- Category: Spellwork
photo by Joe Dunne, © 2003
Witches & Seeresses
Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone on Returning to the Roots of Witchcraft
The magical career of Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone stretches back to the formative years of the Witchcraft revival. Together with her husband Stewart Farrar (who died in February 2000), Janet has authored groundbreaking books on Witchcraft and the Occult since 1971. Gavin Bone joined Janet and Stewart in 1993, and has worked with Janet ever since. The trio have written eleven books on Paganism, the most recent being Progressive Witchcraft (New Page, 2003).
Janet was initiated into Alexandrian Wicca by the tradition's founders, Alex and Maxine Sanders, in 1970. While in the coven she met Stewart Farrar, her future husband and coauthor. The couple started to move away from orthodox Alexandrian Wicca in the mid '70s. When Eight Sabbats for Witches was released in 1981, Janet and Stewart were accused of “giving away the secrets” by some British Traditional Witches.
Their new mode of working (which they term Progressive Witchcraft and which they point out is not a “tradition") differs from British Traditional Wicca in several important ways, including embracing polytheism and placing emphasis on personal connection with deity rather than on ritual.
Janet and Gavin are active members in The Aquarian Tabernacle Church and have links with several covens in North America, Oceania, and the EU. Their current work focuses on Spiritism and Trace Prophesy, and they travel widely, offering workshops on various occult topics. They also teach online through the College of the Sacred Mists.
Michael Night Sky What are your thoughts on the origins of the Witch and Witchcraft?
J&G From a historical viewpoint, the witch has been with us from the moment we looked up at the sky and wondered about our place in the universe. All ancient magic was really about survival and communing with the spirits of nature, be it to fend off the “evil” forces which caused disease, or to communicate with and request the assistance of the spirits of animals to help in a successful hunt.
Modern witchcraft — commonly known as Wicca — has become an amalgam of diverse practices, including European shamanism, professional priest/esshood, and Ceremonial Magick. We feel it is time to “get back to our roots” which is what our main work is today.