Written and compiled by George Knowles
Dorothy Morrison is an award winning American author and teacher of Wicca and Neo-Paganism.
An author of more than twelve books on Witchcraft and associated
subjects, she is a member of the Pagan
Poet’s Society and has contributed many articles to leading magazines
and journals. A teacher for
more than 25 years, her practical down-to-earth approach to Witchcraft
has inspired many on their paths to the Craft of the Wise.
Texas on the 06th May 1955,
her father was a small town Deputy Sheriff and later Chief of Police in
through her mother Laura Belle Potter, Dorothy claims to be a direct
descendant of William the Conqueror (William I
- 1027-1087, King of England
from 1066-87), and Robert the Bruce of Scotland (Robert I - 1274-1329,
King of Scotland from 1306-29), plus various doctors, lawyers, ministers and
other prominent people including: a
Kentucky Governor, the first Poet Laureate of Texas and a charter member of the
famous Texas Rangers.
As a child Dorothy grew up a tomboy, and able to ride a horse before she could walk, this was mainly due to her father who was a keen outdoorsman and horse rider. As an early member of the “Texas Trail Ride Association” he was naturally proud of his daughters riding abilities, particularly when at the age of just two years old, she was featured in a photo shoot for the Western Horseman magazine. Her father was also a keen mathematician and criminologists. He served in law enforcement for over forty years, and was one of the first Chief’s of Police in Texas to admit African-Americans and Hispanic police officers on the force.
Coming from a Catholic family, her junior schooling was
spent at a Catholic school, during which time she consider becoming a nun
herself. However, by the time she
was ready for high school, the era of the swinging 60’s was well advanced and
the Catholic Church was seriously at odds with the rest of society.
Their stance on birth control and equality for women did much to alienate
them from the rest of the public. Although
still quite young at the time, such issues opened her eyes to the patriarchal
nature of the Catholic Church and their attitude to female advancement and
church clergy participation. With
that in mind she decided she could no longer support their beliefs and dogmas.
It was after this that she persuaded her parents to allow her to attend
public high school, instead of entering a church seminary.
In 1973, her final year before graduating high school,
Dorothy was introduced to a tarot card reader, who later invited her to a party.
The party turned out to be a regular “Cake and Ale” party, the
traditional way for a “Coven of Witches” to finish off their meetings or
rituals. After the initial shock of
being in a room full of witches had worn off (being a Catholic she was naturally
weary), she soon began to relax and enjoy the evening.
As the evening progressed she discovered (as was a common misconception
held by many) that they were not about to sacrifice babies, indeed they appeared
to be no different from anyone else, except that they held to a different set of
beliefs: “an it harm none, do
what you will”.
The tarot reader who befriended Dorothy turned out to be a
member of the Georgian tradition of witchcraft, an eclectic form of modern day
Wicca, so Dorothy determined to find out more:
“The Georgian tradition had been founded just a few years earlier in 1971, by George “Pat” Patterson aided by two women: Zanoni Silverknife and Lady Tanith. In 1972 the Universal Life Church had given a charter to the Georgian’s as “the Church of Wicca of Bakersfield”, which was later reorganised and re-chartered in 1980 as “the Georgian Church”.
The Georgian tradition is an eclectic
mix of Gardnerian,
Alexandrian and British Traditional practices in that it’s members are
initiated and bound by oath. Many
of the rituals are similar to those published in various books, such as the
Farrar’s Eight Sabbats for Witches and The Witches' Way, and the
privately distributed version of what was later published as Ed Fitch’s Grimoire
of the Shadows. The Georgian
tradition is God and Goddess oriented tradition, and is both religious and
magical in practice. They also
celebrate the eight Sabbats in common with most other Wiccan traditions, while
encouraging it’s members to learn from all available sources”.
The Georgian tradition happened along at just the right
time for Dorothy, for as the tradition had no strict dogmas or “by the book”
ways to practice its beliefs, after the restrictions of Catholicism and being
ever a non-conformist, it allowed her to be who she wanted to be while
stretching the bounds of her own creative beliefs.
After graduating from Columbus High School in 1973, Dorothy
moved to Houston in Texas, then again to California. While in California she married her first husband and had a
son, before moving on again this time to Missouri.
It was in Missouri that Dorothy discovered she had a passion and a talent
for Archery and Bow-hunting. This
came about when someone gave her son an Archery set for Christmas, at the time
they were seeking a family activity to share, so both she and her husband took
it up too. By the time of their
second year on the circuit, Dorothy had earned three bow-hunting
State Championship titles (one each from Arkansas, Tennessee and Illinois).
Bowhunter’s Prayer To Diana”
by Dorothy Morrison
Oh Silvery Huntress of the Night!
Diana of the pale moonlight!
Oh Goddess of the Silver Bow
Smile on your humble child, below
Come now to me and be my guest,
And aid me in this hunt...my quest!
In this endeavor, grant success.
Grant me patience - grant kindness
Watch over me and guide my steps
As I walk into the forest’s depths.
Protect me from all injury
And close beside me, always be.
Aid me as I track the deer.
Through brush and thickets, far and near.
When it comes time to draw my bow
Grant me accuracy, here below
Guide my arrows with speed and skill
Grant painless death and swiftest kill.
Silvery Huntress, I am your child...
I hunt your forests, free and wild.
Bless this hunt, I ask of thee
Oh Great Diana, hear my plea
Goddess of Wild Ones and the Night!
Bless my table with food tonight!
It was during this time that Dorothy began writing; she
worked on the staff of several Bow-hunting magazines and at the same time began
contributing articles to as many Craft orientated publications as she could
find. She was also good enough with
a bow that a manufacturer signed her up as a Pro-shooter, and she began
travelling the circuit giving demonstrations.
Over the following few years before her shooting arm gave out, she shot
for some of the leading equipment manufacturers:
High Country, American, Oregon, Hoyt and PSE.
While all this had been going on Dorothy had continued to
study and practice the Craft, but it wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that she
completed her initiations and became a qualified High Priestess of the Georgian
Church. In 1986 she hived off from
her mother coven and founded her own: the
“Coven of the Crystal Garden”. Since
then she has spent many years travelling and teaching Craft subjects to students
across the United States and as far away as Australia.
After she could no-longer shoot arrows for a living,
Dorothy became an administrator for the Humane Society, and was responsible for
two animal shelters in Missouri.
It was a position that was both rewarding and distasteful, she say’s.
The rewards were most satisfying as she watched people leaving the
shelter having adopted a homeless animal. But
sadly those rewards were tampered, for each day she was faced with putting down
numerous perfectly healthy animals, for no other reason than that there was no
place to keep or home them. “It
was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I don’t think I could ever work
somewhere like that again. It
wasn’t the pleasant work I’d first envisioned, but it did much to deepen my
relationship with the Dark Mother”.
“Founded in 1870, the Humane
Society of Missouri has been dedicated to giving animals a second chance.
They provide safe havens to all animals in need - large and small – who
have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Their
mission is to end pet abuse and overpopulation through rescue and investigative
efforts, spay and neutering programs, and educational classes.
They also strive to create lasting relationships between people and
animals through adoption programs, and endeavour to support those bonds by
making available world-class veterinary care with pet obedience and behaviour
Dorothy worked for the Humane Society for several more
years, until the release of her first book “In Praise of the Crone” (1999). When the
Humane Society discovered she had written a book about Witchcraft, they
apparently took exception to it, and she was fired shortly after it was
published. Initially upset by their
treatment, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and a turning pointing in
her life, for it allowed her the freedom she needed to concentrate on her new
career as a writer. She also had
another interest in her life.
On Christmas Day in 1998, Dorothy had met her future
husband Mark, and for the first time in her life came to understand the meaning
of “perfect love and perfect trust”. She
and Mark were married a year later in December 1999. They now live together in Northern Virginia with two Labrador
retrievers called Sadie Mae and Jonah Know.
Since then Dorothy has been writing full-time and has
authored some 13 books, plus the Whimsical Tarot Deck (illustrated by Mary
Hanson-Roberts). Always eager to
learn more about the Craft, Dorothy is currently studying with the “RavenMyst
Circle Tradition” and has taken her second-degree
initiation with their “Coven of the Raven” based in Michigan. Her
main interests include: Tarot
working, magical herbalism, stone working and computer networking.
Bud, Blossom & Leaf: The Magical Herb Gardener's Handbook (2001) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 156718443X, ISBN 978-1567184433
The Craft: A Witch's Book of Shadows (2001) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 1567184464, ISBN 978-1567184464
Companion: A Witch's Journal (2001) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0738700932, ISBN 978-0738700939
Dancing the Goddess Incarnate: Living the Magic of Maiden, Mother & Crone with Kristin Madden (2006) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0738706361, ISBN 978-0738706368
Enchantments of the Heart: A Magical Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life (2002) Career Books ISBN 1564145468, ISBN 978-1564145468
Everyday Magic: Spells & Rituals for Modern Living (2002) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 1567184693, ISBN 978-1567184693
Everyday Moon Magic: Spells & Rituals for Abundant Living (2004) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0738702498, ISBN 978-0738702490
Everyday Sun Magic: Spells & Rituals for Radiant Living (2005) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0738704687, ISBN 978-0738704685
Tarot Magic: Meditation & Spells (2003) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0738701750, ISBN 978-0738701752
In Praise of the Crone (1999) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 1567184685, ISBN 978-1567184686
Magical Needlework (2002) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 1567184707, ISBN 978-1567184709
Celebration of Light and Warmth (2000) Llewellyn Publications ISBN 1567184960, ISBN 978-1567184969
Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavoury
Notions (2008) Willowtree Press ISBN-10:
0979453313, ISBN-13: 978-0979453311
Reference Library Copyright (c) 1996 Helicon Publishing and Penguin Books Ltd
and compiled on the 24th August 2008 © George Knowles
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 / 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 and Elders)
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 / 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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