Happy Birthday to Patricia Crowther, who is lovingly referred to as the “Grandmother of Wicca.” She is celebrating her 92nd birthday. She is one of the last remaining High Priestesses who was directly initiated by Gerald Gardner.
From her first book in 1965, through her radio programs, and various media interviews, she has worked to promote Wicca and help people understand what the religion is all about.
Patricia was born Patricia Dawson on October 14, 1927 in Sheffield, England. Her family had a history of clairvoyance and Patricia always felt drawn to witchcraft. Through most of her early adult life, she was a singer, dancer, and actor in a cabaret troupe that traveled all over the U.K. Through her travels, she met a number of fortune tellers who told her about her past lives as a powerful priestess and as an old witch. It was also predicted that she would meet her future husband, which she did, two years later.
Patricia and Arnold Crowther met in 1956 while they were both acts in a stage show. Arnold was friends with Gerald Gardner, and once he knew that Patricia was interested in witchcraft, he introduced the two of them. In 1960, Patricia was initiated by Gardner and then she, in turn, initiated Arnold into the Wiccan tradition. The same year, the two were married by Gardner in a handfasting ceremony. In 1961 they took their second and third degree initiations where Patricia officially became a High Priestess on her birthday.
The couple made their home back in Sheffield, England and formed their own coven. In 1961, they initiated their first member and their group only increased after that. The Crowthers were seen as celebrities and were often asked to give interviews about this new and exciting religion. Together, they wrote two books called “The Witches Speak” and “The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft.” They also produced the first radio series about Witchcraft entitled “A Spell of Witchcraft,” which debuted on January 6th, 1971.
In 1974, her husband passed away, but she continued to write, teach, and lecture about Wicca. She was even the representative for the U.K. at an international conference of the occult in 1978. From her first media interview, Patricia Crowther has been a champion for Wicca, working hard to dispel the many misconceptions about the religion and its practices. Her teachings of the Craft are concerned with the evolution of the soul, and she believes that Wicca and Paganism have a big part to play in the centuries to come.
You can listen to all six episodes of her radio broadcast from 1971 here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy9XH7XKtoNSTFfpG4GiKWYQP06AhVW9z
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.