Written and compiled by George Knowles
Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki is a British occult Author, Psychic, Lecturer and Teacher of Western Mystery Traditions.
She is the current Director
of Studies of the “Servants of the
Light”, one of the UK’s leading esoteric schools, founded by her late teacher Walter Ernest Butler in 1973.
The school has roots going back to an earlier Occult order, the
“Society of the Inner Light” founded
by Dion Fortune in 1924.
born on the 11th June 1929 on the Island of Jersey off the coast of
France. Her great
grandmother was a full-blooded gypsy gifted with natural occult talents, many of
which she passed on to her grandmother. Although
her grandmother didn’t practise witchcraft “per se”, she did use magick in
a craft sort of way, and she in turn passed down her knowledge onto her mother.
Her parents were both third-degree initiates and ran a group that was
similar to an occult lodge, but care had to be taken to keep this secret due to
restrictions still in force under the old Witchcraft Laws; it was therefore only
referred to as their 'discussion group'.
According to Dolores:
“…they lived in a little cottage where all the rooms ran off a
short corridor. The room in which
her parents entertained visitors was separated from her own room by a curtain.
During their meetings she would climb out of bed and go listen from
behind the curtain, and there often fell asleep, at which times her mother
would pick her up and put her back in bed.
Eventually they simply let her stay up and listen, on which occasions she
would curl up in a corner of the settee until she fell asleep”.
In this way Dolores was brought up in a family tradition dedicated to the occult sciences.
Like most children when they are little, Dolores had 'the
Sight' and recalls an incident from her childhood:
“When I was little and still going to school, I used
to pass this beautiful wall of Jersey granite (Jersey is built on such granite).
I didn't know what it was at the time, but I know now it was an earth
elemental and I called it Christopher. I
used to stop on the way to and from school and talk to him.
A teacher found me one day busily talking to this wall and informed the
headmistress. The upshot of all
this was that my parents were requested to take me, not to a psychiatrist, but
somewhat of a counsellor.
I was lucky; “the Devil looks after his own”, they
say. This guy was Welsh and as fey
as they come. He was most intrigued
about Christopher. How did I see
him, and what did he look like? What
I had to do to see him was to clap my hands three times, then put my hands
against the particular stone and turn it, as if opening a door... and there was
Christopher, you see? He was most
intrigued, but in the end he gave me some advice, 'Never let yourself be found
out. Do not let normal people know
about it and you will remain safe.' Good
psychic advice. He saved my bacon!”
In another recollection from her childhood, Delores
“In the cottage were we lived there was a blocked
doorway connection through to the next cottage.
When we first moved in I was about 18 months old, and there was an old
lady living in the second cottage. She
was a lovely old lady always looking after me and making cookies, but sadly she
died about six months after we moved in. After
she died, my parents rented both the cottages and eventually my father unblocked
the connecting doorway (this made the corridor mentioned earlier).
By doing this, my own room was virtually in the other house (that of the
old lady) and although dead, she used to visit.
It never occurred to me to be afraid, being on my own,
for I had a lovely big dog that always slept in my room.
When the old lady came to visit, she would talk to me and tell me
stories. Now, I thought it was my
granny who used to live just around the corner, and it wasn't until I was 4 or 5
that I realized there were times I could see right through her.
Still, it never occurred to me to be afraid.
That the two cottages were haunted was beyond question.
On one occasion, my father, a materializing medium, had an experience
that cost him so much energy he was ill for some time afterwards. “Never again!” my father said, and he didn't.
After that experience, he concentrated more on the philosophical side of
the occult, rather than the physical."
In September 1939 after Germany invaded Poland and
England entered war, and with the imminent invasion of France by
advancing German forces, for their own safety, Dolores and the rest of her
family were exiled to mainland Britain. They
were just in time, for in June 1940, German troops landed on Jersey and occupied
the Island for the duration of the war.
Fortunately her mother had relatives in Wallasey, a town on
the Wirral Peninsula in northwest England, and for a short time they were able to
give them refuge. Later they moved
down to London, but by the end of September
1940 the blitz on London had become so bad they were forced to move
again, this time to Sheffield where her mother had more relatives.
However, in December, Sheffield also suffered a severe bombing raid, which
forced them to return to Wallasey on the Wirral, where they eventually settled in
the nearby town of Heswall.
London blitz Sept 1940
blitz Dec 1940
Situated on the northeastern tip of the Wirral peninsula,
Wallasey is on the opposite side of the River Mersey to Liverpool, to which
tunnels and ferries connect it. Except
for its main populated areas of Wallasey, Hoylake, Birkenhead, Heswall and
Bebington, most of the peninsula is rural.
The shoreline forms a Coastal Park consisting of cliffs, ponds, mudflats
and wooded embankments. On the
southwestern side of the peninsula, the Wirral Country Park is home to wading
birds, foxes and badgers, and like the Island of Jersey where she grew up, is a
magical and mystical place. Tradition
has it that of old, Arthurian knights hunted here for questing beasts.
Opposite the school she attended was an area of moorland
where Gypsies used to camp and where Dolores spent much of her spare time
visiting and playing with their children. She
learnt much about living in touch with the natural world from the Gypsies.
She would also visit with her grandmother (called Bastol) who taught her
to read Tarot cards and tell fortunes. However,
when a neighbour reported Dolores had been seen telling fortunes at a local goose
fair, her mother took exception and put a stop to her practice, but not before
she had learned quite a lot.
After Germany surrendered to Allied Forces in May 1945, in
late December that same year Dolores and her family returned to Jersey.
Shortly after her parents formed a new occult discussion group but still
had to keep it secret due to restrictions imposed by Jersey’s laws.
While Jersey is part of Britain, it is self-governed by a Lieutenant
Governor and a General Assembly who represent the English crown, and as such they
make and maintain their own laws (Even
after the repeal of England’s old Witchcraft laws in 1951, they
have never repealed their own).
By this time Dolores had returned to England to study at
the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, during which for a short time she
joined a travelling repertory company
to gain more practical experience. Later
having developed a strong soprano voice,
she moved on to study Opera at Trinity College
in Cambridge. After
returning home to Jersey, Dolores made what she calls:
“the biggest mistake of my
whole life," and got
married. The marriage lasted just
three years before she ended it and returned to Cambridge
to finish her studies.
During her youth in Jersey, Dolores had
been keenly interested in the sport of Fencing and had even represented the
Islands against France and England in competition for which she won a
number of cups and trophies. After
returning to Cambridge, she again took up the sport and joined a fencing
club where she met her second husband Michael Nowicki. They were married
in 1957 and while still living in
England had two children, Tamara and Carl.
In 1961, Dolores
moved the family back to Jersey feeling it would provide a better environment
for bringing up their children. Two
years later after reading a book on spirituality, they made contact with the
“Society of the Inner
Light”, an esoteric order founded by Dion Fortune in 1924, and began
training through their correspondence course. After completing
the course they were both formally initiated in 1967. A year later Dolores joined the “Helios School”, an off shoot faction of the Society founded by
Walter Ernest Butler and Gareth Knight and began training as a Cosmic
In 1973 when Gareth Knight left to devote himself to other studies, the
Helios School was renamed the “Servants of the Light” (SOL) with Butler as Director
By this time Dolores had decided to dedicate her life to
the Occult Sciences. She began
working full-time for the SOL and shortly before his death in 1978, Butler named
her his successor as Director of Studies and her husband Michael as Financial
Director and Guardian of the School. Since
then Dolores has travelled extensively
around the world attending conferences and seminars and teaching
on a wide range of esoteric subjects in her efforts to expand the school
of the Light
School of Occult Science)
The Servants of the
Light (SOL) is a registered non-profit organisation in the UK with approximately
2600 students located worldwide
in 23 different countries. The
mission of the SOL is to spread esoteric knowledge in an ethical manner to all
who want to receive it regardless of religious denomination, gender,
nationality, race, age, social position or income.
The School welcomes students from a wide range of traditions,
including: Wiccans, Witches, Pagans, Christian nuns and priests,
Shamans, Hermetists, Cabbalists, Buddhists, Isis-worshippers and many others
with the premise that all paths to the Light are worthy of respect.
The School is not affiliated with any political or religious
organizations, and as a registered non-profit organization, nobody gains
financially from the school. The
School has no offices or hired staff to be paid for, and not even the Director
of Studies gets paid for the work she does.
There is no membership fee required to join the School and all teaching
is free. The only thing you pay for
is a low material cost per correspondence course lesson, and you will also need
to buy one or two textbooks.
practical methods of Magic, the Cabala and Occultism through its graded
correspondence courses, students are
trained through a network of Supervisors to become Friends, Guides and Companions, and after being formally
initiated, Supervisors and Teachers themselves.
To join the SOL each new applicant needs to answer a detailed
questionnaire, which is carefully assessed and psychically screened before
he/she is accepted for training.
The School emphasizes that its training is not for the
faint-hearted and involves a great deal of hard work before anything approaching
Ritual or Magic is taught. Its First Degree Course is centred on the Western Mysteries and uses the Cabbala as
the base of its teachings since this makes it possible to build bridges between
different types of esoteric philosophies. The
course also uses Tarot symbolism and the symbolism of the Arthurian myths.
Consisting of fifty lessons the course contains written
teachings as well as exercises and meditations each of which take about a month
to complete. The student keeps a
journal of all the work he/she performs, and on completion of each lesson, this is
sent to a Supervisor who assesses and comments on it. The aim of the course is to give students a comprehensive
theoretical and practical understanding of the ancient Mysteries.
the Director of Studies, Dolores herself undertakes many workshops, lectures and
seminars each year, travelling thousands of miles to meet with SOL supervisors,
students and others, and so with a final word from her, adapted from her
website: “The SOL does not
promise a sudden burgeoning of psychic powers.
It does not offer every student the possibility of becoming a High Priest
or Priestess, a Magician or a top-flight Clairvoyant. It does offer graduated training aimed at the balancing of
the inner and outer selves designed to make a student into a responsible, well
orientated, open-minded individual. If
students have psychic talents, our training will awaken them and polish them,
bring them under control. If they
are too deeply buried, then, at least, the student emerges with a well-adjusted
insight into the ancient Mysteries and a sense of being one link in a chain
stretching back into past ages, and forward into the future.”
First Steps in Ritual (HarperCollins 1982)
The Shining Paths: An Experimental Journey Through the Tree of Life (Aquarian Press 1983)
Highways of the Mind: The Art and History of Pathworking (Aquarian Press 1987)
Inner Landscapes: A Journey into Awareness by Pathworking (Harpercollins - 1990)
The Tree of Ecstasy: An Advanced Manual of Sexual Magic (Aquarian Press 1991)
The Servants of the Light Tarot Deck (with Jo Gill and Anthony Clark - 1991)
The New Book of the Dead (Thoth Publications - 1992)
The Shakespearean Tarot (with Paul Hardy - 1993)
Daughters of Eve: The Magical
Mysteries of Womanhood (Harpercollins
The Ritual Magic Workbook (Red Wheel / Weiser - 1998)
The Initiate’s Book of Pathworkings: A Bridge of Dreams (Red Wheel / Weiser 1999)
Forgotten Mage (Thoth Publications - 1999)
Magical use of Thought Forms (Llewellyn Publications - 2001)
Illuminations: The Healing of the Soul (Llewellyn Publications - 2003)
The Sacred Cord Meditations (Thoth Publications - 2006)
Your Unseen Power: Real Training in Western Magic (Sounds True Inc. 2006)
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies by John Michael Greer
Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite - DVD
Penguin Hutchinson Reference Library - DVD
Microsoft ® Encarta - DVD
Plus to many others to mention
First published on the 20th May 2011 © 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
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
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
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 / Unicorn / 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. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
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
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder 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 "the 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 / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / 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 the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / 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, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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