Monday 9 January 2023

Book Review: Operation Cone of Power by Philip Heselton

I very rarely review fiction on my blog, but Operation Cone of Power by Philip Heselton and Moira Hodgkinson has to be an exception. It's a fictionalised retelling of one of the most important times in the history of modern witchcraft. As publisher Fenix Flames says on its website:

"It has long been rumoured that on the eve of August 1940, a coven of witches gathered in the New Forest to create an immense surge of magical forces to aid Britain's fight in WWII."

The ritual was called Operation Cone of Power. This novel named after it blends known facts with inspired creative writing in an account of what might have actually taken place. The main protagonists are Gerald Gardner, who later became known as the Father of Wicca, and Edith Woodford Grimes, who was probably the High Priestess who initiated Gardner into the New Forest coven. Fenix Flames goes on to say:

"In September 1939, Gerald Gardner, amateur anthropologist and collector of weaponry, began his training as an initiated witch with enthusiasm. Then war was announced and the future of Britain became uncertain, the threat of invasion from the German army loomed ever closer. Gerald put his efforts and knowledge to use in the Home Guard along with pieces from his private collection. Little did he know it would be his newly honed magical skills that gave him and his friends the power they needed to stand their ground."

This book makes use of the skills of esoteric novelist Moira Hodgkinson and the research of witchcraft historian Philip Heselton. It's a fascinating read, likely to appeal to those with an interest in the early days of Wicca as well as anyone who enjoys a tale of the occult. The novel is also a romance between two people who society of the time would have said were not free to fall in love, yet who found comfort with each other in the darkest days of the Second World War.

You can find Operation Cone of Power on Amazon, at publisher Fenix Flames' website, and at esoteric bookshops.

(Note: I earn commission from advertisers for some links. This helps support my blog at no extra cost to those who read my posts.)

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