Tuesday, 30 September 2014


On 25th of February this year (2014), I journeyed to Leeds to attend a lecture at the Morley Moot held in the Labour Rooms, on Commercial Street in Morley, which is just outside of Leeds itself. The talk was advertised as the Tools of Traditional Witchcraft and was to be presented by Alan Millar (formally Craw).

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr Millar before but the last time was in 2011. At that time I was the lead organiser of an East Midlands Pagan Federation event at the Guildhall in Derby city centre. The event was called the Derby Witan and was a Saturday event. The event consisted of a series of four semi-academic style lectures with a supporting market. The speakers included Shani Oates, Anna Franklin, Glennie Kindred and one single gentleman speaker, Alan Millar.

Alan Millar is the Magister of the Milesian Order of Clanna Gadelus, a Traditional Cuveen based in Yorkshire and a fellow Knight of the Loyal Arthurian Warband. He is a writer, public speaker, music producer and founder of the Witchcraft Research Network, with a long and extensive history of involvement in the Pagan and Craft community.

Unfortunately being rather busy with backstage business, front of house and other organisational duties at the Witan; I like most of the event staff, missed the majority of the lectures, including part of the opening presentation by Mr Craw. So the opportunity to hear the complete lecture and visit friends in the Leeds area, proved too great a temptation.

The train journey to Leeds was far from onerous and I have visited Leeds, a vibrant energetic city, before. Changing trains at Leeds was not too difficult, although I did have a moment of confusion in attempting to identify the correct platform for the Morley train. Alighting in the afternoon sun at the station in Morley, I found it an old style open air platform. A steep flight of stone steps led up from the station to the streets above the railway tunnel, a magnificent example of Victorian engineering.

Checking direction with a local resident as I left the top of the climb, I was directed towards the town centre. I found Morley, even in the centre an exceptionally quiet place. Perhaps Tuesdays are early closing days but the centre was far from busy and I may add; the majority of the shops were closed. It was like walking through a ghost town.

The people of Morley however, were exceptional friendly. After first asking direction from the young woman near the station, I had been pointed in the direction of the town centre. There a young man was able to confirm my course and I set off towards Fountain Street. Making my way along that road with my bag, I stumbled upon Al’s Food Fountain, a small cafe just up the hill from the local school. Here I stopped for a cup of tea (not actually Yorkshire) and checked my map. Alan the proprietor noticed this and asked where I was heading. On learning that my destination was the Travelodge on the corner of Bruntcliffe Road and Bruntcliffe Way, he kindly offered to drop me there as it was on his way home. The friendliness of the Yorkshire folk was beginning to impress.

On my arrival the staff at the Travelodge proved to be equally friendly and helpful. Guiding me as they did to the carvery next door for my early evening meal and although a carvery, they in turn were able to provide an excellent vegetarian alternative.

Later in the evening, whilst waiting in the hotel lobby for a taxi to take me to the Morley Moot itself, it was my turn to play the helpful Samaritan. A gentleman came in asking for directions to the Morley Hayes Hotel, help in this matter the hotel staff were unable to give. Overhearing the conversation I made myself known, asking for clarification. I pointed out that there is a Morley Hayes Hotel near Derby and that I live between Derby and Nottingham.

Checking his written directions the gentleman discovered that on seeing the motorway sign for Morley near Leeds, he had exited the motorway prematurely and did indeed want Morley Village near Derby. If I had not been present he would have spent a long time travelling in circles around Leeds, looking for a non-existent hotel and missed his meeting. It was an amazing chance meeting.

On my arrival at the Morley Moot I met up with my friends Vicky Newton and Shullie Porter, eventually being introduced to the organiser of the Moot, Mr David Speight himself. We joined Alan in the main hall only briefly, to examine his display of items before taking our seats for his lecture.

Alan seemed rather pleased with the turnout and equally pleased to discover, that some had travelled a considerable distance to hear him speak. Myself included obviously. Alan presented a brief outline of Traditionalist Working Tools, from the blade (not an athame) to the Stang. Occasionally having to take a step back to clarify a point or as right at the start, to explain who Robert Cochrane was for those not familiar with the non-wiccan craft.

There were several points of interest that I felt could have been explored further under the right circumstance, quite possibly as separate lectures. These points arose primarily via questions triggered by the content of the main lecture. One of the areas that in particular, I would have liked to have seen expanded upon, is the influence of Robert Cochrane on the modern Traditional Craft movement.

A second point, that is far too deep to be explored in a casual manner as a side issue at a moot, being the similarities and differences between the egregore and the tutelary deity of a Clan.

A third area suitable for further exploration would be in my opinion, the practical use of the Witch Bottle. Another area of fascination, only briefly touched upon at the moot, is the significance of horseshoes and blacksmith lore within the Traditional Craft.

The evening was educational, stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable. All the more so for giving me the opportunity to meet my Yorkshire friends once more, who I joined briefly in the pub afterwards whilst waiting for them to leave for home.

Mr Millar will be speaking at the Day of Mysteries and Magic 2 in Leeds proper, on Saturday the 25th October 2014. It is an event I am looking forward to attending and details of the day can be found below. I am very pleased to learn that Mr Millar’s contribution to the event is a lecture entitled, ‘Forefathers of Modern Witchcraft Movement the lesser known developers of the modern craft.’

Useful websites

The Witchcraft Research Network (Traditional Witchcraft Research Network).

The Day of Mysteries and Magic 2.

Points raised in this talk are discussed further in these two other BLOG posts.

The Tools of Traditional Witchcraft - a talk by Alan Craw

Egregores and Bronze Age Mummies

The Day of Mysteries and Magic 2
Saturday 25th October 2014 from 12 noon to 6pm
The Swarthmore Centre Leeds
£7.50 on the door

Steve Jones: Masonic Wicca the links between Freemasonry and Wicca

Alan Craw: Forefathers of Modern Witchcraft Movement the lesser known developers of the modern craft.

Kai Roberts: Grave Concerns the history, folklore and controversies of the grave of Robin Hood.

Tony Chapman: Further into his paranormal world and investigations.

Paul Bennett: Animism, Paganism, & the Nature of Prehistoric Rock Art, an illustrated look at sacred sites known and unknown in West Yorkshire.

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