy which has been used for thousands of years to persecute minorities, and has always been successful. The formula is simple: discover what most people fear most, and then accuse your enemies of practising it. It is an interesting comment on humanity that those things which occur time and time again are consis- tent: conspiracy, buggery, paedophilia, sacrifice (human and animal) sexual license, drunkenness and feasting. More specific charges relating to a pact with a devil or desecrating sacred objects are additions to these core accusations. A further interesting aspect is that many of the accusations were made by children; interesting parallels can be drawn to modern accusa- tions by children "encouraged" to reveal information about occultism and witches. It has been widely recorded that Hitler's "Youth Army" required children to spy upon their parents, and report any indiscre- tions; modern social workers use an identical process for identifying Pagan parents - children are asked about what their parents do, and leading questions are commonly used. And of course there have always been children who, for one reason or another, tell the most fantastic tales. It is unlikely today that the victims of these child fantasies will be burned at the stake, but there have been families torn apart, children placed in detention centres, and untold misery for parents and children alike, based upon no more than the verbal report of a child. Commentators on this aspect of persecution have suggested that the children wish to be the centre of attention; or to direct punishment for their own misdeeds elsewhere; or are simply reacting in a hyperac- tive manner to the onset of puberty. Whatever the cause, the effects are dramatic, and have caused severe suffering, and in the middle ages, loss of life, on many occasions. In medieval England, there were many occasions where children's "evid- ence" (sic) was used to convict witches. "The Leicester Boy", "The Burton Boy" and "The Bilson Boy" were a few of many who claimed to be bewitched by witches. Eventually proven to be a fraud, at least ten women died as a result of the accusations of The Leicester Boy, and the Burton Boy caused the death of at least one of the women whom he accused. In the 17th century a number of women were executed on the allegations of hysterical children, even though fraud was often discovered during the course of the trial. It is a fact that the delusions of delinquent or disturbed children were often used by judges to confirm their own prejudices; how little things have chang- ed! 1636 Salem (1692) is probably the best known of all the cases where child- ren were the chief accusers. Although in fact, the "children" were more like young adults, with only one under the age of ten, and most in their late teens or early twenties. However, as the panic grew, a great many more were sucked into the web of lies, and Martha Carrier was hanged on the "evidence" (sic) of her 7 year-old daughter. At the height of the hysteria almost 150 people were arrested; thirty-one were convicted, and nineteen hung. Some died in jail, and others were reprieved. As was common in Europe, the accused were required to pay their expenses whilst in jail, even if they were subsequently found innocent. Sarah Osborne and Ann Foster both died in jail, and costs of ť1 3s 5d and ť2 16s 0d respectively were demanded before the bodies would be released for burial. The chief of the accusers, Ann Putnam, confessed fourteen years later that the whole thing was a fraud. In 1697 the jurors publicly con- fessed they had made an error of judgement, and ten years after the executions, Judge Samuel Sewall "confessed the guilt of the court, desiring to take the blame and shame of it...". By then of course it was too late for those who were dead, or whose lives had been dest- royed by the accusations. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here, for Salem is the last of the great witch trials, coming as it does towards the end of the 17th century. We mentioned earlier that in Continental Europe, the heresy trials appeared to arise from the persecution of the Christian sects of the Bogomils, Cathars, Albigensians, and others such as the Jews, Walden- sians, and even the Knights Templars. The stereotype of the witch was compounded from many different sources, and gradually became the composite figure of the shape-shifting hag, who flew through the air on a broom, and flung her curses at all and sundry. The concept of the pact with the devil existed as early as the 8th century, and as we have seen, sexual license, buggery and ritual sacrifice have long been seen as activities supposed to be practised by those outside of society's norm, whether they be Christian or Pagan. During the 9th century, shape-shifting, maleficia and the incubus/succubus became more commonly reported, and by the 10th cen- tury, the idea of nocturnal flight was established. Published in 906, the Canon Episcopi described how some women were deluded in the belief that at night they could fly behind their Goddess, Diana (Holda or Herodias): "Some wicked women are perverted by the Devil and led astray by illusions and fantasies induced by demons, so that they believe they ride out at night on beasts with Diana, the pagan goddess, and a horde of women. They believe that in the night they cross huge distances. They say that they obey Diana's commands and on certain nights are called out in her service..." 1637 Echoes here to Maddalena's story recounted by Leland in Aradia: Gospel of the Witches: "Oncein the month, and when the moon is full, ye shall assemble in some desert place, or in a for- est all together join to adore the potent spirit of your Queen, my mother, great Diana". Carlo Ginzburg has also published a remarkable book about the Witches' Sabbath, and the night flight, where he suggests that these are in fact based on genuinely ancient shamanic practices; nothing new in this concept to modern Witches, but a novel observation in the acad- emic circles in which Ginzburg moves. In 1012, Burchard's Collectarium was published: the first attempt to assemble a book of Canonical Law. Book number 19 of this vast collec- tion was called the Corrector, and chapter five deals with various sins, and their respective penances. As we might suppose, Maleficia is prominent in this chapter! It enshrines in law the notion of night flight, together with murder, and the cooking and eating of human flesh. Although both the Canon Episcopi and Burchard's Corrector are specific in attributing the powers of flight to Witches, it is not until 1280 that the first picture of a witch riding upon a broom appears. This is found in Schleswig Cathedral. In 1022, the first burning occurred: at Orleans, the victims were accused of, "holding sex orgies at night in a secret place, either underground or in an abandoned building. The members of the group appeared bearing torches. Holding the torches, they chanted the names of demons until an evil spirit appeared. Now the lights were extin- guished, and everyone seized the person closest to him in a sexual embrace, whether mother, sister or nun. The children conceived at the orgies were burned eight days after birth, and their ashes were confected in a substance that was then used in a blasphemous parody of holy communion." Strange how these charges appear to have changed so little in so many years! Compared with our first example, and indeed with the accusa- tions of modern day fundamentalists, one would be forgiven for believ- ing that time is a figment of our imagination, and that nothing ever really changes; certainly not human nature. The 14th century saw a steady growth in the number of accusations and trials, and by the 15th century, the idea of the Devil's (or Witch's) mark had become established. So too was the idea of a flying ointment, and a consistent image of The Devil became common in trials liter- ature. The Papal Bull of 1484, Summis Desiderantes Affectibus, and then two years later, publication of the Malleus Maleficarum, further establis- hed the "crime" of witchcraft as a heresy, and confirmed Papal support for its eradication. This infamous work - The Hammer of the Witches - was incredibly influential in establishing a code of practice by which witches were to be denounced, tried, convicted and executed. There was no escape from this dreadful fate. The third part of the book desc- ribes how to deal with one who will not confess to the charges: "But if the accused, after a year or other longer period which has been deemed sufficient, continues 1638 to maintain his denials, and the legitimate wit- nesses abide by their evidence, the Bishop and Judges shall prepare to abandon him to the secular Court; sending to him certain honest men zealous for the faith, especially religious, to tell him that he cannot escape temporal death while he thus persists in his denial, but will be delivered up as an impenitent heretic to the power of the sec- ular Court. It is also in this section that our friendly Dominican monks refer to, "witch midwives, who surpass all other witches in their crimes... And the number of them is so great that, as has been found from their con- fessions, it is thought that there is scarcely any tiny hamlet in which at least one is not to be found." Despite its incredible influence in Europe, the Malleus had little effect in England, Wales or Ireland, where witchcraft accusations and trials were very different to those of the continent and Scotland. In fact Wales and Ireland seemed to escape from the witch persecutions almost entirely, with very few trials, and even fewer executions. Although many laws have been enacted in England against witchcraft, there has never been anything like the hysteria about witches common in mainland Europe. The earliest known person accused of sorcery in England was Agnes, wife of Odo, who in 1209 was freed after choosing trial by ordeal of grasping a red-hot iron. Until 1563, commoners accused of witchcraft in England met light (if any) punishment. Those of noble birth were treated rather more severe- ly, as the crime could easily be one of treason, and any action which implied a threat to the monarch was treated very seriously indeed. This resulted in the charge of witchcraft being used to remove polit- ical opponents with great expediency. There were certainly laws against the practice of witchcraft or sorcery: Alfred the Great (849-899 AD), King of Wessex and overlord of England, decreed the death penalty for Wiccans (that was the word he actually used), and Aethelstan - perhaps one of the most compassionate of Saxon Kings, ordered those who practised Wiccecraeft to be executed, but only if their activities resulted in murder. Under Henry VIII's Act of 1546, the penalty for conjuration of evil spirits was death, and the property of the accused was confiscated by the King. However, this was in effect for only one year, being repealed by Edward VI in 1547, and only one conviction under this Act is recorded. In 1563, the statute of Queen Elizabeth I was es- tablished, which also made death the penalty for invoking or conjuring an evil spirit, but those who practised divination, or who caused harm (other than death) by their sorceries, were sentenced to a year's imprisonment for a first offence. Subsequent offences could be punish- able by death, and in some cases, the confiscation of property as well. 1639 However, even though laws against the practice of witchcraft had been established for hundreds of years, the first major trial was not until 1566, at Chelmsford, and was typical of the English style of witchcraft: no pact with the devil, no gathering at Sabbats, but simple and direct acts of maleficia, and the introduction of witches' familiars. It was an important trial, for it set the precedent in English law for accepting unsupported, and highly imaginative, stories from children as evidence. It also accepted spectral evidence (sic), witch's marks, and the confession of the accused. There are some very distinctive aspects to English witchcraft, which set it apart from its Continental and Scottish counterparts, and which are worth noting. There was a relative lack of torture, and, this may come as a surprise to some people, but witches were never burned in England. Traitors and murderers were burned; witches were hung. Of course, a traitor or a murderer could also be a witch, but this was actually quite rare. The torture used in England - when it was used at all - was typically swimming, pricking, enforced waking, and a diet of bread and water. Unpleasant, but when compared to squassation, being skinned alive, the strappado, the rack, and such delights as the thumbscrews and the iron maiden, hardly in the same class. The focus of English witchcraft was more towards simple, personal, acts of maleficia than a perceived conspiracy against the power of the Chris- tian Church. As one of Britain's foremost folklorists says: "Trad- itions of an organised, pagan witch-cult were never very plentiful in England, although they did exist occasionally, especially in the later years of the witch belief. They were never really strong, and after the end of the persecution in the early 18th century, they disappeared altogether." (Christina Hole) This is interesting, because it has been suggested that the witch trials phenomena was largely inspired by the heretical Christian sects; this would seem to be born out by the type of accusations made in England, which were largely neighbour against neighbour rather than Church and State against an organised conspiracy of heretics. What is also interesting is that it was commonly believed in England that if the bewitched victim could draw blood from the witch, then they would be cured, and the witch's power made ineffective. This belief has persisted in folk traditions to modern times. In 1875, at Long Compton, the body of an old woman, one Ann Turner, was discov- ered. She had been pinned to the ground by a pitchfork through her throat, and across her face and chest had been carved the sign of a crucifix. James Heywood, a local farmer, had once claimed: "It's she who brings the floods and drought. Her spells withered the crops in the field. Her curse drove my father to an early grave!". Heywood maintained that the only way to destroy her power was to spill her blood, and so after her murder, he was taken and tried for the crime. He was convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Long Compton has always been associated with the practice of witchcraft, and is located only a short distance from the magical Rollright Stones, and near to the aptly named Wychwood Forest. The derivation of this name is from the curiously named tribe of THE HWICCE, who lived in the area at the time of King Penda of Mercia, and who seemed always to be ruled by two brothers. But back to Long Compton: 1640 In 1945, Charles Walton, a local labourer, set out one morning to do some hedging on nearby Meon Hill. That evening, his mutilated body was found in a field - pinned to the ground by his pitchfork, which had been stuck through his throat. There were cuts to his arms and legs, and local police were baffled as to the motive for the crime, and who the likely culprit might have been. But gradually locals began to talk about Mr Walton; they said he was a solitary and vindictive old man, who was concerned more with searching out the secrets of nature than in taking company with his neighbours. They said that he harnessed toads, using reeds and pieces of ram's horn, and then sent them across fields to blight the crops. They also remembered that he kept a witch's mirror - a piece of black stone polished in a mountain stream - concealed in his pocket-watch, which he used for weaving spells and seeing into the future. The police never discovered the culprit, but it was accepted locally that Mr Walton was murdered because he was a witch. His wounds were a result of the belief that a victim could be freed from enchantment if he or she were able to draw the blood of the witch. We could not leave English witchcraft without mention of that infamous gentleman, Matthew Hopkins; self-styled Witchfinder General. For all his fame, his activities were restricted to a relatively small area, and a relatively short period of time. However, his boundless energy, and boundless enthusiasm for the collection of large amounts of money, ensured that his name has not been forgotten. Matthew Hopkins used the unrest of the Civil War to prey upon the fears of the common people. Little is known of his early life, except that he became a lawyer "of little note", and failing to make a living at Ipswich in Suffolk, moved to Manningtree in Essex - an area of Civil War tension. With virtually no knowledge of witchcraft, but armed with a couple of contemporary documents (including James I's "Demonology"), Hopkins set himself up in business as a witchfinder. And a very profitable bus- iness it was too. At a time when the average daily wage was 6d, Hopkins received ť23 for a single visit to Stowmarket, and ť6 for a visit to Aldeburgh. His approach was consistent: James I mentioned that witches had familiars, and suckled imps; therefore, anyone who kept a familiar spirit or imp must be a witch! Bearing in mind the English partiality to keeping pets, and you begin to see just how very successful this technique could be. For example, Bridget Mayers was condemned for entertaining an evil spirit in the likeness of a mouse, which she called "Prickears"; another (unnamed) woman was rescued by her neigh- bours from a ducking, where she confessed to having an imp called "Nan". When she recovered she said: "she knew not what she had con- fessed, and she had nothing she called Nan but a pullet that she sometimes called by that name...". Hopkins moved from Essex to Norfolk and Suffolk, and by the following year, had operations in Cambridge, Northampton, Huntingdon and Bed- ford, with a team of six witch finders under his control. "In Suffolk alone it is estimated that he was responsible for arresting at least 124 persons for witchcraft, of whom at least 68 were hanged." (RHR) However, Hopkins moved too far too quickly, and public opinion began to go against him. In 1646, a clergyman in Huntingdon preached against him, and judges began to question both his methods of locating wit- 1641 ches, and the fees that he charged for the service. In 1647 Hopkins published a pamphlet called "Discovery of Witches", in which he sup- ported his methods in sanctimonious and pseudo legal language. Howev- er, it was to no avail, for later that year he died, "in some dis- grace" according to most authorities. Witchcraft legend has it that he was drowned by irate villagers in one of his own ducking ponds, but this has no recorded evidence to support it. However, it would be a fitting end to such an evil man, and I hope it was true. Moving away from England; Scottish and Continental witchcraft shared a great many similarities; Mary Queen of Scots, and her son, James VI, were both educated in France, and this ensured that continental attitudes towards witches were enshrined in Scottish law at the highest level. In fact the concepts of witchcraft were introduced into Scotland by Mary in about 1563. Before then, trials for witchcraft had been few, and there were no recorded burnings of witches. In "The Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology" Rossell Hope Robbins says: "Scotland is second only to Germany in the bar- barity of its witch trials. The Presbyterian cler- gy acted like inquisitors, and the Church sessions often shared the prosecution with the secular law courts. The Scottish laws were, if anything, more heavily loaded against the accused. Finally, the devilishness of the torture was limited only by Scotland's backward technology in the construction of mechanical devices." It is well known that James VI was an ardent prosecutor of witches, and it was under his authority that the Bible was translated to include the word "witch" (Exodus 22:18) to provide Biblical sanction for the death penalty for witches. The original Hebrew word - kashaph - meant either a magician, diviner or sorcerer, but was definitely not a witch. In the Latin Vulgate (4th century version of the Bible) the word had been translated as "maleficos", which could mean any kind of criminal, although in practice often referred to malevolent sorcerers. Similarly, the so-called Witch of Endor, consulted by King Solomon: the original Hebrew was "ba'alath ob": "mistress of a talisman". In the Latin Vulgate she became a "mulierem habentem pythonem": a women possessing an oracular spirit. It was only in the version of the Bible authorised by King James that she became a witch. By the time that James acceded to the English throne in 1603, his attitude towards witches had undergone a subtle transformation. In fact, he was directly responsible for the release and pardon of several accused "witches", and personally interfered in trials where he believed that fraud or deception was being practised. However, Lynn Linton writing in 1861 says of him: "Whatever of blood-stained folly belonged special- ly to the Scottish trials of this time - and here- after - owed its original impulse to him; every groan of the tortured wretches driven to their fearful doom, and every tear of the survivors left blighted and desolate to drag out their weary days in mingled grief and terror, lie on his memory with shame and condemnation ineffaceable for all time." 1642 But it was under Charles II that perhaps the most famous - and endur- ing - of Scottish witches was tried, and most probably executed (although records of her punishment have not survived). Isobel Gowdie of Auldearne, on four separate occasions during 1662 testified that she was a witch, and gave what Russell Hope Robbins describes as: "a resumé of popular beliefs about witchcraft in Scotland.". He says that Gowdie "appeared clearly demented", but that "it is plain she believed what she confessed, no matter how impossible...". From Gowdie are derived some of the concepts of today's Wicca, incl- uding the idea of a coven, comprised of 13 people. Gowdie said that a coven was ruled by a "Man in Black", often called "Black John". He would often beat the witches severely, and it seemed their main tasks were to raise storms, change themselves into animals, and shoot elf arrows to injure or kill people. Coming as she does right at the end of the witchcraft persecutions, it is difficult to establish how much of Gowdie's confession is based upon real, traditional folk practices of Auldearne, and how much she is simply repeating the standard accusations against witches. The Coven of 13 is probably the single aspect of her confessions which does not appear elsewhere in records of witchcraft trials, and my own feelings are that she was probably as genuine a witch as was ever taken and tried. We have already commented how terrifying it is to consider the impact that a single person can have upon the lives of so many people. We have looked at a number of these - King James, Kramer and Sprenger, Matthew Hopkins, Conrad of Marburg - and their latter day successors are no less dangerous. Let us consider some of the 20th century persecutors. We have already mentioned Adolf Hitler; what about Stalin? his great purge in the period following 1936 saw charges of treason, espionage and terrorism brought against anyone who showed the least inclination to oppose him. Using techniques which would not have been out of place during the great witch hunts, Stalin's henchmen enforced "confessions", and effectively exterminated any threat to his political power. We could look too at McCarthy, whose fame for persecution was such that his name is now used to describe "the use of unsupported accusa- tions for any purpose". It is no accident that his activities were referred to as a "witch hunt", nor that Arthur Miller's play about the Salem witch trials, "The Crucible", was more a comment about McCar- thyism than a comment about 17th century American life. In 20th century Australia we are heirs to a European history, which maintains that witches are servants of the devil, and should be prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. In some States these laws actually remain upon the Statute Books; in others, the legal machinery has been removed, but often public opinion hovers around the middle ages, believing that the only good witch is a dead witch. Our latter-day inquisitors play upon these fears, in much the same way as Matthew Hopkins played upon the fears of the people during the Civil War. Christian Fundamentalists have no hesitation in using every dirty trick in the book to ensure that public opinion remains opposed to witchcraft. If this means that some of them have to stand up and say: "Yes, I was a witch: I sacrificed my babies to the devil, and copulated with a goat; I took part in drunken orgies, and drank the blood of the sacrifice"; but then I found Jesus, and was born again, 1643 and now I'm a really nice person; well so be it. Some of them are so psychiatrically unbalanced they may even believe it themselves. Listen to a sample of the claims made by Audrey Harper, who achieved notoriety in Britain as an ex-HPS of a Witches' Coven. This extract is from an article by Aries, which appeared in Web of Wyrd #5: Sent to a Dr Barnado's home by her mother, she grew up with deprivation and social stigma. In time she becomes a WRAF, falls in love, gets preg- nant, boyfriend dies, she turns to booze, gives up her baby and becomes homeless. Wandering to Pic- cadilly Circus she meets some Flower Children with the killer weed, and her descent into Hell is assured. By day she gets stoned and eats junk food; by night she sleeps in squats and doorways. Along comes Molly; the whore with a heart of gold who teaches Audrey the art of streetwalking. She flirts with shoplifting, gets into pills, and then gets talent spotted and invited to a Chelsea par- ty, where wealth, power and tasteful decor are dangled as bait. At the next party she is hooked by the "group", which meets "every month in Vir- ginia Water". She agrees to go to the next meeting which is to be held at Hallowe'en. Inside the dark Temple lit by black candles and full of "A heady, sickly sweet smell from burning incense", she is "initiated" by the "warlock", whose "face was deathly pale and skeletal... his eyes ... were dark and sunken" and whose "breath and body seemed to exude a strange smell, a little like stale alcohol." She signs herself over to Satan with her own blood on a parchment scroll, whereupon a baby is produced, its throat cut, and the blood drank. Following this she gets dumped on the "altar" and screwed as the "sacrifice of the White Virgin". The meeting finishes with a little ritual cursing and she's left to wander "home" in the dark. Her life falls into a steady routine of meetings in Virginia Water, getting screwed by the "war- lock", drug abuse, petty crime, and recruiting runaways for parties, where the drinks are spiked -"probably with LSD" - and candles injected with heroin release "stupefying fumes into the air"; the object being sex kicks and pornography. She falls pregnant again, gets committed to a psychia- tric hospital, has the baby, and gives it away convinced that the "warlock" would sacrifice it. Things then become a confusion of Church desecra- tion, drug addiction, ritual abuse, psychiatric hospital, and falling in with Christian folk who try vainly to save her soul. For rather vague reasons the "coven" decide to drop her from the team, and she dedicates herself to a true junkie's lifestyle with a steady round of overdosing, jaun- dice, and detoxification units. The "warlock" 1644 drops by to threaten her, and she makes her way north via some psychiatric hospitals to a Chris- tian Rehabilitation farm. She gets married, has a child which she keeps, and becomes a regular chur- chgoer. But beneath the surface are recurring nightmares, insane anger and murderous feelings towards her brethren. At the Emmanual Pentecostal Church in Stourport she asks the Minister, Roy Davies, for help. He prays, and God tells him that she was involved with witchcraft. An exorcism has her born again, cleansed of her sin. She gets bap- tised and has no more nightmares, becoming a gen- erally nicer person. She becomes the "occult ex- pert" of the Reachout Trust and Evangelical Al- liance, and makes a career out of telling an edi- ted version of her tale. Geoffrey Dickens MP persuades her to tell all on live TV; "Audrey, to your knowledge is child sacr- ifice still going on?" To this she replies, "To my knowledge, yes." After this the whole thing ram- bles into an untidy conclusion of self-congratula- tion, self-promotion, and self-justification; and for a grand finale pulls out a list of horrendous child abuse, which is shamelessly exploited in typically journalistic fashion, and by the usual fallacious arguments which links it to anything "occult"; help-lines, astro predictions in news- papers, and even New Age festivals. And so we are left with a horrifying vision of hordes of Satanists swarming the country, buggering kids, sacrificing babies, and feeding their own faeces to the flock." Whilst all this seems incredible to any rational person, unfortunat- ely, in the age old tradition, it confirms the worst fears of the man and woman in the street, and so they swallow it whole. After all, it was on telly, so it MUST be true! As a direct result of people like Audrey Harper publicising their lies and fantasy, children in England and Scotland were forcibly removed from their homes, and subjected to the type of questioning that we had previously believed had died out at the end of the Middle Ages. A consultant clinical psychologist scrutinised the interview trans- cripts and audio records of the recent Orkney child abuse case, and in her summing up said: "[the Social Workers] told the children they knew things had happened to them and were generally leading all the way. When the children denied things, the questions were con- tinually put until the children got hungry and gave them the answers they wanted." Who says that torture is no longer legal in the British Isles? The father of four of the children who were taken into care said: "At first I thought the allegations were laughable, but I found out how serious the police were...". Just to remind you of the words of Gilles de Rais some 500 years ago: [the accusations] are frivolous and lack credit...". 1645 One 11 year-old described being asked to draw a circle of ritualistic dancers. He said: "They got me to draw by saying, 'I am not a drawer. Can you draw that?' It was meant to be a ring with children around and a minister in the middle wearing a black robe and a crook to pull children in." The boy said he had been promised treats such as a lesson on how a helicopter worked if he co-operated, and was told that he could go if he gave one name. How remarkably similar to medieval witch trials, where the victims were always pressed to name their accomp- lices - for is it not said, "thou canst not be a witch alone?"! In 1990, journalist Rosie Waterhouse commenting upon the Manchester child abuse case said: "After three months of questioning by the NSPCC, strange stories began to come out and other children were named. The way the children began telling "Satanic" tales in this case is remarkably similar to the way such stories first surfaced in Nottingham. As "The Independent on Sunday" revealed last week (23/9/- 90), the Nottingham children began talking about witches, monsters, babies and blood only after they had been encouraged, by an NSPCC social worker, to play with toys which included witches' costumes, monsters, toy babies, and a syringe for extracting blood." Believe it or not, the parents of these children had no access to them whatsoever. Why? Because our modern, scientifically trained, 20th century social workers believed that, "[the parents] would try to silence the children, using secret Satanic symbols or trigger words". By March 1991, senior Police spokesmen were publicly claiming that "police have no evidence of ritual or satanic abuse inflicted on children anywhere in England or Wales". Scotland has a different legal system, which is why it was not included in the statement - not because the police have evidence there, for they do not. When the Rochdale case finally came to court, after the children had been in care (sic!) for about 16 months, the judge delivered a damning indictment upon those who were responsible for it, and said: "the way the children had been removed from their parents was par- ticularly upsetting." He saw a video of the removal of one girl from her home during a dawn raid, and commented that, "It is obvious from the video tape that the girl is not merely frightened but greatly distressed at being removed from home. The sobbing and distraught girl can be seen. It is one of my most abiding memories of this case." Let us return briefly to Salem, where, in 1710, William Good petit- ioned for damages in respect of the trial and execution of his wife Sarah, and the imprisonment of his daughter, Dorothy, "a child of four or five years old, [who] being chained in the dungeon was so hardly used and terrified that she hath ever since been very chargeable, having little or no reason to govern herself.". 1646 Today's Christian Fundamentalist, like his vicious and self-righteous predecessors, will use anything in his or her power-including innocent children - to destroy the evils of Paganism and the occult. Sometimes I wonder if we are becoming paranoid, or the subjects of a persecution complex, but in writing this lecture it was brought home to me more strongly than ever before: the witch trials of the Middle Ages are not a bloody stain on the history of Christianity; they are the source from where today's fundamentalists draw their power, and are just as terrifying today as they were hundreds of years ago. Bigotry and persecution have changed in only one respect: 20th century mankind has far more efficient and effective means of spreading lies and propa- ganda than was available to our ancestors. PERSECUTION: ANCIENT AND MODERN Appendix A The subject of the European Witch Trials has been written about ad infinitum (and nauseam!), and there are a great many useful books which the student will find of interest. There follows a short bib- liography of those to which I referred when writing this lecture. Select Bibliography Bradford, Sarah Cesare Borgia (1981) Cohn, Norman Europe's Inner Demons (1975) Ginzburg, Carlo Ecstasies: Deciphering The Witches' Sabbath (1990) Hole, Christina Witchcraft in England (1977) Howard, Michael The Occult Conspiracy (1989) Kieckheffer, Richard European Witch Trials (1976) Larner, Christina Enemies of God: The Witch Hunt in Scotland (1981) Larner, Christina Witchcraft and Religion (1985) Maple, Eric The Complete Book of Witchcraft and Demonology (1966) Radford, Kenneth Fire Burn (1989) Ravensdale & Morgan The Psychology of Witchcraft (1974) Robbins, Rossell Hope The Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (1984) Russell, Jeffrey A History of Witchcraft (1980) Scarre, Geoffrey Witchcraft and Magic in 16th and 17th century Europe (1987) Stenton, Sir Frank Anglo-Saxon England (1971) Summers, Montague (Trans) Malleus Maleficarum (1986) Thomas, Keith Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971) Trevor-Roper, H R The European Witch-Craze of the 16th and 17th Centuries (1988) Walsh, Michael Roots of Christianity (1986) Worden, Blair (Ed) Stuart England (1986) Encyclopaedia Britannica (1969 edition) Collins Dictionary of the English Language (1980) Newspapers: The Times, The Guardian, The Independent (Britain) 1647 PERSECUTION: ANCIENT AND MODERN Appendix B - Historical Periods Anglo-Saxon: broadly 550 AD to 1066 AD (the Norman invasion). Middle Ages: broadly the period from the end of classical antiquity (476 AD) tothe Italian Renaissance (or fall of Constantinople in 1453). More specifically the period from 1000 AD to the 15th century. Medieval: of, or relating to, the Middle Ages. Tudor: the Royal House, descended from Welsh Squire Owen Tudor (d.1461), which ruled in England between 1485 AD - 1603 AD Stuart: the Royal House which ruled in Scotland between 1371 ADand 1714,and inEngland between1603 AD- 1714 AD. Jacobean: relating to the period of James I's rule of England (1603-1625). Reformation: a 16th century religious and political movement which beganas anattempt toreform theCatholic Church, but actually resulted inthe establishment of the Protestant Church. Renaissance: usually considered as beginning in Italy in the 14th century,this isthe period whichmarked the transitionfromtheMiddleAges tothemodern world.Itis characterisedbyclassicalscholar ship,scientific andgeographicaldiscovery,and the exploration of individual human potential. Civil War: 1640-1649, between the Royalists under Charles I, and the Parliamentarians ledby Oliver Cromwell. Charles I was executed in 1649. Crusades: a series of wars undertaken by the Christians of western Europe with the authorisation of the Papacy from1095untilthe mid-15thcenturyforthe purpose of recoveringthe HolySepulchre atJerus alemfrom theMuslimsand defendingpossessionof it. (Enc. Britannica) Thirty Years' War: a major conflict involving Austria, Denmark, France, Holland,Germany, Spain andSweden that devastated central Europe, but especially Germany. It beganas awarbetween Protestantsand Catholics but developedintoa generalpowerstruggle (1618 1648). Lateran Councils: Five ecumenical councils held at the Lateran Palace (the official residence ofthe Pope) between 1123 AD and 1512 AD. 1648 PERSECUTION: ANCIENT AND MODERN Appendix C - Gnostic and Christian sects Manichaeism: a dualistic Gnostic religion first preached by Mani (q.v.)in the 3rdcentury AD. Itsearly centrewas Babylonia,then partofthePersianempireanda meeting place of faiths. (EB) The basic theology of Manichaeism is that good and evil are separate and opposed principles, which have become mixed in the world through the action of the evil principle. There is a complicated mythology which describes the creation of the world and the elements, and a set of complex correspondences by which the seeker can return to a state of salvation. Manichaeism spread across a huge area, including the Roman Empire. However, by the 6th century it had virtually been eradicated from Spain, France and Italy, although was strong in the eastern Mediterranean until the 9th century, when it was absorbed into the neo-Manichean sects of the Bogomils, Cathars, etc. Bogomils: a religious sect which flourished in the Balkans between the 10th and 15th centuries. Their central teaching was strictly dualistic; that the visible, material world was created by the Devil, and that everything within it was therefore evil. They rejected many of the trappings of Chris- tianity, and their condemnation of anything to do with the flesh - including eating and drinking! - has rightly earned them the nickname, "the greatest puritans of the middle ages". Cathars: a heretical Christian sect that flourished in western Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. They believed that goodness existed only in the spiritual world created by God, and that the material world, created by Satan, was evil. Their theology bore a great resemblance to that of Manichaeism and the Bogomils, and they were closely connected with the latter. Waldensians: also known as Valdenses or Vaudois. The sect was founded in southern France in the 12th century, and emphasised poverty, abstinence from physical labou r, and a life devoted to prayer. They were influenced by other "heretical" sects, and rejected a number of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith. They were stern opponents to the acquisition of wealth and power within the Church, and thus came into direct opposition to the Papacy,which thrived on both. They were fiercely persecuted, and by the end of the 15th century, confined mainly to the French and Italian valleys of the Cottian Alps. During the 16th century, the Waldensians were transformed into a Protestant church, but suffered heavy persecu- tion throughout the 17th century from the Dukes of Savoy. This ceased only after Oliver Cromwell intervened personally on their behalf with the duke, Charles Emmanuel II. In the latter part of the 17th century the Waldensians returned to their original homeland, and in 1848 the Waldensians were given civil rights, and are today members of the World Presbyterian Alliance. 1649 PERSECUTION: ANCIENT AND MODERN Appendix D - A calendar of events connected with the persecution of heretics 640 AD Eorcenberht succeeds Eadbald as King of Kent, and becomes the firstEnglish king toorder the destr uction of pagan idols throughout his kingdom; 663 AD Council of Whitby determines the date of Easter to be inaccordance withRomanpractice, andso ends Celtic Christianity in Northumberland; 668-690 AD Liber Poenitentialis by Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. Probably the first legislation against witches. Itadvised penances (eg, fasting)for those who"sacrificedto devils,foretold the futurewiththeiraid,atefoodthathadbeen offeredin sacrifice,orburnedgrainafter aman was deadforthewell-beingofthelivingandof the house." 735-766 AD the Confessional of Ecgberht, Archbishop of York, which prescribed a 7-year fast for a woman convicted of "slaying by incantation"; 871-899 AD reign of King Aelfred (brother of Aethelred), who declared the death penaltyfor those who practise Wicca; 925-939 AD reign of King Aethelstan, where murder - including murderbywitchcraft -waspunishablewith the death penalty; 936 AD Otto elected King of the Germans, whereupon he declaredit hisintention to drivethe pagans out of his land; 951 Otto crowned King of Lombardy; 955 Otto defeated the Magyars and proclaimed himself "Protector of Europe"; 962 Otto crowned Holy Roman Emperor; 1022 the first burning (at Orleans) for heresy; 1066-1087 AD reign of William the Conqueror in England; he reduced Aethelstan'ssentence ofdeath forcon victed murderers to banishment; 1118 King Baldwin II of Jerusalem suggested to Sir Hugh dePayensthat heorganiseachivalric orderof knightsto defendtravellersto theHolyLand, and grantedpartofhispalace,which stoodonthesite ofSolomon'soriginaltemple, fortheirheadquar ters.Asaresultof thisgesture,HughdePayens calledhisOrdertheTempliMilitia,andthenlater 1650 changedthisto KnightsoftheTempleofSolomonin Jerusalem; 1162 Pope Alexander III issued a special papal bull releasing Templars from spiritual obedience to any butthe Popehimself,gavethemexemption from paying tithes, andallowed themtheir own chaplains and burial grounds; 12/13th cent the Cathar heresies: introduction of the obscene kiss and ritual adoration of the devil; 1243-44 Siege of Montsegur; 1244 225 Cathars burned at the stake at Montsegur; 1259 relationships between the Knights Templars and the Hospitallers ofKnights ofStJohn deteriorated into open warfare; 1291 the Saracens took Jerusalem, and the Knights Templars were expelled, and lost their headquarters on the site of Solomon's Temple; 1301 Walter Langton, bishop of Coventry, tried by ecclesiastical court for diabolism and acquitted; 1302 trial in Exeter for defamation of a man who called a woman a "wicked witch and thief"; 1307 King Philip of France ordered the arrest of every member ofthe KnightsTemplar in France:this was followed bya papalbull toall rulersin Christian Europe that all Templars were to be arrested; 1311 investigation in London by episcopal authority into sorcery, enchantment, magic, divination and invocation; 1312 the Pope officially disbanded the Knights Templars; 1314 Jaques de Molay (last Grand Master of the Knights Templars) burned as a relapsed heretic; 1321 last Cathar burned at the stake; 1324 Alice Kyteler tried in Kilkenny by secular and ecclesiastical authorities for diabolism, invoca tion and sorcery; 1347 the Plague spreads over the whole of Italy, and arrives in France by the end of the year; 1348 the Plague reaches Paris, then the Low Countries, and then via the Channel to southern England; 1349 Britain ravaged by the Plague, which passes into Germany, Austria and Scandinavia; 1651 1360 the Plague, complicated by influenza reappears in Europe, continuing in waves until 1441, and finally ending around 1510; 1390 woman tried in Milan for attending an assembly led by "Diana", "Erodiade" or "Oriente"; 1408 the Plague, still rampant in Europe is complicated by an epidemic of Typhus and Whooping Cough; 1409 trial of Pope Benedict XIII at Pisa for divination, invocation, sorcery and other offences; 1428-47 Dauphine: 110 women and 57 men executed by secular court for witchcraft, especially diabolism; 1431 Joan of Arc tried for heresy and burnt at the stake: the trial decision was annulled in 1456, and in 1920 shewas canonised byPope Benedict XVwith the date of her execution (May 30) becoming a national holiday in France; 1440 Gilles de Rais tried on 47 charges including con juration of demons and sexual perversions against children: nearlyall evidence washearsay, none of his servantswascalled totestify,and theprocee dingswerehighlyirregular: hewasstrangledand thensenttothe pyre,buthisfamilyweregiven permissionto removehisbodybefore theflames reached it for burial at a nearby Carmelite Church; 1441 Margery Jourdain ("the Witch of Eye") convicted of plottingtokillKingHenry VI,andburnedasa traitor; 1458 first recorded use of the word "sabbat" (Nicholas Jacquier). "Synagogue" was the word commonly used todescribethemeeting placesofhereticsand witches; 1470 trial before Royal Court in England for defamation - man had accused the Duchess of Bedford of image magic; 1479 Earl of Mar executed for employing witches to kill James III of Scotland; 1484 Papal Bull of Pope Innocent VIII officially declaring witchcraft a heresy; 1486 first publication of the Malleus Maleficarum; 1488 Metz: 31 women and 4 men tried by secular court for weather magic: 29 burned; 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain; 1521 Martin Luther excommunicated by Pope Leo X, and so begins the Reformation; 1652 1532 the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina: the criminal code for the HolyRoman Empire which specified how witches, fortunetellers, etc wereto be tried,and punished; 1542 first statute against witchcraft in England passed by Parliament (revoked 1547); 1557 first list of prohibited books issued by the Roman church; 1562 statute enacted in Scotland under Mary Queen of Scots declaring the death penalty for witchcraft, sorceryand necromancy:theAct wasconfirmed in 1649 and repealed in 1736; 1563 statute against witchcraft by Elizabeth I in Englandordering the deathpenalty for witches, enchantersand sorcerers(undercivil, notecc lesiastical law); 1566 first major trial under statute of 1563: Elizabeth Francis, Agnes Waterhouseand JoanWaterhouse at Chelmsford: Agneshanged,Elizabethreceived a light sentence and Joan was found not guilty; 1584 "Discoverie of Witchcraft" by Reginald Scot published - a Protestant argument against belief in witchcraft; 1590-92 North Berwick trials by James VI; 1595 Nicholas Remy publishes "Demonolatreiae" where he boasted on the title page that he had condemned 900 witches in 15 years; 1596 John Dee as Warden of a Manchester College acts as an advisor for cases of witchcraft and demonology; 1597 "Daemonologie" by King James VI published; 1600 Giordano Bruno burnt at the stake in Rome as an "impenitent heretic"; 1603 ascension of James VI to the English throne as James I; 1604 new statute against witchcraft by James I which established pact, devil-worship and other continental ideas in English law; 1611 King James authorises a new translation of the Bible to include the word "witch"; 1612 twenty witches tried together at Lancashire (the Pendle witches); 1628 in Massachusetts, an English lawyer, Thomas Mortonordered amaypoleto beerectedin the colony which he founded (Merrymount), and celebrat 1653 ed MaywithlocalIndians andrefugeesfromthe Puritans,withstag antlers,bellsandbrightly coloured clothes, under an elected "Lord and Lady" to ruleover thecelebrations; He wasarrested under charges ofpractising witchcraft,but was released; 1633 the public exorcisms of the nuns of Loudun as part ofa plotby CardinalRichelieu to revengehimself upon Urban Grandier: Grandier arrested and tried by investigating committee; 1634 Grandier tortured then burned alive; 1644 maypoles made illegal in England; 1644-5 Matthew Hopkins active in Chelmsford; 1646 Matthew Hopkins retired - he died the following year; 1647 first witch hung in the USA, in Connecticut; 1649 first newspaper astrology column by Lilly; 1662 at Bury St Edmunds women were accused and convicted ofwitchcrafton thetestimonyof hysterical children; 1662 the trial of Isobel Gowdie in Auldearne, Scotland: Gowdie introduces the idea of a coven of thirteen; 1663 the Licensing Act determined that books could not be published without priorconsultation with the Church or State; 1679-82 the Chambre Ardente affair: a star chamber court admittingof noappealarraigned totry Madame Bosse, her daughter and sons; Madame Montvoisin (La Voisin)and La DameVigoreux. Duringthe courseof the trial,severalhundredsofthehighestcour tiersofKing LouisXIVwereimplicatedinthe poisoningscandal.Theaffairdegeneratedintoa searchforheresyandwitchcraft,andeventually CatholicPriestsDavot, Gerard,Deshayes,Cotton, Tournet,Guibourg andMariettewere alsodrawnin, accused ofperforming theBlackMass. Evidencewas collectedto showthat Madamede Montespan(Louis' former mistress)attempted to poisonLouis andhis new mistress, andwas the leader ofthe Satanic cult. In all, 319 peoplewere arrested and 104 sentenced: 36 to death,4 to slavery in the gal leys, 34 to banishmentand 30 acquitted. In 1709 Louis attempted to destroy the records of the affair, but failed; 1684 Alice Molland was the last person executed as a witch in England (at Exeter); 1654 1689 Cotton Mather (New England) publishes "Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions" supporting belief in witchcraft; 1692 Salem witch trials: 19 hung and more than 100 jailed; thelast personexecutedin theUSA for witchcraft; 1727 last execution in Scotland for witchcraft; 1731 last trial for witchcraft in England: Jane Wenham, who was convicted, then pardoned and released; 1736 the repeal of the statutes against witchcraft of Mary Queen of Scots(1562), Elizabeth I (1563) and JamesI &VI(1604): replacedwith astatutewhich statedthat,"no prosecution,suitor proceeding shallbe commencedorcarriedoutagainstany personorpersonsforwitchcraft, sorcery,inchant ment (sic),orconjuration."Itprovided forthe prosecutionof thosepretendingtopossessmagical powers, but it denied reality to those powers; 1745 last execution in France for witchcraft; 1775 last execution in Germany for witchcraft; 1829 Lamothe-Langan fabricated and published documents represented to berecords of trialsof witches in Toulouse andCarcassonne, probably in an attempt to provethe continuingexistenceof theworship of the old religion; 1830 in "Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft" Sir Walter Scott argues thatalleged witches had been misunderstood and mistreated; 1862 Jules Michelet argues in his book "La Sorcerie" that witchcraftwas aprotest bymedieval serfs against a crushing social order; 1865 Pope Pius X again attacked secret societies,claim ing that Freemasonry was anti-Christian, satanic, and derived from paganism; 1899 publication of Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Leland; 1928 first English translation of the Malleus Malefic arum (tr Summers); 1951 repeal of the 1736 Witchcraft Act with the Fraud ulent Mediums Act; 1963 demand made for reinstatement of the Witchcraft Laws in England following desecration of churches and graveyards; 1655 1966 the Index (of prohibited books) abolished; 1991 Anti-occult amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill had its third reading in Parliament. Presented by Geoffrey Dickens, this prescribed imprisonment for not morethan five yearsagainst one who,"permits, entices orencourages aminorto participatein, or bepresentataceremonyorotheractivityofany kindspecifiedinsub-section3...".Subsection3 says:"Theceremoniesoractivitiestowhichthis sectionappliesare thoseof,orassociated with, Satanism andotherdevilworshipping, blackmagic, witchcraft, oranyactivity towhich Section1 of the Fraudulent Mediums Act (1951) applies. The Bill was rejected for a number of reasons, not least because it made newspaper/magazine editors culpable if minors should read the astrology column! 1656 HISTORY OF WICCA IN ENGLAND: 1939 - present day This talk was given by Julia Phillips at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991. It is mainly about the early days of the Wicca in England; specifically what we now call Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions. The text remains "as given", so please remember when you read it that it was never intended to be "read", but "heard" and debated. Text begins: There are three main strands I intend to examine: one, Gardner's claim of traditional initiation, and its subsequent development; two, magical traditions to which Gardner would have had access; and three, literary sources. As we look at these three main threads, it is important to bear in mind that Gardner was 55 years old at the time of his claimed initia- tion; that he had spent many years in Malaya, and had an enormous interest in magic, Folklore and Mythology. By the time he published High Magic's Aid, he was 65, and 75 when "The Meaning of Witchcraft" appeared. He died in 1964, at the age of 80. Gardner was born in 1884, and spent most of his working adult life in Malaya. He retired, and returned to the UK in 1936. He joined the Folklore Society, and in June 1938, also joined the newly opened Rosicrucian Theatre at Christchurch where it is said he met Old Dorothy Clutterbuck. I chose 1939 as my arbitrary starting point as that was the year that Gerald Gardner claims he was initiated by Old Dorothy into a practis- ing coven of the Old Religion, that met in the New Forest area of Britain. In his own words, "I realised that I had stumbled upon something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word, "Wica" which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things." This quote is taken from The Meaning of Witchcraft, which was published in 1959. It is interesting that in this quote, Gardner spells Wicca with only one "c"; in the earlier "Witchcraft Today" (1954) and "High Magic's Aid" (1949), the word Wicca is not even used. His own derivation for the word, given in "The Meaning of Witchcraft", is as follows: "As they (the Dane and Saxon invaders of England) had no witches of their own they had no special name for them; however, they made one up from "wig" an idol, and "laer", learning, "wiglaer" which they shor- tened into "Wicca". "It is a curious fact that when the witches became English-speaking they adopted their Saxon name, "Wica"." 1657 In "An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present", Doreen Valiente does not have an entry for Wicca, but when discussing Witchcraft, does mention the Saxon derivation from the word Wicca or Wicce. In the more recent- ly published The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, however, she rejects this Saxon theory in favour of Prof. Russell's derivation from the Indo- European root "Weik", which relates to things connected with magic and religion. Doreen Valiente strongly supports Gardner's claim of traditional initiation, and published the results of her successful attempt to prove the existence of Dorothy Clutterbuck in an appendix to "The Witches' Way" by Janet and Stewart Farrar. It is a marvellous piece of investigation, but proving that Old Dorothy existed does nothing to support Gardner's claims that she initiated him. In his book, "Ritual Magic in England", occultist Francis King does offer some anecdotal evidence in support of Gardner's claims. However, it is only fair to point out that in the same book, he virtually accuses Moina Mathers of murder, based upon a misunderstanding of a story told by Dion Fortune! With that caveat, I'll recount the tale in full: King relates that in 1953, he became acquainted with Louis Wilkinson, who wrote under the pen-name of Louis Marlow, and had contributed essays to Crowley's Equinox. He later became one of Crowley's literary executors. King says that in conversation, Wilkinson told him that Crowley had claimed to have been offered initiation into a witch coven, but that he refused, as he didn't want to be bossed around by a bunch of women. (This story is well-known, and could have been picked up anywhere.) Wilkinson then proceeded to tell King that he had himself become friendly with members of a coven operating in the New Forest area, and he thought that whilst it was possible that they derived their exis- tence from Murray's "Witch Cult in Western Europe", he felt that they were rather older. King draws the obvious conclusion; that these witches were the very same as those who initiated Gardner. King claims that the conversation with Wilkinson took place in 1953, although "Ritual Magic in England" was not published - or presumably written - until 1970. However, on September 27 1952, "Illustrated" magazine published a feature by Allen Andrews, which included details of a working by, "the Southern Coven of British Witches", where 17 men and women met in the New Forest to repel an invasion by Hitler. Wilkinson had told King of this working during their conversation, which King believes to be proof that such a coven existed; there are some differences in the two stories, and so it is possible that two sources are reporting the same event, but as Wilkinson's conversation with King came after the magazine article, we shall never know. In the recently published "Crafting the Art of Magic", Aidan Kelly uses this same source to "prove" (and I use the word advisedly - the book "proves" nothing") that Gardner, Dorothy, et al created Wicca one night following a social get together! Of one thing we can be certain though: whatever its origin, modern Wicca derives from Gardner. There may of course be other traditional, hereditary witches, but even if they are genuine, then it is unlikely that they would have been able to "go public" had it not been for Gardner. 1658 There have been many claims of "hereditary" origin (other than Gard- ner's own!) One of the most famous post-Gardner claimants to "heredi- tary" status was actress Ruth Wynn-Owen, who fooled many people for a very long time before being exposed. Roy Bowers, who used the pseud- onym Robert Cochrane, was another: Doreen Valiente describes her association with him in "The Rebirth of Witchcraft", and The Roebuck, which is still active in the USA today, derives directly from Coch- rane, via Joe Wilson. "Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed" by Evan John Jones with Doreen Valiente describes a tradition derived from Robert Cochrane. Alex Sanders, of course is another who claimed hereditary lineage, and like Cochrane, deserves his own place in this history, and we'll get to both of them later. Many people have been suspicious of Gardner's claims, and have accused him of making the whole thing up. They suggest that the Wicca is no more than the fantasy of an old man coloured by a romantic imagina- tion. One particularly virulent attack upon Gardner came from Charles Cardell, writing under the pseudonym of Rex Nemorensis. One of Gardner's initiates who is still active in the Wicca today has an interesting tale to tell about Cardell, whom he knew: "Cardell claimed to be a Witch, but from a different tradition to Gardner's. Cardell was a psychopathic rat, with malevolent intent toward all and sundry. He managed to get a woman called Olive Green (Florannis) into Gardner's coven, and told her to copy out the Book of Shadows so that Cardell could publish it, and destroy Gardner. He also contacted a London paper, and told them when and where the coven meetings were held, and of course the paper got quite a scoop. Cardell led people in the coven to believe that it was Doreen Valiente who had informed on them. Doreen had just left Gardner in a bit of a huff after a disagreement; another coven member, Ned Grove, left with her. Anyway, the day the paper printed the exposure, Cardell sent Gardner a telegram saying, "Remember Ameth tonight". (Ameth was Doreen's Craft name, and as it has now been published, I see no reason not to use it here)." My informant also said that Olive Green was associated with Michael Houghton, owner of Atlantis book shop in Museum Street, who was the publisher of High Magic's Aid. Through this association, she also encountered Kenneth Grant of the OTO, although their association was not friendly. Cecil Williamson, the original owner of the witchcraft museum on the Isle of Man, and present owner of the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, has also published a number of articles where he states quite categor- ically that Gardner was an utter fraud; but, he offers only anecdotes to support these allegations. Although Gardner claimed his initiation occurred in 1939, we don't really hear anything about him until 1949, when "High Magic's Aid" was published by Michael Houghton. 1659 This book has very strong Solomonic leanings, but like Gardner's own religious beliefs, combined the more natural forms of magic with high ceremonial. In his introduction to the book, Gardner says that: "The Magical rituals are authentic, party from the Key of Solomon (MacGreg- or Mathers' translation) and partly from magical MSS in my posses- sion)." Gardner did indeed have a large collection of MSS, which passed with the rest of his goods to Ripleys in Toronto after his death. Scire (pseudonym) was the name Gardner took as a member of Crowley's branch of the OTO; although it is generally agreed that his membership was purely nominal, he was certainly in contact with people like Kenneth Grant and Madeline Montalban (founder of the Order of the Morning Star). Gardner was given his OTO degree and Charter by Aleister Crowley, to whom he was introduced in 1946 by Arnold Crowther. As Crowley died in 1947, their association was not long-lived, but Crowther confirms that the two men enjoyed each other's company. So, after that brief introduction we can have a look at the first of the strands I mentioned. In 1888, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was born, beginning a renaissance of interest in the occult that has continued to the present day. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the GD to modern occultists; not only in its rituals, but also in its personal- ities; and of course, through making available a large body of occult lore that would otherwise have remained unknown, or hidden in obscur- ity. I will be looking at this body of occult lore with other literary influences later, and will here concentrate on the rituals and per- sonalities that have influenced Wicca. We cannot look at the GD in isolation from its own origins. It is descended from a myriad of esoteric traditions including Rosicrucian- ism, Theosophy, and Freemasonry. The latter in its own right, as well as via the SRIA - a scholarly and ceremonial association open to Master Masons only. Whether the German Lodge or Fraulein Sprengel actually existed is a matter still under debate; but either in fact or in spirit, this is the source for the "Cypher Manuscripts" which were used to found the Isis-Urania Lodge in 1888. As I'm sure everyone knows, Isis-Urania was founded by Dr Wynn-West- cott, Dr Woodman, and MacGregor Mathers. Not only were all three Master Masons; Wynn-Westcott and Mathers were also members of the Theosophical Society. The most important thing though is the fact the these three men were a ruling triumvirate that managed the affairs of the SRIA. This is important, for the SRIA included Hargrave Jennings in its membership, and Jennings is reputed to have been involved with a Pagan group at the end of the 19th century, which drew its inspir- ation from Apuleius - The Golden Ass. 1660 But back to the GD - whether the Cypher Manuscripts actually existed, or Wynn-Westcott manufactured them is now irrelevant; Mathers was commissioned to write-up the rituals into a workable shape, and thus the Golden Dawn was born. Members of the Isis-Urania Lodge at various times also included Allan Bennett, Moina Mathers, Aleister Crowley, Florence Farr, Maud Gonne, Annie Horniman, Arthur Machen, "Fiona Macleod", Arthur Waite and WB Yeats. Also associated were Lady Gregory, and G W Russell, or AE, whose "The Candle of Vision" was included in the bibliography of "The Meaning of Witchcraft". The literary and Celtic influences within the GD were immense. From the Isis-Urania Lodge sprang all the others, including the so-called Dissident Orders derived through Crowley. It is this line that some commentators trace to modern Wicca, so it is the one upon which we will concentrate. Aleister Crowley was initiated into the Isis-Urania Lodge on 18 November 1898. As you most probably know, Crowley later quarrelled with MacGregor Mathers, and in 1903 began to create his own Order, the Argenteum Astrum, or Silver Star. In 1912, Crowley was initiated into the OTO, and in 1921, succeeded Theodor Reuss as its Chief. According to Arnold Crowther's account, it was in 1946, a year before Crowley's death, that Crowley gave Gardner an OTO Charter. Ithell Colquhoun says only that it occurred in the 1940s, and further states that Gardner introduced material from the OTO, and less directly from the GD, into "...the lore of his covens". As Doreen Valiente also admits, "Indeed, the influence of Crowley was very apparent throughout the (Wiccan) rituals.". This, Gardner ex- plained to her, was because the rituals he received from Old Dorothy's coven were very fragmentary, and in order to make them workable, he had to supplement them with other material. To give an example of some of the lines by Crowley which are rather familiar to modern Wiccans: I give unimaginable joys on earth; certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death. And of course, the Gnostic Mass has been immensely influential. Not only poetry, but also magical practices in Wicca are often derived from GD sources. For example: the way of casting the circle: that is, the visualisation of the circle, and the pentagrams at the quarters, are both based upon the standard GD Pentagram Ritual; 1661 both the concept and word "Watchtowers" are of course from the Eno- chian system of Magic, passed to Wicca via the GD (although I would like to make it very clear that their use within Wicca bears no relation to the use within Enochia - the only similarity is in the name); the Elements and colours generally attributed to the Quarters are those of the GD; the weapons and their attributions are a combination of GD, Crowley and Key of Solomon. In "Witchcraft Today", Gardner says, "The people who certainly would have had the knowledge and ability to invent (the Wiccan rites) were the people who formed the Order of the Golden Dawn about seventy years ago...". The GD is not the only influence upon Gardner; Freemasonry has had a tremendous impact upon the Wicca. Not only were the three founders of Isis-Urania Temple Masons, so too were Crowley and Waite; Gardner and at least one member of the first coven (Daffo) were both Co-Masons. Gardner was also a friend of JSM Ward, who had published a number of books about Masonry. Doreen describes Ward as a "leading Mason", but Francis King says only that Ward was, "a bogus Bishop... who had written some quite good but far-fetched books on masonry, and who ran a peculiar religious-cum-oc- cult community called The Abbey of Christ the King..." Whether the books were far-fetched or not, we can assume that some of the many similarities between Wicca and Masonry are in some ways due to Ward's influence. Some of these include: The Three Degrees The Craft So Mote It Be The Challenge Properly Prepared The 1st Degree Oath (in part) Presentation of the Working Tools at 1st degree and so on. It seems to me quite clear that even if Gardner received a traditional set of rituals from his coven, they must have been exceptionally sparse, as the concepts that we know of as Wicca today certainly derive from ceremonial magic and Freemasonry to a very great extent. Indeed, Gardner always claimed that they were sparse. It could be argued that all derive from a common source. That the appearance of a phrase, or technique in one tradition does not autom- atically suggest that its appearance elsewhere means that the one was taken from the other. However, Gardner admits his sources in many cases, and Doreen confirms them in others, so I think it is safe to presume that the rituals and philosophy used by Wicca descends from the traditions of Freemasonry and Ceremonial magic, rather than from a single common source. However, as Hudson Frew points out in his commentary upon Aidan Kelly's book, the phenomena of the techniques 1662 and practices of ceremonial magic influencing folk magic and trad- itions is widely recognised by anthropologists, and certainly does not indicate plagiarism. And of course there are many traditional witch- craft aspects in the Wicca. We have looked at the development of the magical orders which resulted from the British occult revival of the 19th and 20th centuries, and now we can see where this ties in with Wicca, and Gardner's claim of traditional initiation. I have here a "family tree" of the main branches of British Wicca. It is by no means exhaustive, and is intended to provide an outline, not a definitive history! I have included my own coven lines and develop- ment as an indication of the kind of "cross-over" of tradition which often occurs, not to suggest that these are the only active groups! Also, it would not be ethical for me to include details of other covens. We have two possible "hereditary" sources to the Gardnerian Craft: one, the Horsa Coven of Old Dorothy, and two, the Cumbrian Group which Rae Bone claims to have been initiated into before meeting Gardner. (NB: Doreen Valiente says that the Horsa Coven is not connected with Old Dorothy, but is another group entirely.) There is also sometimes mention of a St Alban's group that pre-dates Gardner, but as far as I know, this is mistaken. The St Albans group was Gardner's own group, which as far as research confirms, did not pre-date him. To return to Rae Bone: she was one of Gardner's HPSs, and her "line" has been immensely important to the modern Wicca; she was featured in the magazine series, "Man Myth and Magic" if anyone has a copy of that. In her heyday she ran two covens: one in Cumbria, and one in South London. Rae is still alive, and lives in Cumbria, although her last coven moved to New Zealand many years ago, and she is no longer active. No-one has ever been able to trace the coven in New Zealand. At this point, I will just mention George Pickingill, although he is not shown on the tree, as I think it extremely dubious that he had any connection with Gardner, or any other modern Wiccan. Pickingill died in 1909, whilst Gardner was still in Malaya. Eric Maple is largely responsible for the beginnings of the Pickingill myth, which were expanded by Bill Liddell (Lugh) writing in "The Wiccan" and "The Cauldron" throughout the 1970s. Mike Howard still has some of Liddell's material which he has never published, and I have yet to meet anyone within the British Craft who gives credence to Liddell's claims. In the book, "The Dark World of Witches", published in 1962, Maple tells of a number of village wise women and cunning men, one of whom is George Pickingill. There is a photograph included of an old man with a stick, holding a hat, which Maple describes as Pickingill. This photograph has subsequently been re-used many times in books about witchcraft and Wicca. 1663 Issue number 31 of "Insight" Magazine, dated July 1984, contains a very interesting letter from John Pope: "The photograph purporting to be Old George Pickingill is in fact a photo of Alf Cavill, a station porter at Ellstree, taken in the early 1960s. Alf is now dead, but he was no witch, and laughed over the photograph when he saw it." A very respected Craft authority has told me that he believes the photo, which is in his possession, to be of Pickingill, but like so much to do with Craft history, there is no definitive answer to this one. Many claims were made by Liddell; some obviously from cloud-cuckoo land, others which could, by a stretch of the imagination, be ac- cepted. The very idea of Pickingill, an illiterate farm labourer, co-ordinating and supervising nine covens across the breadth of the UK is staggering. To accept - as Liddell avers - that he had the likes of Alan Bennett and Aleister Crowley as his pupils bends credulity even further. The infamous photograph which Liddell claims shows Crowley, Bennett and Pickingill together has conveniently disappeared, and no-one admits to ever having seen it. Like most of Liddell's claims, nothing has ever been substantiated, and when pushed, he retreats into the time honoured favourite of, "I can't reveal that - you're not an initiate"! But to return to the family tree: the names of Doreen Valiente, Pat and Arnold Crowther, Lois Bourne (Hemmings), Jack Bracelin and Monique Wilson will probably be the most familiar to you. Jack Bracelin is the author of Gardner's biography, "Gerald Gardner, Witch", (published 1960) now out of print, although still available 2nd hand, and in libraries. (In Crafting the Art of Magic, Kelly claims that this book was actually written by Idries Shah, and simply published under Bracelin's name. As with every other claim, Kelly offers no evidence of this) I have seen a copy of Bracelin's Book of Shadows, which it is claimed dates from 1949, although in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen says that Bracelin was a "relative newcomer" in the mid-1950s. I have also been told by two different sources that Bracelin helped Gardner write "The Laws". In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen states that she did not see The Laws until the mid 1950s, when she and her partner Ned Grove accused Gardner of concocting them in order to re-assert control over the coven. As Bracelin was in the Gardner camp during the breakup of the group, it seems reasonable that he did in fact help with their composition. (NB: Alex Sanders increased the number of "The Laws" much later - these appeared in June Johns' book, "The King of the Witches") 1664 Although Doreen claims that the reason for the coven break-up was the fact that Gardner and Bracelin were publicity crazy, there was another reason, which was the instatement of a new lady into the coven, effectively replacing Doreen as HPS. This is also the main reason for Gerald's Law which states that the HPS will, "...gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman, should the coven so decide in council." Needless to say, Doreen was not impressed, and she and Ned left the coven under very acrimonious circumstances. It was quite some time before Doreen had contact with Gardner again, and they never quite regained the degree of friendship that had previously existed. Monique and Campbell Wilson are infamous, rather than famous, as Gardner's heirs who sold off his magical equipment and possessions after his death, to Ripleys in the USA. Monique was the last of his Priestesses, and many Wiccans today still spit when her name is mentioned. Pat Crowther was rather scathing about her recently in an interview, and in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, although Doreen tells of the sale of Gardner's magical possessions to Ripleys, she doesn't ever mention the Wilsons by name. In effect, the Craft closed ranks against them, and they became outcasts. Eventually, in the face of such opposition they had to sell the Museum in Castletown, and they moved to Torremolinos, where they bought a cafe. Monique died nine years after selling the Museum. It is rumoured that Campbell Wilson moved to the USA, and met with a car accident there: this is only hearsay though - I really do not know for sure what happened to him. However, Monique was influential in a way that even she could not have imagined, when in 1964 or 5 she initiated Ray Buckland, who with his wife Rosemary (later divorced), was very influential in the develop- ment of the Wicca in the USA. Fortunately, Richard and Tamarra James managed to buy the bulk of Gardner's collection back from Ripleys in 1987, for the princely sum of US$40,000, and it is now back within the Craft, and available for initiates to consult and view. D and C S. are probably completely anonymous, and if it were not for the fact that C initiated Robert Cochrane (briefly mentioned earlier) they would probably stay that way! Cochrane's origins are obscure, but I have been told that he was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition by C S, and met Doreen Valien- te through a mutual acquaintance in 1964. When he met Doreen, however, he claimed to be a hereditary witch, from a different tradition to Gardner's, and as Doreen confirms, was contemptuous of what he called "Gardnerian" witches. Indeed, Doreen believes he coined the term, "Gardnerian". Doreen said she was completely taken in by Cochrane and for a while, worked with him and the "Clan of Tubal-Cain" as he described his tradition, which was also known as "The Royal Windsor Cuveen", or 1734. The figures "1734" have an interesting history. Doreen gives a rather strange account of them in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, which contra- 1665 dicts what Cochrane himself describes in a letter to Joe Wilson, dated "12th Night 1966", where he says, "...the order of 1734 is not a date of an event but a grouping of numerals that mean something to a witch. "One that becomes seven states of wisdom - the Goddess of the Cauld- ron. Three that are the Queens of the Elements - fire belonging alone to Man, and the Blacksmith God. Four that are Queens of the Wind Gods. "The Jewish orthodoxy believe that whomever knows the Holy and Un- speakable name of God has absolute power over the world of form. Very briefly, the name of God spoken as Tetragrammaton ... breaks down in Hebrew to the letters YHVH, or the Adam Kadmon (The Heavenly Man). Adam Kadmon is a composite of all Archangels - in other words a poetic statement of the names of the Elements. "So what the Jew and the Witch believe alike, is that the man who discovers the secret of the Elements controls the physical world. 1734 is the witch way of saying YHVH." (Cochrane, 1966) Although Doreen says that Cochrane's group was small, it still proved to be remarkably influential. As well as Cochrane and his wife (whom Doreen refers to as "Jean") and Doreen herself, there were others who are well-known today, and a man called Ronald White, who very much wanted to bring about a new age in England, with the return of King Arthur. In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen elaborates upon the circumstances surrounding the death of Cochrane: the bald facts are that he died at the Summer Solstice of 1966 of an overdose. Craft tradition believes that he became in fact, and of his own choice, the male ritual sacri- fice which is sometimes symbolically enacted at the height of Summer. The Royal Windsor Cuveen disbanded after Cochrane died, only to be re-born from the ashes at Samhain that year under a new name - The Regency. All of its early members were from the Royal Windsor Cuveen, and they were under the leadership of Ronald White. The Regency proved to be of great importance to the development of the Wicca, although its existence was kept a fairly close secret, and even today, there are relatively few people who have ever heard of it. Meetings were held in North London, at a place called Queens Wood. As well as Ron White and Doreen Valiente, members included "John Math", founder of the Witchcraft Research Association in 1964, and editor of Pentagram magazine, and the founder of the Pagan Movement, Tony Kelly. At its height, there were frequently more than 40 in attendance at rites, which tended to be of the dramatic, pagan kind rather than the ceremonial associated with high ritual magic. The Regency operated fairly consistently for over twelve years, finally disbanding in 1978. The Membership roll reads like a who's who of the British Wicca! Some of the rites have been incorporated into modern Wiccan rituals - in fact, one was used at the Pan European Wiccan Conference 1991 with very great success. Moving back over to Rae Bone's line, there are a number of influential people here, mainly through her initiates, Madge and Arthur, who probably take the award for the most prolific pair in Wiccandom! Rae, although initiated by Gardner, does of course also claim a hereditary status in her own right. 1666 Madge and Arthur's initiates include: John and Jean Score John Score was the partner of Michael Houghton (mentioned earlier), and the founder of the Pagan Federation, which is very active today. Houghton died under very mysterious circumstances, which is briefly mentioned in "The Sword of Wisdom" by Ithell Colquhoun. My Craft source told me that this was actually a ritual that went badly wrong, and Houghton ended up on the wrong end of some fairly potent energies. There is an interesting anecdote about Houghton in The Rebirth Of Withcraft, which is taken from "Nightside of Eden" by Kenneth Grant, and agrees in some respect to a similar story that I was told some years ago. Doreen suggests in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft that the story may relate to a magical working involving Kenneth Grant and his wife, Gardner, Dolores North (Madeline Montalban), and an un-named witch, who was probably Olive Green. They were all to perform a ritual together, supposedly to contact an extra-terrestrial being. The material basis for the rite, which took place in 1949, was a drawing by AO Spare. Apparently soon after the rite commenced, a nearby bookseller (Michael Houghton) turned up and interrupted proceedings. On hearing that Kenneth Grant was within, he declined to enter, and wandered off. The rite was disrupted, and the story goes that everyone just went home. Kenneth Grant claims that as a result of disturbing their working, Houghton's marriage broke up, and that Houghton died in mysterious circumstances. In fact, the Houghton divorce was a cause celebre, with her suing him for cruelty because he boasted of being a Sagittarian while sneering at her because she was only a dingy old Capricorn! The interrupted ritual could well have taken place. Madeline had a flat near to Atlantis (Houghton's shop), and would certainly have known both Grant and Houghton. I know for a fact that Madeline was acquainted with Gerald, although her opinion of both him and the Wicca was rather poor. One of Madeline's older students told me that she thought Gardner rather a fraud, and ritually inept. She also had a very low opinion of Wiccans, and refused to allow her own students to participate in Wiccan rites. The reason for this lies in an anecdote which Doreen doesn't relate: the story goes that Madeline agreed to participate in a rite with Gerald, which turned out to involve Made- line being tied up and tickled with a feather duster! The great lady was not amused. Prudence Jones Prudence was for many years the president of the Pagan Federation, and editor of its newsletter. She inherited her role from John Score, after he passed away. With Nigel Pennick, Prudence also runs the Pagan Anti-Defamation League (PADL), and is an active astrologer and therap- ist. She has edited a book on astrology, and with Caitlin Matthews, edited "Voices from the Circle", published by Aquarian Press. Al- though Prudence took her degree in Philosophy, her main interests lie in the areas of the Grail and troubadour tales, and she has published privately an excellent essay on the Grail and Wicca. She is also a very highly respected astrologer, who lectures extensively in Britain. 1667 Vivianne and Chris Crowley Vivianne Crowley, is author of "Wicca - The Old Religion in the New Age", and also secretary of the Pagan Federation. She has a PhD in Psychology, and is perhaps the only person to have been a member of both a Gardnerian Coven and an Alexandrian one simultaneously! Vivianne is very active at the moment, and has initiated people in Germany (having memorised the ritual in German - a language she doesn't speak!), Norway, and - on the astral - Brazil. As a result of her book, she receives many letters from people from all around the world, and organised the first ever pan-European Wiccan conference, held in Germany 1990. The second conference was held in Britain at the June solstice, and the third (1992) in Norway. In 1993, the Conference will be in Scotland. John and Kathy (Caitlin) Matthews, are probably well-known to every- one, but possibly their Gardnerian initiations are not such common knowledge. The story that John Matthews relates in "Voices from the Circle" is essentially the one which he told the HPS who initiated him. Pat and Arnold Crowther I have left Pat and Arnold till last, as it is from their line that the infamous Alex Sanders derives! It is no secret anymore that Alex, far from being initiated by his grandmother when he was seven, was in fact turned down by Pat Crowther in 1961, but was later accepted by one of her ex-coven members, Pat Kopanski, and initiated to 1st Degree. In "The Rebirth of Witchcraft" Doreen says that Alex later met Gard- ner, and was allowed to copy from the Book of Shadows; Craft tradition is somewhat different! It has always been said (even by Alex's sup- porters!) that he pinched what he could from Pat Kopanski before being chucked out, and that the main differences between the Alexandrian and Gardnerian Books of Shadows occur where Alex mis-heard, or mis-copied something! There are certainly significant differences between the two Books; some parts of Gardnerian ritual are quite unknown within the Alexandrian tradition, and the ritual techniques are often dif- ferent. It is usually very easy to spot whether someone is an Alexand- rian, or Gardnerian initiate. Alex needed a HPS, and as we know, chose Maxine Morris for the role. Maxine is a striking Priestess, and made a very good visual focus for the movement which grew in leaps and bounds. In the late 1960s, Alex and Maxine were prolific initiators, and a number of their initiates have become well known. Some came to Austra- lia, and there are still a number of covens in the UK today whose HP and/or HPS was initiated by Alex or Maxine. Alex and Maxine's most famous initiates are almost certainly Janet and Stewart Farrar, who left them in 1971 to form their own coven, first in England, then later, in Ireland. Through their books, they have probably had the most influence over the direction that the modern Craft has taken. Certainly in Australia, the publication of "What Witches Do" was an absolute watershed, and with Janet and Stewart's consistent output, their form of Wicca is more likely to become the "standard" than any other type. 1668 Since their early days of undiluted Alexandrianism, they have drifted somewhat towards a more Gardnerian approach, and today, tell everyone that there are no differences between the two traditions. In fact, despite the merging that has been occurring over the last few years, there are very distinct differences between the traditions; some merely external, others of a very significant difference of philos- ophy. Seldiy Bate was originally magically trained by Madeline Montalban, and then took an Alexandrian initiation from Maxine and Alex. Her husband, Nigel, was also initiated by Maxine, and they have been "public" witches for a number of years now, often appearing on TV, radio and in the press. Their background in ritual magic is expressed in the type of coven that they run; a combination of Wicca and Cerem- onial Magic. In 1971, Alex and Maxine went their separate ways. David Goddard is a Liberal Catholic Priest, and for many years, he and Maxine worked in the Liberal Catholic faith, and did not run a coven of any kind. Then in 1984, Maxine gathered together a group again, and started pract- ising a combination of Wicca, Qabalah and Liberal Catholicism. She and David separated in 1987, and since then her coven has been exclusively Wiccan. In 1989, she married one of her initiates, Vincent, and they are still running an active coven in London today. Alex's history after the split was a little more sordid, with one girl he married, Jill, filling the gutter press with stories about Alex being homosexual, and defrauding her of all her money to spend on his boyfriends. Sally Taylor was initiated by Maxine and David, but then transferred to Alex. She was trained by him, and then started her own group. I'd now like to focus upon the last of the strands which I believe has been influential upon the birth and development of Wicca; that of the literary traditions and sources to which Gardner would have had access. To a certain extent these are contiguous with the magical traditions described earlier, as nowhere is it ever suggested that Gardner did in fact ever work in a magical Lodge, so we must assume that his knowledge came from the written form of the rites, not from the actual practise of them. From reading Gardner's books, it is quite apparent that Margaret Murray had a tremendous impact upon him. Her book, "The God of the Witches" was published in 1933, and twelve years previously, "The Witch Cult in Western Europe" had appeared. "The God of the Witches" has been tremendously influential on a number of people, and certainly inspired Gardner. In fact, "Witchcraft Today", published by Gardner in 1954 contained a foreword by Margaret Murray. At this time, remember, Murray's work was still taken seriously, and she remained the contributor on the subject of witchcraft for the Encyclopedia Britannica for a number of years. 1669 Now of course her work has been largely discredited, although she remains a source of inspiration, if not historical accuracy. In Gardner's day, the idea of a continuing worship of the old pagan gods would have been a staggering theory, and in the second article in my series about Murray (published in The Cauldron), I made the point that Murray may have had to pretend scientific veracity in order to get her work published in such times. Don't forget that Dion Fortune had to publish her work privately, as did Gardner with High Magic's Aid. Carlo Ginzburg's excellent book, "Ecstasies", also supports Murray's basic premise; although of course he regrets her historical decep- tions. There were of course other sources than Murray. In 1899, "Aradia: Gospel of the Witches" was published. Most of Crowley's work was available during the pre- and post-war years, as were the texts written and translated by MacGregor Mathers and Waite. Also readily available were works such as The Magus, and of course the classics, from which Gardner drew much inspiration. Of paramount importance would have been "The White Goddess", by Robert Graves, which is still a standard reference book on any British Wiccan's bookshelf. This was published in 1952; three years after High Magic's Aid appeared, and two years before Gardner's first non-fict- ional book about witchcraft. I would just like to say at this point that Graves has taken some very unfair criticism in respect of this book. The White Goddess was written as a work of poetry, not history, and to criticise it for being historically innaccurate is to miss the point. Unfortunately, I agree that some writers have referred to it as an "authority", and thus led their readers up the garden path. This is not Graves's fault, nor do I believe it was his intention. Another book which has had a profound influence on many Wiccans, and would undoubtedly have been well known by Gardner is "The Golden Bough"; although the entire book was written based upon purely secon- dary research, it is an extensive examination of many pagan practices from the Ancient World, and the emphasis of the male sacrifice could certainly have been taken from here equally as well as from Murray. Certain of the Gardnerian ritual practices were almost certainly derived from The Golden Bough, or from Frazer's own sources. In "Witchcraft Today" Gardner mentions a number of authors when speculating where the Wiccan rites came from. He says that, "The only man I can think of who could have invented the rites was the late Aleister Crowley." He continues to say, "The only other man I can think of who could have done it is Kipling...". He also mentions that, "Hargrave Jennings might have had a hand in them..." and then suggests that "Barrat (sic) of The Magus, circa 1800, would have had the ability to invent or resurrect the cult." It's possible that these references are something of a damage control operation by Gardner, who, according to Doreen, was not too impressed when she kept telling him that she recognised certain passages in the Witch rites! "Witchcraft Today" was published the year after Doreen's initiation, and perhaps by seeming genuinely interested in where the Rites came from, Gardner thought he might give the appearance of innocence of their construction! 1670 As mentioned previously, Gardner also had a large collection of unpublished MSS, which he used extensively, and one has only to read his books to realise that he was a very well-read man, with wide-rang- ing interests. Exactly the sort of man who would be able to draw together a set of rituals if required. The extensive bibliography to "The Meaning of Witchcraft" published in 1959, demonstrates this rather well. Gardner includes Magick in Theory and Practice and The Equinox of the Gods by Crowley; The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune; The Goetia; The White Goddess (Graves); Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of The Mabinogion; English Folklore by Christina Hole; The Kabbalah Unveiled and the Abramelin by Mathers; both Margaret Murray's books and Godfrey Leland's Gypsy Sorcery, as well as a myriad of classic texts, from Plato to Bede! Although this bibliography postdates the creation of Gardnerian Wicca, it certainly indicates from where Gardner draws his inspiration from. There are also several books listed which are either directly, or indirectly, concerned with sex magic, Priapic Cults, or Tantra. Hargrave Jenning, mentioned earlier, wrote a book called "The Rosi- crucians, their Rites and Mysteries", which Francis King describes as a book, "concerned almost exclusively with phallicism and phallic images - Jennings saw the penis everywhere." As I mentioned earlier, Hargrave Jennings, a member of the SRIA, also belonged to a group, described as a coven, which met in the Cambridge area in the 1870s, and performed rituals based upon the classical traditions - specifically, from The Golden Ass. There is no evidence to support this, except that there are often found references to a "Cambridge Coven" linked to Jennings' name. Many of the rituals we are familiar with today were of course later additions by Doreen Valiente, and these have been well documented by both her and the Farrars, in a number of books. Doreen admits that she deliberately cut much of the poetry by Aleister Crowley, and substituted either her own work, or poems from other sources, such as the Carmina Gadelica. Of course we can never really know the truth about the origins of the Wicca. Gardner may have been an utter fraud; he may have actually received a "Traditional" initiation; or, as a number of people have suggested, he may have created the Wicca as a result of a genuine religious experience, drawing upon his extensive literary and magical knowledge to create, or help create, the rites and philosophy. What I think we can be fairly certain about is that he was sincere in his belief. If there had been no more to the whole thing than an old man's fantasy, then the Wicca would not have grown to be the force that it is today, and we would not all be sitting here in Canberra on a Saturday morning! 1671 The Wheel of the Year From "The Witches of Oz", by Julia Phillips and Matthew Sandow, Sydney, New South Wales. The Wheel of the year is of great significance to Wiccans, and is one of the principle keys to understanding the religion. As we said earlier, Wicca sees a profound relationship between humanity and the environment. For a Wiccan, all of nature is a manifesta- tion of the divine and so we celebrate the turning seasons as the changing faces of our Gods. The Wheel of the Year is a continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth. Thus the Wheel reflects both the natural passage of life in the world around us, as well as revealing our own connection with the greater world. To a Wiccan, all of creation is divine, and by realizing how we are connected to the turning if the seasons and to the natural world, we come to a deeper understanding to the ways in which we are connected to the God and Goddess. o when we celebrate our seasonal rites, we draw the symbolism that we use from the natural world and from our own lives, thus attempting to unite the essential identity that underlies all things. Undoubtedly the significance of the Festivals has changed over the centuries, and it is very difficult for us today to imagine the joy and relief that must have accompanied the successful grain harvest. What with factory-farming, fast freezing and world wide distribution, our lives no longer depend upon such things and as a consequence, our respect for the land has diminished in proportion to our personal contact with it. Wiccans believe that we can re-affirm this contact by our observance of the passage of the seasons, in which we see reflected our own lives, and the lives of our gods. Whether we choose to contact those forces through silent and solitary meditation, or experience the time of year in a wild place, or gather with friends in a suburban living room, we are all performing our own ritual to the Old Ones, reaching out once more towards the hidden forces which surround us all. What is of the utmost importance with the Wheel of the Year is that we understand what we hope to achieve through our festival celebrations, and avoid the trap of going through empty motions, repeating words from a book which may sound dramatic, but have no relevance in our everyday lives. That simply leads to the creation of a dogma, and not a living breathing religion. It is not enough to stand in a circle on a specific day, and "invoke' forces of nature, those forces are currents which flow continuously through- out our lives, not just eight times a year, and if we choose not to acknowledge them in our everyday lives, there is no point in calling upon them for one day. 1672 By following the Wiccan religion you are affirming your belief in the sanctity of the Earth, and acknowledging that you depend upon the Earth for your very life. Although modern lifestyles do not encourage awareness of our personal relationship with the turning seasons, or the patterns of life, growth, death and decay, that does not mean that they no longer exist. The ebb and flow of the Earth's energies may be hidden beneath a physical shell of tarmac and concrete, and a psychic one of human indifference, but they are nevertheless there for those who wish to acknowledge them once more. We do this by observing the changes of the seasons, and feeling the changes reflected in our innermost selves, and in our everyday lives. In our rituals we focus upon different aspects of the God and Goddess, and participate in the celebration of their mysteries; thus we re-affirm our connections on the most profound levels. The Wiccan Wheel has two great inspirations; it is both a wheel of celebration, and a wheel of initiation. As a wheel of initiation it hopes to guide those who tread its pathway towards an understanding of the mysteries of life and the universe, expressed through the teachings of the Old Ones made manifest in the turning of the seasons. For a Wiccan, the gods and nature are one. In exploring the mysteries of the seasons we are seeking to penetrate more deeply the mysteries of the God and Goddess. As a wheel of celebration, Wiccans accord to the words of the Charge of the Goddess, where She says, "Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold, all acts of Love and Pleasure are my rituals"; and that, "Ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise". Anyone can celebrate the turning of the seasons, in their own way, and in their own time. Wiccan covens will commonly gather together, and make the Festivals times of joyful merrymaking, but you can just as easily make the celebration a solitary one, or with just one or two friends. The principles do not alter; just the way in which you acknowledge them. Wiccans generally celebrate eight Festivals, roughly six weeks apart, which are pivotal points in the solar (seasonal) cycle. Four of the Festivals are called the Lesser Sabbats: these are the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, and the Winter and Summer Solstices. The other four Festivals are called the Greater Sabbats, and relate to particular seasons when in bygone days, certain activities would have been undertaken, usually followed by a party of some kind. There are variations upon the names by which these Greater Sabbats are known, but the simple ones are Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain. Candlemas is also known as Imbolg, Oimelc, or Brigid; Lammas is sometimes called Lughnassadh. 1673 It is important to understand that the Festivals are celebrat- ing a time of year: a season, not a date. Most books written about Wicca have been written by an author living and working in the northern hemisphere, who may quite rightly say that "Beltane is celebrated on May Eve." Northern hemisphere readers will automati- cally interpret this as, "Beltane is at the end of spring, just before summer gets underway." IN the Wiccan Book of Shadows, the poem by Kipling is used at this Festival which says, "O do not tell the Priests of our art, for they would call it sin; but we've been out in the woods all night, a'conjurin' summer in.... ." Of course, "May eve" in the southern hemisphere is autumn heading into winter, entirely the wrong time of year to celebrate the portent of summer. In much the same way, Christmas and Easter are celebrated at the wrong time of year here. In the Christian calendar, Christmas coincides with the Winter Solstice - and the growing popularity of the June Yule Fest in the Blue Mountains in NSW each year suggests an awareness of this, even if it is, in this case, expressed in a commercial sense. The date of Easter changes each year, because it is the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, (And they try to tell us that Easter wasn't originally a Pagan Festival!) So in the southern hemi- sphere, according to the rules by which the date of Easter is determined, it should fall sometime in late September or early October each year. However, Christianity is not a religion which sees a particular connection between humanity and the environment, and therefore has no problem in celebrating Easter in autumn, and Christmas at the Summer Solstice. Wicca is different, and it IS important to us to attune ourselves to the passage of the seasons, hence we follow the natural cycle wherever we live. In the southern hemisphere this means celebrating Beltane at the start of summer, i.e., the beginning of November, not the beginning of May. The Wiccan year starts and ends with Samhain, which is also known as Hallowe'en, or All Saints Eve. It is the celebration which falls just before the dark nights of winter take hold. The Winter Solstice comes next, where Wiccans celebrate the rebirth of the Sun; at Candlemas about six weeks later, we celebrate the first signs of the growing light (longer days,) and of spring beginning to show itself. The Spring Equinox (around 21 September - it varies from year to year) is the time when day and night are equal in length, and the Sun is on its increase. Next is Beltane, the Festival where Wiccans celebrate the union of the young man and woman, and everyone dances around a tree, crowned with a garland of flowers, and decked with red and white ribbons. 1674 About six weeks after Beltane we come to the Summer Solstice, when the Sun reaches its greatest height. It is the longest day/shortest night, and in the southern hemisphere, falls around 21 December. Then the Sun begins its way back down towards winter, but we are still in summer. Six weeks after the Solstice is Lammas, when in agricultural societies, the harvest is reaped, and we receive the benefits from our hard work. The Sun at Lammas still has great strength, for it is the ripening time, rather than the growing time which ceases around the Summer Solstice. The Autumn Equinox follows this, usually around 21 March (again, it varies from year to year), which is often celebrated as a Harvest Festival. The next Festival, some six weeks after the Equinox, is Samhain, which is the time just before the winter really sets in, and when food is stored, and we remember those who have passed away. In many countries this is the time when the Lord of the Wild Hunt rides, which is mirrored in the way that the winds are often wild at this time of year, and the clouds ragged and wind-torn. In parts of Australia you will find that some of these seasonal aspects are a little different, but generally speaking, you should be able to feel the change from winter to spring; spring to summer; summer to autumn and then autumn to winter. The specifics will change, but the general trend is very similar - one season leading to another. You have only to become aware of the natural changes in your own environment to realize that the concepts of the Wheel of the Year are valid wherever you may be. As a Wheel of initiation, the Wheel of the Year is the path which leads us through the experiences of our gods towards that point which Jungian psychologists call individuation, and which Wiccans call knowledge of the Old Ones. As with all mystical experiences, these mysteries are not communicated in an academic or intellectual manner; they are direct experiences which each individual shares with the Old Gods. Different traditions have developed different ways of travelling the Wheel, but all ways have a common purpose, and all are equally valid, provided the basic principles are sound. We gave a very brief description of the cycle of the Wheel of the Year above. Now we can have a look at this in more detail, using for our framework a mythology which is used by our own Coven. It is based upon the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions in which we were initiated, but has evolved over several years, and has been greatly modified to reflect our own understanding of the turning wheel of the seasons. We should say at this point that we use the terms "King" and "Queen" to refer to the principle characters in the mythology. It is important to understand that we are not referring to a modern monarchy, but to the ancient pagan principles those titles infer. The King is the priest/king of the forest: his tale is told in many forms in many lands. He is the essential male that lies within all men, and is the animus (in it Jungian sense) of all women. The Queen is Sovereignty: she is the mysterious soul of nature; the essential woman that lies within all women, and is the anima of all men. 1675 So to begin our journey: how do we set out to explore the mysteries of existence? Well, the journey begins with a question - we have first to be aware that there is a mystery to explore! And that most basic of questions is: "where did life come from? how did it all begin?" For a Wiccan there is an underlying spiritual intuition that the answer to that question is quite simply that the universe was created by deity. So we celebrate the beginning of the Wheel of the Year as a being the creation of all life by the God and the Goddess; we begin with a creation myth. The Wheel of the Year starts with Samhain; at this time we celebrate the Great Rite - the joyful union of the God and Goddess in the Otherworld. This touches the very depths of the mystery. We celebrate at this time the conception that will lead to the birth of all creation. Wiccans celebrate all life as a manifestation of the mystery of the gods, but do not pretend to understand how such life came into being. Nor do we claim to fully understand our gods; to the Wicca they are a mystery, and when describing our vision of deity we use symbols to express as best we can the vision we have seen. We do not know how the universe was created and this remains essentially mysterious. However, by choosing to take the path of initiation - that is, by following the Wheel of the Year - we can learn to commune more deeply with the gods, and experience visions which can reveal a little of the mystery. The vision that we have of Samhain is of the creation. In the Wicca the inexpressible mystery of the deity is symbolized in the form of the God and Goddess. Thus at Samhain we celebrate their love as the root of all creation. Samhain is the time of creation: the moment when life is conceived in the womb of the Great Mother. As we proceed to the next of the festivals - Yule - it should not be surprising to find that following the moment of conception we should seek to understand the moment of birth. The conception, the moment of creation deep within the mystery, took place at Samhain. The seed planted at this time gestates in the womb of the Goddess until the child of the gods - in essence, the whole of creation - emerges from the womb of the Great Mother. This is celebrated at Yule, which is symbolized by the birth of the Sun. In pre-Christian times, this time was called "Giuli," and followed "Modra Necht" - the Night of the Mothers. Yule is celebrated at the time of the Midwinter Solstice. This is the time of the longest night, and of the shortest day. The Sun is seen to be symbolically born anew, as the Great Mother gives birth at the time of the darkest night. The Sun is a vitally important symbol to us, for it has been long known that all life on Earth is dependant upon the Sun. The Wheel of the Year itself is based upon the solar cycle, and the Sun is seen as symbolic of the life force which we worship as the God and the Goddess. The Sun is the dominant force in all our lives. Without its light and heat, life as we understand it is impossible. The passage of the Sun through the heavens regulates the passage of the seasons we experience upon the Earth, and is therefore the foundation of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. 1676 At the Midwinter Solstice we celebrate the rebirth of the Sun. Many Wiccan covens follow the old pagan tradition of enacting this as the Goddess giving birth to the Child of Promise. It was at the Midwinter Solstice in the northern hemisphere that the birth of Mithras was celebrated. For the same reason it was decided in 273 A.D. to appoint this date to celebrate the birth of Christ; the "son" of God. In the world of nature, Yule signifies the moment of the rebirth of the Sun. In our own lives we can take it to represent the moment of physical birth. Thus in our ritual cycle, we enact the rebirth of the Sun by the lighting of candles, and especially the lighting of a flame within the cauldron to represent the emergence of new life from the darkness of the womb of the Goddess. We ritually invoke the Great Mother and All-Father, and we symbolically enact the Goddess giving birth to the new year. In human terms the child represents all the potential for life, as yet unaware that all the mysteries of the universe lies hidden deep within. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the child is born in innocence, created in the image of the gods. We have taken the second step upon our journey. From now on the days continue to lengthen as the Sun climbs toward its height at the Summer Solstice. In response to the greater heat of the Sun, the land begins to awaken as we start the journey from winter towards spring. The next festival is Candlemas. As we might guess from the name (given to it by the Christians), it is a festival of lights which celebrates the growth of the Sun. By Candlemas, the days are appreciably longer. Our understanding of this festival has been guided by ancient pagan tradition and our own inspiration. We see this as a time of purification and most especially a time of initiation into the female mysteries. At Candlemas we observe in nature the awakening potential for the fullness of summer. In human terms we represent this by the first female menstruation. This is the virgin aspect of the Goddess, marking the awakening of her potential to become the mother. We celebrate this ritual by arming the young virgin with the powers of the elements. We celebrate her initiation into the mysteries of her sex. To reflect this essential female mystery, we enact the young girl being instructed by her mother and grandmother into the mysteries of being a woman. Thus we reveal that the mystery of the virgin is also found within the mother crone as well. It is at Candlemas in many parts of Britain that the women of the house dress a sheaf of oats in woman's clothing, and lay it in a basket called "Brighid's bed." They also place a small phallic club in the bed and then call out three times, "Brighid is come, Brighid is welcome!", and leave candles burning all night beside the bed. Behind all this we catch glimpses of deeper mysteries that can only be grasped by passing beyond a mere intellectual appreciation of the symbolism. 1677 To continue our journey we now come to the Spring Equinox. It might seem that celebrating Candlemas as a female mystery is rather unbalanced in a religion which is based upon polarity of male and female; but no; for reasons of tradition, and because woman reach puberty before men, it is not until the Spring Equinox that the initiatory male rite is enacted. In this we arm the young god with the knowledge of his own creative power; he is initiated into the mysteries of sex, just as the young girl was armed with the powers of her potential. This ritual expresses the mystery that he contains within his young life; the potential to become a father and wise old man. This continues to reflect the turning tide of the seasons. We are now in the spring. New life is awakening on all sides. The sap is rising in the trees, and both the young man and young girl have awakened to the mysteries of their sexuality. The Spring Equinox is a vital moment in the passage of the solar cycle. Day and night now stand equal, and from this point onwards the light will dominate the darkness. The long dark nights of winter have at last been overthrown. Between the Spring Equinox and Beltane the young man and woman pursue one another, each becoming more aware of the other sex. Thus the man understands that there is more to the mystery of life than pure masculinity, and the woman sees that there is more to life than her femininity. Having found this vision, they express it in their desire to be joined as one. We arrive now at Beltane. This is the time of the sacred marriage when the young man and woman are joined together as husband and wife. With their wish to be married, they have glimpsed that the mysteries of love may lead to a deeper union still - in essence, to a union with the gods. By going beyond their sense of individual self to embrace one another, they have taken a profound step toward the God and Goddess. They have discovered that deep within themselves they are both male and female, and the experience of this brings a new sense of joy and wholeness. Beltane is a time of joy and celebration; the dark of winter is forgotten, and summer is coming. It is a time of fertility and fire. We dance the ancient mystery of the Maypole, celebrating our understanding our understanding of the mystery of the love of a man for a woman. The pole is crowned with a garland of flowers to symbolize their joining; the ribbons are red and white, reminding us of blood and sperm. The dance is the sexual fire, as we dance about the pole winding the ribbons in the pattern of the spiral, which reveals the mystery of the serpent; that ancient awakener who slumbers until warmed by the rising Sun. This is the time of the sacred marriage. It is a moment when human consciousness has grasped the powers of nature, joined with those powers and shared in the mystery of life. The land and our lives are married as one. For those that are able to see it, there is a vision of the creation of all life by the God and the Goddess. For the mystery is now revealed for all to see - the woman conceives of her husband. She is pregnant and will bear a child. 1678 Through their union they discover their deeper selves, which we symbolize as the King and Queen of the land. The man and woman now take up their new roles, and rule the kingdom of their new found lives. At Candlemas and the Spring Equinox a man and a woman were instructed in the powers of nature. Now at Beltane that knowledge is transformed into understanding. For in joining together they have understood that their lives and the land are one. The land continues to bring forth life in an ever greater profusion. The woman who is now the Queen begins to show the first signs of the Beltane seed planted in her womb by her husband, the King. She is pregnant; the mirror image of the maturing crops. Now we come to Midsummer, the height of the solar Wheel. This is the time of the longest day and shortest night, and a time of maturity, both in the agricultural cycle and the lives of the man and woman. They rule now as King and Queen; just as the Sun is at its height, so too they are at the height of their creative powers. The woman's mature power is reflected in her approaching mother- hood. The man's power is reflected in his kingship, and in his mastery of nature and rule of the kingdom. Together the King and Queen preside over the kingdom of their lives, celebrating the vision of creative light. But the light does not continue to rise. The vision of light must once more give way to a growing darkness. As things grow, so too they must wither and die. From Midsummer, the Sun must fall, until reborn once more at the Winter Solstice. Thus Midsummer is a celebration of the King and Queen's power, but must also reflect the returning current of darkness. We symbolize this by the appearance of a challenger who confronts the couple. Until now the King and Queen have ruled supreme; they have imposed their will upon the kingdom without challenge, but now a single dark figure must appear. This is the beginning of the ancient pagan theme of the battle between the brothers; the light and dark kings now begin their conflict. The challenger seeks to abduct the Queen; the child she bears represents the kingdom. The King must now defend the land. They fight, light against dark, but as yet the sun is still supreme, and the King drives the challenger back. But, the challenger is armed with the power of fate; we know that the Sun must fall. With a single stroke the challenger wounds the King, laying open his thigh; but still the light is the greater power, and the King defeats the challenger. The light still rules supreme, but a shadow has fallen over the kingdom. Thus Midsummer comes to a close. The King and Queen remain at the height of their power, yet a new force - darkness - is awakening in the world. As the seasons continue to turn, the gods begin to reveal a further mystery: not only are they light, they are also dark as well. Thus the King and Queen have awakened to a deeper mystery; they have seen that not only are they male and female, but they are also light and dark as well. 1679 As we look at the natural world, we see that the Sun is now waning. The days grow shorter, and we sense profound changes in the world around us. After Midsummer, the next festival we come to is Lammas. The crops have matured, and in the way of nature, aged and turned to seed. The days are still longer than the nights; the light still rules in the land, but the powers of darkness are now visibly growing. Summer is coming to an end and we are approaching autumn. To symbolize the theme of the waning light and growing power of darkness, we celebrate Lammas as a Harvest Festival. In cutting the corn (wheat), we celebrate the end of the vision of light. We cut the corn with joy; as we have sown, so now we reap, but in cutting the corn we signal the end of the cycle of growth. As we gather in the harvest we watch as the power of the Sun wanes. The cutting of the corn is an ancient symbol of death and transformation, and reflects the seasonal changes at work in the land around us. As we look to the King and Queen, who were married to the land at Beltane, we see in their lives a reflection of these themes. Just as the harvest is reaped, so the Queen now births her child. The mystery of Lammas is that by fulfilling the vision of light in bringing to fruition the seed sown in the spring, we must face the vision of death. For the King bears the wound he received at Midsummer, it is a wasting wound and will not heal. He slowly weakens, his creative power spent. He is still King, but his powers are waning, a reflection of the falling light. But Lammas is also a time of hope, for in the cutting of the corn the seed is gathered in, which is the hope for life to come. As the King looks to his first born son he looks to the heir of the kingdom. We celebrate Lammas as a time of fulfillment; it is a time of joy, when we reap all we have sown. Both King and Queen have been transformed. The King had to accept the glimpse of the vision of death in his killing of the challenger and taking of a mortal wound; so now the Queen dies to herself, for in giving birth she has given the child a part of her life, passing her power to her son. As the Wheel of the Seasons turns, it reveals that the gods embrace both life and death. Just as the man and woman were born, so too they must die. Lammas brings the vision of mortality, but reveals the hope of the immortal spirit hidden in the new cut grain, made manifest in the new born child, who symbolizes the awakening darkness; he is the power of the waning Sun. He emerges from the womb as the growing darkness appears in the natural world. We must now move on. Time will stand still for no-one. The wheel must turn, and we must turn with it. This is our fate, as our lives reflect the turning cycle of the seasons. We must now make our way to the Autumn Equinox, where once again the powers of light and darkness stand as equals - but now it is the darkness that is in the ascendant. It is the nature of human beings to resist the darkness. Humanity fears death above all things. It is the root of all our fears; death is the final initiation. Only through an acceptance and understanding of death can we hope to understand the goods. Only in accepting death can we truly accept life. Life and death are two sides of the same coin; we cannot have one without the other. 1680 By the time we reach the Autumn Equinox, it becomes harder to describe the mysteries that we celebrate. The mystery that can be taught or explained is not, after all, a mystery. At the Autumn Equinox we must face life's greatest mystery: death. This is the hardest trial of all. In the ancient mystery schools, and in shamanic practices, the most important of initiations was - and is - the near death experience. The child born at Lammas is now a young man. He is the reflection of the growing powers of darkness. The old King of Light bears his mortal wound and is now advancing in years, his powers waning as the days grow shorter, and the Sun falls lower and lower in the sky. The Queen also is no longer young; the flower of her youth is past. The King and Queen are aging with the land, for they and the land are one. But as is natural in human affairs we none of us want to admit the darkness. We fight against the coming of the night. So the King and Queen each in their own way try to hold onto the kingdom they have been at such pains to build. The King's powers are waning; his son is in the first flush of youth and vigor, and has been initiated into the mysteries of his power. The King grows weak, and must rely upon his son to defend the kingdom. But, the King now fears his son as a potential challenge to the throne. The Queen likewise does not want to relinquish her power. She sees that her husband grows weak and infirm, and is no match for a challenger. To maintain her position in the kingdom she relies on the power of her son. Finally, in the dead of the night, the old pagan tale replays itself. The battle begun at the Midsummer Solstice between the light and darkness must now be resumed; the King and his son fight as the Equinox comes upon us. Sword against spear the battle rages; the experience of the King against the naked strength of his son's youth. The Queen watches as they fight, torn by hope and fear. But as they fight, there is a great mystery at work. Both the King and Queen now face their fear of death, and as they look death in the eye there is a moment of understanding. The King, the Queen, and the land are one. Thus they are both the light and darkness. In the moment of vision the King looks upon his son, and at last realizes that he is only fighting himself, for all things are one. The King and his son understand the mystery, and they join in love as one. They give up the conflict of light and dark to pass beyond this world, and they become the Lord of the Otherworld. The Queen too has seen both life and death, and knows that they are one. With this realization she becomes the crone, and understands the ancient mystery. The Equinox marks her last menstrual cycle; she can no longer bear children. So now we must take our last step upon the Wheel; we come at last to Samhain, from where it all began. As we saw at the beginning this is the Wiccan New Year. The Queen has become the crone - the hag, the Witch. She lives alone, for the King is now dead. The Sun is waning toward the Solstice; winter is upon us, and the night is now longer than the day. 1681 If we look to the land, the cycle of growth has come to an end. The kingdom of the old year has symbolically passed away, transformed by the turning of the seasons. The Queen is now a Witch; the ancient hag crone who knows the mysteries of life and death. In making her journey she has discovered the ancient power which lies behind the Wheel of the Year. She has seen the spring, the summer, autumn and winter, and she knows that an ancient mystery lies hidden within it all. Standing alone, for she is feared by those who have yet to walk the Wheel, she kindles the ancient Samhain fire. As she raises her arms in invocation to the Lord of the Otherworld, a great storm gathers. The veil is opened between the worlds. The storm breaks, and the Wild Hunt is upon us as the spirits of the dead are led from the Otherworld by the ancient Horned God; the Ancient Lord of the Samhain fire. To complete the final turn of the Wheel, the Crone must now join with his mystery, and go with him back into the Otherworld. She and the Horned Lord travel together back into the depths of the mystery. There they join in love as one; the supreme moment of the true Great Rite in which all the mysteries of the male and female, all the mysteries of the light and dark are married together as one as the seed is planted deep within the womb of the Great Mother. For now in the natural cycle the seeds of nature fall to the ground, the seed of life to come. The seed harvested at Lammas is now planted in the earth, fulfilling the mystery of the return. For a while the land sleeps, and lies fallow. The darkness seems to complete, but of course we know that we will eventually return to the Winter Solstice, and the cycle will continue. Let us now approach the Wiccan Wheel of the Year as it is meant to be: as a mystery. Forget the intellect, and allow your intuition and emotions to be your guide. What follows is a guided visualization, which you can read onto a tape, or have one person read aloud, as you follow the journey it describes. Allow the images to form naturally in your imagination, and you will find yourself making a magical journey through the mysteries of the gods. For those who are not used to following a guided visualiza- tion, there are a few simple rules to observe. Before starting any meditation work (which includes the kind of altered state that guided visualization encourages), seat yourself comfortably in a quiet room, free from distractions. Take the phone off the hook, and tell anyone who lives with you not to disturb you. You can of course do this out of doors, but if you do, make sure you are well off the beaten track, with no danger of bush walkers stumbling over you, or any other kinds of disturbance. Have a pen and pad handy, and if it helps you to relax and focus, use some incense. 1682 The Wheel of The Year, A Guided Visualization: Julia Phillips & Rufus Harrington Make sure you are seated comfortably, and spend a few moments quietly, allowing your mind and body to relax. Now, close your eyes, and allow these images to build in your imagination: It is dark, and a chill wind is blowing. You are standing within a mighty forest, and can feel the ground hard and cold beneath your feet. You look up, and see the stars, but there is no Moon. Patiently, you wait. You hear a sound behind you, and turn and look over your shoulder. You realize that you are standing upon the edge of a clearing; at its center burns a fire, with an old man seated before it. He is wearing tattered animal skins, and has long ragged hair which blows about in the wind. On the far side of the clearing you see the mouth of a cave, and standing before it is the mighty figure of the Horned God. You turn back and look through the trees, looking towards the eastern horizon. For tonight is the longest night: the dark time before the Sun is reborn at the Winter Solstice, and you wait patiently for the first rays of the new born Sun. At last you see a faint glimmer of light upon the eastern horizon, and as the rays of the new born Sun rise in the morning sky, you hear the sound of a new born babe crying. You turn and look back across the clearing as an old woman walks out of the cave carrying a new born child in her arms. The Horned God reaches forwards and caresses the child's cheek, and then the old woman takes the child, and sits by the side of the old man at the camp fire. As the Sun continues to rise in the sky, you know that you have witnessed a very great mystery - the mystery of birth - the birth of the Sun, and of the Son. You leave the clearing, and walk back through the forest to your own cottage, where you warm yourself at the fire, for you are chilled through after your long vigil throughout the darkest night. Days pass, and although the ground is still hard and cold, and the nights long and dark, you are aware of a change in the season, and know that winter is drawing to its close. One night as you are about to go to bed, you hear a tinkling of bells from deep within the forest, and are strangely drawn towards their sound. As you make your way through the night, a waxing Moon lights your path, and at last you find yourself once more in the clearing. You look towards the cave, and see that a great red veil hangs across the mouth, and that the old Crone, and another woman stand before it. The other woman is younger than the Crone, but obviously not a youth, and you instinctively realize that this is the Crone's own daughter. As you stand and watch you realize that the bells are being shaken by the Crone, and that she and her daughter are softly singing an ancient song: a song which calls to the Virgin to awaken, and to come forth as the herald of winter's end, and spring's beginning. The two women reach up, and with a single movement, rend the veil, tearing it away, revealing the Virgin standing poised upon the threshold. She is purity and innocence: a young figure - blindfolded, dressed in white, and carrying in her hands a posy of bright yellow flowers, symbolic of the growing powers of the Sun. 1683 The Mother and Crone reach forward, and linking their hands behind the Virgin, they pull her out of the cave. They lead her towards the fire, and then the Mother speaks quietly to her. You see the Virgin nod. The Crone then seems to ask her a question, and although you cannot hear the answer, it seems she has spoken truly, for the Crone nods, and reaches up to remove the blindfold. The Virgin blinks her eyes, and stretches. She begins to dance slowly around the fire at the center of the clearing, full of the joy of her awakening, and in the knowledge of her power and potential as a woman. Self-contained, she dances the dance of life; of blood and waters flowing freely, no long frozen and still. You turn and leave the clearing, taking one last look at the Virgin dancing joyfully around the fire. As you walk back through the forest, you feel an answering power moving through the land, and you are aware that the Earth is beginning to come alive beneath your feet, and on the trees you see the yellow blooms which are the promise of spring, and the end of winter. Day by day the Sun now grows visibly stronger: the land has awakened from its sleep with the fire dance of the Virgin, and now the Sun itself approaches the magical time of the Equinox: the time when day and night are equal, but when light is in the ascendant. The day of the Equinox dawns bright and clear. The wind is fresh, and all around you are signs of spring. From deep within the forest you hear the sound of a horn, and deep within your innermost self you are aware of a stirring response to its call. You make your way quickly through the forest; as you approach the clearing, you realize that you are not alone, for all the creatures of the forest are gathered upon the edge of the clearing. They too have answered the summons of the horn. At the center of the clearing stands a naked young man, his skin shining with reflected sunlight. He is blindfold: before him stands the old man, and behind him, the mighty figure of the Horned God. It was he who blew the horn. The old man dances around the youth - slowly, a shambling kind of dance - shaking a rattle and chanting softly. He stops. The Horned God whispers to the youth, who nods his head in reply. The old man then asks the youth a question, and after listening to the reply, nods, and reaches up and removes the blindfold. The youth blinks, and stretches. The Horned God hands him the horn. He puts this to his lips, and a single blast echoes through the forest. With a laugh the youth leaps away into the forest, followed by all the birds and animals, for he is Lord of the Forest. You feel a stirring in your own blood, and before you realize what has happened, you find yourself chasing the figure of the youth on his mad dash through the forest. It is a wild and carefree dance, and you feel the answering echo from the trees, and from the Earth, as they are warmed by the growing Sun. The Land and the Youth both awaken to their fertile potential. 1684 As you run through the trees, out of the corner of your eye you see a flicker of white; you turn, and there hidden in the trees you see the Virgin, watching and waiting. She is looking curiously at the Lord of the Forest, intrigued by his strength and drawn by his beauty. He sees her watching, but on this day, he is too full with the joy of being in control of his own creative power to cease his headlong chase through the forest. Gradually you tire, and at last you find yourself walking back through the forest to your own cottage, where you find rest. All through the growing spring the Virgin and the Young Lord watch each other through the forest. Each aware of the other, but both self-fulfilled with their own potential and power. But the Sun keeps getting stronger, and at last we come to that moment where the Young Lord and the Virgin realize that they have a greater destiny to fulfil, and driven by their natural desires, and the signs of the burgeoning world all around them, they seek each other out, and in celebration of the great mystery of the Land Marriage, they join as one. It is the height of spring, and the signs of fertility are all around. As you make your own way towards the clearing, you feel the warm Sun upon your face, and feel the life in the Earth beneath your feet. In the center of the clearing stands a great tree trunk, crowned with a garland of spring flowers, with many red and white ribbons fluttering in the breeze. From far and wide people have travelled to the clearing, for today is the day of celebrating the growing Sun, and the fertile Earth. Men and women take hold of the ribbons, and enact their own celebration of Life as they dance the pattern of the sacred spiral of creation around the tree. You hold your ribbon firmly, and watch the spiral form as you dance the ancient steps that have been danced since first Man and Woman were joined as one. You hear cheering and shouts of laughter, and there, walking through the crowd hand in hand come the Young Lord and his wife - Virgin no longer. Together they have celebrated the sacred mystery in accordance with the Old Laws: for they have joined in love, and so have become the King and Queen of the Land. And the weeks pass, and the Sun grows ever stronger in the sky, and the King grows in strength and majesty. The Queen begins to show signs of her pregnancy, the mirror of the crops and fruits that the Land begins to produce, for the Queen represents the Land, and is at one with it. At last the day arrives when the Sun reaches its most powerful time: the Midsummer Solstice. The King and Queen are at their peak too, reflected in the majesty of the King, and the growing life in the womb of the Queen. To mark this day, the King and Queen host a great celebration in the forest clearing: a feast to mark the Solstice day, and their own creative powers which have brought many good things to the Land. All day the feast and games continue, with the King and Queen bestowing their blessings upon everyone. 1685 At long last the Sun begins to sink slowly towards the west; as it falls you hear a disturbance upon the edge of the clearing. You see people running, and hear their screams. And then into the clearing stalks a dark figure, his black cloak swirling around him, wearing a helmet which obscures his face from view - shadow of darkness in the forest. He strides towards the King, and in a loud clear voice, challenges him for the right to rule the kingdom, and for the Queen as his consort. The King must protect what he has striven so hard to create, and must protect his wife and unborn child. He accepts the challenge, and a great battle ensues as the Sun slowly sinks in the west. The challenger lays the King's thigh open with a sweep of his sword, but is unbalanced, and despite his wound, the King manages to throw the challenger to the ground and disarm him. The challenger begs for mercy, but the King fears this dark and threatening figure, and so ignoring his cries for mercy, he plunges his sword deep into the challenger's heart. And so in order to protect, the King destroys, and a shadow of darkness is cast upon the Land. The challenger's blood soaks into the Earth, and the Sun finally sinks beyond the western horizon. You make your way back to your cottage, as the King is carried away to have his wound attended to. The next day the Sun rises as before, and seems as strong as it ever was, but you have seen and felt the shadow of the dark, and now sense a change in the Land. Instead of growing, things are ripening; the heat of the summer Sun brings the crops and fruit to ripeness, but the growth is now over. And just as the Land gives forth its fruits, so now does the Queen give birth to her son. The wheat is harvested; the barley made into ale; and a great feast is held to give thanks for all the good things of the Earth, and for the safe birth of the King and Queen's son. But in giving birth, the Queen is no longer simply a wife; she becomes the Mother. She knows that her son is the hope for the Land, for the King's wound, taken at the Midsummer battle, is a wasting wound, and will not heal. He grows weaker by the day, a reflection of the waning powers of the Sun. The Queen knows this, and as her son grows, she trains him in the ways of sovereignty. The King sees only that his son grows stronger, as he grows weaker. He watches the Sun wane day by day as summer slips towards the time of the Equinox, when once again day and night are equal; but this time, the dark is in the ascendant. At last the night of the Equinox arrives. The King feels drawn towards the clearing in the forest, and under a waning Moon, he makes his way along the track. He remembers his initiation at the Spring Equinox; his love for the Virgin, and their joyful celebration of the Land Marriage at Beltane; he remembers how proud he was of his creative powers at the Midsummer Solstice, and with a pang of sadness, he remembers how he had to face the dark challenger who threatened his Kingdom and his Queen. And finally, he remembers the birth of his son - a joy now turned to sorrow, as the King finds himself once more in the clearing, where waiting at the center is his son, armed with a spear. 1686 Out of the corner of his eye, the King sees a movement in the shadows, and remembers how he first saw his beloved wife, when she was newly awakened, a young Virgin, and he was the Lord of the Forest. Now his wife hides in the shadows - she wears a black cloak, and covers her face with its hood. The King and his son face each other, and then without a word being spoken, the King draws his sword and they begin to fight. Sword against spear, a mighty battle rages in the clearing. The powers of light and dark are equal, but the powers of darkness are now in the ascendant, and as the night grows on, the King begins to tire. The wasting wound he suffered at the Summer Solstice has never healed, and his powers - like those of the Sun - are waning. There is a brief pause in the fight: the King and his son look deep into each others eyes. There flashes between them recognition of the mystery that light and dark are equal: that they are not fighting each other, but that each is fighting himself. For the light and the dark are one and the same, as are the King and his son, and with this realization, the King joyfully lifts his guard, and is impaled upon the spear as he drives his sword deep into his son's heart. Together they fall dead to the ground, and their blood pours out upon the Earth. At the edge of the clearing the Queen watches, and as she sees her husband/son die, she sends a great wail echoing through the forest. There, standing in the cave mouth is the Lord of Death and Resurrection, but she cannot see him. For her husband/son/lover has now become the Lord of the Otherworld, and she is still of this world. The waning Moon watches as she tears her hair, and as one possessed, runs through the forest in an agony of grief. For she too saw the mystery, and now she understands that the light and dark are but the same. She knows that her husband/lover/son has passed beyond the veil, and that her creative time is passed. For the Queen is now a Witch: the ancient Hag Crone who knows the mysteries of life and death and has walked the path of initiation. In making her journey she has truly found the gods, and knows that behind the wheel of the seasons there is an ancient power. By walking the wheel she has joined with the mystery. She has been a Virgin, a Wife, the Queen, the Mother and the Crone. She has walked the way of the seasons. She has seen the spring, the summer, autumn and winter, and she understands that an ancient truth lies hidden within it all. At last the time of the dark Moon arrives, when the Sun's powers are low, and the veil between the worlds is thin. Standing alone in the forest she makes her way to the clearing. She stands alone for she is feared by those who have yet to walk the wheel. For now she must perform the supreme act of magic. She kindles the ancient Samhain fire, with woods of all the sacred trees. One for each season, one for each way, one for the night and one for the day, one for her lover and one for her son, one for the serpent and one for her song. 1687 As she raises her arms in invocation a great storm gathers. With a final act of understanding she opens the veil between herself and the gods. She opens the veil of the Otherworld and calls back the spirits of the dead. For she knows now to fulfil the mystery she must join with the Lord of the Otherworld; they must love and join as one. The storm breaks: lightning and thunder tear and crack at the ancient night as the trees creak and bend in the wind. For the wild hunt is now upon us as the spirits of the dead are led from the Otherworld by the Horned God. Chaos now reigns in the world for the Mystery is upon us. But to join with this mystery the Crone must embrace the Lord of Flame, the Lord of Death and Resurrection, and go with him back into the Otherworld. To join with him she must become the Goddess. So of her own free will, she dies the death of true initiation and enters into the cave, and passes with the Horned Lord back into the depths of the Otherworld. There they join in love as one: the supreme moment of the true Great Rite in which all the mysteries of the male and female; all the mysteries of the light and dark are married together as one. For love has always been the key. It is love that conquers our fear and shows the way to union. For true love is true death, as the individual sense of self is transcended by a vision of the One. As the gods fulfil the mystery of love, the seed of new life is planted deep within the womb of the Great Mother. And the land sleeps, for the dark time is upon us once again, and the God and Goddess lay in each others arms, deep within the Land, hidden from sight. The Sun quickly wanes day by day, the nights growing longer, the days shorter. Winter grips the land as a cold wind blows through the forest. The darkness seems complete, but those of the Wicca are wise and weep not for they know that the Sun will be reborn through the love of the God and Goddess. Life will not fail - the Sun will return again. And at last the night of the Midwinter Solstice arrives: the longest night of the year, but we know now it is only the darkness that comes before the dawn. As you stand upon the edge of the forest, you see the first signs of the new born Sun rising upon the eastern horizon, and hear the sound of a new born babe. But this time, you walk away from the clearing towards the rising Sun, and as you leave the forest, you turn and see that it is no more than a shadow behind you. Before you is a world which you know well; it is the world in which you live, and now it is time to return. The Otherworld is real, and you may return at any time, for the mysteries of the gods are there for all to understand, if you have but eyes to see. You continue to walk into the everyday world, and become aware of the sounds around you, and of the place in which you sit. Spend a few moments quietly re-attuning yourself to your normal state, and then open your eyes and stretch. (End of Guided Visualization) If you want to make any notes do, but please remember that the Wheel of the Year is an emotional experience, not an academic exercise! And finally, always have something to eat and drink after any activity which uses an altered state of consciousness. This is the most effective and efficient way to "ground," and is vital if participants are travelling home after the working. 1688 The Coven at Pooh Corner (This article was first given as a talk at The Wiccan Workshop Number 6, held at Coombe, North Cornwall, in May 1989, and was publis- hed in Web of Wyrd #7, January 1993) This talk is designed to illustrate that spiritual significance is present in everything around us (see "Wicca and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Children of Sekhmet, May 1988). On this occasion I shall be using for my inspiration the stories of that world famous writer A A Milne, to whit, Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. These are of course coded allegories of the spiritual development of a certain bear. Firstly I would like to introduce the characters because there may be someone here not enlightened enough to have read these great works, in a similar sort of way as a Christian may not have read his Bible. Our Hero. W T Pooh. Pooh, as he is known to his more intimate acquaintances, is a modest chap not known for his intellectual ability, and has been called "a bear of very little brain". He is given to composing hums well aware that being a bear his singing voice is not what it might be. I would think he is probably a Taurean and all in all a well rounded pers- onality; possibly because it is always time for a little something. Piglet Piglet is a small timid little person, a very young spirit, and Pooh's best friend. He is a chattery soul who tends to dwell on his fears of heffelumps and woozles. It is generally thought he may be a Gemini and would be an extrovert if he could find more confidence. He has a peculiar aversion to being clean. Wol Wol has delusions of being the wise old owl based mainly on the fact that he can spell his name, which is OWL. He lives in the grandest house in the woods, the old oak tree. It is quite obvious to everyone that he is in fact Libran because he comes out with statements of fact which are more often than not wrong. All the other animals turn to him for advice, which he gives freely although no-one understands a word of it. Eeyor Eeyor is a very interesting character. He is a very, very old spirit who in this incarnation has come back as a donkey. Nothing much seems to bother him and he lives all alone in a boggy field. He is generally perceived to be miserable. This is wrong. He is quite happy in his own little world and is thought to be a Piscean with a Capricorn ascen- dant. He is in fact the most intellectual of them all because he can make the letter A out of three twigs. Also he has a brain whilst all the rest have grey fluff which has blown in by mistake. 1689 Kanger Kanger is a newcomer to the forest and something of a matriarch being very protective of her offspring, Roo. She is of course Cancerian, like my wife, and will mother everybody whether they like it or not. Tigger Tigger is the archetypal extrovert and obviously an Aries. Overwhelm- ingly friendly and bouncy. Piglet is terrified of him because he jumps out at you and says "WorraWorraWorra" in what he thinks is a friendly tone... He has no idea that he can't do something until after he has done it. He shows no trace of forethought and eventually is adopted by Kanger. Christopher Robin A small boy who will be fully explained at the end. The Parables of Pooh 1 Down the Rabbit Hole In this story, Pooh after breakfast of honey followed by honey, decides to go visiting. First he visits Piglet, and is just in time for a little something, ie a little honey. Eventually they go to Rabbit's place. Rabbit, who has hundreds and thousands of relations, naturally lives in a rabbit hole, where Pooh and Piglet are just in time for a little something. Pooh however eats too much and being a stoutish bear anyway, finds that when he leaves he gets stuck in the rabbit hole, with his feet dangling in Rabbit's living room and his head out in the air. Everyone comes to his aid, but no amount of pulling or pushing will shift him. Christopher Robin is summoned and decides that Pooh will have to stay there without honey until think enough to leave. Rabbit is obviously not well pleased about having a bear wedged in his front door. However he is compensated when he discovers that Pooh's legs make excellent towel rails. Moral: From this escapade we can see that Pooh is not very spiritually developed. He is far too keen on the physical desires of the body and through this forced period of fasting and the altruistic use of his lower limbs, he learns that it is alright to be portly so long as you don't block someone's portal. In other words, you are at liberty to follow your own way so long as you do not block another's. This is the experience of the tarot card of The Devil. Deluded about the relative sizes of the door and his tummy, he cannot pass through until he has cast off the chains of his baser desires for honey. Most covens have a Pooh at this stage of development. This is the witch who overindulges in the communal wine during the rite, becomes comatose before the altar, and neither heaven, earth, or High Priestess's boot, can shift. 1690 2 In which Pooh and Piglet go hunting heffalumps One snowy day, Piglet finds Pooh staring at some footprints. Pooh thinks this may be a heffalump or maybe a woozle, and exhorts Piglet to come and follow it. Piglet is not keen. He agrees as long as Pooh is with him. Sometime later they notice that the footprints have been joined by another set, two heffalumps, or, as it may be, woozles! Pooh composes a hum to keep their spirits up, "How cold my nose, tiddly pom....". A little while later there are four sets of footprints. Piglet is getting frightened. They sit down for a think and eventually realise they are walking around a wood following their own footprints. So off they go for a little something. Moral: Here we see Pooh's total lack of brilliance. He gets there in the end with a bit of help. On the other hand there is the immense faith he inspires in others. People feel safe with Pooh. He knows the value of a kind word and a cheery song. This also illustrates the danger of overwhelming others with your enthusiasm for a path, which may not be the path they would choose. This is why in Wicca we are not evangelical. Each must find his or her own heffalump or woozle. In Which Pooh Builds Eeyore a House One rainy day Pooh sets out to find Piglet. After many hours of careful thought he has realised that everyone has a house except Eeyore, but he has a plan. On one side of the wood he has discovered a pile of sticks, so with Piglet's help they take the sticks around to the other side of the wood and build Eeyore a fine Des. Res. After some moments of contemplation of their labours, they set off to find Eeyore. They come across Eeyore in the approximate location of the pile of sticks looking puzzled. So they take him off to show him his new house. Eeyore is muttering but Pooh and Piglet take no notice whatsoever. They arrive at Eeyore's house and Pooh and Piglet say proudly, "There!". Eeyore looks pleased, but even more puzzled. It transpires that Eeyore built a house out of a pile of sticks on the other side of the wood. He puts down the change of location and certain architectural improvements to the high wind of the night before. Pooh and Piglet say nothing to Eeyore, and then Pooh says that he thinks it's "Time for a little something." Moral: From this we can see that although still not devastatingly intelligent, Pooh has managed to perceive someone else's problem, and has made some attempt to solve it for them. It may however have been better if he had consulted Eeyore who had already gone about solving his problem for himself. Thus we see that we should not impose our particular perception of the universe on others. Fortunately Eeyore is of such greatness of spirit that he lets this event pass, and Pooh has developed sufficient maturity to let discretion be the better part of valour. As Eeyore was muttering perhaps we should also learn to listen to others. 1691 The Great Flood Pooh looks out one morning and sees that it is STILL raining. Chris- topher Robin has been getting concerned about the rising waters, measuring their progress with sticks. Each morning yesterday's stick has disappeared. He goes around and warns everyone to go to high ground. Pooh laboriously takes his stock of honey and balances all his jars on a high branch of a tree, where he takes refuge. When all his stock is exhausted he ponders for a while, then makes a not very successful boat out of a honey jar. The boat and Pooh have some disagreement as to whom should be on top. He eventually paddles this Craft over to Christopher Robin's house where they take to Christopher Robin's upturned umbrella. They then ensure that all the other animals are safe. Moral: This story illustrates Pooh's growing concern for the environ- ment and his fellow creatures. In this particular crisis, Pooh does not go off half cock making rash decisions, but seeks the help of the most developed spirit in the forest. Pooh exhibits great fortitude and determination in his quest for this higher spirit. Also he is showing better use of his baser desires, ie for honey. There are obvious parallels with numerous other flood myths although in this Wiccan version, having had our fill of our favourite tipple, the Ark mark 1A has some design faults. This is why in the world of today there aren't quite so many unicorns and other mythical beasts. They lost the argument with their honey pots. What Tiggers Eat Pooh, strolling through the woods, hears this peculiar noise: "WorraWorraWorra". He picks himself up, looks around and espies this strange creature. The creature bounces up and down and says, "Hello, I'm Tigger". Pooh, being a generous soul, asks him back for a little something. He asks Tigger what he would like to eat. Tigger doesn't know what he eats, so Pooh gives him some honey. Tigger is not imp- ressed, so off they go to Piglet's house with Tigger bouncing along, running ahead of Pooh and leaping our at him in a very friendly fashion. When they arrive, Piglet gives him some acorns. Tigger does not like Acorns. So off they go to Eeyore's where Tigger tries thist- les. Tigger definitely does not like thistles. Lastly they try Kanger. Kanger is very concerned, but doesn't know quite what to suggest. However, whilst giving malt extract to her baby Roo, Tigger bounces up and grabs the spoon and says "Mmmmmmm". So we find out what Tiggers eat. Moral: This shows Pooh's ready acceptance of all types of people, even Aries! He goes to great lengths to help this very young spirit to find spiritual sustenance and someone willing to look after him. Kanger, as is the case with most Cancerians, does not believe they can solve the problem but in fact the solution is in their grasp all the time. Unfortunately, Kanger is now stuck with this waif and stray. Pooh has climbed a long way from the days when he got stuck in Rabbit's door, and has learnt the responsibility that goes with new initiates in our world. N.B. Please note that in the true Pagan spirit of this tome, even Tiggers eat vegetarian food. 1692 Pooh and the Honey Tree On this day we find Pooh staring up into the branches of a tree. His highly tuned senses have detected honey. Being a portly bear he is none too good at climbing trees, so he comes up with a plan. Chris- topher Robin had a party with lots of balloons. So off he goes to Christopher Robin's house to ask if he might borrow a balloon. He also asks Christopher Robin to help him. They set off with Pooh's require- ments. The balloon is painted black to look like a thundercloud, and blown up. Pooh, grasping the string, floats aloft. Christopher Robin stays beneath with his umbrella announcing "Tut tut, it looks like rain." The bees of course are not fooled for an instant. About this time Pooh discovers the major flaw in his plan. He cannot get down. After much careful thought, Christopher Robin shoots the balloon with his pop gun, and Pooh descends very rapidly and lands on a thistle. Eeyore considers this a waste of a good thistle. Moral: This is the pinnacle of Pooh's intellectual development. He has solved his immediate problem, but not really thought out the conse- quences. In a spiritual sense, he has strived too far without being properly prepared and is brought back to earth with a bump. Pooh, having developed so far, has forgotten that if you are to go flying, astrally or not, then you must not forget your parachute. As Pooh found with the bees, we must learn not to underestimate life forms we perceive as being lower than ourselves. Eeyore is another case in point. Although he is seen as under-developed because he does not say much, he has obviously seen the outcome from the word go, and is only upset at the demise of a juicy thistle. Christopher Robin is obviously an interplanes adept since once again he rescues Pooh after having clairvoyantly foreseen the outcome. Conclusion: To lead up to my great revelation I must conclude the story. On frequent occasions when Pooh calls on Christopher Robin, he is out, but has left a note that he will be "BAK SON", and is nowhere to be seen. Pooh takes these notes to Wol, who is not sure if they refer to a herbaceous "Bakson" or a spotted "Bakson". One evening, Christopher Robin arrives at Pooh's house and reveals to Pooh that his time in this place is nearly over and he must go to school. He and Pooh have a long chat and Christopher Robin decides that Pooh is ready to accom- pany him on this great adventure and they walk off hand in hand into the Sun. This illustrates the basic fact of life that no matter how comfortable we are we must be prepared to grow and develop and move on when we must. Christopher Robin is in fact Pooh's Higher Self and as can be seen from the stories, unless you use your Higher Self you will not reach your desired aims, and indeed may go the same way as the uni- corns and their honey pots. Between Christopher Robin and Pooh they have achieved sufficient development to leave their current plane and move on to higher things. Christopher Robin, as can be seen from his name, Christ/Robin, is a Tipherathic aspect of Pooh; ie the centre where the lower and higher self come together. When they have united the way is open and clear for them to move on to the next sphere of existence. 1693 Thus it should be every witch's ambition to be reincarnated as a bear of very little brain who lives in the hundred acre wood on a plane at least one above this one. After all the idiots we see running this world have to be seen as a damn sight more stupid than even Wol. (PS Mrs Thatcher is also a Libran!) copyright to David Wadsworth, who has been a bear of little brain for many a long year! The End 1694 Wicca & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by David Wadsworth (This article first appeared in Children of Sekhmet, May 1988. It was originally given by Dave as a talk at a Wiccan Workshop organised by Chris and Vivianne Crowley in 1987) This talk aims to illustrate the all-pervading nature of Wicca. If a system of natural laws or beliefs is true, it can be applied to virtually anything. I intend to try and apply parts of Wiccan beliefs to my other passion, biking. There is a peculiar sort of bonding between a real biker and his machine. The biker will put the well-being of his machine far above his own. I have seen men cry over a bent bike, or after an accident tell the driver off for hitting his bike rather than him. I have personally fought off two ambulence men so that I could hop to my bike to inspect the damage before being taken to hospital. My theory for this strange bond is that the motorcycle and rider form a sort of Gestalt being, a conplete entity, either part of which is incomplete or useless without the other. The motorcycle represents the male part of this entity. It provides all the force and power, but lacks control and direction. It is all potential, in Wiccan terms, the God force, waiting for the female aspect, the Goddess, in the form of a horrible grubby motorcycle rider. The rider takes the force and harnesses it, giving purpose, form and direction. Controlling the raw male potential, and together, in harmony, they will be capable of reaching heights impossible to either on their own. The motorcycle can be seen as a way through which to tap a source of cosmic energy. The energy which we in the Wicca use for healing, spells, divination, as a gateway to alternative universes. Just as a witch wouldn't attempt to tap this awesome power without protection, neither would a biker. The biker will put on boots, gloves, helmet and leathers in a similar sort of way as a member of the Craft would surround themselves with a protective circle to preserve the power and keep out undesirable spirits. In the biker's case he is also aiming to keep in the heat, and protect him from the road, onto which demon car drivers possessed of evil spirits (gin, vodka, whiskey etc.) would lure him to his death! This brings us neatly (?) to the subject of reincarnation. Most of you reading this will have some knowledge of the ideas of reincarnation; i.e. that we are born, live in the world, die, and are then reborn to develop further. Not many of you will realise that motorcycles go through a similar process. They leave the factory to roam about the face of the earth, then some parts wear out, and they descend into the dark underworld of the workshop. Here they are consoled and repaired by the creative force of the female, who is the biker, to emerge re-born in Spring, once more blooming with refreshed colour of res- tored paintwork, and the cycle starts again. Many British machines go through this every year. About Yule they are ready, and in the first days of Spring they roar about in the first flush of youth. Then at the peak of their power, at Lammas, they are cut down, usually due to some terminal mechanical problem. They dwell for the remainder of the year in Hades, the garage, thus mirroring the cycle of the God. 1695 The spirituality of bikes is perceived by man in different forms, and each has its followers. Here are some of the major religions: THE CHRISTIAN This newcomer to the spiritual motorcycle rides a modern Japanese bike. He pays little more than lip service to his religion. He has few rituals, all he has to do is turn the key and start the starter engine. He tends to be into power and speed, tearing past older machines which he regards with contempt. He cares little for the inner workings of the machine, running to his priest/mechanic whenever he has a problem. Should his machine pass on, i.e., wear out, it will believed to be irreparable, i.e., too expensive, and gone to the great scrap heap in the sky. The makers of this are the great salesmen and evangelists of the bike, not to mention the profit makers. THE MAGICIAN He will typically be an older bearded gentleman, who rides an immacu- late old British motorcycle. They are into status, and will pootle along at 40 mph all day, imagining themselves the envy of all who see them. They are into ritual and mystery. The performance required to summon some older bikes into life is awesome and dangerous. Yet these fellows will watch in silence as a machine spits at a new initiate and breaks his shin. They will endlessly pontificate on the correct shade of colour for the petrol tank, or whether a part is the right year for the model; mostly that's all they do. THE WITCH The bike will most likely be filthy, not from lack of care, but from constant use in all sorts of conditions. The rider knows and under- stands the inner workings of his machine, its every click and whistle. He relies on no guru for his understanding, he is not afraid to try things out and see if it works. Not for him the search for power or acclaim. He is just out to explore the universe and glean its myster- ies. He will get there in the end, there's plenty of time. He will rebuild bikes time after time, not sticking to rigid formulae, but with whatever comes to hand. he enjoys his bike and is in-tune with it. As a biker-witch, I am now going to use two useful tools to explain my theory of Life, the Universe and Everything: i.e., the Kaballah and the four-stroke cycle. Firstly the act of invocation and the four-stroke cycle. For those of you who are not mechanically minded, I'll try and keep this simple. Officially the four-stroke cycle is referred to as Induction, Compression, Power and Exhaust. I prefer the much more evocative Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow. There are a few parts that really matter: the crank shaft, the con rod, the piston and the inlet plus exhaust valves. 1696 1) Suck: Initially the piston is at the top and both valves are closed. As the crank shaft turns, the inlet valve opens, the con rod pulls the piston down which draws air and fuel in. At this point in an invocation, the invoker is opening his chakras and drawing the cosmic energy which surrounds us into his body. 2) Squeeze: The crank shaft continues around, the inlet valve shuts, and the piston is pushed up, squeezing tha gases together. This is when the invoker says the invocation and passes the power to the invokee. 3) Bang: The fuel/air mixture ignites and pushes the piston down. The priest/ess takes on the aspect of God/dess being invoked. 4) Blow: The exhaust valve opens and the piston pushes the charge into the exhaust pipe. The God/dess charges and shares his/her power with those assembled. And now - motorcycles on the Tree of Life: Kether - traditionally the godhead from which all energy flows. It is formless. This is the high tension spark which ignites the fuel and without which the bike is naught. Chokmah - Formless, directionless energy, raw untamed power. In the engine this is the burning fuel mixture. Binah - this takes the raw force and starts organising and forming it. The piston, conrod and crankshaft takes the power of the expanding gases and converts it to rotary motion. Chesed - Takes the potential energy of Binah, gives it order, and makes it more solid and usable. In the engine, the gearbox and final drive take the power from the crank shaft and make it usable to the whole machine. Geburah - An essential breaking down. Where there is life, there must be death. In an engine when you have got two lumps of metal thrashing about in violent motion, they must wear each other away. Tiphareth - This is the image of the godhead, the wayshower, Lucifer, Prince of Light. In the bike this is represented by the electrical system and the ignition system, and the lights, which on British machines are provided by Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness! Netzach - This is the spirit of nature, intuition and sexuality. This is more concerned with what bikers do. They are in tune with nature and tend to get drawn to ancient sites, eg Stonehenge, Avebury and Wayland Smithy, or just standing around in a muddy field communing with nature and the local brewery. This is also the source of the sexual bond between man and machine. Hod - Communication, intellect and travel. It is also where your will produces power. The travelling aspect of motorcycles is fairly ob- vious, and hordes of despatch riders fulfil the communication role. This is where we get the knowledge of the workings of the bike. It definitely takes Hodic willpower on a cold, wet morning, along with 1697 highly verbal expletives, leaping up and down on the kickstart to get the bugger moving. Yesod - This is the lunar aspect of biking, linked to Tiphareth on the Middle Pillar (refer Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness). Many bikers will, by the light of the Full Moon, switch their lights off and ride by moonlight in their lunatic hunt for the local hostellry. In the event of a biker meeting his death through this ridiculous activity, look into the sky. For there you will espy, on his silver machine, the spirit of the biker riding across the astral heavens. Scientists tend to think these are meteors. There is also the illusion of security one gets from riding around with one's head in a goldfish bowl, collo- quially known as a blood bucket. Malkuth - The concrete world, reality. On a bike you are cold, wet, tired, frequently uncomfortable, and very vulnerable, and no-one in their right mind would do it if it wasn't for something else...... Despite Malkuth, biking opens up other realms, other worlds (Birmi- ngham, London, Glasgow, etc) and puts you in tune with the inner and outer universes. The End. 1698 THE GREEK & ROMAN GOD(ESSE)S A quick overveiw by Thomas Palmer APOLLO-Also called Phoebus, the bright one. Identified with the sun. Said to be the most powerful of the Gods. Son of Zeus and Leto. Born on Delos, taken North and raised by the hyperboreans, he went to Delphi and killed the dragon Python, guardian of the oracle of Themis, but a ravager of the countryside. Tall,handsome,outstanding inword anddeed,he wasthe god of ever-renewed youth, archetype of virile beauty and masculine virtue. He was also known as a seducer & extremely arrogant. Talented in music, inventor of the lyre, he was the inspiration of poets and soothsayers. His oracles were expressed in verse. Hecould cure illnessand banish evil.He was adoctor who knew the purification rites and was invoked against plague. His image was set at dangerous places for protection (Lighting the ways) Nothing escaped his vision (light of day). ARIES (MARS)-Son of Hera, born without male assistance. He was a supreme fighter, loved battle and cared little about issues, switching sides without scruple. He delighted in massacres. Hewas god of war,not victory, andwas thoughtless about winning, only fighting. Was on occasion disarmed by Athena, Goddess of restraint and forethought, to keep him from interfering in battles that did not concern him. He wasprolific inlove, butalso arapist.He wasrun byhis passions. CRONOS (SATURN)- Son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth). Gaea, worn out by numerous pregnancies, requested to be free of this burden, so Cronos (Saturn) took up a sickle and cut off his father's testicles. His wife was Rhea, and he fathered Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Was eventually deposed by Zeus. Hisfestivals, theSaturnalia,were atimeof liberationand freedom for all and got pretty wild. They were celebrated from Dec. 17th until the new year. Saturn is the archetype for "father time". DIONYSUS- Son of Zeus and Semele. His escort was satyrs and marginally sane gods. He did not respect laws or customs, loved disguises, wild screaming, licentious dances and wild places. He was a drunken god with no home, living in the wild and eating raw meat. He encouraged excesses of all kinds. HerahatedDionysus becauseofZeus'sinfidelity andhounded him. She caused him to be killed by the Titans, but he was resurrected through the efforts of Athena, Zeus, Apollo, and Rhea. She drove him mad, but through Cybele he gained mastery of it. He drove many people mad for various reasons. EROS (CUPID)- A primordial god, contemporary of Chaos, who existed before Cronos (Saturn) and Zeus. He came out of an egg that formed the earth and sky when it broke in two. He precipitated the embraces of Gaea (the Earth) and Uranus (the heavens), which resulted in the birth of Oceanus, Tethys, Coeus, and Cronos (Saturn). The Earth and heavens were so tightly embraced that none of the children could rise towards the light until Cronos (Saturn) castrated his father. CupidwasassociatedwithAphrodite, whomoderatedhispower. Where he was desire, instinct and violent sex, she was grace, tender- ness and sweet pleasure. Cupidmadepeoplelosetheir reasonandparalyzedtheirwills, even inspiring Zeus to capricious sexual desires. 1699 AsEros heis saidto bethe childof Porus(Expedience) and Penia (Poverty). Like Penia, he was said to always be in search of something, and like Porus, he always found a means of attaining his aims. FAUNUS- A Roman God, Son of Circe and Jupiter. Protector of the Roman peoples, he lived on Palatine Hill in Rome. His oracle was given in nightmares. Lupercalia was his festival, during which his priests ran through the streets with leather straps and struck any women they met with them to bestow health and fertility. The women were said to strip themselves to be better targets. He reproduced himself in the satyrs. HADES (PLUTO)- Son of Cronos (Saturn), brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When the world was divided between the three brothers, the underworld and hell fell to Hades, while Zeus took the heavens and Poseidon the seas. He had a helmet that made him invisible. He ruled the dead, and forbade his subjects to leave his domain. He desired Persephone, but Zeus forbade the marriage. He then kidnapped her. HEPHAESTUS (VULCAN)- Son of Zeus and Hera. He was lame, either because his mother, startled by his ugliness, dropped him, or because Zeus, angry that he took his mother's side in a dispute, threw him from Olympos. He dwelled among mortals and became the god of black smithing and artistic metal work. He made a golden throne that imprisoned any who sat in it, and gave it to Hera to avenge himself for his fall from Olympos. HERMES (MERCURY)- Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He stole some of Apollo's cattle shortly after his birth and concealed them, sacrific- ing two to the Olympian Gods. This theft won him recognition as a God himself. When Apollo discovered the theft and Hermes was tried, his defense was so skillful and spirited that Zeus laughed and ruled that there should be a friendly settlement between the brothers. Hermes was Godof the spoken wordand oratory and wasthe intermediary between the Gods and men. Also the God of commerce and contracts, where language must be precise to convey the correct meaning. JANUS- ROMAN- The Two faced God. he was God of beginnings and presided over new undertakings, gateways and initiations. he was revered as the first king of Rome and made order reign. His temple was left open in wartime so the God could act, but was closed in peace. THE LARES- Roman- Twin children of Mercury by the rape of Lara. They protected the land. Were symbolized by two boys and a dog. PAN- Half man, half goat, with horns on his brow and lust in his eyes. Son of Hermes and a daughter of the Dryops, he was the God of pastoral regions and wilderness. Special friend of shepherds, he guided and protected them from afar. Protector of all wild things and places. His pipes had an aphrodisiac effect on those who heard them and induced mating. Pan wasalecherand adrunkwho constantlypursuednymphswho would flee in terror. Caves rang with their cries when he caught them. He was famous for his rages, where he attacked anyone who got in his way. His irrational behavior led people to flee him in "panic." He was dangerous when he took possession of a being. The possessed, or panoleptic, took on his bearing and would wander in the wild, laugh madly, or throw themselves on others for sex without respect to gender, or have epileptic fits. 1700 POSEIDON (NEPTUNE)- Son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea, he is represented wielding a trident and being pulled by monsters in a chariot. After Zeus's victory over Cronos (Saturn), the young gods, who preferred life on earth, divided the various domains of earth. Poseidon chose the seas. He represented the hidden forces of germination and death. Together with his wife Amphitrite, he had powerful ties with Gaea, the Earth, mother of the Titans. As subterranean Gods, they shook the world from inside. Poseidoncausedearthquakes whenhemade lovetohis wife. The mystery isle of Atlanta belonged to Poseidon. Poseidon could provoke storms, set fire to rocks on shore and create springs of water. He had many children, most wicked and violent, like the Cyclops of the Oddessy. PRIAPUS- A small god with a penis of immense size. Son of Zeus and Aphrodite, he was deformed by Hera in revenge. Aphrodite abandoned him in fear that she would be ridiculed for her ugly child. He began as a symbol of fertility, but of no significance. Although he was over- sized, he was impotent. He seemed to fail at everything he tried. He was compared to an ass and ridiculed. He lent his name to the disease priapism, an incurable illness where the penis remains painfully erect but incapable of ejaculation. Ended up as an obscure gnome. QUIRINUS- A Roman warrior god originally, he became a god who watched over the well being of the community, opposite to his former nature. Called an apparition of Romulus the founder of Rome. ZEUS (JUPITER)- Son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. He defeated Cronos (Saturn) in a ten year battle and then divided the realms with his brothers by lot, getting the heavens for his own. He was ruler and judge, the arbiter of disputes among Gods and men. His decisions were just and well balanced, showing no favoritism. He had several wives and many lover's, earning the title "all father" or "father god". His infidelity caused much strife on Olympos and in the world through he raging of his wife, Hera. Goddesses APHRODITE (VENUS)- Daughter of Zeus and Dione according to Homer. 'The Woman Born Of The Waves' according to Hesiod, born of the foam impreg- nated by the sexual organs of Uranus, which Cronos (Saturn) had severed and thrown into the sea. Plato identifies these as two separate Aphrodites. One Urania, the daughter of Uranus was goddess of pure love. The other, called Pandemos, (Root of pandemonium?) was the Goddess of 'common' love. She married Hephaestus, but was unfaithful with Aries. Arieswascaughtandhumiliated. Aphroditefledinshame to Cyprus, and there took Thrace as lover, resulting in the birth of Eros (Love), Anteros (Love in return), Deimos and Phobos (Terror and Fear). She also was a lover of Adonis, a human shepherd named Anchises who fathered Aneas, of Hermes and of Dionysus who fathered Priapus. She was known for jealousy. She made Eos (Dawn) fall in love with Orion in spite for her seduction of Aries. She punished all who did not succumb to her. A beauty competition between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite was proposed by Eris (Discord) with the prize being a golden apple. It was judged by the human Paris. All the Goddesses offered him bribes to win.