Doreen Valiente - Witch

Monday, 1 October 2012

Castle Bytham Spirit Circle - 30th September

We were invited to give a talk and mini-exhibition by the good folks who own Castle Bytham's Castle Inn pub in the heart of rural Lincolnshire on Sunday 30th September. We had an excellent time with our hosts and a full to capacity audience who came out in amazing support considering it was a Sunday night and, basically, in the middle of nowhere.

The atmospheric setting was perfect as Ashley Mortimer gave an introductory talk about the Foundation and Doreen's legacy before sketching out an overview of the history concerning Doreen, Gerald Gardner and the Craft and Ashley was lucky enough for the second timne recently to have his talk enhanced (and corrected!)  by Philip Hestleton who Ashley says "added an air of propriety" to proceedings!

In the audience were a number of local authors including Rick Falconr, Shani Oats and Daniel Griffith as well as many other great people who showed great interest and support for both the event and the Foundation.

After an exhibition of some of the artefacts from the collection Ashley gave a talk Doreen had first given to the Henfiled and Steyning Round Table in 1971 on the general subject of Witchcraft and he ended the formal part of the evening with an emotional reading of a previously unpublished poem by Doreen entitled "What Witchcraft Means To Me".

A late night with lots of further talk and discussion gave us a great deal to think and talk about and another successful event brought more new people into understanding the legacy, the collection and the work of the Foundation . . jolly nice beer too!!

London Conference - 15th September

A Day For Ronald Hutton was the CFPS's conference for 2012 in aid of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. A busy weekend in London resulted in a busy event, well attended, well received by all and a great opportunity to discuss the future of Witchcraft with an expert panel made up of some of the others speakers on the day and other eminent experts on the Craft.
The Doreen Valiente Foundation launched its new membership scheme and as well as a rare chance to see Gerald Gardner's original Book Of Shadows on display the event was rounded off by ROnald Hutton's excellent talk and an evening of music with Damh the Bard and The Dolmen.
You can read more about the event on the main website.
The team were worn out by monday morning but were very excited to see so many people supporting the event and the Foundation and we cememnted new partnerships and co-operations with the Pagan Federation, Pagan Pride and Nottingham Pagan Network (who provided events staff for us) and Greenmantle magazine with who we have teamed up to deliver news and information/inspiration to our members.

Talk & Mini Exhibition - Nottingham Pagan Network

On the eve of our trip to London for  the Day For Ronald Hutton conference we were pleased to be able to give a talk and exhibition of some of the collection for our friends at Nottingham Pagan Network who held an open to all evening at the Lincolnshire Poacher in Nottingham.
The venue lent itself to intimacy and with a reading of a previously-unheard poem of Doreen's by Caz Galloway (who has been busy assisting with the transcribing of Doreen's poetry for a fortchcoming re-edition of "Charge Of The Goddess", expanded to include many more of Doreen's poems and some short stories) Ashley Mortimer gave a talk on Doreen's life and legacy to an interested and receptive audience.
Nottingham Pagan Network tell us that there were a lot of new faces in the audience and it was clear to them that Pagans and non-Pagans alike were showing great interest in Doreen and the work of the Foundation by attending this evening.
With support from Rick Falconer, newly published author of a book about the Golden Dawn, the evening was a success and we were only sorry we had to pack up in time for our early start the follwing morning.