Monday, 20 March 2017
"'A pretty grim sort,' Everard said. The neopagans of his home milieu did not include her in their fairy tales of a prehistoric matriarchy when everybody was nice."
-Poul Anderson, "Star of the Sea" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), pp. 467-640 AT p. 565.
Sir Nigel Loring reflects:
"He'd known Witches before...two dozen had hidden out in the New Forest..."
-SM Stirling, The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Eighteen, p. 507.
I think that Stirling is ironically referencing Gerald Gardner's claimed initiation:
According to Gardner's later account, one night in September 1939 they took him to a large house owned by "Old Dorothy" Clutterbuck, a wealthy local woman, where he was made to strip naked and taken through an initiation ceremony. Halfway through the ceremony, he heard the word "Wica", and he recognised it as an Old English word for "witch". He was already acquainted with Margaret Murray's theory of the Witch-cult, and that "I then knew then that which I had thought burnt out hundreds of years ago still survived." This group, he claimed, were the New Forest coven, and he believed them to be one of the few surviving covens of the ancient, pre-Christian Witch-Cult religion. Subsequent research by the likes of Hutton and Heselton has shown that in fact the New Forest coven was probably only formed in the mid-1930s, based upon such sources as folk magic and the theories of Margaret Murray.[97
-copied from here.
(I met Philip Heselton when he visited Lancaster to address the Briganti Moot.)