In another room was a small exhibition of early Wiccan artefacts from the Doreen Valiente collection. This included what is by modern standards, a rather garish wand that once belonged to Gerald Gardner and a magnificent Book of Shadows written in his own hand. One item of particular note, shown to me by my friend Ashley Mortimer a Trustee of the Doreen Valiente Foundation, was a clay plate of an unknown age and provenance. The main upper part of which is completely plain, the underside however is clearly designed for use a pentacle. Truly it would be a secret hidden in plain sight, when placed unobtrusively in a cupboard.
Ashley Mortimer and the Chattering Magpie
Picture © J. Burton 2014
Both the Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft Traditions, what today we may commonly refer to as Wicca, were following the repeal of the Witchcraft Act, of an enormous social interest during the 1950’s and 1960’s. This was a time when Britain faced continued internal sociological change after the Second World War and came to terms with the inevitable loss of a World Empire.