Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Paddy Slade is a hereditary Witch or a village Wise Women in the traditional Old English sense. She is the author of: the Encyclopedia of White Magic (January 1990), Natural Magic: A Seasonal Guide (November 1990), Seasonal Magic: Diary of a Village Witch (November 2001) and Tales Round the Cauldron (May 2004).
Paddy was born Patricia Harlow near Canterbury in Kent on the 29th September 1931. Her father Robert Hadlow was a sailor in the Merchant Navy, and while away at sea his wife Rose raised their family of seven children. Patricia as the youngest in the family and grew up with three sisters and three brothers, she was nicknamed Paddy by her father. Her mother Rose was of Scottish descent and practiced the old ways of the village witch or wise women. As a child Paddy was naturally quick to learn the old ways from her mother and seemed destined to carry on the family tradition as a practicing witch herself.
At the age of 9 during World War II, the German Luftwaffe subjected Canterbury to a sustained aerial bombing campaign; they called it the Baedecker Blitz. As the bombs rained down on innocent civilians, residents of the city were evacuated as it burned. An estimated 10,445 bombs in 135 separate raids were dropped on the city, during which some 731 homes and 296 other buildings were destroyed, among them the Simon Langton Grammar School, where 115 people were killed.
Before and after
The most damaging of the raids on Canterbury occurred on the 1st June 1942, during which the old Church of St George’s was gutted by fire. There has been a church or chapel on this site since the early fifteenth century, and it was here that “Christopher Marlowe” the famous Elizabethan tragedian, dramatist and poet was baptised on the 26th February 1564. Initially a “Chapel of Ease” for naval officers and their crews, the church was consecrated and dedicated to St George on the 19th June 1716. After the bombing in 1942, all that survived of the old church was the Tower.
The tower of St George’s - Christopher Marlowe
When warning of a raid was given, Paddy and her family would move out and shelter in the woods on the outskirts of the city, there they would camp and sleep in tents. On one occasion Paddy had a visionary experience, which she later described:
“I don’t know if it was a dream or if it actually happened. It was very clear then and it is very clear now. I went out of the tent and started walking through the woods, which kept changing character. I came to a place where there was a stream. You don’t normally get water on high chalk land, but here was a stream. All around were all the flowers that were never seen in the woods from the early spring right through the year. There were lots of animals – weasels, badgers, foxes and all sorts. I looked at them and all the flowers, wondering why there were violets and briar roses at the same time.
Then I became aware of a great figure on the other side of the stream. It seemed to me he was dressed in black leather. He had magnificent antlers. I looked up at him and said, “Are we going to die?” He said, “No, you’ve got far too much to do and learn”. He sat on the other side of the stream for a while, telling me what I should know. Then he said, “I want you to meet someone else”.
He took me across the stream and put me in front of him on his horse, and off we went, up into the sky, such a long way. We came to a lovely place. There was a beautiful women sitting on a stone. She started telling me more about what I needed know and learn. When she finished, I was put back on a horse and brought back to my little bed in the tent.
In the morning I told only my mother about it. She said, “You’ve been lucky – you have met the Horned God and the Goddess. But you are only nine. You have got to go to school, you have got to live with other people. Don’t forget about it, but keep it in the back of your mind. You are a very lucky girl”.
Paddy did not share the experience with others until much later in life, when she told her husband about it he responded saying: “I think you may have met your God”.
For her education Paddy went on to study at Cambridge University, from where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Medieval History and English. After leaving collage she joined the signals branch of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). In 1955 while still serving in the air force, Paddy married her husband Philip (Pete) Slade and a year later gave birth to their first son Robert, a second son Peter followed in 1957. Most of their time with the RAF was spent serving overseas, mainly in Singapore and Fiji, and only returned to England after leaving the Force in the early 1960’s. Sadly just a short time later in 1962, her husband Pete suffered a heart attack and died.
After the death of her husband Paddy was naturally devastated, and despite support and encouragement from her friends and relatives, retreated to the isolation of the Dartmoor countryside. She loved the remoteness of Dartmoor and continued to live there for the next twenty years, occasionally moving from one location to another. The local area around Dartmoor (now a National Park established in 1951) held a particular fascination for Paddy, for the whole area is steeped in folklore and littered with the remains of ancient sites. One such is the “Grey Wethers”, two ancient stone circles thought to be remnants of a Druidic temple. The Grey Wethers is located below Sittaford Tor, and was once a small moorland farm renowned for keeping sheep (“wether” is an Old English word meaning sheep).
The “Grey Wethers” two ancient stone circles
A story about the stones tells of how a farmer who recently moved to Dartmoor was foolish enough to criticise the sale of some sheep at nearby Tavistock Market. After the sale he stopped for a drink at the Warren House Inn, were after several pints of cider the locals persuaded him there was another flock of sheep nearby he would be wise to buy. When they went to view them, and as they approached through the mist, the farmer saw what looked to be a fine flock of sheep. Not bothering with a closer inspection they returned to the Inn, were the farmer immediately agreed to the sale. The next morning when the farmer returned, it was too late, for what he had taken to be sheep was actually the stones of the Grey Wethers.
Other ancient sites nearby include a late Bronze Age village consisting of 24 stone circle huts surrounded by a low stonewall at Grimspound, and a number of dolmans (megalithic burial chambers) at Drewsteignton. It was while living in such an area of Dartmoor that Paddy had a second and more profound vision. When out on the moor one night she found herself in the middle of a stone circle when the mist came down, and for safety’s sake decided to stay were she was throughout the night. During the course of the evening she had a number of visionary encounters with the Horned God and Goddess, other spirits, and Puck, who later became her dominant spirit guide.
Stone circle at Grimspound - Dolman at Drewsteignton
This experience had a significant effect on Paddy, and so she dedicated herself to preserving the knowledge of the Old Ways. She later discovered she had gained the ability to attune to animals and trees, and had a greater appreciation and understanding for the powers of nature (in folklore, the gift of attuning with animals is bestowed by Puck, but only on those people he takes a liking too). This was most noticeable to her when she was out on the moors among the famous wild ponies.
After her experiences on Dartmoor and during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, with all the growing interest in witchcraft inspired by the likes of Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, Robert Cochrane and Alex Sanders, Paddy quietly continued to practice the old ways of the witch. She utilised and developed much of what she had been taught by her mother, and wasn’t shy to learn what she could from others. Among the more notable of her teachers was Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki co-founder of the Servants of the Light (SOL) a school of occult studies in 1971. She still maintained however that her greatest teacher was nature itself.
As time passed Paddy became known for her knowledge of herbal and magical remedies, and soon had a steady stream of students waiting to join her teaching courses, what she called “the Old Wild Magic. In them she would stress the need for individuals to experience the powers of nature and the elements for themselves, and before even trying to employ the use of spells or magic. With the sudden growth and interest in modern witchcraft as practiced as a religion and inspired by those above, Paddy felt that much of the basics of real magic was being lost.
While many entering the Craft of today start out with good intentions, they soon become bogged down with coven politics, procedures, hierarchies and the use of working tools, none of which are essential to the practice of real witchcraft. People today are in such a rush to play with spells and work with magic, that they soon become disheartened when they fail. Paddy maintains that it takes time to become familiar with nature and the elements (hence the year and a day associated with initiation), and only when you’re attuned to nature’s rhythms will the old ways of traditional witchcraft begin to work for you.
In 1982 Paddy left the remoteness of Dartmoor and settled in a small village near Bath in Somerset. Since then she has reduced her teaching to just a few, and in efforts to share her knowledge with a wider audience, started writing. Her books are filled with the wisdom of a genuine old country witch, sharing her knowledge about animal, herb-lore, spells, chants, folk-remedies, recipes and natural magic. She writes from the heart and without pretence, but she also writes with a sense of humour (there’s even a “Rite of Chocolate” included among her festival activities).
If your looking for an “Occult book of Ritual and Magic”, then her books are not for you, but if you want a down-to-earth real book of Kitchen Witchery, her books are easy, fun and compulsive reading. I might mention however, that while her earlier book “Natural Magic” is beautifully illustrated, her later book “Seasonal Magic” is a re-write and basically the same, it has a few bits of added material and of course contains her now famous “Rite of Chocolate”.
Encyclopedia of White Magic - by Paddy Slade
January 1990 - Hardcover, Octopus Publishing Group, ISBN 0792454286 (0-7924-5428-6)
Natural Magic: A Seasonal Guide - by Paddy Slade
November 1990 - Hardcover, Octopus Publishing Group, ISBN 0600570649 (0-600-57064-9)
Seasonal Magic: Diary of a Village Witch - by Paddy Slade
November 2001 - Softcover, Capall Bann Publishing, ISBN 1861630190 (1-86163-019-0)
Tales Round the Cauldron - by Paddy Slade May 2004 - Softcover, Capall Bann Publishing, ISBN 1861630468 (1-86163-046-8)
The Encyclopedia of Witches &Witchcraft - By Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation
Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. Copyright © 1994-2003
Written and compiled on the 30th August 2008 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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