This picture was taken by Failing_Angel and shows the path through Chewton Common woods, in Highcliffe, Dorset. It is a path where Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, must often have walked.
At The Charge of the Goddess Conference this summer, Philip Heselton, an expert on Gerald Gardner, gave a talk called The Life of Gerald Gardner. In it, Philip said that when Gerald was in his fifties, he moved to a village near the New Forest where he met occult and spiritual groups via a Rosicrucian theatre and underwent an initiation into what he described as a surviving witch cult, the members of which were called “the Wica”. That village was Highcliffe.
This autumn, Failing_Angel and myself decided to visit Highcliffe and, while we were there, we took some photos, including the one above.
Philip Heselton has written several books about Gerald Gardner, including Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspirationand Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival. His latest book, Witchfather, which is due out soon, formed the basis of the talk he gave at The Charge of the Goddess Conference. If you want to know more about Gerald, I can strongly recommend reading any of Philip's books.
On each Pagan Eye post, I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be including - it could be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture.
If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself and you must confirm that you are submitting it for A Bad Witch's Blog.
Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration: An Investigation into the Sources of Gardnerian Witchcraft
Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival